Top 10 Most Surprising Movies of 2016

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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

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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.

Read full review here

9. Florence Foster Jenkins

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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.

Read full review here

8. Deepwater Horizon

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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.

Read full review here

7. Green Room

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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.

Read full review here

6. Sausage Party

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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.

Read full review here

5. Lights Out

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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.

Read full review here

4. The Shallows

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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.

Read full review here

3. The Magnificent Seven 

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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.

Read full review here

2. Don’t Breathe

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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.

Read full review here

1. Ouija: Origin of Evil

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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.

Read full review here

Which movie surprised you most this year? Comment below or tweet me @ZDMovie

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X-Men: Apocalypse is ambitious and enthusiastic even at its low points – REVIEW

Bryan Singer is back to direct his final X-Men movie while finishing up his young mutants trilogy

X-Men: Apocalypse is Bryan Singer’s latest X-Men movie. Riding from the success of Days of Future Past, everyone was excited to see what Singer had to offer to this old franchise. Apocalypse brings back old faces like Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence while also adding fresh blood like Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and Olivia Munn.

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Although, I did not think this movie was better than Days of Future Past, I thought it was better than what most critics were saying about it. Apocalypse is a very ambitious movie and more ambitious than it should be. It is not your typical superhero movie. There are some really weird and bizarre scenes that you should not except from a superhero movie. These scenes are often well made and well realized. They fit in perfectly within the movie and the universe that is being built.

One the other hand, the enthusiasm and the ambitions of these scenes make for some very poor looking scenes. The CGI is never at its best, because the movie wants to go places where it is difficult to shoot and build. Some of the shots seem fake and fairly cartoony. Nonetheless, you can forgive the inspired Singer for these mistakes because the audience can really appreciate what he is imagining. Imagination and creativity are definitely not lacking in this latest instalment.

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The new cast is all excellent. Everyone did great as always. Sophie Turner and Kodi Smith-McPhee were the best ones among the new cast. However, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender steal the show as Professor X and Magneto yet again. The chemistry between these two are what sells the emotional scenes. This is by far their movie.

Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse worked as a very menacing and scary villain. The movie does a great job showcasing his powers and just how powerful he is. However, the movie never gives him a clear motive for why he wants to destroy the world. The movie does give him a sort of biblical motive, but they never fully explain in details. This transform a very scary villain into this straight forward cliché.

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Despite some bad CGI and a cliché villain, the creativity and imaginative nature of X-Men: Apocalypse proves that Bryan Singer is still the best X-Men director the franchise has seen. As the cast continues to develop and become better, Apocalypse sets up for some new and exciting stories ahead. More X-Men movies are coming and I am extremely exiting to see what is next.

REVIEW: A-