Right about now, you’re probably up to your neck in Best of the Year lists packed with awards contenders, foreign dramas, and obscure indie hits. No judgment, in fact I’ve got one such list of my own headed your way in a couple days, but a movie doesn’t have to be revelatory or life-changing to be worthy of acclaim. There’s an art to entertainment and a value to a good time, well-spent. We’re living in some pretty bleak and discordant times, and a temporary reprieve from the daily dreary is a commendable feat.
As you may have heard (ad nauseum), the 2016 summer movie season was a bit rough. The months that usually provide the year’s biggest and best in blockbuster entertainment were littered with one fizzled franchise attempt after the next. Independence Day: Resurgence, Jason Bourne, Ghostbusters, Warcraft, Tarzan and plenty of others failed to connect with audiences, and half of the year’s superhero haul was a big disappointing bummer.
Even so, the year was pretty well stacked with popcorn-powered gems. but was a tough year to pick a final ten. Both of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s offerings, Neighbors 2 and Sausage Party, were barely edged out of the list, as were Finding Dory, Star Trek Beyond, and The Accountant. Disney exerted dominance in the blockbuster enertainment arena through their Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation and live-action branches, a fact demonstrated by their record-shattering best-ever box office year and massive presence in the Academy Awards VFX race. If it was a tough year to choose, it was an even tougher year to rank, with few films that truly stood out as drastically better or worse than the others. Basically, don’t get too heated up over the rankings here, they feel right but within slight degrees.
Without further ado, here are the ten most entertaining popcorn movies of 2016.