top 10 movies of 2016 kubo and the two strings

Kubo and the Two Strings Got a Visual Effects Nod

It’s great that Kubo and the Two Strings was nominated for Best Animated Feature because it is the best animated feature released in 2016. It’s probably going to lose to Zootopia, but I’ve made my peace with that. What is pleasantly surprising and deeply weird is that it was also nominated for Best Visual Effects. Because Laika makes stop-motion movies that utilize physical puppets and practical sets, the film’s large number of digital effects shots apparently qualify it for a category where you typically never see animated movies. This was a very, very cool nomination.

Rogue One - K-2SO, Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso

Rogue One Doesn’t Replicate The Force Awakens

Last year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens did better at the Oscars than your average blockbuster, scooping up five nominations. This year, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story only picked up two nominations (for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing). It’s honestly not that surprising and it’s pretty much Business As Usual, but it proves that the awards attention lavished on The Force Awakens was probably an anomaly.

Lion - Dev Patel

They Liked Lion That Much?!

Look, Garth Davis’ Lion has been steadily gaining momentum over the past several weeks, but six nominations is “spit out your coffee” strong for a film that was barely in the conversation a few months ago. It’s hard to imagine it winning against the larger, more powerful horses in this race, but this is quite the surprise.

Finding Dory

Pixar Got Shut Out of the Big Race

There was a time where every single Best Animated Feature statuette was Pixar’s to lose. The snubbing of Finding Dory can’t help but feel like a statement, especially when Disney Animation ate up two of the available spots with Zootopia and Moana. Look at it this way: the sequel to Pixar’s first Oscar-winning feature was denied a nomination by the uber-depressing (but beautiful!) The Red Turtle and My Life as Zucchini, a French-Swiss stop-motion animated film. Pixar can’t just waltz into the Oscar race and win these days, even when its top contender has made over $1 billion worldwide. However, they can take some consolation in the delightful Piper getting nominated in the Best Animated Short category.

2016 summer movie recap

Passengers, 13 Hours, and Suicide Squad Are Oscar Nominees

Every year, there is at least one truly bad movie to get nominated for an Oscar on the strength of its technical excellence in at least one category. We like to call this The Norbit Hall of Fame. This year brought us three (three!) new inductees: Passengers, 13 Hours, and Suicide Squad. Because the Oscars are about saying nice things about movies, let’s dwell on this for a second. Yes, Passengers does have pretty slick production design and its score gets the job done! Yes, the sound mixing in 13 Hours sure is loud! And yeah, the practical make-up on Killer Croc in Suicide Squad is pretty impressive stuff.

Everything Wrong With Deadpool

Deadpool Got Nothin’

Hey, remember when we thought Deadpool could surprise us for a hot second? Yeah. Weird times.

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