It's the halfway point of 2016, a perfect time to take stock of the best entertainment offerings of the half-year. Check out our picks for the best movies of the year below — and since "The top 16 of 2016" is exactly 50% premature, we chose the Top 8.
SEE ALSO: 8 best TV episodes of 2016 (so far)
The Best in Show award is granted neither to the fanciest dog, nor the prettiest, nor the most well-behaved. That honor goes to the dog that's the purest representation of its breed, the one that doesn't just fit the mold, but defines what the mold is supposed to be. Deadpool is that dog but, like, in movie form. Fox finally got the nerve to make a Deadpool movie, and motherfucker did they ever. Gnarly, sassy, twisted, silly, fourth-wall-breaking and foul, Deadpool just went for it, and its reward was the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. —Josh Dickey
2. The Witch
Easily the year's most haunting horror movie, The Witch is the startlingly impressive debut feature of writer/director Robert Eggers. Phenomenal acting, gorgeous cinematography and an unsettling plot come together perfectly in this film about a family cast out of zealous New England society in the 1630s. Satan would get a kick out of it. — Yohana Desta
Zootopia is one of the most surprising and thrilling animated films of the year. The children's movie about an ambitious bunny who wants to be a cop also leans deeply into themes of social justice, obsessed with teaching its audience about the ills of prejudice in a way that's heavy-handed, but also refreshing and timely. — YD
4. Captain America: Civil War
Wait — Marvel movies keep getting better? How is this possible? The answer is: Characters. There are now as many MCU films (13) as there are episodes of a meaty TV series — two seasons' worth, if we're counting by the hour — and the Kevin Feige method of developing interesting people to fill the comic costumes paid off huge ($1.14 billion worldwide) this spring. Civil War put all of Marvel's earthly Avengers and their disparate tones into a blender of a blockbuster and hit frappe, and what could easily have been a disaster was perhaps the best Marvel movie we're ever going to get. Because we know and care about these characters, period. — JD
5. 10 Cloverfield Lane
This movie could get points based on its impressively secretive origin. The trailer for the J.J. Abrams-produced thriller seemingly dropped out of nowhere about two months before its release date, to everyone's surprise. Tense action and stellar acting from sole lead stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. and John Goodman all lead up to one of the wildest endings of the year. — YD
6. The Jungle Book
Impressive CGI work, a stacked voice squad (Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and so forth) and a story that has stood the test of time — The Jungle Book has all the right elements. Newcomer Neel Sethi is also a precocious and endlessly watchable lead, guided by ambitious directing from Jon Favreau. — YD
Weiner — a documentary about Anthony Weiner's disastrous 2013 NYC mayor run in the wake of his ongoing sexting scandal — was always going to be entertaining in a "trainwreck you can't look away from" sense. The fact that the film also manages to be both insightful and compelling (never moreso than when following wife Huma Abedin as she lives out a nightmare) makes this the perfect pic for both political junkies as well as more casual observers looking for some human insight into the people behind headlines and late-night jokes. —Erin Strecker
8. Finding Dory
Honestly? Dare yourself not to like this predictably lovable sequel to the Pixar classic Finding Nemo. All your faves are back and they've found some weird new friends, including a paranoid octopus (Ed O'Neill) and a delightful near-sighted whale (Kaitlin Olsen). It's got all the tug-your-heartstring moments its predecessor had, but is packed with even more oddball humor, likely thanks to the sensibilities of lead star Ellen DeGeneres. — YD
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