Movies Released in 2016 That I've Seen

by Barloq | created - 31 Jan 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Movies I've seen from 2016, ranked from best to worst.

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1. Silence (I) (2016)

R | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, History

79 Metascore

In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano

Votes: 84,223 | Gross: $7.08M

If the idea of a movie about exploring faith in the midst of suffering doesn't turn you off of the whole premise, then Silence is an incredibly powerful, thought-provoking film. Martin Scorsese does a great job directing the film, and Andrew Garfield leads a very talented cast to bring 17th century Japan to life... in very disturbing fashion no less. It is probably not everyone's cup of tea, and it may be a little slow for some peoples' liking, but Scorsese has put together a real emotional tour de force. In my opinion, it blows his previous religious effort, The Last Temptation of Christ, out of the water with a far more nuanced story, stronger performances and more mature direction.

2. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

Political involvement in the Avengers' affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan

Votes: 564,941 | Gross: $408.08M

I don't know how they managed it, but Marvel have somehow taken what looked like it was going to be an overstuffed disaster and made the absolute best film in the MCU to date. Brimming with complex internal politics and with some stellar action sequences to keep the masses happy, Civil War's real secret weapon is the characters - they're fun to watch and we really, really care about them all, making it even more heartbreaking to see them tear each other to pieces (and wisely, the film opts to capitalize on this heartbreak rather than defer to an external threat unlike, say, Batman v Superman...). Civil War is easily the best and most ambitious film in the MCU and I have no idea how they're going to be able to live up to it from here onwards.

3. Don't Breathe (2016)

R | 88 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn't as helpless as he seems.

Director: Fede Alvarez | Stars: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto

Votes: 184,216 | Gross: $89.22M

Don't Breathe is an exceptionally well-crafted horror-thriller which will leave you on the edge of your seat, as they say. The way that the film establishes setting early on is very strong, but the real strength is in how Fede Alvarez drags out the tension in every single scene without making any single situation go on too long - the sheer number of inventive situations that the filmmakers craft out of the film's premise is truly astounding. Between this and Evil Dead, Fede Alvarez has proven himself to be a new force in the horror genre, perhaps giving James Wan a fight for the crown of "king of horror" if he can keep this up. Seriously, see this film.

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

The daughter of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to steal the Death Star plans.

Director: Gareth Edwards | Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen

Votes: 471,948 | Gross: $532.18M

As much as I enjoy The Force Awakens, it is hobbled by some pretty major weak points in the latter half of the film which diminish the overall experience. In contrast, Rogue One is solid overall and only gets better as it goes on. It is also very different from what Star Wars usually feels like, but being an anthology film rather than a full episode, somehow this feels fine. There are some absolutely inspired moments of fan service which literally had me squealing with glee - if you love Star Wars, then you will probably have a great time.

5. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

PG | 101 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

84 Metascore

A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

Director: Travis Knight | Stars: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes

Votes: 104,468 | Gross: $48.02M

Kubo is a really gorgeous and heart-breaking film, oftentimes simultaneously. The title, while strange at first, is actually really effective once you realize what it refers to. Really, I don't want to say too much to spoil the film, just trust me when I say see it.

6. A Silent Voice (2016)

Not Rated | 130 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

A young man is ostracized by his classmates after he bullies a deaf girl to the point where she moves away. Years later, he sets off on a path for redemption.

Director: Naoko Yamada | Stars: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yûki, Kenshô Ono

Votes: 23,507

A Silent Voice is a very powerful anime with some fantastic direction and challenging writing that goes in unexpected ways. It also doesn't fall into anime cliches or get overly melodramatic, so it's a worth watching even if you don't normally enjoy this sort of feature.

7. Arrival (II) (2016)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

A linguist works with the military to communicate with alien lifeforms after twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 507,539 | Gross: $100.55M

Dennis Villeneuve has quickly become one of the most exciting current directors in Hollywood for me, and Arrival further cements that feeling. It mainly revolves around alien linguistics and the finer points of communication, and if that sounds boring to you then you would be pleasantly surprised. The film also holds some pretty staggering surprises in its narrative, although I do feel like it is a little too "convenient" at times. That said, any issues the film does have are pretty minor, especially when considering that I couldn't stop thinking about it in the days after watching it. That alone is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

8. Doctor Strange (2016)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

72 Metascore

While on a journey of physical and spiritual healing, a brilliant neurosurgeon is drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong

Votes: 497,637 | Gross: $232.64M

I'm not sure how Marvel manages it, but nearly all of their superhero flicks soar at a time when their competition seems to be struggling to attain any level of success. For course, Doctor Strange is no stranger here, offering another very strong entry in the MCU which will no doubt have major implications on the upcoming Infinity War, but also into the future beyond that. It also keeps things fresh by offering a new perspective on this world, with some absolutely gorgeous visual effects stealing the show. As always though, the characters aren't lost in the shuffle and provide the rock solid foundation upon which everything else is built.

9. Zootopia (2016)

PG | 108 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

78 Metascore

In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush | Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate

Votes: 378,605 | Gross: $341.27M

Zootopia is extremely clever and well-written, managing to be extremely entertaining for both kids and adults. The film's racial and gender allegories are also very well-written, well-handled and absolutely central to the film, which makes this movie even more relevant. In fact, I would be shocked if this film doesn't go down as one of the defining animated films of the decade, kind of like how Team America defined the Bush-administration with scathing aplomb. If it weren't for the weak 3rd act, this could have easily managed to be my favourite film of the year, but as it is, it's still a fantastic experience.

10. Deadpool (2016)

R | 108 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

65 Metascore

A wisecracking mercenary gets experimented on and becomes immortal but ugly, and sets out to track down the man who ruined his looks.

Director: Tim Miller | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein

Votes: 810,459 | Gross: $363.07M

Deadpool is hilarious and a really fun time at the movies, mainly due to Ryan Reynolds' obvious love and understanding of what exactly makes the character so damned appealing. Hell, even Ed Skrein was great as the face-punchingly smug villain. The action is visceral and the humour is deliciously juvenile. The only real major flaw is that the "origin story" trappings get really dour and drawn out as they go along, sucking a lot of fun out of the film's momentum in the process. Still, Deadpool will hopefully provide another breath of fresh air to the superhero subgenre and entice studios to take some more "risks" with their properties.

11. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

76 Metascore

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

Director: Dan Trachtenberg | Stars: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr., Douglas M. Griffin

Votes: 258,021 | Gross: $71.90M

This film is very suspenseful and well-made, especially considering that it's largely set in a single location for its runtime. The cast is perfect and the narrative moves along at a good pace, always causing you to second guess things and leaving you wondering exactly what will happen. The ending was slightly disappointing in my opinion, as is the lack of any real direct connection to Cloverfield, but all-in-all 10 Cloverfield Lane is an edge-of-your-seat thriller and a great way to spend an evening.

12. The Witch (2015)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery

83 Metascore

A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.

Director: Robert Eggers | Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Julian Richings

Votes: 151,222 | Gross: $25.14M

The Witch is a very gorgeously-shot and directed film with some great performances and a very encompassing, creepy atmosphere. It also captures the disturbingly overwhelming religiosity of 1600s New England very effectively, while also being very true to the folklore of the era (yes, the Puritans/Pilgrims believed that the wilds were full of demons and witches, and that the Devil lurked in the New World). However, be aware that this movie is very slow-paced and more about suspense and atmosphere rather than outright frights, although when the frights do come the results tend to be very unexpectedly shocking. I also wasn't a big fan of the way that the movie ended, the conclusion didn't feel "earned" in my opinion and was rather abrupt. I don't think it's destined to be a classic, but The Witch is a very suspenseful and unsettling family-drama - I just think that it could have done with some tightening up (particularly in the ending) to be a real masterpiece.

13. Green Room (2015)

R | 95 min | Horror, Music, Thriller

79 Metascore

A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier | Stars: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Patrick Stewart

Votes: 89,453 | Gross: $3.22M

Green Room is a very tense thriller which does its best to subvert the audience's expectations at every turn and leave you unable to predict exactly what is going to happen next. The set-up is quite simple but works well, with some strong performances anchoring us, despite no one being particularly sympathetic. The film is also pretty brutal once the chaos boils over, with more than a couple happenings leaving me cringing. All-in-all, Green Room is a strong thriller, it's just too bad that it had to be one of Anton Yelchin's last films as well.

14. Hush (I) (2016)

R | 82 min | Horror, Thriller

67 Metascore

A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.

Director: Mike Flanagan | Stars: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan

Votes: 77,619

Hush is a very effective horror film, especially considering that it's basically just a stripped-down version of a standard slasher/home invasion movie, with the sole twist being that the protagonist is deaf and mute. However, this is enough to make the film uniquely intense and more plausible than these sorts of movies usually are. Additionally, the intensely creepy performance of John Gallagher Jr really elevates what could have been a boring villain to something truly sinister and captivating.

15. Star Trek Beyond (2016)

PG-13 | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

The crew of the USS Enterprise explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy, who puts them, and everything the Federation stands for, to the test.

Director: Justin Lin | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana

Votes: 208,145 | Gross: $158.85M

Star Trek Beyond is a surprisingly strong entry in the franchise, one which I think a lot of people had written off prematurely. It plays out basically like a very expensive, full-length version of an episode of the Original Series, with some great character focus at its core. In that way, it's much more faithful to the spirit of the series than the previous 2 Trek films, which focused a little too much on creating an "epic" storyline with galactic stakes. I must say, the "Sabotage" scene might have been one of the best scenes I've seen all year. Ultimately, Beyond is just incredibly entertaining and should hopefully portent great things for the series' future.

16. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

R | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother raising 4 children alone in a house plagued by a supernatural spirit.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O'Connor

Votes: 191,486 | Gross: $102.47M

Somewhat surprisingly, The Conjuring 2 is a solid sequel which is still very much in the vein of 70s ghost story horror. In that same "spirit" as those sorts of films, The Conjuring 2 doesn't change the formula up too much from the original film, although this isn't a knock against the film, as it remains as good as ever. The only major complaint I have is that, similar to the first film, the ending is both rushed and over the top, making the efforts of believably in the earlier acts hard to swallow. Adding the real audio tapes over the end credits was particularly haunting though, and a great touch.

17. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 361,059 | Gross: $67.21M

Andrew Garfield is having a hell of a year between Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, carving out a dramatic, theological/philosophical niche for himself. He puts in a pretty great performance in Hacksaw Ridge, although I do feel like the film is slightly let-down by the screenplay, which defers to cliche and leaves out a lot of the even more ridiculously brave things Doss actually accomplished to get his Medal of Honor. I also think the film makes a mistake by not revealing Doss's status as a conscientious objector until nearly 1/3 of the film is over. These issues dampen the film a bit for me, but aren't crippling.

18. Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

In 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business by inviting an evil presence into their home, not realizing how dangerous it is.

Director: Mike Flanagan | Stars: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso, Henry Thomas

Votes: 46,530 | Gross: $34.90M

Even up to the moment I sat down in the theater, I thought that this movie looked like total garbage, even in spite of all the positive buzz it was getting. I'll admit though, this movie shocked me with how good it ended up being. It has some dumb moments and isn't particularly original, but it is definitely effective and very well done. A shame that it's basically little more than a board game advertisement, but if only all advertisements could be this solid then we might not complain.

19. Eddie the Eagle (2015)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Director: Dexter Fletcher | Stars: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tom Costello, Jo Hartley

Votes: 74,301 | Gross: $15.79M

An enjoyably quirky little biopic about one of the most enjoyable oddballs in sports history. Taron Egerton puts in a really fine performance as Eddie, which helps highlight that he's a truly talented young actor with quite the future ahead of him.

20. War Dogs (2016)

R | 114 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

57 Metascore

Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.

Director: Todd Phillips | Stars: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Steve Lantz, Gregg Weiner

Votes: 152,343 | Gross: $43.02M

War Dogs is a fun crime drama that toes the line between plausible and ridiculous, between critical of its protagonists and glorifying them. Pretty much every element is strong, but particular praise must be given to Mile Teller and Jonah Hill's performances, which keep everything fun and engaging throughout.

21. Derren Brown: Pushed to the Edge (2016 TV Special)

TV-MA | 68 min | Reality-TV

Derren Brown investigates the power of compliance by persuading a member of the public into believing that they have pushed someone to their death.

Director: Jon Richards | Stars: Ben Adams, Derren Brown, Tom Carter, Heather Ashley Chase

Votes: 2,799

The Push makes for a compelling and elaborate social experiment, which will leave you guessing until the end (and then beyond that too). It's more than a little elaborate, and perhaps tips things in its favour where the results should be obvious, but the best part is that it's trying to instil a lesson about being aware of ourselves.

22. 13 Hours (2016)

R | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

48 Metascore

During an attack on a U.S. compound in Libya, a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, David Denman

Votes: 102,546 | Gross: $52.85M

Honestly, I was expecting this movie to be utter *beep* but I was pleasantly surprised. For a Michael Bay flick, it is very restrained and reasonably mature. The action scenes were also very intense, reminding me quite a bit of Black Hawk Down (although they are, at times, edited very incoherently). My main issue with the film however is how it is written - basically, the whole thing feels like utter *beep* because the soldiers are always portrayed as geniuses while everyone else is portrayed as an utter dumb ass for absolutely no good reason. Furthermore, I really couldn't tell who the characters were or what was going on during more than one instances. That said though, the movie was far better than I was expecting, and is worth seeing just for the great action scenes.

23. Banking on Bitcoin (2016)

TV-PG | 90 min | Documentary, History, News

Bitcoin is the most disruptive invention since the Internet, and now an ideological battle is underway between fringe utopists and mainstream capitalism. The film shows the players who are defining how this technology will shape our lives.

Director: Christopher Cannucciari | Stars: Wences Casares, Nathanial Popper, Gavin Andresen, Naomi Brockwell

Votes: 3,183

Banking on Bitcoin is a rather fascinating documentary about the development and history of Bitcoin. The film itself remains mostly neutral on the subject, which I liked, although it only gives voice to the libertarians and businessmen who believe in it, so one should exercise some discernment while watching it. It does present some interesting cases on the pros and cons of virtual currency and whether it needs regulation, which makes for an engrossing documentary if the subject matter sounds in any ways intriguing.

24. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)

R | 92 min | Comedy

58 Metascore

When their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there, Mac and Kelly team with their former enemy, Teddy, to bring the girls down.

Director: Nicholas Stoller | Stars: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz

Votes: 101,540 | Gross: $55.29M

Neighbours 2 isn't quite as fresh as the original, mainly because it's very obviously trying to be more over-the-top than its predecessor, but it still carries the key ingredients which made the original so likeable, while adding some new elements into the pot. In particular, teaming Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron together makes for plenty of laughs. Like the original, the film also has plenty of heart and the premise is actually pretty well-thoughtout, well-researched and lends the film some very serious stakes.

25. Gold (I) (2016)

R | 120 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.

Director: Stephen Gaghan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll

Votes: 49,984 | Gross: $7.22M

Gold is a reasonably-entertaining film, although it is unfortunately hobbled by the usual true story drama weakness of going through the plot beats without making them feel really meaningful. It's certainly a watchable film, it just doesn't stand out.

26. The Purge: Election Year (2016)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

Former Police Sergeant Barnes becomes head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night due to her vow to eliminate the Purge.

Director: James DeMonaco | Stars: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria

Votes: 79,424 | Gross: $79.00M

Election Year is certainly a very timely film, but the strong emphasis hamfisted, unsubtle and rather stupid politics sucks a lot of the fun out of what should have been a sure-thing after the series seemed to hit its stride with Anarchy. The movie also kind of wastes Frank Grillo's Leo - most of the best scenes revolve around him doing something cool, but there just isn't enough street-level carnage. The performances are also really strange at time, although the candy bar psycho was so (I suspect intentionally) bad that she turned it around and is arguably my favourite part of the movie. Anyway, I hope that the next Purge movie just goes back to the basics of what makes this series so interesting - 12 hours of legalized crime. We don't need the political window-dressing, we just want to watch the world burn.

27. The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

44 Metascore

Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Director: David Yates | Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens, Christoph Waltz

Votes: 148,791 | Gross: $126.64M

There are a lot of crappy things in The Legend of Tarzan - the CGI is generally poor, Alexander Skarsgård is incredibly bland as Tarzan, Margot Robbie is wasted on Jane, and the central plot isn't nearly as epic as the film seems to want it to come across. However, it all started to grow on me a little towards the end due to the clear thought and sincerity which went into the film. The filmmakers put a lot of thought into trying to update Tarzan to a modern audience and excise the traditional racism and sexism of the original text... the results aren't exactly positive in that regard though, which makes me wonder why people so concerned with such subject would even bother touching this property in the first place.

28. All I See Is You (2016)

R | 109 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

43 Metascore

A blind woman's relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Ahna O'Reilly, Miquel Fernández

Votes: 7,789 | Gross: $0.22M

There is definitely ambition to All I See is You, but it suffers from a lack of forward motion and a lot of meandering. There are lots of interesting ideas and the cinematography is very stylish, portraying visual impairment within a visual medium in a compelling manner. It's too bad the execution and the script itself couldn't have been tighter, because all the components for a great film are here, which makes the hollow end product more tragic.

29. Sausage Party (2016)

R | 89 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.

Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Alistair Abell

Votes: 157,643 | Gross: $97.66M

I really like Seth Rogen's brand of humour, and while I wasn't too keen on Sausage Party at the start, it really began to win me over in the second half. This is mainly due to its story, which is way more clever than it has any right to be. While the film begins with an overemphasis on vulgarity for cheap laughs, it ends up becoming a satire of society and belief, which is way more than anyone would expect from a movie like this. The second half also has some pretty ridiculous carnage which makes it particularly enjoyable. All-in-all, it's a really dumb movie that isn't going to resonate with everyone, but if you like Seth Rogen's brand of humour, then you'll probably find something to enjoy here.

30. The Shallows (2016)

PG-13 | 86 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

59 Metascore

A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra | Stars: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Joseph Salas

Votes: 105,595 | Gross: $55.12M

The Shallows is anchored by a great lead performance by Blake Lively. It's at its absolute best when it's about figuring out how to survive against the odds. However, the killer shark movie elements are just ridiculous in an otherwise-serious film. I caught myself laughing at how ridiculous the shark was acting over and over again, which is too bad - with a bit more even tone, this could have been an absolute nail-biter. As it is, it's just enjoyable.

31. Jason Bourne (2016)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Thriller

58 Metascore

The CIA's most dangerous former operative is drawn out of hiding to uncover more explosive truths about his past.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel

Votes: 189,035 | Gross: $162.43M

I count the original Bourne trilogy amongst my favourite action movies of all time, so with that in mind I was profoundly disappointed by just how limp Jason Bourne is. The Greek protest set piece was classic Bourne action, but after that the film meanders quite uneventfully until the admittedly explosive and exciting finale. The film ditches a lot of the thrills and intrigue which made Bourne entertaining even when he wasn't punching the *beep* out of somebody or getting into a spectacular car chase. The movie isn't terrible, and it's better than Legacy, but not by much, but it's hardly a worthy successor to its predecessors.

32. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

PG-13 | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

In the 1980s the X-Men must defeat an ancient all-powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur, who intends to thrive through bringing destruction to the world.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult

Votes: 349,474 | Gross: $155.44M

I kind of enjoyed Apocalypse, but it is definitely a step back down after the major successes of First Class and Days of Future Past (which is arguably the best film in the franchise). The biggest issues all seem to stem from the script, which juggles a half dozen disparate, half-baked plot threads which don't seem to gel with one another very well until they just get mashed into an explosive finale. A lot of people are complaining about Oscar Isaacs' Apocalypse, and while he didn't get much to work with, I thought he was quite intimidating and his lack of personality fit a character so powerful that he just doesn't care about anyone around him. Psylocke was also super cool, but unfortunately, basically everyone else isn't given much to make us care about them too much (they really tried with Magneto, but the motivations we're given don't make his actions make any sense). All-in-all, it's a good time at the movies, but deeply flawed, putting it around the middle-of-the-pack for the X-Men franchise. Oh, and ***MAJOR SPOILER ALERT*** the ending was a total cop-out. "Wow will we defeat this person who is stronger than all of us! Oh, I know, we'll have someone even stronger destroy them single-handedly, perfect!"

33. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Thriller

47 Metascore

Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper

Votes: 120,347 | Gross: $58.70M

I really enjoyed the first Jack Reacher, which took a different sort of approach to the modern grounded action thriller. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back isn't too far from the original, but the writing and direction really let it down. All of the cast are giving their A-game, but the writing is extremely cliched and the direction makes the entire affair feel about as consequential as an episode of NCIS. It's just thoroughly mediocre, which is too bad because the people in front of the camera are clearly doing their best with the material provided.

34. Cabin Fever (2016)

R | 99 min | Horror

14 Metascore

While visiting their getaway cabin, five friends succumb to a flesh-eating disease.

Director: Travis Zariwny | Stars: Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis, Nadine Crocker

Votes: 7,775

Taken on its own merits, Cabin Fever is a rather tense and nasty horror flick, although it doesn't really stand out and is hobbled by characters who you don't really care for at best, or who you wish would die at worst. On the other hand though, this is also a remake of a film which wasn't particularly great in the first place, but at least it had its memorable moments due to its campy tone. The remake is far more serious, so while I feel like it might actually be technically more successful as a horror film, it is also leaves no impression, especially compared to Roth's original. The fact that basically nothing has changed from the original just renders this remake kind of pointless.

35. Blair Witch (2016)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

47 Metascore

After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

Director: Adam Wingard | Stars: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott

Votes: 36,524 | Gross: $20.78M

Blair Witch tries to one-up its predecessor by bringing in more cameras, new technology (Drones! Helmet cams!) and a much larger cast. However, it is unfortunately short on distinct characters or fresh ideas, which basically makes this feel like a lesser retread of the original film.

36. Morgan (2016)

R | 92 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

48 Metascore

A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

Director: Luke Scott | Stars: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Michael Yare

Votes: 35,017 | Gross: $3.91M

Morgan is pretty run-of-the-mill as far as sci-fi thrillers go - too light on brains, but the action isn't exciting enough to make up for that either. The film could have been a lot worse though, but for everything it does wrong (eg, a certain escape that had me laughing at the building engineers), it gets something else very much right (Paul Giamatti's entire time on screen, and the admittedly clever ending). All-in-all, it's just rather rote.

37. Suicide Squad (2016)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

40 Metascore

A secret government agency recruits some of the most dangerous incarcerated super-villains to form a defensive task force. Their first mission: save the world from the apocalypse.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis

Votes: 526,588 | Gross: $325.10M

Suicide Squad is a disappointment. While it's better than the monumentally disastrous Batman v Superman, the film is still suffering some of the game issues. In particular, the editing definitely lets the film down in the first half, spending too long on some characters' origins, giving others absolutely nothing to do, cutting important plot details (such as what the hell the Squad's actual mission is), etc. Oh, and Warner Bros' overbearing meddling strikes again, in particular with the inclusion of The Joker here. I'm torn on Leto's performance, but it's hard to deny that every second he's on screen is literally time wasted - he does absolutely nothing to advance the plot, and actively grinds it to a halt at times. On the plus side, I liked most of the characters in the film, but they're just not given enough to do, and most are completely wasted (particularly Enchantress, Kitana and Captain Boomerang).

38. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

PG-13 | 151 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

44 Metascore

Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg

Votes: 571,371 | Gross: $330.36M

As you're probably well aware by now, Batman v Superman is a total mess of a film. Overstuffed to the point of incoherence, it's basically impossible to give a *beep* about anything going on. Character and narrative are cast aside in favour of setting up films that might not even come out.

39. Gods of Egypt (2016)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

25 Metascore

Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Chadwick Boseman

Votes: 94,115 | Gross: $31.15M

Make no mistake, Gods of Egypt is a shockingly incompetent film on a level so rarely seen in major blockbusters these days, with wretched writing, special effects, direction and casting. The performances are largely entertaining as well, especially Gerard Butler's appropriately hammy screen-chewing performance as the moustache-twirling Set, although Brenton Thwaites is incredibly dull as our hero, Bek. The film's only real saving grace is that it's so incompetent that it is, at times, brilliant and entertainingly watchable.

40. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

PG-13 | 133 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

66 Metascore

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Director: David Yates | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler

Votes: 360,816 | Gross: $234.04M

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them only really exists to extend the wizarding world of Harry Potter further. If you're interested in a movie which is basically just worldbuilding then you might dig it, but I was constantly asking why I would be expected to care about what was happening, because the story sure as hell doesn't feel like more than "a bunch of unrelated things happen, just because". This is particularly egregious towards the second half when it tries to set up a franchise, but it comes out of practically nowhere and is only tangently related to the supposed A-plot. Harry Potter was a phenomenon, but films like Fantastic Beasts are chipping away at the legacy of just how good the franchise is.

41. Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

32 Metascore

As an Orc horde invades the planet Azeroth using a magic portal, a few human heroes and dissenting Orcs must attempt to stop the true evil behind this war.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper

Votes: 223,890 | Gross: $47.37M

Warcraft does a lot of things right, but it has one crippling flaw - the movie never really bothers to tell you what is doing on or why you should care. I'm not sure if this was an issue with the fast-paced editing, the script or just unclear direction, but the film is incomprehensible for large chunks, which is especially problematic if you don't go in already knowing the Warcraft lore. Beyond that major issue, the Orcs are really interesting but the human characters are very boring, which makes it even harder to enjoy since the humans take up large chunks of the screentime. To make matters worse, the movie clearly has absolutely no resolution as it ends up being little more than a 2 hour trailer for Warcraft II. Hopefully the sequel eases up the pace and gives the movie time to breathe, because there is certainly potential here, but the film just fails to grasp it.

42. Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

R | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

23 Metascore

Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.

Director: Anna Foerster | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver

Votes: 62,307 | Gross: $30.35M

Blood Wars doesn't turn Underworld's fortunes around, being overladen with dialogue which is literally 100% exposition of this series' lore and no character development. However, things get a little better by the time that the last act rolls around, as there are a couple interesting twists and some fun action scenes. There are also some good performances here, despite the material. Blood Wars clearly isn't a good film by any means, but it's enjoyable by the end.

43. Zoombies (2016)

TV-14 | 87 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When a strange virus quickly spreads through a safari park and turns all the zoo animals undead, those left in the park must stop the creatures before they escape and zombify the whole city.

Director: Glenn Miller | Stars: Ione Butler, Andrew Asper, LaLa Nestor, Kim Nielsen

Votes: 1,833

Look, this movie is trash and it doesn't have any pretensions to be anything more than that, as the film opens with a hilariously gory zombie monkey attack. Moreover, it's also a classic The Asylum mockbuster, this time riffing on Jurassic World in very obvious fashion (hell, they even say as much in the film). But by that low bar, Zoombies is actually kind of entertaining as far as these kinds of films go. I was laughing my ass off at the awful effects, the incredibly cheesy kills and the film doesn't really let up or cheap out on the premise like some of these films do (eg, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, which is just plain boring). I also gave this an extra couple points due to 2 absolutely inspired scenes, one which involves a little girl beating a koala to death with a baseball bat and the other which sees birds nesting inside a disembowled-and-yet-still-alive woman's chest cavity, which distresses her greatly. I can't recommend that anyone actually watch Zoombies, but if you choose to see it, it's at least somewhat entertaining.

44. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Horror, Romance

45 Metascore

Five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies.

Director: Burr Steers | Stars: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote

Votes: 45,742 | Gross: $10.91M

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies should have been so simple - take the, er, skeleton of Pride & Prejudice and then go over the top with zombie action. Instead, the film opts for an excessively-serious take on Pride & Prejudice with some scenes and lines changed to add in zombies that makes them feel perfunctory rather than a key part of the story (imagine that). Oh and then add in that this is a wannabe gory zombie film that's being neutered by a PG-13 rating, so you can't even get any visceral thrills to stave off the boredom. Add it all up and you've got a boring, one-note slog that it should have been a slam-dunk fun time at the movies. You'll note that I thought Zoombies was better than this film, which should tell you everything you need to know about how boring this film is.

45. Assassin's Creed (2016)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

36 Metascore

Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, before taking on the secret Templar society.

Director: Justin Kurzel | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson

Votes: 165,305 | Gross: $54.65M

Assassin's Creed had all of the potential in the world, from its cast, to its production values, to its fantastic source material. Unfortunately, it's all completely wasted on a script which strips out all of the mystery and intrigue of its source material, spends 90% of its dialogue rehashing the exact same ideas about free will, and is just plain dull. I wonder where exactly this project was screwed up, because there was so much potential for a great movie here that the fact that they missed by so much is a crying shame.

46. Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

32 Metascore

Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind's new space defenses be enough?

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe

Votes: 154,201 | Gross: $103.14M

For a film 20 years in development, it's almost shocking how half-baked Resurgence feels. There are lots of pointless subplots, the "escalated" threat feels no where near as potent as it did in the original (splitting between the sphere and the Earth's core basically guarantees that we don't give a damn about one of these dangers) and the characters have basically no development and nothing to make us actually care about them. In fact, the only characters I felt anything for were the gay scientist couple, but that was mainly because of the performances rather than anything the script actually did. If you want mindless action, then the movie will deliver that, but it's not even particularly noteworthy in that regard. Just rewatch the original if you need some stupid fun, it did it far more competently.