The Best Movies of 2016 So Far ...

A slow news day brings a post such as this one. This year I went to the usual "important" film festivals: Sundance, Cannes, Toronto and SXSW. Saw close to 200 movies. Today I decided to work my way through the good stuff and the bad stuff to finally get to the list below. Not really in order of quality, but the first five or so movies are probably assured a spot in my year-end top ten list. 

I cut it down to 25 worthy films, a very rough first draft, will eventually have to cut it down to just 10 by December when I submit my list to critics polls. With all that there also is the fact that we have Ang Lee's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," Martin Scorsese's "Silence," Stephen Gaghan's "Gold," Robert Zemeckis' "Allied," and Denzel Washington's "Fences" all unscreened for critics and very much steeped in high expectations. 

For the time being look at this list, scroll through it, ponder it, learn it, catch up to it. Every film on it is a rewarding experience and right now is a good time to watch these movies before the deluge of holiday movies storms into theaters in the next few weeks. I consider each and every one of these to be a "great" movie, at the very least "very good." 

1) OJ: Made in America (Ezra Edelman)
2) Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)
3) Krisha (Trey Schultz)
4) Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
5) Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
6) La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
7) Indignation (James Schamus)
8) Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
9) A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)
10) Zootopia (Howard, Moore and Bush)
10) 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)
11) Jackie (Pablo Larrain)
12) Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)
13) Elle (Paul Verhoeven)
14) Aquarius (Kleber Mendonza Filho)
15) Right Now, Wrong Then (Sang-Soo Hong)
16) Loving (Jeff Nichols)
17) Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
18) Weiner (J. Kriegman and Steinberg)
19) Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)
20) Gleason (Clay Tweel)
21) American Honey (Andrea Arnold)
22) Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig)
23) The Wailing (Hong-Jin Na)
24) Newtown (Kim A. Snyder)
25) Hush (Mike Flanagan)
26) Miss Sloane (John Madden)
27) Lo and Behold (Werner Herzog)
28) Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford)
29) Don't Breathe (Fede Alvarez)
30) Equity (Meera Menon)
31) Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson)
32) In a Valley of Violence (Ti West)

Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie)
Silence (Martin Scorsese)
The Handmaiden (Park Chan-Wook)
Everybody Wants Some (Richard Linklater)