With Labor Day just around the corner, the 2016 summer season is officially coming to close, and movie fans the world over can be heard breathing a sigh of relief. This summer’s movie line-up was “not great”, to put it mildly, or “one of the worst in recent memory” to put it a bit more accurately. Littered with ill-wrought sequels, unwanted reboots, and generally widespread, uninspired fare, it’s been a particularly grueling and disappointing few months.
But it hasn’t been all bad! It’s been a particularly fantastic season for horror — to the point that the genre makes up 1/5 of the list below, which is pretty remarkable. It’s also been a triumphant few months for Disney (Alice Through the Looking Glass, aside) who has consistently turned out quality tentpole films, even if some of them didn’t quite break out at the box office (they’re still standing at the top of the 2016 box office, so they’ll be fine). And of course, in between the major studio offerings, there were plenty of independent and low-budget releases that were quietly excellent amidst the sound and fury of sequelitis. So, let’s wash the horrible summer season taste out of our mouths and head into the fall on a positive note by looking back on a few of the movies that did it right.