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Best Films of 2016

Cinema's big beasts assemble in our most popular rentals of the last 12 months.

Films with claws, sting and scattered venom.

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Best Films of 2016
View My Scientology Movie
My Scientology Movie
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My Scientology Movie 2015 15

Louis Theroux investigates the secretive world of the Church of Scientology, armed with his characteristic deadpan wit.

109 mins United Kingdom Director. John Dower

View The Lobster
The Lobster
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The Lobster 2014 15

Colin Farrell, Ben Whishaw and Rachel Weisz star in this bleakly hilarious dystopian drama from Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth).

112 mins Ireland Director. Yorgos Lanthimos

View Carol
Carol
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Carol 2014 15

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara illuminate Todd Haynes’ intoxicating adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s beloved novel.

119 mins United Kingdom Director. Todd Haynes

View 45 Years
45 Years
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45 Years 2014 15

One of the most acclaimed British features of recent years, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a couple rocked by news from the past.

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Andrew Haigh

View High-Rise
High-Rise
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High-Rise 2015 15

Ben Wheatley's savage and brilliant adaptation of JG Ballard's dystopian satire, starring Tom Hiddleston.

120 mins United Kingdom Director. Ben Wheatley

View Embrace of the Serpent
Embrace of the Serpent
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Embrace of the Serpent 2015 12

The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.

125 mins Colombia Director. Ciro Guerra

View Rams
Rams
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Rams 2015 15

Cannes prize-winning Icelandic drama about two estranged sheep-farming brothers who come together following a deadly disease outbreak.

93 mins Iceland Director. Grímur Hákonarson

View A Bigger Splash
A Bigger Splash
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A Bigger Splash 2015 15

Ralph Fiennes delivers a sensational performance as one of four passionate souls sharing a villa in the Sicilian sunshine, with jealousy, intrigue and violence simmering beneath the surface.

125 mins Italy Director. Luca Guadagnino

View Love & Friendship
Love & Friendship
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Love & Friendship 2016 U

Whit Stillman crosses the Atlantic for this irresistible Jane Austen adaptation, following the delicious and devious exploits of Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale).

92 mins Ireland Director. Whit Stillman

View Spotlight
Spotlight
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Spotlight 2015 15

The Best Picture winner at the 2016 Oscars is a searing account of Boston Globe journalists' uncovering of the Catholic Church child abuse scandal.

129 mins USA Director. Thomas McCarthy

View The Diary of a Teenage Girl
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
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The Diary of a Teenage Girl 2015 18

The US indie hit tells the bold, bawdy and hilarious story of a teenager's sexual awakening after she sleeps with her mother’s boyfriend.

102 mins USA Director. Marielle Heller

View Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
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Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) 2015 18

High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.

98 mins France Director. Eva Husson

View Théo and Hugo
Théo and Hugo
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Théo and Hugo 2016 18

A brief encounter at a naked sex club in Paris seems to be going well for Theo and Hugo, but a sudden realisation changes everything.

97 mins France Director. Jacques Martineau, Olivier Ducastel

View Legend
Legend
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Legend 2015 18

Tom Hardy’s magnetic double-performance as infamous East End gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray commands Brian Helgeland stylish biopic.

131 mins France Director. Brian Helgeland

View Macbeth
Macbeth
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Macbeth 2015 15

Fassbender is ferocious as the Scottish king in Justin Kurzel’s red-blooded and viscerally atmospheric Shakespeare adaptation.

113 mins France Director. Justin Kurzel

View The Hard Stop
The Hard Stop
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The Hard Stop 2015 15

The story of Mark Duggan, who was shot and killed in Tottenham in 2011, is brought to the screen in this humane, thought-provoking and topical documentary.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. George Amponsah

View Under the Shadow
Under the Shadow
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Under the Shadow 2016 15

Babak Anvari’s Tehran-set ghost story has been acclaimed as a modern horror masterpiece.

84 mins United Kingdom Director. Babak Anvari

View Tale Of Tales
Tale Of Tales
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Tale Of Tales 2015 15

Mythical monsters, shape-shifting sisters and a giant flea are all on the menu in Matteo Garrone’s fulsome feast of gothic fantasy.

133 mins Italy Director. Matteo Garrone

View The Assassin
The Assassin
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The Assassin 2015 12

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s mesmerising, visually stunning tale of love and honour was Sight and Sound magazine’s best film of 2015.

120 mins Taiwan Director. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

View Tangerine
Tangerine
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Tangerine 2015 15

A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.

88 mins USA Director. Sean Baker

View Adult Life Skills
Adult Life Skills
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Adult Life Skills 2015 15

Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is an emotionally stunted 30-year-old living in her mum’s shed, learning to confront adult reality, in Rachel Tunnard’s quirky debut.

96 mins United Kingdom Director. Rachel Tunnard

View Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
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Hunt for the Wilderpeople 2016 12

Juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) forms an unlikely partnership with Sam Neill’s grizzled bushman in this hilarious wild adventure from Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows).

101 mins New Zealand Director. Taika Waititi

View Little Men
Little Men
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Little Men 2016 PG

Ira Sachs’ poignant drama about how money affects relationships follows an artistic family’s attempts to attune to a new Brooklyn neighbourhood.

85 mins USA Director. Ira Sachs

View Florence Foster Jenkins
Florence Foster Jenkins
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Florence Foster Jenkins 2016 PG

Meryl Streep plays the wealthy socialite determined to make it as an opera singer despite being tone deaf, in a delightful comedy from Stephen Frears.

110 mins United Kingdom Director. Stephen Frears

View Under the Skin
Under the Skin
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Under the Skin 2013 15

An alien Scarlett Johansson prowls the streets of Glasgow in Jonathan Glazer’s astonishing, mind-bending mixture of existential sci-fi and inner-city realism.

108 mins United Kingdom Director. Jonathan Glazer

View The Duke of Burgundy
The Duke of Burgundy
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The Duke of Burgundy 2014 18

Peter Strickland’s visually and aurally intoxicating tale of sadomasochistic power-play is a daringly erotic sensory feast.

104 mins United Kingdom Director. Peter Strickland

View Wild Tales
Wild Tales
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Wild Tales 2014 15

This Oscar-nominated, Almodóvar-produced anthology of six tales of ordinary madness is the most riotously enjoyable portmanteau film since Pulp Fiction.

122 mins Argentina Director. Damian Szifron

View What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows
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What We Do in the Shadows 2014 15

An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.

86 mins Director. Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement

View Maps to the Stars
Maps to the Stars
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Maps to the Stars 2014 18

Julianne Moore and John Cusack star in David Cronenberg’s caustic take on modern Hollywood, depicted as a nightmare world of ego and obsession.

111 mins Canada Director. David Cronenberg

View Appropriate Behaviour
Appropriate Behaviour
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Appropriate Behaviour 2015 15

Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Desiree Akhavan

View The Falling
The Falling
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The Falling 2014 15

Amid the seething hormones and turbulent emotions of an all-girl school, a mysterious fainting sickness takes hold.

102 mins United Kingdom Director. Carol Morley

View Ida
Ida
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Ida 2013 12

The Best Film winner at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival is an exquisitely shot, moving drama about a Polish nun exploring her family's past, from UK-based director Pawel Pawlikowski.

81 mins Director. Pawel Pawlikowski

View Stranger by the Lake
Stranger by the Lake
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HD

Stranger by the Lake 2013 18

A young man witnesses a violent crime at a gay cruising ground and becomes obsessed with the killer in Alain Guiraudie’s acclaimed mystery-thriller.

100 mins France Director. Alain Guiraudie

View Blue is the Warmest Colour
Blue is the Warmest Colour
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Blue is the Warmest Colour 2013 18

The epic, passionate and strikingly naturalistic Palme d'Or-winning romance.

179 mins France Director. Abdel Kechiche

View A Touch of Sin
A Touch of Sin
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A Touch of Sin 2013 15

Jia Zhangke’s state-of-the-nation report on contemporary China is comprised of four stories about shocking acts of violence.

124 mins People's Republic of China Director. Jia Zhangke

View Two Days, One Night
Two Days, One Night
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Two Days, One Night 2014 15

Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard’s collaboration with Cannes Festival-favourites Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne is a stunning, tense drama about a woman’s race against time to save her job.

95 mins Director. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

View Under the Skin
Under the Skin
Watch from £2.98
HD

Under the Skin 2013 15

An alien Scarlett Johansson prowls the streets of Glasgow in Jonathan Glazer’s astonishing, mind-bending mixture of existential sci-fi and inner-city realism.

108 mins United Kingdom Director. Jonathan Glazer

View Norte, the End of History
Norte, the End of History
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HD

Norte, the End of History 2013 15

Lav Diaz’s epic drama follows the contrasting stories of two men, a law school dropout who descends into criminality and the humble family man wrongly accused of his crimes.

Philippines Director. Lav Diaz

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