Movie Reviews

5 Underrated Films Of 2016

In my first blog post, I wrote about some of the finest movies that were released last year, while in the second post I reflected upon some of the upcoming films that are to hit the screen in 2017. Now, I want to take a moment to shine light on some of the marvelous movies of 2016 that flew under the radar or were underappreciated by the critics and viewers.

2016 was a busy year for film lovers. The gigantic clash between DC and Marvel at the box office, Fox finally having the heart to bring up two R-rated Superhero movies and the Academy Award nominated films that made us cry, think and follow our dreams. As we wait for the most anticipated films of 2017, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the underrated movies from the previous year.

Live By Night

Live By Night

Ben Affleck is one of the finest directors in Hollywood even though he has only directed just a handful of movies. “The Town”, “Gone Baby Gone”, and “Argo” were highly received by viewers and everyone praised Ben for his skills as a director. There is no denying the fact Live By Night is not as good as “The Town” or “Gone Baby Gone” but it is one of finest films ever made on liquor prohibition. The film tells the story of a Boston-bred gangster, Joe Coughlin who built his liquor empire during the prohibition era.

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe

A father and son, who are working as coroners find themselves in a state of complex mystery when the dead body of a mysterious woman reaches their table. If you like to watch horror films with slight twists and turns, then “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” will be an absolute treat for you. The main characters of this film are Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond, and Brian Cox. The sinister vibe offered by “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” makes it one of the best horror movies of 2016.

20th Century Women

20th Century Women

“20th Century Women” depicts the tale of a teenage boy, his mother, and two other women who are helping her to raise him in the early 1970’s. The struggles a mother endures in bringing up her son is told in a thought provoking way by the director, Mike Mills. One of the major highlights of the film is the performance of Greta Gerwig as Abbie, a young woman who is recovering from Cancer. The other cast members of the film are Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, and Billy Crudup.



Oren Loni feels that the most underrated film from the previous year was “Mine”. Hollywood has always greeted survival stories with open hands. Tom Hanks’s Cast Away, Matt Damon’s The Martian, and Ryan Reynolds starrer Buried are only a few examples. Mine is not an action movie but is an incredible adventurous story of US soldier, Mike who finds himself stranded in the middle of a dessert. Can Mike survive the dangers of the desert and will he make it back to home? Oren Loni highly recommends you to watch “Mine”.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

The third installment of Marvel’s Thor directed by Taika Waititi will hit screen by the end of the year. If you have not yet watched a Taika Waititi movie, Oren Loni suggests you to do so. Taika Waititi has an incredibly funny and adorable style of storytelling. We did get a glimpse of what he is capable of in the 2014 fantasy comedy movie, “What We Do in the Shadows”. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an adventurous comedy ride, which features Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, and Rima Te Wiata. The film depicts the story of a rebellious kid and his uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review


Now that the second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy is out, we all would start hunting for expert reviews and first takes on the James Gunn movie. I’m no pro, but as a comic book movie fan and a Marvel movies enthusiast, I had a pretty good time watching the second installment of the GotG. The movie is colorful, funny, thrilling, and full on entertaining.

What the movie is about

You might have already heard that Kurt Russell portrays Ego: the living planet in GotG 2 as the Celestial father of Peter Quill aka Star-Lord.The movie is about Peter finding and reuniting with his dad, and (SPOILERS) Ego going all crazy to devour every planet in the universe, Oh and Nebula reunites with Gamora too.

The movie sets itself at pace quite soon as we see the Guardians being assigned by the Sovereign to guard their power source, the Anulax Batteries, from a multi-dimensional monster called Abilisk. Guns, swords, Baby Groot, Drax, all end the terror of Abilisk, but Rocket has his own plans to steal the Anulax Batteries just for fun!

Fast forward – our beloved Guardians are chased by the Sovereign fighter drones, and their ship, the Milano, crash lands on the planet Berhert. Marvel comic fans would know why the name Berhert sounds so familiar – it is where the story line of planet Hulk happens in the comics. Coincidence? Guess we’d have to wait for the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok movie to connect the dots, if any.

Moving on, Ego helps Peter and his team beat the Sovereign drones and reveals that he is Peter’s father. Father-Son reunion – Peter happy – Gamora skeptical – Ego’s plans on way to success – Earth in danger too – Guardians fight back – Drama, Action, Puns – Guardians win – a Stan Lee cameo – an emotional funeral – end story.

Well, that does not even touch any of the interesting and fun part of the movie – right? Is the movie so boring? Can a Marvel movie be so boring? Never. I just don’t want to spoil the fun and adventure you would have watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 You need to experience the ride yourself to feel the wind. And don’t miss the 5 post-credit scenes.

Still, if you wanted a review of the movie, I’d give it a 4.3 out of 5 stars. I’m not giving the movie a full 5 star rating because I wanted the story to connect to other upcoming movies, which I think did not happen at this point. Although the post-credit scene about (SPOILERS) Adam Warlock was awesome.

Go check out the movie and if you have already watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, share your thoughts in the comments section below. Cheers!!

Upcoming Hollywood Releases of 2017

The first four months of 2017 has been pretty good for the Hollywood industry and for film buffs. John Wick Chapter 2, Get Out, Logan, and The Lego Batman Movie were some of the finest entertainers this year, whereas highly anticipated films such as The Fate of the Furious, The Wall, and Fifty Shades Darker highly disappointed average film lovers.

2017 still has a lot to offer for film buffs. Four superhero movies are scheduled for release this year and we will be also able to see a war film from one of the finest directors in Hollywood, Christopher Nolan by the end of the year. Below are some of the highly anticipated upcoming Hollywood films of 2017.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will be the first attempt of Guy Ritchie to make a fine war film. This film will tell the origin story of King Arthur and on how he acknowledges his true legacy. The cast members of the film are Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana, and Djimon Hounsou.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Johnny Depp will once again play the iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth edition of the fan favorite Pirates of the Caribbean series, which is titled as Dead Men Tell No Tales. Reports indicate that Keira Knightly will also be reprising her role of Elizabeth Swann in the movie.

Wonder Woman

The fourth film from the DCEU continuity will open to the audience on June 20, 2017 and it will feature Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, and Connie Nielsen. The director of the film, Patty Jenkins, had earlier confirmed that the film will explore the origin story of Wonder Woman.

The Mummy

The Mummy series is also getting a reboot this year. The cast members of the film are Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Russel Crowe, and Sofia Boutella. The plot of the film will revolve around an ancient Egyptian princess who was awakened accidently and who will bring terrors to humans.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

The brief cameo of Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spiderman was incredible in Captain America: Civil War but diehard fans of Spiderman wanted a lot more than that. The solo Spiderman film from Marvel will not tell the origin story of Spiderman but it will rather concentrate on the hero’s encounter with the Vulture.


You know something epic is coming when you see the name Christopher Nolan on screen. Christopher Nolan’s war film, Dunkirk, will tell the evacuation story of Allied soldiers from the British Empire, Belgium, France, and Canada during World War II.

The Dark Tower

Nikolaj Arcel’s latest film, The Dark Tower is based on the book of the same name written by Stephen King. Academy Award winning actor, Mathew McConaughey will join Idris Elba and Katheryn Winnick in this adventurous fantasy thriller. The Dark Tower is scheduled for release on August 04, 2017.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle will hit the theaters on 22 September 2017 and it will feature Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, and Sophie Cookson in the lead roles. Reports say that Colin Firth will also be making a brief cameo in this action thriller.

Thor: Ragnarok

The God of Thunder no longer has his Mjolnir with him and he will have to face his former friend, Hulk in a battleground. Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, and Jaimie Alexander are the main characters of the film. Insiders report that this film will set up Avengers Infinity War and it may feature brief cameos from Thanos and Dr. Strange.

Justice League

Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince are in pursuit of an army in order to prevent the potential attack of a dangerous enemy. The Zack Snyder directorial venture will feature iconic DC characters such as Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Batman, and Superman teaming up to fight evil, and it will be a grand extravaganza for DC comic lovers.

Top 10 Films Of 2016

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2016 was an incredible year for Hollywood movie lovers. We saw Marvel Studios steering ahead of DC and Fox with two blockbuster superhero movies and we were also treated with an epic music saga from the young filmmaker, Damien Chazelle. Compiling a list of top 10 films from 2016 was actually a bewildering task for me since I loved most of the movies released last year. However, below are 10 of my personal favorite films from the year 2016 that you shouldn’t miss.

Here are top 10 picks of 2016 by Oren Loni Reviews

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Although the highly anticipated film from Zack Snyder, which was based on two iconic characters from DC comics failed to impress critics, the ultimate cut of the movie was an absolute treat for every comic book enthusiast. Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman was dark and purely awesome and it easily surpassed Christian Bale’s take on the same character.

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel Studios does everything perfect including the casting. The third and possibly final installment of the Captain America trilogy took a dark turn and it divided the Avengers into two teams. The standout performance from the film belongs to none other than Robert Downey Jr., but the brief cameos from Tom Holland’s Spiderman and Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther were also spot on.


The adaptation of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was disastrous and tragic. However, Ryan Reynolds’ valiant effort to give his favorite superhero a reboot worked fantastically when he took on the iconic Marvel character. Deadpool is entertaining, funny, and violent. You will certainly enjoy this R-rated action-packed ride with the merc with the mouth.


M. Night Shyamalan has been one of the most underrated directors of Hollywood even though some of his movies like The Sixth Sense, Signs, and Unbreakable were highly appreciated by both critics and audience. Split is an exceptional psychological thriller that might not have worked well without the presence of James McAvoy, as he has managed to pull in the best performance of his career.


Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks attempt to bring the adventurous story of the American pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, on to the screen was highly successful. Tom Hanks delivers yet another standout performance and he played a crucial role in making the film extraordinary. Additionally, the works from the sound effects team of Sully is also praiseworthy.


The Academy Award winning movie of 2016, Moonlight tells the story of a young African-American homosexual man and the struggles that he encounters at different stages of his life. The transformation of the character during each stage of his life was incredibly written and portrayed on screen. The performance delivered by Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris also contributed to the success of Moonlight.


Several film critics expressed their deep disappointment when they realized that the close encounter Amy Adams had with aliens in the movie was restricted to just communication rather than global annihilation. However, you cannot deny that Denis Villeneuve’s take on the alien subject was refreshing and it offered something more than the normal Sci-Fi movie experience.

La La Land

The plot of La La Land can be easily written as the love story of an aspiring actress and a jazz pianist. However, La La Land is a lot more than that and it is truly one of the best musicals ever made in Hollywood. Emma Stone even managed to overshadow Ryan Gosling with her incredible performance as Mia and she eventually went on to win an Oscar for it.

Manchester By The Sea

Kenneth Lonergan has taken a broken man, an adolescent teen who just lost his father and the backdrop of Manchester to deliver an emotional and heartbreaking tale. All the scenes between Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams were brilliantly shot and well written. Casey Affleck also managed to win an Oscar for his portrayal of Lee Chandler in the film.


Denzel Washington’s third directorial venture tells the story of a working-class African-American father and the struggles that he faces while trying to raise his family. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis steal the show with their portrayal of Troy Maxson and Rose Maxson. Viola Davis even secured an Academy Award for her performance in the Fences.