The 2016 movie awards season is upon us. And though the Oscars are still several months away, things are already heating up. The National Board of Review has just announced their list of winners for 2016 and it will probably be an indicator of what's to come. Manchester by the Sea came out on top this year as best movie of 2016, and won big in several other categories.

The National Board of Review not only named director Kenneth Lonergan's latest Best Film of the year, but they also named Casey Affleck the Best Actor of 2016, for his performance in Manchester By the Sea. Kenneth Lonergan was also awarded Best Original Screenplay for his work on the movie as well as Lucas Hedges, who was awarded Breakthrough Performance. The praise from the National Board of Review is helping to cement the movie as a serious Oscar favorite. Here is what NBR President Annie Schulhof had to say about the movie.

"Manchester By the Sea is a masterful film which explores love, loss, and redemption in a deeply moving and completely original way. We are thrilled to award it our Best Film."
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The other big winners according to the NRB were Moonlight, which has also been getting quite a bit of buzz. Barry Jenkins was awarded Best Director for his work on the movie and Naomie Harris was named Best Supporting Actress. Amy Adams took the Best Actress prize for her work in the sci-fi hit Arrival, which looks like it has a somewhat outside shot at a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards this year. Best Adapted Screenplay went to Silence, the upcoming Martin Scorsese epic that he wrote with Jay Cocks. Other notable awards went to Jeff Bridges for Best Supporting Actor in Hell or High Water and Best Animated Feature, which went to Kubo and the Two Strings.

Outside of awarding Manchester By the Sea the group's top honor for the year, they also included a list of ten Top Films for 2016. That list included movies like Arrival, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures and Martin Scorsese's Silence, all of which the National Board of Review gave other awards this year. The other movies included in the list were Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Patriots Day, Sully and perhaps most surprisingly, Hail, Caesar! Not that anyone should be surprised that a Coen Brothers movie is receiving some praise, but Hail, Caesar! was not nearly up to the level of quality the directing duo is known for.

Manchester By the Sea has received nearly universal praise since making the rounds on the festival circuit this year. The movie currently sits at a 97 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it is almost a sure bet it will secure a Best Picture Oscar nomination this year. For now, the Best Film honor from the National Board of Review will have to do. You can check out the full list of this year's Top Films from the NBR for yourself below.

Best Film: Manchester by the Sea

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress: Amy Adams, Arrival

Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence

Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings

Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits

Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha

Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman

Best Documentary: O.J.: Made in America

Best Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Cameraperson

Top Films


Hacksaw Ridge

Hail, Caesar!

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land


Patriots Day