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.
Documentary201599 minsDirector: John Dower
Louis Theroux investigates the secretive world of the Church of Scientology, armed with his characteristic deadpan wit.
Science Fiction2015118 minsDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos
Colin Farrell, Ben Whishaw and Rachel Weisz star in this bleakly hilarious dystopian drama from Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth).
Drama201495 minsDirector: Andrew Haigh
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.
Action and Adventure2015124 minsDirector: Ciro Guerra
The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.
Drama201592 minsDirector: Grímur Hákonarson
Cannes prize-winning Icelandic drama about two estranged sheep-farming brothers who come together following a deadly disease outbreak.
Thriller2015125 minsDirector: Luca Guadagnino
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.
Comedy201693 minsDirector: Whit Stillman
Whit Stillman crosses the Atlantic for this irresistible Jane Austen adaptation, following the delicious and devious exploits of Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale).
Drama2015129 minsDirector: Thomas McCarthy
The Best Picture winner at the 2016 Oscars is a searing account of Boston Globe journalists' uncovering of the Catholic Church child abuse scandal.
Drama2015102 minsDirector: Marielle Heller
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.
Drama201594 minsDirector: Eva Husson
High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.
Romance201697 minsDirector: Olivier Ducastel
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.
Crime2015131 minsDirector: Brian Helgeland
Tom Hardy’s magnetic double-performance as infamous East End gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray commands Brian Helgeland stylish biopic.
Documentary201586 minsDirector: George Amponsah
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.
Fantasy2015134 minsDirector: Matteo Garrone
Mythical monsters, shape-shifting sisters and a giant flea are all on the menu in Matteo Garrone’s fulsome feast of gothic fantasy.
Action and Adventure2015106 minsDirector: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s mesmerising, visually stunning tale of love and honour was Sight and Sound magazine’s best film of 2015.
Drama201588 minsDirector: Sean Baker
A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.
Comedy201596 minsDirector: Rachel Tunnard
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.
Comedy2016101 minsDirector: Taika Waititi
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).
Drama201685 minsDirector: Ira Sachs
Ira Sachs’ poignant drama about how money affects relationships follows an artistic family’s attempts to attune to a new Brooklyn neighbourhood.
Biopic2016110 minsDirector: Stephen Frears
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.