How the hell is it 2016? Time sure flies when you’ve had a year of film that good. In 2015 we were graced with Carol, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. All of these featured on last year’s list, so maybe this predictions list could be worth your while.
Just ignore the fact we backed Fantastic Four.
So here comes the Top 30 films we’re excited for in the coming year.
N.B. In alphabetical order, and based on UK release dates.
1. A Monster Calls
SYNOPSIS: A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother’s terminal illness.
THOUGHTS: Ever since his breakout film The Orphanage in 2007, J.A. Bayona has been making all the right moves to rise up to the big leagues. Following on from the devastatingly good The Impossible, the director’s next project sees him adapting the bestseller fantasy novel, A Monster Calls.
Backed by a crème de la crème cast including Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones, and a script that featured in the 2013 Blacklist, this could be a supreme dark horse in this year’s cinematic calendar. With the teaser aiming for a tone akin to the underrated Bridge to Terabithia, we’ve got high hopes that Bayona can go three for three.
CAST & CREW: Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Lewis MacDougall; J.A. Bayona (Dir) and Patrick Ness (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 21 October 2016
2. A United Kingdom
SYNOPSIS: Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940s.
THOUGHTS: Shamefully under-watched by the general public, Belle marked the delightful return of director Amma Asante to the director’s chair. Poised, beautiful and challenging, Belle showcased Asante’s supreme talent calling the shots. Luckily for us, the next project looks to offer more of the same.
David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike lead the cast in this 1940s high-society racial difference drama. The double-header of Pike and Oyelowo immediately appeals considering their last headline outings in Gone Girl and Selma respectively. With no exact release date yet given, here’s hoping it’s a late one. If the film is as good as we hope, it won’t be too outlandish to expect this film to make a strident run at the BAFTAs come February 2017.
CAST & CREW: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Nicholas Lyndhurst (!), Tom Felton and Jack Davenport; Amma Assante (Dir) and Guy Herbert (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
3. Assassin’s Creed
SYNOPSIS: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.
THOUGHTS: We’ve all been here before. It’s hard to ignore the surrounding hubbub. A million and one journalists all propositioning the same question: “Can there ever be a good adaptation of a video game?”
It remains a valid question, and we’ve asked it in the past. That being said, we’re excited by the prospect of the film itself, not just the hope of a successful adaptation. With Justin Kurzel directing, and calling back Macbeth and his Lady (Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard), there’s a strong foundation to this project. If the team can funnel the same spirit and visual strength of their version of the Scottish Play, Assassin’s Creed could end the debate once and for all.
CAST & CREW: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Michael Kenneth Williams; Justin Kurzel (Dir) and Bill Collage & Adam Cooper & Michael Leslie (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
SYNOPSIS: With Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
THOUGHTS: In 2015, the most anticipated film of the year/decade, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, came third in our list. Our Christopher’s excellent essay on the hype, and the payoff, can be read here. With that in mind, Batman v Superman has an unenviable task. The new sequel must hit those same gargantuan fan expectations, reinvent Batman (again), and finally open up the DC universe for Warner Bros.
Considering the mild reactions to Man of Steel, this new film is an oddity. The additions of Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons and Gal Gadot intrigue, but there seems little reason to watch the film. The trailer’s apparent total revelation of the film’s major plot points and scenes has rather underwhelmed. It gets a spot on our list as it is literally Batman versus Superman, but the concerns remain.
CAST & CREW: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Jesse Eisenberg; Zack Snyder (Dir) and Chris Terrio & David S. Goyer (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 25 March 2016
5. The BFG
SYNOPSIS: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike his peers, he refuses to eat boys and girls.
THOUGHTS: Few directors could claim to have their own genre of film. A typical ‘Spielbergian’ film is one that charms and warms with a bit of brains to boost. An extraordinarily-sized standard for one of the finest directors of our time, but it makes for a nice segue into The BFG.
The prospect of Spielberg harnessing the magic of Roald Dahl is one that excites every size of child. Mark the date in your diary for the end of July.
CAST & CREW: Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall, Jemaine Clement, Mark Rylance and Penelope Wilton; Steven Spielberg (Dir) and Melissa Mathison (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 22 July 2016
6. Bourne 5
SYNOPSIS: The original Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is back.
THOUGHTS: The Bourne Legacy is far from terrible. Everyone involved gave it a good crack, and Jeremy Renner was a fine lead. The problem is that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass had reinvented the spy film, creating genre-defining entries with The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Having perennially denied the possibility of returning, it appears the team are getting back together. Plot details are thin to non-existent for Bourne 5, so there’s little else to go on but previous hype. Yet with both coming from two of their finest films (Captain Phillips for Greengrass, and The Martian for Damon), the hype alone will keep us satisfied and excited for the meantime.
CAST & CREW: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles; Paul Greengrass (Wri/Dir) and Matt Damon & Christopher Rouse (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 28 July 2016
7. Captain America: Civil War
SYNOPSIS: A feud between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) leaves the Avengers in turmoil.
THOUGHTS: Spare a thought for Joss Whedon. Avengers: Age of Ultron – although a financial success – seemingly broke the writer-director. Let’s all be honest, it didn’t feel quite right. Many proclaimed that the film represented a bubble ready to burst. A sound conclusion.
So it’s refreshing to see that Captain America: Civil War (the third Cap release) has kept the tone that made the second such a surprise smash. With the 1970s-esque paranoia seemingly ever-present, the prospect of Marvel’s two best cinematic characters going toe-to-toe excites us to the core. Add in the immense Chadwick Boseman’s introduction as Black Panther, and the purported appearance of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and Marvel could defeat DC yet again.
CAST & CREW: Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen and Sebastian Stan; Anthony and Joe Russo (Dir) and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 29 April 2016
SYNOPSIS: Gifted with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humour, mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) adopts the alter-ego Deadpool and hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
THOUGHTS: What a curious beast you are, Deadpool. If you’re born pre-1990, the film looks hilarious, harking back to a glorious age of un-PC dialogue and actions. If not, the avocado/testicle/spandex jokes may appear a tad dated.
Whichever side of the fence you sit, Ryan Reynolds was born for this role. With a CV equivalent to an okay rollercoaster, Reynolds’ quick wit will make or break Marvel’s R-rated outing. Another positive is Ed Skrein as one of the leading baddies – a talented actor and a really nice chap.
We’re watching with keen eyes on this one.
CAST & CREW: Ryan Reynolds, Gina Carano, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin and Brianna Hildebrand; Tim Miller (Dir) and Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 10 February 2016
9. Doctor Strange
SYNOPSIS: After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease of life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
THOUGHTS: Whilst Civil War ticks off the bombastic blockbuster box on our 2016 cinematic shopping list, Doctor Strange aims to fill Ant-Man’s boots as the ‘alternative choice’. Benedict Cumberbatch will, as always, deliver the goods, but our focus is on everything but him.
Having delivered strong horror outings with Sinister and Deliver Us from Evil, director Scott Derrickson’s take on Marvel’s latest left turn attracts the most. Moreover, with Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams bolstering the cast, Doctor Strange could surprise us all and deflate Marvel’s bursting bubble in all the right ways.
CAST & CREW: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen and Chiwetel Ejiofor; Scott Derrickson (Dir) and Joshua Oppenheimer, C. Robert Cargill, Thomas Dean Donnelly and Jon Spaihts (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 28 October 2016
10. Everybody Wants Some
SYNOPSIS: A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.
THOUGHTS: Having delivered our number one film of 2014, Boyhood, Linklater returns to what he does best – indie slacker comedy. Everybody Wants Some is marked as the ‘spiritual sequel’ to Dazed and Confused so there’s a few things we can expect: a talented cast, well-pitched dialogue, a killer soundtrack, and a bundle of nostalgia.
It’d be overly simplistic to simply box the flick up like so. Having observed Linklater mature and improve as a writer and director, there’s a possibility that Everybody Wants Some could be the sleeper Sundance hit of 2016.
CAST & CREW: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Tyler Hoechlin; Richard Linklater (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 13 May 2016
11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
SYNOPSIS: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
THOUGHTS: With David Yates in the director’s chair, having helmed the last four Harry Potter films, and J.K. Rowling on scripting duties, there’s a big of magic in the air for 2016.
To be precise, it’ll be in New York as the film follows Newt Scamander – played by Eddie Redmayne – and his escapades 70 years before the world of Potter and co. There’s a delightfully varied cast here, and the team of Yates/Rowling will hopefully kickstart this latest trilogy of films in style.
All in all, it’ll just be nice to be back.
CAST & CREW: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston and Ron Perlman; David Yates (Dir) and J.K. Rowling (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 18 November 2016
12. Finding Dory
SYNOPSIS: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way.
THOUGHTS: Andrew Stanton has not had the best of luck in the real world since Nemo was reunited with his dad back in 2003. With his John Carter responsible – although not wholly – for knocking 4% off Disney’s total value in 2012, Stanton’s name has been through the mud.
Granted John Carter was a tad clumsy; Andrew Stanton is also the man behind the Pixar classic Wall-E. Therefore Stanton coming home to direct the highly anticipated sequel Finding Dory is a great move. With Ellen DeGeneres back to voice everyone’s favourite blue fish, the voice cast is packed with stars such as Albert Brooks, Idris Elba, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton. It’s been a while since we’ve explored the big blue, but we’ll be glad to return.
We’ll give bonus points if they include a Robbie Williams song at the end again.
CAST & CREW: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Idris Elba, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy; Andrew Stanton (Dir/Wri), Angus McLane (Dir) and Phyllis Nagy (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 29 July 2016
SYNOPSIS: The Paul Feig, all-female remake of the 1984 classic Ghostbusters.
THOUGHTS: Get your pitchforks ready. No matter what happens in 2016, this will undeniably be the most loathed film in some quarters, irrelevant of its quality. The prospect of women – four of them! – becoming the most famous ghostbusting quad is heresy to some.
The hope of improving upon ’80s perfection is slim, but can’t we just enjoy the prospect of a well-written, well-acted and funny comedy? Paul Feig writes and directs two of his favourites in Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, with regular SNL crew Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones completing the lineup. We’ll absolutely be there with an open mind. Prove ’em all wrong Feig and co.
CAST & CREW: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth; Paul Feig (Dir/Wri) and Kate Dippold (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 15 July 2016
14. Hail, Caesar!
SYNOPSIS: A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.
THOUGHTS: When they eventually depart, the Coen brothers will have left an unforgettable mark on the history of cinema. Their CV is littered with classics, and Hail, Caesar! looks set to be one of their funnest films to date.
Irreverent, offbeat and downright fun, expect Hail, Caesar! to be joyous. From Channing Tatum’s wondrous facial expressions to Tilda Swinton’s inquisitive journalist, Hail, Caesar! is a big hot bath of the good stuff. To top it all, Roger Deakins reteams with the Coens again as DoP for this luxurious looking gem. Bring on the 26th February.
CAST & CREW: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Ralph Fiennes; Joel and Ethan Coen (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 26 February 2016
15. It’s Only the End of the World
SYNOPSIS: Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a terminally ill writer, returns home after a long absence to tell his family that he is dying.
THOUGHTS: Xavier Dolan is a talented bastard. The actor/director/writer is just 26 and this is his sixth (!) film behind the lens. Yet as we here at One Room With A View have already explored at least twice, Dolan is a sensational talent.
That would help explain how he’s attracted the best French actors in the game with Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel and Gaspard Ulliel all on board for his latest endeavour. Let’s not forget, Dolan’s also working on The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with Jessica Chastain – which is set for release in 2016 as well.
CAST & CREW: Gaspard Ulliel, Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard and Vincent Cassel; Xavier Dolan (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
16. La La Land
SYNOPSIS: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
THOUGHTS: Having had his first film recently crowned as our No. 1 of 2015, Damien Chazelle hopes to claim the crown once more with La La Land. In one sense, he appears to sticking with the mantra of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’: J.K. Simmons and jazz return in this story of a pianist and actress falling for each other in LA.
The leads of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are forever watchable, and we expect this to be a more ‘enjoyable’ affair than Whiplash. To start with, it’s pitched as a full-blown musical. Whether Chazelle regains our No. 1 spot again or not is irrelevant, we’re just excited to see what he does next.
CAST & CREW: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock; Damien Chazelle (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 15 July 2016
17. Nocturnal Animals
SYNOPSIS: Based on Austin Wright’s book Tony and Susan.
THOUGHTS: Tom Ford is back. This is a good thing.
Ever since the sensational A Single Man soared onto our screens back in 2009, there’ve been desperate pleas for the fashion designer to return. Hoping to buck the label of ‘One Hit Wonder’, Ford’s assembled a great starting lineup.
We’ve got ‘Best Actor Working Today‘ Jake Gyllenhaal, alongside Amy Adams and Armie Hammer, to help deliver this adaptation of the intriguing 1993 cult novel. The premise genuinely fascinates and there appears to be plenty for Ford to get his teeth into. Here’s hoping Ford can bring out the beauty so widely adored in A Single Man.
CAST & CREW: Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Amy Adams, Isla Fisher and Michael Shannon; Tom Ford (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
SYNOPSIS: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result, a single passenger is awakened 60 years early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger.
THOUGHTS: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are widely regarded as the MVPs for their respective genders in Hollywood. Guided by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), they find themselves into space together. Aww.
Sony will be hoping you’re feeling more than aww having spent an eye-watering $150m on this sci-fi blockbuster. Even with Lawrence and Pratt leading the way, that amount of money is sizeable and it’s a big risk. Keanu Reeves, Michael Sheen (yay!), and Laurence Fishburne will provide backup, but this could be the film that defines 2016 for all the wrong reasons.
CAST & CREW: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne; Morten Tyldum (Dir) and Jon Spaihts (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 23 December 2016
SYNOPSIS: In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.
THOUGHTS: Andrew Garfield is a good actor. We all know it. It’s just that somewhere in amongst the car crashes that were the two Amazing Spider-Man films, we forgot. Deep in 17th century Japan, we will all discover the truth again.
The likelihood of this rediscovery is heavily increased by the fact that Martin Scorsese is Silence’s director. This unexpected choice from Scorsese is more than welcome, and with Liam Neeson and Adam Driver on board, the late 2016 release date will prick eyebrows up. That’s certainly one way to announce your return.
CAST & CREW: Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Ciarán Hinds; Martin Scorsese (Dir) and Jay Cocks (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
SYNOPSIS: A koala named Buster (Matthew McConaughey) recruits his best friend to help him drum up business for his theatre by hosting a singing competition.
THOUGHTS: Sing is, by far, the weirdest entry on this list. Here’s the elevator pitch: Garth Jennings, director of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is creating an animated musical with Matthew McConaughey voicing a “dapper koala”. We’ve also got a gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton), a crooning mouse (Seth MacFarlane), a timid elephant (Tori Kelly), a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) and, of course, an overtaxed pig mother (Reese Witherspoon).
Under the sponsorship of Illumination Entertainment – the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise – Sing is one big leap of faith for all involved. That being said, it’s great to see Jennings back. Son of Rambow remains a small British gem, and marked the beginning of Will Poulter’s promising career.
CAST & CREW: Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton, Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson; Garth Jennings (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 22 December 2016
SYNOPSIS: CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of classified documents to the press.
THOUGHTS: Ridley Scott’s The Martian proved to be one of 2015’s greatest treasures. For some, it was the best film the director had delivered in the last 10 years. Hmm. This narrative seems like it would befit a sequel. Step in Oliver Stone.
The director has given us wonderfully angry and passionate films such as Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July. Armed with a highly political and relevant topic, Snowden has all the hallmarks of a Stone classic. Bolstered by a cast of all your favourites, and The Homesman’s scribe Kieran Fitzgerald, this could be the film we all want it to be.
CAST & CREW: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scott Eastwood, Shailene Woodley, Nicolas Cage and Zachary Quinto; Oliver Stone (Dir) and Kieran Fitzgerald (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 12 May 2016
22. Star Wars: Rogue One
SYNOPSIS: Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
THOUGHTS: Three cheers for J.J. Abrams! For those who suffered through the prequels, who could believe that a decade later, we would be enjoying a universe populated with another excellent Star Wars movie. Abrams was just the catalyst to Disney’s next franchise empire, and it’s up to Gareth Edwards to pick up the baton now.
Delivering the first spin-off, the thinly-veiled synopsis above entices, but it’s Star Wars so it’s likely you’ll watch it no matter what it said. Edwards’ Godzilla’s mixed arrival means there’s an inch more nerves surrounding Rogue One, yet the cast is ridiculously strong.
May the force be with you, Mr Edwards.
CAST & CREW: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn and Donnie Yen; Gareth Edwards (Dir) and Gary Whitta, Chris Weitz and John Knoll (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 16 December 2016
23. Story of Your Life
SYNOPSIS: Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist (Amy Adams) is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.
THOUGHTS: A running feature of 2016 appears to the resurgence of sci-fi, with Story of Your Life another major supporting column in all this. Meanwhile director-of-the-moment Denis Villeneuve has delivered hit after hit in recent years with Prisoners, Enemy and Sicario.
Based on Ted Chiang’s book of the same name, the film acts as a good test run for Villeneuve. This project is certainly intriguing, with the likes of Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Michael Stuhlbarg involved – yet there’s a bigger fish up ahead.
If this film performs as well we expected, it’s going to be an unbearably long wait until we get Blade Runner 2…
CAST & CREW: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg; Denis Villeneuve (Dir) and Eric Heisserer (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
24. Suicide Squad
SYNOPSIS: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black-ops missions in exchange for clemency.
THOUGHTS: With Batman v Superman leading the DC charge in March, Suicide Squad is taking the autumn slot. Whilst this has a modicum less pressure upon its shoulders than its DC friend, this is far from an open goal for writer/director David Ayer.
Whilst Fury impressed (up until the end), here Ayer must introduce a whole new cavalcade of DC characters – hopefully leading into a franchise of its own. Margot Robbie leads an early charge in the popularity/appeal race, but all eyes will be upon Jared Leto’s revision of the Joker. It’s a tough test but if Leto can pull it off – which he certainly can – Suicide Squad may finally give DC a hit without relying upon anyone in a cape.
CAST & CREW: Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney; David Ayer (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 5 August 2016
25. The Founder
SYNOPSIS: The story of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc.
THOUGHTS: Michael Keaton didn’t get the Oscar for Birdman in 2015. He probably won’t get the Oscar for Spotlight this year. Yet as the saying goes, third time’s a charm and The Founder could be his golden ticket. The Keatonnaisance (it’ll never catch on) has been great to watch, and he’s reminded us all quite clearly of what he can do.
With The Founder, Keaton plays Roy Kroc, the businessman who wrestled McDonald’s away from its founders. Purportedly aiming for a Social Network vibe, there’s a Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) script powering John Lee Hancock’s direction. It’ll be incredible to think that Keaton could go from nothing to a nomination triple by early 2017, yet considering all the positive noises and performances, one can hardly gripe.
CAST & CREW: Michael Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Linda Cardellini, Laura Dern and Nick Offerman; John Lee Hancock (Dir) and Robert D. Siegel (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
26. The Girl on the Train
SYNOPSIS: The story of a woman named Rachel, who goes on a train to London. She witnesses the ‘perfect’ couple, Scott and Megan. But one day, havoc ensues they, and Rachel, become involved in the drama/murder mystery of Megan Hipwell.
THOUGHTS: Gone Girl but by a different name. Ack, that’s harsh. That’s not the case, but this is not the first time you’ll hear that thought. The directing honours belong to Tate Taylor, who will bring to the screen one of the best-selling books worldwide last year. The Help and Get on Up were fine films, but their highlights came from the actors within them.
Luckily for everyone, Emily Blunt and MI:5’s Rebecca Ferguson are the headline act in this adaptation so the signs are looking good. Is it likely to replicate David Fincher’s masterwork of 2014? The odds aren’t high but if it’s got Blunt in, we’ll watch it.
CAST & CREW: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Édgar Barboza and Luke Evans; Tate Taylor (Dir) and Erin Cressida Wilson (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 7 October 2016
27. The Light Between Oceans
SYNOPSIS: A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat.
THOUGHTS: Whilst compiling last year’s post, this Derek Cianfrance number almost featured. Wishful thinking, but it’s plain to see why. Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz contained within the same film are a selection few could refuse.
The film’s source material has been compared to the best of Thomas Hardy’s work, and it’ll be great to see the writer-director return following The Place Beyond The Pines. The one hitch is the Australian setting and characters, which may provide some entertainment to see how the cast (mainly Fassbender) handle the linguistic challenge.
CAST & CREW: Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz; Derek Cianfrance (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
28. The Nice Guys
SYNOPSIS: A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.
THOUGHTS: Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is one of those films many may have recommended you watch, but you’ve never got round to it. Two things, then. First, you should watch it as soon as possible. Second, prepare yourself for a seemingly even better version in Black’s latest outing The Nice Guys.
Black, the king of the buddy comedy, charges Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling to deliver his quick wit and humour with aplomb. Judging by the trailer, they look more than up for the job. As with the writer-director’s latest outing, the indie hit Iron Man 3, his work is not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet with irreverent fun bursting from all the right places – based on this first trailer – The Nice Guys is one to catch.
CAST & CREW: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Matt Bomer and Ty Simpkins; Shane Black (Dir/Wri) and Anthony Bagarozzi (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 20 May 2016
29. War Machine
SYNOPSIS: A satire of America’s war with Afghanistan with a focus on the people running the campaign.
THOUGHTS: Netflix have had their big coming-out parade with Beasts of No Nation late last year. Considered a veritable success, they’ve now got to do it again to cement their good name. Following the pattern of their first film they’ve hired a rising talent in David Michôd, a director whose films include the excellent Animal Kingdom and The Rover.
Going high profile again, Brad Pitt is producing and staring in this black satirical look at America’s war in Afghanistan. There is minimal information so far, but it appears that Netflix are continuing with swinging for the big leagues. All the best to them as it’s a positive sign to see a studio create independent films with strong talent.
CAST & CREW: Brad Pitt, Will Poulter, Emory Cohen and Topher Grace; David Michôd (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2016 TBC
30. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
SYNOPSIS: A journalist recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
THOUGHTS: To end on a fun note, it’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Releasing in March, a traditionally quiet time for cinemas, the film is likely to pass without much buzz or excitement. However there is a way to prevent all this doom and gloom. Go watch the film.
It’s got a great cast, with a nice idea, and it’s being directed by a solid pair of filmmakers. It’s going to be good, but let’s cut to the core here: It’s Liz Lemon in Afghanistan. How is that not appealing?
CAST & CREW: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina and Billy Bob Thornton; Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (Dirs) and Robert Carlock (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 4 March 2016