There Will Be Cinema’s Most Anticipated Films of 2016

2015 is behind us.

It had it’s fair share of great films, but now it’s time to move on and focus on the future.

2016 is already here and there is A LOT of blockbusters coming out ranging from Batman to Doctor Strange and fascinating little films such as The Witch and Cemetery of Splendor.

We made sure to include a variety of original films on our list because a lot of “Anticipation” lists focus on sequels and reboots, with one or two original films on there.

There are quite a few sequels and reboots on here, but we are not in the business of watching those exclusively.

We love to be entertained by all things cinema and hopefully 2016 will have some hidden treasures that will knock us out.

Until then, here’s our most anticipated films of the year thus far.

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Image via Universal

Hail Caesar!

We’ve seen every single Coen Brothers film to date.

They are modern mavericks and to keep this entry simple; anything they make, we will watch.  This also has one of their most stacked casts in a while, which just adds to the hype factor.

Who doesn’t want to see George Clooney ham it up as a larger than life celebrity?

Let’s hope it’s closer to Barton Fink/Fargo style comedy than Intolerable Cruelty/The Ladykillers.

Releases in the US February 5

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Image via Fox

Deadpool

We are not fans of Deadpool as a character. He’s annoying, arrogant, unredeemable, and worst of all…childish.

But he’s grown on us in recent months and this film has done some of the best marketing I’ve ever seen.  It’s funny and playful, unlike the character, and best of all, Ryan Reynolds is front and center.

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This is only a taste of the wonderful marketing Fox has unleashed for Deadpool.  We used to have kind of a chip on our shoulder about Reynolds, but his commitment to the film and his charisma through it all, has made us a believer.

We can’t wait to see him swear and tear his way through his debut film!

Releases in the US February 12

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Zoolander 2

As a lover of film, we have a hard time embracing sequels from time to time. More often than not, they ruin the legacy of their predecessors.

Zoolander 2 is not going to be that film.

Some say this is an unnecessary sequel, but if you’ve been following Ben Stiller’s false promises for the past decade, this a sequel that’s been a long time coming.

The fact that this has the same writing team as Tropic Thunder, a cast that’s old and new, and has one of the funniest trailers in recent memory, this could be a great addition to 2016’s line up of comedies.

Releases in the US February 12

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Image via A24

The Witch

Here at Life at 24fps we tend to take a cautiously optimistic viewpoint on modern horror films.

It used to be an obsession for us, but after years of 85% Hollywood jump scare nothingness, our love for the horror genre has tended to wain and suffer.

Of course we still get 1 or 2 great horror films each year and usually 4 or 5 decent ones, but as a whole, horror just hasn’t held up well in the 21st century.

Now we’ve had a few strong omens that the tide might be turning with films like It Follows, The Babadook, and Spring all giving credence to the idea that horror is far from dead.  We are hoping that 2016 may finally be the year horror cinema returns to glory.

No film gives us this impression more than the upcoming period horror film The Witch.

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It’s initial trailer and gigantic buzz from the film festival circuit suggest it’s going to be a hit with genre fans and we are hoping the film doesn’t crumble under it’s own hype.

Though it’s not the only big horror film releasing in 2016, it’s probably the one we are most excited for, and horror fans all over should bump this to the top of their anticipation lists!

Releases in the US February 26

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Image via Open Road Films

Triple 9

John Hillcoat is one of the most underrated directors working today.

People that have seen his western, The Proposition, have been very adamant that it’s one of the best in the genre and his work on Lawless was entertaining and brutal.

He’s back with a crime thriller/action picture that looks like pure adrenaline.  With a plot that involves corrupt cops and heartless killers, the unconventional casting of Kate Winslet as a rutless villian sold us right away.

The cast is lead by Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Chitwel Ejiofor, Aaron Paul, and many others, and will definitely make a scene when it’s released in the dog days of February.

Releases in the US February 26

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Image via MARV

Eddie The Eagle

This is a film that wasn’t on my radar that much until I heard about some test screenings a few months back.  They were universally pleasant and people were saying it’s one of the most inspiring films they’d ever seen.

My first response was, “Really?”

The biopic revolves around a British man that was put down all his life and finds redemption and meaning in Ski Jumping.  We thought it sounded kind of boring to be honest.

Then we saw the trailer.

We know trailers are designed to get you to see the movie and they are often misleading, but this one is a work of art.  It was the most inspirational thing I saw all through 2015.

Take a look at the trailer.

Kingsman’s Taron Edgerton looks like he’s having an amazing time playing the title role, and I’m on board to see this whole thing unfold on the big screen.

We’re ready to be inspired.

Releases in the US February 26

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Images via Warner Bros

Midnight Special

Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud. So far American director Jeff Nichols has established himself as one of the strongest and most purely “American” voices in the cinematic world.

His human based Southern Gothic family dramas have such a distinct feel to them that it’s kind of odd and baffling no one has exactly tackled this side of American in such a folksy way.

He’s like a Mark Twain or a Bob Dylan in that sense.

His newest film Midnight Special, is looking to combine that homespun American feel with the outlines of science fiction and coming of age story.

It’s hard to tell exactly what the film will be like based solely on the first trailer, but given the man takes his time between projects and has yet to make anything less than excellent, I’m sure he’s got some clever ideas up his sleeve.

The fact that he’s re-teaming with Michael Shannon (their fourth film together) and bringing in some bright newer actors like Adam Driver, just adds an extra layer of excitement.

This has the potential to be a sleeper hit and I’m hoping that he manages to keep this streak of quality alive.

Releases in the US March 18

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Image via Warner Bros

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Garrett’s most anticipated film of 2016. Why on Earth is this film his most anticipated film?!  It all began when Ben Affleck was cast in 2013.

Can you believe it’s been that long?

When he was cast, it threw off the entire perception of what the film was going to feel like.  It was going to take chances.

They could’ve casted fan favorites such as Josh Brolin or even Garrett’s pick, Jon Hamm, but they didn’t. Casting Ben Affleck was the bravest and smartest directorial choice Zack Snyder ever made.

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Everytime we seem to doubt this movie, they do something else that makes us even more hyped. The first “teaser” left us with a sense of uncertainty and then BAM the comic con trailer came out and blew us away.

With a diverse and impressive cast and an Oscar winning screenwriter plotting it all, we are in for something spectacular.

We have faith in the DC Cinematic Universe. Do you?

Releases in the US March 25

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Image via Amazon Studios

The Neon Demon

We dislike Nicolas Winding Refn.

We find Drive to be an empty stylistic experience (it’s quite beautiful looking and has an awesome soundtrack, that’s it) and Only God Forgives is one of the worst films we’ve ever seen.

He’s a man that is too concerned with his own style and after watching his creative process, we think he’s afraid of ever looking like a “sell out.”  To us he honed his style in Drive and then honed his love for himself in Only God Forgives.

So why on Earth are we anticipating his new film?

Well for starters, the plot about vampires in LA is enticing, and we want to see how he’s evolved as a filmmaker these past 4 years.  Will it have the stylistic highs of Drive or be the over indulgent mess that was Only God Forgives?

Release date TBD 2016

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Everybody Wants Some

Richard Linklater is one of our all time favorite filmmakers.

He finds humanity in all of his characters and his stories are extraordinary because they’re about how compelling normal lives can be.

After the career highs of Boyhood, he’s back with a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused and we couldn’t be more excited.  It looks like an easy going affair that will have memorable characters, great lines, and some good laughs.

Bring on the good times.

Releases in the US April 15

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Image via Disney

The Jungle Book

Like most children, our childhood consisted of Disney classics, including The Jungle Book.

When Disney announced they were making a live action adaptation with Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, and others in the cast, this shot up pretty high on our radar.

After we witnessed the first footage from the adaptation, we were surprised they decided to take on a more “realistic” look for the animals and not a whimsical one.

Word around the camp fire is that this is one of the best things Disney has made in a while and that this will not taint your childhood memories.  Let’s hope that stays true when this releases in April.

Releases in the US April 15

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Captain America: Civil War

Back in 2012, everyone’s favorite Avenger seemed to be Iron Man. Every other Avenger didn’t have that same allure.

After the thrilling highs of Captain America: The Winter Soldier,  a lot of people decided that Cap was the Avenger for them. For good reason.

They capitalized on his likeability and showed his willingness to save his best friend, no matter what the cost.  Oh and the movie brought S.H.E.I.L.D to it’s knees.

Civil War continues this story arch and includes a bill that makes the Avengers turn against each other.  It’s based off the popular comic book story from the early 2000’s.

Now that we’re finally getting this film…and SPIDER-MAN is finally joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our hopes are a little too high.  Based off the marketing so far, the biggest surprise has to be that this film casts Tony Stark in a sympathetic light.

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The look on his face and Robert’s delivery of the line, “So was I“, will break your heart.

Let’s hope the film is as exciting as The Winter Solider and is a step above Age of Ultron.

Releases in the US May 6

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X-men: Apocalypse

The X-men franchise is one of the most underrated franchises out there.

We take it for granted.  We got two great X-men films right off the bat and then they lost their way 2006-2008.  It seemed like the end.

But like smoke, First Class came out of nowhere and showed what kind of life the franchise had left.  After two movies, Apocalypse is here to show us what a full blown disaster pic should look like and what kind of unseen powers there are in the X-men world.

Based on the trailer, the acting still looks as strong as ever, (except for Jennifer Lawrence, who is sleep walking through this one) and Oscar Isaac & Sophie Turner are perfectly cast as En Sabah Nur and Jean Grey.

I still get goosebumps every time I see Isaac proclaim, “Everything they built will fall and from the ashes of their world, we will build a better one!

This is one not to be missed on the big screen.

Releases in the US May 27

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Cemetery of Splendour

While Garrett has still yet to see a film from Thai master-craftsman Apichatpong Weerasethakul, I was 100% adamant about including his brand new feature film Cemetery of Splendour on our list.

This is the director’s first film since taking home the Palme D’or back in 2010 and from what I’ve heard it’s absolutely worth the wait.

Combing Weerasethakul’s love of nature with the juxtaposition of modern advancement, this film looks to be like another transcendent fantasy of the human spirit.

While his films certainly aren’t for everyone, more “artsy” inclined film fans are encouraged to dig into his filmography. His films may be challenging, but they are always a completely unique experience.

And I mean EXPERIENCE.

Release date TBD 2016

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Image via Universal

Warcraft

For years videogamers and audiences alike have been stiffed by the constant stream of mediocre video game to screen adaptations.

It’s an epidemic.

Luckily, Duncan Jones is here to try and right those wrongs with his big budget and visually spectacular looking, Warcraft. We don’t know much about the plot, but based on the trailers and constant love the movie is getting online, I know we’re in for something truly special.

Releases in the US June 10

FINDING DORY

Image via Pixar

Finding Dory

We almost didn’t include this one, but since we love Pixar, we had to include it on the list.

Out of all the sequels we’re anticipating this year, this is the one that feels the most unnecessary.  Finding Nemo ends on good terms and has one of the best track records with Pixar fans and general audiences alike.  S0 why make a sequel focusing on Dory?

Let’s be honest, Dory is better in short doses. But we have faith in Pixar and we really enjoyed The Good Dinosaur and loved Inside Out.  Maybe this will be more like Toy Story 2 instead of Cars 2. One can only hope.

Releases in the US June 17

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Image via DreamWorks

The BFG: Big Friendly Giant

I used to love Steven Spielberg.

Every film he made inspired me and the stories he told seemed always sincere, even when they dealt with dinosaurs and alien invasions.

Nowadays we still have fond memories of our love of his work, but now his work doesn’t have that same spell on us.

That doesn’t mean I still don’t get excited for his new films though.

Bridge of Spies was an entertaining surprise and his work on BFG looks truly magical.

Another thing that should get you excited about this film is Mark Rylance.  He’s a theater and television actor that’s been impressing people for years but now he’s primed to explode.

The work him and Spielberg did on Bridge of Spies was subtle yet great and the two of them should translate well here.  I can’t wait to see Spielberg bring his trademark sense of wonder to Roald Dahl.

Releases in the US  July 1

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LaLa Land

We’re very skeptical about this one.

Although we loved Whiplash, Damien Chazelle’s next project seems like a fantasy vanity project, which isn’t a good thing because this is only his second film.

But we’re going to optimistic, because we really dig the cast and this could be a way for Chazelle to make one of the best musicals in years.

The plot is about a Jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling who falls for an actress played by the luminous Emma Stone.  If that doesn’t sound like a good time at the cinema I don’t know what does.

Releases in the US July 15

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Image via Just Jared

John Wick 2

The sequel all the fans asked for is here and for once, we’re happy the studio is trying to get more money out of us.

The fanbase for John Wick is a passionate one and we’re proud to be included.  It’s as cool as Miles Davis, as sharp as Rambo’s knife, and has “mythology” that puts most sequels and tv shows to shame.

We cannot wait to see what hell Keanu Reeves unleashes this time around.

Release date TBD 2016

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Ghostbusters

This could go either way.

On one hand, I applaud Paul Feig for his casting and for the attention he’s helped bring to actresses, but on the other hand…this could be a disaster.

And no it won’t be a disaster because all the leads are women. Leave the sexism at the door because the cast is the strongest thing it has going for it.  The curiosity factor for this one is strong and we’re afraid that the script won’t be nearly as good as it’s cast.

The first Ghostbusters is lightning in a bottle and the sequel proved that it’s far harder to continue such a story. Luckily this one is more of a reboot than sequel.

Plot details are really slim, but expect a trailer within the next month.  After the delightful Spy, we’d love for this one to be a strong deconstruction of the action genre.

Releases in the US July 15

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Image via Universal

Bourne 5

We’re going to be honest, we lost hope in a sequel to Matt Damon’s spy trilogy.

After The Bourne Legacy, we felt like they kind of milked the franchise and Damon was going to avoid it like the plague.  Oh and his one demand for the sequel was that director Paul Greengrass come and return, which was the biggest longshot of all.

Fast forward to 2015 and not only are they back for another round, they’re almost done filming and it comes out this July!  Plot details are slim, but we know for certain that it’s about Jason Bourne living in a post-Snowden world.

Expect a lot of paranoia to run through this movie…and lots of impressive stunt work and insane camera angles.

Releases in the US July 29

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Image via Warner Bros

Suicide Squad

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the most anticipated Comic Book film of the year.

When people try to argue with us and say that, “The comic book film genre is going to implode soon,” all we need to do is go on the internet and see the massive hype for Suicide Squad.

Not only is this film appealing to comic book lovers, it’s appealing to a wide audience in a way that Warner Bros wasn’t expecting. The last time we saw near unanimous love for an unreleased property was with The Dark Knight.

At first people weren’t on board for such a drastic “revision” of The Joker and Harley Quinn, but all that hate has been buried in 2015.

Come August 5th, there’s going to be so many people dressed as them, terrible make up and all, and we will be there with them to enjoy David Ayer’s twisted addition to the new DC Cinematic Universe. (Or DCEU)

Oh and Ben Affleck’s Batman is in here too.  That’s just the cherry on top.

All aboard the hype train!

Releases in the US August 5

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Image via Laika

Kubo and the Two Strings

Original animated films barely seem to take risks anymore.  The only company that comes to mind that can take risks and make a huge profit is Pixar.

Laika is the best stop motion filmmaking company today, sorry Aardman, and their films are visual wonders.  The latest from them, Kubo and the Two Strings, seems as visually impressive as ever and best of all, purely original.

It’s the kind of film we would’ve loved back in our adolescent days.

This has the potential to be better than Coraline and will undoubtedly be better than ParaNorman.

Releases in the US August 19

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Silence

Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest filmmakers, ever.  We’re honored that he’s still living today and finishing up his new project, Silence.

This film first got on our radar early 2014, when Scorsese had cast Andrew Garfield as a priest searching for his mentor in Japan. This mentor happens to be played by the greatly underrated Liam Neeson.

The prospect of seeing a film that dealt with religious views in a big and non- “Christian” movie way peaked our interest, and we’re ecstatic to see Neeson play a serious role again after a string of lackluster action films.

We’re calling it now, he WILL be nominated for best supporting actor.  He’s got the chops, he lost considerable amount of weight, and he’s hungry for a role that challenges him.

We know him and Scorsese will do wonders.

Releases in the US November TBD

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Doctor Strange

Is this the real life…is this just fantasy?

Doctor Strange is here to bust open the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he’s bringing Benedict Cumberbatch with him.

We’ve been waiting for this film for a long time and from what we’ve seen and read so far, this will undoubtedly live up to expectations.  The cast has Chitwel Ejifor, Tilda Swinton, and Rachel McAdams to name a few and is being called, “an acid trip”, from one of the producers.

The fact that this will be a full blown fantasy movie and also tie into the Marvel universe is an intriguing one. We just hope it stands on it’s own and isn’t a slave to set up….kind of like Iron Man 2 and Ant-Man.

Fingers crossed that this will be on par with Guardians of the Galaxy and the first Iron Man.

Releases in the US November 4

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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

This is a movie we know very little about.

What we know for certain is that Ang Lee is directing in 3D and that the cast includes Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, and Steve Martin.

That’s one of the most random casts of the year in our opinion, but knowing Lee’s past track record, this will be a visually dazzling and emotional picture.

Fingers crossed that it’s a one of a kind experience.

Releases in the US November 11

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter is BACK!…kind of.

Set in the magical world of Harry Potter, this prequel examines a man that has a box full of insane critters that will unleash chaos throughout 1920’s New York.

We Muggles have no idea what’s coming to us.  At first glance this might seem like a cash grab, which it is, but there’s a lot of creativity being put forth off the screen.

JK Rowling has written the script and David Yates, director of Potters 5-7,  is back at the helm.  He has gone on record saying he’s doing this because he knows the world so well and wants to tell so many more stories.  It sounds greedy but we understand this.

Since we are to getting a new Harry Potter experience, it should feel familiar at first and then let someone else takeover.

These two are very passionate about the world of Harry Potter and we can’t wait to see what magic they bring with them.

Releases in the US November 18

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Image via Lucasfilm

Rogue One

After the unprecedented success of The Force Awakens, we’re having a hard time caring about Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One.

It’s about the team that stole the Death Star plans and it’s got one of the most diverse casts of the year, but there seems to be something missing.

We were not fans of Edwards’ Godzilla reboot and the lack of promotion thus far has us worried. Even though it comes out in 11 months, The Force Awakens at least had a 90 second teaser a year before, and Rogue One could use some of that attention.

We have no doubt that it will be an action packed affair,  but we are cautiously optimistic about this one. Hopefully it brings something new to the lore of Star Wars, instead of making it more convoulted.

This could either be one of the best films of the year or just an OK entry in the Star Wars canon.

Releases in the US December 16

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Assassin’s Creed

We previously published an article about how Warcraft could usher in the new era of Video Game films.

Well if that happens, Assassin’s Creed will show us what a video game adaptation with prestige looks like. Fresh off his revisionist take on Macbeth, Justin Kurzel is back with a film that looks like Robin Hood on steroids.

Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender is headlining the film with Oscar winner Marion Cotillard adding class to the proceedings.

This will be a grand, violent, and faithful adaptation of the Assassin’s Creed the video game.

Question is, will it be any good in live action?

Releases in the US December 28

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