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2016 Movie Power Rankings

2016 movie power rankings

Welcome to my second-annual “Year in Film” rankings, where I list out every movie I’ve watched and reviewed in 2016.

Last year, I reviewed 87 films (most of them reviewed via the Now Conspiring podcast). But in 2016, I’m putting more focus into written reviews, so you can more easily search the archives.

Here are the rankings so far, with corresponding reviews linked:

#1 Moana

2016 movie ranking

#2 Sing Street

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#3 Manchester by the Sea

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#4 Hell or High Water

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#5 Moonlight

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#6 Sully

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#7 Zootopia

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#8 Midnight Special

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#9 Kubo and the Two Strings

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#10 Captain America: Civil War

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#11 Green Room

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#12 Pete’s Dragon

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#13 The Conjuring 2

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#14 Swiss Army Man

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#15 Southside with You

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#16 Hail, Caesar!

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#17 Everybody Wants Some!!

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#18 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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#19 The Jungle Book

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#20 10 Cloverfield Lane 

2016 movie power rankings

#21 Edge of Seventeen

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#22 Hacksaw Ridge

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#23 Arrival

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#24 Captain Fantastic

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#25 Finding Dory

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#26 Don’t Think Twice

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#27 Deadpool

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#28 Doctor Strange

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#29 Don’t Breathe

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#30 Queen of Katwe

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#31 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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#32 Justice League vs. Teen Titans

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#33 The Lobster

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#34 The Witch

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#35 The BFG

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#36 The Nice Guys

nice guys ranking

#37 Kung Fu Panda 3

2016 movie power rankings

#38 X-Men: Apocalypse

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#39 Demolition

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#40 Snowden

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#41 The Light Between Oceans

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#42 Neon Demon

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#43 Star Trek Beyond

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#44 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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#45 The Accountant

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#46 Magnificent Seven

2016 movie rankings

#47 Suicide Squad

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#48 Money Monster

money monster ranking

#49 Hardcore Henry

hardcore henry ranking

#50 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

2016 movie power rankings

#51 Batman: The Killing Joke

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#52 Jason Bourne

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#53 Gods of Egypt 

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#54 Ghostbusters

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#55 Warcraft

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#56 Independence Day: Resurgence

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#57 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

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#58 The Secret Life of Pets

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#59 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

batman v superman ranking

#60 Sausage Party

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#61 Alice Through the Looking Glass

alice looking glass ranking

#62 Dirty Grandpa

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#63 The Divergent Series: Allegiant

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#64 The Legend of Tarzan

2016 movie rankings


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My Top 10 Movies of Summer 2015

top movies 2015

Back in May, I shared my top 10 movies of 2015 as of January through May. This included movies that came out over the winter and spring, including early summer hits like Avengers: Age of UltronMad Max, and other well-liked films I’ve already highlighted.

Well, we’re about 35 weeks into 2015, and we still have a lot of potentially great movies to look forward to as the year continues, including a new James Bond movie made by Sam Mendes (Spectre). We have a spy thriller coming out that’s directed by Steven Spielberg, written by the Coen brothers, and starring Tom Hanks.

And of course, there’s a new Star Wars movie due in December, as well as a new Tarantino movie, a Matt Damon movie that doesn’t look terrible, Bradley Cooper as a chef in Burnt, Tom Hardy playing two roles in one movie, and Leonardo DiCaprio in a role that might finally get him an Oscar.

top movies 2015
I mean, maybe.

But let’s pause and reflect over the movies we already saw this summer. I’m of course sharing my own top 10 movies, but feel free to share your own list in the comments, especially if you’ve seen something I haven’t.

So let’s get started. Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include any movies from May. That means great films like Mad Max: Fury Road are in my previous top list for the first third of the year. Enjoy!

#10  The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

top movies 2015

This is the only movie on my list that I gave a B minus, but I’m still happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling spy adventure with a soundtrack better than the actual film. This is also a good watch for anyone curious to see how Henry Cavill performs during the post-Man of Steel era in anticipation for next year’s big-budget superhero fusion, Dawn of Justice.

But I’m more excited to point out how much I liked Armie Hammer in this, especially since this was his chance to shine post-Lone Ranger. And then there’s Alicia Vikander, who has nothing to prove (yet) thanks to her brilliant role in Ex Machina, and we still have a slew of other films she’s set to star in this year alone.

That said, U.N.C.L.E. suffers from a pretty generic plot, but its good characters, memorable scenes, and commitment to 60s era spy themes is well-worth a watch on DVD. Even though I’ve ranked other movies better than this one, like The Diary of a Teenage Girl, I can’t help but recommend this one as a flawed, but fun, escape.

#9 Straight Outta Compton

top movies 2015

This is another recent hit and one of Universal’s biggest as the summer comes to a close (even compared to Minions and  Jurassic World). And it makes my list for managing to capture my interest in a true story that I didn’t care much about before watching the film.

The story of N.W.A. gave me an appreciation for a cultural era and art form I never paid much attention to growing up, and it was a powerful piece of storytelling. Looking back, I still remember the dynamic performances (notably including O’Shea Jackson) and excellent visuals that captured the world of this racially charged rags-to-riches story.

I only scored it a B, mostly because while the first half is certainly A material, the last hour and a half tends to meander and lose focus. Weirdly, this is apparently intentional, as it illustrates the slow, downward spiral of some N.W.A. rappers contrasting with the successful ones. Still, that doesn’t excuse pacing issues and the film coming off as imbalanced.

#8 Southpaw

top movies 2015

What was a middle-of-the-road and cliched boxing movie to some ended up being one of my favorite boxing films in years. This is despite plenty of problems that hold Southpaw back from showcasing what’s truly great about Jake Gyllenhaal as an actor and instead reminding us that this is the director who gave us Olympus has Fallen (another mediocre movie I still managed to enjoy).

Southpaw borrows a lot of its good material plot points from classic boxing films,  especially Rocky 3 and 4. But Gyllenhaal’s transformation in the role and the filmmaker’s ability to translate his bleak downfall through powerful images and humbling atmospheres added something new and interesting to the genre. It really felt like a modern boxing movie, unlike modern takes on older stories, like The Fighter.

I greatly enjoyed the melodrama and powerful imagery Southpaw managed to pull off, and the performances by some of the side characters, including the daughter played by Oona Lawrence, more than carried the film to some greatness.

#7 Digging for Fire

top movies 2015

Joe Swanberg can be a polarizing director, but I’ve always found an energetic sincerity in his work, especially with recent films like Drinking BuddiesHappy Christmas, and All the Light in the Sky.

This year, Swanberg once again teamed up with New Girl‘s Jake Johnson to cowrite Digging for Fire, a scavenger hunt movie that digs deep into the psyche behind a frustrated marriage, told from the perspectives of both partners.

Rosemarie Dewitt plays the wife in this marriage, and Jude Swanberg (the director’s child) plays their young son. Throughout, there are multiple surprise appearances from great actors, including some I won’t spoil. Part of the fun in Digging for Fire, aside from its unapologetic ad-lib dialogue, is waiting to see who will show up next. It’s a quirky drama that I happily recommend.

#6 Ant-Man

top movies 2015

I didn’t like Ant-Man more than Avengers: Age of Ultron. In fact, I wouldn’t put it above most Marvel movies, yet for whatever reason, people seem to really like this movie more than it probably deserves.

It’s humorous, fun to watch, and manages to be a refreshing take on a well-respected (if not horribly popular) Marvel superhero. And it features some good ideas courtesy of Edgar Wright. But it’s certainly not as deep and impactful as one of the ensemble movies, and I include last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy when I say that.

Ant-Man is one of my favorite movies of the summer, and it’s a can’t-miss for Marvel fans and even Paul Rudd fans. This is mostly because Ant-Man is weird and funny enough to stand on its own, despite borrowing some of its charm and surprises from the greater Marvel continuity. And that’s fine, at least for now.

#5 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

top movies 2015

Of all the spy movies (and there’s a lot) that came out this year, the aging veteran, Mission: Impossible  still shines as one of the best. Once again, Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, and you pretty much know what you’re going to get at this point if you’re into Mission: Impossible movies.

But unlike other action franchises like Fast and Furious, this one continues to deliver something new with every installment, aside from just raising the stakes. The stunts, actually, are a huge part of what draws audiences, and the creative set pieces are far more interesting than everything I forgot in other action movies like Furious 7.

There was a lot of tension, a good amount of drama, and even some laughs here and there courtesy of Jeremy Renner. Rogue Nation also benefitted from the genius casting of Rebecca Ferguson and bringing back Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg for another round of saving the world with gadgets that don’t always work and a leading man who’ll do whatever it takes to finish the mission. Kind of like Tom Cruise himself.

#4 Jurassic World

top movies 2015

I don’t want to come off like I’m overpraising this movie, though that’s inevitable considering how high I’ve put it on this list. But despite everything about Jurassic World that is frankly…stupid…I absolutely loved it.

Yes, it’s a little silly, and it’s certainly not as good as Jurassic Park. But so much of Jurassic World just works as a movie on its own, so I didn’t have a hard time judging it by its own merits, instead of comparing it to the original.

Jurassic World is a unique follow up in that it’s hard to notice its flaws unless you’re looking for them. It was easy for me to get lost in the world they created, making this an excellent movie that you might get a little more cynical about the more you watch it. Unless you’re like me and enjoy its absurdity with every viewing.

#3 The Stanford Prison Experiment 

top movies 2015

Not everyone is going to walk away glad that they watched The Stanford Prison Experiment (unless they despise Ezra Miller as much as I do). But it’s still the most gripping and tense movie I’ve seen all year, complete with a script that continues to haunt me when I dare think about it late at night.

In case you haven’t seen it, the movie is based on a true story about a group of college students who are hired by a psychology department to act out a prison simulation. Some of the students are guards, and the others are prisoners. As you can imagine, things get a little out of hand.

It’s a hard movie to watch, because as you watch it, you know that it’s sticking with you. This is thanks to director Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s knack for moving you through a compact scene and keeping you there for what feels like hours. He lets the camerawork and tight corners tell the story almost as much as the actions of the characters.

To be fair, the movie is riddled with inaccuracies and missed opportunities with the true events that inspired it. But if you walk in accepting that this is a very loose adaptation, you’ll still find that it more or less captures the same, raw emotions that provoked so much shock from the people who learned about it in the 70s.

#2 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

top movies 2015

If you liked Fault in Our Stars but sort of wished it had more likable characters, then do yourself a favor and check out Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I strongly considered making it my #1, and it’s obviously up there in my top 10 of the entire year. And for good reason.

This is one of those smaller films that just oozes charm and relatable characters. Everyone in this movie is easy to like and get invested in. The story itself is more than just original — it’s inventive. I truly wish that more movies would take the creative chances that Dying Girl treats as minuscule risks.

That said, it’s still a movie on a small scale. While I loved the movie, it didn’t really cause any introspection, despite its emotionally charged script. This is because the wit and humor is a lot more present in this movie over what’s dramatic, so not every moment that was supposed to make me feel something managed to pay that off.

But that’s just nitpicking, because Dying Girl is still a wonderful story that will hopefully last the test of time. I hold it up there with The Way Way Back as compact films I can watch a thousand times.

#1 Inside Out

top movies 2015

Yeah, yeah, big surprise. A lot of you may look at this decision and shrug because you know how much I love Pixar movies and frequently talk about them on this site. But please believe me when I say that my overwhelming bias for Pixar’s brand of storytelling had nothing to do with the overwhelming bias I have for this film.

Because in all honesty, Inside Out is one of Pixar’s best films since The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, and it manages to rival Up as a nearly perfect Pixar movie.

I love how they took a recognizable premise that other movies and shows like Osmosis Jones and Herman’s Head failed to make an impact. They took a great concept and made it spectacular. Everything about this world Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera created feels like they spent countless hours developing. And the writing is so sharp, you’ll discover new and clever jokes every time you watch it.

The characters are well-written and the animation is gorgeous. Every joke manages to work without being too cheesy. And it does all of this without creating world-changing stakes — just the emotional future of a young girl we can all relate with.

When I first reviewed the movie, I tried hard not to overpraise it in case my immediate love for it would wear of. But Inside Out only gets better the more you watch it, and it will rightfully be considered as one of Pixar’s very best for years to come.

What about the worst movies?

top movies 2015

This one’s harder for me to spend time on because I purposefully avoided some of the poorly received movies that came out this summer, though I’ll probably still get around to them. But I’m still up for pointing out movies I did see that fell way, way, short of the mark.

Hitman: Agent 47 was the worst one I saw this summer, as I gave it an F (the only other “F” movie I scored this year was Strange Magic). There were some other movies that I tried hard to like but ended up despising, like TrainwreckSpy, and Aloha.

There were some bad movies I liked, including The Gallows and Ted 2, despite critics not loving them as much. Movies I hoped would be “A” material, like Paper Towns and Dope, ended up only being decent.

And then there are the movies I purposefully avoided, like PixelsVacationTerminator: GenisysSelf/less, and Minions. I don’t plan on seeing these movies any time soon. That just leaves Fantastic Four, which was less than decent, but not a bad experience overall for me.

Finally, there are the potentially great movies I haven’t seen yet but plan on seeing pretty soon. These include, The End of the Tour, It FollowsThe GiftGrandmaLove and Mercy, Mistress America and Shaun the Sheep.

Oh, and if you want a more ambitious snapshot of every 2015 movie and how they stack up, check out my 2015 Movie Power Rankings. 

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

 

2015 Movie Power Rankings

2015 movie rank

Welcome to my first-ever power rankings for a year in film! This list is essentially a snapshot of 2015’s entire year in film, ranked with letter grades.

The first list below includes only the movies that I’ve personally viewed and graded. There’s a second list that combines my rankings with the opinions of several other critics I’ve chosen, giving you a full breadth of movies that were released this year. These “third party” reviews are colored gray.

I update these rankings weekly, so you can check back once in a while to see what’s new. I’ve already updated rankings for films I missed and managed to catch up with. Be sure to let me know if I missed something. Enjoy!

2015 Movies I’ve Seen, Ranked

  1. The Good Dinosaur (November 25th) | A+
  2. It Follows (March 27th) | A+
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15th) | A+
  4. The Hateful Eight 70mm Roadshow (December 25th) | A
  5. Inside Out (June 19th) | A
  6. Room (November 6th) | A
  7. Spotlight (November 6th) | A
  8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (June 12th) | A
  9. Paddington (January 16th) | A
  10. The Martian (October 2nd) | A
  11. Beasts of No Nation (October 16th) | A
  12. Creed (November 25th) | A
  13. The Intern (September 25) | A
  14. Ex Machina (April 24th) | A
  15. What We Do In the Shadows (February 13th) | A
  16. Brooklyn (November 6th) | A-
  17. Steve Jobs (October 9th) | A-
  18. Bridge of Spies (October 16th) | A-
  19. Sleeping With Other People (September 25th) | A-
  20. The Stanford Prison Experiment (July 17th) | A-
  21. Sicario (October 2nd) | A-
  22. The Gift (August 7th) | A-
  23. Carol (November 20th) | A-
  24. Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13th) | A-
  25. Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st) | A-
  26. Selma (January 9th) | A-
  27. The Visit (September 11th) | A-
  28. Still Alice (January 16th) | A-
  29. Anomalisa (December 30th) | B+
  30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18th) | B+
  31. Jurassic World (June 12th) | B+
  32. Love & Mercy (June 19th) | B+
  33. The Big Short (December 11th) | B+
  34. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (July 31st) | B+
  35. Ant-Man (July 17th) | B+
  36. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (November 20th) | B+
  37. Spectre (November 6th) | B+
  38. 99 Holmes (September 25th) | B+
  39. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18) | B+
  40. While We’re Young (April 17th) | B+
  41. Digging for Fire (August 21st) | B+
  42. Krampus (December 5th) | B+
  43. Diary of a Teenage Girl (August 7th) | B+
  44. Southpaw (July 24th) | B
  45. Crimson Peak (October 16th) | B
  46. Straight Outta Compton (August 14th) | B
  47. The Night Before (November 20th) | B
  48. Black Mass (September 18th) | B
  49. Furious 7 (April 3) | B
  50. Unexpected (July 24th) | B
  51. Clouds of Sils Maria (July 14th) | B
  52. Cinderella (March 13th) | B
  53. People Places Things (August 14th) | B
  54. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14th) | B-
  55. The Revenant (December 25th) | B-
  56. Cooties (September 18th) | B-
  57. Ted 2 (June 26th) | B-
  58. Burnt (October 30th) | B-
  59. Unfriended (April 17th) | B-
  60. The DUFF (February 20th) | B-
  61. Tomorrowland (May 22nd) | B-
  62. Focus (February 27th) | B-
  63. Goosebumps (October 16th) | C+
  64. Paper Towns (July 24th) | C+
  65. The Gallows (July 10th) | C+
  66. Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25th) | C+
  67. True Story (August 4th) | C+
  68. Dope (June 19th) | C+
  69. Project Almanac (January 30th) | C+
  70. Fantastic Four (August 7th) | C+
  71. The Wedding Ringer (January 16th) | C
  72. Spy (June 5th) | C
  73. In the Heart of the Sea (December 11th) | C
  74. Grandma (August 21st) | C
  75. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water (February 6th) | C-
  76. Chappie (March 6th) | C-
  77. Trainwreck (July 17th) | D+
  78. Aloha (May 29th) | D+
  79. The Transporter Refueled (September 4th) | D+
  80. Lazarus Effect (February 27th) | D
  81. Insurgent (March 20th)| D
  82. Pan (October 9th)  D-
  83. Home (March 27th) | D-
  84. Jupiter Ascending (February 6th) | D-
  85. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (October 23rd) | F
  86. Hitman: Agent 47 (August 21st) | F
  87. Strange Magic (January 23rd) | F

FULL List of Films Ranked By Multiple Critics

  1. The Good Dinosaur (November 25th) | A+
  2. It Follows (March 27th) | A+
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15th) | A+
  4. The Hateful Eight 70mm Roadshow (December 25th) | A
  5. Inside Out (June 19th) | A
  6. Room (November 6th) | A
  7. Spotlight (November 6th) | A
  8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (June 12th) | A
  9. Shaun the Sheep (August 5th) | A
  10. The Assassin (October 16th) | A
  11. GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (February 13th) | A
  12. 3 and 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets (June 19th) | A
  13. Phoenix (July 24th) | A
  14. Paddington (January 16th) | A
  15. The Martian (October 2nd) | A
  16. Beasts of No Nation (October 16th) | A
  17. Creed (November 25th) | A
  18. The Intern (September 25) | A
  19. Ex Machina (April 24th) | A
  20. What We Do In the Shadows (February 13th) | A
  21. ’71 (February 27th) | A
  22. Creep (September 4th) | A
  23. About Elly (April 8th) | A
  24. The ve ok of Silence (July 17th) | A
  25. Brooklyn (November 6th) | A-
  26. Steve Jobs (October 9th) | A-
  27. Bridge of Spies (October 16th) | A-
  28. 45 Years (December 22nd) | A-
  29. Sleeping With Other People (September 25th) | A-
  30. The Stanford Prison Experiment (July 17th) | A-
  31. Sicario (October 2nd) | A-
  32. Mr. Holmes (July 17th) | A-
  33. The Gift (August 7th) | A-
  34. Carol (November 20th) | A-
  35. Son of Saul (December 18th) | A-
  36. Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13th) | A-
  37. Brooklyn (November 4th) | A-
  38. Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st) | A-
  39. Selma (January 9th) | A-
  40. James White (November 13th) | A-
  41. Hard to be a God (January 30th) | A-
  42. The Visit (September 11th) | A-
  43. Still Alice (January 16th) | A-
  44. The End of the Tour (July 31st) | A-
  45. Fort Tilden (August 15th) | A-
  46. The Last 5 Years (February 13th) | A-
  47. Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (April 22nd) | A-
  48. The Duke of Burgundy (January 23rd) | A-
  49. Anomalisa (December 30th) | B+
  50. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18th) | B+
  51. Jurassic World (June 12th) | B+
  52. Love & Mercy (June 19th) | B+
  53. The Big Short (December 11th) | B+
  54. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (July 31st) | B+
  55. Queen of Earth (August 26th) | B+
  56. Ant-Man (July 17th) | B+
  57. Mustang (November 20th) | B+
  58. The Peanuts Movie (November 6th) | B+
  59. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (November 20th) | B+
  60. Spectre (November 6th) | B+
  61. The Boy and the World (December 9th) | B+
  62. 99 Holmes (September 25th) | B+
  63. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18th) | B+
  64. McFarland USA (February 20th) | B+
  65. Ballet 422 (February 6th) | B+
  66. While We’re Young (April 17th) | B+
  67. Mistress America (August 14th) | B+
  68. Far From the Madding Crowd (May 1st) | B+ 
  69. Pawn Sacrifice (September 16th) | B+
  70. Digging for Fire (August 21st) | B+
  71. Dior and I (April 9th) | B+
  72. Krampus (December 5th) | B+
  73. Beloved Sisters (January 9th) | B+
  74. A Most Violent Year (January 30th) | B+
  75. Breathe (September 10th) | B+
  76. Diary of a Teenage Girl (August 7th) | B+
  77. Goodnight Mommy (September 11th) | B+
  78. Southpaw (July 24th) | B
  79. Crimson Peak (October 16th) | B
  80. Straight Outta Compton (August 14th) | B
  81. Tales of Halloween (October 16th) | B
  82. Youth (December 5th) | B
  83. The Walk (October 2nd) | B
  84. The Night Before (November 20th) | B
  85. Black Mass (September 18th) | B
  86. Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15th) | B
  87. Furious 7 (April 3) | B
  88. Life (December 5th) | B
  89. Everest (September 18th) | B
  90. Heart of a Dog (October 21st) | B
  91. Unexpected (July 24th) | B
  92. Clouds of Sils Maria (July 14th) | B
  93. Cinderella (March 13th) | B
  94. People Places Things (August 14th) | B
  95. Insidious: Chapter 3 (June 15th) | B
  96. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14th) | B-
  97. The Revenant (December 25th) | B-
  98. The New Girlfriend (September 18th) | B-
  99. Truth (October 16th) B-
  100. American Ultra (August 21st) | B-
  101. Cooties (September 18th) | B-
  102. Freeheld (October 2nd) | B-
  103. Ted 2 (June 26th) | B-
  104. Trumbo (November 6th) | B-
  105. Burnt (October 30th) | B-
  106. Sisters (December 18th) | B-
  107. Unfriended (April 17th) | B-
  108. MacBeth (December 5th) | B-
  109. The DUFF (February 20th) | B-
  110. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (March 6th) | B-
  111. Tomorrowland (May 22nd) | B-
  112. Run All Night (March 13th) | B-
  113. Welcome to Leith (September 10th) | B-
  114. Focus (February 27th) | B-
  115. Ricki and the Flash (August 7th) | B-
  116. The Danish Girl (November 27th) | C+
  117. Goosebumps (October 16th) | C+
  118. Concussion (December 25th) | C+
  119. Daddy’s Home (December 25th) | C+
  120. Paper Towns (July 24th) | C+
  121. The Last Witch Hunter (October 23rd) | C+
  122. The Gallows (July 10th) | C+
  123. Joy (December 25th) | C+
  124. Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25th) | C+
  125. Suffragette (October 23rd) | C+
  126. Slow West (May 15th) | C+
  127. True Story (August 4th) | C+
  128. Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25th) | C+
  129. Dope (June 19th) | C+
  130. Project Almanac (January 30th) | C+
  131. Meet the Patels (September 11th) | C+
  132. Fantastic Four (August 7th) | C+
  133. Legend (November 20th) | C+
  134. Magic Mike XXL (July 1st) | C+
  135. The Wedding Ringer (January 16th) | C
  136. A Walk in the Woods (September 4th) | C
  137. Spy (June 5th) | C
  138. Age of Adaline (April 24th) | C
  139. Secret in their Eyes (November 20th) | C
  140. Victor Frankenstein (November 25th) | C
  141. Cymbeline (March 13th) | C
  142. In the Heart of the Sea (December 11th) | C
  143. Miss You Already (November 6th) | C
  144. Chi-Raq (December 5th) C
  145. Extraction (December 25th) | C
  146. The Longest Ride (April 10th) | C
  147. Our Brand is Crisis (October 30th) | C
  148. Woman in Gold (April 1st)| C
  149. Grandma (August 21st) | C
  150. No Escape (August 26th) | C
  151. The Lady in the Van (December 5th) | C
  152. By the Sea (November 5th) | C
  153. Time Out Of Mind (September 9th) | C
  154. Minions (July 10th) | C
  155. San Andreas (May 29th) | C
  156. Where to Invade Next (December 22) | C
  157. The Cut (September 18th) | C
  158. Captive (September 19th) | C
  159. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water (February 6th) | C-
  160. The Emperor’s New Clothes (December 16th) | C-
  161. Chappie (March 6th) | C-
  162. Love the Coopers (November 13th) | C-
  163. Spare Parts (January 16th) | C-
  164. Child 44 (April 17th) | C-
  165. Get Hard (March 27th) | C-
  166. A Brilliant Young Mind (September 10th) | C-
  167. Blackhat (January 16th)| C-
  168. Before We Go (September 4th) | C-
  169. The Ridiculous 6 (December 11th) | C-
  170. Hellions (September 18th) | C-
  171. Shanghai (October 2nd) | C-
  172. Entourage (June 3rd) | C-
  173. Rock the Kasbah (October 23rd) | C-
  174. Wolf Totem (September 12th) | C-
  175. The Letters (December 5th) | C-
  176. Don Verdean (December 11th) | C-
  177. The D Train (May 8th)| C-
  178. We are Your Friends (August 28th) | C-
  179. Trainwreck (July 17th) | D+
  180. Aloha (May 29th) | D+
  181. The Gunman (March 20th) | D+
  182. Poltergeist (May 22) | D+
  183. 90 Minutes in Heaven (September 12th) | D+
  184. The Transporter Refueled (September 4th) | D+
  185. Max (June 26th) | D+
  186. Point Break (December 25th) | D+
  187. Little Boy (April 24th) | D+
  188. Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (October 30th) | D+
  189. The Perfect Guy (September 12th) | D+
  190. Vacation (July 29th) | D
  191. Terminator Genisys (July 1st) | D
  192. Self/less (July 10th) | D
  193. Unfinished Business (March 6th) | D
  194. The Green Inferno (September 25th) | D
  195. Lazarus Effect (February 27th) | D
  196. Kill Me Three Times (April 9th) | D
  197. Insurgent (March 20th)| D
  198. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (December 18th) | D
  199. Serena (February 26th) | D
  200. Fifty Shades of Grey (February 13th) | D
  201. Jem and the Holograms (October 23rd) | D
  202. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (February 20th) | D
  203. Sinister 2 (August 21st) | D-
  204. Pan (October 9th)  D-
  205. Pixels (July 24th) | D-
  206. Absolutely Anything (August 14th) | D-
  207. Hot Pursuit (May 8th) | D-
  208. Home (March 27th) | D-
  209. Jupiter Ascending (February 6th) | D-
  210. Return to Sender (August 14th) | D-
  211. Mortdecai (January 23rd) | D-
  212. Survivor (June 5th) | D-
  213. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (April 17th) | D-
  214. The Boy Next Door (January 23rd) | D-
  215. Accidental Love (February 10th) | D-
  216. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (October 23rd) | F
  217. Hitman: Agent 47 (August 21st) | F
  218. Strange Magic (January 23rd) | F

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

My Top 10 Movies of 2015 (So Far)

Summer is about to kickoff, so I thought it would be fun to look back on the best films of Winter and Spring 2015. There are a few films I haven’t seen this year (yet) that may sway this list, and I’ll list them at the bottom.

I’ve made a stronger effort to watch more new movies this year, and it’s certainly paid off. For the first time in my life, I actually feel equipped to evaluate which movies are worth highlighting 6 months into the year. And we’ve gotten quite a few highlights. Starting with…

# 1 Mad Max: Fury Road

top 2015 movies

This shouldn’t surprise too many people. From its opening scene, George Miller had me hooked on his crazy, post-apocalyptic nightmare made reality.

With some of the best action scenes in years, combined with furious performances from Charlize Theron (get it?) and Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road has so far made the top of my list of must-watch films in 2015.

#2 Paddington

top 2015 movies

OK, this is certainly a departure from the #1 spot, and I’m sure many of you are rolling your eyes at the fact that I’m elevating this family friendly movie all the way to #2, but hear me out.

Paddington is a kid movie done right, amidst scores of cheap remakes and strange misfires disguised as high-level (I’m looking at you, Spongebob). Simply put, Paddington has the charm, wit, and effortless script that most movies this year have chosen to skip.

#3 Ex Machina

top 2015 movies

I usually hate feeling uncomfortable during a movie, especially when it has CGI Paul Walker involved (too soon?) But Ex Machina subverts what we expect in an eery movie about artificial intelligence without insulting our intelligence.
It’s not a horror movie. It’s not a thriller. And it’s certainly not just a commentary, if at all. The mystery of what makes this movie…what it is…only makes me love it even more.

#4 What We Do In The Shadows

top 2015 movies

Technically, this superb “mockumentary” about the lives of vampires living in New Zealand came out last year, but it’s wider release didn’t kick off until January. That means I get to share the delight of this monster movie homage with all of you who haven’t managed to see it yet. Seriously though, get on that.

#5 Kingsman: The Secret Service

top 2015 movies

Speaking of homages, I wasn’t too surprised to see that this James Bond action successor ended up being one of the most fun adventures of the year. Yes, even moreso than another certain superhero flick…
I can still remember the best moments of the film, including the controversial church scene that was shot in just one take (if you can believe that). While I’m not necessarily itching for a sequel, though it would be nice, Kingsman still reigns as one of the year’s most interesting escapes.

#6 Selma

top 2015 movies

History is my weak spot. Take me to any colonial town and tell me that guy is really a smith from 1776 and you have my money. But historical biopics from any era tend to rank low on my attention span. Why watch a movie about that bridge in Selma when I can just go there?
Well, it turns out, Selma does a brilliant job of revitalizing this subject matter with faithful storytelling, a chilling script, and yes, David Oyelowo. And that’s not even mentioning the soundtrack.

#7 Avengers: Age of Ultron

top 2015 movies

It’s not as groundbreaking as the first film, but it’s still groundbreaking. Leave it to Marvel. 2015 has not yet hit us with a lot of comic book movie adventures, as Fox has saved its movie for the summer and Sony is conspicuously absent.
But even without competition, Age of Ultron is a triumph of patient buildup, electric characters, and an excellent effects budget. It’s not the dark story many of us expected and hoped for, but it had plenty of memorable moments to make it standout, even if it is just a trailer for even more exciting events to come.

#8 While We’re Young

top 2015 movies

I’ll admit I’m easily charmed by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts (despite finding Birdman a bit meh for her). So pairing these veterans with relative newcomers Adam Driver (of future Star Wars fame) and Amanda Seyfried (OK, not a newcomer, but still untested for the most part) was almost overkill.
Specifically, every scene combining these characters or a mixing and matching them was pulled off brilliantly, and it helps that the script had something pretty meaningful to say about my generation, your generation, and their generation.

#9 Unfriended

top 2015 movies

Do you believe in miracles? Unfriended was a made-for-tv movie destined for MTV reruns and live-tweets. But it ended up being transformed into a perfectly timed film that did something pretty novel and refreshing with the horror genre, while also preaching a sermon on cyber-bullying that didn’t come off as forced. Well, maybe a little.

#10 Tomorrowland

top 2015 movies

Yeah, I might get a little heat for this one. Though Tomorrowland certainly isn’t amazing overall, it happens to be one of the riskiest, gutsiest movies of the year. And a lackluster ending doesn’t do enough to eviscerate an inventive and entertaining first two acts.

Possibly great films I haven’t gotten around to yet:

I’d love to add to this list, but alas, there are just some 2015 films I haven’t had a chance to see for myself yet. Here are a few ranking high on my list of must-see:

  1. It Follows
  2. ‘71
  3. A Most Violent Year
  4. Still Alice
  5. Girlhood

I also want to point out my biggest disappointment of the year (so far): Chappie. Oh, what could have been.

If you something to add to this list, feel free to let me know in the comment discussions below. See you in another 6 months.

Thanks for reading! If you like this blog, you can subscribe for weekly updates by clicking the “Subscribe” button on the right sidebar. Or just follow me on Twitter for the latest updates – @JonNegroni

Best (and Worst) Summer 2013 Movies

summer2013Below is my list of which summer movies made a splash, for better or worse, this year.

Go on…Best (and Worst) Summer 2013 Movies

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