How do good movies manage to slip through the cracks? Sometimes a distributor hasn’t spent enough money on advertising and promotion. It may be that the reviews aren’t strong enough. And sometimes people just aren’t attracted to a particular movie. Here are some of my favorites from 2016 that didn’t draw the audiences I think they deserved:
Everybody Wants Some! Apparently unable to find a better way to promote this, Paramount referred to it as the spiritual sequel to Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. The public didn’t respond and missed out on one of the year’s most engaging films, with a cast full of young talent and rising stars. Read my original review HERE.
The Hollars. John Krasinski directed this warm, funny, and emotionally gripping family portrait from a screenplay by Jim Strouse. And you can’t top this cast: Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, Sharlto Copley, Charlie Day, Anna Kendrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Randall Park, and in a tiny role, Mary Kay Place. Read my original review HERE.
The Meddler. Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, and Sam Elliott star in Lorene Scafaria’s good-hearted dramedy about a widow who moves cross-country to be close to her daughter. I thought this might turn out to be a one-joke premise, but I was wrong…and it’s a great part for Sarandon. Read my original review HERE.
Pete’s Dragon. Disney all but abandoned this delightful movie, which bears no resemblance to the dreadful 1977 film of the same name. Good reviews across the board couldn’t persuade moviegoers to come, and they missed out on the best family film of the year. It’s never too late to make amends for that. Read my original review HERE.
Midnight Special. Writer-director Jeff Nichols is earning well-deserved praise for his fall release Loving, but less attention was paid to this highly original science-fiction thriller—because it’s so difficult to categorize. The presence of Nichols stalwart Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Sam Shepard, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst and the gifted young Jaden Lieberher should be enough to convince you that it’s worth your time. Read my original review HERE.
The Confirmation. Talk about a movie nobody saw! This one came and went in a flash, but caught my eye because it marked the directorial debut of Bob Nelson, who wrote Nebraska. It stars Clive Owen and child actor Jaden Lieberher, who’s so good in MidnightSpecial. A top-notch supporting cast all said yes to Nelson’s warm-hearted script, so why should you resist? Read my original review HERE.
Finally, we come to the two movies I’ve touted most often this year, for good reason:
Sing Street. The Irish filmmaker who brought us Once and Begin Again scores a bull’s-eye with this utterly charming, semi-autobiographical tale set in 1985 Dublin and filled with great musical moments. Everyone I know who’s seen this has fallen in love with it; don’t be left out. Read my original review HERE.
Don’t Think Twice. Comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia made a giant leap as filmmaker with this perfectly realized movie about a tight-knit New York City improv troupe and how one member’s success affects the delicate balance of the group. Birbiglia costars with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard and Tami Sagher in a film you won’t soon forget. Read my original review HERE.
Click HERE for The Best Films & Performances You Missed In 2016 Pt. 1
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