After listing the disappointing movies of the year, it’s time to celebrate the movies that surprised me. These are the movies that I went in with low expectations or ready to hate but came out of the movie feeling satisfied. This is not my most loved films of 2016 but rather films that deserve some love or were underrated.
10. X-Men: Apocalypse
Probably the most controversial of this list, X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t bad at all. After seeing people and critics hating on this movie, I lowered my incredibly high expectations a bit, and I was still blown away. There were so many good moments, and the cast was terrific. If you haven’t checked out X-Men: Apocalypse, please do.
9. Florence Foster Jenkins
Meryl Streep playing a bad singer looked like it would have gotten on my nerves, but it didn’t. The movie was solid, and I laughed quite a bit. After the film had finished I felt a sense of satisfaction which was odd for me. This movie is far from my wheelhouse, and it still managed to make me love it.
8. Deepwater Horizon
From the trailers, Deepwater Horizon looked like a heartless sloppy action movie. It looked disrespectful and existed just to get action fans to go see the film. However, I was surprised with how much depth and compassion I felt for the characters. Just that defied my expectation.
7. Green Room
This raunchy emo horror-thriller delved into the neo-nazi culture. It had suspense and great performances, especially from Patrick Stewart. It could have explored the neo-nazi culture a little more, but overall it was a solid horror-thriller that kicked off a strong year for horror movies.
6. Sausage Party
Who thought Sausage Party would have such rich religious commentary? Not me and that is what surprised me most about it. Sure there was too many vulgar words and tiring stereotypes, but the execution of the religious metaphor alone was impressive.
5. Lights Out
Sometimes short films should stay short films except for Lights Out which was an excellent example of turning a short film into a full-length movie. Following in the steps of The Babadook and The Conjuring (sometimes a little too much), it made for an emotionally powerful and scary horror story.
4. The Shallows
We finally got another fun shark movie. Jaws has been the only great shark movie for a while, and it continues to be, but Blake Lively’s summer flick is sure to surprise fan of the genre. Suspenseful and thrilling, it’s all we ask for a shark movie, and The Shallows definitely delivers.
3. The Magnificent Seven
After seeing poor reviews, I had almost no expectations for this remake. So, it was a pleasant surprise when The Magnificent Seven turned out being well…magnificent. Though it wasn’t perfect, it was fun, and it had a great cast that helped elevate the flaws.
2. Don’t Breathe
I was all in this from start to finish, and it was such a simple plot. Its simplicity is what truly shined throughout. Don’t Breathe could’ve easily been boring and suspenseless but it wasn’t. You cared for the main character, and you understand why she needs to do this.
1. Ouija: Origin of Evil
Remember the first Ouija? No? Good because it was terrible. Probably one of the laziest most cliche horror movie of 2014 yet Ouija: Origin of Evil was a sophisticated and powerful prequel that should not even wear the Ouija name.
Which movie surprised you most this year? Comment below or tweet me @ZDMovie