What if Hollywood refused to release any more movies after June 30th, leaving audiences and Oscar voters to pick from what washed in with the tide from the first six months of 2016? Yikes. Last year at this time, we’d already had Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, Love & Mercy and Ex Machina. This year’s pickings are, well, slimmer. Amid the furor over the degrees of suckitude in Batman v Superman, the lack of laughs delivered by Kevin Hart in Ride Along 2 and Central Intelligence, and the franchise fatigue brought on by Alice Through the Looking Glass, X-Men: Apocalypse, Zoolander 2, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and The Divergent Series: Allegiant, a few goodies did manage to poke through the sludge. Here’s the best of 2016 so far:
Captain America: Civil War
The year’s best popcorn flick to date is one of the few films of 2016 to break the sequel jinx. The Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony, actually know how to get us caught up in the feud between the Cap (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr,) and bring in Marvel’s Avengers — only the Hulk and Thor are MIA — to take sides. Lesson to Hollywood suits only in it for milking a franchise: If you build the damn thing right, they will come.