As we prepare to bid fare-thee-well to 2015 and all of the great movies that came with it, let’s take a look forward far into the future, all the way to the year 2016 and what we hope will be another fantastic year for movies. But are you feeling uncertain about what to spend your hard-earned dollars on at the theaters? Well fear not! Here is a short list of upcoming movies for next year, and why you should pay to see them.
1. Hail, Ceasar!
The Coen Brothers have a lifetime of mesmerizing movies under their belts, and Hail, Ceasar! looks to follow suit. Any movie they have collaborated with George Clooney on has been hilarious (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Burn After Reading) and their unique directing style has created a following of film buffs around the world. I have faith that Hail, Ceasar! will be their next cult classic as it is bursting at the seams with an all-star cast.
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Set as a prequel to the original Star Wars 1977 movie, Rogue One follows the story of the group of rebel pilots who stole the plans for the original Death Star. Director Garreth Edward gained popularity on his last summer blockbuster Godzilla and may have split fans of the monster movie franchise, but Rogue One is an intriguing idea for a Star Wars movie, featuring characters who do not wield lightsabers. Not to mention that the legendary martial arts master and star of IP Man Donnie Yen (seen above, far right) has been cast, and that alone is enough to get me excited. Disney appears to be giving the fans what they want, and with the sure-to-be (fingers crossed) amazing The Force Awakens coming out this week, Rogue One will give the fans even more of the galaxy far, far away that they love so dearly.
Martin Scorsese has unfortunately had to push this movie out several times to work on films like Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street, but now it seems 2016 will finally see the release of his long-awaited labor of love. Based on the book of the same name, Silence is about two Portugese priests who face persecution in Japan while trying to preach Christianity. Personally, I believe Scorsese has been on point with his last few films, and hopefully Silence will be his second film to deliver a Best Director Oscar. Unfortunately though, Silence does not star his usual front man DiCaprio.
4. Captain America: Civil War
Fanboys may currently be bashing heads over the horrendous and overstuffed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, but I for one and more excited for Captain America V Iron Man. Why? Because it is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who have made the best Marvel movie to date, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These two brothers seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to the superhero movie, and Civil War looks just as great as their last Cap’n ‘Murica project. If Civil War is as good as Winter Soldier, then we can definitely look forward to the finale of the Marvel movies, The Infinity Wars, parts 1 and 2, the final installments of the Russo Bros. Marvel movies. Let’s just hope the Russos aren’t one-hit-wonders.
5. John Wick 2
If you haven’t seen the first John Wick, you need to stop reading this immediately and go watch it (and then come back and finish reading). John Wick is a remarkable action movie starring Keanu Reeves about a retired hit man seeking vengeance against the man who…killed his dog. Kind of a silly premise on paper, but John Wick immediately became one of my favorite action movies in the last ten years. Although let’s face it though, if some dude killed my dog, I would also exact swift and terrible justice. John Wick is beautifully choreographed, brutal, and hard-hitting and when it was over I instantly wanted more. Well good news for all of us, because 2016 should see the release of John Wick 2.
6. X-Men: Apocalypse
Director Brian Singer seems to do two things extremely well: The Usual Suspects and X-Men. Each X-Men movie that he directs is better than the last, and Days of Future Past was a fun filled time-travel movie, let alone superhero film. X-Men: Apocalypse will finally show the transition of James McAvoy’s long-haired Professor X to the shiny glory of bald prowess we know and love originally portrayed by Patrick Stewart. But more importantly, Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Ex Machina) plays the title villain and has proven to be a very well-rounded actor. I for one am very hopeful to see the ancient, god-like, and long anticipated mutant on screen.
7. The Witch
The Witch is directed by Robert Eggars and is his first movie since 2008. Normally I’m not partial to horror films, but The Witch looks to be incredibly engaging and masterfully shot. The Witch has already premiered at film festivals to marvelous reviews, and appears to be following along the same tone as the bone-chilling and downright creepy The Babadook. With the current state of boring jump-scare sequel after sequel of horror movies today, The Witch looks to be the breath of fresh air the horror genre so desperately needs.
8. Kubo and the Two Strings
Most fans of animation are excited for movies like Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Secret Lives of Pets, but to me Kubo and the Two Strings looks like a far superior movie. Laika, the company who brought us The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline are back with what looks to be their most visually stunning movie yet. Jam-packed full of great actors with great voices, Kubo is absolutely a powerhouse to watch out for.