2015 has been a fantastic year for cinema, but with the new year just around the corner, it’s always good to look forward and see what 2016 will have to offer. As always, there will undoubtedly be some future stinkers out there, let’s ponder for a second how the painfully poor 2014 Kevin Hart and Ice Cube comedy Ride Along has managed to gain a 2016 sequel. We also can’t get too excited about the upcoming year before remembering that in January, we will see Robert De Niro further taint his wonderful acting career by appearing alongside Zac Effron in Dirty Grandpa; and how could we not miss out the potential lowpoint of the next 12 months, that being Marlon Wayans attempt at parodying 50 Shades of Grey, with the ‘very cleverly’ titled 50 Shades of Black. In Wayans’ defence however, it could provide a highlight of the year in the form of Mark Kermode’s future rant about how poor and offensive it is.
But without further ado, here are 10 films to actually get excited about in 2016:
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino’s 8th feature, The Hateful Eight looks set to be another typically Tarantino film ripe with blood, gore and unforgettably sharp dialogue.
Amongst the cast are Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Chaning Tatum, Michael Madsen, and of course a Tarantino film would not be complete with Samuel L. Jackson. Judging by the synopsis, it almost looks like a crossover between Reservoir Dogs (the majority of the film appears to take place in one building) and Django Unchained (it’s clearly a Western in genre). Also accompanying the film will be the soundtrack of Ennio Morricone, and it’s very likely that the sound of the film will echo the Spaghetti Westerns of Leone and Eastwood (which is excellent news).
The Hateful Eight will be released in January in the UK.
The Revenant has been getting a lot of attention and promotion in the last month, especially with the Oscar buzz that surrounds it. Will director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman) win another Oscar, but more importantly, will Leonardo DiCaprio finally win that elusive Best Actor award that has evaded him for so many years. The reviews are already out, and early reports suggest that this will definitely have a successful year at the Oscars, most of the praise being directed at Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubizki (Birdman, Gravity). Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian has labeled it, “gut-churningly brutal, beautiful storytelling” so let’s hope that it lives up to the hype.
The Revenant will be released in January in the UK.
Like Tarantino, The Coen Brothers have made almost exclusively excellent films; consider Fargo, No Country for Old Men or The Big Lebowski. They have gone a bit missing in recent years though, opting to bulk up other people’s work, their addition to Spielberg’s recent War drama, Bridge of Spies were duly noted. However, Hail, Caesar! thankfully looks like a true return to form, a return to a film that’s all theirs to play with. The Coen Brothers are truly at their best with wacky comedy with ridiculous plot lines, so this does certainly look like a return to their routes. The cast is also very admirable, with the likes of Coen Brothers regulars such as George Clooney and Frances McDormand being joined by Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Feinnes and Jonah Hill.
Hail, Caesar! will be released in February in the UK.
It’s always risky business attempting to add a sequel to a much beloved cult classic, so I’m sort of half excited, half dreading this one. Ben Stiller returns as both the eponymous Derek Zoolander and as director, with Owen Wilson also returning as Hansel, so this does actually have the makings of a respectable sequel (unlike the God-awful Ted 2). There’s also a host of celebrity cameos turning up, ranging from Justin Bieber to Lenny Kravitz.
Zoolander 2 will be released in February in the UK
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
This represents DC’s first real attempt to counter Marvel’s complete monopolization of the superhero genre, so it will certainly be interesting to see how it fares in comparison to their rivals. Marvel have managed to both gain critical acclaim for their films, and smash box office records. Can DC do the same? Director Zack Snyder doesn’t have the greatest track record (300 was OK, Sucker Punch unbearably bad), and Batman’s suit makes him look 10 stone overweight so I’m personally not holding out much hope for this one, but it will undoubtedly interesting to see how the film fares.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be released in March in the UK.
Captain America: Civil War
Part of the Avengers, Captain America is a hero whose stand-alone films have improved immensely. His first outing, the WWII set First Avenger was dull, but his second outing, Winter Soldier was a huge critical success, and has certainly been one of the best Marvel films to date. If the trend continues, this will be another excellent output from Marvel, and with new characters such as Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, Tom Holland’s Spiderman, and Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther all being introduced into the Avengers, ‘Civil War’ will be an exciting film to look out for.
Captain America: Civil War will be released in UK cinemas in May.
Another huge reboot of a cult classic taking place next year is the Ghostbusters remake, directed by Paul Feig. However, the supernatural comedy classic is getting a complete reshuffle, the all-male cast that existed in the original is getting replaced by an all female one. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy worked with director Feig on the hilarious Bridesmaids, where Feig turned the Hangover type comedy on its head. If Ghostbusters ends up being as good as Bridesmaids, then this will be at least some sort of successful reboot.
No trailer has been released for this film yet.
Ghostbusters will be released in UK cinemas in July.
The X-Men franchise has always been one that has stood apart from its superhero counterparts; it is also a franchise that has almost wholly produced enjoyable and indulgently exciting films (with the exception of the snooze fest X-Men 3). One of the major bonuses with the franchise is its brilliant cast, Hollywood A listers such as James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence elevate it to a higher level. Hopefully this new outing will carry on the consistency, and with all cast members and director Bryan Singer all returning, what could possibly go wrong?
X-Men: Apocalypse will be released in UK cinemas in May 2016.
Along with Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad this is the other huge DC film being released in 2016. I’m a fan of director David Ayer, although a film like Fury (Ayer’s last outing) had its flaws, the direction of its action sequences were expertly carried out. The cast also has a few notable inclusions, I was unsure about the casting of Margot Robie, but her Harley Quinn character looks brilliant in the trailer. However, all eyes will be on the marvelous Jared Leto to see if he can fill Heath Ledger’s rather large shoes as he takes on the role of the Joker.
Suicide Squad will be released in UK cinemas in August
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Although episode VII has only just been released, George Lucas and co have already started looking at spinoffs for the Star Wars saga. Rogue One will be the first film in the ‘Star Wars Anthology Series’ which will explore the timeline between Revenge of the Sith (episode III) and A New Hope (episode IV). Director Gareth Edwards has had a mixed ride in the sci-fi genre; his first feature-length film, Monsters was a master class on how to make sci-fi on a budget. However, he was then granted a carte blanche for Godzilla, which he somehow managed to make worse than the last Godzilla reboot. So it will certainly be interesting to see how he delivers ‘Rogue One’, especially after the unanimous success of JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens.
No trailer has been released for this film yet.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released in UK cinemas in December.
So what’s your choices for 2016? Why not share them in the comments below?!