Team DN has put its collective heads together and whittled down our personal feature favourites into a succinct list of must watch movies for your viewing pleasure, enjoy!

RAMS | Grimur Hakonarson

I don’t know how is it that I found a film about remote Icelandic sheep farming brothers to be so compelling, humorous and ultimately touching, but the embattled brotherly loathing of Grimur Hakonarson’s Un Certain Regard winning feature kept me riveted to the screen throughout. [MarBelle]

Listen to our interview with Grimur Hakonarson

OJ MADE IN AMERICA | Ezra Edelman

I watched surprisingly few documentaries in 2016, through more circumstance than choice. OJ Made in America blew me away. Watched alongside the fictional OJ drama American Crime Story, it demonstrated time and again the real power of non-fiction to get to the heart of a story in a decade spanning, meticulous and emotional film. So much more than just the story of OJ it told the story of America. [Jeanie]

CHEVALIER | Athina Rachel Tsangari

Another scathing portrait of masculinity and one that is also funny and beautifully observed and balanced. Exquisitely shot and performed, DN favourite Athina Rachael Tsangari’s third feature is a confident, unsentimental and ultimately non-judgmental masterwork. A rare achievement. [Neil]

ELLE | Paul Verhoeven

A complex and deeply disturbing film that gripped me right from the opening scene, Elle entices you, slaps you around and then leaves you feeling like you have just been through a very real and emotional experience. [Amber]

UNDER THE SHADOW | Babak Anvari

I don’t want to sully this film with spoilers as the less you know about it the better but I would urge you to seek it out. Eerie and unsettling with brilliant performances, layered and visually inventive, this film is an astonishing debut by Babak Anvari. A British film, set in Iran and made in Farsi, I was heartened to see that Creative England had thrown their support behind it. [Jeanie]

PATERSON | Jim Jarmusch

This pipped Chevalier right at the last but how could this Jarmusch fan-boy resist? This is a return to the cool and emotionally overwhelming likes of Ghost Dog and Dead Man. There’s real beauty here, a lack of cynicism and a profound celebration of finding the Zen, contentment and beauty in the everyday. Jim’s Ozu moment and the most rewarding cinematic experience of the year for me. [Neil]

UNITED STATES OF LOVE | Tomasz Wasilewski

Tomasz Wasilewski makes his second appearance on my year end lists (the first being 2013’s Floating Skyscrapers) with a temporally interlocking narrative of four women in post-communist Poland who hide their feelings of lust, isolation and loneliness beneath a brittle veneer of happiness. Even as someone familiar with Wasilewski’s attraction to tales of broken people, United States of Love still left me feeling as emotionally bereft as its central quartet, perhaps because their unfulfilled hopes for a better future felt all too true to the world most of us inhabit. [MarBelle]

Listen to our interview with Tomasz Wasilewski

THE REVENANT | Alejandro G. Iñárritu

The word ‘masterpiece’ or ‘classic’ is one that I believe is used far too frequently in the world of cinema, but in the case of Alejandro G. Iñárritu period piece The Revenant, its usage is totally apt. Feeling like it comes from a golden age of filmmaking, Iñárritu’s 2 & 1/2hr epic leaves you feeling broken, yet exhilarated as its all-consuming story and inspiring craft transport you to another world for its entirety. [Rob]

RAW | Julia Ducournau

And finally my most loved film of the year isn’t a documentary about humanity or politics, nor did it inspire me to be a better person, but instead is one that made me want to release my inner beast, be free and just not give a fuck! I was lucky enough to see Raw completely blind and even though I’ve included a trailer below, if you can resist the temptation of hitting play I think the film will have a bigger impact if you don’t watch it beforehand. [Amber]

MUSTANG | Deniz Gamze Ergüven

I wrote a tweet consisting solely of emoji love hearts after seeing Mustang. It’s a love story to adolescent pain and ardour, fuelled by hormones and sibling energy. I can’t wait for my daughter to see it. [Jeanie]

ANOMALISA | Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman

Sad as hell, this latest masterwork from the mind of Charlie Kaufman manages to make first world white male privilege problems engaging, moving and sympathetic by revealing the scathing hollowness at the core of modern western masculinity. With added acapella Cindi Lauper. [Neil]

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