Let’s be honest. 2016 was not the best year in any category, and cinema was no exception. There were overblown sequels, unnecessary politicking in kid films, tragic deaths of great stars, and Independence Day: Resurgence. Despite this, there were still plenty great movies. Here are my top ten movies to help cure that 2016 hangover.
1. Hillsong: Let Hope Rise – A documentary on the Christian worship band Hillsong United. It was also the greatest moment of spiritual consolation I had in an especially difficult year.
2. I’m Not Ashamed – Masey McLain gives the best performance of the year as Rachel Scott, an ordinary girl whose martyrdom on one of America’s darkest days changed the world.
3. La La Land – One of the great American musicals that hit a little too close to home.
4. Hail, Ceasar! – A philosophical treatise on the importance of doing what is right rather than what is easy. It has the additional bonus of being a hilarious satire of the 50s studio system.
5. Sully – Few people can capture what is means to be a true American hero better than Clint Eastwood and Capt. Chesley Sullenberger.
6. Elvis & Nixon – Elvis Presley asks Richard Nixon to become an undercover FBI agent in order infiltrate the entertainment industry and catch anti-American criminals. Awesome.
7. Risen – In a decade with many films about Jesus, this is the best so far.
8. Into the Inferno – “There has never been a volcano that was not connected to some belief system.” So says Warner Herzog, one of the greatest documentary filmmakers. Also, lava never looked so good in HD.
9. Hidden Figures – Smart, sassy women get Alan Shephard and John Glenn into space.
10. Arrival – A wonderfully paced alien thriller with a striking pro-life message.
Honorable Mention: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, God’s Not Dead 2, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Trek Beyond, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, 13th, and Pete’s Dragon
This article first appeared in Catholic World Report on January 2nd, 2017