david prown 120With the end of 2016 come the compulsory "Best of" Movies lists - usually top 10.

Generally some movies I agreed with, some I thought "no way" and some haven't come out yet (or didn't come out here in Mommouth County).

This year may have been a big year $/box office success wise, but that was primary riding the coattails of Star Wars, Harry Potter, numerous super heros and animated films.

There were some fine more mature, premier quality films and a few come to mind (and they generally weren't on most lists - mine will be out this month before the award season as films are still coming).

I will have to say this all changed when I say the August Wilson written screen adaptation of "FENCES" starring Dentzel Washington (director also) and Viola Davis.

I became aware of August Wilson 1st in the 80's when the 1st of his 10 plays set (each in their own respective decade generally in Pittsburgh) exploded on Broadway led by the iconic James Earl Jones.

The very special local regional Two River Theatre here in Red Bank has presented an August Wilson play each of the last 4 years (and will do another this year). Haven't missed one and show tells its own story.

A play is a piece of art which relies heavily on the spoken word. I just assumed, mostly from 1st hand experience, that plays present better on the live stage than on the big screen (including the four (4) aforementioned August Wilson plays).

The minute "Fences" opens on the big screen it grabbed me like no other film this year. In the most simple of sets, primarily in either the front of the house, inside the house or in the legendary tiny back yard, "Fences" owned me. The uber powerful words, the emotion, the inner sadness, the tinges of happiness, socio - economic barriers, relationships, generational struggles, loyalty, anguish and so much more pours out of this masterpiece.

IMPORTANT - I got to the show and were only 2 seats left in the front row. I took one but no way was I sitting in the front row. Luckily this particular local theatre did not have stadium seating. I simply sat on the floor, all the back in the center. This movie is 2hr and 20 minutes long and I'm an old man. This film grabbed me and didn't let go. I barely was even aware I was sitting on a floor for that long because it was that riveting (I will be the 1st to admit it took me 10 minutes to stand up once the film was over).

The acting prowess of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis is off the charts special. Guaranteed to get many Best Actor/Actress nominations and if Ms. Davis doesn't win a few there something seriously wrong.

Treat yourself to my top 3 movie of the year (and could finish higher)