2016 in review: The good, the great and the regrettable

Our writers sort through the year’s best and worst movie moments – with a special mention to Shia LaBeouf.

Little White Lies

As 2016 draws to a close, we’ve been reflecting on the moments that have defined the year in movies. Here some of our regular contributors provide their personal high and low points. What have been yours? Let us know @LWLies

Most memorable scene of the year

Sophie Monks Kaufman: It’s a toss up between Nicolas swimming down into the blue of Evolution and Sophie jumping and landing in the huge hand of The BFG.

Glenn Heath Jr: The diner scene in Moonlight.

Christina Newland: The scene in Mustang where the sisters, locked in their house, pretend that they’re swimming at the beach, sunbathing, and diving into the water – all on their beds. It’s a quiet one, but so affecting.

Anton Bitel: Tom Sturridge’s voiceover at the end of Remainder (accompanied by beautiful slow-mo visuals of collapse) transforming his character’s rather singular, circular journey into a universal existential metaphor.

Justine Smith: The birthday party scene in Toni Erdmann.

Josh Slater-Williams: Addison Timlin’s nun-in-training re-embracing her goth past in Little Sister, and doing a dance to Gwar’s ‘Have You Seen Me?’ in order to perk up her severely burned, war vet brother.

Katherine McLaughlin: The exquisitely crafted first jump scare in Under the Shadow.

Ethan Vestby: Paul Verhoeven copping a punchline from the Farrelly Brothers’ Me, Myself and Irene for Elle.

Forrest Cardamenis: A chance encounter between Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea.

Martyn Conterio: The exorcism in The Wailing.

Manuel Lazic: The reunion of Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea.

Elena Lazic: Rose’s speech to her husband Troy in Fences.

Craig Williams: The first battlefield sequence in Hacksaw Ridge.

Simran Hans: Mahershala Ali’s Juan teaching Alex Hibbert’s Little how to swim in Moonlight.


Biggest disappointment

SMK: American Honey.

GHJ: The Birth of a Nation.

CN: Hail, Caesar!

AB: Deadpool.

JS: Mike Flanagan is one of the brightest horror filmmakers, but Hush was a dull exercise.

JS-W: Though enjoyable enough overall, The Nice Guys was disappointingly inconsistent.

KM: Freeheld.

EV: The almost complete brushing aside of the master’s most interesting late works (Femme Fatale, Redacted) in De Palma.

FC: Dheepan.

MC: Blockbuster season. More pricks than kicks.

ML: Hail, Caesar!

EL: American Honey.

CW: La La Land.

The movie poster you’d have framed above your mantlepiece

SMK: Evolution.

GHJCemetery of Splendour.

CNThe Neon Demon.

JS: The Love Witch.

JS-W: Moonlight.

KM: I Am Not A Serial Killer.

EVDirty Grandpa.

FC: Cemetery of Splendour.

ML: The Love Witch.

EL: Certain Women.

CW: The Gallery 1988 Jack Reacher poster.

Highest quality animal performance

SMK: Nellie in Paterson. RIP destroyer of wor(l)ds.

GHJ: Isabelle Huppert’s cat in Elle.

CN: The English bulldog in Paterson has Passion of Joan of Arc levels of silent expression.

AB: The cat in Elle.

JS: The cat in The Alchemist Cookbook.

JS-W: Pandora the black cat in Things to Come.

KM: Black Philip in The Witch.

EV: The cat reaction that opens Elle.

FC: Paterson bulldog.

MC: Marvin (played by Nellie) in Paterson. RIP.

ML: The useless cat in Elle.

EL: The indifferent seagull in The Shallows.

CW: Pandora in Things to Come.


Best use of music

SMK: Regina Spektor’s cover of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ in Kubo and the Two Strings.

GHJ: Opening scene, Mountains May Depart.

CN: Lemonade, obvs.

AB: The party performance in Aloys.

JS-W: Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Partisan’ in Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

KM: American Honey, Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ in the supermarket.

EV: De Niro’s ‘It was a Good Day’ karaoke performance in Dirty Grandpa.

FC: Mountains May Depart.

MC: American Honey’s playlist soundtrack tied for first place with Hanan Townshend’s Knight of Cups score.

ML: The terrible song ‘Bella’ by French rapper Maitre Gims for a beautiful scene in After Love.

EL: The Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’ in Star Trek Beyond.

CW: ‘Sabotage’, Star Trek Beyond.

SH: The censored version of Chief Keef’s ‘I Don’t Like’ in Nocturama.


Strongest hair

SMK: The five sister combo special in Mustang. They were conceived as like a hydra.

GHJ: Chris Pine in Hell or High Water.

CN: Toni Erdmann and his wig.

AB: Noé Hernández’s metamorphosis from beardy-weirdy Manson/Christ figure to slick circus showman in We are the Flesh.

JS: Toni Erdmann’s Belgian spirit monster.

JS-W: A tie between Kate McKinnon’s hair in Ghostbusters and Sam Neill’s beard in Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

KM: Elaine’s perfectly coiffed long black locks in The Love Witch.

EV: Zac Efron’s sharp Mitt Romney coif in Dirty Grandpa.

FC: Toni Erdmann wig.

MC: Teyonah Parris in Chi-Raq.

ML: Tom Hanks in Sully.

EL: Tom Hanks in Sully.

CW: Tom Sweet, The Childhood of a Leader.

SH: Shia LeBoeuf’s American Honey rat tail.

Describe Shia LeBoeuf’s American Honey rat tail in 10 words or less…

SMK: Unnecessary.

GHJ: The gift that keeps on giving.

AB: The asymmetry of a whole generation off-kilter.

JS: Haunting.

KM: Gross and sexy at the same time, the ultimate combination.

EV: Deserving of a better film.

FC: Not worth talking or thinking about.

MC: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”

ML: No comment.

EL: No comment.

CW: Preferred his phone case.


Most looking forward to seeing in 2017

SMK: Toni Erdmann (again).

GHJ: Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Project w/ Daniel Day-Lewis.

CN: Paul Thomas Anderson’s as-yet-untitled film set in the fashion world of 1950’s London.

AB: Annabelle 2.

KM: Slice.

JS: Blade Runner 2049.

JS-W: Jordan Peele’s Get Out.

EV: Twin Peaks Season 3.

FC: Untitled Leos Carax musical starring Rooney Mara and Adam Driver.

MC: Alien: Covenant.

ML: Silence.

EL: Silence.

CW: Rules Don’t Apply.

Published 26 Dec 2016

Tags: Beyoncé Casey Affleck Michelle Williams Paul Verhoeven Rihanna Shia LaBeouf

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Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.