#SpoilerFreeReviews

    Written by: Aaron (Dobler) Goldstein. Follow along on twitter.

    A Dog's Purpose

    “A Dog’s Purpose” is the animal version of “Quantum Leap.” Instead of Doctor Sam Beckett we get a dog hoping that his next leap will be the leap home…

    Split

    I have 23 different opinions of “Split” and a mild thumbs up is one…

    A Monster's Call

    “A Monster’s Call” feels like a misguided live-action Miyazaki film.

    Lion

    “Lion” is really three films disguised as one. The first and third films are inspiring, tear-inducing and thoughtfully acted, whereas the middle piece is nothing more than a lengthy product placement for Google Earth.

    Allied

    “Allied” #SpoilerFreeReview sans viewing the trailer B+

    “Allied” #SpoilerFreeReview after viewing the trailer B-

    Fantastic Beasts

    “Fantastic Beasts” is a tale of two movies. One part great (the beasts and where to find them) and the other part heavy on plot and somber 😴 tone (Colin Farrell portion).

    Manchester by the Sea

    “Manchester by the Sea” is easily Kenneth Lonergan’s best film to date with an award worthy performance from Casey Affleck.

    Hidden Figures

    Although “Hidden Figures” is timely and inspirational, it is not able to tackle the challenge of telling the emotional true story of the three females that helped NASA in the race to space.

    Also, Pharrell likes to text during his own movie.

    La La Land

    “La La Land” is a love letter to musicals and one of the best films of 2016. Can’t wait to see it again.

    Moana

    “Moana” is the perfect extension of Disney entertainment mixed with Lin Manual’s catchy show tunes (just try and get “Shiny” and “You’re Welcome” out of your head).

    Fences

    “Fences” has won numerous awards already (including the Pulitzer Prize and several Tony’s), but the one thing it unfortunately will not win is an Oscar after it is released on Christmas Day.

    Miss Sloane

    Jessica Chastain once again showcases her acting skills with another outstanding performance in John Madden’s latest film, “Miss Sloane.” If only the overly long thriller turned in a better performance to support her in…

    Arrival

    I don’t think it is possible to overhype “Arrival,” so i will simply state - I saw it twice in one day.

    Trolls

    “Trolls” is good not great entertainment that is equivalent to a poor-man’s “Happy Feet.”

    Nocturnal Animals

    “Nocturnal Animals” is an elegantly flawed noir thriller that should garner deserved Oscar buzz for Original Score and Michael Shannon’s chameleon like performance.

    #IDontPopMollyIRockTomFord

    Doctor Strange

    Although it has a formulaic plot, “Doctor Strange” boasts the most inventive visual effects of the year and is the best summer movie of the season…wait.

    #BestMarvelMovieYet?

    The Handmaiden

    “The Handmaiden” is soft core disguised as meaningful art house cinema.

    Hacksaw Ridge

    It’s tough to support Mel Gibson, but it is hard not to love his latest flick, “Hacksaw Ridge.” It is made with the same sure-handed direction as “Braveheart” and is easily one of the year’s best traditional films.

    #BraveHeartII

    Queen of Katwe

    It doesn’t matter that Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe” is predictable because the cast, production and direction make it the feel good movie of 2016.

    Hopefully word of mouth continues as it deserves to be seen by grown-ups and their kids.