1. 'The Lobster'
Easily the strangest love story of the year (hell, the strangest movie of the year, period), Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ beautifully bizarre indie stars Colin Farrell as a lonely heart forced to find a mate within 45 days or risk being turned into a crustacean. What starts off as a cold, clinical critique of social conformity slowly reveals itself to be a surprisingly humane romance. (Read EW’s full review.)
This riveting embed with disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner — he of the sexting scandal that launched a thousand tabloid puns and late-night punchlines — plays like Shakespearean tragedy: a brutal convergence of hope, hubris, and human frailty. (Read EW’s full review.)
3. 'Green Room'
An old-fashioned siege thriller with a harrowing, white-knuckle twist, Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room pits a punk-rock band (which includes a wonderful Anton Yelchin, R.I.P.) against a clubful of rabid skinheads hell-bent on covering up a murder. Patrick Stewart steals the show as a neo-Nazi oozing calm menace. (Read EW’s full review.)
4. 'The Jungle Book'
Dipping into its vaults, Disney turned a familiar adventure about a boy raised in the wild into an utterly new and magically alive feast for the eyes. It’s the first talking-animal film in recent memory where CGI seamlessly bridges the uncanny gap between fantasy and reality. And if you couldn’t care less about such things, it’s also one of the most irresistible family films in a long time. (Read EW’s full review.)
5. 'Sing Street'
Writer-director John Carney’s sweet, scrappy valentine to his music-obsessed youth in 1980s Dublin hardly made a dent Stateside, but it’s exactly the kind of old-fashioned crowd-pleaser the multiplex has been missing: a let’s-start-a-band charmer set in the key of classic John Hughes with laughs and romance and, of course, a killer soundtrack. (Read EW’s full review.)
6. 'Fireworks Wednesday'
Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has been on a flawless run during the past decade. This hypnotic, quietly explosive look at passion, betrayal, and jealousy among the residents of one Tehran apartment building was made in 2006. The 10-year wait to reach our shores was worth it. (Read EW’s full review.)
7. 'The Invitation'
We’ve all seen those insufferable movies where young couples gather for a dinner party and a long night of vino-fueled soul-searching ensues. Karyn Kusama’s psychological thriller sets us up for yet another, but then it swerves in darker, more unexpected directions, leading up to one of the best sting-in-the-tail final shots of the year. (Read EW’s full review.)
Disarming newcomer Héctor Medina stars as a young Havana hairdresser whose sudden reunion with his estranged ex-con father brings epiphanies for them both. It’s a melodrama at heart but an utterly winning one — and so immersed in the sound and color of Cuba you can almost feel the humidity on your skin. (Read EW’s full review.)
If you’ve got a sweet tooth for truth-is-stranger-than-fiction documentaries, then you’ll absolutely love David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s bizarre exposé, which tiptoes into one of the most shadowy and sordid corners of the internet — tickling fetish videos. It’s like a Roger & Me with a taboo twist. (Read EW’s full review.)
10. 'Captain America: Civil War'
As much as the title would imply otherwise, Civil War is an Avengers movie. And it’s the best one yet. Marvel’s dysfunctional family is divided between Team Cap and Team Iron Man over the age-old question: Who watches the watchmen? Rich in character — and graced by a few new ones — Anthony and Joe Russo’s epic feels like a superhero movie with real issues, real stakes, and real depth. (Read EW’s full review.)