Top 5 of Summer... So Far

We're 12 Fridays deep on summer so far at the movies. There've been a lot of blockbusters that have competed for the title of summer's best. Some have been worthy, some have disappointed. And we still have a month left. But for now, here's my five favorite and three biggest disappointments of summer 2016 at the Box Office.

Five Favorites:
1. X-Men: Apocalypse. This was the third, and possibly final, "X-Men" film featuring the prequel cast, had a lot of hype and a lot of questions. But, to me, it's been the best of the big blockbusters to be released in 2016. It introduced new characters, brought our favorite heroes together and followed a fascinating story arc. Plus, it had a rich emotional fabric that drew you in and kept you hooked.

2. Money Monster. This isn't the kind of movie you typically expect to see during the summer. It takes a serious look at the economic problems in America. It stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and is directed by Jodie Foster. But that's what makes it such a great entry during the Summer season. Great performances and an important narrative. This is a must-see movie.

3. The Shallows. Again, a movie I didn't expect much of. There's been a long tradition of shark movies in American cinema, and outside of "Jaws," many of them are mediocre. This one isn't. Blake Lively is incredible, and this taught action film is incredible, too. This movie has a strong shot to be the best of summer.

4. Ghostbusters. When you're re-making a classic, there are plenty of potential pitfalls. I was weary of this movie when it was about to drop, and didn't know what to expect. What we get is a great, fun, comedic experience. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth deserve a lot of props, as does director Paul Feig.

5. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. This is the typical, hard R-rated comedy you expect during summer. We get one that shines every year, and in 2016 that one is "Mike and Dave." If you want a lot of uncouth laughs, this one is for you.

Three Disappointments:
1. Captain America: Civil War. I want to be clear, this is not a bad movie. It may even seem strange to some to have this on the list. Some have declared it the best of the Marvel movies. But not me. For three quarters of the film, I loved it. But an incredibly weak third act left me frustrated and confused. I wanted greatness, and I felt like this movie was on the cusp and bailed out at the end.

2. Independence Day: Resurrection. Some movies shouldn't have sequels. "Independence Day" is clearly one of them. After 20 years we got a revisiting of one of the ultimate summer blockbusters, and I was looking forward to it. Until 10 minutes into the movie, when I realized it was a tremendous mistake.

3. Alice Through the Looking Glass. Here's another one where the sequel shouldn't have been made. I was a big fan of the 2010 version of "Alice in Wonderland," but this follow up saps the experience of these characters and the magic of this world. This is one too many trips to Wonderland.


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