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Movie Reviews simon on 24 Dec 2016 07:10 pm

My favourite films of 2016

I watch movies so often apparently I'm a VIP at the cinemaI’ve seen a fair few movies this year; some good, some not so good. Here’s a list of the best that have come out this year and why I liked them.

Of course, if you’d like to follow when I post my general reviews after a movie – good or bad – keep an eye on my Instagram, which is where I upload my post-movie thoughts.

Before we begin, I have some honourable mentions. Films I’ve seen this year which were still great and I enjoyed but not quite up there with the rest:

  • Captain America: Civil War
  • The BFG
  • Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)
  • Finding Dory
  • The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko)
  • Swiss Army Man

Now, in no particular order – my best of 2016…



Disney’s first major feature of the year and it was a great one. I’ve noted after I watched it in the cinema that I had a beaming smile on my face when the credits rolled.

The movie was funny and touching, with a very important and clear message which I hope its viewers take to heart and really think about.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Taika Waititi’s latest hit didn’t become the highest grossing NZ film ever for no reason. Not only was it super fun to watch, the story was heartfelt and relatable, even if there was that ridiculous chase sequence at the end! If you haven’t caught this one yet, I really encourage you to.

Waititi’s next project is the new Thor movie which I am looking very much forward to.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts was, forgive me, a fantastic reintroduction back into the wizarding world.

I saw this one twice in cinemas and while I wasn’t too sure the first time round, I found myself just so happy after the second time. Newt Scamander was such a loveable character, you couldn’t help but root for him and his friends. The beasts featured were all wonderful in their own way and the CG work was top-notch.

It was amazing to see so much more of the world JK Rowling has built for us, which leaves us wanting even more. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next four films.



Going into this film, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that Lin-Manuel Miranda had written the songs and that was about it. Boy, was I in for a treat.

The animation was stunning – there were some scenes when you were just in awe of what was happening on screen.

You could hear Lin’s musical theatre influence in the soundtrack, which is not a criticism. The music was a very strong aspect of the film, and also drew a lot from Polynesian culture (a lot of the lyrics were sung in various Polynesian dialects) which of course the plot of the film was inspired by. Auli’i Cravalho (voice of Moana) had a very strong performance in her debut role, and has a beautiful voice too. You’ll find yourself singing the the songs over and over long after leaving the cinema.

Hats off to Disney for producing two wonderful films this year.

And who knew that The Rock could sing? Damn.

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