Best Movies Of 2016
2016 looks set to be a year to remember and it kicks off with the worldwide release of Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight along with Birdman-director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant in January. Some of 2016’s best films might very well be comic book movies as the DC and Marvel adaptations continue while the highly anticipated Batman v Superman hits theatres in March.
April not only sees the release of a new live action version of The Jungle Book but also a number of interesting art house pictures including Green Room and Demolition starring Jake Gyllenhaal. This list is a compilation of the top 20 best and most anticipated releases. Although it may be hit and miss with some of the action movies and comedies, the following films all have the potential to be some of the best movies of 2016.
The Top 25 Films in 2016 (So Far)
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – Release Date: January 15th 2016
In Libya during the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a group of Islamic terrorists carry out a siege on a U.S. compound in which they target the American Ambassador. A security team is left with the task of figuring out what happened and dealing with the impending chaos. The group is comprised of a number of military veterans from various backgrounds including Marines, Navy SEALS, and Armed Special Forces. The men work together to defend the American Ambassador and everyone else residing in the compound who all remain in critical danger during the attack.
Deadpool – Release Date: February 12th 2016
One of a trio of Marvel films released this year, comic book adaptation Deadpool is intended to slot seamlessly into the X-Men universe. This instalment concerns itself with disfigured antihero Wade Wilson, a Special Forces operative who was subject to a failed experiment which was supposed to help find a cure for cancer. Wilson may have gained special healing powers but he also inherited an unstable mind and twisted sense of humour which leads him to adopting a new identity – Deadpool. Armed with his superhuman abilities, Deadpool sets out to find the man who changed his life forever. See the review
The Witch – Release Date: February 19th 2016
The Witch, A story of a 17th century New England Puritan family leaving their religious settlement to establish a farm of their own on the edge of a vast forest far from civilization. Only to find their children disappearing and themselves suffering from hallucinations. This movie beings simply but quickly divulges into a storyline that has the viewer questioning right along with the characters. Reminiscent of the “Blair Witch Project” it makes due with a rather minuscule budget, but forms a cinematic powerhouse of fear, magic and wonder.
Zootopia – Release Date: March 4th 2016
Zootopia, also known as Zootropolis, is a city that is solely comprised of animals. The story concerns itself with two animals in particular. The first is a fox named Nick who makes a living as a con artist and goes on the run after being accused of a crime he did not commit. The second is a rabbit named Judy who works for the city’s police department and is assigned to catch Nick. An unlikely partnership forms after the two team-up in order to solve a case linked to the disappearance of an otter and both inadvertently become the targets of a conspiracy.
10 Cloverfield Lane – Release Date: March 11th 2016
Director Dan Trachtenberg’s follow-up to the 2008 hit Cloverfield isn’t so much a sequel as it is a white knuckle companion piece. Paring down the epicness of the original for something decidedly small scale in it’s place, Lane documents the post-apocalyptic existence of Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Winston (John Goodman), and Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.). Unsure as to how she ended up in a bunker with these two, Michelle ultimately decides to make a break for humanity and test the truthfulness of Winston’s warning statements. What she finds, unfortunately, might not be to her liking. This thriller outing comes backed by co-writer Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) and producer extraordinaire J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Wars).
Green Room – Release Date: April 15th 2016
Dark crime-thriller Green Room revolves around a murder that takes place at a punk rock concert. After performing their set, the members of a band finds themselves trapped in the secluded venue located in the Pacific Northwest. As the only witnesses to the incident, the band become the prey of a group of Neo-Nazis who will do anything to make sure that no evidence is left behind. The film starts Patrick Stewart as, Darcy, the leader of the skinhead gang and is directed by Jeremy Saulnier who is most well-known for his slow-burning thriller Blue Ruin
Captain America: Civil War – Release Date: May 6th 2016
Marvel’s third 2016 release on this list and the thirteenth instalment in the Marvel cinematic universe, Captain America: Civil War follows on from the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This next chapter will once again feature a huge Avengers cast, including Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. The team face new obstacles in the wake of an extremely damaging political decision leading to a divide between the members. This incident ultimately results in Captain America and Iron Man openly engaging in conflict. Civil War is the second Captain America movie directed by the Russo brothers who are also set to direct two more Avengers films over the next few years.
The Nice Guys – Release Date: May 20th 2016
Shane Black, who is most well known for being the director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and writer of Lethal Weapon, returns with new crime-drama The Nice Guys. The film stars Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger, who haven’t appeared on-screen together for almost two decades, as well as Ryan Gosling and Matt Bomer. Set in the 1970s, The Nice Guys tells the story of a private detective (Gosling) who teams up with a rookie cop (Crowe) while investigating the suicide of an aging porn star. Along the way the pair discover many secrets and uncover a conspiracy surrounding the business.
X-Men: Apocalypse – Release Date: May 27th 2016
The X-Men saga continues, picking up the story ten years after the events of the previous movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. A decade has not yet reunited Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique but they are destined to cross paths when the immortal mutant, Apocalypse, awakens from his tomb with the intention of stirring up catastrophic trouble. Apocalypse is accompanied by the Four Horsemen, consisting of Storm, Angel, Psylocke, and Magneto, recruiting them to help him ‘cleanse’ the human race as a battle ensues between the forces of good and evil.
Warcraft – Release Date: June 10th 2016
Based on the popular video game series, Warcraft is an epic action-adventure film set in a fantasy world on the brink of war. The world of Azeroth prepares itself for an inevitable battle as humans and orcs collide in a brutal conflict for land. The orcs are a band of warriors who have fled their home of Draenor which faces extinction. After the Dark Portal opens between the two worlds, allowing the orcs to escape much to the dismay of the human inhabitants of Azeroth, the two sides must accept that soon the land will be the site of much bloodshed.
Finding Dory – Release Date: June 17th 2016
Despite fans having to wait a whole 13 years for a sequel to Pixar’s Finding Nemo, this second instalment takes place just 6 months after the events of the first film. When forgetful fish Dory realises she can recall some of her childhood memories, she decides to seek out her family in Monterey, California. Accompanied by her friends Marlin and Nemo, the trip leads her to Monterey Marine Life Institute where she finds help from a white beluga whale, a whale shark, and an octopus. Along the way the group learn many life lessons, particularly in relation to family.
The BFG – Release Date: July 1st 2016
Taken from the pages of iconic author Roald Dahl, The BFG follows young Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) as he slips into a world of wonderment and excitement. Much of which arrives in the form of the titular character (Mark Rylance), who turns out be a 24 foot tall giant with gargantuan ears and a dreamcatcher to boot. Naturally, innocent insanity occur between Sophie and her elderly new pal, but not before unleashing a tangent of nightmares and evil giants that cause quite the ruckus overseas. As co-writer/director on the project, Steven Spielberg is an ideal choice to bring this fantasy-laden affair to the big screen, with recent previews only confirming this antsy potential. Family fun that could actually be fun, who would’ve thought?
The Legend of Tarzan – Release Date: July 1st 2016
What happens to Tarzan when he actually went to England with Jane instead of remaining in the jungle? That’s what writer/director David Yates gets a chance to show in this, the latest screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ iconic character. Played with strapping tenacity by Alexander Skarsgard, this Tarzan is a refined citizen with poise and a doting wife (Margot Robbie) to match. Unfortunately, the savagery of the jungle beckons, and the former ape man returns to his home under the assumption of being a trade emissary. Corrupt Captain León Brom (Christoph Waltz) has other plans for Tarzan, however, as a descent into human violence quickly suggests. Harry Potter director Yates has a potential smash on his hands with this one.
Ghostbusters – Release Date: July 15th 2016
Just when it seemed as if all chances of a Ghostbusters reboot were a bust, in comes director Paul Feig with comedic muses Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. This time, backed by the supporting silliness of New Yorkers Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), the newly minted quartet of ladies will take on the city’s biggest threat yet: an evil demon named Rowan (Neil Casey). Subject to tons of backlash and crying out from fans of the original, this reboot/sequel has proven one of the year’s most divisive summer releases. But given the terrific track record between McCarthy and Feig, it looks like the neighborhood just got a new number to call.
Star Trek: Beyond – Release Date: July 22nd 2016
While the rebooted franchise no longer has J.J. Abrams at the helm (though he’s stayed on as producer), Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and friends still look to go above and Beyond with this third Star Trek outing. A few years have past since the scrap with Khan left things wildly shaken, and The Enterprise is running smoothly – until, of course, the crew bumps into a hyper-evolved species hell-bent on destruction. Led by the perilous Krall (Idris Elba), Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the gang must fight for survival while warding off an impending takeover. All set to the tune of The Beastie Boys’ Sabotage. Now that’s a fun summer movie.
Suicide Squad – Release Date: August 5th 2016
Celebrated up and down the block since its first announcement in 2015, Suicide Squad has since become the great white hope of DC Studios moving forward. The horrendous reviews behind Batman v Superman left a bad taste in people’s mouths, leading to various reshoots and alterations to be made in this film as a result. Granted, it’s all speculation until the final product is out, and until then all viewers can do is marvel (no pun intended) at the assembly of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto that make up this array of psychos and mercenaries. Here’s hoping this merry band of Queen-sters can deliver.
Hell or High Water – Release Date: August 12th 2016
Following the death of their mother divorced dad, Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his wild, ex-con brother Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) mend personal fences while trying to save the family farm so that Toby’s son (John-Paul Howard) can have a better life. Feeling as if the Texas Midland Bank had wronged their momma and was now trying to steal their family farm the brothers start out on the craziest scheme of Toby’s life, to rob and pay the $40,000 bank note with the banks owe money; while the soon to retire Texas Ranger, Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham), set out to catch them.
Dont Breathe – Release Date: August 25th 2016
Taking place almost entirely in a single home, Don’t Breathe tells the story of a group of teenagers in poverty stricken modern day Detroit. Looking to escape from a grim future they rob the homes of the rich, stealing only what they can sell and never enough to incur the wrath of the law. Until they come across what seems to be the perfect score. An blind army vet supposedly sitting on a large insurance settlement from his only daughter being killed by an impaired driver. But all is not as easy as it seems, and this man is far from feeble. Well trained, obsessed with security, possessing an acute sense of hearing and an intimate knowledge of his maze like home. The supposedly easy mark quickly begins to level the playing field. Boarding up windows and cutting the power. Who will emerge from the darkened home is anyones guess.
Solace – Release Date: September 2nd 2016
A flip of the Hannibal Lector series in that Anthony Hopkins actually plays a good doctor, Solace is an ice cold entry into the world of serial killers. Hopkins, playing opposite FBI agent Joe Meriweather (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is an esteemed criminal psychologist with a knack for thinking like his patients. Naturally, he’s the ideal choice when deranged murderer Charles Ambrose (Colin Farrell) goes on a killing spree, providing Dr. Clancy with his toughest case yet. Especially when he realizes that Ambrose can foresee the future. It won’t redefine cinema, but it’ll provide a cozy cup of thrills to sip on those late summer nights. Especially now that Hannibal is cancelled on NBC.
Sully – Release Date: September 9th 2016
Director, Clint Eastwood, has brought to the big screen an award winning cast to relive the infamous Flight 1549. On January 15, 2009, the world was first introduced to Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and how he bravely used his skills and judgement following a flock of birds taking out the both of the plane’s engines to think, maneuver, and safely water land a United Airlines plane. Sully and his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), save the lives of all 155 on board Flight 1549 as well as the plane itself a feat that will forever be referred to as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The highly anticipated journey allows us to walk with Sully and Skiles, following this massive rescue as they are being questioned, having their lives scrutinized, as the crash is investigated.
The Magnificent Seven – Release Date: September 23rd 2016
As the first official remake of The Magnificent Seven (1960) and the second unofficial remake of The Seven Samurai (1954), Antoine Fuqua’s star-studded western is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest events. Even excluding the iconic narrative, a murderer’s row of acting that includes Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard, and Matt Bomer bring the goods through charisma and killer gunplay. Movie lovers are tentative to say the least regarding such hallowed source material, but casual viewers and supporters alike seem to be onboard. Next stop, the winner of this year’s throwback western.
Deepwater Horizon – Release Date: September 30th 2016
Mark Wahlberg (Mike Williams), Kate Hudson (Felicia Williams), Dylan O’Brien (Caleb Holloway), Kurt Russell (Jimmy Harrell), Gina Rodriguez (Andrea Fleytas), John Malkovich (Donald Vidrine), and Stella Allen (Sydney Williams) star in Deep Horizon. Deep Horizon is the 2016 movie rendition that retells the story of the catastrophic real life events seen by the world that began on April 20, 2010. Deepwater Horizon was also the name given to the second in its class of two oil rigs that were designed to explore, drill, and produce oil in deep waters that caused the largest marine based oil spill in history.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Release Date: September 30th 2016
Tim Burton’s latest high anticipated adventure fantasy film is an adaptation from the New York Times best selling book of the same name by Ransom Riggs. Here we learn of Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine (Eva Green) who as it turns out runs a home for peculiar children that is discovered by Jacob (Asa Butterfield) as he is uncovering clues from a variety of worlds and times following a horrific family tragedy. So Jacob’s family takes him to see a psychiatrist, Dr. Golan (Allison Janney). Dr. Golan persuades the family to take Jacob to find the home in the South of Wales, which turns out to be an abandoned orphanage. Once at the home Jacob is taken by Emma (Ella Purnell) and from here the storylines get more and more peculiar.
Doctor Strange – Release Date: November 4th 2016
Another gestated project finally getting it’s release date, Doctor Strange has been discussed as far back as the 80’s, when Repo Men director Alex Cox tried to get it made with Harry Dean Stanton. That would’ve been undoubtedly sweet, but given the current combo of Benedict Cumberbatch and director Scott Derrickson, it seems that waiting was the best option. Now, as part of Marvel’s ever expanding cinematic universe, the origin story of Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) and his quest for an injury cure leave him knee deep in the realm of black magic and sorcery. To a guy who plays Sherlock Holmes every year, such a part is going to be a piece of cake – Marvel has another hit on their hands.
Hacksaw Ridge – Release Date: November 4th 2016
Mel Gibson brings us the reenactment of a true story set in WWII that tells us the story Desmond Doss and how he single handedly saved the lives of more than 75 soldiers without ever firing or handling a weapon of any kind. This consensus objector was granted the Medal of Honor by President Truman for all his life saving greatness. Cast includes Andrew Garfield (Desmond T. Doss), Vince Vaughn (Sergeant Howell), Sam Worthington (Captain Glover), Richard Roxburgh (Colonel Stelzer), Luke Pegler (Milt ‘Hollywood’ Zane), Luke Bracey (Smitty), Hugo Weaving (Tom Doss), Ryan Corr (Lt. Manville), Teresa Palmer (Dorothy Schutte), Richard Pyros (Randall ‘Teach’ Fuller), and Rachel Griffiths (Bertha Doss).
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Release Date: November 18th 2016
Harry Potter performed so astronomically well as a franchise, it makes perfect sense Warner Bros. would want to return to the well – albeit with a much less impressive pail. Fantastic Beasts, a prequel/spinoff written by J.K. Rowling, tells the tale of one Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who is thrust into locating a collection of vicious creatures let loose on the muggle world. Along the way, Newt encounters various oddballs and eccentrics (Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell) who help him in his search. Directed by Potter specialist David Yates, Beasts would be a true magic trick to pull off for viewers worldwide.
Allied – Release Date: November 23rd 2016
Allied is a film based on the true story set in South Africa during 1942. Here two hired assassins are on a mission to kill a German leader when they just happen to fall in love. Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is an intelligence officer who meets Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) a French Resistance fighter while deep into the heart of enemy territory. The two meet back up in London where they begin a simple life together, or so they had hoped. Allied also stars Lizzy Caplan, Matthew Goode, Simon McBurney, Charlotte Hope, August Diehl, Jared Harris, Anton Lesser, Camille Cottin, and Marion Bailey.
Nocturnal Animals – Release Date: November 23rd 2016
Based off of the 1993 book entitled Tony and Susan, psychological thriller, Nocturnal Animals stars Amy Adams (Susan Morrow), Jake Gyllenhaal (Tony Hastings / Edward Sheffield), Michael Shannon (Detective Bobby Andes) , Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ray Marcus) , Isla Fisher (Laura Hastings) , Armie Hammer (Walker Morrow), and Laura Linney (Anne Sutton). Susan has a near ideal life as a divorced gallery owner, that would be 100% should her second husband, Walker, not need to always be away on work based travel. On one such trips, she receives the manuscript, dedicated to herself, written by her now ex-husband. The pages of the dark and violent book soon plague her.
Star Wars: Rogue One – Release Date: December 16th 2016
Curiously anticipated since it’s announcement last year, Rogue One will be a trendsetter on several counts. It will not only be the first Star Wars prequel set around the era of A New Hope (1977), but the first without any previous franchise characters to ground it’s space cred. As such, Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has his work cut out for him heading into a December release date; having to contend with towering icons while holding his own in the extended universe. Things are made easier by a cast consisting of Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, and a flurry of others heading into battle, so in this regard, Rogue One will be a wild card closing out the Christmas season. May the force be with them.
Collateral Beauty – Release Date: December 16th 2016
Collateral Beauty is destined to be the drama of the year. It stars Will Smith who is an ad executive that has lost touch with reality following a traumatic life event. His friends Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris set out to try to bring him back into his mind and life. Three mysterious people appear to character played by Will, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore, Helen Mirren, who have made it their goal to assist friends with the end goal of allowing peace to restore sanity to the troubled mind so as to allow one to live again.
Assassin’s Creed – Release Date: December 21st 2016
Talks of an Assassin’s Creed movie have been kicked around for a great many years, each time with the excitement and unease of video game fans eventually pulling the plug. But now, through a second team-up of Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender and Justin Kurzel, the tale of everyone’s favorite murderer has been given big screen life. Creed’s storyline, set in the same universe as it’s video game inspiration, will offer an original story that finds Callum Lynch (Fassbender) discovering the profession of his family lineage and following in their sword wielding footsteps. Given what both actor and director were able to achieve with last year’s Macbeth, this one should be downright awesome.
PASSENGERS – Release Date: December 21st 2016
Passengers is a romantic science fiction thriller telling the story of the Starship Avalon that is on it’s 120th quest to deliver people from Earth to their new home on a distant colonized planet. Here the 5,259 people who board are placed into sleep chambers that are only to awaken them upon their arrival 120 years in the future. However, Aurora Dunn (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) both awaken ahead of schedule with more than 90 years remaining on their journey. Malfunctioning pods they are soon to discover are the least of their worries as bigger problems are found to be an issue for the Starship Avalon. Cast also includes Arthur, a robot bartender (Michael Sheen), Gus Mancuso (Laurence Fishburne), and Celeste, Aurora’s best friend (Aurora Perrineau).
Gold – Release Date: December 25th 2016
Gold is the story of one of the most unluckiest of guys, Matthew McConaughey (Kenny Wells) who hires Édgar Ramírez (geologist Michael Acosta) to help him find the rumored gold said to be in uncharted and deep parts of Indonesia. They are joined by cast mates Bryce Dallas Howard (Kay), Joshua Harto (Lloyd Stanton), Timothy Simons (Jackson), Corey Stoll (Brian Woolf), Toby Kebbell (FBI Agent Jennings), and Michael Landes (Binkert). This film is rumored to be based on a true story but that is yet to be determined.