The 15 Best Movies of 2016

2 of 16

Image courtesy of Motto Pictures and Naked Edge Films

15. Southwest of Salem

I could probably do a top 10 list of best documentaries on their own because I watch so many, and this is just one doc you’ll see here. In a year where social activism was front and center, it came through the best in cinematic examinations of how the justice system fails people, time and again. Southwest of Salem details the trial of the “San Antonio Four,” four LGBT women erroneously convicted of gang raping a child.

The documentary talks to all four women, allowing them the chance to recount their story of living in a small Texas town where homosexuality is still strongly frowned upon. The first half is a sickening procedural detailing the wealth of manufactured evidence and lies that landed the women behind bars for what was meant to be a life sentence. After one of the women is released, they band together to get their conviction overturned when one of the children recants her statements.

It’s a powerful documentary about how women and the LGBTQ community are continually persecuted for their lifestyles. The four were recently exonerated of their crimes and are now able to move on. If you enjoyed the documentary about the Central Park Five from 2012, this is another incredibly moving look at justice corrupted.

Next: Pete's Dragon