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Best Movies of 2016 (So Far)

It feels like at this time every year, everyone is always discussing how disappointing it’s been for film, though this year is the first time it really feels like it.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been any good movies. On the contrary, the high points this year have been exceptionally high. But I’ve seen a lot that’s ranged from just ‘ok’ to flat out awful. Despite a really interesting premise, Lights Out proved to be extremely disappointing, while I’m still not sure we needed to wait all this time for Finding Dory when we had something as special as Zootopia. I did enjoy Deadpool, though it wasn’t a film I walked out of the theater loving. Though I prefer it a thousand times over whatever Batman Vs Superman or Suicide Squad were going for, and The Neon Demon challenges those films for the title of Worst Movie of the Year.

Still, this was the same year that brought us gifts like The WitchLove & Friendship and The Meddler, so I suppose I can’t be too mad.

So, let’s get to it. My favorite films of the year (so far).

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“Suicide Squad” Review: Is It As Bad As You’ve Heard?

The reception to Suicide Squad has been pretty unrelenting; since the official premiere earlier this week, it seems every single critic has come out of the woodwork with their own takedown of the film. A lot of the reviews I’ve read have said that the film is somehow even worse than Batman Vs. Superman and the ill-fated Fantastic Four reboot, which is a pretty big claim considering how awful those movies were. Now, fans of the film have written an online petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes over the bad reviews, clearly not regarding that Rotten Tomatoes simply aggregates these reviews, and has no part in writing them.

As someone who is pretty disconnected from superhero movies altogether (except Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the original Spiderman films and the very first Iron Man), I didn’t really have much of a personal stake in this fight. I had a feeling that Suicide Squad wasn’t going to be the best film of the year from the moment it was announced the film was undergoing reshoots following the disastrous release of Batman Vs. Superman, and the unbearable press tour that followed Jared Leto taking the role of The Joker. Nevertheless, I couldn’t believe that there was a film worse than Batman Vs. Superman, and so I decided to see the film for myself.

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“Ghostbusters” Is Very Good, Sorry (Not Sorry) Haters

When Paul Feig announced his all female led Ghostbusters reboot the last thing I imagined the film would receive was backlash. Then again, I forgot that the internet is filled with sexist fan boys living in their parents’ basement with absolutely nothing better to do than organize campaigns to lower a film’s IMDB score (all before even seeing the movie mind you) so I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked. The mere thought that four women would fill the roles originally inhabited by men in the 80’s classic was enough to send these nerds into a whirlwind of chaos. That’s sad huh?

“Controversy” aside, Feig and his Ghostbusters (returning vets Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and newcomers Kate Mckinnon and Leslie Jones) aren’t out to duplicate the original film. On the contrary, they use the familiar premise as a templet; Feig has provided his group of actresses their wackiest and zaniest playground yet, and while the hi-jinks aren’t as laugh out loud funny as previous efforts like The Heat or Bridesmaids, they still make for some of the most entertaining moments in film this year.

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Emmy Voters, It’s Time To Reward Lena Headey

It’s never been easy to love Cersei Lannister. From the very first episode of Game of Thrones, Cersei has established herself as one of the show’s driving antagonists. Whether it was playing a part in the injuring of Bran Stark, torturing his sister Sansa, being insufferable to her brother Tyrion or her role in the ascension of the High Sparrow and the murder of Margaery Tyrell, to say she’s been awful would be an understatement. But one thing Cersei has always been is compelling to watch, and no matter how many reasons she gives us to hate her we can’t completely write her off as a villain. This is largely in part to actress Lena Headey’s exceptional work, which has been getting better and better each season the show goes on. It’s time that the Emmy’s reward her.

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Nicolas Winding Refn Can’t Get Out Of His Own Way: “The Neon Demon” Review

“I believe there’s a 16-year old girl in every man,” Nicolas Winding Refn told Entertainment Weekly of his latest film, The Neon Demon. The auteur also said he was inspired by The Valley of the Dolls, the beauty of his wife, the work he had done on some advertising campaigns and the vision of a 16 year old girl coming to Los Angeles.

Reading through Refn’s interview after watching The Neon Demon, it’s as if his inner 16 year old and hodgepodge of visions leapt straight from the auteur’s subconscious and onto the screen. There’s beauty in every frame of the film, whether we’re staring at Elle Fanning’s face, the gorgeous clothes and makeup or some abstract shot filled with lurid lighting. There’s also horror, gratuitous violence, sex, blood and cannibalism. While it all sounds exciting and looks great, none of it makes much sense by the time the credits start to roll.

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“Last Year Was Complicated” For Nick Jonas: Review

With all of Nick Jonas’ unapologetic pandering to the gay community, sometimes it’s hard to remember that he actually makes music. No, really, all of his interviews these days seem to be more concerned with teasing and alluding to sexual encounters with men that may or may not have happened. Is he gay? I don’t think we’re any closer to finding out that answer. But hey! his third album Last Year Was Complicated is out.

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“7/27” Proves Fifth Harmony Is A Force To Be Reckoned With

By now you’ve definitely heard of Fifth Harmony. Even if you can’t name each member, you’ve chanted their undeniably catchy hit single “Worth It” at a party last summer, and for the past couple of months you’ve definitely been blasting “Work From Home” in your car on repeat. Maybe you’ve even heard their brassy “BOSS” or the electro-pop “Sledgehammer” playing in a store at one point. The girl group is certainly on the rise, and their latest album 7/27 is their foray into becoming superstars.

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“Dangerous Woman” Is A Pop Masterpiece

In the three years since Ariana Grande burst onto the scene with “The Way” in 2013, she’s become one of the most exciting up and coming talents. It’s hard to remember the last time someone who went from pop ingenue to one of the genre’s fixtures in such a short amount of time. Having already scored two #1 albums and a long line of hit singles (“Problem,” “Break Free,” “Love Me Harder…” the list goes on), while breaking (and making) new Billboard records in the process and being compared to Mariah Carey, it’s a no brainer that Grande has attained such a large level of success in such a short period of time.

That being said, Dangerous Woman, the pint-sized chanteuse’s third album marks a new stage in her career. Where Yours Truly introduced “the voice,” and My Everything skyrocketed her to superstardom, this album cements Grande’s place as pop’s reigning princess.

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