2016 Movies I’ve Watched

1. Boyhood - Worth watching for the challenge the filmmakers overcame, but not enough substance to watch multiple times for enjoyment. 6/10

2. The Imitation Game - Second time watching this movie. It is absolutely fantastic especially considering the budget. It was shot, directed, and acted in a way that made it impossible to tell it was technically an indie movie. 8/10

3. The Revenant - Most beautiful movie I have ever seen. Excellent story and execution. A little long, but it doesn’t matter if you like soaking in the cinematography. 8/10

4. Pawn Sacrifice - Not a movie for everyone, but I personally enjoy psychological period pieces. Although they never managed to raise the stakes considering they are only playing chess. Great acting and vision. 7/10

5. The Martian - Can see why this movie was an audience pleaser. Although bad things kept happening, I never felt like our character was in real danger. Was hoping for a movie about isolation and self reflection, but Matt Damon was constantly feeding the audience through his video diaries. Pretty good movie. 7.5/10

6. Black Mass - Great movie filled with wonderful performances and directed well. At times it got me hooked into the story, but lacked a good climax/resolution. 7/10

7. Experimenter - I enjoyed this indie move. It’s a good lesson on what you can do with little money. Like most movies coming out it lacks a good climax/resolution, but was still interesting to watch and informational. Didn’t enjoy breaking the 4th wall and thought they could have conveyed those thoughts tied into the actual story. 6.8/10

8. Room - Very inspiring movie with a unique way of telling an original story. They did a great job of making you connect with the mind of a little boy and telling a lot of story in one location. It dragged a little bit at one point. Had a great climax and then the movie continued for another hour. The movie’s final resolution was good once they got to it. 7.8/10

9. Legend - Decent movie at best. It doesn't really find its voice and story until the movie is almost over. Not a whole lot happens the first hour of the movie. Movie about real life gangsters shows us how boring real life actually is. Acting was good but had no where to go. A waste of two Tom Hardys. Discovering that historical dramas are hard to create a story arch because you are bound by facts. 5.5/10

10. Inside Out - Very emotional Pixar movie. Not sure if I connected with it more because I just had a child, or if I would feel the same before he was born. Almost made me cry a few times. A lot of very powerful metaphors. I feel like I need to watch it again because I was too focused on the metaphors and themes to properly enjoy it. 8/10

11. The Stanford Prison Experiment - Very interesting movie that suffered a little from a few characters bad acting. Would have been great to have a change of scenery, but a good lesson on what you can do with very little. Unlike the other historical dramas I've watched recently, they were actually able to make a decent and clear climax/resolution. Would have liked a little more character development from the psychologist to really invest in his emotional and ethical struggle. 6/10

12. Fantastic Four - A legitimately bad movie with a few redeeming qualities that only tens of millions of dollars could buy. Originally felt bad for the director, but there are too many unforgivable elemental flaws with the story, dialogue, and acting. Acting was terrible, dialogue was cheesy, and the story structure didn't really exist. 3/10 

13. Spotlight - Good historical drama about journalism. The real power in this movie is the scriptwriting and acting. This movie wouldn’t work on any level without the dialogue. Visually pretty boring. Had a nice build up but then fizzles out. No real climax. 7/10

14. Trumbo - I really enjoyed this historical drama and was entertained the entire time. Didn’t have a huge climax but it had a great resolution. One of the better historical movies I’ve seen lately. 7.2/10

15. Steve Jobs - Very unique approach to telling a story. Really impressed with the level of story they were able to achieve from backstage at an Apple launch event. Had a great climax and resolution. Thoroughly entertained with this great script, acting, and directing. 7.8/10

16. Goosebumps - A pleasant surprise and an enjoyable watch. Loved the amount of detail and respect to story structure this movie had. For a family film, I thought the filmmakers did a fantastic job and will probably watch again around Halloween. 7/10

17. Victor Frankenstein - Pleasantly surprised by this film and the story. It's a re-telling of a classic story but the writer made it their own and did a fantastic job connecting all the pieces of the film. Not a lot to find wrong with it besides the regression of character development at the very end. 7.5/10

18. The Big Short - Educational and scarier than any horror film. Good movie with some annoying editing, but I got used to it and it worked by the end. Still feel a little lost on what all this means. 7/10

19. Walt Before Mickey - A truly hard movie to watch. Terrible acting throughout from almost every cast member and slow editing making the dialogue drag. Had some redeeming qualities such as art direction and cinematography. Overall cheesy but not the worst thing ever. 4/10

20. The Shawshank Redemption - Such a fantastic movie. It’s a shame I am just now seeing it. No technical gimmicks, just solid storytelling. Reminds me of why I want to make movies. 8.5/10

21. Spectre - Pointless. Waste of talented actors and beautiful images. I never felt like I knew what was going on or even cared. Worst James Bond movie I've ever seen. 4/10

22. 10 Cloverfield Lane - Fantastic low budget movie with a simple, but very intriguing, concept. The movie had me going back and forth on what was actually happening. Fantastic directing, acting, and camera work. 8.3/10

23. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - I can honestly say there are 15 minutes of a real good Batman movie. Afleck is great. Other than that, this movie is a hot pile of garbage where stuff happens constantly, but goes no where. 4.5/10

24. Stardust - The storyline is insane, but it’s also a fairytale. The world had strange rules, but they played them out well and kept to them. Not sure who the target audience is, but I liked it enough. Art direction was great, CGI looked 10 years old (it was). 5.5/10

25. Eye In The Sky - A great example of the heartbreak casualties go through from drone strikes and the hard decisions people have to make that do them. Slow build but kept growing intensity right up to the end. Ending wasn't a "feel good" movie and forced you to deal with the reality of what is happening on a daily basis. 7/10

10 Cloverfield Lane

26. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Great film that really captures the horrors of the Nazi party, but also the genuine heart people can have. The filmmakers managed to tell a wonderfully inspiring story while having an ending that isn't happy for anyone. Powerful film with a great story. Would have liked better cinematography, but the film is over 8 years old. 7.8/10

27. The Invitation - This movie wrote some checks it can't cash. Slow burn with a typical horror movie ending. Their big reveals in this movie didn't work at all. Main actor was great, story suffered. 4/10

28. 99 Homes - Great indie movie about how easy it can be to be corrupted by the thing you hate, and what one man would do to support his family. Can tell it was shot gritty and low budget, but I liked it. Great score. Ending didn't have a clear resolution, but close enough. 7.5/10

29. 2001: A Space Odyssey - I guess I can see why people like this movie so much. I'm sure it was groundbreaking when it came out, but...there is about 30min of a movie in this 2.5 hour movie and the rest feels like  a screen saver. Hated the ending. Had such a potential to have a cool movie but then decided they wanted to make it weird and abstract for the sake of being different with no real purpose. Doesn't hold up. The main antagonist was completely irrelevant to the ending. 4/10

30. Midnight Special - So glad I got to see this movie in theaters. So inspiring and felt like a very nostalgic movie. The ending had a ton of unanswered questions and loose ends, but I still connected with it and accepted the mystery. The whole movie works as a metaphor for a parent doing everything they can to lead their child to a better place. It's the ultimate story of believing your child is greater than you could ever be and doing everything it takes to see them happy and succeed in life. 7.8/10

31. Take Shelter - This movie gave me so much anxiety while watching it and constantly questioning whether the main character was crazy or not. Slow movie but build up to a pay off that's worth it. Ambiguous ending. I'll probably never watch it again because it stresses me out but it was really good. 8/10

32. Children of Men - Decent movie that had some really long shots. Didn't work for me as much as it does other people. Not really my thing. Story was pretty good up until the end. Could have had a nice resolution but kind of piddled out. A lot of action and camera movements. Not enough character building. Worth watching but will probably never watch again. 6.8/10

33. Team Foxcatcher - Really well constructed documentary that relied on a lot of real footage. Very compelling and effective. Can't tell if I was more interested in it because I liked the movie based off the story. Although it was good, it didn't feel like something that will really stand out in the sea of documentaries we are drowning in. 7/10

34. The Jungle Book - I enjoyed this movie. The animals were amazing. Some of the best CGI ever. I really liked the little kid in the movie. Not sure if he was great, but he made me happy. Pretty decent story. I imagine in a better viewing experience I would enjoy this more. 7/10

35. Mud - Another great movie from Jeff Nichols. Didn’t have an ambiguous ending like his other movies. I really connected with the characters. 8/10

36. Ant-Man - For a comic book movie it was decent and stood out from the rest. It had the feeling of an adventure movie as opposed to a super hero movie, I just wish they would have followed that a bit more. Light hearted and fun. 7/10

37. Blue Ruin - Interesting concept and character development, but really slow. At times the pacing fit really well, but it’s hard to sustain a whole movie with little momentum. Great example of what can be done on a small budget. 6.5/10

38. Captain America: Civil War - This movie was fine. It was long and the action scenes seemed to take forever. Really wish we would have spent some of that time developing the characters in plot. Yes we spent time developing characters that will get future movies, but the characters relevant to THIS movie were basically tossed to the side. 6.8/10

39. Finders Keepers - Fantastic documentary. One of the best I've ever seen. Looked great, sounded great, and had a compelling story. The best thing about this documentary is that I'll never be able to compare it to another one because it was so unique. Finally someone told an original story. 8/10

Mud

40. Alice Through The Looking Glass - Seems fine for children. I liked it better than the first movie. Had more take-aways than the first as well. Although this movie had some potentially powerful lessons about time and appreciating the time you have, it’s a movie I didn’t really want to see and will never see again. 5/10

Take Shelter

41. TMNT: Out of the Shadows - For a movie that was set up to fail based off the first film, I had a really great time watching this movie. A lot of stupid silly fun and never took itself too seriously. Throughly enjoyed, but might be because of nostalgia. Laughed out load multiple times. 7/10

42. Approaching The Unknown - Terrible writing, bad directing, and managed to get a bad performance out of a great actor. Seems heavily influenced by 2001 and The Martian. Probably the biggest letdown of the year. None of the dialogue was believable and nothing was grounded in reality. This was legitimately bad from the ground up. 4/10

43. Who Took Johnny - Very interesting premise and story for a documentary, but never really went anywhere. No real direction or resolution. Edited poorly, directing wasn't great. 5.5/10

44. Now You See Me - Probably my 3rd or 4th viewing of this movie. Not because I’m a huge fan, just coincidence. Very promising premise, cast, and characters that falls short altogether. The writing was very lazy when it came to researching real magic tricks. These people are borderline wizards, not magicians. There is a nice twist at the end, but unfortunately this movie relies on a lot of coincidence to make it happen. 6/10

45. Now You See Me 2 - Honestly more fun than the first one to watch. Got rid of the annoying girl in the first one and replaced her with a funny one. Although it was fun, it ruined the whole plot of the first movie while trying to tie up all it’s lose ends. Felt more like an Oceans Eleven movie and less about magic. 6.5/10

46. Zootopia - Really smart kids movie that might parallel drug culture a little heavy toward the end. I really enjoyed the movie and was consistently entertained. Nice lessons in there for kids relevant to stereotyping we have today. 7/10

47. The Talented Mr. Ripley - Very interesting movie with multiple story arcs. Wish we found out more about Tom Ripley’s past and his motivation behind everything. Seems like a really risky movie for the time it was made. 6.5/10

46. In The Heart of The Sea - Pleasant watch with stunning visuals. Loved the more realistic tragedy this story told. No big climax or pay off, but altogether satisfying. 7/10

47. The Conjuring 2 - I didn't see the first movie but that didn't seem to matter. Some great horror imagery that seemed under used. Engaging but ultimately pointless. Not a great example of storytelling, but a decent representation of creepy characters. 5/10

48. Free State of Jones - I enjoyed this movie a lot but dragged on a little bit. Struggled to find a definitive climax, but was very informative. Could have benefited from a tighter storyline, but was a great watch. 7/10

49. Green Room - Man this was an intense movie! I found myself constantly on the edge of my seat. Everything about this movie works for me. All the violence seemed realistic, beautifully shot, and great acting. The only thing that bothers me is that I didn’t go see this in theaters. 8.2/10

50. Swiss Army Man - Probably the strangest/unique movie I have ever seen. At times I thought it was amazing, other times I was so weirded out I was ready for it to be over. Never felt long though. Visually stunning. Although there were a lot of good messages and metaphors in the movie, they didn’t really drive any of them home. 7/10

51. The BFG - Had such a strong premise and potential but wasted it. Jumped straight into the story with no build up or reason to care. Wasted too much time on nonsense while we glossed over the story. Didn't really care about any of the characters. Felt like reading the cliff notes to a book, but none of the stuff that makes you connect to the story. 6/10 *

52. The Lovely Bones - Really creative at times with some strong imagery, but overall forgettable. Seemed to drag on. Not terrible. 5/10