Since I'm now publishing some movie content (in case of a screenwriting career in 75 years), I thought I'd make public CinemAce rankings from the distant year of 2016.
A disclaimer at the top: I worked at Cinemark for a big chunk of 2016 and saw movies for free. Therefore, I saw quiiiiiiiiiite a few. I've never seen this many in a year and never will again.
1. Captain America: Civil War; A+
After 2015 CinemAce champion Avengers: Age of Ultron ended on a high note, you had to wonder how Marvel would set up a franchise defining conflict in Civil War, resolute it sufficiently before 2018's Infinity War, all the while (re)introducing Spider-Man and Black Panther and expanding on arcs for the rest of the roster, including the recently introduced Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch and Vision from 2015 and on and on. Well, they did it.
They, not just as in the indestructible Marvel Studios, but Anthony and Joe Russo showed why they were given the keys to Hollywood's most popular universe. After knocking The Winter Soldier (2014 CinemAce champion, the first year of records) out of the park, they arguably one-upped even themselves with Civil War and did a whole cast of characters, a good villain and the titular hero of Cap himself a great service, also fleshing out Iron Man even more as an incidental anti-hero and establishing Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes as a worthy heir to the vibranium shield.
It's a slam dunk of insane proportions and elevated Marvel's movie brand from top of the game to absolutely unstoppable.
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; A+
Mads Mikkelsen certainly had himself a fine holiday season. After playing adversary Kaecilius in Doctor Strange (stay tuned), he took on the extremely canonically important role of Galen Erso for Rogue One. The first non-episodic, anthology Star Wars feature film ever (that wasn't a holiday or animated picture) was doubted by many, fueling the "Disney is making these just to make them" narrative. Turns out, the aint’ers were a year early.
"Plagued" by rumors of set discord and drastic reshoots on director Gareth Edwards' (Godzilla, 2014) original cut, including a completely reshot ending, the odds seem stacked against even a Star Wars film. A billion dollars later, those rumors were all for not.
Not just financially successful (which was going to happen regardless given the title), Rogue One is an excellent addition to the canon --detailing how the rebellion got the Death Star plans and why they were able to exploit a weakness to begin with-- and also plays as a serious, gritty movie in a franchise that at its heart, is for kids.
3. Sing Street; A+
I expected to like Sing Street. I didn't expect to love it and have it become part of my cherished home video collection. The trailer had me more than intrigued, introducing both smashing hits "Drive It Like You Stole It" and "The Riddle of the Model" in the trailer. On top of that, Adam Levine (lead singer of my favorite active band, Maroon 5, for the uninitiated) composed an original song for the film, "Go Now," which is quite the tear inducer.
It's a feel good, coming-of-age movie with a dazzling soundtrack that largely flew under the radar outside of its Irish roots. Lucky for you it's never too late to see it!
4. Doctor Strange; A+
Marvel's other 2016 film was the third in the line of "eventual failures" for the studio, following in the footsteps of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 and Ant-Man in 2015. Not only did none of the movies fail, they are all bonafide, blockbuster hits. While the brand carries a lot of weight, these three in particular are genuinely terrific movies.
The same goes for Doctor Strange, which many said ripped off the mind-bending, world-tripping aspects of Inception, when in reality the Christopher Nolan film itself was inspired by the trippy Doctor Strange comics.
Anchored by Benedict Cumberbatch (whom Marvel delayed production by four months to ensure he could play the good doctor), other A-listers like mentor Tilda Swinton and the misunderstood villainy of Mads Mikkelsen round out a stellar cast and compliment a relentlessly exciting, creative movie. Michael Giacchino's eccentric score is spellbinding and no doubt helped him earn the Spider-Man: Homecoming gig two MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies later.
5. Eddie the Eagle; A+
Director Matthew Vaughn took a break from my beloved Kingsman franchise (CinemAce 2017's number one movie!) to produce Eddie the Eagle, a biopic about the famous British underdog skier. Starring his other universe's lead, Taron Egerton, as Eddie and coached up by a drunk, sleazeball American Hugh Jackman, the movie delivers as an inspirational true story about overcoming odds.
As suave as Egerton is as Eggsy, he's endearingly and remarkably dorky as Eddie. The movie has a wonderfully retro feel and like the other movies topping any of my lists, is so very fun to watch.
6. Hell or High Water; A+
Every Texan has to see a movie that shamelessly depicts the wild, wild, west region of this great state! HoHW rides on the back of Oscar-worthy performances from Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster and is a dramatic telling of real-world possibilities. Which makes it all the more terrifyingly real. Sicario writer Taylor Sheridan delivers once more and in 2017 would step into directing with the very, very good Wind River.
7. The Nice Guys; A+
Shane Black hits all the Shane Black buttons in this film. There's the opening monologue, the Christmas setting and the sarcastic, self-deprecating humor. And it's all glorious. A buffooning Ryan Gosling and the seasoned, straight-man act of Russell Crowe makes for a great team-up. A lot of legitimate laughs and a fun story fueled by two star actors, with Gosling in particular shining super bright.
8. Green Room; A+
Patrick Stewart as a racist, ruthless club owner? Why the hell not! Seriously, it's some riveting stuff. The late Anton Yelchin beams up from Scotty to the lead of a punk rock band looking for their big break. For now, that entails playing at a skinhead nightclub. Instead of their big break, they end up witnessing murder and sh*t frankly hits several fans from there. Not even slightly for young people.
9. Eye in the Sky; A+
Everyday around the world there are military acts done to combat terrorism that end up affecting innocent citizens. To see the specific workings of an airstrike detailed and broken down --and also witnessing Alan Rickman's final role-- is a humbling experience. One of the more emotional movies I’ve seen in recent years with impeccable attention to detail.
10. Don't Breathe; A+
About halfway through Don't Breathe, there's a, frankly, horrifying and disgusting revelation about Stephen Lang's character. The victim of a break-in attempt by three youngsters, he's a helpless blind man that you feel way too sorry for. It seems the movie knows this and throws you the curveball on Lang's character's dark side. Once that arrives, you're really rooting for nobody but appreciating a very tense movie.
11. The Autopsy of Jane Doe; A+
Somehow came across this little-known, low budget horror flick. Glad I did. In a year of tentpole scary movies, this one rightfully stands out. The recognizable face of Brian Cox is really good here.
12. The Conjuring 2; A+
While studios are desperately trying to build franchises out of their owned commodities (see: Warner Bros.' "Monsterverse" (off to a solid start) and Universal's already abandoned "Dark Universe"), James Wan has done it almost accidentally with The Conjuring, which has spawned two Annabelle spin-offs as well as the upcoming The Nun and The Crooked Man projects. As for the plain old sequel to the rare scary movie blockbuster, The Conjuring 2 is just as scary and just as compelling and well written as the first installment about the poltergeist-ing Warrens.
Also, that damn nun is a winner. (2018 edit: The Nun spinoff, though, not so much.)
13. Lights Out; A+
Four straight scary movies?! 2016 really was great.
Just on the heels of The Conjuring 2, Lights Out was the unknown property of the two and born out of a 2013 short film. Ironically, the effort landed director David F. Sandberg the Annabelle sequel, part The Conjuring universe in 2017. As for this film, it's equal parts thrilling, terrifying and also a pretty sophisticated look into mental illness. If not for that damn nun, it would probably be in 2016's top 10.
14. Star Trek Beyond; A+
Despite rave reviews, the modern Star Trek trilogy (2009, 2013 and 2016) never registered with the public. I suppose it doesn't have the kind of toy sale potential as Star Wars and is perhaps even too nerdy for young adults. Not to mention the original fans of the television show thought the J.J. Abrams reboot was too modern and featured way too much Beastie Boys.
I understand that, I do. There's a concerted effort to ground the space adventure in the films while also honoring its legacy. I thought it struck a good balance. Stark Trek Beyond --like the other two in the trilogy, this one directed by Justin Lin while Abrams graduated to Star Wars-- is a ton of fun and has equal amounts of impressive action, heart and character beats that warrant an A+ score.
15. The Hateful Eight; A+
Quentin Tarantino movies are not for everyone. The enigmatic director has creative liberty that most filmmakers spend decades trying to achieve and The Hateful Eight has a lot of the qualities that make Tarantino unique.
His signature action style, combined with his smart, witty writing and the usual standout cast results in another very long but very great film. (I will admit though I missed Christoph Waltz.)
16. Hunt for the Wilderpeople; A+
Another eccentric, eclectic, electric, perfectly constructed Taika Waititi comedy. Ricky Baker, happy birthday!
17. Deadpool; A+
The darling hit of the year. The underdog, R-rated, FOX superhero film that actually turned out great. After teasing comic book knucklehead Deadpool in 2009's X-Men: Origins --changing the character completely for some reason-- Ryan Reynolds reprised the role, this time actually getting what he signed up for.
The result? A lot of gruesome slashing and potty humor that won over audiences. I like Deadpool, I think he's fun. But I also think the nuts (heh, right?) and bolts of his character is dependent on low brow antics. Sometimes it’s nice to shut off the world and just roll with it.
18. Hush; A+
Unrelated to one of many terrific Jeph Loeb Batman graphic novels, Hush is a small-time project from director/editor Mike Flanagan (201'4’s Oculus among many other horror movies) and is personally one of his best. Home invasion horror movies always hit me right in the gut and this is no different.
19. The Jungle Book; A+
Returning to Disney after a bumpy Iron Man 2 experience in 2010, Jon Favreau embraces the motion capture technology as well as any director has this decade and delivers an incredibly realistic live action version of the famous animated movie. While I was never into The Jungle Book like I was Tarzan (stay tuned) or Lion King (Favreau's next task in 2019), seeing this movie seamlessly brought to life was a sight to behold.
20. Sully; A
Based on the incredible event itself —but also heavily focused on the immediate aftermath and strings attached to the miracle landing on the Hudson— Sully is given a superhuman boost by the incomparable Tom Hanks.
21. The Legend of Tarzan; A
The animated Tarzan film from 1999 is a childhood favorite of mine, if not the childhood favorite (see The Jungle Book excerpt above at number nine). So I was excited for a live action Tarzan. It's not nearly as good The Jungle Book and it tells a different story of an established Tarzan rather than starting from the top, and that was more miss than hit with fans and critics alike.
As a Tarzan superfan, I bought into the man-ape theatrics and the film is anchored by stellar performances from Alexander Skarsgärd, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz. Margot Robbie and Djimon Hounsou have less to do but are still extremely valuable additions to a very exciting movie, albeit without the benefit of Phil Collins.
22. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; A
Even though Popstar had a small cult audience from Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg's Lonely Island efforts, that seemed to be it. As a fan of Samberg's type of humor and his Lonely Island crew, I was on board for the ride. It doesn't really take 30 seconds to get to Mars and yes, you’ve been dope since you were born CONNer. Bonus points for including TLI collaborators Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake, as well as the perpetual rib-tickler Tim Meadows.
23. Triple 9; A
It's not unusual for me for like a movie more than I ought to because an actor of personal preference has a pivotal role. In this case, that's Anthony Mackie. A gum-chewing Casey Affleck and Mackie play distrusting partner cops, both skeptical of one another's motives and intentions as they look into an armed robbery. There's a lot of red in this movie. I like red. My sister says it’s not photograph-friendly though.
24. Kubo and the Two Strings; A
If not for working at a theater and seeing every movie for free regardless of expectation, this one might have slipped through the cracks. I'm sure glad it didn't. The extremely unique, paper airplane aesthetic had me intrigued and the excellent, emotionally enriched plot was a beautiful adjunct to the impressive animation. (In the credits, they show you a bit of the behind the scenes production, which was appreciated.)
25. Morgan; A-
Morgan came and went without a whimper but worry not, I saw it! And I really, really liked it. I like artificial intelligence stuff. Kate Mara plays a heartless company bigshot who doesn't much care for Toby Jones and Paul Giamatti's AI creation. A sentient girl named, you guessed it, Morgan. The twist might seem painfully obvious and taken many viewers out of the experience, but it got me!
26. 10 Cloverfield Lane; A-
A semi-sequel to the J.J. Abrams' found footage Cloverfield spectacle eight years prior, 10 Cloverfield Lane deals with the aftermath of the catastrophic carnage and outside of small moments that connect the narrative --including a pretty underwhelming ending-- it's mostly it's own thing. Which is okay and what we get is an intense, freaky John Goodman ride.
27. Batman: The Killing Joke ; B+
While the DCEU (DC Expanded Universe) has paled in comparison to the MCU, the animated superhero marketplace has been dominated by a slew of Jay Oliva DC films in recent years. However, he wasn't involved with The Killing Joke, based on the bestselling Batman-Joker graphic novel, and it showed.
Expanded upon the graphic novel to fit a wide release (through Fathom Events, it wasn't the usual straight-to-DVD format that animated movies utilize), a whole new subplot involving Batgirl was, let's go with regrettable. However, the legendary voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise Batman and Joker and that is must-see (listen-to?) stuff.
28. Money Monster; B+
A lot of movie releases go very unnoticed. Money Monster, despite starring George Clooney and being directed by Jodie Foster, was one of those. I'm not Wall Street guy but I do like money and I know that there are jerks who keep it from us common folk. When a common folk decides to do something about it...maybe even violently...you end up rooting for his intentions. The suspense was legitimate for me. Others may not share that sentiment.
29. Hidden Figures; B+
Behind every big accomplishment is a slew of names and faces that never get the recognition. For something as critical to human history as going to space (and beating those Russians!), it’s incredible to think there was such a story behind the space race involving race, gender and mathematics. The dazzling trio of Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae are good with calculation.
30. Ordinary World; B+
While Ordinary World might seem like it was made for Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong’s song of the same name to get some press —and admittedly the movie is nothing if not ordinary in terms of storytelling— it nevertheless becomes more with the original song plus another from Armstrong, who also puts in a surprisingly poignant performance as a 40-year old looking to put the fun (and music) back in his life.
31. Moonlight; B+
Controversial Oscar-winner for best picture (over La La Land) , Moonlight starts off hot riding the majestic acting talents of Mahershala Ali. The film is engaging throughout and I very much enjoy human tales, but Ali’s disappearance is nevertheless unfortunate. Still, all three actors who play the main character Chiron are spot-on in their performance and you can’t help but admire —and be weary of— the realism.
32. Keanu; B+
Similar to Popstar, there is a built-in fan base for these comics. Jumping from The Lonely Island to Key & Peele, the movie had a fan in me. My type of comedy fits in with Samberg, Key and Peele as opposed to say, the popular Kevin Hart or Charlie Day. No thanks there. Keanu is witty, creative and has an adorable star kitty cat.
33. London Has Fallen; B
If me liking this film puzzles you, I also shamelessly enjoyed its 2013 predecessor, Olympus Has Fallen.. I just really like seeing Gerard Butler kick some butt and the terrorist plot has this real world relevance to it that heightens the real fear of the story. I definitely blame Law Abiding Citizen for my enduring Butler love. Not to mention that I'm a fan of Butler University basketball. And butlers.
34. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; B
Before Marvel owned Hollywood, Harry Potter movies controlled the scene. Those movies are done (for now...) but the Fantastic Beasts franchise is just getting started. Eddie Redmayne is a fantastic lead and Dan Fogler is very underrated as his muggle BFF. Johnny Depp and Ezra Miller are each very interesting and while I have to say I was bored at times, the characters are extremely well written and it was a worthy 3D experience. (2018 edit: sequel FTL!)
35. Race; B
First off: awesome double entendre title. Second off, Stephan James is absolutely fant-frikkin-tastic as the great Jesse Owens. Saturday Night Live vet Jason Sudekis is surprisingly great as his Ohio State coach, too. Casting is not the movie’s problem, at all. (Also see Jeremy Irons and William Hurt. Race’s biggest issue is its indecision on whether to be a Jesse Owens story or a pre-World War II Nazi examination. It ends up doing a lot of both, but the best parts of the movie are whenever James is on screen.
36. Finding Dory; B
The long-awaited sequel to the beloved Finding Nemo, Dory isn't quite Nemo quality but Ellen Degeneres gives everything she has to the role and our forgetful, lovable fish is still just as 13 long years later.
37. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; B-
The most divisive movie of my lifetime (2017 edit: I guess until The Last Jedi), BvS was DC's answer to Marvel's Civil War. They actually tried to open on the same day as the MCU haymaker. They obviously blinked and moved to March and still smashed box office numbers, but the movie was absolutely torn to shreds by the world.
The DCEU tried to catch up to the MCU with one film. Marvel took their time and released five movies before they even did The Avengers. The plot of BvS was similar to Civil War in that it divided its iconic heroes. However, Marvel built up to Civil War with 12 movies over seven years! DC had only the solid at best Man of Steel from almost three whole years earlier to show for their universe.
The kitchen sink and Doomsday as well was thrown into Zack Snyder's film and the result, while still enjoyable for nerds like myself and enhanced by another great Hans Zimmer score (though the movie drove him out of the superhero genre), would prove to be a bloated mess. With Jolly Ranchers. The fact that a three hour, R rated cut exists tells you all you need to know about what was attempted here.
38. Jane Got a Gun: B-
Natalie Portman seems like a badass. In a good and bad way. I just hear that through the famous people hotline and I guess I'll believe it. I really enjoy her. Same with Joel Egerton and especially Ewan McGregor. Maybe it was the unofficial Star Wars prequel reunion or my fleeting interest in westerns, but I enjoyed Jane Got a Gun more than most. Like Popstar, it only lasted a week at my theatre, which as I said, is hard for even the worst movies to do.
39. Batman: Bad Blood; C+
Wrapping up the Damien Wayne trilogy, you obviously hope for a bang but Bad Blood barely looks like a descendant of the previous two movies. After two emotionally engaging films, the finale fails to round out the rare animated trilogy.
40. Jason Bourne; C+
This was the first movie I saw at Cinemark during the "Taste The Feeling" campaign and I can't help but think that downgraded the rating. I nearly quit on the spot. As for the movie, almost a decade after rounding out the Bourne trilogy (with an underappreciated Jeremy Renner adaptation in-between), Matt Damon returned to the role at long last. Probably for good this time.
41. Concussion; C+
I feel like the Will Smith film was intended to inspire a lot of actual discussion regarding the dangers of head injuries in football. Instead, it inspired a meme.
42. The Shallows; C+
Sharks are ****ing terrifying. Definitely because they're real. Unlike ghosts...right? Similar "logic" made The Purge a more relatable hit for me than for most and I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. Like, a shark is real. Goblins are not. The danger of a shark is real and Blake Lively needed our help.
43. Deepwater Horizon; C+
The second of three (2018 edit: four) Peter Berg-Mark Wahlberg partnerships (Lone Survivor in 2013, Patriots Day in 2017), Deepwater Horizon is based on the catastrophic oil spill at the titular location. It's admittedly slow-moving but the end result hits you right in the gut. Wahlberg, Dylan O'Brien, Kurt Russell and the gang are fantastic in a movie that lives or dies with its actors.
44. The Infiltrator; C+
I've never seen Breaking Bad. I've never seen Game of Thrones either so have your hate mail forwarded. As much as I love movies, I'm just as indifferent to television. But I've still seen enough clips through friends, as well as enough Malcolm in the Middle highlights to appreciate Bryan Cranston's seniority. He, Benjamin Bratt and John Leguizamo are a great 1-2-3 punch in The Infiltrator and it's a neat, true story, if not all that memorable.
45. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows; C+
An average movie, nothing more. But the turtles (and the inclusion of the cartoon's iconic theme song) are redeeming enough to give it a solid C+ grade. The attempt at building a TMNT franchise was for not. Carmelo Anthony is in this movie, though.
46. The Revenant; C+
People lost their minds for Leo Dicaprio's epic, cerebral film. It's not that I didn’t like it (though a C+ grade is not flattering), I just wasn't overly impressed. Maybe the overwhelming hype worked against the movie for me and yes, Dicaprio and bae Tom Hardy are terrific, but the movie literally crawls.
47. Hardcore Henry; C+
Hardcore Henry is, if anything, ambitious. An action movie viewed completely from first-person? I'll take a look. It's not like it was a first-person book club. The actual plot seemed cool enough, with a man waking up as some sort of half-robot assassin who tries to find his past girlfriend...or something. I'm still really not sure. Taking heavy cues from a video game shooter, the movie at least has an epic Queen scene...which was aptly used to sell the film.
48. Midnight Special; C
Sometimes an ending sucks the wind out of a movie. Midnight Special is a cinematic sight with great actors and a very cool, Superman-esque story, even casting Zod 2.0 in Michael Shannon. It gets a little too mystical, even for me, at the conclusion.
49. Purge: Election Year; C
Frank Grillo returns after underrated The Purge: Anarchy for another bout, this time protecting a Presidential candidate who wants to do away with the annual purge. Grillo is the movie’s strongest asset, one of the few, as any remanence of subtlety is ditched in the form of mercenaries wearing “white power” on their vests with swastikas.
50. Criminal; C
Ryan Reynolds-turned-Kevin Costner saves this movie from the dumpster. It seemed hastily made with little inspiration, but is still extremely well acted, especially by Costner.
51. La La Land; C-
A low score for the musical Oscar darling has absolutely nothing to do with its two leads. I adore both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Another duo, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, wrote the music for La La Land and then breakout hit The Greatest Showman a year later. As for the 2016 film, it goes for different notes and paints a romantic, fairy tale picture of Hollywood and dreams come true. If only.
52. X-Men: Apocalypse; C-
X-Men films never reached their potential. I blame poor casting. Outside of Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy and Ian McKellen/Michael Fassbender as Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto respectively, there have been a lot of poor casting choices at both ends of the jumbled X-Men timeline. A fan of the source material, I've still checked out every installment and liked a few. For example, each Wolverine solo movie has redeemable qualities, especially the 2013 and 2017 versions. Outside of Jennifer Lawrence's involvement, Matthew Vaughn's First Class gets high marks.
Days of Future Past was a huge hit in 2014 and marked a hopeful turning point and return to turn of the century form for Bryan Singer as the franchise's go-to man behind the camera. It also connected so very many plot holes and timeline gaps between the two different X-Men "eras" of continuity. Unfortunately, Apocalypse undid all the progress DoFP built. Bad casting, bad story and waste of the popular X-Men baddie Apocalypse and the portraying Oscar Isaac.
53. The Brothers Grimsby; D+
Sacha Baron Cohen is not for everyone, either. In fact, he's not for pretty much everyone. However, his efforts as Ali G granted him a lot of wiggle room with me. The Brothers Grimsby follows Cohen and Mark Strong, whom I really admire, as they get into preposterous situation after preposterous situation. It's...graphic. But a good chunk of it will get you laughing. Or at least me.
54. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi; D+
Based on the actual events that highlight Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, 13 Hours has some heartfelt moments and some pulsing action. The plot, a very important element for me, is meh at best. A Michael Bay production.
55. The 5th Wave; D+
I think I saw this just for Chloë Grace Moretz. A crack at the expiring young adult genre (just ask Divergent), The 5th Wave is decent enough if you see it like I did...for free.
56. The Magnificent Seven; D
Hollywood has been riding the remake wave for several years now, so we should have seen this coming. That's not a bad thing. It's a classic movie that could very well translate to the modern screen. With Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio starring as the four of the magnificent seven, I was hopeful.
In the end, it somehow manages to be boring for a shoot-em-up western and has some seriously lacking comedy. Whoever wrote Pratt's lines should be ashamed because they somehow made that hilarious gem of a human being unfunny.
57. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; D
I suppose the genre and supernatural unpredictability of Tim Burton had me intrigued. There are a lot of cool characters and visuals, but despite the quality of parts, the sum equals a pretty mediocre whole.
58. Nocturnal Animals; D
Great performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and especially Aaron Taylor-Johnson leave a lasting impression. The movie, though, doesn't.
59. Snowden; D-
Edward Snowden's story is absolutely fascinating, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the narcissistic titular character to a T. Still, it's not that good and you're really just waiting for the expected climax.
60. Suicide Squad; D-
Where Batman v Superman was divisive, Suicide Squad was going to redeem the good name of DC Comics pictures. After some seriously kickass trailers featuring some amazing music, drawing comparisons to the jaunty Guardians of the Galaxy film from two Augusts prior, Squad fell flat on its face as far as quality. Commercially, it was a huge hit, proving that comic book movies and Margot Robbie's buttocks are more than enough for a great many people.
I'm a big 30 Seconds to Mars fan and would love to give Jared Leto's Joker the benefit of the doubt, but that would just be foolish. He's horrible in this. Joel Kinnaman is horrible. Jai Courtney is even worse. Cara Delevingne is even worse. The story and CGI belong in a 1990s comic book effort, not in 2016 or even 2006.
61. Ouija: Origin of Evil; D-
A sort-of sequel to 2014's Ouija, this time the critics approved. Everyone's favorite aggregate(!) review site Rotten Tomatoes gave its predecessor a dreadful six percent mark, while the sequel received a shining 82 percent. I didn't really like the first one, yet liked it better than the second, which induced some yawns and phone checks.
62. Arrival; D-
Another movie critics and fans liked way, way better than me. Sicario helmer Denis Villeneuve earned a ton of awards for Arrival, but I found the movie full of hot air. On paper, it's extremely interesting but I didn't buy into the themes and hidden messages that people claim blew their minds.
63. The Accountant; D-
Months after Batman v Superman, the insane fallout of that movie bled into Ben Affleck's next picture. Completely ignoring the other movie, which has no bearing on this one, The Accountant shows Affleck as a flawed hitman with real life issues that affect his job as, you know, a hitman. At least I think. It was kind of hard to follow. There is literally a scene towards the end of the second act where J.K. Simmons just dumps a ton of expositional dialogue on the viewer. It's needed though. The final act with Affleck and Jon Bernthal is kind of laughable.
64. Swiss Army Man; D-
Not just an A for effort, but an A+. Daniel Radcliffe may be years removed from his Harry Potter fame, but he will always be shedding the typecast portfolio of the harry wizard. Swiss Army Man is balls to the wall crazy and does have some laughs. It's just so damn weird. That's the point, but I just wasn't into it.
65. Hail, Caesar!; D-
Rarely, no matter how bad a movie is and no matter how free it was, do I feel compelled to leave the theater before the end. Hail, Caesar! nearly broke my one rule. Outside of Josh Brolin's charisma, I just wasn't invested or interested in the least.
66. The Boy; F
I didn't like Swiss Army Man, but it wasn't an F. From here out, it's all F grades. And these movies deserve my furious wrath. The Boy had so much potential and a really cool premise. None of it pays off.
67. Now You See Me 2; F
The first Now You See Me in 2013 tried to pull a Sixth Sense in terms of a stunning revelation. Honestly, it was pretty badass. The magic trick heists are creative and A-listers like Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson spark the film. The second installment puts more on the shoulders of Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg and a re-cast Lizzy Caplan, and it's for not.
68. Independence Day: Resurgence; F
What a steaming pile of crap. This sequel actually doesn't exist.
69. The Other Side of the Door; F
Neither does this. I mean, it was never intended to be a hit but at least a decent scary movie. Not even a little bit.
70. The Witch; F
A24 productions are notorious for bringing indie hits to the big screen and they did the same with The Witch. Stellar reviews and even award season buzz circulated around the film, so naturally, I was curious to check it out.
Few movies feel as long as this one with so little happening. There's some underlying, magnificent meaning here that people are latching on to. I don't see it. At all. Also not scary.
71. The Forest; F
Another horrible, not scary scary movie. Based on events in the actual Aokigahara "Suicide" Forest in Japan, the only thing the movie kills is the viewer's belief in frightening cinema.
Let me know what you think in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter. I love discussing movies and I'd love to know where you all thought I was dead wrong or where you might agree.