The best films of 2016 so far

6 months, 11 days ago

Hard to believe but 2016 is already half over. Its time to look back at the cinemas our critics have so far rated the finest


Middle-age angst rendered in stop-motion animation from Charlie Kaufman, as a depressed self-help author holes up in a hotel during a sales convention and becomes fixated on a woman he satisfies in the bar.

What we said: It is really funny, and incidentally boasts one of the most extraordinarily real sexuality scenes in film history. It also scared me the way a top-notch horror or a sci-fi dystopia might.

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Arabian Nights: Vols 1-3

Photograph: New Wave Films

A three-film epic from Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes, which uses the famous tale/ cycle as a structuring device for Gomes anatomy of Portugals social and economic malaise.

What we said: An opaque compendium of tales like the ones Scheherazade told to stave off her own death all responding in indirect ways to the miseries forced on Portugal by austerity.

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The Assassin

Taiwanese master director Hou Hsaio-hsien released his first feature since 2007, featuring Shu Qi as the eponymous murderer in an elaborately stylised wuxia tale.

What we said: Its moments of sublime gorgeousness are captivating. There is such delicacy and artistry in The Assassin, as if the cinema is spun from some exquisite, evanescent tissue of precious material.

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A Bigger Splash