Established in the 1950s by André Bazin, Joseph-Marie Lo Duca, and Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, France’s Cahiers du cinéma has long been a bastion for quality film criticism. Year after year their rundown of the top films usually ignites a response, and we doubt 2016 will be any different — at least when it comes to a certain Nicolas Winding Refn inclusion.
They’ve released their latest list, which includes a few films that won’t get a U.S. release until 2017 (Slack Bay and Staying Vertical). Also among the selections are some of this year’s finest films, topped by Maren Ade‘s Toni Erdmann and also including Paul Verhoeven‘s Elle, Kleber Mendonça Filho‘s Aquarius, and Pedro Almodóvar‘s Julieta. Since it got a release in France this year, Todd Haynes‘ magnificent Carol also made the cut.
Check out the list below (with a hat tip to Gainsbarough), also including links to reviews where available.
1. Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade
2. Elle – Paul Verhoeven
3. The Neon Demon – Nicolas Winding Refn
4. Aquarius – Kleber Mendonça Filho
5. Slack Bay – Bruno Dumont
6. Julieta – Pedro Almodóvar
7. Staying Vertical – Alain Guiraudie
8. La Loi de la jungle – Antonin Peretjatko
9. Carol – Todd Haynes
10. Le bois dont les rêves sont faits – Claire Simon