5 Best &5 Worst Movies of 2016 – So Far

Half of the year on the clock – time for a recap of what has 2016 brought so far.

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BEST OF 2016 SO FAR

It’s almost half of the year behind our backs and it’s the right moment to reflect on what we’ve seen so far in 2016. This list is made of movies that were given the distribution in the cinemas in Poland.

5. El Clan

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The killer family from Buenos Aires is the topic of Pablo Trapero’s thriller, which was last year’s Oscar candidate from Argentina. El Clan discovers very dark corners of human nature, but doing so in a rather unheard-of manner – the soundtrack, with its lively rock and roll and the blooming city both create a vivid contradiction to what actually happens in the titular clan’s household. Finally, the film features an extremely cherished performance of Guillermo Francella as the malefic Arquimedes Puccio – head of the sociopathic gang.

Click here for review.

UMP Grade: 41/50

4. Deadpool

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Ryan Reynolds fought for bringing Deadpool to the big screen for over 10 ten years and the final outcome of this heroic struggle was an unprecedented victory. The foul-mouthed, lewd superhero throws punchlines in all directions – he hammers Hugh Jackman, the creators of the film and even the audience too. The film itself is a parade of hysterically funny, but vulgar jokes, it’s action-packed, but most of all – it’s a great satire regarding the modern trend of superhero-themed movies that came like an avalanche.

Click here for review.

UMP Grade: 39/50

3. Cloverfield Lane 10

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Cloverfield Lane 10 received great reviews upon its release and this hyped me up pretty good for the film. The story of three people shut in an underground shelter is a riveting thriller, delivering a sort of detective engagement for the viewer, with a nagging question hanging in the air – is the alleged alien invasion real? Fantastic score, tremendous acting by John Goodman and a fun-to-follow plot make up for one of the best movies of 2016 so far.

Click here for review.

UMP Grade: 42/50

2. Lobster

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Intelligent, provoking in a smart manner and truly heart-wrenching – the new feature of former Palme d’Or winner Lantzimos is a creepy vision of a dysutopian society, where people are paired up based on the “mutualities” between them. The drama swings from being a sarcastic commentary upon modern brainwashing regarding any close relationships (how we are slowly becoming unable to feel etc.) to a full-blown crime thriller. The rollecoaster is guaranteed – The Lobster is worth giving it a try.

Click here for review.

UMP Grade: 40/50

1. Son of Saul

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The Hungarian winner of an Oscar this year was by far the best feature of the year to me. Mind-blowingly raw, hermetic and almost unbearably real, Son of Saul is a sad tribute to the Auschwitz prisoners and atrocities that took place there. It was a hard experience to go through really, but a praiseworthy effort too. And if you didn’t have the opportunity to see it, take the first chance to make up for it.

Click here for review.

Click here for an article about a meeting with Geza Rohrig – titular Saul (in Polish).

UMP Grade: 47.5/50

Honorable mentions: Triple 9 (review here), Carol (review here).

WORST OF 2016 SO FAR

Well, let’sa move to the worst things – the ones that I wish I skipped without wasting my time.

5. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

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With pain in my heart, I admit that this ill-epic film ended up being a complete disaster. It’s truly incredible how awful this new Batman installment was, but hopefully – the lesson will be learned. The pitiful dialogues, wooden acting by both Affleck and Cavill, over-the-top Eisenberg, CGI so heavily used that makes you wonder whether the set ever left the studio – Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice in a nuthsell. And in all that mess, Hans Zimmer managed to compose an actually “listeningable” soundtrack.

UMP Grade: 24/50

4. The Boss

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This needs to be stated out loud – Mellisa McCarthy is not even remotely funny. If anyone had doubts about that, that might be the only reason to watch The Boss. Directed by her husband, the film focuses on Michelle, who finishes doing her sentence and struggles to start living again. What you can expect from such a plot – it happens. Let that be enough discouragement guys – let’s not waste time on mumblings of a chubby person “making fun” of the fact that she’s chubby. Someone should have seen Eddie Murphy’s Norbit before directing The Boss really.

UMP Grade: 15/50

3. Summer Camp

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How about another unnecesary zombie horror that brings absolutely nothing to the genre, apart from repeating the old patterns of cheap jump scares and painfully predictable plot? Well, the problem with Summer Camp is that it really involves so much cliche that in the end one can ask a question – who is this film marketed at? The story of Americans visiting Europe for some ridiculous reasons was worked out many times, recycled and shown over again – so why? Honestly, I have no idea, but even for the horror genre fans (I, myself, am being one) – avoid this garbage from a distance.

UMP Grade: 13.5/50

2. Pitbull: Nowe Porządki

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The Polish police and mafia never looked more hysterical than in this over-the-top portrayal directed by Patryk Vega, where Majami – a young, bold officer – gets involved in a dangerous race against the mob’s head – Babcia. Apart from awful acting and hilariously bad dialogues, the film rreaches unbelievable levels of absurd – Warsaw seems to be a capital, where in each corner you can lose your life and the only people you meet are a) whores, b) half-brains, c) cops, d) gangsters or e) some other random people. Doesn’t sound like the city I live in to be honest.

Click here for review (in Polish).

UMP Grade: 14/50

1. Hardcore Henry

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Hollywood will never learn that game adaptions are in a vast majority piles of rubbish, but instead of acquiring this knowledge, a new idea was born, which is even worse. Hardcore Henry is shot entirely from the first person perspective, which from the scratch sounds like a terrible idea – add to it unbearable pace, loose plot and a bunch of no-names, who pretend to enjoy playing in this garbage. And this is basically what you can get from this movie. Utterly bad trash that won’t probably be beaten in the second half of the year.

UMP Grade: 9/50

(Un)Honorable Mention: Robinson Cruzoe.

One thought on “5 Best &5 Worst Movies of 2016 – So Far

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