A well-crafted and thoughtful story drives Rogue One - in a sandbox that provides a perfect blend of modern action and classic Star Wars style.
La La Land makes for Damien Chazelle's most technically-accomplished love letter to music yet, as well as the filmmaker's most poignant work.
Office Christmas Party is a decent studio comedy, but its entertaining parts do not add up to a cohesive whole.
Nocturnal Animals has style and ambition to spare, yet as a whole Tom Ford's dark psychological thriller rings hollow.
Bad Santa 2 is another late comedy sequel that fails to catch lightning in a bottle again with a poor script and weak characters.
Moana is a funny, heartfelt and richly-crafted hero's journey adventure that effectively puts a Disney spin on Southern Pacific culture.
Allied is most compelling as a dramatic spy thriller - less so as a sweeping romance that unfolds against the backdrop of WWII.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is a well-intentioned misfire that cannot live up to its higher aspirations.
The Edge of Seventeen captures the spirit of classic John Hughes comedies - at the same time, refining and innovating Hughes' storytelling approach.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a solid Harry Potter series movie but often prioritizes setup over memorable drama or spellbinding action.
Moonlight is one of the most poignant, poetic and beautiful movies of the year.
Arrival is a smart tale of alien contact that boasts great visuals and performances, if also more brains than heart.
Trolls is solid, visually-stunning entertainment for kids with a positive message, but there isn't much there for adults.
Doctor Strange manages to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also telling a satisfying story in its own isolated corner.
Hacksaw Ridge is a grisly WWII movie that excels as an action/thriller, but has mixed success in realizing its loftier thematic ambitions.
Inferno is unlikely to earn the Robert Langdon movie franchise any new fans - and isn't worth the long wait that it took to get made.
Despite a fun premise, Keeping Up with the Joneses is a mildly entertaining comedy that's very generic.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back does not offer enough high-octane action or clever mystery to stand out from the glut of so-so crime movies.
Thanks to the efforts of its talented cast and crew, Ouija: Origin of Evil is more solid horror film than soulless franchise continuation.