Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sundance 2016: Ranking the Best and the Worst of the Festival

Another Sundance done. And while there's always a lament that I can't get to everything I would have loved to have seen, I feel better than usual about what I did catch. Still, I look forward to Dark Night, Goat, Love & Friendship, Lovesong, Operation Avalanche, Sand Storm, Weiner, White Girl, Wiener-Dog and others.

For the second straight year, Sundance's best film didn't premiere at the festival: The Lobster (from Cannes) narrowly beat out Antonio Campos' U.S. Dramatic entry Christine in my rankings, followed by Kelly Reichardt's lovely Certain Women and then another Cannes entry, the marvelous Cemetery of Splendor. Twenty-two of the 28 movies on this list would have gotten a thumbs-up from me, and even a few of the misfires down below had enough intriguing moments to keep me relatively engaged for at least a portion of their running time. That's a pretty good festival in my book.

Links lead to individual reviews.

28. Ali & Nino
27. Frank & Lola
26. Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper
25. Captain Fantastic
24. Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
23. Swiss Army Man
22. Other People
21. Green Room
20. Southside With You
19. Indignation
18. Morris From America
17. Maggie's Plan
16. Equity
15. Tallulah
14. Agnus Dei
13. The Birth of a Nation
12. Embrace of the Serpent
11. Kate Plays Christine
10. Little Men
9. Complete Unknown
8. Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall 
7. Hunt for the Wilderpeople 
6. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
5. Manchester by the Sea
4. Cemetery of Splendor
3. Certain Women
2. Christine
1. The Lobster