Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Toronto 2016: Ranking the Best and the Worst

Among other things, what the 2016 installment of the Toronto Film Festival demonstrated convincingly is that this has been a fabulous year for movies. Combining the best of Sundance, Berlin and Cannes -- as well as the gems of Venice and Telluride -- this Toronto ought to kill any notion that we're not living in a great time for film.

There were films I missed -- Arrival, Frantz, Fire at Sea, Nocturnal Animals, etc. -- but the below ranking is pretty stacked even without those omissions. What's clear is that I'm going to have a hell of a time coming up with a Top 10 in a couple months. There will be at least two or three really great movies that will miss the cut.

One last thing: If I'd seen the whole thing, I would have included Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids on my list. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it's a revelatory concert film from the guy who made the greatest of all time. I'm hoping I'll have a chance to write more about it later. For now, though, here are my rankings, with links leading to individual reviews.

1. American Honey
2. Paterson
3. Moonlight
4. La La Land
5. Jackie
6. Christine
7. Graduation
8. Toni Erdmann
9. Elle
10. Certain Women
11. Things to Come
12. Personal Shopper
13. Manchester by the Sea
14. Ma’ Rosa
15. The Unknown Girl
16. Sieranevada
17. Neruda
18. Safari
19. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
20. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
21. The Salesman
22. Aquarius
23. Lion
24. I, Daniel Blake
25. The Birth of a Nation
26. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
27. Free Fire
28. The Cinema Travellers
29. Mascots
30. Blair Witch
31. American Pastoral
32. Maudie
33. Loving
34. The Edge of Seventeen
35. Barry
36. Wakefield
37. Snowden
38. LBJ
39. The Levelling
40. Blue Jay
41. The Magnificent Seven
42. Queen of Katwe
43. The Exception
44. The Promise
45. The Bad Batch
46. Dog Eat Dog
47. Daguerrotype
48. It’s Only the End of the World
49. (Re)Assignment