DOCTOR STRANGE || Like “Ant-Man” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” Marvel takes on one of its lesser known superheroes, this one in charge of the magical realm and sorcery, and does so with great mastery. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is an epic cast and this lands with exceptional visual effects and battles that rival anything Marvel has done thus far. Keep them coming.
HACKSAW RIDGE || Mel Gibson directs this based on a true story about a young soldier in WWII who saved 75 men without ever carrying a gun. Andrew Garfield fills the leading role, and looks to do so brilliantly. Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, and Vince Vaughn fill out the rest of the cast in what is being described as a hard-hitting war film worthy of some Oscar attention.
LOVING || Speaking of Oscar attention, “Loving” is another based on a true story that sees Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga playing the real-to-life Richard and Mildred Loving, who, in 1967, were the first interracial couple to take their fight for a normal life and marriage to the Supreme Court when the county that they lived in saw them being harassed and chased out of town. Both performances are impeccable thanks to prolific director Jeff Nichols, who also finds a small role for Michael Shannon, who is in all of his films.
TROLLS || Vibrant and upbeat, “Trolls” combines an unforgettable soundtrack filled with talented singers including Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, and Zooey Deschanel with what looks like the first animated film to be completely covered in felt. The bad guys, the Bergens, get a little too much screentime, while several of the main trolls barely get a few lines in. But overall, “Trolls” lands as one of the best animated films of the year.