With new major films releasing every weekend, it is almost impossible to keep up with the latest Hollywood movies, and with websites like Rotten Tomatoes influencing ticket purchases, it is easy to overlook films that were not universally praised by both critics and fans. Sure, we all marched in droves to see the likes of Captain America: Civil War and The Jungle Book, but were probably more hesitant to check out more polarizing films such as Knight of Cups and Demolition.
This list takes a look at a handful of the most underrated movies of 2016, and illustrates why you might want to give them a shot. These films may have their flaws, but at the end of the day, were not nearly as bad as their critics might suggest. Here are The 5 Most Underrated Movies of 2016 (So Far).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%
Not only is Warcraft scoring poorly with critics, but it is also experiencing quite the underwhelming domestic box office performance as well. Worldwide sales will save this film from being a financial disaster, but studio execs still have to worry about its lack of success stateside.
The kicker here is that this film really is not as bad as its criminally low Rotten Tomatoes score would indicate. Sure, Warcraft is not the best fantasy adventure of the 21st century, but it is certainly an entertaining watch for fans of the franchise as well as those who are less familiar with the source material. There is an innate likability to this story that is well-crafted in the hands of director Duncan Jones. Unfortunately, with an overwhelming number of moviegoers writing this picture off as another failed film adaptation of a video game series before it even hit theaters, Warcraft simply had too many hurdles to overcome.
My Score: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%
Race's Rotten Tomatoes score of 60% is certainly a lot higher than other movies on this list, but all the same, I feel as though it was a bit underrated. For a lot of critics, this Jesse Owens biopic only slightly missed the mark, and as a result, moviegoing audiences failed to support the film, as it did not even rank among the top five earners at the domestic box office on its opening weekend in February.
Race was never projected to be $100 million blockbuster, but even still, it was an interesting cinematic telling of a true story that arguably could have fared a bit better both with critics and at the box office. Featuring standout performances from both Jason Sudeikis and Stephan James, there is a lot to like about this film. What could have easily been a "paint by numbers" sports biopic turned out to be an inspiring and entertaining two hours at the theater.
My Score: 7.5/10
3. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
Despite an outstandingly disappointing critical reception, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has remained one of the most talked about films of 2016. Studio interference, the future of the franchise, and the recent release the film's extended edition all helped to keep BvS in the conversation.
In the midst of all the negativity, you could be forgiven for thinking that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the worst superhero movie since Halle Berry's Catwoman, but in all honesty, there is a lot to like about this film. The editing was a bit wonky at times, and a handful of scenes felt a bit out of place (although these issues appear to be lessened in the aforementioned extended cut), but the film by its very definition is underrated. Was it as good as it could have been, or even as good as it should have been? Not in my opinion. But expectations were pretty lofty for a lot of comic book movie fans, and at the end of the day, there were in fact a lot of good elements to this film: fantastic action choreography, intelligently written dialogue, artistic cinematography and CGI use, and not to mention a narrative that displayed potential for exciting future films, namely Wonder Woman.
My Score: 7/10
2. Money Monster
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%
Smack dab in the middle of the summer movie season fell this alternative to capes and explosions. It did not help matters much that the critics appeared to be quite split on this Julia Roberts and George Clooney-led film. Money Monster was intended to serve as counter programming to the likes of the Captain America: Civil War's that we generally find this time of year, but still, never quite found its footing with audiences or critics.
That being said, Money Monster was in fact an extremely enjoyable summer flick. Intense drama, heart-pounding suspense, and a pretty decent story could be found in this Jodie Foster-directed effort. Poor marketing may have undersold this film, but I still found myself glued to the screen for the vast majority of the movie. The ending serves to alienate audiences a bit, but nevertheless, Money Monster was a good time at the cinema.
My Score: 7.5/10
1. The Neon Demon
Nicolas Winding Refn's films generally are a bit divisive, but I thought that the critics still would have found more to enjoy about The Neon Demon. In the heat of the summer moviegoing season, The Neon Demon was a breath of fresh air among the likes of Independence Day: Resurgence and X-Men: Apocalypse.
The themes at play in this film were beautifully executed, and the narrative took a few unexpected twists and turns to say the least. Nicolas Winding Refn is unlike most other directors currently working today, and always delivers a unique cinematic experience. Every creative decision in The Neon Demon felt intentional, and at every step of the way, I felt as though I was in good hands (narratively speaking). Refn has delivered a film that, although certainly not perfect, lingers on in the back of the audience's mind long after the credits roll.
My Score: 8.5/10
What are some movies from 2016 that you feel are underrated? Make sure to let me know your picks in the comments section.