20 Best Movies of 2016 - Rolling Stone
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20 Best Movies of 2016

From incendiary tragedies to indie musicals, Martin Scorsese to ‘Manchester by the Sea’ – Peter Travers picks the year’s top films

In 2016, Hollywood showed us a world where black lives matter, a musical had meaning, young filmmakers could strut their stuff alongside the classic likes of Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and the Coen brothers – and no subject was too hot to handle. Here are 20 movies that reminded us that the best of cinema, whether studio-financed or independently-produced, is capable of lots of things beyond sequels, prequels, remakes, retreads and the Marvel Comic Universe. (Check out our 25 Best Movie Performances of 2016 list here.)

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1

‘La La Land’

A musical as movie of the year? You bet your ass. Damien Chazelle directs this rapturous song-and-dance romance as if cinema was invented for him to play with – and for us to get high on. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling hit career peaks as lovers who try to make their creative dreams come true on the mean, art-fearing streets of the New Hollywood. La La Land swings for the fences. Chazelle puts his heart right out there where hipsters can mock him as tragically untrendy. He's not. He's an innovator, a fresh talent who puts technique in the service of feeling and makes the future of film seem like a bright prospect.

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