A first look at some of the must-see movies of 2016

In Midnight Special, the young Jaeden Lieberher shares the screen with Star Wars baddie Adam Driver.

Resolve to take more trips to the movie theatre in the new year—you don’t want to miss any of these

While 2016 is shaping up to be a year of exceptional sequels, with follow-ups to 2012’s Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman and just about every superhero movie that has come out in the last five years, there are also tons of non-sequential films coming out this year that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here is a list of some of the most anticipated films coming out in 2016.


After a two-year hiatus, Natalie Portman returns to the screen in the Western drama Jane Got a Gun, in which she plays a woman who asks her ex-lover (Joel Edgerton) to help save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him. You can see Jane Got a Gun in theatres on Jan. 26.

Anesthesia is an ensemble drama that details the aftermath of a violent attack against a Columbia University professor. Starring Glenn Close, Sam Waterson, Tim Blake Nelson and Kristen Stewart in a small but pivotal role, Anesthesia will be out in theatres and on demand Jan. 8.


The Coen brothers are already gaining buzz with their latest, Hail, Caesar! The star-studded comedy, which includes George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, to name a few, sees the filmmaking duo’s satirical take on the golden age of Hollywood. Out in theatres Feb. 5, this one is a must-see.

George Clooney stars in Hail, Caesar! as a Kirk Douglas-like 50s superstar.
George Clooney stars in Hail, Caesar! as a Kirk Douglas-like 50s superstar.


Fans of art-house director Terrence Malick have been waiting for his latest film, Knight of Cups, to come out since it wrapped production back in 2012. This year, we’ll finally see Christian Bale and a bevy of other well-known actors star in the experimental, nonlinear drama, out March 4.

Jeff Nichols, the filmmaker behind art-house phenomenons Mud and Take Shelter, is reteaming with Michael Shannon for Midnight Special, a story of a father forced to go on the road after he discovers that his son possesses supernatural powers. With a solid supporting cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and the young, talented Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent), Midnight Special looks like it’s going to be a suspenseful ride. You can see it in select theatres on March 18.

In Midnight Special, the young Jaeden Lieberher shares the screen with Star Wars baddie Adam Driver.
In Midnight Special, the young Jaeden Lieberher shares the screen with Star Wars baddie Adam Driver.


After the well-deserved success of Boyhood, Richard Linklater has turned to sports for his next project, Everybody Wants Some. Described as a spiritual sequel to his 1993 cult film, Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some is set in the 1980s and follows the lives of college freshmen who are also baseball players. Fans of the director’s former projects can expect the same humour and authenticity in this one, out April 15.


Money Monster could end up being a prominent player in the top films of 2016, an assumption based on its cast (Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Jack O’Connell), its director (Jodie Foster) and its plot. The film follows a man named Kyle (O’Connell) who loses all of his family’s money on a bad tip, so he holds T.V. personality and Wall Street money guru Lee Gates (Clooney) hostage on air, threatening to kill Lee if he doesn’t get the stock up before time’s up. This thriller, out May 13 is all but certain to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.


Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash received tons of critical acclaim during awards season last year, and now he’s cast Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who share the screen for the third time, in his upcoming project, La La Land. The musical drama sees Gosling as a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress (Stone) in Los Angeles. It hits theatres everywhere on July 15.

If dramas and musicals aren’t your thing, you’ll want to check out the all-female Ghostbusters reboot, also out on July 15. Starring Melissa McCarthy and Saturday Night Live favourites Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon, as well as cameos from the original Ghostbusters Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, this comedy is setting up to be more than just a remake.


Jonah Hill teams up with Miles Teller in the upcoming buddy dramedy, Arms and the Dudes, which is out on Aug. 19. The film follows the true story of David Pacouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300-million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.


Paula Hawkins’ debut novel Girl on the Train did exceedingly well last year, and its film adaptation is set to get a warm welcome when it comes out on Oct. 7. Emily Blunt stars as a distressed alcoholic who gets entangled in a couple’s murder mystery after witnessing something shocking while riding the train.


Harry Potter fans will be excited about this one. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them acts as J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut and takes place in the same magical universe, only 70 years earlier. Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, future author of the Beasts textbook which later ends up at Hogwarts. The first in a planned trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be out in theatres on Nov. 17.


Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are next to take on space drama in the upcoming film Passengers, out on Dec. 21. The pair will play sleeping passengers transported on a traveling spacecraft to a distant colonized planet in another galaxy. Due to a mid-flight malfunction, one passenger (Pratt) is awakened too soon and decides to wake up another one (Lawrence) to avoid spending the next 100 years on his own.

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