La La Land – Do Not Resist – Moonlight – Manchester by the Sea – Love & Friendship – Zootopia – The Birth of a Nation

2016: World Premieres
2016: U.S. Releases
2016: Still Left to See
2016: Cannes Festival
2016: Venice Festival
2016: Chicago Festival

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The Movies of 2016: World Premieres
 By Title // By Grade // By VOR Rating

Full Listing of Films Screened

(Most recent links don't work yet, but I'm updating! Thanks for your patience this year.)

⑤ Indispensable to film fans, even if it's flawed
13th Dir. Ava DuVernay. Documentary about the racial history of U.S. incarceration B
20th Century Women Dir. Mike Mills. Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann A
24 Weeks Dir. Anne Zohra Berrached. Julia Jentsch, Bjarne Mädel, Johanna Gastdorf A–
American Honey Dir. Andrea Arnold. Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough B+
Aquarius Dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho. Sonia Braga, Humberto Carrão, Zoraide Coleto A–
Cameraperson Dir. Kirsten Johnson. Collaged footage from cinematographer's career B+
Do Not Resist Dir. Craig Atkinson. Documentary about the militarizing of U.S. police A–
Elle Dir. Paul Verhoeven. Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny A–
Fire at Sea Dir. Gianfranco Rosi. Documentary about kids and refugees in Lampedusa A–
I Am Not Your Negro Dir. Raoul Peck. Nonfiction collage drawn from James Baldwin B+
Moonlight Dir. Barry Jenkins. Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes A–
Raising Bertie Dir. Margaret Byrne. Documentary about black teens in North Carolina A–
Silence Dir. Martin Scorsese. Andrew Garfield, Yôsuke Kubozuka, Adam Driver B+
Starless Dreams Dir. Mehrdad Oskovei. Documentary about Iranian girls' prison A–
Toni Erdmann Dir. Maren Ade. Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek, Thomas Loibl B+
Trapped Dir. Dawn Porter. Documentary about abortion providers in the U.S. South B
Weiner Dirs. Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg. Documentary about political campaign B
Zootopia Dirs. Byron Howard, Rich Moore. Voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman B

④ Good or bad, this is risky and original work
93 Days Dir. Steve Gukas. Somkele Idhalama, Bimbo Akintola, Seun Kentebe B–
Abortion: Stories Women Tell Dir. Tracy Droz Tragos. Clinic-based documentary B
Arrival Dir. Denis Villeneuve. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker B
The Birth of a Nation Dir. Nate Parker. Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King B
Certain Women Dir. Kelly Reichardt. Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone B
Crosscurrent Dir. Yang Chao. Qin Hao, Xin Zhilei, Tan Kai, Wang Hongwei, Wu Lipeng B+
Everybody Wants Some!! Dir. Richard Linklater. Blake Jenner, Glen Powell C–
Hail, Caesar! Dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen. Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes B
The Handmaiden Dir. Park Chan-wook. Kim Tae-ri, Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo B–
Jackie Dir. Pablo Larraín. Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig C
Julieta Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Adriana Ugarte, Emma Suárez, Daniel Grao B+
Kati Kati Dir. Mbithi Masya. Nyokabi Gethaiga, Elsaphan Njora, Paul Ogola B+
Kubo and the Two Strings Dir. Travis Knight. Animated. Voice of Art Parkinson B–
La La Land Dir. Damien Chazelle. Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend B–
Last Men Standing Dirs. Erin Bethauer, Tim Hussin. Documentary B+
Layla M. Dir. Mijke De Jong. Nora El Koussour, Ilias Addab, Hassan Akkouch B
Life, Animated Dir. Roger Ross Williams. Documentary about autistic animation fan B
Little Men Dir. Ira Sachs. Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle B
The Lost City of Z Dir. James Gray. Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson B+
Love & Friendship Dir. Whit Stillman. Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell B
The Love Witch Dir. Anna Biller. Samantha Robinson, Laura Waddell, Gian Keys C
Midnight Special Dir. Jeff Nichols. Jaeden Lieberher, Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst B
Moana Dirs. Ron Clements, John Musker. Animated. Voice of Auli'i Cravalho B+
Neruda Dir. Pablo Larraín. Luis Gnecco, Gael García Bernal, Mercedes Morán B+
O.J.: Made in America Dir. Ezra Edelman. Documentary about the fallen athlete B
The Ornithologist Dir. João Pedro Rodrigues. Paul Hamy, Xelo Cagiao, Wen Han A–
Panamerican Machinery Dir. Joaquin del Paso. Javier Zaragoza, Ramiro Orozco B+
Paterson Dir. Jim Jarmusch. Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley B
Personal Shopper Dir. Olivier Assayas. Kristen Stewart, Sigrid Bouaziz, Lars Eidinger B
Queen of Katwe Dir. Mira Nair. Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o B
A Quiet Passion Dir. Terence Davies. Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Keith Carradine B+
The Salesman Dir. Asghar Farhadi. Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi A–
Samuel in the Clouds Dir. Pieter Van Eecke. Documentary about ski-lift operator B+
Sieranevada Dir. Cristi Puiu. Mimi Branescu, Marin Grigore, Rolando Matsangos B+
Southside with You Dir. Richard Tanne. Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers B+
Spa Night Dir. Andrew Ahn. Joe Seo, Cho Youn Ho, Haerry Kim, Song Tae B+
Sully Dir. Clint Eastwood. Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Mike O'Malley B
Things to Come Dir. Mia Hansen-Løve. Isabelle Huppert, Roman Kolinka, André Marcon A
Tomcat Dir. Händl Klaus. Lukas Turtur, Philipp Hochmair, Thomas Stipsits A–
Wolf and Sheep Dir. Shahrbanoo Sadat. Sediqa, Qodrat, Amina, Sahar, Masuma, Zekria B+

③ Worth an opinion, so try to make the time
10 Cloverfield Lane Dir. Dan Trachtenberg. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman C
American Anarchist Dir. Charlie Siskel. Documentary about The Anarchist Cookbook B–
The Bad Batch Dir. Ana Lily Amirpour. Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Jayda Fink C–
Being 17 Dir. André Téchiné. Kacey Mottet Klein, Corentin Fila, Sandrine Kiberlain B
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Dir. Ang Lee. Joe Alwyn, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel C
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Dir. Fisher Stevens, et al. B
Café Society Dir. Woody Allen. Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell C
Captain Fantastic Dir. Matt Ross. Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler B
Christine Dir. Antonio Campos. Rebecca Hall, Tracy Letts, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia B–
The Challenge Dir. Yuri Ancarani. Documentary about Qatari falcon enthusiasts B–
Colossal Dir. Nacho Vigalondo. Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens D+
Daddy's Boy Dir. Daniel Armando. Al Miro, Jonathan Iglesias, Joe Lopez, James Koroni B+
Deadpool Dir. Tim Miller. Ryan Reynolds, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller C
The Edge of Seventeen Dir. Kelly Fremon Craig. Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson B+
The Eyes of My Mother Dir. Nicolas Pesce. Kika Magalhães, Diana Agostini, Paul Nazak B
Fences Dir. Denzel Washington. Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo B
Girls Don't Fly Dir. Monika Grassl. Documentary about Ghanaian aviation academy B+
Graduation Dir. Cristian Mungiu. Adrian Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Malina Manovici B
Heartstone Dir. Guðmunder Amar Guðmundsson. Balður Einarsson, Blær Hinriksson C+
Hell or High Water Dir. David Mackenzie. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges B
Hidden Figures Dir. Theodore Melfi. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe B
I, Daniel Blake Dir. Ken Loach. Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Briana Shann B
Indignation Dir. James Schamus. Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Danny Burstein C
Karl Marx City Dirs. Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker. Documentary about the Stasi B
Kékszakállú Dir. Gastón Solnicki. Laila Maltz, Natali Maltz, María Soldi B
Lady Macbeth Dir. William Oldroyd. Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton B
The Landscape Within Dir. Andrea Capranico. Documentary about queer Filipino artist B+
Loving Dir. Jeff Nichols. Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Terri Abney, Marton Csokas B–
Malaria Dir. Parvaz Shahbazi. Saed Soheili, Saghar Ghanaat, Azarakhsh Farahani B
Manchester by the Sea Dir. Kenneth Lonergan. Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges B
Maudie Dir. Aisling Walsh. Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Kari Matchett, Gabrielle Rose B+
A Mere Breath Dir. Monica Lãzurean-Gorgan. Documentary about Romanian family B+
Mirzya Dir. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher B
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Dir. Nicholas Stoller. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron C
The Neon Demon Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn. Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee C
Paradise Dir. Andrei Konchalovsky. Yuliya Vysotskaya, Peter Kurth, Filipp Dyuken B
Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo Dirs. Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau B
Prevenge Dir. Alice Lowe. Alice Lowe, Kayvan Novak, Gemma Whelan, Tom Davis C+
Raw Dir. Julia DuCournau. Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella B
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Dir. Gareth Edwards. Felicity Jones, Diego Luna B–
Santa y Andrés Dir. Carlos Lechuga. Lola Amores, Eduardo Martínez, George Abreu B
Sing Street Dir. John Carney. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Ben Carolan B+
Slack Bay Dir. Bruno Dumont. Brandon Lavieville, Didier Després, Fabrice Luchini B
Staying Vertical Dir. Alain Guiraudie. Damien Bonnard, India Hair, Raphaël Thiéry B–
Swiss Army Man Dirs. Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan. Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe C
Tickled Dirs. David Farrier, Dylan Reeve. Documentary about online tickling network D+
Under the Shadow Dir. Babak Anvari. Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi B
Upstairs Inferno Dir. Robert L. Camina. Documentary about a New Orleans hate crime B
We Are the Flesh Dir. Emiliano Rocha Minter. Noé Hernández, María Evoli B–
White Girl Dir. Elizabeth Wood. Morgan Saylor, Brian Marc, India Mendez, Justin Bartha B

② Even if it's good, it's hardly groundbreaking
Among Wolves Dir. Shawn Convey. Documentary about humanitarian biker gang B
Are We Not Cats Dir. Xander Robin. Michael Patrick Nicholson, Chelsea LJ Lopez B–
Bridget Jones's Baby Dir. Sharon Maguire. Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth B–
bwoy Dir. John G. Young. Anthony Rapp, Jimmy Brooks, De'Adre Aziza, Ashton Randle B–
The Conjuring 2 Dir. James Wan. Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe C+
The Daughter Dir. Luis Sampieri. María Laura Cuarhavilca, Santiago Paz Posse C+
Deepwater Horizon Dir. Peter Berg. Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez C
Denial Dir. Mick Jackson. Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott C
Don't Breathe Dir. Fede Alvarez. Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang D–
Finals Dir. Adel Yaraghi. Shahab Hosseini, Amir Salamati, Behnam Asgari, Leila Zare C+
Florence Foster Jenkins Dir. Stephen Frears. Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg B–
Frantz Dir. François Ozon. Paula Beer, Pierre Niney, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber C+
Ghostbusters Dir. Paul Feig. Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon D+
Goat Dir. Andrew Neel. Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Danny Flaherty, Gus Halper B–
Hacksaw Ridge Dir. Mel Gibson. Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington C–
Illegitimate Dir. Adrian Sitaru. Robi Urs, Alina Grigore, Bogdan Albulescu C+
The Intervention Dir. Clea DuVall. Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Vincent Piazza B
It's Only the End of the World Dir. Xavier Dolan. Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye C–
The Jungle Book Dir. Jon Favreau. Neel Sethi, voices of Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o C+
Lazy Eye Dir. Tim Kirkman. Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Aaron Costa Ganis B–
The Light Between Oceans Dir. Derek Cianfrance. Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander C+
Lights Out Dir. David F. Sandberg. Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello D
Lion Dir. Garth Davis. Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman B–
Ministry of Love Dir. Pavo Marinković. Stjepan Perić, Dražen Kühn, Ecija Ojdanić B–
The Nice Guys Dir. Shane Black. Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice C+
Nocturnal Animals Dir. Tom Ford. Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon D
Other People Dir. Chris Kelly. Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford B
Paint It Black Dir. Amber Tamblyn. Alia Shawkat, Janet McTeer, Rhys Wakefield C
The Revival: Women and the Word Dir. Sekiya Dorsett. Documentary B
The Secret Life of Pets Dir. Chris Renaud. Voices of Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet C+
The Shallows Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra. Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Sedona Legge B–
Snowden Dir. Oliver Stone. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans B–
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four Dir. Deborah S. Esquenazi B–
Star Trek: Beyond Dir. Justin Lin. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Idris Elba B
Strange Weather Dir. Katherine Dieckmann. Holly Hunter, Carrie Coon, Kim Coates C
Strike a Pose Dirs. Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan. Documentary about backup dancers B–
Suntan Dir. Argyris Papadimitropoulos. Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou, Marcus Collen C+
Taekwondo Dirs. Marco Berger, Martin Farina. Gabriel Epstein, Lucas Papa B
Wakefield Dir. Robin Swicord. Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner, Jason O'Mara F
Where You're Meant to Be Dir. Paul Fegan. Documentary about Scottish ballads B–

① Low ambition, little originality, easy to forget
Almost Christmas Dir. David E. Talbert. Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Gabrielle Union C–
Before the Fall Dir. Byrum Geisler. Ethan Sharrett, Chase Conner, Jonathan Horvath D
Blair Witch Dir. Adam Wingard. James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott C
The Darkness Dir. Daniel Castro Zimbrón. Brontis Jodorowsky, Aliocha Sotnikoff C+
Fado Dir. Jonas Rothlaender. Golo Euler, Luise Heyer, Albano Jerónimo, Pirjo Lonka C
Genius Dir. Michael Grandage. Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney F
Jason Bourne Dir. Paul Greengrass. Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones C–
Money Monster Dir. Jodie Foster. George Clooney, Jack O'Connell, Julia Roberts C–