Dropping big bucks to see a newly released movie is always a game of chance. You watch those 30 second commercials and make a knee-jerk decision to head out to your local cinema hoping for a couple of hours of bliss. More times than not you’ll end up with buyer’s remorse. Only four of the top ten movies in this list were able to crack the Top 50 list of worldwide box office earners. What might be worse than investing your money unwisely is the willing sacrifice of time that you’ll never ever get back. You can always make more money but time is another thing entirely. Read why we call out These 10 For the Win.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Former scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen is now the Empire’s lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, a vengeful Jyn (Felicity Jones) joins forces with a spy and other resistance fighters to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance.
FINALLY, Star Wars: A New Hope gets a proper prequel, the one it deserves. Many gaps are filled in as the Star Wars universe continues to expand. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a story of struggle, sacrifice and survival that will bring together a whole slew of emotions. If you’re a fan of the original trilogy then prepared to get that warm feeling all over again.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
The extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Hacksaw Ridge is an amazing true story that should pull audiences in and won’t let them go until the very end. Andrew Garfield gives a great performance and the film itself gains traction as it goes.
Green Room (2016)
Down on their luck punk rockers The Ain’t Rights are finishing up a long and unsuccessful tour, and are about to call it quits when they get an unexpected booking at an isolated, run-down club deep in the backwoods of Oregon. What seems merely to be a third-rate gig escalates into something much more sinister when they witness an act of violence backstage that they weren’t meant to see. Now trapped backstage, they must face off against the club’s depraved owner, Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart), a man who will do anything to protect the secrets of his nefarious enterprise. But while Darcy and his henchmen think the band will be easy to get rid of, The Ain’t Rights prove themselves much more cunning and capable than anyone expected, turning the tables on their unsuspecting captors and setting the stage for the ultimate life-or-death showdown.
I won’t lie, Green Room took a little to let everything soak in. Upon extended reflection, I came to the conclusion that this will end up going down as another of those great movies that many people will skip due to the subject matter. Patrick Stewart has never been more menacing which is a nice change of pace for him. It also marks one of the final performance by yet another talented person taken away from us far too soon. R.I.P. Anton Yelchin.
Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son’s (Jovan Adepo) chance to meet a college football recruiter.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis carry Fences with their strong performances. There’s definitely the feel of a stage play, especially when it comes to the length dialogue exchanges. Emotion and passion carry the drama to the next level. This is acting done right from beginning to end, top to bottom.
Don’t Breathe (2016)
Rocky (Jane Levy), a young woman wanting to start a better life for her and her sister, agrees to take part in the robbery of a house owned by a wealthy blind man with her boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto) and their friend Alex (Dylan Minnette). But when the blind man turns out to be a more ruthless adversary than he seems, the group must find a way to escape his home before they become his newest victims.
The horror genre is my personal favorite, therefore I am quite passionate about my thoughts on them. Don’t Breathe came along and put a choke hold on my attention. This twisted flick has a little something for everyone to enjoy…or feel anxious about. The edge of your seats is where you’ll spend most of your time and that’s a great thing. Fans, please check this one out.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller took a chance with Deadpool by ditching status quo for superhero movies and instead shooting for a hard R-rating. Those risks paid off tenfold and the dividends are still coming in. This Marvel movie goes wild in ways others have only dreamed about. Enjoy the ride.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.
Talk about under-promising and over-delivering, Captain America: Civil War brings the big gun. Disney/Marvel did a great job training fans that standalone movies will be released at a consistent rate and then a big bang collaborative Avengers feature will follow bringing these individual stories together into a much bigger picture. This Captain America movie obliterates these previous expectations. Superhero overload never felt so right as the all-star cast never lets up. This is an absolute must-see!
Midnight Special (2016)
A father (Michael Shannon), goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), and uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers. What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever, in this genre–defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human.
Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama, Midnight Special, went virtually unnoticed if it was measured by its box office performance. Sadly, those that skipped this one, missed out on a very solid, compelling and entertaining time. A story that unfolds in such a way takes patience to appreciate. Give it a try and you’ll be thankful you gave it a shot.
La La Land (2016)
Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.
Musicals may not be everyone’s cup of tea but La La Land is too delicious to pass up. Emma Stone dazzles and Ryan Gosling charms in this modern day classic. Sing, dance, hum, smile and cry. I try not to excessively gush over how enjoyable of an experience this one is but it’s very difficult. With that being said, prepare to be dazzled.
Hell or High Water (2016)
Toby (Chris Pine) is a divorced father who’s trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner (Ben Foster) is an ex-convict with a short temper and a loose trigger finger. Together, they plan a series of heists against the bank that’s about to foreclose on their family ranch. Standing in their way is Marcus (Jeff Bridges), a Texas Ranger who’s only weeks away from retirement. As the siblings plot their final robbery, they must also prepare for a showdown with a crafty lawman who’s not ready to ride off into the sunset.
Hell or High Water kicks open the door and stares down a double barrel of tension without blinking once. Brilliantly written and beautifully acted, be prepared to be sucked in for the long haul. Jeff Bridges gives one hell of a performance in his supporting role. As far as bank robbery movies go, this one will be in the upper echelon for quite a few years to come.