2016 may have been a terrible year, but damn was it brilliant in regards to the film industry! Thanks to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the British Film Institute and the Odeon, I’ve had the chance to watch some phenomenal movies this year, each one just as entertaining and inspirational as the last. Perhaps the hardest part of my year was choosing my favourites but I’ve managed to bring my list (which started at roughly 50 films seen on the big screen only) down to 10.

So, what am I recommending this year?


10. The hilarious, action packed rom-com, Mr. Right, starring Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick start off my list. It’s one of those easy to follow films with a bloody brilliant soundtrack and (with the exception of the language) it’s pretty much family friendly which is rare lately


9. The French thriller, Disorder (which you may also find under the name Maryland), is definitely recommended. Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger star and Schoenaerts absolutely shines as the PTSD suffering soldier turned bodyguard. There’s very little talking in the film so this is a foreign film that even people who hate reading subtitles can watch!


8. The Czech Republic’s historical thriller, Anthropoid, directed by Sean Ellis comes in at number eight. As expected, Cillian Murphy is phenomenal but it’s Jamie Dornan that surprisingly steals the show for me.


7. Doctor Strange is the first of two comic book (and Marvel, for that matter) films that make it into my recommendations for 2016. Directed by Scott Derrickson and introducing Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange (with Hannibal’s Mad Mikkelsen as the villain Kaecilius), the film has special effects reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s Inception mixed with brilliant wit and a wonderful cast. I, for one, can’t wait for the next instalment in the series.


6. The French drama Juste La Fin Du Monde is the first of Xavier Dolan’s films I’ve seen but it’s so beautifully directed that I’ve already scheduled a Dolanthon in 2017! It’s a simple film about a terminally ill writer returning home to tell his family that he’s dying but the cast (which includes Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Nathalie Baye, Léa Seydoux and the amazing Gaspard Ulliel as the main character) take the subtle emotions and bury them deep inside the audience!


5. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is right up there in the top ten of my must watch list! However much I love the Harry Potter movies and Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, Eddie Redmayne wins you over within seconds! It’s even written by J. K. Rowling so it flows perfectly with the original series.


4. Number four is a tie between South African drama, Shepherds and Butchers (directed by Oliver Schmitz and starring Steve Coogan and Andrea Riseborough) and Danish drama, Der Kommer En Dag (directed by Jesper Nielsen and starring Lars Mikkelsen and Sofie Gråbøl). Both are based on true stories, both are extremely difficult to watch at times and both are such amazing films everyone needs to check them out.


3. Dealing with a concept that everyone can relate to in some way or the other, the fantasy drama A Monster Calls, (the screenplay of which was written by the novel’s writer, Patrick Ness, automatically meaning that it’s perfect story wise) is definitely one you cannot miss. Aslan himself, Liam Neeson, voices the monster and the cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Lewis MacDougall as the lead character, Conor.


2. Captain America: Civil War is definitely my favourite movie in the MCU at the moment (directed by the amazing Russo brothers, armed with a fantastic cast that we’re already so invested in thanks to their previous Marvel films). It’s so well known that I don’t really need to give any more information on it but I will say that only just misses the top spot on my list which goes to…


1. The Australian drama, Lion! There are three things I have no doubt about when it comes to this film: 1) That this true story will both break and melt your heart the entire way through, 2) that Dev Patel will get an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Saroo Brierley and 3) that Sunny Pawar (who beat 2,000 other boys for the role) will steal your heart! I’m so obsessed with this film that I’ve done more advertising for Lion than my own books in the past few months! A must watch film of 2016 and one that will remind you to never give up or to lose hope…

And that’s that!

Now it’s just a case of waiting for 2017’s line-up (which includes Thor: Ragnorak, Star Wars: Episode VIII, Logan, Despicable Me 3, King Arthur AND John Wick: Chapter 2). Until then…


Although they didn’t make my countdown, I also highly recommend: X-Men Apocalypse, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Fundamentals of Caring, Mr. Pig, Sticky Notes, Adult Life, Ithaca, The Hollow Point, Brimstone and Trespass Against Us!
If you’ve got any films from 2016 you think should have made the list, comment below or send me a message via social media!