Arrival

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner

Why: Not being a massive sci-fi fan myself at first I was dubious about seeing the movie, I was worried it could either be a wannabe Gravity or a cheesy film about alien contact (I usually hate anything with aliens) but this couldn’t be further from this brilliant masterpiece. Amy Adams bring her A-game (as always!) through the compelling film which focuses on language and communications with a few jaw dropping twists along the way, the backstory is subtle yet has impact on the vibe throughout the film.

Best Scene: Amy Adams and the crew making first contact with the galactic beings is carefully constructed that will have you glued to the screen.

 

Zootopia

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman

Why: Disney at it’s finest. Smart, funny, with likeable characters, and a plot line which was much needed this year touching on issues of discrimination.

Best Scene: Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) visiting the sloth DMV will have the kids and the adults in stitches.

 

Don’t Breathe

Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette

Why: Twisted, jaw dropping, hide behind your jacket. A true thrill ride from start to finish. Basically your worst nightmare, put onto a screen, that you pay to watch, and you love every second of it.

Best Scene: Any scene where Stephen Lang brilliantly portrays a desperate and incredibly jumpy blind man protecting his home, and his secrets.

 

10 Cloverfield Lane

Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winsted

Why: The three leads and the stellar cinematography carry this excellent (sort of) sequel. John Goodman gives one of my favourite performances of the year.

Best Scene: The dinner scene is sharply written, brilliantly performed, and builds up in a way that you don’t know who and what to believe by the end of the sequence.

 

Eye In The Sky

Starring: Alan Rickman, Helen Mirren

Why: Relevant and nail biting, featuring one of the final performances from Alan Rickman. Exploring drones and human conscience, we sit on the edge of our seat questioning how we would react in a similar situation.

Best Scene: The climatic conclusion of will they, won’t they.

 

Finding Dory

Starring: Ellen DeGeneres

Why: After over a decade since ‘Finding Nemo’ we follow the likeable Dory on the latest Pixar adventure. Pixar had a lot to live up to following last years ‘Inside Out’ which is in my five favourite films of all time, and it didn’t disappoint. I first saw this in a cinema in New York in a screen filled with more adults than children, I laughed out loud, got teary eyed at various points, and again fell in love with the characters I spent years growing up watching.

Best Scene: Ty Burrell’s line ‘their eating off her face’ steals the entire film, cried with laughter for a good few minutes.

 

Sully

Starring: Tom Hanks, Laura Linney

Why: Tom Hanks, need anything more. Clint Eastwood directs a classy and compelling biographic of the events on the Hudson river.

Best Scene: Tom Hank’s epic speech confronting claims he was at fault.

 

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Starring: Eddie Redmayne

Why: Recapture the magic lost from the Harry Potter franchise, with new characters, new stories and a new timeframe of magic.

Best Scene: Queenie Goldstein’s (Alison Sudol) compelling scenes, the much loved music in the opening titles, and the epic special effects.