Best of 2016: Performances and Filmmakers

 In 2016, Movies


An actor or actress can literally make or break a movie. We have all been witnesses to it. This year was quite stunning with such a variety of characters’ ability to excel a story while captivating our imaginations. There were several films with a phenomenal ensemble, each performance being as pivotal as the one happening across from them. Then. there’s the breakout role that introduces a name to the world with a face we won’t soon forget.

Hold on. Do not dare forget about the reliable actors/actresses that seem to do no wrong. Some were simply born to be in the movies. Let’s take a look at the performances from 2016 that I can’t get out of my head.

Best Actresses of 2016

Runners Up
Viola Davis- Fences
Sally Field- Hello, My Name is Doris
Naomie Harris- Moonlight
Greta Gerwig- Maggie’s Plan, 20th Century Women
Hailee Steinfeld- The Edge of Seventeen
Helen Mirren- Eye in the Sky
Min-hee Kim- The Handmaiden
Anya Taylor-Joy- The Witch, Morgan
Nicole Kidman- The Family Fang, Lion
Felicity Jones- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, A Monster Calls
Jessica Chastain- Miss Sloane
Taraji P. Henson- Hidden Figures
Ruth Negga- Loving
Emily Blunt- The Girl On the Train
Tae-ri Kim- The Handmaiden
Michelle Williams- Manchester By the Sea
Octavia Spencer- Hidden Figures
Susan Sarandon- The Meddler



Tilda Swinton
(A Bigger Splash, Doctor Strange)


Rachel Weisz
(The Lobster, Complete Unknown, Denial) 


Emma Stone
(La La Land)


Natalie Portman


Amy Adams
(Arrival, Nocturnal Animals)

Best Actors of 2016

Runners Up
Ralph Fiennes- A Bigger Splash
Sam Neil- The Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Michael Keaton- The Founder
John Goodman- 10 Cloverfield Lane
Ethan Hawke- Born to be Blue, Maggie’s Plan, In a Valley of Violence
Ryan Reynolds- Deadpool
Joel Edgerton- Midnight Special, Loving
Logan Marshall-Green- The Invitation
Kevin Costner- Hidden Figures
Paul Dano- Swiss Army Man
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo- Sing Street
Aston Sanders/Trevonte Rhodes/Alex Hibbert- Moonlight
Colin Farrell- The Lobster
Viggo Mortensen- Captain Fantastic
Lucas Hedges- Manchester by the Sea
Tom Hanks- Sully
Aaron Taylor-Johnson- Nocturnal Animals
Julian Dennison- The Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Matthew McConaughey- Gold
Jeff Bridges- Hell or High Water
Logan Lerman- Indignation
Nate Parker- Birth of a Nation
Denzel Washington- Fences
Benedict Cumberbatch- Doctor Strange



Jake Gyllenhaal
(Demolition, Nocturnal Animals)


Michael Shannon
(Midnight Special, Elvis & Nixon, Nocturnal Animals)


Casey Affleck
(Manchester by the Sea)


Ryan Gosling
(The Nice Guys, La La Land)


Andrew Garfield
(Hacksaw Ridge, Silence)

Now, on to the individuals that pull the performances out of these people and capture it on film. Arguably, directors are the masterminds behind it all. Their vision is what matters and what must be realized. At least that’s what a director would tell you. Seriously, the filmmakers are the conductors of movies, and if executed just right, they create the most incomparable sound.

These directors knew exactly what they were doing, leaving a lasting impression with me in 2016.

Best Directors of 2016

Runners Up
Barry Jenkins- Moonlight
Pablo Larrain- Jackie
J.A. Bayona- A Monster Calls
Martin Scorsese-Silence
Kenneth Lonergan- Manchester by the Sea
Gareth Edwards- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Scott Derrickson- Doctor Strange
Mel Gibson- Hacksaw Ridge
Tom Ford- Nocturnal Animals
Travis Knight- Kubo and the Two Strings
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan- Swiss Army Man
Matt Ross- Captain Fantastic
Yorgos Lanthimos- The Lobster
Shane Black- The Nice Guys
Luca Guadagnino- A Bigger Splash
John Carney- Sing Street
Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush- Zootopia



Jeff Nichols
(Midnight Special, Loving)


David Mackenzie
(Hell or High Water)

 THREE (tie):

Chan-wook Park
(The Handmaiden)

Denis Villeneuve


Taika Waititi
(The Hunt for the Wilderpeople)


Damien Chazelle
(La La Land)

Editor’s Note – Check out the rest of Brandon’s 2016 recaps here:

Best Documentaries of 2016
Worst Movies of 2016
Overdue Oscar Winners

Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

Follow us on Twitter @SoBrosNetwork

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