The Vern’s Top 10 Most Mediocre Movies of 2016




The year 2016 has brought in a slew of movies that were either total shit or really blasting awesome.  But what about the ones that were mainly O.K.  Do they not have a voice, why are they the ones in limbo.  Am I just a chicken shit for not sticking to my guns and placing them in one category or another.  Well, maybe, umm, no, but, yeah, hmm.  I don’t hate these movies, but I don’t fully love them either.  Every film on this list are ones I would watch again but I wouldn’t buy them on Blu-Ray brand new.   Well in any case at least you get an extra couple of lists when I do post my best and worst of 2016.  So let’s get cracking


Suicide Squad

suicide-squadI understand why this is on many of your worst list, because the plot is a mess and a lot of the characters’ motivations don’t make a lot of sense either.  Why did anyone feel that this was a good idea to use these characters instead of asking any of the other Super Heroes.  Was Wonder Woman getting her nails done.  I don’t know, because I really wasn’t following the plot of the whole group.  The only story line I enjoyed was that of Harley Quinn(Margot Robie) and The Joke(Jared Leto).  I wanted to know more of why Quinn went from being his doctor to being his girl Friday.  Why did she allow herself to be abused by this psychopath.  Their relationship was as damaged as Sid and Nancy and it would have been great if it was the main focus and not just a side plot.


Nocturnal Animals.

nocturnal-animals-trailer-amy-adams-tom-fordAmy Adams gets a book from her ex husband(Jake Gyllenhaal) that’s been dedicated to her.  The actual story that Adams read is awesome.   It’s an update of Straw Dogs that features a  mild family being harassed by a group of rednecks.  When his wife and daughter gets kidnapped.  The father teams up with a police detective(Michael Shannon) to delve out some justice.  The cast was good, but the one that stood out the most was Aaron Taylor Johnson who was damn freaky in the role as the leader of the redneck gang.  He shed his role as being Kick Ass in that movie.   Yet the moments with Amy Adams in the real world were a bit drab and dull to sit through.  I understand that her character hurt this guy and that the book was to represent how he felt. Yet, there was still something un complete about the plot.  Director Tom Ford really wants to be like David Lynch and create a movie that on the surface seems mysterious like Mulholland Dr, but it ends up being more like Sesame Street.


Green Room

green-roomI love the premise of this.   A punk rock band gets a gig at what is the worst kid of place to perform, a neo nazi bar.  But, hey the show must go on, and so must they.  After they witness a murder they become trapped and must find a way out before they are on the dead list instead of the guest one.  I knew this was going to be on a low point because it was directed by Jeremy Saulnier who in 2013 made Blue Ruin.  That movie was beloved by many, but I thought it was very dull.  What I hated most about Green Room is that once the tension got going with the band trying to escape.  It cuts to scenes of the people talking.  Even at the very end where you know shit is about to go down and get really crazy and awesome.  I get a scene of more people talking.  I love dialouge in movies, but don’t start rubbing my junk if you’re not going to go all the way


Rouge One: A Star Wars Story

rouge-oneFor me, this felt more like an extended episode of Firefly than something in the Star Wars Universe.  The story is suppose to take place before Episode 4 in which we finally find out how the rebels got the plans to destroy the Death Star.  Now it’s revealed later on that when they went over the plans there was a flaw, but in this story.   They want you to know that it was all  part of some scientist’s plan.  You see there is this guy who has been bribed to build the weapon after they shoot the guy’s wife.  He builds it and plants a huge flaw in the system.  Hoping one day that his daughter will want to lead a team to find his plans, and help destroy it.  Now that’s a mighty big wish for a father of a girl who was only 8 or 9 when her mother got shot.  Why did he think she would join the rebellion.  She could have very easily joined the Empire instead.  I know she thinks he joined the dark side and that’s why she feels betrayed and ends up joining the other side.  I’m just saying it’s kind of far fetched to believe your kids will follow exactly what you want them to do.  I found none of the characters exciting except for a few scenes of Alan Tudek as the comic relief robot.  I don’t even remember the names of any of the characters and for a Star Wars film, that is bad.  However with all my little nitpicks about the story.  I love that the action scenes felt a little more realistic then in other films.  The moment with Darth Vader was epic and yes I too shed some tears at the moment right before the credits rolled.  It will be interesting to see what Disney does next.



Midnight Special

midnight-special-2Michael Shannon is on the run with his son in a movie that reminds me of ET meets Starman meets Short Circuit.  His child has super powers and is being chased by members of the government that want to use his powers as a weapon.  And by a cult who feels that he is the next messiah.  What this dad does to protect his son against all odds is very heartwarming and I love all the effects.  I just found a lot of the story to be dragging some  as it went along.  The ending was very special and I feel that it could have worked better as a short instead of a feature.



alenaI saw this at the 2016 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Fest, Not sure if it got picked up for major distribution but I’ mentioning it now.  Alena is the newest student at a prep school following the death of her best friend Josephine the year before.  Everyone at the school makes fun of the clothes she wears, and all despise her.  It looks like this girl wont have any friends this year except for one.  The ghost of her one best friend.  Alena has a lot of great style and I really like the actors in this movie.  I even read the comic by Kim W. Anderson and director Daniel Di Grado did a really good job at adapting the material.  I just wish the plot in the movie was slightly different from the graphic novel.  Certain moments would have worked better if it was not revealed in the same why that the book presents them  if that makes sense.   It would be great if the movie opened with Alena at school and she meets Josephine but we don’t know she is a ghost just yet.  I do want to see this one again any maybe my views about the plot will change.

You can read my full review at Cinema Sentries below


The Shallows

BlakeBlake Lively in a bikini fighting a shark sold me on it.  Well that and it did have a pretty awesome teaser trailer.  I really wished that it used a combination of both CGI and practical effects to show the shark.   I still found many elements with the sea beast to be quite effective and suspenseful.    This is from the same guy who considers Jaws to be a horror film , so I did find plenty to enjoy with this movie.  However after the ordeal is over it should of just ended, but the movie for some unexplained reason decides to go on for another several minutes.  Still Ryan Reynolds is a lucky lucky man.



Money Monster.

moneymonsterIf this was made and released between 2001 and 2002 I think it would have made a much bigger impact.  The story has George Clooney as sly talking financial t.v. show host who gets taken hostage by an angry man(Jack O’Connell) who lost all his money in the market.  The performances by everyone including Julia Roberts was great.  The direction by Jodie Foster was tight with not one moment on screen feeling wasted, and yet the moment it ended.  I forgot all about it.  I enjoyed myself watching it, but after it was done I never wanted to see it again.  It’s like a one night stand that liked and even can admit to friends that you had one, but you’re not willing to go out with again.  No matter how much fun you had


Ghostbusters 2016

ghostbusters-2016-official-700x468The movie many people said will ruin the franchise and should never be made in the first place. was not actually that bad.  What I like  the most about this version is that the girls in don’t become the heroes right away.  In the 1984 original, once the boys trap Slimer.  They get a lot of recognition and are shown doing more jobs for people.  In this new story, even though the girls catch ghosts, no one believes that they are real.  In their defense though, the effects of the paranormal are really bad,  but if you look at it as an homage to the TV series, it’s not as bad.  I  like the cast members a lot and would actually be interested in a sequel.  The main villain was stupid, and should have never been used.  The cameos I found to be fun, and only one should have used as a deleted scene.  It will never match the original, and it never even comes close to the 2nd one too.  But I will be willing to watch a sequel if they made one.


Sausage Party

sausage-party1This R rated animated fable from Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen  had a lot of really laugh out moments from me.  I love how the movie is a satire of organized religion that doesn’t favorite one faith over the other.  The voice acting from everyone was a lot of fun, and when it sticks to the storyline, I found the vulgarity actually fit in some places.  If I was about to be turned into food, I would use many of the words these produce use.  Yet, there was a moment where the language was used for nothing more than just because they could get away with it.  Even Deadpool wasn’t constantly hurling out F Bombs just because he could.


Honorable Mentions

Popstar: Never Stop Popping
Hail Caesar
Hardcore Henry
Iron Will: A Veteran’s Battle with PTSD(Read full review)
Cafe Society
TMNT 2: Out of Shadows
Secret Life of Pets
Finding Dory
Nerve (Read full review)


I will be back after the new year to give you my lists of both the best and worst films of 2016.  Happy New Year everyone

About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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12 Responses to The Vern’s Top 10 Most Mediocre Movies of 2016

  1. Chris says:

    Yep,new Rogue One characters weren’t exciting and kind of bland. Kudos though for making the last 30 min suspenseful( for a journey we know the outcome of)
    To me, Green Room had suspense and claustrophobic scenes, but it was soon forgotten because the characters lacked memorable traits. The angry dog is the only character I remember.

    • The Vern says:

      The dog and Patrick Steward were great in Green Room. I watched Rouge One because a few people I know said it was better than Empire. I don’t see it,. Thank you Chris

  2. vinnieh says:

    Nocturnal Animals definitely divided opinion, though I really enjoyed it. I can see that it isn’t a movie for everyone however.

    • The Vern says:

      It had a good look to it, but I felt the ex husband character went through a lot to prove a point to his ex wife but I never really knew what it was. May have to rewatch this one with the commentary. thank you

      • vinnieh says:

        I can see why the film would be loved by some and then baffle others. It’s one of those movies that challenged the viewer, I actually want to watch it again. Happy New Year dude.

  3. Keith says:

    Fun list. Recently posted my Top 10 and a couple of these made it. But several were straddling that fence, weren’t they?

  4. Jay says:

    Wow, who even knew that we needed such a list?

  5. Jade says:

    Good read! I am still waiting to see Green Room for myself. And I’d almost forgot that I watched Money Monster! I had such high hopes, but I felt it could have had a much stronger script.

  6. dbmoviesblog says:

    Agree on nearly all of them, especially on Money Monster. It’s funny to see Nocturnal Animals here. I think you either totally “get” Tom Ford thinking and style, or you completely don’t…

  7. Khalid Rafi says:

    Agree with alot of your picks here, especially Money Monster and The Shallows. The Shallows in particular is a film whose success has eluded me. Suicide Squad on the other hand, was utter hogwash for me. Calling it mediocre would be too much of a praise.

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