Top 10 Movies you Missed this Summer



Top 10 Movies you Missed this Summer

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Noah Levy

Best movies of the 2016 summer blockbuster season that flew under the radar and that most people, including you, probably missed. WatchMojo presents the best films that were criminally underrated, but definitely deserve your attention. But what will take our top spot? The dark and tense shark thriller The Shallows, the hilarious buddy film The Nice Guys, or the masterpiece animated film Kubo and the Two strings. Watch to find out!

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With all the Civil Wars, Star Treks, and Suicide Squads, there were bound to be some flicks that flew under your radar in the summer of 2016. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Movies You Missed This Summer: 2016 edition.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies we thought would make it big in the summer of 2016, but despite their quality disappeared without much fanfare.

#10: “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” (2016)

The Lonely Island was one of the defining elements of “Saturday Night Live” in the late-2000s, with their hilarious, catchy and iconic digital shorts never failing to go viral. So, it made sense for the group to tear apart the insane world that is modern pop music on the big screen. In “Popstar,” Andy Samberg plays superstar Conner4Real, while fellow Lonely Islanders Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone play his former bandmates. The movie is an outrageous and pitch perfect sendup of stars like Justin Bieber and celebrity culture in general, featuring tons of cameos and new songs from the group. It’s even been called “Spinal Tap” for a new generation, so why it only made $10 million is a mystery to us.

#9: “The Neon Demon” (2016)

Nicholas Winding Refn remains one of the most creative and daring minds in Hollywood, as evidenced by this 2016 feature. In this stylish horror film about the fashion industry of all things, Elle Fanning’s aspiring model Jesse moves to LA only to find herself the object of envy by her peers. Through carefully chosen dialogue and stylistically slick visuals, the tension then ramps up until “The Neon Demon” reaches its ending sequence – which we wouldn’t dare spoil here. Needless to say, the film received polarizing reviews and only made $3 million at the box office, but this is still a film that needs to be experienced at least once.

#8: “The BFG” (2016)

It’s honestly a complete shock to us how this one underperformed. Not only is it based on one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, written by the inimitable Roald Dahl; it was also directed by Steven Spielberg from a script written by Melissa Mathison, the writer responsible for “E.T.”’s screenplay. It also stars Spielberg’s newest muse Mark Rylance as the titular character, who is mostly done up in CG, but still manages to give a magical and literally larger than life performance. The film focuses on the Big Friendly Giant’s adventure with a young orphan girl named Sophie, and is Spielberg at his whimsical best. This is a Disney movie that deserved to be experienced in theaters.

#7: “Captain Fantastic” (2016)

We don’t see Viggo Mortensen onscreen as much as we once did, but that makes it all the more exciting when he’s in a film as good as “Captain Fantastic.” Mortensen plays a father who’s been raising his six children in a forest away from the corrupting forces of the real world. But when his wife dies, he faces the challenge of potentially having to re-integrate his family into society. In addition to Mortensen’s moving performance, the film also gets great turns from the group of child actors playing his family. This film had the crowd on its feet for ten minutes at the Cannes Film Festival; if that’s not proof of its resonant family drama, we don’t know what is.

#6: “Swiss Army Man” (2016)

Unlike most entries on this list, there’s a pretty concrete reason why nobody saw this masterpiece of absurdity: It’s strange, strange, STRANGE. Paul Dano plays Hank, a man trapped on a deserted island who comes across something unusual: a farting corpse played by Daniel Radcliffe. Hank realizes he can use the corpse as an all-purpose tool to return to civilization, but he also forms a relationship with the body and they bond over things like movies, partying, and love. If the truly insane premise isn’t enough to convince you to see it, “Swiss Army Man” also features fantastic turns from Radcliffe and Dano. You know what? Talking about it doesn’t even really do it justice; you just need to see it for yourself.

#5: “Florence Foster Jenkins” (2016)

This is Meryl Streep’s second film in as many years where the legendary actress plays some sort of musician, though unlike 2015’s “Ricki and the Flash,” this one is based on real events. In this biopic from director Stephen Frears, Streep plays the titular singer, who rises to prominence as an opera singer despite her lack of talent. Streep is wonderful in the role, as is expected, but we also see great from Hugh Grant as Jenkins’ husband and manager, and Simon Helberg as her pianist. Fans of Streep and Frears’ previous work should definitely check this one out, as should anyone interested in a quirky piece of music history.

#4: “Hell or High Water” (2016)

This is one part modern western, one part heist film, all parts incredible. Another successful, genre-defying effort by Scottish director David Mackenzie, “Hell or High Water” features Ben Foster and Chris Pine as a pair of brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies to save their family’s ranch. And, true to form, Jeff Bridges plays the Texas Ranger out to bring them to justice. It’s a film that’s visually arresting, tense, and powerfully acted, especially by its three stars, taking a storyline that was once an overused formula and turning it into a modern classic. Trust us: this is one you should make an effort to see, come hell or high water.

#3: “The Shallows” (2016)

In the three-plus-decades since “Jaws” first made us afraid to go in the water, there hasn’t really been an aquatic-based horror movie worthy of the same praise. Well, that is until summer 2016 when we got this killer shark thriller starring Blake Lively. Lively plays a medical student who gets stranded far away from shore while surfing in Mexico and has to live through an onslaught of attacks from a great white shark if she wants to survive. It’s definitely not the most original idea, but thanks to its incredible cinematography, a movie-owning performance from its star, and the fact that it makes sharks scary again, “The Shallows” has enough bite to separate it from similar films.

#2: “Kubo and the Two Strings” (2016)

Stop-motion animation studio Laika has been on a bit of a winning streak since 2009’s “Coraline,” but their 2016 effort might be their crowning achievement. “Kubo” is the visually dazzling story of its title character, voiced by “Game of Thrones”’ Art Parkinson, as he journeys to retrieve his long-lost father’s magic armor in order to defeat his evil aunts and his grandfather, the Moon King. Obviously Laika’s incredibly detailed and flawless animation is the true star of the show, but the film’s emotional core is certainly strengthened by a voice cast that includes Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes and Matthew McConaughey. One of the best-reviewed movies of 2016, “Kubo”’s a magical adventure that should have been experienced by more people.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a couple honorable mentions:
- “Café Society” (2016)

- “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (2016)

- “The Light Between Oceans” (2016)

#1: “The Nice Guys” (2016)

There was no greater cinematic injustice this summer than seeing this stylish, fun and creative action comedy fail to connect with audiences. Not only does it star the shockingly well matched Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a private eye and an enforcer respectively in late-’70s Los Angeles; it’s also directed and co-written by Shane Black, the action-comedy guru behind such scripts as “Lethal Weapon,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” and “Iron Man 3.” What this team ended up producing was two hours of beautifully quippy dialogue, expertly filmed shootouts, and a conspiracy involving both the automobile and pornography industries. In a summer filled with sequels and a variety of other disappointments, a couple of Nice Guys might have been just what moviegoers needed.

Do you agree with our list? Which movies do you wish more people had seen this summer? For more top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to