Oh look it’s our cinematic picks of 2016. We’ve sorted these by release date initially, but so many of these releases have nothing set in stone yet – so we’ve subsequently grouped them at the bottom alphabetically.
Some of these films have had US releases already, but will most-likely be 2016 releases in the UK. We have included release dates where available.
The Hateful Eight
Stars: Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Release: 8 January 2016
Tarantino’s eighth film is already making waves stateside, but we need to wait slightly longer in the UK. A fine ensemble cast and a return to the Western genre has us thoroughly excited for QT’s latest.
This Rocky spin-off seems to have made a good move from shifting focus from the legendary Stallone character onto a younger lead. Word has been massively positive with mentions of an Oscar nod for Stallone and this seems like a solid chance for Michael B. Jordan to shake off the shame of Fantastic Four.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Release: 15 January 2016
It’s hard to put the intensity of The Revenant trailer into words. This survival tale looks like it will be a bleak, harrowing affair that puts poor Leo through his paces.
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund
Director: William Monahan
Release: 22 January 2016 (US)
We’ve been missing Garrett Hedlund for a while and Pan wasn’t the big sweeping return we were hoping for, so we’re keen to see what he’s come up with fellow talents William Monahan and Oscar Isaac in mind-bending Mojave. Plus there’s a Mark Wahlberg cameo that already has us giddy.
Stars: Zac Efron, Robert De Niro
Director: Dan Mazer
Release: 25 January 2016
We’re not sure that we are ready to see Robert De Niro as a sleazy septuagenarian, but it’s happening whether we like it or not. At least there is tons of Efron skin on display to get us through it all.
This feels like it has been around forever – yet Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth isn’t making it to the UK until the end of next month. We’re eager to see the performances of the film’s iconic cast – particularly Keitel who hasn’t had a standout role since 2002’s Red Dragon.
Stars: Ryan Reynolds
Director: Tim Miller
Release: 4 February 2016
Ryan Reynolds finally delivers on his promise of bringing Deadpool to the big screen in all its R-Rated glory. We want offense, sex, snarky humour, and violence please.
This tale of a concentration camp survivor seeking vengeance against the surviving Nazis who imprisoned him reads like an octogenarian Death Wish. This is set to boast another magnificent performance from Christopher Plummer.
Stars: Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel
Director: Shintaro Shimosawa
Release: 5 February 2016 (US)
This straight to video thriller has assembled a top notch cast (Hopkins AND Pacino!), so we are willing to excuse the straight out of 1995 lawyer on the run/big company corruption plot.
It’s sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll in this loose remake of La Piscine following a rock star and her hot fiancée’s steamy Italian vacation being thrown off course by some uninvited guests. The trailer’s glimpse at a shirtless Matthias Schoenaerts was enough to send us into a frenzy of excitement – so we’ll need an ambulance on standby for the full film.
Stars: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Release: 19 February 2016
This ultra-violent cannibal western is making it onto numerous genre end of year lists and we’re not surprised: Kurt Russell tackling blood-thirsty cannibals – what’s not to like?
Stars: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney
Director: Jason Zada
Release: 26 February 2016
One of the first major genre pictures of the year is The Forest which sees Natalie Dormer investigating ghosts in a Japanese suicide forest.
Three long years since Inside Llewellyn Davis, The Coen Brothers return with this send-up of fifties Hollywood and they’ve assembled a cracking cast (inc. Channing Tatum in a sailor suit) to do so.
Stars: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett
Director: James Vanderbilt
Release: 4 March 2016
Redford and Blanchett with Zodiac screenwriter James Vanderbilt is surely a recipe for success in this account of the CBS investigation into George W. Bush’s military service record.
Secret in Their Eyes
Stars: Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Chitewel Ejiofor
Director: Billy Ray
Release: 4 March 2016
We’re hyperventilating as Queens of the Screen Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts are teaming-up for this thriller about an investigator whose daughter is brutally murdered. Not about the murder, but the fact we’re going to see Julia and Nicole on-screen together. Yaaaaas.
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller
Director: Ben Wheatley
Release: 18 March 2016
We’ve yet to see a Wheatley film that we’ve enjoyed but with J.G. Ballard’s source novel and a cast featuring Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston we feel it would be a struggle not to like this one.
Batfleck and Jeremy Irons as a sassy Alfred. Yaaaas.
Stars: Johnny Galecki, Aimee Teegarden, Laura Wiggins
Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Release: 1 April 2016
Without Naomi Watts on board it’s hard to really get excited about this, but the first two US Ring films were solid so we have a glimmer of hope keeping us excited about Rings. Surely no more VHS tapes will be involved.
Stars: Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Sam Shepard
Director: Jeff Nichols
Release: 15 April 2016
Mud’s Jeff Nichols directs this tale about a father and son going on the run after the discovery that the child has special powers. This sounds like it could be a sci-fi classic.
Previously titled Autobahn, this action-thriller sees Nicholas Hoult’s hunky protagonist on the run from Anthony Hopkins’ mob boss in Germany. We love a good Euro-actioner and this one looks set to tick all the boxes.
Captain America: Civil War
Stars: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr.
Director: The Russos
Release: 29 April 2016
If the Russos can capture the magic of The Winter Soldier then Civil War will be incredible – and that’s before mentioning the addition of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Chris Evans’ new array of skin tight under armour.
The Dallas Buyers Club and Wild’s Jean- Marc Vallee directs this tale about Jake Gyllenhaal’s investment banker getting over the death of his wife. We are crying already.
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scott Eastwood, Shailene Woodley
Director: Oliver Stone
Release: 12 May 2016
Oliver Stone’s first narrative film in four years documents the Snowden leaks and he’s assembled a top notch cast to do it. This sounds like material that Stone has the opportunity to excel with.
The Nice Guys
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger
Director: Shane Black
Release: 20 May 2016
The hard-boiled seventies private eye flick gets a loving send-up in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. Combining seventies neon aesthetics, Shane Black’s sharp writing, and Ryan Gosling’s inexplicably sexy porn-tache is a sure recipe for success.
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell, Christopher Walken
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Release: 27 May 2016
Kevin Spacey in the body of a cat. Kevin Spacey in the body of a cat. Kevin Spacey in the body of a cat.
Stars: George Clooney, Jack O’Connell, Julia Roberts
Director: Jodie Foster
This starry affair details a TV financial expert being held hostage by a disgruntled investor on live television.
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Director: James Wan
Release: 17 June 2016
James Wan makes his return to the horror genre with this Conjuring sequel alongside returning stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are set to kick ass as a shirtless Liam Hemsworth shoots aliens and Charlotte Gainsbourg sings sexy French pop. The final product may not deliver exactly that, but we’re excited for this Smith-less sequel nonetheless.
Stars: Blake Lively
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Release: 1 July 2016
We’ve had a Halle Berry shark movie, and now we get a Blake Lively shark survival movie. This world is a wonderful place.
The recipient of much festival buzz, Tale of Tales looks like a Jodorowskian head-fuck of a movie and instant cult phenomenon as it puts an unnerving spin on some new Gothic fairy tales.
The Purge: Beginnings
Stars: Frank Grillo
Director: James DeMonaco
Release: 4 July 2016
Frank Grillo and James DeMonaco went over and above their predecessor with The Purge: Anarchy so we’ve got high expectations for this third film which details the first ever Purge.
From Alexander’s abs to Christoph Waltz’s moustache twirling villain complete with safari suit, this big budget Tarzan looks tons of fun.
Stars: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Dennis Gansel
Release: 26 August 2016
We barely remember the first Mechanic film, but hey Stath and Tommy Lee Jones? This has us intrigued.
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson
Director: Peter Berg
Release: 30 September 2016
This second collaboration between Berg and Wahlberg documents an explosion at an off shore oil rig. Expect harrowing action.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster
Director: Ron Howard
Release: 7 October 2016
The long-awaited follow up to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons will see Tom Hanks’ Robert Langdom the subject of an international manhunt – with no recollection as to why.
Stars: Channing Tatum, Lea Seydoux
Director: Doug Liman
Release: 7 October 2016
Tatum fronting a big budget superhero flick is a recipe for success – well, maybe not G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, but you can’t really blame that on him.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders
Director: Edward Zwick
Release: 21 October 2016
We’re disappointed there is no cult auteur as the villain in this one, but the first Jack Reacher was an unexpected treat – we’re hoping this will live up to it despite the smaller budget.
No set release date.
This trippy horror will be playing Sundance’s horror programme in early 2016 and synopsis detailing a kidnapping in a desolate community populated by drug-addicted marines has us curious.
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Stars: Mel Gibson, William H Macy & Diego Luna
Gibson stars as an ex-con that reconnects with his estranged sixteen year old daughter who is coincidentally in trouble with a drug cartel. Gibson still remains a tremendously likeable screen-presence (just see his fun turns in Machete Kills and The Expendables 3) so we are excited to see him back at the forefront of a new action flick.
By the Way of Helena
Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, William Hurt
Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
This western sees a Texas ranger investigating unexplained deaths in the town of Helena. The prospect of seeing Liam in a cowboy hat is very enticing.
Stars: Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges
Director: David Mackenzie
A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s farm in West Texas.
Director: Tod Williams
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack & Stacy Keach
This feels like something of a shoo-in for an On Demand/DTV release, but we have high hopes for this adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Cell details a murderous epidemic which is triggered by a mysterious force affecting the world’s phone signals – Samuel L Jackson, John Cusack and Stacy Keach star.
Director: Ariel Vromen
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Scott Adkins & Alice Eve
A staggeringly impressive cast of cinematic icons of present and yesteryear gather for the eagerly anticipated Criminal. Vromen’s film details the skills and memories of a deceased hotshot agent being placed into the body of a hardened criminal. It is unclear who is playing what role at the moment, but with a cast like that, who really cares!
Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Hurt, Olivia Thirlby
Director: Daniel Zelik Berk
It’s been a while since we’ve seen JRM in a lead role and this espionage flick will hopefully mark a return to form for the wayward actor.
Scott Eastwood steps into his father’s footsteps as the lead in this gritty western following a civil war veteran returning home and having to avenge his wife’s murder.
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Kit Harrington, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Chastain
Director: Xavier Dolan
One of two Xavier Dolan films arriving in 2016, this follows the correspondence between a film star and a eleven year old actor being exposed to the world.
Stars: Tye Sheridan. Bel Powley, Stephen Moyer
Director: Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith’s first horror film in six years follows a young law student who, while grieving for his dying mother, struggles to decide whether he should kill his unfaithful step-father.
Paul Verhoeven’s first feature film in ten years details a CEO attacked in her home who sets out to turn the tables, stalking the men who attacked her. Give us this now.
Stars: Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Adan Jodorowsky
Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Jodorowsky’s second autobiographical film sees the eighty-six year old auteur recount his young adult life in the Chilean avant-garde scene.
This comic romp follows a New York heiress who dreams of becoming a famous opera singer – despite the slight difficulty that she has a terrible voice.
Stars: Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer
Director: Marc Webb
Marc Webb’s shakes off the excrement of the Amazing Spider-Man films to make this drama following a bitter custody battle between a deceased woman’s brother and mother.
This Sundance 2016 pick explores two brothers joining a fraternity and the lengths it drives them to. Nick Jonas stars and may potentially remove his clothes.
Director: Eva Sorhaug
Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones & Jon Bernthal
Catherine Zeta Jones plays ‘The Godmother of Cocaine’ – infamous drug lord Griselda Blanco. Now if that doesn’t sound like perfection to you maybe you are on the wrong website.
In Dubious Battle
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, James Franco, Robert Duvall
Director: James Franco
James Franco’s 423rd production of the year is an adaptation of one of John Steinbeck’s later novels detailing a worker’s revolt. Hopefully Franco can channel some of his passion for these old Southern Gothic novels into his viewers.
Kusana’s film about a sinister dinner party sounds like an intense watch packed with twists and turns – we’re getting Coherence vibes from all the press materials. This is a very good thing.
Stars: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Sam Shepard
Director: Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan’s directorial debut re-teams her with Tom Hanks for this coming of age tale set during WW2.
In a Valley of Violence
Director: Ti West
Stars: Ethan Hawke, John Travolta & Karen Gillan
Director: Xavier Dolan
Stars: Gaspard Ulliel, Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel
The first of two Xavier Dolan films is a French-language piece following a writer revealing that he’s dying to his family.
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Stars: Adriana Ugarte, Inma Cuesta, Michelle Jenner
Almodovar’s stated that his latest directorial project: “is a return to the cinema of women, of great female protagonists, and it’s a hard-hitting drama, which excites me”
Of course James Franco would be starring a film about the murder of Cobra Video owner Bryan Kocis by Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes. And of course we’re brimming with excitement.
Labour of Love
Stars: Bruce Willis, Ben Winchell
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Is Bruce Willis capable of making a good film again? Re-teaming him with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable’s M. Night Shyamalan is a good way to find out.
The Limehouse Golem
Stars: Douglas Booth, Olivia Cooke, (Alan Rickman?)
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
This Gothic horror sees a small town plagued by vicious murders which are pinned on a mythical beast known as the Limehouse Golem. Alan Rickman is rumoured to star.
The Lost City of Z
Director: James Gray
In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Give us that Indiana Jones realness Charlie Hunnam.
Matthias Schoenaerts playing a broody soldier going through PTSD guarding a Lebanese businessman’s wife? Yes please.
Stars: Matt Bomer
During production of A Place in the Sun, Montgomery Clift meets the woman who will become his closest confidant and best friend, Elizabeth Taylor.
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn makes his first stab at the horror genre.
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Amy Adams
Director: Tom Ford
Our expectations are high for Tom Ford’s long-awaited directorial follow-up to A Single Man.
Stars: Scott Eastwood, Ana de Armas
Director: Antonio Negret
Scott Eastwood is leading this long-gestating Euro-thriller alongside Knock Knock’s Ana de Armas. Plot details are unknown, but it’s Scott, so you know, we’ll be there.
Outlaws and Angels
Stars: Luke Wilson, Francesca Eastwood, Chad Michael Murray
Director: JT Molner
Another Sundance 2016 pick sees a small frontier town turn the tables on unsuspecting outlaws.
Phantasm V: Ravager
Director: David Hartman
Stars: Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister & A Michael Baldwin
In what is becoming an increasingly-rare foray into fictional filmmaking, Herzog takes on the life of British traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché Gertrude Bell (Kidman).
Russ & Roger Go Beyond
Stars: Will Ferrell, Josh Gad
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Independent filmmaker Russ Meyer (Ferrell) teams up with film critic and fledgling screenwriter, Roger Ebert (Gad) to make the 1970 film, “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.”
Stars: Henry Cavill, Nicholas Hoult, Glen Powell
Director: Fernando Coimbra
Set during the occupation of Iraq, a squad of U.S. soldiers try to protect a small village. It doesn’t really sound like our thing, but that cast is very attractive.
Salt and Fire
Stars: Michael Shannon, Gael Garcia Bernal
Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog directs this ecological disaster film which Empire notes: “will involve drama and romance in South America, where scientist Ferres butts heads with the head of a corporation responsible for an ecological disaster. When a local supervolcano starts to display ominous signs, however, she has to team up with her antagonist to stave off a natural disaster.”
Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Cam Gigandet, Michael Biehn
Director: Obin Olson, Amariah Olson
Whilst plot details are currently under wraps for this action film, we’re excited by the pairing of Meyers and Gigandet.
Stars: Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield
Director: Martin Scorsesse
Silence follows the persecution of two Jesuit priests in the seventeenth century as they travel to Japan to find their mentor and spread Christianity. The subject doesn’t immediately appeal but with Scorsese at the helm we will be there on opening day.
Stars: Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson
Director: Shane Abbess
Shane Abbess showed great potential with Infini, and reunites with its star Daniel Macpherson for sci-fi follow up SFv1. Hunk of spunk Kellan Lutz co-stars.
The Strangers 2
Director: Marcel Langenegger
The long-awaited sequel one of the scariest films ever made is due to be hitting cinemas this year, but we’re not holding our breath.
Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Director: Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich’s critically derided Stonewall film still hasn’t made it to the UK – and despite the mauling, we’re curious to see his take on the famous gay rights riots.
Stars: Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy
Director: Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders’ latest narrative piece follows James McAvoy’s Brit held captive in Africa by Jihadist fighters.
The Worst Marriage in Georgetown
Stars: Christoph Waltz
Director: Christoph Waltz
With SPECTRE and Tarzan wrapped, Christoph Waltz moves onto a more personal project. The Worst Marriage in Georgetown which also marks his directorial debut. The project sees Waltz play an eccentric social climber who seduced and married a wealthy older widow – who is subsequently murdered.
Stars: Matthew Gray Gubler, AnnaLynne McCord, Adrian Grenier
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Whilst Suburban Gothic left us cold, we have a special place for Excision in our hearts and we hope that Richard Bates Jr.’s latest will be more like the latter.
Trespass Against Us
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson
Director: Adam Smith
We’re looking forward to seeing Fassbender and Gleeson’s performances in this family crime drama – presumably set in Ireland?
Untitled Mae West Biopic
Stars: Bette Midler
Director: William Friedkin
Don’t hold your breath for this one but we’re praying that HBO’s Bette Midler starring, William Friedkin directed, and Harvey Fierstein, Mae West biopic actually gets made this year.
Untitled Warren Beatty Project
Stars: Warren Beatty, Chace Crawford, Martin Sheen, Lily Collins
Director: Warren Beatty
Chronicling Howard Hughes’ affair with a younger woman in the later years of his life, Warren Beatty’s first acting (and directing) role in fifteen long years is certainly a huge cinematic moment.
Untitled Woody Allen Project
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell
Director: Woody Allen
Plot details are thin on the ground but going by the cast and Woody Allen’s reputation, we feel you should all be very excited by this.
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Burstyn
Director: Todd Solondz
The Happiness filmmaker returns with an uplifting sounding tale about the joy created by a travelling sausage dog. This also sees the return of Welcome to the Dollhouse’s Dawn Wiener – now played by Greta Gerwig, so if that isn’t a reason to be excited then we don’t know what is.
Robin Hardy’s third and final Wicker Man film is set to deal with Norse gods and a curious sounding themepark. The Indiegogo campaign only raised £8k of a required £250k so the film’s proposed early 2016 shoot may be a way off.
Stars: Tyler Posey, Austin Butler, Justin Long, Johnny Depp
Director: Kevin Smith
Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening their major party plans. That synopsis fills us with dread but Smith did such a great job with Tusk and Red State that we’re hopeful about Yoga Hosers.
Stars: James Franco, Will Ferrell, Dave Franco
Director: James Franco
A young actor arrives in Hollywood in 1969 during a transitional time in the Industry. Franco has assembled his starriest cast yet to tell this tale with Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Jacki Weaver joining the fun.
Returning to the old school nastiness of House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, Rob
Zombie’s latest follows five people who are captured in the run-up to Halloween and placed in an area known as Murderworld. Here they have to face off against a gang of evil clowns. Captain Spaulding better feature in some capacity.
What are you looking forward to? Let us know below in the comments section.