We know we’re only a few days into 2017, but award season is upon us. Soon enough it will be Oscars time, and we’ll be tuning in to see who snagged Best Actor and Best Actress, and whether our favorite film got any shout-outs. Before it all goes down, you want to make sure you’ve seen your fair share of 2016’s best movies — or else you’ll feel completely lost.
There were quite a few masterpieces that caught our eyes this year. We came across some heartwarming films that touched our hearts, action movies that had us on the edge of our seats, and movies that made us laugh so hard we cried. A few of them are still in theaters, so you’ve got some time left if you want to get the full movie experience. But the rest of these movies are either available on DVD or they’re already at your fingertips to stream. So set aside some time this weekend, make yourself a snack, and invite some friends over, because you’ve got a lot of movies to get through. After the buzz of the holidays, you could probably use the downtime anyway.
Here are 12 of the best movies of 2016. Happy watching!
1Manchester By the Sea
This one is still in theaters, so you have no reason not to see it. Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams soar together, and you’ll definitely shed a tear or two for Casey Affleck’s nephew who recently lost his father. It’s not your typical Boston movie, so don’t brush it off when you hear the accent.
2La La Land
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. We don’t really need to say anymore than that, but it’s already dubbed one of the best movies of 2016. Also, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. In case you didn’t know, the brilliant director of Whiplash is responsible for this musical masterpiece. Also, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
Arguably the most underrated movie of 2016, Other People is a hilarious yet heartbreaking movie about a comedy writer in New York who has to go home to Sacramento to take care of his dying mother. It was written and directed by SNL writer Chris Kelly — it was a biographical tale of his own family’s experiences. Alert: You will sob.
Here’s a tale about a black gay man in Florida. The story follows him from childhood into adulthood. It’s complicated, heartbreaking, and it will stay with you for a very long time.
Ryan Reynolds dazzles more than ever in this whip-smart, downright hilarious Marvel movie that brought in the highest numbers at the box office of any R-rated movie ever. It’s brilliantly violent with a wicked soundtrack. Perfect movie to watch with your besties.
6Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Where to even start with this film? It’s about a foster kid who runs amok the wilderness with his foster father. You just have to watch it. The genius filmmaker from New Zealand, Taika Waititi, (Boy, What We Do In the Shadows) stuns yet again with a movie that will warm your heart. Plus, the landscape of NZ is absolutely breathtaking.