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‘Batman v Superman’ Is Better Than ‘Civil War’ Because Whatever – Snarcasm

batman v superman

Snark + sarcasm = what you’re about to read

Hey superhero fans and all-time purveyors of basic logic! I’ve got a twister for you. Did you know that  with just a few baseless assertions and false equivalency arguments, you can decide for everyone else that a truly terrible movie is better than a pretty good one?

Welcome the internet! And also the inner workings of this summer’s ultimate contrarian, Donnia, who wrote this little number on Fansided:

Batman v Superman Is Actually A Better Movie Than Civil War

You heard it here first. And for good reason.

Now, I’m all for taking a close, critical look at Captain America: Civil War, an entertaining film that doesn’t fully succeed at being anything extraordinary beyond what we’ve already seen of the MCU. It’s pretty good and an easy recommend, but it can be picked apart just as easily as any other Marvel film.

Batman v Superman, on the other hand, is a glorious misfire as one of recent film history’s most obvious examples of style over substance. Still, the movie has its fans who declare it to be an underrated masterpiece, in some part (I suspect) because they’re displacing the earned love they have for DC onto this neat-looking, but thematically hollow, fan film by Zack Snyder. It’s not without its high points (a great Batman aside from sociopathic tendencies and pretty much everything Gal Gadot does aside from opening emails). But to say it’s better than Civil War is a such a non-starter piece of hot-take nonsense, I can’t wait to share it with you.

Despite what many think, Captain America: Civil War really isn’t a good movie,

“Sorry legions of people who have the exact opposite opinion, including film critics, fans, and experts in this industry. I’m smarter than you!”

but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is.

I’ll give Donnia some credit here for at least eliminating the pretense that she considers film analysis subjective.

That’s right, folks: you read the title correctly.

Yup, so sit back and breathe in the “pretty much clickbait.”

If you dare to have this unpopular opinion, you’re sure to be bombarded with reasons as to why Captain America: Civil War is apparently the better film

Right, it’s almost as if people use reasons to articulate their observations. Next you’re going to get mad at them using examples and evidence.

But the truth is that both of these movies hit the same beats to the same effect but for some reason, Civil War is praised for it while Batman v Superman is criticized. And the question is: why?

False premise alert! Donnia is putting opinions into our heads, claiming that the reason people disliked Batman v Superman as a set up, not an execution. Which means if I liked Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation but disliked Spy Kids 3D, then obviously it was because I have a double standard for the genre. Obviously.

I enjoyed Batman v Superman.

You don’t say.

When critics panned the movie for being poorly edited, poorly paced and basically a massive failure of a superhero film, I was discouraged to say the least.

You shouldn’t be, and for one simple reason: Liking a bad movie is fine. People do it all the time. That’s why they’re called guilty pleasures.

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew there was something strange about the film when I first saw it. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but I knew that the film didn’t feel like what a superhero film usually feels like.

Was this before or after Jesse Eisenberg shoved a Jolly Rancher into an old dude’s mouth?

It didn’t look like it either, and that’s when it hit me—Batman v Superman didn’t follow the formulaic superhero narrative that we’re used to seeing.

False premise alert! Donnia is slipping into a quick, no-big-deal conclusion that we’re apparently used to seeing formulaic superhero narratives in our movies. This is important because instead of establishing this as a problem, she jumps ahead to the part where Batman v Superman solves it. Tell us more!

we all know that the MCU has and will continue to release a million movies and we flock to see all of them.

Everyone is terrible, yeah.

The MCU follows a very specific blueprint, as if it’s not obvious by this point.

“So obvious, I don’t need to spell it out. I’m just right.”

Yeah, so, all movies follow blueprints, especially franchises. If you’re criticizing Marvel movies for having some common ambiguous…thing…then you have to say the same for Star Wars always involving Skywalkers or Indiana Jones always being about historical adventures (yawn!)

 the problem occurs when a movie like Batman v Superman comes along and is very different than what we’re used to seeing.

Being different isn’t always better, and Civil War is actually a great example of that. Despite what you may think, Donnia, that movie isn’t a lot like any of the other Marvel movies. In fact, plenty of Marvel movies have been completely different from each other. Iron Man was an action comedy, Thor was a fantasy adventure, Captain America was a pulpy period action piece followed by a 70s-esque spy thriller in its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy was a space opera comedy, and Ant-Man was a superhero heist movie.

And then there’s Civil War, which was a superhero teamup fight movie where the bad guy (spoiler alert) actually wins in the end. So how is Civil War formulaic again?

We’ve unknowingly set expectations for what we think a superhero movie should be that we reject when one tries to be different.

Nope. We just reject bad movies. Simply being different isn’t enough merit to warrant getting a pass, for the same reason a lot of people wanted to write off Ant-Man long before it was released because it was being heralded as something different.

And how exactly is Batman v Superman all that different from typical superhero movies, aside from having Snyder’s particular visual flair we’ve seen many times since 300?

Batman v Superman isn’t poorly edited or paced, it intentionally edited to be like a comic book.

Pack it up, everyone, the medium has officially stopped being the message.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with trying to make a movie match the experience of a comic book story. It’s been done successfully in the past with movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and done quite poorly with movies like Batman and Robin.

Pointing out that what they were going for was interesting in and of itself doesn’t negate the problem, which is that editing a movie too much like a scatterbrained paperback is a bad idea, mostly because comics usually have built in context continuity and are able to be digested in short bursts that rely on dramatized set pieces.

Movies are different, especially if they’re aiming to be over 3 hours long. They require cohesive visual editing that allow viewers to soak in the narrative and appreciate the characters, because unlike a comic, everything moves. And there’s sound. When you remove that cohesive visual editing, the “spectacles” onscreen that would look great on a comic ring hollow on the big screen.

 It was a radically experimental decision, and it did feel strange at first but once I realized what the film was doing, I loved it. How can I put a movie down for trying something different in an industry that always does the same thing?

Easily! For doing it poorly. Remember when I said style over substance? Yeah, I wasn’t just throwing around a cliche aimlessly for once. That directly applies here.

A common complaint about Batman v Superman is the “Martha” scene. That scene is just so horrible and laughable to many people and I don’t understand how they can mock that scene when the exact same thing happens ten minutes into Civil War. 

False…everything alert!

Bruce loses focus because Clark says his mother’s name and Steve loses focus because Crossbones says Bucky’s name.

And then Steve and Crossbones become best friends for life! Right?

Obviously the context of their names being said are different—

“But that huge difference in the scenes is not important or anything unless it makes my point stronger. Obviously.”

Look, the whole “Martha” thing has been talked to death in length elsewhere and on this very site, and honestly, I’m quite done with it. The main issue at this point is that this scene is so badly executed, everyone mocks it and willingly ignores the author’s intent. That’s a sign something went wrong here.

Another complaint towards Batman v Superman is the Doomsday fight…By taking the fight to an uninhabited island they’re preventing mass death.

That’s not the complaint at all. The complaint is more an aside (and not even one of the movie’s most annoying flaws) regarding how ham-fisted the line is when they say, “Oh, and that island is inhabited! WINK WINK.” We point it out because it’s moments like these that take the viewer out of the movie, because you consistently have to be told by the filmmakers that this isn’t Man of Steel. Oh, how I wish this movie had been Man of Steel.

Civil War does the same thing when Cap’s team and Iron Man’s team fight in an empty airport and destroy it in the process. So why does Batman v Superman get criticized for the line that a government official makes when he says that he island is uninhabited but no one says a word when it’s stated that Tony evacuated the airport so that they could have their showdown?

Is this a real question? Because they evacuated the airport. It was a decision that made sense because they don’t want people to get hurt. With Doomsday, they practically flashed this on the screen as, “Oh, what a coincidence that Doomsday wants to duke it out on an abandoned island that’s abandoned because whatever. Now you can’t complain! Wait, I’m not supposed to say that part of the line that’s scribbled on the script in red ink?”

I don’t have a problem with how either movie handled these scenes but I can’t help but to feel some animosity towards Civil War because audiences and critics are so willing to give the film a pass for doing same thing that they criticized Batman v Superman for.

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Is ‘Finding Dory’ Part of Hollywood’s Sequel Problem?

finding dory sequel problem

Mark Harris via VultureThe Sequels of 2016 Aren’t About Storytelling; They’re Just Brand Extensions

I don’t consider “sequel” a slur. But it’s notable how much the impetus behind them has changed, and with it, their very nature.

This summer’s sequels are not, for the most part, story continuations but brand extensions. Some are good and some not; some have succeeded and some have flopped, but almost all of them are different beasts than the first generation of blockbuster genre sequels.

To my taste, the best reason to make a sequel is because the story demands it.

Overall, this is a great write-up by Harris that articulates a lot of the frustration I and many critics and fans have been having with sequels this year. He even champions Marvel’s Civil War as a good example of how sequels with grander narrative purpose make better impressions on audiences who’ve grown savvy to Hollywood’s sequel formula.

But I would disagree on one example he brings up briefly.

As for Finding Dory, it’s a solid brand refresher that will make a mint — an effective way for Disney to remonetize a dormant franchise. But nothing will convince me that Pixar’s move from being arguably the finest producer of original content in Hollywood to a sequel manufactory (next up: The Incredibles 2, Cars 3, Toy Story 4) is anything but dispiriting news.

I don’t disagree with Harris on this point at all, but I think Finding Dory is a wildly inappropriate example of his main point. Finding Dory is no Civil War in the sense that it exists in a larger universe of movies with a single narrative (or is it?), but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad sequel off of the definition Harris attributes above to movies like TMNT: Out of the Shadows and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.

Go on…Is ‘Finding Dory’ Part of Hollywood’s Sequel Problem?

Snarcasm: I Review Movies Because I Hate Them

review movies hate

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read. 

Being a film critic is a tough job, mostly because you have to watch an endless amount of mediocre movies on top of all the ones you actually want to see. But we keep doing it for our own reasons; some critics enjoy the pure art of filmmaking and find greatness in even terrible stories.

Other critics, like me, care mostly about narrative, characterization, and cohesion. So you can read my reviews and get a sense for how I’m critiquing a film, and I even like bad movies from time to time when the story grabs me.

But then some critics seem to find zero value in anything that doesn’t align perfectly with a standard that’s alien to almost everyone reading the review. Hence, they write terrible reviews that leave us scratching our heads and missing the musings of Roger Ebert.

review movies hate

One such review is a write-up about Captain America: Civil War by Matthew Lickona on San Diego Reader. In it, he proves that less is not always more, like an entree salad without dressing or a review on Entertainment Weekly.

Lickona starts with a dependent clause (obviously):

A comic-book movie in the pejorative sense of the term

So right off the bat, he’s criticizing the genre itself. If he’s not a fan of comic-book movies, why be paid to review them, or want to be paid to review them? So people who were already uninterested have something to thumb through while NPR is reporting something interesting?

starting with the bizarre moral acrobatics required to set up the internal strife mentioned in the title.

Except the strife between Captain America and Iron Man has been building since they first met, and even before they met. It’s not “bizarre” or out of place because we’ve watched each of these character form the worldviews they espouse in this film in their previous movies.

review movies hate

Captain America is a skeptic of government intervention because of what happened with Hydra in Winter Soldier. Tony Stark is feeling guilty for causing the catastrophe that was Ultron in Age of You Know What. The only acrobatics that went on here were in the fight scenes, so can we talk about those?

Sure, members of the Avengers saved the world a few times over, but innocents died in the process, and so someone’s got to take the blame. Or at least accept a government collar.

Indeed.

Human computer The Vision must have fried a circuit explaining it thus: “strength invites challenge; challenge creates conflict; conflict breeds catastrophe.”

The Vision is neither a human or a computer. And he seemed pretty calm while explaining this, “circuits” and all.

Never mind that the Avengers were gathered in response to a threat, not vise versa.

In almost every cases, these threats were direct results of the Avengers’ actions, hence the whole point of this conversation in Civil War. Tony Stark becoming Iron Man kicked it all off, inviting the strength of Loki and his alien overlords who invaded New York. Then the creation of Ultron brought on another crisis, proving Vision’s point that catastrophic events have exploded (no pun intended) since the Avengers first assembled.

Oh sorry, was I supposed to never mind?

review movies hate

The red-blooded patriot Captain America holds to principle, but former arms dealer Iron Man’s bad conscience gets the better of him, and the conflict is, as they say, created.

So the plot being artificial is his point (I guess, because lord knows he won’t be going into depth about this). Except, like I said, this conflict was born out of previous threads in other movies, making it feel like an expected debate after the tension that began between Rogers and Stark back in Ultron.

(Just try not to giggle at the notion of the US Government gravely fretting over collateral damage.)

Whoa there, Huffington Post, no need to get political on us.

First of all, no. You don’t think that the death of innocent people at the hands of reckless metahumans in our own country (and New York City no less) wouldn’t sound the alarm for the government, let alone the UN? They wouldn’t “fret” as you say? That’s too much of a suspension of disbelief for you, what with their dropping a city from the sky a few years later?

review movies hate

If anything, it’s harder to believe that the world governments didn’t do anything sooner.

Anyway, let’s get back to this sunburn-inducing hot take.

Moving on to the tension-free spectacle of heroes punching heroes — lots of flying bodies, minimal damage done

It’s legitimate to point out that the hero vs. hero scenes have less tension early on because you can even tell that they don’t really want to hurt each other, which makes sense within the context of the story. But that’s discounting a wide swath of action in this movie that isn’t hero vs. hero or done with lighthearted intention.

(Spoilers for Civil War from here on out)

Black Panther really wants to kill Bucky. Those FBI agents really want to kill Bucky, and Cap has to work harder to make sure Bucky doesn’t hurt them too much. And at one point late in the movie, even Tony Stark and Steve Rogers look ready to kill each other. You really think there was no tension when Cap was about to bash the shield into Tony’s face after disabling his arc reactor? You got nothing from that?

And finishing with the final reveal of the evil mastermind’s absurdly convoluted plot.

We can definitely complain about how strangely detailed it is, but it’s still on par with other convoluted master plans like the Joker’s in The Dark Knight. Though Lickona probably hated that too.

review movies hate

While it’s a peculiar plan to wrap your head around, it’s at least worth mentioning that the ending subverts your expectations of the villain, his motivations, and how the movie plays out. You think it’s going to end with the heroes uniting to stop a bigger threat, but instead, the villain wins and divides them.

But no, the plot is somewhat convoluted, so the whole thing is worthless.

The jokey super-banter remains to provide comic relief, and there are one or two moments that really stick (Cap vs. a helicopter, Iron Man vs. his own rage, and hey look, Spider-Man!).

“I like some stuff in this movie. 1/5 stars.”

No seriously, that’s his rating.

But mostly, this one registers as sound and fury, signifying sequels.

Just like Empire Strikes Back, which ended on a cliffhanger. Obviously, a movie that spends too much time setting up for future installments, rather than providing a great story, deserves the criticism. But Civil War was far more payoff than buildup to something else, and the fact that it does at times lay seeds for future films doesn’t suddenly poison the entire picture, unless you let it.

review movies hate

Look, I get that Civil War is a flawed movie and it certainly isn’t for everyone. And I totally buy that Lickona thought it was a bore of a movie, and that’s fine. My issue is that his review completely ignores his readership, or an understanding of why people love movies. He’s actively misleading people by dishing out crude marks based on glorified nitpicks.

By all means, break the movie down and explain what the instruments are that delude you. Don’t just slap a 1/5 stars on your paragraph of copy and then make sarcastic comments on repeat.

So I’m left wondering why Lickona even reviews movies at all, based on the clear evidence that he seems to hate the vast majority of them.

What, don’t believe me? Here are some other films Matthew Lickona has rated 2/5 stars or lower:

 

  • Zootopia
  • Inside Out
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Dead pool
  • Whiplash
  • Birdman
  • Skyfall
  • The Martian
  • Sicario
  • Big Hero 6
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Gone Girl
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • The Imitation Game 
  • Wild 
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Neighbors
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • The Dark Knight Rises

And many, many more.

Guess how many movies he’s rated 5/5.

Right! The answer is 0. And this guy expects you to believe him when he says that Captain America: Civil War is a bad movie because something something pejorative.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

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

 

On Second Thought, Zemo Was One of the Best Things About ‘Civil War’

civil war zemo

My initial reaction to Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War was quite similar to the reactions fans and critics have had with most Marvel cinematic villains.

“Is that it?” we all tend to wonder.

The important thing to remember is that most Baron Zemo fans enjoy the more recent incarnations of the character. In his early run, Zemo was a fairly generic “bad guy” seeking revenge against the Avengers because his father died while fighting Captain America.

It wasn’t until the 80s that the character was involved in some more intriguing story arcs, including his formation of the Thunderbolts, which was a team of villains pretending to be heroes who ultimately become heroes for real because they like it so much.

In Civil War, I didn’t see much of this Zemo being played out by the talented Daniel Brühl. True, they both have a thirst for vengeance, and both have a genius-level intellect akin to D.C.’s Lex Luthor. But the characterization was a far cry from the more enigmatic villain we know and hate to love. In Civil War, he’s muted and seemingly interchangeable.

civil war zemo

(Plot spoilers from here on out, so if you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War, read no further unless you don’t mind getting spoiled.)

You have to admit, though, that the villain in Civil War is also very different from most of the antagonists we’ve seen play out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For one thing, the film doesn’t kill him off, which is a typical death wish for villains unless your name is Loki. Also, the film seems very interested in developing Zemo further, likely offering this version of Zemo as more of an origin, foregoing the rest of his arc for future films.

Take a look at some of the other heavy-hitter villains in the MCU. We see the origin of Obadiah Stain in Iron Man as he betrays Tony and dons a bigger, badder suit, only to get killed in the end. Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk also goes through the same process when he becomes the Abomination, only to get killed in the end.

Red Skull? Becomes Red Skull before the movie even starts, and then he gets killed in the end. Ronan? Uses the infinity stone to gain power and gets killed (presumably) in the end. Ultron? He’s literally born and killed in the same running time. Yellowjacket? A copy and paste of Obadiah Stain.

Don’t even get me started on the Mandarin.

civil war zemo

But Zemo’s arc in Civil War isn’t quite as familiar. His evil turn happens entirely off-screen, and months before the movie begins. He doesn’t die by the time the credits roll. In fact, he actually wins in the end, accomplishing exactly what he set out to do. The “super soldiers” are dead. The Avengers have been split up. Their “empire,” as he calls it, has fallen.

The only thing he didn’t account for was Black Panther tagging along and preventing his suicide. The one thing he couldn’t predict was a person actually overcoming their thirst for vengeance.

For once, I’m actually intrigued by what happens next for this villain, even more so than Loki. I think my initial and frankly negative reaction was painted by a decade of getting used to Marvel’s rule book of three-act villains. Now it seems that Marvel (with some help from the Russo brothers and their dream team of screenwriters) is trying something new with its bad guys. They’re treating them like they would their protagonists.

The heroes of the MCU are arguably why we love these movies so much, faults and all. We love, know, and understand these characters. And I’m all for Marvel slowing down with stories for their villains, who should be just as important. Why does Zemo need to have a beginning, middle, and deadly end within the course of a movie that is already stuffed to the brim with major plot points? Why should he be any of the characters we already know doing battle in the scene depicted below?

ciivl war zemo

That means, of course, that we can’t get the full picture of Zemo until we see how the events of Civil War change him. Will he become what he hates the most (someone with a suit) in order to stop the Avengers once and for all? Or will he move on and become something more of an anti-anti-hero, possibly leading the Thunderbolts in his own movie?

I’d be fine with either or even both, and seeing these movies from the big picture one day, it could certainly be one of the best things we got out of Civil War, beyond a few stellar action scenes and a spot-on Peter Parker.


Did you like Zemo in Captain America: Civil War? Let me know in the comments below. 

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

The ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Civil War

captain america civil war review

Hey all, things get heated on this week’s episode of Now Conspiring, where we review Captain America: Civil War. In short, things get…heated. We do a spoiler-free review followed by a discussion where we spoil the movie aplenty (with warning).

Jon, Kayla, and Adonis loved the movie, but Maria was pretty mixed. Oh, and Sam is there even though he didn’t see the movie. Let the conspiring begin!

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? On that note, are you Team Jon & Adonis, or Team Maria & Kayla? Also, please let us know which impression you want Sam to do from now on!

Go on…The ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Civil War

Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Is a New Kind of Marvel Movie

review captain america civil war

The villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have always struggled, with few exceptions, to entertain on the same level as the heroes. Most of the time, the antagonists are simply bigger, less interesting versions of the hero, complete with a similar skill set. Iron Man set this off with Obadiah Stain, followed by Hulk’s Rampage, Ant-Man’s Yellowjacket, and others.

Civil War has its own uninteresting villain in Daniel Bruhl’s anarchist take on Baron Zemo, but he’s about as central to this film’s emotional center as Ant-Man. His side-villainy aside, Civil War shines because there is no clear antagonist, except for the one Captain America and Iron Man see in each other.

This is a tricky line to balance for plots such as this, because both sides of the conflict require convincing arguments to split audiences believably. For some, it will be irresistible to root for the pragmatic “fall in line” philosophy Tony Stark has grown into since 2008, and it’s one of the most impressive multi-film story arcs of all time considering its movement over the years.

review captain america civil war

While others will see Captain America’s “choice at all costs” dogma to be the more appealing, mostly because his rebellion against Stark and others is what drives the film’s story (it’s his name in the title, after all).

Civil War is the definition of a film that relies on its franchise nature to deliver its most resonant messages. The loneliness Steve Rogers carries as a man out of time is what justifies a frankly stupefying mission to save a man who doesn’t appear to be worth the trouble. But Bucky Barnes (AKA Winter Soldier) is the only connection Rogers has left to his old life, though he admits that even in those days, he couldn’t seem to fit in. And the events of Winter Soldier have already proven to Rogers that answering to a bureaucratic authority is how true empires (like Hydra) are formed.

This is all undercut by Tony Stark’s march against the threats that have popped up time and time again during the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Vision coldly reasons at one point, “Our strength invites challenge.”

review captain america civil war

And this is a movie where that strength is seen ten-fold, quite literally. The titular face-off is as satisfying as the marketing has been trying to sell you on, thanks to Marvel’s willingness to weave in a large number of subplots that any normal screenwriter would weep at the sight of. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are complemented well by screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and they successfully make Civil War feel just as much a natural progression of the Captain America movies as it does a true Avengers sequel. And for some, it will be the Avengers sequel they expected from last year’s Age of Ultron.

The action itself is superb, in that it’s plainly obvious that the characters’ abilities were consistently considered when these scenes were written and directed. Captain America uses his shield in inventive ways, but Black Panther and Winter Soldier use vibranium in fighting styles that are unique to them. Spider-Man is a youthful powerhouse who stops often to chat, and Ant-Man lets himself get shot through the air on one of Hawkeye’s arrows.

These moments of simple creativity are what spark life into the long running time, in between moments of intense parkour and admittedly overlong fight sequences that have predictable outcomes. The script itself is tight, save for a few editing tricks that keep the laws of physics glossy, and almost none of the CGI is noticeable enough to lower the stakes of each set piece.

review captain america civil war

All this said, Civil War doesn’t expand the storytelling of the MCU in new ways, but it is a new kind of Marvel movie, in that balances subplots and seeds for future movies in a more graceful way than ever, forcing the viewer to catch up instead of the other way around (exactly like a comic book).

This works in Civil War because it also builds upon what people already love about these characters, their personalities, and how these movies hold them all together. And if that’s the only criteria in which you’re judging the film, then you’ll walk away thinking it’s about perfect.

Grade: A-

Extra Credits:

  • Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman pull off something amazing by making both Spider-Man and Black Panther so instantly lovable. Their solo movies can’t come fast enough.
  • Which side are you on? Personally, I’m team Cap all the way, which is apparently the wrong side if you ask anyone else I saw this movie with.
  • I love this movie, but not quite as much as the first Avengers. But I can certainly see many people calling this one their favorite of the MCU for years to come.
  • This movie is very similar to Age of Ultron, actually, which I graded the same. Because like UltronCivil War refines the established strengths of its predecessor (Winter Soldier in this case) and gives us more to love based on what already worked before. Heck, I actually gave Winter Soldier an A- as well.
  • I was disappointed by Don Cheadle’s limited screen time this time around, especially compared to some of the other main Avengers. That said, I can’t say that about anyone else in this movie, which is an achievement all in itself.

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

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

2016 movie ranking

#3 Manchester by the Sea

2016 movie ranking

#4 Hell or High Water

2016 movie ranking

#5 Moonlight

2016 movie ranking

#6 Sully

2016 movie ranking

#7 Zootopia

2016 movie power rankings

#8 Midnight Special

midnight special ranking

#9 Kubo and the Two Strings

2016 movie ranking

#10 Captain America: Civil War

2016 movie rankings

#11 Green Room

2016 movie ranking

#12 Pete’s Dragon

2016 movie ranking

#13 The Conjuring 2

2016 movie rankings

#14 Swiss Army Man

2016 movie rankings

#15 Southside with You

2016 movie ranking

#16 Hail, Caesar!

2016 movie power rankings

#17 Everybody Wants Some!!

2016 movie ranking

#18 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

2016 movie ranking

#19 The Jungle Book

2016 movie rankings

#20 10 Cloverfield Lane 

2016 movie power rankings

#21 Edge of Seventeen

2016 movie ranking

#22 Hacksaw Ridge

2016 movie ranking

#23 Arrival

2016 movie rankings

#24 Captain Fantastic

2016 movie ranking

#25 Finding Dory

2016 movie ranking

#26 Don’t Think Twice

2016 movie ranking

#27 Deadpool

2016 movie power rankings

#28 Doctor Strange

2016 movie ranking

#29 Don’t Breathe

2016 movie ranking

#30 Queen of Katwe

2016 movie ranking

#31 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

2016 movie rankings

#32 Justice League vs. Teen Titans

2016 movie ranking

#33 The Lobster

2016 movie ranking

#34 The Witch

2016 movie power rankings

#35 The BFG

2016 movie rankings

#36 The Nice Guys

nice guys ranking

#37 Kung Fu Panda 3

2016 movie power rankings

#38 X-Men: Apocalypse

2016 movie rankings

#39 Demolition

2016 movie ranking

#40 Snowden

2016 movie ranking

#41 The Light Between Oceans

2016 movie ranking

#42 Neon Demon

2016 movie ranking

#43 Star Trek Beyond

2016 movie ranking

#44 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2016 movie ranking

#45 The Accountant

2016 movie ranking

#46 Magnificent Seven

2016 movie rankings

#47 Suicide Squad

2016 movie ranking

#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

2016 movie ranking

#52 Jason Bourne

2016 movie ranking

#53 Gods of Egypt 

2016 movie rankings

#54 Ghostbusters

2016 movie ranking

#55 Warcraft

2016 movie rankings

#56 Independence Day: Resurgence

2016 movie rankings

#57 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

2016 movie ranking

#58 The Secret Life of Pets

2016 movie ranking

#59 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

batman v superman ranking

#60 Sausage Party

2016 movie ranking

#61 Alice Through the Looking Glass

alice looking glass ranking

#62 Dirty Grandpa

2016 movie rankings

#63 The Divergent Series: Allegiant

2016 movie rankings

#64 The Legend of Tarzan

2016 movie rankings


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