Film reviews & opinions from 2016

Bond, Jason Bond.

The highlights of Akhil Arora’s first year—2016—writing movie reviews professionally.

Rogue One Jyn Eros Felicity Jones

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“In Rogue One, [Gareth] Edwards has made the most realistic of Star Wars than any before—and with that, also the most mature and grown-up one. This is not the fun-filled romp for the younger audiences that last year’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens was. Instead, Rogue One is the Star Wars prequel George Lucas should have made and one that fans of the original trilogy rightly deserve.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Newt Scamander Eddie Redmayne

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“As the audience, we have developed no connection whatsoever with the characters that we are about to see, yet the film is trying to evoke memories of a deep past that earned its affection over the course of a decade. But this is Hollywood, a world where franchise is the new buzzword, and nothing is sacred.”

Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch

Doctor Strange

“In the first five minutes of Doctor Strange, director Scott Derrickson gives us the wildest and strangest look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, rivalling every moment seen in any of the previous 13 instalments. Even for an ever-expanding franchise that regularly sees immeasurable power, demigods from different realms, and individuals warping reality, the scene is far out there.”

Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Margot Robbie

Suicide Squad

“More often than not, Suicide Squad plays out completely opposite to that old adage: strength in numbers. The film fares better when it lets individual characters take over the narrative, but cowardice and a general lack of time investment make sure that no one can get in more than a single line in what is a continuous repartee.”

Jason Bourne Matt Damon

Jason Bourne

“The memory lapse feels tired as a plot mechanic in [Matt] Damon’s fourth outing as the character, and should the franchise choose to continue, it must give Bourne something new to take on—there are a lot of wrongs in the world that aren’t in his head—or pivot cleverly away from a Bourne-centric era. Perhaps [Alicia] Vikander’s Lee could be convinced to go rogue?”

Star Trek Beyond Chris Pine Kirk

Star Trek Beyond

“[In] much the same way as J.J. Abrams did with the new Star Wars, Justin Lin’s Star Trek too rides on nostalgia and exuberance to deliver a true to its roots outing in Star Trek’s 50th year. May it live long and prosper.”

Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps in Zootopia


“What Zootopia says is even more important today, a time when democratic nations around the world move towards harsher right-wing policies, by way of fear and misinformation of ‘outsiders’. The city of Zootopia … runs obvious parallels to humanity’s own diversity and through the beaming eyes of [Judy] Hopps offers a glimpse at what can be achieved if only we don’t remain so set in our ways.”

James Bond 007 logo

James Bond

“As viewers, we shouldn’t be admiring a misogynist character who defines an old-fashioned idea of masculinity that involves pursuing women for the sole reason of sexual conquest while avoiding any and all emotional attachment. There is no reason for Bond the character to exist if the franchise isn’t interested in telling newer stories that don’t treat women as an object of desire.”