These are the best films, books, and documentaries that I have read, listened to, and watched in 2016. I haven’t been able to review everything on the list. Where I do have a review, you can read the full review by selecting the link.
Best Nonfiction Film’s of 2016
Sully – Directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks. First aviation story in a long time to get it right
The Walk – Directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The true story of a tightrope walker’s attempt to walk between the World Trade towers.
Concussion – Directed by Peter Landesman, starring Will Smith. A look at brain disorders in NFL players resulting from concussions.
True Story – Directed by Rupert Goold, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. A writers downfall due to writing a story that wasn’t totally true.
Hacksaw Ridge – Directed by Mel Gibson, starring Andrew Garfield. WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.
Eddie the Eagle – Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, starring Taron Egerton. The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Hidden Figures – The story of three African American women and their work with NASA in th early days of the space race.
Best Nonfiction Books of 2016
Who Killed These Girls? – Beverly Lowry. A critical look at the wrongful conviction of two teens in Austin, Texas.
Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance. One man’s journey out of poverty.
Scapegoat – Emilio Corsetti III. The story of a flight crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain’s decades-long battle to clear his name.
American Pain – John Temple. A look at the beginnings of the opioid epidemic.
Similar Transactions– S. R. Reynolds. The story of a serial rapist.
Evicted – Matthew Desmond. A look at housing affordability.
Failure of Justice – John Ferak. The story of murder, wrongful convictions, and false confessions.
We are not such things – Justine van der Leun. We Are Not Such Things is the story of the murder of American Activist Amy Biehl, who died at the hands of an angry mob of black youths during the waning days of apartheid in 1993.
Bank Notes – Caroline Giammanco. One man’s bad decision to get out of debt by robbing banks and the consequences of that decision.
Prisoner in the Kitchen – William Bonham. Prison life as seen through the eyes of a prison cook.
True Story – Michael Finkel. A writers downfall due to writing a story that wasn’t totally true.
Floodpath – Jon Wilkman. The story of a dam collapse in 1928 and the aftermath.
Collision Course – Alvin Moscow. The story of the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm, two passenger ships that collided off the coast of Nantucket on July 25, 1956.
13,760 Feet – Mark L. Berry. This two-memoirs-in-one will appeal to anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one, as well as anyone contemplating or already in a career in aviation.
23/7 – Keramet Reiter. A history of solitary confinement.
Adnan’s Story – Rabia Chaudry. Wrongful conviction story.
Best Documentaries of 2016
13th – Written and directed by Ava DuVernay. In less than two hours the film walks the viewer from slavery to our current status as the most incarcerated nation in the world.
The Bizarre Story of John McAffe – Written and directed by Nanette Burstein. Murder, wealth, and escaping justice.
Murder in the Park – Brandon Kimber and Shawn Rech. The death penalty and a wrongful conviction turned on its head.
The Mind of Mark DeFriest – Written and directed by Gabriel London. The story of Mark DeFriest’s inhumane treatment at the hands of the Florida penal system.
Shenandoah – Directed by David Turnley. Shenandoah tells the story of four football players accused of murdering a Mexican immigrant named Luis Ramirez.
Until Proven Innocent: The Hannah Overton Story. Wrongful conviction story.
Netflix Documentary Amanda Knox. Wrongful conviction story.
JonBenet: Am American Murder Mystery
Dateline: Game Night. Wrongful conviction story. An unbelievable story of an inept murder investigation and the consequences of getting it wrong.
OJ: Made in America – OJ’s rise and fall.
Weiner – The story of Anthony Weiner’s run for New York Mayor