10 Underrated Movies you missed in 2016

Underrated Movies 2016
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
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Looking for a great new movie to watch?

2016 has been a great year for movies, with amazing box-office hits like Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory and Zootopia. In fact, the films of 2016 have been so good that even the movies that didn’t do so well at the box office, or amongst the critics, are more than worth the watch. The ten movies featured here all flew under the radar for one reason or another but if you’re looking for something fresh to watch then one of them might just be the film for you.

1) The Do-Over

The Do Over, Official Trailer.

Charlie and Max are old friends who meet again at a high school reunion. They are both unhappy with where life has taken them so Max decides to stage an explosion, faking both of their deaths. They take the identities of two dead men, Dr Ronald P. Fishman and Butch Ryder, but they soon discover that the lives that they have stolen are not as simple as they had hoped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie and Max fight for their fake lives.

Slightly vulgar it may be but it is impossible to deny that The Do-Over is funny, with the best comedic moments coming when they are least expected. Charlie and Max are great foils for each other, with the vast differences between the two characters providing the source for many of the laughs. However, The Do-Over is more than a simple funny film. As it goes on and the plot twists are revealed it becomes surprisingly profound, exploring the lengths people will go to when they want to live.

2) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Official trailer #1 US (2016).

In this re-telling of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, the Bennet sisters find that they have more to worry about than balls and beaux. The film is set in an alternative version of the regency period, in which the calm mannered lives of Austen’s middle class characters are constantly disrupted by zombie attacks. Elizabeth Bennet finds herself caught in a strange world in which she is expected to be refined and ladylike while regularly being forced to fight for her life.

The Bennet Sisters prepare for battle.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies feels like an authentic Austen adaptation despite its supernatural themes because the tone, and dialogue, of the film stays true to the spirit and wit of Austen’s writing. The alternative version of history explored in this film is clearly explained and the fight scenes are well choreographed. The story is tense and romantic but it is punctuated beautifully by moments of humour provided, in particular, by Parson Collins.

3) Hello my name is Doris

Hello My Name is Doris Official Trailer (2016)

Doris, a compulsive hoarder in her sixties, finds that her life loses meaning after her mother dies. She perks up when she meets her new co-worker, John and quickly becomes attracted to the younger man. Doris’ attempts to get John to notice her result in a series of life-affirming adventures but can her love for a younger man ever end in anything other than tears?

Doris attends a concert with John.

This film is romantic comedy at its best, combining tender moments with the comedic realization that most of the romance is occurring in Doris’ imagination. The bright colours and upbeat music used in Hello my name is Doris provide a vibrant atmosphere that serves to emphasize the life-affirming excitement of Doris’ journey.

4) Maggie’s Plan

Maggie’s Plan Official Trailer #1 (2016)

Maggie has never been in a relationship that has lasted longer than six months but she still wants a child. She decides that she wants to be an artificially inseminated single mother. On the same night that she inseminates herself, her affair with John, a married man, truly begins. Three years later they are married, with a daughter, but Maggie finds herself deeply unhappy. In a desperate bid for freedom Maggie hatches a plan to get her husband back together with his ex-wife, Georgette.

Maggie bathes with her daughter.

Maggie’s plan is witty and emotional in turns, providing an authentic look at the reality of relationships and parenthood. Maggie is a charming and quirky character and, once you start watching, you will feel compelled to watch the rest of her story.

5) Warcraft

Warcraft Movie Trailer (2016)

The Orc’s home world is dying but their leader, Gul’dan, has promised them a new life if they take over the land of Azeroth. Using fel magic Gul’dan creates a portal and the Horde storms through, ready to capture Azeroth. Standing in their way are Anduin Lothar, a human military commander, Khadgar, a mage, Llane Wrynn, the King of Stormwind and Medivh, the guardian of Tirisfal. Together, with the help of a half-orc female named Garona, they fight to stop the Horde but will the corrupting power of fel magic be too much for both humans and Orcs? Anduin broods.

This spectacular fantasy epic will take your breath away. It’s fast paced, action packed, pure escapism. If you like The World of Warcraft game, then this film is definitely for you. Real locations and mounts from the game are featured, along with visuals and a script that are reminiscent of the source material.

6) Money Monster

Money Monster Official Trailer #1 (2016)

Lee Gates is the host of a financial television show called Money Monster. During filming the studio is infiltrated by Kyle Budwell, a furious viewer who invested $60’000 in a company called Ibis, on Lee’s advice, only for the company to crash weeks later. Kyle straps Lee into a bomb vest and Patty, the studio director, is caught in a race against time to save Lee’s life by finding the answers that Kyle demands. 

Kyle threatens Lee.

Starring both George Clooney and Julia Roberts, it should come as no surprise that the acting in Money Monster is superb. This tense thriller contains surprising moments of emotional depth and isn’t afraid to confront the stark reality of what happens when someone loses everything they have.

7) Jane Got a Gun

Jane Got a Gun Official Trailer (2016)

Jane Hammond’s husband Bill ‘Ham’ Hammond is shot by a member of the Bishop Boys outlaw gang. He returns home and warns his wife that the gang are on their way.  Jane is forced to take up arms to defend her home and family against the incoming threat. The only man she can turn to for help is Dan Frost. Will Jane’s complicated past with Dan, and with the Bishop Boys, return to haunt her and will she survive the onslaught that is to come?

Jane shows off her skills with a gun.

Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Jane is an incredibly powerful and moving depiction of a woman who has been hardened by a hard world. The dialogue is fast paced and snappy. Normally, I am not a big fan of Westerns but I am pleased to say that Jane got a gun is a rare exception to that rule.

8) Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups Official Trailer (2016)

Rick, a screenwriter from Santa Monica, is depressed after the death of his brother, Billy. He begins to search for something beyond the confines of his ordinary, everyday, life. He seeks distraction in the company of women and searches for answers that always seem just beyond his reach.

Rick tries to find himself at a party.

Knight of Cups is a great film to watch if you want to see something that is just a little bit different. This movie dives into a world of hedonism and surrealism and emerges to provide a sincere exploration of the evolution of the human soul.

9) X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse Official Trailer #1 (2016)

Charles Xavier’s mutants face a new threat in the form of the resurrected ancient mutant, En Sabah Nur. Xavier’s students are forced to grow up fast so that they can stand against En Sabah Nur and his growing band of disenfranchised mutants.

Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Scott prepare to face En Sabah Nur.

The X-Men series of film are always worth watching at least once and Apocalypse is no exception. The villain is frightening and the fight scenes are exciting but the best thing about Apocalypse is the new insights it provides into the series’ established characters, especially Erik/Magneto. Also, if you enjoyed Quicksilver’s slow motion scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past then you can look forward to a similar visual treat in this installment.

10) Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt Official Trailer #1 (2016)

In ancient Egypt the Gods once lived among men, ruling over them. Horus is due to take the crown from Osiris, his father. On the day of the coronation Horus’ uncle, Set, stages a coup and takes Horus’ eyes. A year later Horus teams up with a mortal, named Bek, to take back his throne and to save Egypt from Set’s tyranny.

Horus, Set and Isis.

This film provides an interesting new look at the mythology of ancient Egypt. Gods of Egypt has proved controversial due to its Egyptian setting and its largely Caucasian cast. This is a valid point but the movie is still worth a watch for lovers of fantasy. The humour is tongue in cheek and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s performance is fantastic, as always.

The best things in life are not always initially popular. The top ten most underrated films of 2016 range across genres with something for everyone. Take a chance on an underrated film. You might surprise yourself, you might love it.

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