All of us have anxiously been counting down the minutes until the release of Captain America: Civil War, which hits theaters in less than two weeks! 2016 is going to be an outstanding year for movies and while we wait to see Captain America and Iron Man scuffle on the big screen, let's look back on some of the best films we have seen in 2016 thus far.
UPDATE: October has begun and the leaves have started to fall. Many Oscar-worthy movies will be released into theaters from here on out along with a couple of big franchise blockbusters such as Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You may have clicked on this article in the past but this list is about to gain another 10 entries to make it a total of 16 spectacular films in the year 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
Release Date: May 6th
Director: Joe & Anthony Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johanson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
This one is a no-brainer as Captain America: Civil War is my favorite movie of the year. In fact, it is my personal favorite superhero movie of all time knocking out Spider-Man 2 from the top spot on my list. If you haven't had your head in the sand for these past couple of months, you probably know how critics and movie fans feel about this extraordinary blockbuster.
The plot and premise of the movie is amazing, every single character had a perfect amount of screen time and development, the action was a combination of Captain America: The Winter Soldier's amazing fight choreography and the two Avengers movies intense and beautifully-looking action, and even the acting was perhaps Oscar-worthy (if the Academy wasn't so biased towards big blockbuster movies-especially comic book movies). All in all, Captain America: Civil War was great in every single aspect for me and I would name it a perfect movie. Period.
My rating: 10/10
- Release Date: April 15th
- Director: John Carney
- Cast: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
Captain America: Civil War was a very well heard of movie that everyone knew about and it was common knowledge that it would be on this list. However, Sing Street is an amazing film that was not given the attention it deserves. This was a smaller film that was released earlier this year that even I didn't pay attention to. However, the people who had seen it said it was one of the best movies of the year. Given that, I had to check it out and in the end, I agree with them. Sing Street has something that a lot of movies these days tend to lack- a big heart.
A simple premise of a boy who wants to start a band and start a relationship with a girl out his league has been seen on screen a thousand times. However, Sing Street manages to make the concept feel fresh as it is a feel-good story. If you haven't already, check out this movie and you can thank me after for recommending the movie.
My rating: 9.8/10
Release Date: November 4th, 2016
Director: Mel Gibson
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
I recently just saw Hacksaw Ridge and I can honestly say it's easily one of the best movies of the year. This movie was based on a true story and followed Desmond Dos, who was a conscientious objector, meaning he doesn't want to pick up a gun in kill. However, he felt that it was his duty to serve and that it wouldn't be fair if he sat home and didn't help out in the war. After multiple attempts by the army to either send him home or even at one point lock him up in prison, Doss is sent off to the Battle of Okinawa as an army medic without a single weapon. He ends up saving over 75 lives and at the end, he ironically got injured himself.
What seems like your typical war movie at first turns out to be one of the best ones you'll ever see. Personally, Hacksaw Ridge passes many classics such as Saving Private Ryan and other war movies as it has a true heart and will really connect with you emotionally. Even movie goers who are not fans of Mel Gibson cannot deny that he did an amazing job directing this movie as the choreography is very visually-appealing. The acting in this movie was some of the best 2016 had to offer, especially what I would have to say is both Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaugn's best performances. Overall, Hacksaw Ridge is an amazing film that you should definitely check out while it's still in theaters.
- Release Date: June 17th
- Director: Andrew Stanton
- Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Ty Burrell, Ed O'Neil, Albert Brooks
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%
If there are two genres that absolutely dominated the year 2016, it would be horror and especially animation. Pixar continued to amaze with the sequel to one of their most beloved movie's Finding Nemo that set the focus on Dory. In Finding Dory, we see Dory beginning to remember where she came from and she goes on an exciting adventure to find her parents, along with her friends Marlin and Nemo.
This sequel is almost good as Finding Dory- and that's saying something as that is one of Pixar's finest movies ever. This is a good-hearted animated film that in some aspects is funnier and has a better storyline than Finding Nemo. While the originality feels empty at parts, Finding Dory is a charming sequel.
My rating: 9/10
- Release Date: August 12th
- Director: Conrad Vernon
- Cast: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Micheal Cera
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83%
Seth Rogen was denied from numerous studios as none of them were willing to take a risk with his newest project: Sausage Party. The premise itself about a bunch of food finding out their true destinies after being purchased from the grocery store seems harmless at first. However, Seth Rogen wanted to make Sausage Party an all-out R-rated movie with an endless amount of profanity- and it actually worked. This animated film was so outside-the-box that every adult had to go out and see what was in stores for them. What was in the store for the viewers was a massive food orgy- and it was absolutely hilarious.
This movie could have been so controversial due to the movie's constant slashing towards specific races, groups, and religions. However, the movie managed to insult every single different group of people, so it made it okay! Also, the trailers seemed to jam-pack all these different jokes in their trailers and it worried me that they were showing all the good ones in the trailer. Fortunately, that was not the case as Sausage Party had plenty of profanity to go around. This movie was made to and succeeded in making people laugh while making them feel uncomfortable because they decided to take their grandma to the theater. The surprise factor is what really made this movie. While I haven't viewed the movie a second time, I feel like the appeal would go away after the first viewing.
My rating: 8/10
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)
- Release Date: March 24th
- Director: Zach Snyder
- Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavil, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 27%
Is it controversial to put this movie on the list? Yes. However, this movie deserves to be on this list. Despite it not being a perfect film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn't all that bad when you really look at it with a neutral perspective. Personally, I think that we were introduced to the best Batman we have seen on screen, thus far, which can only make this movie so much better. Batman had some awesome action scenes and because of the way fans reacted to him, we are getting a Batman solo film! We were introduced to some of the other Justice League members such as The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and of course, Wonder Woman!
The film was very entertaining and had some awesome action scenes as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is just a great comic book movie and was made for the fans, even if it's not a spectacular movie by itself. Jesse Eisenberg played a great spin on the Lex Luthor character. The theatrical edition of the movie was okay, and for someone who went in with very low expectations, I actually quite enjoyed it. However, when the Ultimate Edition hit Blu-Ray, it managed to make a pretty awesome comic book movie as this edition fixes many holes, the editing and pacing, and the overall story itself. Of course, I'm being keeping positive here and leaving out all of the movie's flaws but overall, Batman vs. Superman gets a lot of hate and in reality is a pretty entertaining film.
My rating (Ultimate Edition): 7/10
- Release Date: July 29th
- Director: Jon Lucas
- Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 60%
When the first trailer for Bad Moms was released onto the internet, it was generally pretty funny. However, in the modern age of cinema, you can't judge a movie by its trailer. This movie could have easily been another raunchy, horrible film that would only appeal a thirteen-year old attracted to Mila Kunis as it placed all the good jokes in the trailer. Even though some of that may be true, Bad Moms is actually one of my favorite comedies of the year.
Is this the best comedy of the year? Not even close and as time goes on, better comedies will trample it. However, it does its job by making its audience laugh, have a great and entertaining time, and deliver a very important message- being a mom is really hard and that there's no such thing as a perfect mom. Also, there were a lot of funny and relatable jokes for mothers throughout the movie. The plot was engaging and the concept of the movie is genius. The way the movie presented this concept was pretty good for the most part.
My rating: 7.5/10
- Release Date: Feburary 12th
- Director: Tim Miller
- Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccaarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%
Deadpool was the first comic book movie that has been released this year and the reaction was not as split, with most fans and critics absolutely loving the film. This was not the first time we had seen Deadpool on screen. We first saw Ryan Reynolds play Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where the character was totally ruined. Then a few years later, Reynolds played a horrible adaptation of Green Lantern. He realized he had to fix Deadpool and put a lot of effort in producing a hard-R version of Deadpool on the big screen. Reynolds redeemed himself as Deadpool was the funniest movie this year so far. This movie had some epic action, hilarious and crude humor, and made fanboys' dreams come true.
My rating: 8.5/10
Hell or High Water
- Release Date: August 12th
- Director: David Mackenzie
- Cast: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%
The 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is no lie- Hell or High Water is indefinitely one of the best films to be released in theaters this year. The movie stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster as brothers who plan a series of bank heists against a bank that is attempting to close their family ranch. The simple concept turns out to be an amazing story and the plot was very well put together as it had a lot of twists and turns to keep its viewers invested in the movie.
Along with that, the movie donned some superb writing as the character arcs were very well thought out and how the characters changed throughout the movie was very well done. Above all, the cinematography was the brightest aspect of the movie. Personally, I feel as if Hell or High Water is the best-looking movie of the year. Overall, this is a great heist/western film and Hollywood should definitely take notes from this movie.
My rating: 9/10
The Jungle Book
- Release Date: April 15th
- Director: Jon Favreau
- Cast: Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
The Jungle Book has just hit theaters and has struck a chord with fans and critics alike. This movie respected the source material and followed it to a certain extend and then put its own twist on it. Jon Favreau is a great director as he and his team demonstrated how CGI can be used correctly. CGI has a bad rap due to the fact that it is not used well in many high budget films. There are times where CGI does not need to be used, but the studio is lazy and uses it anyways. The Jungle Book uses an excessive amount of CGI, but feels so real as you feel like you are right there with Mowgli on his adventure.
Speaking of adventure, this movie is an awesome adventure film. It is a rare occurrence where we see big adventure films today in theaters and The Jungle Book filled that void. Let us not forget all the great voice actors that Disney gathered for this film such as Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and Idris Elba. The actor playing Mowgli, Neel Sethi, did an amazing job with the movie. His performance is even more incredible due to the fact that he was the only actor and had to interact with CGI which was not there. Plus, he has never been in a film before. If you have not seen The Jungle Book yet, I highly recommend you go out and see this entertaining, adventurous, film.
My rating: 8/10
Eddie the Eagle
- Release Date: February 28th
- Director: Dexter Fletcher
- Cast: Taren Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Jo Hartley, Christopher Walkin
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 80%
This one most likely comes off as a surprise, especially since most of you didn't go out to see it. Despite its underperformance at the box office and satisfactory yet reticent critical reactions, Eddie the Eagle is a really good and entertaining film. The film was released on February 26 of this year and only opened with a $6 million weekend. I actually got to see this film a couple weeks early on February 3 at an advanced press screening. The general reaction of all the people in the room was pretty positive and there were a lot of writers for different entertainment websites there.
Eddie the Eagle is based on the true story of an unlikely but courageous character who is trying to be an Olympic ski jumper, but never gives up. This is a movie that I like to classify as a 'feel-good movie' as it makes your heart feel warm, makes you laugh, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It includes a very good cast for a smaller film like Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman. After this movie, Jackman has highly recommended Egerton to play the next adaptation of Wolverine. The movie is now out of theaters, but I highly encourage you guys to watch this movie!
My rating: 8.5/10
- Release Date: September 9th
- Director: Clint Eastwood
- Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82%
No, I'm not talking about Sully from Monsters Inc. (as much as I love that film). We're talking about Sully, which was a good yet smaller film that managed to get attention because it was released in the middle of the dead season and that the movie stars Tom Hanks. This movie is based off of a real-life event back in 2009 where US Airways Flight 1549 tries to land an emergency landing safely in the Hudson River.
Clint Eastwood kept a fast pace in a ninety-minute movie where you were constantly sitting on the edge of your seat absorbing each extraordinary moment and waiting to see what is about to happen next. Tom Hanks shows everyone that he's not done yet with Hollywood as he dones a fantastic job as Captain Chesley "Sully". Also, that landing scene was mind-blowing- one one my personal favorite scenes of the year.
My rating: 8.4/10
- Release Date: March 4th
- Director: Bryon Howard
- Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, J.K. Simmons
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
This one is a no-brainer. Zootopia is pne of the highest grossing movie of 2016, pulling in almost $900 million worldwide and there is a reason for it. This Disney film is a great family film with a colorful environment filled with talking animals done in a unique way. This movie is a fun and entertaining film for the family, sure, but has a deeper, central idea hidden beneath its fur. If anything, this Disney animated hit may be too advanced for children as they really don't get the real message.
Zootopia is a movie which shows how prejudice oozes into our daily lives and how it exists in the relationship between our main characters, Judy (the bunny) and Nick (the fox), even if they’re not willing to acknowledge it at first. Judy is a bunny who is looked at as a stereotypical bunny who doesn't belong in the big city of Zootopia. Nick also has some harsh stereotypes pinned against him as he is perceived as a mean, sneaky fox who is really not that bad deep down inside. Overall, Zootopia is a pretty good movie.
My rating: 9.5/10
10 Cloverfield Lane
- Release Date: March 11th
- Director: Dan Trachtenberg
- Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
This movie was a huge surprise for me. I went into this movie with very low expectations and it was actually a really good film. This thriller only consisted of 3 main characters, who are featured above. John Goodman especially deserves an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as he did a fantastic job in this movie. He played a role that was incredibly different from what he's known for and it kept you on the edge of your seat. 10 Cloverfield Lane is cleverly put together, tense, and very smart.
This is that type of film which is unfortunately lacking in Hollywood right now. It makes the most of its confined setting as most of the movie takes place in a bunker. The only problem I had with the film was the ending. It felt very out of place and did not sit well with me. The original script had a better ending than the final product. I don't want to go into spoilers, but if you have seen the film, you know exactly what I'm talking about. This is the best thriller film I have seen in a long time.
My rating: 8/10
- Release Date: June 17th
- Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Danielle Nicollete
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 69%
Who would think that a movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart would make it onto a reputable best movies of the year list? Well, Central Intelligence managed to squeeze itself onto this list, even though it's not a perfect movie. What seemed like another crappy buddy-cop film actually managed to be entertaining, engaging, and comical.
Sure, the movie had plot holes and some of the jokes just didn't work. However, the chemistry between the Rock and Kevin Hart overlooks all of its issues. When normal movie-goers go to the movie theater, they go to be entertained. Whether that "entertainment" is laughing, getting scared, or hooking up with their date in the back of the movie theater, people go to the theater to be entertained. In that aspect, Central Intelligence was a success as it was an entertaining time at the theater and had many funny jokes along the way.
My rating: 7/10
- Release Date: May 27th
- Director: Bryan Singer
- Cast: James McAvoy, Micheal Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48%
X-Men: Apocalypse barely made this list as the movie itself has a lot of problems that even the biggest X-Men fans cannot hide from. However, the movie does have a lot of good and is overall pretty entertaining. I think the reason why this movie wasn't well received by critics is because it's a typical comic book movie. The reason why Marvel Studios' films sit well with critics is because for the most part, their movies are always "different" than the average comic book movie. Doctor Strange is going to be a mystical, trippy movie that we never saw before. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a thriller unlike we have seen before with comic book movies. Ant-Man is a heist movie that dives into some trippy elements as well.
All of these movies worked because they were different from the average comic book movie- which has a lot of secret easter eggs, a big action scene at the end, and all of the other normal entities. At least for a comic book fan such as myself, what's wrong with a normal comic book movie? Overall, X-Men: Apocalypse was an entertaining time at the theater and I was actually impressed by the movie as I had very low expectations.
My rating: 6.8/10
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
- Release Date: September 30th
- Director: Tim Burton
- Cast: Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Ella Purnell, Samuel L. Jackson
- Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%
MoviePilot's latest fanzine (online magazine for the fans) revolved all around Tim Burton and in the fanzine, we talked about whether or not Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will be a good movie or not and whether it would feel "Burton-esque". In my article in the fanzine, I discussed Tim Burton's drastic change in his tone of film-making. Would this be the first movie to re-discover the creepiness and weirdness of Tim Burton?
The first two acts of the film were still very good but it did drag out at points, there was some plot holes, and there was over-emphasis on keeping certain things secret until later on in the movie. Besides that, these first two acts had an amazing story and introduced a colorful array of characters. The good covered up the little flaws that these two first arcs may have had. The third act felt full-Tim Burton as it was creepy and weird as opposed to the first two acts which played everything safe. While I really enjoyed this movie, it's a shame that the first two acts were not as "Burton-esque" as the third act was.
My rating: 8.3/10
Release Date: November 6th
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkleson
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
Doctor Strange has just entered its way into theaters and it is a huge success! This movie feels like a breath of fresh air at the same time as it introduces a unique element into the Marvel Cinematic Universe: magic. Doctor Strange is easily the most visually-stunning movie on this year as the movie dives deep into the concept of multiple dimensions and blows the audience away with its trippiness.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a perfect Steven Strange as he was spot-on with portraying the arrogant ego of Steven Strange and how the character does not care about anyone but himself. Throughout the movie, Cumberbatch realistically transformed the Doctor Strange character from being a outlandish "asshole" to a caring character who realizes that not everything is about himself. Also, the rest of the cast was pretty solid as well. Even if the beginning felt a little rushed and some of the jokes didn't quite hit home, Doctor Strange manages to entertain and amaze its audience.
My rating: 8.8/10
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
I had the opportunity to check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the New York premiere on November 4th. Since the embargo isn't lifted yet, I am not allowed to fully discuss the movie yet but there is a reason why the movie gets a spot on this list! The list will be updated soon and I'll be able to discuss it further...
What is YOUR favorite film of 2016 so far?
What is YOUR favorite film of the year so far? Did I miss any? Do you agree with my choices? Tell me below!