Friday, 1 January 2016

10 Films To Watch Out For In 2016

Or as I like to call this list - 10 Films To Look Forward To In 2016 That Aren’t Superhero Films. Yes, this list won’t include 2016’s many superhero flicks because there’d be no room for anything else. Sure, we’re excited for Deadpool, Captain America, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, X-Men, Doctor Strange and the rest but this list will focus on the films that don’t feature blokes knocking about in latex and capes.

The Hateful Eight

A new Quentin Tarantino film is always cause for excitement. More than ever with The Hateful Eight, a return to the genre that he hit new heights in with Django Unchained. Set in post-Civil War Wyoming, the film revolves around eight strangers who seek refuge in a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass during a blizzard. It looks like it could be even better than Django, and with an all-star cast and the first original Western score from Ennio Morricone in 40 years – I will definitely be The Happy One when this beauty hits cinemas in January.

The Revenant

After 2015’s Birdman success, Alejandro G. Iñárritu returns to bring us an adaptation of Michael Punke’s novel The Revenant. Could this also be the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins his Oscar? It’s likely, as it looks like his performance as the wounded, vengeance-driven Hugh Glass is his finest yet. Based on a true story of an 1800s hunting expedition, the film seems to be a visually stunning and exhaustingly tense experience which will surely go down a storm with audiences.

Dad's Army

When I first heard about this Dad’s Army reboot, I was very skeptical. How could anyone portray these iconic roles? But when I saw the cast-list – including Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay, Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon to name but a few – I knew I was in incredibly talented and safe hands. Story-wise, it doesn’t look like there’ll be any unexpected twists or turns. But at the end of the day, it’s Dad’s Army. It should be a nostalgic trip back to a happier, simpler time. Altogether now; “who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler…”

Hail, Caesar!

Hail, Caesar! – a film first announced in 2004 – will finally reach our screens in 2016. After the phenomenal Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013, the Coen Brothers return to the straight-up comedy genre and reteam with old faces including Josh Brolin and George Clooney for what looks to be another jewel in the Coen crown. Showing us a comical glimpse of 1950s Hollywood, Hail, Caesar! is definitely one to be excited about. Hail the Coen Brothers!


Disney’s upcoming animated comedy about Judy Hopps, a rabbit police detective, teaming up with Nick Wilde, a con-artist fox, had me completely on board when I saw the first full trailer. While there isn’t a huge amount known about the plot or many of the characters yet, you’re always in good hands with Disney and it’s nice to see them returning to their anthropomorphic animal roots after human-based films like Frozen and Tangled. The child in me is screaming with excitement for Zootropolis (Zootopia in the US).


Based on the 1975 novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard, High-Rise could be one of the year’s best. Especially with Ben Wheatley, director of Sightseers and Kill List, and described as a ‘fucking genius’ by actress Elisabeth Moss, behind the camera. After hugely successful screenings at film festivals this year with critics calling it ‘enjoyably dark and disturbing’, I cannot wait to see how the excessively violent tale translates to screen with an all-star cast including Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons and James Purefoy.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, is more than just another adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s seminal work. It is in fact a Disney-produced live-action remake of their own 1967 adaptation with original songwriter Richard M. Sherman returning to provide new songs for it. While it will never beat the original, I’m interested to see the songs and characters again after all these years with updated visuals and a new cast. And hey, they had me at ‘Bill Murray will be providing the voice for Baloo’.

The Nice Guys

After the Lethal Weapon films and the criminally underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Shane Black returns to the buddy crime-comedy genre with The Nice Guys. Starring Ryan Gosling as a down-on-his-luck private eye and Russell Crowe as hired muscle, the mismatched pair must team up to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star in 1970s LA. Expect hilarious, quotable dialogue and a pair of brilliant performances from the two leads. This one could be a future classic.

Rogue One - A Star Wars Story

After the reassuringly good The Force Awakens, I’m excited to see the spin-off films Disney have lined up in their Star Wars Anthology. Firstly, we have Rogue One. Set between the events of Episode III and Episode IV, the film aims to bridge the gap between the prequels and original trilogy by showing us the group of rebel fighters who stole the plans for the Death Star. With Gareth Edwards at the helm and a solid cast, Rogue One could be the sci-fi to watch in 2016 – sorry Independence Day: Resurgence and Star Trek Beyond!

Assassin's Creed

After collaborating on an incredible adaptation of Macbeth in 2015, director Justin Kurzel and actor Michael Fassbender have reteamed for the highly-anticipated and long-awaited Assassin’s Creed. Featuring a new story and characters but taking place in the same universe as the hugely successful video games franchise on which it is based, Assassin’s Creed is absolutely worth getting excited about – especially if you saw Macbeth. You’re in extremely talented hands. This will be the game-to-film adaptation that all future attempts will aspire to be.

This is just a small selection of what is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for cinema. And with the best of 2015’s films being released on DVD and Blu-Ray over the coming months, your eyes and ears will be spoilt by the endless supply of quality entertainment. And I’ll be here by your side, every step of the way, to tell you what to watch and what to avoid. Happy New Year, folks!

Sam Love

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