December is a long way off, but I wanted to give you some time to watch these films before you put together your "best of" lists. Fall is coming and that means we will soon be inundated with Oscar hopefuls and big budget blockbusters. Before you watch all the prestige pictures and superhero/wizard flicks, here are 15 films that you should see before you get too busy wondering how the Death Star plans will be stolen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. These films are incredibly different but exhibit a whole lot of greatness. I totally recommend them and hopefully you can get to a few before the end of the year.
1. Everybody Wants Some!!
Everybody Wants Some!! is the best film of the year (so far) and I will probably watch it again after I finish this post. Don't be thrown off by the baseball playing lead characters because you will miss an absolute charmer of a comedy. Director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) has mastered the ensemble film and somehow finds a way to make everyone likable, unique and cool. Watch it now and recommend it to everyone!!
2. Green Room
Green Room is the best thriller of 2016 (so far) and it proves that director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) is an amazing director. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I love how Saulnier makes violence look so ugly and realistic. Nothing is glorified and you will find yourself incredibly nervous for the trapped punk band. Also, Patrick Stewart is awesome as the Neo-Nazi leader because he looks like your nice uncle but he would kill you without a thought.
3. Sing Street
Sing Street is pure bliss. Director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) has created another fantastic musical yarn that will put a smile on your face. If you are into good music, likable characters and more good music it doesn't get any better than Sing Street.
4. The Neon Demon
Do you like Nicolas Winding Refn films that aren't Drive? Is you answered "yes," then you will really appreciate The Neon Demon. It is empty, violent, weird and extremely beautiful to look at. It won't leave you feeling happy or fulfilled, but it is truly original and features some insane moments that will make you squirm.
5. Love & Friendship
Love & Friendship is a breath of fresh costume drama/comedy air. Jane Austen's unpublished novella is in perfect hands with director Whit Stillman and the two seem beautifully suited for each other. Kate Beckinsale is a delight, and I hope she is remembered come awards time. She is perfection in the film and it bums me out that she had been stuck in the Underworld franchise so long.
Ben Wheatley (A Field in England, Sightseers, Kill List) is a maniac director who has eluded the mainstream and thrilled cinephiles. His movies cannot be described, and what I love about High-Rise is that it keeps his sensibilities intact. This isn't some big budget yarn featuring Tom Hiddleston. High-Rise is a bonkers J.G. Ballard adaptation that is tough to watch and awesome to experience.
7. Don't Breathe
Don't Breathe is a blue-collar horror film that features realistic scares and a badass villain. The camerawork is stellar and every time violence breaks out you feel the pain. I love that it is tearing up the box office because this is a film that deserves to be watched. It gives the audience what they want and features likable characters and almost too much suspense (I'm a wimp).
8. The Lobster
The Lobster is weird, violent and hilarious. It might be one the best comedies released in years and I really hope that Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are remembered come awards time. If you are into movies that use toasters as evil punishment devices you will love every second of The Lobster.
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane is a terrifying chamber thriller that features career best performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman. It manages to do a lot with little and proves horror films don't need masked killers or insane violence to be tense.
10. Midnight Special
Jeff Nichols is my favorite director (right now, might change tomorrow) and I've loved his films Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud. What I love about Midnight Special is that is feels like an Amblin film, but it doesn't rip off Amblin film. Midnight Special is beautifully original and very touching. Watch it now!
11. Swiss Army Man
Swiss Army Man is the most original film of 2016. It is a truly bonkers movie that blends heart, farts and amazing performances. You will love every second of it.
12. Hell Or High Water
Hell or High Water is old school brilliance. Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges are perfection and they beautifully spout the amazing dialogue. If you love neo-westerns and creative writing you will love Hell or High Water.
13. The Witch
The Witch is the rare horror film that is beloved by critics and horror lovers. It is crazy tense and loaded with imagery you will never forget. I loved how original The Witch was and I think the claustrophobic setting and insane shots will eventually become iconic.
14. Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) is a mad genius who has found a way to perfectly blend humor with drama. Movies don't get anymore fun than Hunt for the Wilderpeople and I hope it finds a massive audience.
15. Hail, Caesar!
The Coen brothers are the best and Hail, Caesar! is a beautiful ode to old Hollywood. Josh Brolin, George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson are perfection and I loved how they portrayed old school Hollywood players. If you love movies about filmmaking you will embrace Hail, Caesar!.
For those who can stomach something a little more thriller-based, check out some of the awesome Netflix horror titles now streaming. If you act quickly, you might be able to see them all:
What is your favorite film of the year?