10. Creed (Ryan Coogler)
Not the only decades-later sequel on this list; yes, Rocky Balboa came out only nine years ago, and the new movie manages to roll a lot of series continuity into a cohesive whole. But Creed is, in its way, a truer successor to the original Rocky than any of the movies that have come out since ’76: moving, exciting, rousing, and maybe even better-made. It can also slide into this list repping the bizarre number of delightful Part Sevens that arrived this year, alongside Furious 7 and The Force Awakens.
9. Mississippi Grind (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck)
Among this movie’s many lived-in pleasures: the revival of Ryan Reynolds, character actor. He’s got the looks for leading roles, but when he brings those looks back out into what resembles the real world, he goes from likable to pretty damn great. Here he’s teamed with actual character actor Ben Mendelsohn for a gambling story about a born loser and a guy who acts like a born winner, and how maybe there’s not so much space between the two.