Along with the great deluge of awards programs, the end of 2016 brings best-of-the-year lists from just about every publication under the sun. Those film obsessives who catalogue such things eagerly await rulings from newspapers of record, major film magazines, and critics’ organizations, and the ball just got rolling earlier today with announcements from a pair of reputable sources. (We continue to patiently await High Times’ Top 10 Films of 2016 list, however. Word is they were big into Manchester by the Sea, but c’mon, who wasn’t?)

French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema, one-time home of such greats as Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, unveiled its picks for the ten finest films released over the past year earlier today. (Make note that the distinction of “released in 2016" here means “released in France in 2016,” hence the inclusion of last year’s Carol on the list.)

2016’s list is made up almost entirely of selections from this year’s Competition lineup at the Cannes Film Festival, a blend of international selections with critical acclaim to back them up. Maren Ade’s family comedy Toni Erdmann took the number one slot, riding a wave of positive notices to the top of the heap. A pair of features with a little more American exposure followed, with Paul Verhoeven’s rape comedy/Isabelle Huppert acting showcase Elle at number two and Nicolas Winding Refn’s violent glam fantasia The Neon Demon close behind. The full list, via The Film Stage, is below:

1. Toni Erdmann, directed by Maren Ade
2. Elle, directed by Paul Verhoeven
3. The Neon Demon, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
4. Aquarius, directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
5. Ma Loute/Slack Bay, directed by Bruno Dumont
6. Julieta, directed by Pedro Almodóvar
7. Rester Vertical/Staying Vertical, directed by Alain Guiraudie
8. La ley del mercado, directed by Stéphane Brizé
9. Carol, directed by Todd Haynes
10. Le bois dont les rêves sont faits, directed by Claire Simon (Francia, 2015)

Also across the Atlantic, reputable British newspaper The Guardian has begun to roll out their picks for the 50 greatest films released in 2016. Only thing is that they’re staggering their coverage: entries 11-50 will be unveiled this week, with the top 10 gradually revealed over the two following weeks. Curious parties will just have to check back in daily, but for now, the list has started in fine form, recognizing some standout indie releases and rare studio successes alike. The list-so-far is below:

50. Deepwater Horizon, directed by Peter Berg
49. The Neon Demon, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
48. 10 Cloverfield Lane, directed by Dan Trachtenberg
47. Fences, directed by Denzel Washington
46. The Clan, directed by Pablo Trapero
45. The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau
44. The Eagle Huntress, directed by Otto Bell
43. Hail, Caesar!, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
42. Wiener-Dog, directed by Todd Solondz
41. The Witch, directed by Robert Eggers

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