Top 10 Most Surprising Movies of 2016

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After listing the disappointing movies of the year, it’s time to celebrate the movies that surprised me. These are the movies that I went in with low expectations or ready to hate but came out of the movie feeling satisfied. This is not my most loved films of 2016 but rather films that deserve some love or were underrated.

10. X-Men: Apocalypse

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Probably the most controversial of this list, X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t bad at all. After seeing people and critics hating on this movie, I lowered my incredibly high expectations a bit, and I was still blown away. There were so many good moments, and the cast was terrific. If you haven’t checked out X-Men: Apocalypse, please do.

Read full review here

9. Florence Foster Jenkins

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Meryl Streep playing a bad singer looked like it would have gotten on my nerves, but it didn’t. The movie was solid, and I laughed quite a bit. After the film had finished I felt a sense of satisfaction which was odd for me. This movie is far from my wheelhouse, and it still managed to make me love it.

Read full review here

8. Deepwater Horizon

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From the trailers, Deepwater Horizon looked like a heartless sloppy action movie. It looked disrespectful and existed just to get action fans to go see the film. However, I was surprised with how much depth and compassion I felt for the characters. Just that defied my expectation.

Read full review here

7. Green Room

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This raunchy emo horror-thriller delved into the neo-nazi culture. It had suspense and great performances, especially from Patrick Stewart. It could have explored the neo-nazi culture a little more, but overall it was a solid horror-thriller that kicked off a strong year for horror movies.

Read full review here

6. Sausage Party

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Who thought Sausage Party would have such rich religious commentary? Not me and that is what surprised me most about it. Sure there was too many vulgar words and tiring stereotypes, but the execution of the religious metaphor alone was impressive.

Read full review here

5. Lights Out

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Sometimes short films should stay short films except for Lights Out which was an excellent example of turning a short film into a full-length movie. Following in the steps of The Babadook and The Conjuring (sometimes a little too much), it made for an emotionally powerful and scary horror story.

Read full review here

4. The Shallows

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We finally got another fun shark movie. Jaws has been the only great shark movie for a while, and it continues to be, but Blake Lively’s summer flick is sure to surprise fan of the genre. Suspenseful and thrilling, it’s all we ask for a shark movie, and The Shallows definitely delivers.

Read full review here

3. The Magnificent Seven 

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After seeing poor reviews, I had almost no expectations for this remake. So, it was a pleasant surprise when The Magnificent Seven turned out being well…magnificent. Though it wasn’t perfect, it was fun, and it had a great cast that helped elevate the flaws.

Read full review here

2. Don’t Breathe

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I was all in this from start to finish, and it was such a simple plot. Its simplicity is what truly shined throughout. Don’t Breathe could’ve easily been boring and suspenseless but it wasn’t. You cared for the main character, and you understand why she needs to do this.

Read full review here

1. Ouija: Origin of Evil

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Remember the first Ouija? No? Good because it was terrible. Probably one of the laziest most cliche horror movie of 2014 yet Ouija: Origin of Evil was a sophisticated and powerful prequel that should not even wear the Ouija name.

Read full review here

Which movie surprised you most this year? Comment below or tweet me @ZDMovie

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4 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Surprising Movies of 2016

  1. Courtney Young December 19, 2016 / 9:01 PM

    Mag 7 was a huge surprise for me too! I actually had zero desire to see it, but my dad dragged me to the theater, and I really enjoyed it! Green Room is one that I’ve been saying I need to watch for about six months now…need to get on that.

  2. The Otaku Judge January 21, 2017 / 2:08 PM

    Expectations can make or break a film. I was expecting X-Men to suck, after reading a bunch of reviews, but in the end I liked it too.

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