Are These the 25 Best Films of 2016?

By  · Published on December 6th, 2016

Film Critic David Ehrlich thinks so, and he knows about this kind of thing.

This time of year you see a lot of Best-Of lists and other such rankings of the year’s film crop, they’re on every movie and entertainment site out there and on the lips of pretty much every film critic, lover, and –goer in the world. But how do you know which voices to trust, and which lists are worth your time?

Well, besides our upcoming onslaught, of course – starting December 19th! – you can trust David Ehrlich. Since 2012 Indiewire’s Senior Film Critic has been releasing videos he’s edited that count down the 25 best films of the year, and this year’s selections, like the previous years’, are a mix of expected and unexpected projects.

Admittedly, it’s been a stellar year at the movies so the idea of pinpointing which ones edge out the others is a daunting task at best – maybe not the number one spot but definitely the rest of the top ten— but Ehrlich is up for it, and does what any great critic should do in this instance: he doesn’t tell you why the films are good, he shows you by the clips he selects, how he edits them together, and the musical accompaniment he gives them. He also manages to frame the overall year in film in a broader social and cultural context via a montage in the opening minutes; if this tribute to the power, hope and resolve cinema can communicate doesn’t get you just a little misty, you’re reading the wrong site.

That’s what I like most about this list: not only do I tend to agree with most of Ehrlich’s selections, but his presentation is crisp, kinetic, and entertaining to boot. I watch a lot of videos like this and they can really drag or, at best, become monotonous reproductions of one another. Not this though, it pulls you along by the strength of Ehrlich’s obvious passion for film. Even if you don’t agree with the picks, you have to appreciate the product. Check it out, then if you’re so inclined, I’ve linked to the videos from 2012–15 below. And don’t forget to sound off in the comments or on Twitter your personal picks for best of the year.

The 25 Best Films of 2015

The 25 Best Films of 2014

The 25 Best Films of 2013

The 25 Best Films of 2012

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist