Revisiting the Movies We Said Were Must See in 2016

Each year, I make a list of the movies you have to see in the coming year. And each year… well, I’m not perfect. So, now that 2016 has all but wrapped up, it only made sense to take a look at that original list to gauge whether I’m completely full of shit or not.

Overall, many of my most anticipated movies of 2016 proved to be disappointments (though in general I’d argue the year was a strong one for movies), and it should be noted that only three movies on this list made my Top Ten Movies of 2016 list.

Here’s some simple analysis of the 34 films recommended in January 2016:

  1. Gambit – N/A – dropped from the schedule, perhaps indefinitely
  2. Deadpool – GREAT – this funny, box office hit nearly made our Top 10
  3. The BFG – DISAPPOINTING – it was okay, but most critics complained it was boring
  4. Zoolander 2 – DISAPPOINTING – it was funnier than most people said, but still utterly unnecessary
  5. Money Monster – GOOD – while not amazing, this was a consistently entertaining old-school thriller
  6. La La Land – GOOD – though a bit overrated, it lived up to most people’s expectations and is a serious Oscar contender
  7. Doctor Strange – GOOD – this Marvel movie was fun, if predictably predictable
  8. The Great Wall – N/A – released in China, but bumped to 2017 in the U.S. Trailers have been lame
  9. Ghostbusters – DISAPPOINTING – mildly entertaining, but a bit of a disappointment
  10. Demolition – GOOD – this Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer is an overlooked gem
  11. Jane Got a Gun – BAD – didn’t see it, pretty much didn’t get released in theaters, sounded boring
  12. 13 Hours – OKAY – though cheesy in parts, this was a decent effort from Michael Bay (but most didn’t like it)
  13. Independence Day: Resurgence – BAD – pretty damn terrible
  14. Central Intelligence – DISAPPOINTING – funny but inconsistently so, this crowdpleaser was more miss than not
  15. The Conjuring 2 – GREAT – though way too long, this was one scary sequel
  16. Story of Your Life – GREAT – this alien thriller was renamed Arrival and made our Top Ten List
  17. The Secret Life of Pets – BAD – great concept, terrible execution
  18. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – OKAY – moderately entertaining but utterly generic
  19. Captain America: Civil War – GOOD – entertaining though slight on excitement factor
  20. The Girl on the Train – BAD – it’s a faithful adaptation, but not a good movie
  21. Passengers – OKAY – we found it entertaining, but most critics have ravaged it
  22. Triple 9 – DISAPPOINTING – bloody and entertaining, but also insanely stupid and illogical
  23. The Cellar – GREAT – renamed 10 Cloverfield Lane, this awesome thriller made our Top Ten List
  24. Finding Dory – GOOD – delightfully fun, but Finding Nemo has the same story and is a better movie
  25. Hail, Caesar! – BAD – this nostalgic Coen Brothers comedy is not funny
  26. Suicide Squad – BAD – the movie is not the fun, edgy flick promised in the trailers
  27. The Witch – GREAT – this electric thriller easily made our Top Ten List
  28. Star Trek Beyond – VERY GOOD – this sequel is a lot more fun than its predecessor
  29. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – DISAPPOINTING – though somewhat entertaining, it lacks the magic of the Harry Potter movies
  30. X-Men: Apocalypse – BAD – this movie was a disappointment from start to finish
  31. Rogue One: A Star Wars Saga – GREAT – though not perfect, it’s highly entertaining and features an excellent climactic battle sequence
  32. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – DISAPPOINTING – the director’s cut is better, but this overly dark slog is the definition of failed potential
  33. Silence – N/A – I’m seeing it next week; reviews have been positive
  34. Jason Bourne – DISAPPOINTING – this reunion of Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass proved to be one of the most disappointing films of the year.
By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Top 10 Movie Lists