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2016 in Movies: The Last Six Months

Updated on January 21, 2017
The Best of (the 2nd half of) 2016
The Best of (the 2nd half of) 2016

THE TOP 5
1. Manchester by the Sea (review)
"The film itself is a masterpiece of the highest order, a life-affirming effort that is equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. More than anything, though, it’s a simple ode to grief and loss and coping and making do."

2. Moonlight (review)
"With little to no star power, not a single explosion, and nary a special effect, it relies solely on dialogue and performances (and Jenkins’ own outstanding direction) to tell its story, and it does so flawlessly."

3. Hell or High Water (review)
"The story itself might be relatively standard among the cops-n-robbers genre, but the way Sheridan tells it makes it feel fresh and unique. Anchored by David Mackenzie’s sparse direction and lifted further by superb performances from Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water ends the summer as the best movie of the season."

4. Arrival (review)
"What may seem on the surface to be just another sci-fi flick about alien invaders is really everything but. It’s a film about language and loss. And communication and conflict. It’s everything Independence Day wasn’t. It takes the best parts of E.T. and fuses them with the highlights of Contact and still feels wholly original."

5. Kubo and the Two Strings (review)
"It’s not only leaps and bounds ahead of much of its recent animated brethren, be it Pixar, Illumination, or otherwise) but it also stands solidly among the best movies overall this year. Full of mind-blowing animation and exquisite design, Kubo and the Two Strings is a stunning achievement."

THE REST
6. Fences
7. The Edge of Seventeen
8. Rogue One
9. Nocturnal Animals
10. Lion
11. Loving
12. Hacksaw Ridge
13. La La Land
14. Deepwater Horizon
15. Moana
16. Doctor Strange
17. The Accountant
18. The Light Between Oceans
19. Star Trek Beyond
20. Sing
21. The Magnificent Seven
22. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years
23. Florence Foster Jenkins
24. Nerve
25. Trolls
26. Kevin Hart: What Now?
27. The Girl on the Train
28. Bad Moms
29. Sausage Party
30. Jason Bourne
31. Storks
32. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
33. Pete's Dragon
34. The Secret Life of Pets
35. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
36. Snowden
37. Ghostbusters
38. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
39. Allied
40. Office Christmas Party
41. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
42. Keeping Up with the Joneses
43. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
44. Masterminds
45. Sully
46. Mechanic: Resurrection
47. War Dogs
48. Ice Age: Collision Course

THE BOTTOM 5
49. The Wild Life (review)
"There’s very little in the way of comedy that’s even grin-worthy (for kids and adults), but there’s pratfalls a-plenty. And the interminable cat-fight finale is so lengthy and so frenzied that even a kid hopped up on Coke and Twizzlers would scream, 'Uncle!'"

50. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (review)
"The fight scenes here are amateurish, and the film’s pace makes a stop-and-go traffic jam feel like a smooth ride on a freshly paved street. Overall it's reminiscent of a B-movie that was too lousy to even warrant straight-to-DVD status."

51. Inferno (review)
"At several points during the film, you can almost see Hanks and Jones wonder what they got themselves into, as they spout gravitas-laden bon mots like 'Dante’s Inferno isn’t fiction, it’s a prophecy!' And as likeable as the two actors are, it’s painful to see them stuck in garbage like this."

52. Passengers (review)
"With the glaring abandonment of moral questions in the second half of the film, Passengers becomes an unbridled, easy-way-out, cheat of a movie. Perhaps no other film this year can boast such wasted potential (and high hopes), as it crumbles under the weight of its lousy (and icky) script."

53. Suicide Squad (review)
"Suicide Squad is full of so many ridiculous, lazy moments, you’ll think (or hope) that someone is just playing a joke on us. But I’m guessing the only people laughing are the folks at Marvel, who are having a grand ol’ time reveling in the fact that DC did the impossible-- they made their god-awful Batman v Superman look like award-worthy masterpiece in retrospect."

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