Top 5 Movies of 2016 – A Year Full of Gold

As we get excited for our favorite part of the year (November and December) and look forward to upcoming movies and video games, we want to reflect on what we’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to so far this year. While there are certainly major challenges to living in LA, such as the traffic and rent prices, there are amazing benefits such as the exposure to cultural events and amazing cuisine. As a result, we have the ability to go to the movies and watch extremely limited releases. 

While you’ve seen a handful of movie reviews from us in the past, we missed some opportunities to review some of these films that you probably haven’t heard of, which is a shame! For that reason, we’re going to countdown our Top 5 movies that you probably haven’t seen this year. They’re all either on DVD or will be released so add them to your holiday wishlist or treat yourself to something special. You won’t regret it. 


1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople – This New Zealand export created one of the most emotionally complex stories that we’ve seen in a long time while keeping a great sense of humor throughout. The soundtrack, writing, scenery, and acting had us thinking about this movie for months. It’s really hard to find any fault in the film, other than it leaves you wanting to find out more about what happens to the characters when it ends.

2. City of Gold – Even if we considered ourselves movie critics in some alternate universe, I wouldn’t give a score to City of Gold, a film about LA food critic Jonathan Gold. Well, that’s arguable. It’s not necessarily about Gold, or even food, or even LA. All three of those are integral parts of its composition but I think an urban studies major would enjoy this film more than anyone else. This movie showed that the iconic Gold doesn’t write for the creation of his legacy, but far more so for the preservation of LA’s cultures. 

3. Kubo and the Two Strings – One of the most vibrant and dynamic movies ever created. A combination of Samurai Jack and the final battle from Guitar Hero III, this film flawlessly takes you on an adventure that you’re invested in from start to finish. Tragic yet rewarding, this is the ultimate film of the year for families and our top recommendation for that amazing holiday present no one is expecting.

4. The Little Prince – It’s a bold move to animate one of the bestselling books of all time, but this film doesn’t shy away from the task and brings you a completely unique take on the classic story while staying true enough to its original content to please even the most avid fan. 

5. Monenoko no Ko – The Boy and the Beast is so much more than a masterpiece in animation. It brings you to and through different worlds, following a character that you can’t help but relate to at some level. The relationship you create with this individual makes this movie as empowering as anything you’ve probably seen, but the reward doesn’t come easy and we appreciate movies that accept a challenge. 

We’re excited to find out if you had the chance to see any of these and what you thought about them. Also, if you saw something that wasn’t a major release and think everyone else should find out about it, please feel free to share in the comment section below. As always, stay hungry and fit!

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