Two artists entering full bloomMaren Ade (with our first non-American #1 since 2012’s Holy Motors) and Barry Jenkins—topped our annual survey, next to a redoubtable team-up of Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert. Dramas of psychological realism thrived alongside varieties of nonfiction experience, Grand Guignol, surrealism, and visionary history, all with Hollywood conspicuously absent. The poll, conducted among the magazine’s contributors and editorial staff, is divided into 1) films that received U.S. theatrical runs and 2) those viewed in 2016 but having no announced plans for U.S. theatrical distribution. For each ballot, a first-place choice was allotted 20 points, 19 for second, and so on. We will also be conducting our annual Readers’ Poll. Vote now and win new prizes! How to enter: Send your ranked list of the year’s 20 best films (plus any comments) with your name, address, and phone number, to [email protected]; or mail them to Film Comment Readers’ Poll, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023. Deadline: February 5, 2017. This year’s outstanding prizes include Criterion Collection DVDs, access to the FilmStruck streaming service, or a membership at your local art-house theater, where available!

Toni Erdmann

1. Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade, Germany


2. Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, USA

elle isabelle huppert

3. Elle, Paul Verhoeven, France/Germany

cemetery of splendor

4. Cemetery of Splendor, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/UK/France/Germany/Malaysia

certain women

5. Certain Women, Kelly Reichardt, USA

paterson adam driver jim jarmusch

6. Paterson, Jim Jarmusch, USA

manchester by the sea

7. Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan, USA

sonia braga aquarius

8. Aquarius, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil/France

Things to Come

9. Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany

No Home Movie

10. No Home Movie, Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France

the lobster

11. The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, France/Netherlands/Greece/UK


12. Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sangsoo, South Korea

Love & Friendship

13. Love & Friendship, Whit Stillman, Ireland/Netherlands/France/USA


14. CamerapersonKirsten Johnson, USA

kaili blues

15. Kaili Blues, Bi Gan, China

the handmaiden

16. The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, South Korea

Everybody Wants Some!!

17. Everybody Wants Some!!, Richard Linklater, USA

The Fits Anna Rose Holmer

18. The Fits, Anna Rose Holmer, USA


19. Neruda, Pablo Larraín, Chile/Argentina/France/Spain

The Other Side Roberto Minervini

20. The Other Side, Roberto Minervini, France/Italy

Don’t see your favorite(s)? Proceed to the undistributed list.