14 Summer Movies You Need To See

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Everything you need for a fun summer movie experience

For every movie fanatic, summer is like an extra long birthday. This is the time studios release their most anticipated films. It can range from big summer blockbusters to highly anticipated indie movies. As the weather is getting warmer so are the movies. Every year we see more and more movies added to the summer lineup and this year is no different. Marvel and DC are both releasing their superhero movies while FOX is releasing its Alien prequel. Universal is releasing its highly anticipated Mummy movie and its indie darling, The Beguiled. As it is impossible to see all the movies, this guide will highlight everything from big budget to small budget movies that you need (or I strongly recommend not skipping) to see this summer.

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10 Lesser Known Movies That Are Directed By Canadians

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Cronenberg, Villeneuve, and Dolan: Canadian movies are in good hands

How many movies can you name that are directed by Canadians? If you were like me, probably only 2. That’s why I have made it my duty to explore more Canadian content. On my journey, I have found that while we may be called polite and nice, Canadian directors surely do not stuff those stereotypes in their work. But what about Titanic and Avatar, both of which were cute stories directed by Canadian-born James Cameron? Well, those are only the popular ones. Cameron has directed Aliens and The Terminator as well. Canadian Denis Villeneuve is also gaining popularity. His new movie, Arrival, is up for 8 Academy Awards. As Canadian content is becoming more and more prominent, let’s take a look at some lesser known Canadian movies.

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Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2016

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There’s was a lot of great horror movies this year

Whoever said that the horror genre is dying is just plain wrong. If they want evidence then show them this list. The horror genre is probably in a healthier state then back in the 1980s. We are getting high budget and original horror movies something that didn’t happen back in the 1980s. We got a lot of different kinds of horrors and not just supernatural ones. The horror genre is going through a resurrection and it is the genre to look forward to in 2017. But before looking at 2017, let’s take a look back at the best horror movies of 2016.

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Top 10 Best Movies of 2016

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Let’s revisit the movies that changed my 2016 experience

We’re finally here, the end of a great movie year. I have made both my most disappointing movies list and my most surprising movies list. I also made my worst movies of 2016, and now it’s time to celebrate the best films of 2016. It took time from all the 67 movies I’ve seen this year, I had cut it down to 15. From those 15, I cut it down to 10. A reminder that I didn’t see all the movies this year. I have yet to Silence, Manchester By The Sea and Fences. I have no idea if they would be on this list but I still have some great movies to talk about nonetheless. These are the movies that changed me, that affected me in 2016. These are the movies that blew my mind, terrified or excited me. Here are my top 10 best movies of 2016.

Honorable Mentions:

10. 10 Cloverfield Lane

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John Goodman is probably going to be snubbed of an Oscar nomination. Apart from Goodman’s excellent performance, 10 Cloverfield Lane has not much wrong. The tension and suspense are ‘edge of your seat’ material. Beautiful and thrilling direction from Dan Trachtenberg makes him a must-watch up, and coming director in 2017 and the Cloverfield brand is healthier than ever. Now, I’m ready for The God Particle.

9. The Nice Guys

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Darkly funny with a strange touch, The Nice Guys is a buddy cop movie that surprisingly works. Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling have a great chemistry, and Angourie Rice made me laugh my ass off. What makes this comedy great is its fantastic murder mystery story ark. What I admire most is that it embrace its weirdness and the dying genre that is neo-noir mystery.

Read full review here

8. Zootopia

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Disney released two animation films this year, Moana and this one. I fell in love with Zootopia‘s metaphorical story and its inspirational but real message. The scene with the sloth is still one of the most memorable scenes of this year. It demonstrates just how well made the anthropomorphization of the animals were. Top it off with Disney’s crisp and colorful animation, and you have the best animation film of 2017.

7. La La Land

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A love letter to dreamers, La La Land, is the perfect end of the year movie. It offers a bittersweet story with a great musical twist. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are fantastic as the passionate couple. Stone’s final audition is a thing of beauty, and the editing is the best thing about this musical. Damien Chazelle’s craftiness and creativity make La La Land that much more memorable.

Read full review here

6. Manchester By The Sea

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Manchester By The Sea is a heavy movie to sit through. The film’s ability to showcase such a tragic life is both bold, yet it carries a weight. And that weight will likely stay with you, and this is what makes Kenneth Lonergan’s dark, sad and tragic movie worth a watch. It has a rare ability to balance its dark elements with light-hearted moments. However, none of it feels like you’re watching a movie. Manchester By The Sea is so well crafted that the viewer feels like it’s watching a real story with real characters.

Read full review here

5. The Lobster

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Disturbingly dark yet hilariously funny, The Lobster defies genre rules. Yargos Lanthimos directs a bold, risky movie. Collin Farell, Rachel Weisz, and Lea Seydoux strip down their performance to almost nothing. They give monotonous and one-note performances, but the writing is so quick and witty that the performances work. Finding love has never been scarier.

Read full review here

4. Nocturnal Animals

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Tom Ford is a multi-faceted man, fashion designer and now a proven talented director. Nocturnal Animals is Ford’s second film and its one gorgeously looking film. His ability to transition effortlessly from two entirely different story shows how talented this guy is. The whole cast gives excellent performances. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon truly give it their all. The end is sure to hit you emotionally at first and then slowly grow up on you the more you think about it – or at least it did for me.

Read full review here

3. The Witch

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The first movie that I fell in love with this year. Robert Eggers’ debut is hauntingly and disturbingly beautiful. Sticking close to historical folk tales to tell his story, Eggers creates a compelling and historically accurate tale of what life was like in the 1600s. The tension between the family is gripping, and the religious symbolism is spot on. Anya Taylor-Joy is the up and coming actress you need to follow right now.

2. Moonlight

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Another dark and emotional story, Moonlight is a coming of age story that has plenty on its mind. It tells a story about homosexuality, poverty and what it’s like to live in America as a black person. Naomie Harris gave me chills watching her performance throughout and all the actor who portray Chiron are exquisite. It is shot in an impressionistic, poetic style, and by the end, it packs an unsuspected punch.

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1. Arrival

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Denis Villeneuve continues to be my favorite director working today. He continues to solidify himself as a director worthy of being in the realm of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. Arrival furthers his style and ability to tell a story. There is no plot hole; there are no lazy shots. Everything in Arrival is made with precision, care and craft.  Every film he makes is getting better and better, and I can’t wait to see what he got in store for 2017.

Read full review here

What is your favorite movie of 2017? Tell me in comments below!

Top 10 Worst Movies of 2016

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Not all the movies I saw were amazing, but these 10 movies should never be watched again

I love watching movies, and I love reviewing movies, but when the movies are this terrible, then it’s no longer fun. I saw some pretty bad movies and these are the bottoms of the filmmaking barrel. These are the movies that I wanted to walk out of the theaters but sadly did not. I endured these films, and now I’m here to tell you which movies to avoid next time you decide to watch a movie.

Dishonorable Mentions:

10. Now You See Me 2

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The first one was bad. The second isn’t any better. Now You See Me 2 uses mindless magic that aims for shocking and settles for stupidity. Not one magic trick in this movie is real, and it shows. The final “magic” trick is so over the top, and it leaves the film feeling like a huge waste of time.

Read review here

9. It’s Only The End Of The World

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The only movie to make my most disappointing movies list and my worst movie list, It’s Only The End Of The World is confusing, pretentious and lazily shot. The over-reliance on close-ups fails on multiple levels, and it wastes its incredible cast.

Read review here

8. Pride Prejudice and Zombies

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Based off the best selling book, Pride Prejudice and Zombies fails to become cinematic. When adapting something that has been done better, rely on the thing that differentiates it from its predecessor. Here, it’s the action scenes which are poorly shot and almost non-existent.

7. The Forest

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January horror movies are never good. The Forest fits perfectly in that category. The famous Japanese suicide forest could make a great horror movie, but here the terrible twist and rushed final act leaves The Forest feeling hollow.

6. The Purge: Election Year

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For the third Purge franchise, the third time was not the charm. Election Year was silly, over the top and it failed to capitalize on an okay sequel. If they do another one of these, being subtle goes a long way.

5. Shut In 

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Another horror movie with a terrible twist. Noami Watts disappoints in a rather great year for horror films. Shut In starts off confused, not knowing where to go, and eventually becomes just another boring horror movie about people investigating strange sounds.

4. Careful What You Wish For

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Generic, flat and predictable, Careful What You Wish For is that mediocre teen thriller no one asked for. Nick Jonas tries his best while Isabelle Lucas gives a cartoonish and sexist performance. The forced symbolism and – again- horrible twist ending makes you want to forget that you even watched this.

Read review here

3. When The Bough Breaks 

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Following in the footstep of The Perfect Guy, When The Bough Breaks is just another attempt to take your money. Everything has been done better elsewhere hence the uselessness of this movie. I could have done without seeing this one.

Read review here

2. The Fifth Wave 

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The YA movies are slowly dying out. Divergent has official die and now The Fifth Wave failed to make a compelling story. Actually, they made a very very atrocious movie. There is a lot of terrible twist in my worst of list, but The Fifth Wave tops the list. It was such a poorly placed twist that it officially flushed away an already shitty movie.

1. God’s Not Dead 2

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No, you cannot get sued for saying”Jesus” in the classroom. But God’s Not Dead 2 would have you believe that. Everything in this movie is what I don’t want in my religious films. Agenda driven, God’s Not Dead 2 paints the false picture that Christians in the United States are persecuted. Top that absurdity with cheesy performances, poor story-telling and you have the worst movie of 2016.

What is your worst movie of 2016? Tell me in the comment section below!

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

Top 10 Most Disappointing Movies of 2016

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After looking at my most anticipated movies of 2017, it’s time to look back at the movies of 2016 and more specifically, the ones that didn’t deliver. These movies are not the worst movies of 2016. These are the movies that have either started with a lot of potential but have let me down by the end or movies that I had big expectations and let me down anyways. These are the movies that should have been great but ended up being big disappointments.

10. Jason Bourne

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Not as bad as others on this list, Jason Bourne was not where it should be. Definitely the worst of the franchise, Paul Greengrass did not make this franchise’s big return start well. A bad subplot, poor camera work, and predictability made Jason Bourne a disappointment for fans and a terrible start for new sequels.

Read full review here

9. Independence Day: Resurgence

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Remember when Independence Day was a fun movie? Well, not anymore. My enjoyment of Independence Day: Resurgence lied within my enjoyment of the new moving seats in my local theater. Sure there are moments of pure fun, but it often tried too hard to be something serious.

Read full review here

8. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

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Tim Burton and a unique YA novel sound like a great mix. From the start, Miss Peregrine was a rather good movie. However, some bizarre and tonally awkward moments keep this film from being great. That scene with the skeletons and monsters fighting in a carnival to techno music is still one of the worst scenes of 2016.

Read full review here

7. The Light Between Oceans 

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The Light Between Oceans was supposed to be an Oscar contender. Imagine what happened when I got out of seeing this movie. Emotionless, soapy and overlong, Cianfrance (director of Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond The Pines) gets tangled with a rather compelling story.

Read full review here

6. Allied 

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Another movie with Oscar buzz that got away from us. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard give all around poor performances, and no suspense is giving to us in this thriller. Allied can’t decide which story to tell and ultimately leaves both stories with only the surface scratched.

Read full review here

5. It’s Only The End Of The World 

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Xavier Dolan has made his first bad movie. Not only does It’s Only The End Of The World have no story, but it totally wastes Marion Cotillard, who has not had a good year with this and Allied. The cast made of Lea Seydoux and Gaspard Ulliel is completely mistreated. Oh, and let’s not forget the pretentious metaphors.

Read full review here

4. Morgan 

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Anya Taylor Joy finds herself rising high with The Witch. Here though she is the only good part in this sci-fi thriller. The characters are uncompelling while the story’s central idea never fully capitalizes. What could have been the Ex Machina of 2016 is instead another forgotten mediocre sci-fi with potential.

Read full review here

3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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This is will surely be on a lot of people’s worst lists and for a good reason. Batman v Superman just couldn’t deliver to the expectations. I liked that it was trying to appeal to a mature audience and differentiate itself from Marvel. However, the cartoonish villain and the failure to captivate was what ultimately resulted in Batman v Superman to get the third spot on this list.

2. The Girl On The Train

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After Gone Girl, I had high hopes for The Girl On The Train, and I was quickly disappointed by what it ultimately became. Emily Blunt was by far the only thing good about this. The rest was flat out boring and uninspired. Instead of having an intricate mystery, we were left with a Lifetime original movie.

Read full review here

1. Suicide Squad

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Harley Quinn, The Joker, and Deadshot all in one movie. It’s going to be great right? Not one bit. Apart from interesting characters (thanks to the comics), nothing in Suicide Squad is good. The horrible choppy editing and the horrific third act are just the on the surface of this terrible DCEU movie.

Read full review here 

What is your most disappointing movie of 2016? Tell me down below or tweet me @Plan_Zd