December 31, 2016


Best Movies of 2016

Looking back at the movies in 2016. There were a few diamonds in the rough.

2016 was a worse that usual year for super hero films. The two from DC Comics and Warner brothers are miserable. The two from Marvel/Disney were about average. Fox, who opened the door to this genre with the original X–Men film, brought us one better than average and one excellent super hero film.

The Best:

  • Rogue One – some of the reviews for this film were surprisingly lukewarm or critical of the film. This seems pretty surprisingly unfair considering it really is a stellar entry into the Star Wars franchise.
  • Midnight Special – this one is tied for first place. This was a very interesting story that contained a lot of elements of the supernatural movies I loved as a kid.
  • Captain Fantastic – this might be the best movie I watched this year. Matt Ross, the actor who plays Gavin Belson in Silicon Valley, has written and directed a hilarious story about a family integrating with society after living in isolation. It's a beautifully filmed story of interesting people, with a powerful message about what really matters in life.
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane – I was a fan of the original Cloverfield so I was pretty shocked to hear that a sequel was in the works. This turned out to be even better than the first film, and far more frighting and intriguing.
  • Deadpool – I was completely shocked by how great was Deadpool. I went to see it with low expectations and what I watched was much better than I would have expected. Deadpool takes a lot of chances and it payed off very well. First of all, the movie is rated R, which is a big deal for a genre of films usually targeted to kids. Deadpool is most certainly not. It's very adult themed although filled with pretty juvenile humor. It works really well. You don't have to take anything too seriously because the main character and the movie itself takes nothing seriously.

Just OK:

  • Ghostbusters – the newest Ghostbusters film was pretty good but not great. But even accomplishing that is a pretty awesome achievement especially considering the huge expectations that were placed on this film. I think it could have worked a lot better as a sequel to the original films rather than a stand–alone reboot of the franchise. Really, a few tweaks of the script and it could have followed the events established in the original.
  • MCU films – Marvel/Disney brought us two pretty average entries to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Captain America Cival War, and Dr. Strange. These films were alright, but it seems that Marvel/Disney are playing it safe. The ending to Dr Strange was pretty great though. It will be intersting to see how that character interacts with the greater MCU.

Biggest Disappointments:

  • Passengers – Passengers felt like an episode of Sex in the City set in a space mall. On paper the film looked perfect: a great cast and an interesting idea. And the cast was great with perfect chemistry, it's just he story had no plot. It was almost so bad it crossed into the so–bad–its–good territory. It almost felt like it was a joke. I kept thinking: They couldn’t possibly expect us to take this seriously right? The occasional falling roomba helped to lend credibility to the idea that the movie was a prank.
  • Batman vs. Superman – everyone should have known this would be a bad movie. And it lived up to those terrible expectations. It was even worse than expected. I didn't bother to see Seaside Squad after the reviews came in, and knowing it was following the footsteps of this behemoth disaster.

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