2016 is now half over which means it’s time to look back at the best of what we’ve seen released so far this year. The list includes four super-hero films, a few unrepentant killers, three animated movies, five sequels, one Oscar winner, and two appearances from the Dark Knight Detective (although not from his disappointing big-screen battle with the Big Blue Boy Scout). So, what made the list? Here are the Best Movies of 2016 so far…
This is the only “vs” super-hero movie you will see on the list. The first of two animated features from DC Comics to be included here throws Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan) onto the Teen Titans for an adventure which pits the sidekicks against the Justice League when the major DC heroes are possessed by the demon Trigon (Jon Bernthal). DC fans should enjoy this one. Read the full review.
Another super-hero movie to kick-off the list? While not as strong as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, its sequel did have its moments including the introduction of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a terrific appearance by Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). The impossibly-convoluted plot of the film’s villain (Daniel Brühl) hurts its ranking a bit here, but this one certainly lived up to the hype. Read the full review.
Elle Fanning stars as the new “it girl” in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s dark metaphor for how the modeling industry devours itself. Bizarre and divisive (some of you are going to hate this movie when you see it), the film certainly isn’t for everyone. However, if you have a hankering for something different than the usual summer fare, this amazingly-shot film by cinematographer Natasha Braier may be just the thing. Read the full review.
The second DC animated feature to make the list, Batman: Bad Blood combines one of favorite recent Batman arcs (Dick Grayson‘s stint as Batman) with one I actually can’t stand at all (Grant Morrison’s Leviathan storyline). Yet somehow the results are a hell of a lot of fun. When Batman (Jason O,Mara) goes missing the cowl falls to Nightwing (Sean Maher) along with the responsibility to deal with a new vigilante in Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) and a familiar enemy in the League of Assassins. Read the full review.
Released to little fanfare in the dead of winter to far too few cities, director Justin Kurzel‘s film featuring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in two of William Shakespeare’s most famous roles is a worthy adaptation of the source material. Read the full review.
5. Finding Dory
Albeit with a very similar set-up to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory outshines the original as this time around the focus is on the Pacific regal blue tang suffering from short-term memory loss (Ellen DeGeneres) and her quest to be reunited with her parents. Throw in Ed O’Neill as a scene-stealing octopus and you’ve got the makings of a darn good sequel. Read the full review.
It may not be Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, but Shane Black‘s 70s buddy action-comedy is the next best thing when professional thug Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) with drunk private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) are thrown together to solve a porn star’s murder. Read the full review.
3. The Revenant
One could certainly argue the movie that finally earned Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar should be higher on the list. Released in most markets after New Year’s Day, writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s tale of survival and revenge is a damn fine film which earns its spot on the list. The only thing its missing is the chance that I’ll sit down and watch it again anytime soon. It’s a grueling movie experience which rewards the viewer, but not enough to keep this one coming back for more. Read the full review.
Our final super-hero film on the list is one of most perfectly realized adaptations I’ve seen. This is the Deadpool movie that no one believed we would actually get. Kudos to Ryan Reynolds for not letting this project die and to Fox for letting the character earn his hard R and all the wacky fourth-wall-breaking violence that comes with it. Read the full review.
Our top movie on the list is a sequel (of sorts) to a movie I didn’t particularly care for. More old school Twilight Zone thriller than shaky-cam monster movie this time around, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a terrific thriller with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing just how things will turn out for the kidnapped/rescued young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who awakes in an underground bunker only to be told that the world as she knows it has come to an end. Read the full review.