Chaz Ebert highlights 13 films from this year that he loves. See full article
Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga portray Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple who were imprisoned in Virginia for getting married in 1958. Their story eventually led to a historic Supreme Court ruling, Loving v. Virginia, that invalidated all laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Director Jeff Nichols has made a film as subdued and eloquent as his real-life subjects, portraying the truth of their love and right to freedom with a simplicity that is arrestingly beautiful.
2. The Birth of a Nation
Nat Turner is an enslaved Baptist preacher who lives on a Virginia plantation owned by Samuel Turner. With rumors of insurrection in the air, a cleric convinces Samuel that Nate should sermonize to other slaves, thereby quelling any notions of an uprising. As Nate witnesses the horrific treatment of his fellow man, he realizes that he can no longer just stand by and preach. On Aug. 21, 1831, Turner’s quest for justice and freedom leads to a violent and historic rebellion in Southampton County.
3. Disturbing the Peace
In a world torn by conflict -in a place where the idea of peace has been abandoned-an energy of determined optimism emerges. When someone is willing to disturb the status quo and stand for the dream of a free and secure world, who will stand with them? DISTURBING THE PEACE is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities.
A young man deals with his dysfunctional home life and comes of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era. The story of his struggle to find himself is told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality.
5. I, Daniel Blake
When an ill carpenter finds himself in need of state welfare, he meets a desperate single mother who needs the same thing. Together, the duo discovers that negotiating through the red tape is a challenge.
6. I Am Not Your Negro
Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.
7. Doctor Strange
After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
8. Toni Erdmann
A reluctant woman (Sandra Hüller) must spend time with her estranged father (Peter Simonischek) when he comes for a surprise visit.
9. Captain Fantastic
Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), his wife Leslie and their six children live deep in the wilderness of Washington state. Isolated from society, Ben and Leslie devote their existence to raising their kids — educating them to think critically, training them to be physically fit and athletic, guiding them in the wild without technology and demonstrating the beauty of co-existing with nature. When Leslie dies suddenly, Ben must take his sheltered offspring into the outside world for the first time.
10. La La Land
The story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. With modern day Los Angeles as the backdrop, this musical about everyday life explores what is more important: a once-in-a-lifetime love or the spotlight.
11. Manchester by the Sea
Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.
Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
13. Hacksaw Ridge
The extraordinary true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who saved 75 men in Okinawa, during the bloodiest battle of WWII, without firing a single shot. Believing that the war was just but killing was nevertheless wrong, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded near enemy lines – braving enemy fire and putting his own life on the line. He was the first conscientious objector to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor.