The 5 Movies You Didn’t See in 2016 (But Should Have)
Every year we get some movies that should’ve been popular releases, but aren’t. Whether it be through poor marketing, poor timing or a combination of other reasons some movies just fail to find their audience. Maybe they’ll get their recognition in the end, maybe they’ll fade into obscurity like some of our picks from last year.
We’re going with movies that I saw and found to be unique, interesting or, in one case, bloody awesome but didn’t make much money. We know that some websites (whatculture.com) will consider some movies (Batman v Superman) to be ‘underrated’ after they make truckloads of money (872.2 million bucks) and back up the claim with weak arguments (“But c’mon!”).
We had some great low budget indie horror films this year, like Don’t Breathe and The Shallows. It really was a year to be seeking out the smaller, new productions than follow the franchises. One that got less attention was this Netflix release Hush. Initially it looks to be a home intruder thriller but there’s a twist…the protaganist is stone deaf. It’s creative and genuinely scary, a fresh twist on an oft-repeated formula.
Kubo and the Two Strings
I’m sure that everything you’ve heard about this animated film is that you should’ve seen it, and how much of a shame it is that nobody saw it. And with good reason. It made next to nothing at the cinema in spite of glowing reviews and beautiful animation. The animator of Box Trolls and Paranorman steps into the role of director and creates a beautiful adventure set in ancient Japan, featuring the one-eyed Kubo and his magical control over origami, a stern snow-monkey and amnesiac beetle on a quest to battle Lord of the Moon. From the opening voice over to Regina Spektor singing ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ it’s a brilliant piece of art.
Swiss Army Man
Coming in with less than $5million at the box office, this is the least successful film on this list and it is definitely the strangest. Paul Dano is Hank, stranded on a deserted island and is about to kill himself when a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up on the beach. After using the extremely gassy body to jet-ski over to another island, he starts conversing with the body who begins showing signs of life. It’s a very, very strange film with an unusual premise that left potential audiences confused about what to expect. It’s an introspective, thought-provoking odd little film.
Eddie the Eagle
Go and watch the trailer for this movie. Done? Cool. Did you know that was the guy from The Kingsmen? Weird, right? If anything, Eddie the Eagle showcases how much range Taron Egerton has. He’s a real talent. The true story of a young Brit who wanted to be an Olympian – it doesn’t matter what sport – and enters into competitive ski jumping to fulfil his goal. It’s pretty sugar coated but if you get into it it’s a heart warming film backed by great performances.
The Nice Guys
Saving the absolute best until last. The Nice Guys brought in a paltry 57.3million at the box office in spite of everything going for it. Russell Crowe is the brutal enforcer and Ryan Gosling is an alcoholic private eye who, along with Gosling’s ethical and quick witted daughter Holly (the astounding new talent Angourie Rice), become tied up in a Hollywood mystery. Shane Black is behind this one, and he invented buddy cop movies in addition to the fantastic and equally under-appreciated Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. The critics went nuts for The Nice Guys, with almost universal praise across the board. It’s super-cool and the fact that it made a 16th of the box office as Batman v Superman – a movie that became a punchline – is beyond disappointing.
THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Because audiences put BvS, a movie scoring 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, at the #6 spot for 2016 while this 91% scoring film languished at #106. It’s getting beaten at the box office by Assassin’s Creed, Blair Witch, The Huntsman: Winters War and Gods of Egypt – four movies whose combined Rotten Tomatoes score is less than The Nice Guys. We know Rotten Tomatoes isn’t an accurate representation of quality, but in this case it effectively illustrates the difference between these films.
Many people have said that 2016 was a terrible year for movies, but looking at the box office rankings it genuinely looks like people went out of their way to see garbage, ignoring the great films that were just as available. So until you rent or buy The Nice Guys (not torrent it, that doesn’t mean a thing to the studies picking their release schedules for the next 5 years) you got nothing to complain about. And I hate that you made me sound like one of those gate keeping douchebags, but seriously, watch The Nice Guys already.
What did we miss? If you have more underrated movies we should be watching, drop them in the comments!