List is not ranked.
This movie is, simply, brilliant. A masterful exploration of the concepts of racism, theft/enslavement of Black bodies, appropriation and microaggressions, Jordan Peele’s Get Out takes white liberalism to task. Peele makes it a point to not allow viewers to experience these uncomfortable subjects against the typical background of antebellum plantation-style slavery of centuries past; instead, moviegoers of all races are forced to acknowledge the endless daily subtle (and overt) examples of racism experienced by people of color. Wrapping up all of these subjects in the tension-filled horror film genre, with a comedic-relief twist (thanks to the hilarious antics of co-star Lil Rel Howery), makes Get Out not only a clever and timely film, but one that is truly transcendent. –Shana Pinnock
Is this a straightforward, somewhat traditional superhero origin story? Absolutely. Is it unlike anything you’ve ever seen before at the movies? Hell, yes! Wonder Woman’s Diana Prince isn’t like any female character in movie history. Gal Gadot is sheer perfection, making any other casting choice seem ridiculous, Chris Pine is an ideal (and briefly naked) Steve Trevor, and Patty Jenkins’ directing elevates this movie, reminding us of why we waited so damned long for it. Worth every minute. –Laurie Ulster
Kong's legacy continues in an unexpectedly fascinating next step in the rebooted King Kong franchise. On Skull Island, not only does the universe's most powerful ape fascinate a team of explorers, but a whole host of fascinating, fantastical creatures. The CGI is incredible and makes these fake monsters all the more believable and terrifying, all throughout a story that's at times surprisingly heartbreaking and tender. –Jeff Benjamin
We’ve been getting bogged down with endless reboot news for the past year, but the Power Rangers revival was one of the few that sounded really promising! Released on March 24, the third installment in the cult superhero franchise featured all of our favorite characters from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series (yes, even Goldar). It was cool to see a new and young cast give a modern twist to the Rangers. The movie also made its own history as it welcomes Hollywood's first openly gay superhero on the big screen. Trini (the Yellow Ranger played by Becky G) tries to comes to terms with her sexuality during the film. If you needed any more consolation that it was a success, the studios are already planning six more movies to the franchise. –Bianca Gracie
Director Bill Condon managed to provide all the nostalgic feels we felt the first time we saw Disney’s classic 1991 musical Beauty and the Beast. The cast effortlessly brought the tale as old as time to life with the magical live-action remake; fit for adults and children of all ages. Grossing at $1.26 billion worldwide, no wonder the romantic fairy tale is the highest-grossing movie (so far). –Amissa Pitter
If you are an '80s or '90s baby, you are fully aware of the legendary status of New Edition as one of the best boy bands of all time, among the ranks of the Jackson 5 and The Temptations. The New Edition Story miniseries gives New Edition casual and super fans alike the opportunity to see how the group originated, plus the development of the breakout solo careers of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill and Bell Biv DeVoe.
From start to finish, viewers are taken along the journey of the young members’ (often failing) adjustments to a life of fortune and fame. The behind-the-music look at the jealousy, betrayals and personal demons of the music group’s members—via an incredible young and adult cast—is an amazing combination of riveting and nostalgic. The hair and fashion styles coupled with the cast’s music video and concert reenactments is a treat for any true music lover, one that leaves them running to the nearest streaming service to listen to more of the group’s timeless tunes. –Shana Pinnock
Films that manage to capture the essence of authors and literature must be cherished. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro is built around an incomplete manuscript by one of the most trenchant voices society ever had, James Baldwin. He considers the lives of, and injustices done to, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers in depth. By the time the credits roll on the tight 90 minutes, expect history-freighted waves of motivation, awe, mournfulness and so much more to wash over you. –Zach Dionne
Roar-volume shout-out to James Mangold for finding a way to give Wolverine a proper farewell after his presence graced five X-Men movies and two of his own flicks. Adapting the beloved and inventive Old Man Logan comic arc put our guy in a dystopian near-future with a dying Professor X and a lethal young girl bound to carry on the adamantium-clawed baddie-fighting legacy. Like with Mad Max: Fury Road, you know it's a legitimately artful contribution to a threadbare genre when it gets a black-and-white version that's apt to be just as dope, in a whole new way. –Zach Dionne
M. Night Shyamalan did it again. The horror director made someone suffering from multiple-personalities disorder absolutely terrifying for a hit movie that topped the U.S. box office three week in a row; Shyamalan's longest box office No. 1 since The Sixth Sense. The storyline about the human mind being more scary than any monster felt eerily relevant to today's cultural and political environment. –Jeff Benjamin
2014's Guardians of the Galaxy was a somewhat unexpected smash, considering it was based off a quite lesser-known comic series than most other Marvel Cinematic Universe films before it (Iron Man, The Avengers, etc.). Nevertheless it was a huge hit, and currently the sixth-highest grossing film in the MCU worldwide. Thus, expectations were high for the 2017 sequel and it's safe to say the film's already exceeded them. Released just last month, Vol. 2 has already out-gross its predecessor, both domestically and globally, where it's currently the fifth-highest grossing film in the MCU.
But forget about dollars and box office charts—what really matters is if the fans liked it. As a lover of the first movie, I was apprehensive whether Vol. 2 could live up to the first film. I knew baby Groot would be my everything, but I was nervous the amusing, family-like bickering among Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot might feel played out by the end of yet another two hours with this motley crew. I was wrong. So wrong. A great thing about Vol. 2 is new fans really don't have to have seen the first movie to enjoy it (though seeing it definitely adds to the experience). For a fun, comedic superhero movie this is a win-win: The whole returning ensemble feels like family, which is probably also why I, a 32-year-old grown man, was sitting in the theater with tears in my eyes by the end. No spoilers, but damnit, when those fireworks started going off?! Anyways...it's safe to say Vol. 3 (which has already been announced) will be another huge hit for Marvel. –Mark Sundstrom
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