Best of 2016: Celebuzz’s Picks for the Best Films of the Year 

The year is nearly over and it’s time to look back at the enormous amount of movies that made us laugh and cry (and want our money back) in order to decide which ones will be remembered years from now. Here are the Celebuzz staff’s personal favorites from the bunch.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

“Look, I’m not going to say Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is an innovative work of cinematic genius, because it isn’t. But as far as fan service vehicles go, it’s cute and it delivers. At least 40 percent of the dialogue and jokes are lifted from the original series, but that’s ok; that dialogue and those jokes are why we showed up to the theater. And watching Edina and Patsy get into trouble will never, ever get old.” – Matt Russoniello, Managing Editor

Zootopia

Zootopia is the only movie that I saw in 2016, which says all that you need to know about my credentials to be a film critic this year. I saw the Disney film with a few of my friends, who are teachers, so that they could discuss it if their students brought it up in class. It addressed several issues in current society using animals as players on an animated stage of the real world, including police brutality, prejudice, racism and gender equality, and I believe it served its purpose as an informative educational tool for children.” – Mia Lardiere, Multimedia Content Producer

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them

“After being somewhat disappointed with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I was a little apprehensive to re-enter J.K. Rolling’s wizarding world, but I had nothing to worry about! While the film wasn’t about Harry Potter himself, it included all of the elements HP fans loved about the book and movies with just enough nods to the original series to please the diehard Potterheads but with an interesting enough storyline that even someone who’s never heard of HP will love it. I’m already eagerly awaiting the next installment.” – Jelani Addams Rosa, Staff Editor

Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford directs an astute adaptation of Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, about a woman disturbed by the manuscript of a novel sent to her by her former husband. Great acting, gorgeous cinematography and script. Everything and more that you’d expect from a Tom Ford movie.” – Michael Prieve, Editor-in-Chief

Deadpool

“There’s a reason why Deadpool is the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever. It’s witty. It’s clever. It says everything you’ve ever thought about clichéd superhero movies (with more profanity, of course). After having spent years being disappointed by much-hyped blockbusters that fail to deliver on substance, watching this was like a breath of fresh air.” – Gabi Chung, Senior Editor

Ghostbusters

“Despite the fact that Paul Feig’s remake of Ghostbusters caused quite a bit of controversy, it was still one of the funniest movies of the year. The all-female cast came out on top and delivered a solid, entertaining flick, all while paying tribute to the original comedy.” – Natasha Reda, Writer

Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea is an emotional heartbreaker that won’t let you go. Written and directed by Ken Lonergan, the unfettered story follows one man (Casey Affleck) as he returns to his Massachusetts hometown after his brother dies to look after his nephew, but who carries around the weight of an unbearable past tragedy from which he cannot break free. Affleck is an absolute marvel to watch, and while he and the film rip your heart out, Lonergan’s script is also warm, funny and spirited. Manchester is one of the more memorable films about the human condition to come around in a long time.” – Kit Bowen, Writer

10 Cloverfield Lane

“Both claustrophobic and unnerving, this contained drama is a genre-bending spellbinder comprised of three outstanding performances from John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The entire story plays out in a large bomb shelter after something terrible has happened. Despite the tiny cast and simple story, this insidious drama has a lot to say about human behavior.” – Scott Baumgartner

Moonlight

Moonlight is in many ways the movie 2016 needed. It tells a story about people Hollywood rarely considers, and it avoids clichés and cheap psychology while doing so. All that’s left is honest emotion and cinematic beauty.” – Matt Russoniello, Managing Editor

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Heartwarming and funny with the right amount of of quirk, this New Zealand gem is truly a delight. Written and directed by Taika Waititi, who’s also the mastermind behind 2014’s vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, the film centers around a juvenile delinquent and his foster dad running away into the forest after finding out that child services will separate them. As someone who hates the adorably precocious child movie trope, I thoroughly enjoyed watching a mouthy kid and an old curmudgeon play ‘Fugitive’ in wilderness.” – Gabi Chung