By Jay Hunter – As the year draws to a close, we take a look at the biggest and best movies released in the UK in 2016. In no strict order here’s the 50 must see movies of 2016 according to Jump Scare.
50. A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls deftly balances bleak themes and fantastical elements to deliver an engrossing and uncommonly moving entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.
49. The Big Short
The Big Short approaches a serious, complicated subject with an impressive attention to detail — and manages to deliver a well-acted, scathingly funny indictment of its real-life villains in the bargain.
48. Kubo and the Two Strings
Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing — and bravely melancholy — story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.
47. The Light Between Oceans
The Light Between Oceans presents a well-acted and handsomely mounted adaptation of its bestselling source material, but ultimately tugs on the heartstrings too often to be effective.
Loving takes an understated approach to telling a painful — and still relevant — real-life tale, with sensitive performances breathing additional life into a superlative historical drama.
45. Ouija: Origin of Evil
A prequel to 2014’s abysmal, Ouija, Origin of Evil had no right to be as great as it was. Filled with interesting fleshed out characters and effective scares, the 70s set flick offers an above average haunted house story that is hindered only by it’s overblown final act.
44. The Shallows
A surprisingly strong Summer thriller staring Blake Lively. After a run in with a great white shark, Nancy (Lively), becomes stranded on a rock just 200 yards from shore, an intimate-tense thriller that transcend’s the genre with smart writing and a great solo performance.
43. Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
42. The Girl with all the Gifts
Based in a British army base, Girl with all the Gifts follows a group of children who are immune to a zombie virus, only to be subjected to a host of cruel experiments. Working in the ever deteriorating zombie pool, Gifts manages to fish out an interesting premise, whilst still having an sombre message
A fantastic piece of work that does it’s upmost to recognise the sacrifice of two men in the Second World War.
40. The Neon Demon
The Enfant-terrible himself, Nicholas Winding Refn was back this year with a predictably warped and damaged mediation on the fashion industry, with added necrophilia. Calling to mind the likes of Lynch, Argento and De Palma with its sickly shades of red and blue, its creepy eroticism and blackly comic bloodshed, felt a true return to form for the outstpoken director.
Kate Siegal stars in the Netflix thriller as Maddie Young, an author living an isolated existence after losing her hearing as a teenager. Away from society, a killer stalks Maddie in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Boasting slick, intelligent film-making that doesn’t rely too heavily on horror tropes, but certainly pays it’s respects to them.
38. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Smart, solidly crafted, and palpably tense, 10 Cloverfield Lanemakes the most of its confined setting and outstanding cast — and suggests a new frontier for franchise filmmaking.
37. I Am Not A Serial Killer
Taking as much inspiration from Dexter as it does from John Carpenter’s, The Thing, I Am Not a Serial Killerfollows the story of John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records, Where the Wild Things Are). As John struggles to keep his inner demons at bay, he must also investigate a series of macabre killings in his small town. Overstretched due to it’s lack of budget, the movie based on the novel of the same name has the makings of a cult-classic.
36. Your Name
As beautifully animated as it is emotionally satisfying, Your Name adds another outstanding chapter to writer-director Makoto Shinkai’s filmography.
35. Finding Dory
Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dorydelivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor’s classic story.
34. The Jungle Book
As lovely to behold as it is engrossing to watch, The Jungle Book is the rare remake that actually improves upon its predecessors — all while setting a new standard for CGI.
33. The Greasy Strangler
Certainly not for everyone, The Greasy Stranger is 2016’s strangest movie. A unique cinematic experience, comparable to no other. Jim Hosking’s bizarre family tale of murder, sex and indeed grease must be seen to be believed.
Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpoolsubverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining — and decidedly non-family-friendly — results.
31. The Conjuring 2
Bursting out of it’s horror shackles, The Conjuring 2 adds more depth and themes than it’s previous entry. Although it loses some of it’s scares in the process, James Wan’s ghost story is weighter than any of it’s Western chiller-colleagues. The finest director working in the genre today continues his streak.
30. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themdraws on Harry Potter‘s rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.
29. Don’t Breathe
Delivering a plethora of twists and turns, Don’t Breathe’s injected a shot of real tension to the cinema this year. Coming off the back of Evil Dead 2013, Fede Alvez proved once again he’s one to watch in the world of horror. A gripping, mean spirited, home invasion story.
28. Captain Fantastic
Captain Fantastic‘s thought-provoking themes — and an absorbing starring turn from Viggo Mortensen — add up to an above-average family drama with unexpected twists.
Creepy, provocative, and aesthetically absorbing, Evolution marks a satisfying step forward for director/co-writer Lucile Hadzihalilovic.
26. The Eyes of My Mother
A truly unsettling Portuguese movie that touches on aspects of broken families and animal cruelty. Eyes of my Mother is reliant on shocking visuals, using brilliantly realised cinematography as it’s canvass. A hypnotic tale that provides pure nightmare fuel.
25. American Honey
American Honey offers a refreshingly unconventional take on the coming-of-age drama whose narrative risks add up to a rewarding experience even if they don’t all pay off.
24. Midnight Special
Midnight Special‘s intriguing mysteries may not resolve themselves to every viewer’s liking, but the journey is ambitious, entertaining, and terrifically acted.
23. Green Room
Jeremy Saulnier’s brutalist siege thriller follows the misfortunes of a young punk band who stumble upon something they shouldn’t whilst playing a gig in a back wood club run by neo-Nazis. A lean, tight and gory survival feature, with a mature arbitration on subculture violence and what it means to be an outsider.
22. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One draws deep on Star Warsmythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground — and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.
21. Embrace of the Serpent
As rich visually as it is thematically, Embrace of the Serpent offers a feast of the senses for film fans seeking a dose of bracing originality.
20. A United Kingdom
Well-acted, solidly crafted, and all-around worthy, A United Kingdompresents an absorbing look at a singular true-life love story.
19. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The charmingly offbeat Hunt for the Wilderpeople unites a solid cast, a talented filmmaker, and a poignant, funny, deeply affecting message.
18. Sing Street
Sing Street is a feel-good musical with huge heart and irresistible optimism, and its charmimg cast and hummable tunes help to elevate its familiar plotting.
Victoria‘s single-take production is undeniably impressive, but it’s also an effective drama in its own right — and one that juggles its tonal shifts as deftly as its technical complexities.
16. The Nice Guys
The Nice Guys hearkens back to the buddy comedies of a bygone era while adding something extra courtesy of a knowing script and the irresistible chemistry of its leads.
15. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (R-Rated Cut)
A dark and brooding movie that explores aspects of mans place in the universe and what that power means in a religious sphere. Ben Affleck presents the purest image of Batman ever committed to the big screen. Unfairly criticised.
14. My Feral Heart
Jane Gull’s directorial debut is a heartwarming and engaging piece of storytelling.
Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer’s saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors’ roots.
12. The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight offers another well-aimed round from Quentin Tarantino’s signature blend of action, humor, and over-the-top violence — all while demonstrating an even stronger grip on his filmmaking craft.
11. Hell or High Water
Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.
10. I, Daniel Blake
I, Daniel Blake marks yet another well-told chapter in director Ken Loach’s powerfully human arsenal. The harrowing food-bank scene is undoubtedly this years most gut-punching sequence committed to celluloid.
Led by insupposable performances from Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, Room makes for an unforgettably touching – and Oscar winning – experience.
8. Son of Saul
A devastating watch, Son of Saul makes for scaring viewing – and establishes director László Nemes as a talent to watch. At it’s heart, a father and son story told through the horrors of the holocaust. A tale of keeping your identity through the most atrocious acts ever committed by mankind.
7. The Revenant
As starkly exquisite as it is gratingly resolute, The Revenant delivered an Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio in his most complete, committed performance. A punishing and feral motion-picture.
6. Under the Shadow
Boasting thought-provoking social commentary, the Persian ghost story from Babak Anvari brilliantly parallels the horrors of war with paranormal motifs. Often filmed with a dreamlike quality, Under the Shadow plays with elements not dissimilar to Pan’s Labyrinth with it’s terrifying fairytale-esque storytelling.
A potential dark horse for 2017’s Academy Awards. Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person’s sci-fi that anchors its weighty themes in today’s world with authentically poignant emotion and a sensational performance from Amy Adams.
4. Nocturnal Animals
Well-acted and lovely to look at, Nocturnal Animals further cements writer-director Tom Ford’s unique visual and narrative skill. A layered, yet cold movie provides a deluge of thought provoking scenes, surely a movie to be analysed for years to come.
3. The Wailing
As wide in scope as it is operatic, South Korea’s The Wailing, drips with atomsphere. Clocking in at an intimidating 2 hours 30 minutes, it’s mammoth runtime is justified by it’s multi-faceted mystery. The movies combo of historic and modern horror is complemented by it’s intriguing look at complex indigenous religious history, Japenese interference and Western influence. A breathtaking final act paints the final touches to a wonderful work of art.
2. The Witch
Debuting writer-director, Robert Eggers proves his Nosferatu remake is in safe hands with his terrifying period piece. An ominous atmosphere acts as the catalyst for a visually compelling and downplayed story of nature, puberty and religion. Embellished by it’s engrossing performances.
1. Train to Busan
Breathing fresh life into the zombie genre, without compromising it’s socio-economic subtext, Busan is a thrilling none stop ride that goes from 0-100, never coming up for air. Wonderfully acted, touchingly portrayed and masterfully crafted action made Train to Busan – for our money – the best movie of 2016.