Movies In My Collection #170: Quickie Reviews #13 (Overlooked & Underrated Movies Of 2016)



It’s been a while since we’ve done a Quickie Reviews and for this one in particular, I figure we talk about some of the underrated and overlooked movies of 2016. No particular reason, I mean it’s not like somebody else has done a recent video on this and that’s where I got the idea fro….

Okay, I took the idea from Chris Stuckmann alright, I’ll admit it. I liked that idea so I figure, what the hell, I might as well do it here.

So, for this, we’re taking a look at the best overlooked and underrated movies from the past year, the movies that I thought got severely passed over in the last year, a lot of these will be taken from my best of the year list since I did have a lot of movies that not a lot of people saw last year on that list but it won’t just be those movies but also other movies that I liked that a lot of people passed over too.

These aren’t in any particular order and with that said, these are some overlooked and underrated movies of 2016:

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi (Total Gross: $52.9 million)

More proof that Michael Bay can still provide great entertainment without insulting the intelligence of his audience, 13 Hours was a surprisingly strong and effective action thriller.

The Finest Hours (Total Gross: $27.6 million)

Featuring a cast including Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Eric Bana, Holiday Grainger, and Ben Foster, it’s hard to believe that this movie comes from Disney of all studios. As far as a rescue drama goes, this is pretty generic but overall, I did find myself enjoying the film, it’s got a lot of good acting in it, the visuals look really impressive, the tension is pretty good, it’s got enough enjoyment value to recommend it when it hits TV or on Blu-Ray, it wasn’t something that you needed to see in a theater.

Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday (Netflix Original Movie)

Thank god I finally got Netflix because it means I get to watch their great original movies and TV shows right as they air, such as Pee Wee’s Big Holiday, a return to form for Paul Reubens’ legendary character. A lot better than Big Top Pee-Wee was and certainly a better holiday than Mr. Bean’s Holiday was.

Hail, Caesar! (Total Gross: $30.1 million)

The Coen Brothers did it again, another hilariously fun over the top comedy featuring an impressive all-star cast in George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson Ralph Finnes, Alden Ehrenreich and Tilda Swinton. One of the best Coen Bros.’ films in years.

How To Be Single (Total Gross: $46.8 million)

One of the biggest romantic comedy surprises in recent memory, the four leads, Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, and Alison Brie are great in this movie and the movie doesn’t pull that romantic comedy cliché bullshit, it doesn’t treat being single as an insult, this film actually embraces single life and for that, it’s one of the best movies of the year…at least in the honorable mentions.

The Witch (Total Gross: $25.1 million)

The film follows a Puritan family encountering forces of evil in the woods beyond their New England farm. Creepy, very atmospheric, chilling, filled with a very good cast including a young new talent in Anya-Taylor Joy, this was one of the indications that 2016 was going to be a really good year for horror movies and it was with this, The Conjuring 2 and Ouija: Origin Of Evil, it was a really good year for horror starting with this film.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Total Gross: $23.1 million)

God, that title is so bad but the movie is so good. Really, that title is the biggest flaw of the movie solely because they had a great title in The Taliban Shuffle and they said, “no, that’s not marketable enough so let’s make a title that’s even less marketable.” And that’s why this movie failed at the box office. But regardless, Tina Fey really shines in this movie, there’s a lot of great comedy and drama and the rest of the cast in this is fantastic. This is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

Midnight Special (Total Gross: $3.7 million)

Jeff Nichols is currently getting a lot of attention for Loving right now but earlier this year, Midnight Special came out and surprisingly, a lot of people passed over it. The story revolves around Roy Tomlin and his biological son, Alton Meyer, escaping from both the government and a cult, after discovering that Alton has special powers. Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Jaeden Liebner starred in the film.

I finally watched this a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed it, the sci-fi elements work really well, there’s this sense of the opening scene of E.T. with the scientists looking for E.T. all throughout, the music by David Wingo and the visual look of the film are astonishing, the casting works really well, the direction is great. Midnight Special is a really good movie that a lot of people did not get to see in 2016 but it’s well worth the search

The Little Prince (Total Gross: $1.3 million)

Sweet mother of god, people, watch this movie and you will not be disappointed, this movie has some of the best animation that I have seen in years, the voice cast is great, the story works really well, it has a strong message. Please do not let The Little Prince go under your radar, it’s one of the best movies of the year.

Everybody Wants Some!! (Total Gross: $3.4 million)

I overall enjoyed the movie, I don’t think it’s quite as good as some of Linklater’s more superior works like Dazed & Confused or Boyhood but it’s still a really solid and really entertaining movie, much like Stranger Things, this is something that definitely benefits on nostalgic love of the 80s, brilliantly written characters, well acted characters, and a ton of really solid bits of comedy. Maybe not one of Richard Linklater’s stronger films but I still really enjoyed it enough to highly recommend it.

Hardcore Henry (Total Gross: $9.3 million)

Speaking of one of the most overlooked movies of the year, why the fuck did nobody go and see Hardcore Henry? This movie was badass action that has been long overdo, the idea of doing a first person action movie can be seen as somewhat of a gimmick if done the wrong way but Hardcore Henry manages to make the gimmick work as well as they did and also, I can’t remember the last time Sharlto Copley was this much fun and awesome.

Barbershop: The Next Cut (Total Gross: $54 million)

A great long overdue sequel that, like Zootopia, manages to take important issues of today and presents them in a funny and effective dramatic way. Might very well be the best of the Barbershop movies.

Money Monster (Total Gross: $41 million)

A great thriller directed by Jodie Foster, of all people, and boasting strong performances all around from George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and especially breakout roles for Jack O’Connell and Caitrona Balfe.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (Total Gross: $55.3 million)

In a year of pointless sequels, Neighbors 2 broke a trend of just these godawful comedy sequels and manages to actually be enjoyable, maybe not as enjoyable as the first movie but hey, it was enjoyable, that’s more than I can say for 98% of all the comedy sequels we’ve gotten this decade.

The Nice Guys (Total Gross: $36.3 million)

I absolutely loved this movie, it’s the Shane Black that I was hoping we’d get with Iron Man 3 but didn’t get. The Nice Guys is one of the funniest and most enjoyable comedies I’ve seen in years, a great cast, a great script, great comedy, great action, it’s everything you could ever expect from a film like this and then some.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (Total Gross: $82.1 million)

What makes these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies work better than the Transformers movies is that the people who make these movies are clearly fans of the Ninja Turtles cartoons, they know what makes the cartoons work better and know how to bring them into the live-action world. Plus, they keep everything simple, they don’t go for the insane overblown effects that Transformers does, there are overblown effects but they aren’t as nuts as the Transformers movies are. Also, there’s nothing offensive about these movies like there is with the Transformers movies.

Out Of The Shadows is a good fun time at the movies paying great homage to the classic Ninja Turtles cartoons of the 80s and 90s and it’s the perfect example of a good fun summer escapist entertainment event, the action is really good, the visuals are fun to watch, the acting is good enough, the spirit of the series is definitely here. It’s slightly better than the Ninja Turtles 2014 movie and it makes you wonder what they’ll do for the next movie. Out Of The Shadows is great summer escapism entertainment.

The BFG (Total Gross: $55.5 million)

Steven Spielberg proves he’s still got it, taking one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved childrens’ books of all time and creates a good fun enjoyable adaptation with yet another strong performance by Mark Rylance and a great new actress in Ruby Barnhill. It’s unfortunate that it bombs but I hope this movie finds a following in the years to come.

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (Total Gross: $46 million)

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates is definitely a vast improvement over the terrible R rated comedies we’ve gotten over the last few years, there’s a lot of good laughs, the cast is great, it’s a good fun enjoyable summer comedy. If you’re looking for some good raunchy laughs this summer, this is definitely the comedy to check out.

Pete’s Dragon (Total Gross: $76.2 million)

It’s clear that Disney is trying their hardest to capture the spirit of the original Pete’s Dragon while putting it in a modern setting. As long as they can stay true to the original movie and get rid of the elements that wouldn’t work today.

And as this new film goes, I really loved the film. I think this remake does a good job standing on its’ own keeping a lot of the elements from the original film but also not going for too much over the top flair to it.

The connection between Pete and Elliott, voiced here by John Kassir while in the original it was Charlie Callas, is great, you really do believe their relationship in this and the motion capture work on Elliott is incredible.

The performances from the cast were really solid, Bryce Dallas Howard was really good in this, although was I the only one who kept making the jokes about her not wearing high heels in reference to that being one of the main complaints from a lot of people in Jurassic World.

Wes Bentley and Karl Urban were really solid in this as was Robert Redford and Fegley and Oona Laurence worked off each other really well too.

I would probably put it ahead of the Alice in Wonderland films and Maleficent but not quite as good as The Jungle Book or Cinderella. It is something I would highly recommend seeing as we are heading into a lull of new releases this week.

Southside With You (Total Gross: $6.3 million)

Finally got around to checking this one out before I made the list, I love this movie, this is basically the Before Sunrise except done with Barack & Michelle Obama with excellent performances by Parker Sawyers as Obama and Tika Sumpter as Michelle with a really solid script and direction by Richard Tamme. This is definitely a movie to seek out.

Storks (Total Gross: $72 million)

It’s been such a good year for animated movies and this one is one of the reasons why it’s been such a great year because this is a prime example of using the power of animation to your advantage.

I hope WB puts out more fun animated films like this.

For one thing, it was very creative, the ideas that they go with to tell this story are great, there’s a lot of creativity on how they create the babies using letters, even the gags involving the wolves turning into different things, it’s all very creative and very enjoyable to watch.

There’s a very well voiced cast led by Andy Samberg and newcomer Katie Crown plus you get Kelsey Grammer in a good turn as the bad guy, Key & Peele are great as the wolves, even Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston are really solid as the parents to the main kid character, Nate, who was also really good in this being voiced by Anton Starkman.

With every new creative thing this film comes up with, the jokes just keep getting funnier and funnier, this is a very funny comedy to watch, just a good fun time.

I highly recommend this movie, it’s not getting a lot of attention but it’s just good old fashion fun, the animation is bright and vibrant, the comedy is top notch, the creativity levels are high, the voice cast works, the story works, it’s not a LEGO Movie level movie for this studio but it does prove that WB has the capacity to create more fun animated films like this and I want them to do so in the future, this was a ton of fun to watch.

Kubo & The Two Strings (Total Gross: $48 million)

The animation is breathtaking, the story is great, the voice acting is amazing, the music is great, everything about this movie just works. We should all be thankful that a studio like Laika exists out there who are making these not only beautiful movies but also profound movies, films that make you think a lot and be enjoyable for both kids and adults, outside of Pixar, this studio has done a fantastic job of creating great animation and Kubo is easily the best one they’ve done so far. This is one you need to rush out and see ASAP, you will not be disappointed.

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