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The Best of the First Two Thirds of 2016

As we wrap up August and charge headfirst into September, I wanted to sort of put a bow on everything that’s come before the impending fall festival season. That way, it could focus us clearly on the awards contenders to come, all the while remembering the hopefuls from the parts of 2016 we’ve passed. As such, today I’m putting out my list of the best of the first third of the year so far. Below you’ll see what the first eight months have brought us, including some films seen at festivals as well as early year releases that the precursors will surely forget, sadly. I only have a few titles that I’m embargoed on (one specifically, as you’ll see shortly), so this is an almost exhaustive look at everything that’s hit screens between January 1st and today. Enjoy, and remember, this is simply what I feel has been the best of the year to date, based on the nearly 200 movies I’ve seen so far. Obviously, your mileage may vary…

Here are my ten favorite films of the year so far, covering the first two thirds of 2016:

10. Cafe Society
9. The Lobster
8. Captain Fantastic
7. Weiner
6. Indignation
5. The Nice Guys
4. Sing Street
3. Deadpool
2. Everybody Wants Some
1. Hell or High Water

cafe society
Honorable Mention: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Between Us, Captain America: Civil War, Dean, Demolition, Everything is Copy, Green Room, Life Animated, Sausage Party, and Where to Invade Next

(Special note, I’m still embargoed on The Light Between Oceans, in case you were wondering if it means anything that it’s not on here. I can’t say one way or the other, at least until later in the week. Stay tuned for more)

Next, the ten best performances of the first two thirds of 2016:

10. Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water
9. Kristen Stewart in Cafe Society
8. Chris Pine in Hell or High Water
7. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane
6. Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool
5. Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic
4. Olivia Thirlby in Between Us
3. Tracey Letts in Indignation
2. Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys
1. Glen Powell in Everybody Wants Some

Everybody Wants Some
Honorable Mention: Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys, Zoey Deutsch in Everybody Wants Some, Colin Farrell in The Lobster, John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane, Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition, Kevin Kline in Dean, Frank Langella in Youth in Oregon, Logan Lerman in Indignation, Helen Mirren in Eye in the Sky, Patrick Stewart in Green Room, Jason Sudeikis in Tumbledown, and Anton Yelchin in Green Room

Now, on to the awards for the first two thirds of the year so far…

Hell or High Water
(Obviously, my number one pick above would be my choice for Best Picture so far (with number two the runner up, and so on, but here are the other awards I would give out)

Best Director: Richard Linklater for Everybody Wants Some (runner up: David Mackenzie for Hell or High Water and Tim Miller for Deadpool)

Best Actor: Ryan Gosling for The Nice Guys (runner up: Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic and Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool)

Best Actress: Olivia Thirlby for Between Us (runner up: Mary Elizabeth Winstead for 10 Cloverfield Lane and Helen Mirren for Eye in the Sky)

Best Supporting Actor: Glen Powell for Everybody Wants Some (runner up: Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water and Tracey Letts for Indignation)

Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart for Cafe Society (runner up: Morena Baccarin for Deadpool and and Zoey Deutsch for Everybody Wants Some)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Deadpool (runner up: Captain America: Civil War and Indignation)

Best Original Screenplay: Hell or High Water (runner up: Everybody Wants Some and The Nice Guys)

Best Animated Feature: Sausage Party (no runner up: Finding Dory and Zootopia)

Best Documentary Feature: Weiner (runner up: Where to Invade Next and Life Animated)

Best Foreign Language Feature: Microbe and Gasoline (runner up: A War and The Wave)

Best Production Design: The Nice Guys (runner up: Captain Fantastic and Indignation)

Best Cinematography: Cafe Society (runner up: Captain Fantastic and Hell or High Water)

Best Costume Design: The Nice Guys (runner up: Captain Fantastic and The Witch)

Best Film Editing: Hell or High Water (runner up: Everybody Wants Some and Sing Street)

Best Makeup: Deadpool (runner up: Indignation and The Nice Guys)

Best Sound: Sing Street (runner up: Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool)

Best Original Score: Hell or High Water (runner up: 10 Cloverfield Lane and Midnight Special)

Best Original Song: Drive It Like You Stole It from Sing Street (runner up: To Find You from Sing Street and Up from Sing Street)

Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book (runner up: Captain America: Civil War and Midnight Special)

Best Ensemble: Everybody Wants Some (runner up: Indignation and Hell or High Water)

Here’s to a real exciting final third of the year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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