2016 Summer Movie Awards

Sometimes the summer provides some of the best movie moments of the year, but they often go overlooked during award season. So, to make up for it, I’ve come up with the Summer Movie Awards, giving credit to flicks that come out in the warmest months.

Best Movie – The Nice Guys

Director Shane Black’s film “The Nice Guys” was the complete package of this movie season. The script was stellar, including great witty humor along with some real heart. Additionally, the movie featured Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and one of Hollywood’s best in Ryan Gosling giving solid performances. The movie is also brimming with style, boasting a great noir detective feel and the period setting makes it come across as if the film came out of a 1970s time capsule. There certainly have been some gems this summer, but “The Nice Guys” came out on top.

Best Family – Kubo and the Two Strings

For a while, “Finding Dory” was in the lead for this, but the release of “Kubo” changed thing. A wonderful adventure flick, “Kubo and the Two Strings” is a phenomenally well executed folk tale told on screen. The movie’s animation, made in stop motion, looked beautiful, especially during the action sequences. The film also had some fun memorable characters making for a well-rounded family picture that should be in the running for the Academy Award’s best animated feature.

Best Comedy – Florence Foster Jenkins

On top of being a charming period piece set in 1940s’ New York City, “Florence Foster Jenkins” was also a delightful comedy. While there’s plenty of drama in this picture, the amount of lighthearted comedy provides a lot of strong laughs. There are many humorous situations and they largely rely on the facial expressions of many of the lead performers. What boosts this movie, though, was the mixture of laughter and heart that the picture features.

Best Action – Star Trek: Beyond

After a second movie that was just so-so, the “Star Trek” movie series returned to form with the awesome, exciting flick “Beyond.” The film wonderfully balances action and drama, such exploring Captain James T. Kirk’s questioning of his future on the starship Enterprise. This leads to the next point of goodness in the picture, the endearing crew of the ship. All of the characters get a chance to shine here, with the real gem being the dynamic between Spock and Dr. McCoy. “Captain America: Civil War” was certainly a solid action picture, but “Beyond” edges it out.

Best Actor – Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys

Gosling has already proven himself in the comedy department with “Crazy Stupid Love” a few years ago, but he brings it to a new level here. Gosling manages to balance being a bit of a bumbler at times but at the same time can be a clever detective.

Best Actress – Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Not a hard choice here, Streep always brings her A game. On top of bringing a distinct charisma to her character in this role, Streep also portrayed a great level of depth in her character. Through her performance, Streep brought a woman to the screen who had a true love of music and art and the audience is able to appreciate the character more for it.

Best Supporting Actor – Robert Downey Jr. Captain America Civil War

While the movie’s title alludes to this being the shield-wielding hero’s movie, “Civil War” wouldn’t have worked without a good performance from the Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. has been in the role since 2008 and he once again delivers on the part. It’s impressive work because Tony Stark is often a complex character. There is a lot of depth and inner turmoil often about what the next move should be and trying to avoid the sins of his past with weapons. At the same time, he puts on a mask as the cocky billionaire we all know. Downey Jr. does a fantastic job in portraying these elements on screen convincingly, especially in the movie’s third act.

Best Supporting Actress – Kate McKinnon

With Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy being the leaders of the rebooted Ghostbusters, and therefore the more competent of the bunch, the supporting cast needed to provide a contrast. Kate McKinnon brought this in spades. Every moment she’s on screen, McKinnon brings an extraordinary amount of energy to the screen and provides some of the film’s funnier moments.

Best Action Scene – Final fight, Captain America Civil War

I knew what I was in for with the title “Civil War.” However, even with the knowledge, the final battle in “Captain America” was still gut wrenching. The finale is intense, hard-hitting and most of all is emotionally tough to watch. On top of this, the fight between Captain American and Iron Man has great choreography and shows off both of the characters’ abilities.

Worst Movie – The Legend of Tarzan

There was certainly some competition for this since summer 2016 did have a few bombs. However, the latest “Tarzan” adventure was the worst of the bunch. On top of having a bunch of lackluster performances, even from phenomenal actors, the film was just downright boring. The entire thing is predictable, dull and the climax is laughable.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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