[Dec. 2016 Arts] 2016 music and movie highlights


By Adam Wenkoff ’18

The entertainment industry had an awesome year in 2016. The music industry gave us some incredible breakout artists like D.R.A.M. and The Chainsmokers as well as some fantastic new albums from musical giants like Bruno Mars and Rihanna. The movie industry had massive success as well, with three movies grossing over $1 billion worldwide with even bigger movies coming out in late December like “Star Wars: Rogue One.” Below are the top four songs and movies of 2016, based on the opinions of 185 Staples students.



  1. This pop/EDM song became a top radio hit almost immediately after it was released on July 29. The Chainsmokers were still riding the wave of success that their popular hit “Roses” brought them. That, combined with Halsey’s massive success from debut album “Badlands,” set the song up to become the nationwide hit that it is today. The song reached Billboard’s Hot 100 and remained at the top for twelve consecutive weeks. “The bass drop fits so well with the song,” Nick Perry ’18 said. “It’s easily my favorite song of the year.”
  2. This hip-hop song was the lead single on D.R.A.M.’s debut studio album, “Big Baby DRAM,” and it became one of the most popular party songs this past year. Lil’ Yachty raps the main verses and DRAM sings the hook. “Broccoli” almost has 220 million listens on Spotify. “Whenever I listen to Broccoli, I really, really want to dance,” Jeremy Daniels ’19 said. “It’s so catchy. I’ve listened to it more times than I can count.”
  3. “Cake by the Ocean” was the first single from Joe Jonas’s new band, D.N.C.E.. With one of the catchiest hooks of the year, “Cake by the Ocean” quickly became one of summer’s most popular songs. “I really like it,” Katherine Coogan ’17 said. “It speaks to me on such a spiritual level, and it instantly changes my mood.”
  1. “Panda” was originally released in December of 2015, but it was re-released in February before debuting on Billboard’s Hot 100 in April. This was Desiigner’s first professionally released single, and the rap/dance song swept the nation in the spring. The elementary lyrics paired with a loud beat sets the listener up for hip-hop nirvana. Russell Kraus ’19 said, “When Desiigner raps, it’s like a Kobe jump shot… money.”



  1. Voted by Staples students as the #1 movie of the year, “Finding Dory,” a sequel to Pixar’s critically acclaimed “Finding Nemo,” focuses on Dory’s struggle to find out more about her past. Ever since it was announced back in April of 2013, fans of “Finding Nemo” waited in dire suspense. Now that it’s been released, it’s safe to say that “Finding Dory” lived up to the hype. It grossed over $1.026 billion, appealing to people of all ages. Evan Shorrock ’19 really enjoyed the movie, saying, “I don’t want to spoil it, but the ending is perfect. Everything ties up so nicely and it gives you chills.”
  2. “Deadpool” initially gained attention when it was announced that it would be the first R-rated Marvel movie. The movie revolves around Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds, and his quest to find the man who turned him into a horrifically ugly mutant. In an awesome combination of humor and action, “Deadpool” quickly became one of the best superhero movies ever. “It was so much funnier than any other superhero movie,” Andrew Moy ’19 said. “‘Deadpool’ is by far my favorite superhero movie.”
  3. Although “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is based in the Harry Potter world, it does a great job of separating itself from the world of Hogwarts and dementors, creating a new era of magic within New York City. Starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by David Yates, director of the last four “Harry Potter” films, “Fantastic Beasts” came out on Nov. 18 and has already grossed $281.8 million. “I thought the characters were developed well and the plot line was strong,” Anna Sivinski ’18 said. “All in all it was a good, solid movie.”
  4. “Sausage Party,” directed by comedian Seth Rogen, quickly turned heads when it was announced that it was going to be the first R-rated CG animated movie. The movie’s plot centers around what happens when the foods in a grocery store learn the dark truth about what really happens to them when a human buys them. With a star-studded cast including Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, James Franco and Jonah Hill, “Sausage Party” was a massive hit among young adults who enjoyed its crude humor. “I loved how many obvious political references there were in the movie,” Tristan Hochman ’19 said. “They made the movie so much funnier.”