From lackluster sequels to art house gems, 2016 has undeniably been a year of different hits and misses in the box office. As we reach the halfway mark of this roller-coaster year, ExploreTalent is counting down the most exciting and heartwarming movies that have hit cinemas:
1. Zootopia (Walt Disney Pictures)
Released on March 4, 2016
The first entry on this list is the 3-D animated comedy Zootopia. The film centers around a young rabbit police officer who tries to prove herself in the task force by solving a mysterious case in the animal metropolis. She is then forced to partner up with a fox con artist, which makes the job more difficult to do. Luckily, the unlikely pair work out their difference and unravel the mystery that is tearing the city apart.
Zootopia features the voice talents of Ginnifer Goodwin as Officer Judy Hopps and Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde. Other famous Hollywood cast members include J.K. Simmons, Idris Elba, Shakira, and Octavia Spencer. The movie became a critical and commercial hit, with critics praising the story line and characters as the two factors that mainly contribute to the film’s success.
2. Sing Street (Cosmo Films)
Released on April 15, 2016
John Carney directed and released the low-budget movie Once in 2007, and it quickly became one of the most beautiful musicals ever made. But his follow-up Begin Again in 2013 did not sit well with critics, so Carney naturally had to go dig into his roots to create another movie that will make audiences fall in love with his filmmaking style all over again.
The result is 2016’s Sing Street, which tells the simple story of a young Irish boy starting a band to impress a girl. It is set in the 1980s, so audiences can take a trip down memory lane as they sing along to the songs of The Cure and Duran Duran.
Carney saw to it that the cast was a mix of unknowns and some known actors like Jack Reynor and Aiden Gillen. But it is the heartwarming performance of Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and his growing pains that make the film so special.
3. The Lobster (Film4 Productions)
Released on May 13, 2016
Collin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in this absurd comedy, which received several accolades in the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. This included the Jury Prize and the Dog Palm Award for Bob the dog. The film was actually released last year in the UK but had only recently made its way to US shores.
The movie tells the story of David (Farrell), who lives in a dystopian society where loners are turned to animals if they do not find a partner in 45 days. He is left heartbroken when his wife leaves him, so he pretends to find love with a woman he meets in the woods. Do not expect this to be your average dystopian movie with serious story lines and less-than-interesting characters. Lobster is absolutely eccentric and may not be for every mainstream audience out there. But with the combination of excellent acting and beautiful filmmaking, it is definitely worth your time.
4. Weiner (Motto Pictures)
Released on May 20, 2016
This globally acclaimed documentary about former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner gives audiences an intimate look into the ups and downs of his 2013 mayoral election. It was reported that Weiner resigned from office back in 2011 when he was involved in a sexting scandal with several women.
A huge part of the documentary shows how smooth-sailing the 2013 election started, especially with the numerous supporters that were willing to give him a second chance. But his naturally cheeky personality gets him in hot water again as more online scandals surface. Perhaps what makes the film so compelling is that filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg managed to capture the raw emotions of Weiner, his political campaign team and his wife, Huma Abedin, as they try to cope up with the scandal surrounding them.
5. Captain America: Civil War (Marvel Studios)
Released on May 6,2016
Marvel Studios is no stranger when it comes to releasing stellar movies. But after Ant Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron fell short of expectations, the studio giant swore to amp the game with Captain America: Civil War. Despite the film’s title, the movie featured an ensemble cast of superheroes who were pitted against each other after Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) develop opposing views.
Civil War is undoubtedly the best 2016 film so far, especially with its ability to maintain a thought-provoking plot against a humorous and action-packed atmosphere that sticks true to Marvel’s signature filmmaking style.