There have been a few articles recently calling 2016 a really bad year for Cinema. And while there have been a fair few share of duds this year, Independence Day Resurgence, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Legend of Tarzan and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows to name a few, there have also been some great movies this Summer even if you weren’t as keen on Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad as I was. In this article I list the Summer 2016 films that I really ended up liking, and are movies that you should definetly see if you get the chance.
THE NICE GUYS
The Nice Guys is a great crime/comedy drama from Shane Black and features excellent comedic timing for Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as private detectives who investigate a missing girl in 1970s Los Angeles. If you like Shane Black’s movies such as Iron Man Three and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and the films that he wrote like The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Last Boy Scout, then this one will be right up your street.
STAR TREK BEYOND
In what looks to be a really depressing year for real life events, Star Trek Beyond lead the way for hope and optimism in a Utopian future that continues on from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movies but effectively stands alone as Fast & Furious director Justin Lin gives us a Simon Pegg script that’s filled with excellent movie moments and features the best music cue of the year in the form of the Beastie Boy’s Sabotage. The cast all get something to do (it is no surprise that Pegg’s Scotty gets an increased role) and everything is great fun from start to finish. It’s an absolute blast and one of the best movies of the year.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
This was an excellent animated movie that is the most recent film that I saw on the list and is a joy to watch from start to finish. Featuring amazing animation from the brilliant Laika Entertainment, Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic fantasy that’s just as fun for adults as it is for children, featuring an intense fantasy drama that really works, and benefits from a great cast that includes the likes of Art Parkinson, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey, George Takei and Ralph Fiennes.
THE JUNGLE BOOK
Another Disney adaption of a classic that was far better than it had any right to be, The Jungle Book sees director Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1, Chef) update the story of Mowgli for a new generation featuring some amazing visual effects and a great cast of big names, with Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o and Christopher Walken lend their voice talents to the film that is an absolute blast to watch.
By far the most controversial placement on this list, the all-female Ghostbusters is actually a really awesome film, and whilst it does fall victim to the same final boss fight problems as The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers and the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the cast is excellent even if I’m not normally a fan of Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon is a scene-stealer. Chris Hemsworth’s comedic role is awesome as well, and everything is just really fun to watch.
The first Disney movie on this list is an adaption of a classic children’s movie that was far better than it had any right to be. It’s kind of a blend of How to Train Your Dragon and Room that actually surprisingly really works and has enough heart to emerge as one of the best movies of the year. David Lowery wisely doesn’t decide to turn it into a blockbuster, giving it a more indie feel with a soundtrack that includes music from Leonard Cohen. It also benefits from a great cast as well with Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford and Karl Urban, as well as a good young actor in the form of Oakes Fegley.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Marvel’s latest blockbuster may not be its best but it’s still an excellent film that pits Iron Man against Captain America following one Avengers-involved disaster too many, which sees them forced to submit to a UN-based initiative that restricts their freedom of moment. Steve Rogers isn’t happy with this, especially as his friend Bucky is in greater danger than ever before. For a big cast that also introduces Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland to the Marvel Universe as Black Panther and Spider-Man respectively, The Russo brothers continue to shepherd the Marvel Universe in the right direction following Joss Whedon’s departure.
THE CONJURING 2
The second Fast & Furious director to have a film appear on this list, James Wan’s Conjuring movies are pretty excellent and just some great horror movies in general. The Conjuring 2 may feel like Wan’s greatest hits but it still really works and has plenty of good scares. It tells the story of England’s Amytville, the Enfield Case in 1977, and sees Patrick Wilson and Vera Ferminga reprise their roles as husband and wife team of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorainne Warren.
THE NEON DEMON
It may be another controversial placement on this list but I liked The Neon Demon, even if it wasn’t perfect and had its flaws. Elle Fanning stars in Nicolas Winding Refn’s movie about Hollywood through the eyes of a young model who is pitted against her more experienced rivals. It’s a horror movie that isn’t afraid to go into very dark places, but has a stylish neon vibe that Drive fans will be familiar with. Just don’t expect it to be Drive 2.0, because it’s a completely different film.
I should point out that there are still a few movies that I haven’t seen from Summer 2016 but have heard good things about, like The Shallows, Hell or High Water, Nerve, Finding Dory and Popstar: Never Stop Popping so those could potentially be added to this list as well, but for now this is already a line-up full of good movies that you should consider watching if you get the chance. They’re all great.