In a year characterized by tremendous global upheaval, from sweeping currents of political change touching the United Kingdom and the United States to the most horrific humanitarian crisis in decades continuing to unfold in the Mideast and Europe, it’s not surprising that many of the best movies of 2016 were documentaries that evoked this pervasive instability. They did so in, primarily, two modes: directly engaging with the here-and-now and delving into the immediate past on a journey to understand who we are today.
That’s not to say the past 12 months lacked great fictional narratives. There were many, far more than could be conceivably highlighted in a wrap-up like this. Anyway, enough introducing. These are the best movies of 2016.