Movies that Defined 2016

The list below is completely subjective, based on my personal opinion. If my idea of a good movie does not align with yours, keep calm, it is not the end of the world.

My list is not in order. It is not really possible for me to judge an animated Disney film the same way as a comic book movie. These are just a few films that I recommend to watch before the year is over.

Also, I have not watched all of the movies that have come out this year. Please understand that I am a half-broke college student like the rest of you.

Thank you.

Captain America: Civil War – Marvel’s next step in the cinematic Universe is a strong one that resonates even half a year later.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – While not quite up to the Marvel standard, Dawn of Justice shows a strengthening trend to DC’s offerings, and builds a foundation for more.

Suicide Squad – This DC film continues the trend above, this time with strong aesthetic choices that create a coherent package of uncoherent characters.

X-Men: Apocalypse – The offbeat super hero series, X-Men manages to shy away from the massive budget spectacle of mainline Marvel movies and trends to more set piece storytelling, complete with a stellar cast.

Lights Out – One of the best horror movies this year, Lights Out is easily recommended for late night movie sessions.

Finding Dory – Pixar proves that it can continue a franchise with a sequel no one expected. Finding Dory is a beautiful story that is immensely rewatchable amidst its humor and personality.

Deadpool – Premiering last February, it’s hard to remember that 2016 kicked off with Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds played the hero just as intended, and fans appreciated Deadpool’s personality brought to life.

Doctor Strange – The most recent Marvel film, Doctor Strange closed out 2016 with the best visual effects in the series to date, and that’s a high bar. Doctor Strange is another entry in the Marvel franchise that feels less essential to the overarching plot threads but valuable nonetheless.

Arrival (not The Arrival) – Arrival impressed with an original storyline that touched on a lot of the anxieties in modern life through a safe sci-fi wrapper. Definitely worth seeing for anyone interested in a solid suspense movie from this year.

The Conjuring 2 – Not much needs to be said about The Conjuring 2. The movie continues the franchise’s excellent track record with horror, though we aren’t sure if the formula will hold up for a third film when the time comes.

The Shallows – The Shallows uses some neat techniques to tell an older story, resurrecting a genre of shark attack movies that has been largely absent. This isn’t Jaws, but it is a fun modern take on an older type of film.

Jason Bourne – The now classic action franchise is back, and this time with noticeable less shaky cam. The older films were plagued by shaky cam, a terrible technique used to add action and drama to a scene. The new one cuts back and is noticeably stronger for it, letting the character and plot shine a bit more.

Hardcore Henry – Hardcore Henry isn’t for everyone, but it is a very special type of movie that could easily be your favorite for the year. The first person perspective changes up so much that the lackluster story and plot can be forgiven, unless the gimmick doesn’t strike you, in which case its all the more glaring.

Hush – This thriller is centered on two main concepts, a fear of home invasion and a deaf protagonist. Both of these facets make for an film that will leave you feeling uncomfortable in grimy in the way only the best movies can.

The Magnificent Seven – With an all-star cast, this revival of the western is focused more on the action and character than the plot. It’s a fun movie to check out with friends, and something to have on while doing something else over the holidays.

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