Unseen films of 2016 feature Nick Cave, teens and the best use of a Stones track ever

Our reviewers weigh in with lists of under-seen movies from 2016, as well as trends they’d like to see more and less of.

“A Bigger Splash”: Four dangerously beautiful people share an uneasy island idyll in Luca Guadagnino’s sensual siren song of a drama. Tilda Swinton’s character barely speaks but says plenty, and one of the few times Ralph Fiennes’ character stops speaking, he dances like a dervish, and we’re treated to the all-time best cinematic use of a Rolling Stones track (sorry, Martin Scorsese).

“Little Men”: In his beautifully observed depiction of the friendship between two New York teens, Ira Sachs evokes the spark of youth with lyrical tenderness and humor. Pitch-perfect performances put a fraught personal slant on gentrification in the 21st century.

“One More Time With Feeling”: Far more than a music documentary, this is a haunting exploration of creativity and loss — a portrait of Nick Cave in the studio after the death of his son. Director Andrew Dominik uses a rare combination of 3-D and black and white that suits its clear-eyed grappling with memory and the unquenchable ache of grief.

Year in review: Entertainment 2016 »

“No Home Movie” / “I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman”: In a momentous double release six months after Akerman’s suicide, Angelenos had the chance to see her final movie and Marianne Lambert’s astute profile of the Belgian filmmaker.

“Aferim!”: Young Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s first feature to be released stateside is a picaresque tale set in 1835, revolving around a bounty hunter and an escaped slave. Through scathing glances at bigotry and class hierarchy, Jude conjures a world in flux and connects that world, unforgettably, to our own.

More, please: A growing number of nonfiction filmmakers are constructing movies entirely from archival material, to potent effect.

No más: Between reboots, prequels, sequels and offshoots, Hollywood’s recycling rate would delight the staunchest environmentalist. Enough, already, with the pointless remakes of classics (and not-so-classics).

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