Most people's diaries are a litany of birthdays, anniversaries and meetings. Mine on the other hand (yes, I own a diary) is littered with the release dates of films. That's because I love everything about film. Every year I get more and more excited for the next big release and 2016 has already given us some incredible films. With Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool, Hail, Caesar! and 10 Cloverfield Lane to name a few, it's safe to say it has been a successful year in cinema. Better yet, there are still a multitude of films that are coming your way in the next seven months, from a variation of genres, for you to start filling up your diary with! This list will hopefully give you an idea of some big hitters on their way to screens very soon.
Admittedly there are a few big names missing... Jason Bourne and Ghostbusters are just two that haven't made the list. Some of you may feel these (and others) deserve to be up there but for the sake making this list succinct (and through personal preference) they haven't made it!
So, here are twenty-one films that are yet to be released in 2016 that you should be excited for.
21 Finding Dory - June 17th
No film list would be complete without a Disney offering. Every Disney film that is aimed at children has something for everyone, regardless of age. 2003's Finding Nemo introduced us to the clown fish Nemo, his Dad Marlin and their unexpected, forgetful friend Dory, played by Ellen Degeneres.
Aside from the overly relaxed surfer turtle Crush, Dory is the most quotable character from the aquatic adventure, so it was only natural that she would get her own film! What will undoubtedly be a heart warming, smile inducing tale, Finding Dory focuses on Dory's search for her mother and father. By the looks of the trailer there will be plenty of new characters to get to know, including the whale shark Destiny played by It's Always Sunny's own Kaitlin Olson as well as the return of some very familiar fishy faces!
20 Bad Moms - July 29th
Who doesn't love Mila Kunis? She has such a brilliant sense of humour about herself and, despite taking on a variation of roles in TV and film, she really shines in comedy movies. Bad Moms looks like it is going to be another hit for her. It has a stellar cast of ladies who are known for being hilarious, as well as a plot that, above all else, looks like a lot of fun.
Amy (Kunis) is sick of being a mom with no life outside of her draining job and exhausting family. She joins up with two other mothers, played by the brilliant Kristen Bell and hysterically funny Kathryn Hahn, to go wild and live a lifestyle they thought they had left behind. Alongside them is Christina Applegate as the antagonist head of the PTA. Bad Moms has also enlisted the services of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore as the writing/directing team, who are the geniuses behind The Hangover movies. All things considered this will be a film that will be more than worth your time and money!
19 Me Before You - June 3rd
I know what you're thinking. What in fresh hell is this doing on a list of films where the feature image is of a bunch of murderous criminals sent to make the world a safer place... Well, hear me out. I am far from a romantic film kind of guy but Me Before You has something about it. For a start the lead cast.
Sam Claflin is a painfully charming human being who time and time again manages to make audiences swoon. Then there's Emilia Clark who manages to go from the queen of dragons in Game Of Thrones to a quirky, awkward carer in Me Before You. Louisa (Clark) becomes a caregiver to paralyzed young banker (Claflin) and they begin to create a bond that strengthens throughout their time together. I have no question Me Before You will be a tad soppy but this film will be filled to the brim with charm and wit as well as what looks like a wonderful on screen chemistry between the protagonists!
18 The Infiltrator - August 31st
When Bryan Cranston appeared in Breaking Bad, there was a sense of shock as "the dad from Malcolm In The Middle" became one of the coolest characters in television. Well, it seems as if Bryan Cranston can't stay away from crime soaked roles as he takes on Pablo Escobar in The Infiltrator.
The Colombian crime lord has been the centre of a few TV and film projects recently with the very successful Narcos from Netflix and Escobar: Paradise Lost, starring Benicio Del Toro as Mr Escobar himself. The Infiltrator looks to tell the story from another perspective as Robert (Cranston) infiltrates Escobar's drug cartel in order to uncover a huge money laundering organisation. Another of film on the list based on the book, the hope is there are plenty of gritty and suspenseful moments to keep us on the edge of our seats.
17 Snowden - September 16th
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has taken on such a massive variation of roles during his film career but his portrayal of ex-CIA man Edward Snowden in Snowden could be his biggest one yet. Without wanting to sound like I have too much of a man crush on him, there is something about Gordon-Levitt's performances that are consistently charming. Whether he is swooning over a woman in 500 Days Of Summer or attempting to save Gotham without powers and an expensive suit in The Dark Knight Rises he plays a given role well!
Snowden is a biopic of the man who revealed classified information from the NSA. What is particularly interesting about the trailer alone is that Gordon-Levitt's voice is entirely unrecognisable and if you've ever heard an interview with Edward Snowden, you'd swear it was him. Here is to hoping that the film is as entertaining as Gordon-Levitt's voice acting is convincing.
16 When The Bough Breaks - September 16th
It was a massive surprise to see Regina Hall have a cameo in Law Abiding Citizen, considering this was the first time I'd seen her on the screen since her brilliantly funny portrayal of Brenda in the Scary Movie series. Judging by the trailer for When The Bough Breaks Regina is continuing to shake off the image of her being murdered in a cinema by various personified film references for a more serious role.
Alongside Morris Chestnut, Hall plays a mother unable to have children, who enlists the services of a young, beautiful surrogate played by upcoming actress Jaz Sinclair. Anna (Sinclair) unfortunately has her eyes on more than having the couple's baby as she wants the soon to be father all to herself. Think Orphan but with an ending that has to be more realistic and nowhere near as ridiculous (if you haven't seen Orphan just google the ending... terrible).
15 Star Trek Beyond - July 22nd
I am not a "Trekkie." I never have been. In the great argument between the "Star" franchises Star Wars comes out on top every time. With that being said, J.J. Abrams' two installments in the franchise have been spectacular. This may be argued differently by traditional Trekkies but when you have king of the nerds Simon Pegg on the writing team, you know that this will be done with the fans in mind, as well as adhering to the wants and needs of the movie going public.
In the latest chapter in Chris Pine's stint as James T. Kirk, Justin Lin (known for directing four of the Fast and Furious films) directs the team of the Enterprise against another alien foe. The most incredible element of the trailer, which is full of action and a multitude of characters, is the Beastie Boys backing track. Sabotage and Star Trek... If that is wrong, I don't want to be right.
14 The Founder - August 5th
Michael Keaton is another actor who, for a while, fell off the mainstream radar. He will always be a legend for his work as Batman and Beetlejuice, but for the last couple of decades has spent his time taking small parts in films and roles in TV shows. Keaton never went away but hasn't been at the forefront of anything of note. Then Birdman happened and the man that we knew and loved was back in force.
His performance was breathtaking and from there he has been picking up momentum. This makes The Founder an exciting prospect. It is the story of how Ray Croc (Keaton) took a small chain of fast food restaurants and turned them into the goliath corporation we know as McDonald's. The trailer alone makes this look like a one man, no holds barred battle to live the American dream. Making a whole lot of something from practically nothing.
13 The Nice Guys - May 20th
I remember seeing the trailer for The Nice Guys in the cinema and then getting home and watching it back a number of times, each time getting more excited for a film that seems to have it all. As a formula on paper, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe just shouldn't work. One man who charms his way through situations, like a hot knife through butter and the other who has the subtlety of a fog horn... And yet, there is a chemistry that works on screen (in the trailer at least!).
The film follows the investigation of a missing girl and a dead prostitute, headed by hapless private investigator Holland March (Gosling) with the support of enforcer for hire Jackson Healey (Crowe). The trailer seems to indicate there will be plenty of violence, daft laughs and action scenes to keep audiences enthralled! With Shane Black directing, this will definitely be one to see on a number of occasions.
12 Neon Demon - June
Remember when Black Swan was released and everybody lost their minds? Some people held it as a masterpiece, with flawless performances and technical brilliance. Some, on the other hand, passed it off as over the top nonsense. Neon Demon is going to be one of those films that will definitely divide audiences. With a similar feel in terms of genre and the themes underlying the film, you can see comparisons being made by critics from a mile off.
The film focuses on Elle Fanning's portrayal of a young aspiring model who longs for the heights the industry so often appears to deal in. However with the highs come the lows and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn looks to provide stark imagery and lurid colours to go with them. Alongside Fanning will be the likes of Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks as the film premieres at Cannes film festival this summer.
11 Money Monster - May 27th
Being English, I always love seeing British lads and lasses (that's girls and boys to the rest of the world) doing well for themselves and there is no-one I want to see excel more than Jack O'Connell. He started off in Skins and quickly grew his reputation in hard hitting dramas like '71 and Unbroken and is now going from strength to strength. Put an incredible young British actor alongside two of the linchpins of American acting in the past twenty years and you have the making of something special.
George Clooney plays Lee Gates, the host of a TV show that gives hot tips on the stock exchange when Kyle Budwell (O'Connell) takes Gates hostage because of a bad tip. Cue a battle between the two to defuse the situation with the help from Gates' long serving producer, played by Julia Roberts. Directed by Jodie Foster, this is guaranteed to keep people roused for more.
10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows - June 3rd
Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo are household names and have been for as long as I can remember. Due to their legendary status, this film comes with a bit of a warning... some people are going to whine till they're blue in the face about it because it "disgraces the name of the turtles." I for one, loved Jonathan Liebesman's live action reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. Out Of The Shadows looks to carry on the ludicrously fun feel the first film had to it.
Megan Fox (who I had my reservations about playing April but did a decent job of it!) and the brilliantly witty Will Arnett return as the Turtles' cohorts, while Stephen Amell is introduced as Casey Jones. Possibly the most exciting thing about Out Of The Shadows is the introduction of Rocksteady and Bebop, the pig and the rhino that do the bidding of Shredder. The legendary antagonists will surely make an impact on the film as Dave Green directs the four shelled friends in another battle against Shredder. This is definitely going to be a fun movie, with plenty of laughs and nostalgia that makes any TMNT film an exciting prospect.
9 Doctor Strange - November 4th
There have been so many articles on the whitewashing controversy and comments on the whitewashing controversy. There were even comments on the comments. It seems as if Doctor Strange itself has been ignored a little in a lot of articles and it shouldn't be the case! Marvel are on a roll at the minute with the sensational Captain America: Civil War not only working as a stand alone film, but setting up multiple characters for what will hopefully be another incredible run. Doctor Strange is not part of the Avenger Initiative just yet but that isn't stopping fans of Marvel comics getting bloody excited.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange who, after a car accident, loses the use of his hands. Strange then employs the help of a sorcerer known as "The Ancient One" (played by Tilda Swinton) who only goes and gives him special powers, as well as doing a decent job on his hands! This allows Strange to battle the forces of evil and all the other superhero stuff that comes with having mystical powers. The MCU has tackled gods, billionaires, gamma radiation but has yet to venture into fantasy and magic. This makes Doctor Strange a different concept to the rest of the Marvel films and one to look out for.
8 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping - June 3rd
If you've ever heard of The Lonely Island and enjoyed their brand of brilliantly ludicrous hip-hop, you need to see this film. If you haven't, spend a few hours on Youtube going through their back catalogue and then go and see this movie. What is essentially a parody of painful music documentaries like Never Say Never, Popstar follows the life of solo singer Connor4Real (Andy Samberg) and the people that surround him to feed off his fame.
If you're looking for a film that has plot twists and deep subtext, you're in the wrong place. If, on the other hand, you're looking for belly laughs and more cameos than a Seth MacFarlane movie then you have hit the jackpot. Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone (the three members of The Lonely Island) are guaranteed to make you laugh effortlessly. The group have released two tracks from the movie named "Mona Lisa" and "I'm So Humble" (feat. Adam Levine) that will give you a good idea of what to expect from the film.
7 The Magnificent Seven - September 23rd
There are some star studded films on this list. None however have so much cool and charm in one film. To really pull off an authentic feeling western remake in 2016 you need a cast that oozes charisma from every orifice. The Magnificent Seven has that in abundance. The Magnificent Seven's premise is relatively simple. One man (Peter Sarsgaard) and his band of bad guys are causing havoc in a small town. That town call on the help of seven heroes to save the day. They (probably) manage it. The Magnificent Seven is made of up such an eclectic mix of actors including Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke that will offer such a wide variety of characters. This looks like a shoot em up to remember and with Antoine Fuqua directing (The Equaliser, Training Day) and Haley Bennett supporting, there are guaranteed to be a number of incredible surprises.
6 Assassin's Creed
The Assassin's Creed movie has been an ongoing saga since October 2011 when Sony and Ubisoft got together to sort out the video game adaptation. 5 years later and we have a trailer and it's a corker. Assassin's Creed (for those of you who haven't played the game) is based on a machine developed by Abstergo that uses the memory of people's ancestors to fight against and find intelligence on an Illuminati style group known as the Templars.
Abstergo use the memories of Callum Lynch, played by Michael Fassbender to channel the memories of his 15th century ancestor Aguilar, also played by Fassbender, who was part of the Assassin Order during the Spanish inquisition. The film looks to be full of free running and standard assassin murders... hidden blade directly to the throat. Fassbender rejoins Marion Cotillard and Justin Kurzel, whom he worked on the brilliant remake of Macbeth. This is guaranteed to be an action packed epic, that will save the video game adaptation!
5 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - December 14th
Star Wars is back. Let's be honest with ourselves, it never really went away. The Force Awakens was sensational and hype for Episode VIII won't go away with rumours of everything from cameos to set photos. So what can tide us over until December 2017!? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is what. Rogue One is a prequel (of sorts) to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Fortunately, it's not a prequel that stars Jar Jar Binks.
It focuses on a group of rebel spies, that attempt to steal the Empire's plans for their latest weapon the Death Star (DUN DUN DUUUUN!) It stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen and Forest bloody Whitaker! The characters are based on those created by George Lucas so it will definitely have that Star Wars authenticity. However, director Gareth Edwards said it would have the feel of a war film. This will definitely give Star Wars fans the fix they need to tide them over until Episode VIII.
4 The Birth Of A Nation - October 7th
In my personal opinion, slavery is not something that has been covered enough in film, particularly in the mainstream. The brilliant 12 Years A Slave highlighted the severe injustice that occurred during the time of the slave trade but it is the first serious blockbuster since Amistad to focus on what happened to millions of people.
The Birth Of A Nation is written, directed and produced by it's leading man Nate Parker. Parker's directorial debut looks at the true story of Nat Turner, an African-American slave who led a rebellion in Virginia. The trailer alone looks like it is going to be a story rife with character and a real sense of the treatment of African-Americans in 19th century America. One of the more serious and poignant films on the list, The Birth Of A Nation is guaranteed to get people talking.
3 X-Men: Apocalypse - May 18th
The third film in the prequel series of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse looks to bring the world to an end at the hands of a mutant god. The beauty of the X-Men is that there are so many of them, with so many intertwining stories that believable and intricate stories can be applied to a multitude of films.
Apocalypse is a well known story (which has fallen upon criticism from early viewings) of one all powerful being wanting to cleanse the world of people to make it a better place. This destructive being is ancient mutant En Sabah Nur, played by Oscar Isaac whose plans are foiled by the X-Men, led by James McAvoy's Charles Xavier. This is a star laden production with Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult returning to their roles. The introduction of Sophie Turner, known for playing Sansa Stark on HBO's Game Of Thrones, is a welcome addition to the already stellar cast.
2 Swiss Army Man - June 24th
This is probably the weirdest film on the list. Production companies often see film festival favourites struggle to make it into the mainstream, particularly if they are out of the ordinary. Well how does Paul Dano drinking a constant stream of water out of Daniel Radcliffe's dead mouth sound? Pretty far out of any kind of ordinary I've ever heard of... that's how it sounds.
In Swiss Army Man, Dano's Hank is stranded on an island and looks to end it all, with a noose around his neck, when he finds hope in a corpse that has washed up on the beach in front of him. Yes, the corpse farts enough to get him back to land, we all expected that but the corpse of Manny (Radcliffe) begins to speak and so begins a wonderful friendship. Whatever happens in this film it will definitely attract plenty of interest with such big names and the fact that this film looks insanely brilliant.
1 Suicide Squad - August 4th
Comic book films are all the rage, with the DC Extended Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe building at an impressive rate. What is apparent is that Marvel hold all the cards when it comes to the strongest set of films. Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice was subpar at best and Man Of Steel felt drab. Captain America: Civil War burst onto the scene on the back of a number of exceptional films. So DC needed a saving grace and my good god, I think they may have found it.
Suicide Squad calls on DC's greatest villains to save the world. How do you get a group of villains to save the world? Give them explosive jewelry that detonates if things don't go too well. The cast for this film is painfully good with the highlights being Margot Robbie playing Harley Quinn, the world's deadliest marksman Deadshot is played by Will Smith and the brilliant Joel Kinnaman who is charged with keeping the squad in check as Rick Flag. There is one big question the film begs; How is Jared Leto going to be as the Joker? Don't get me wrong, the Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman is a brilliant actor, but the last time the Joker was played in a live action film was possibly the best outing by the late Heath Ledger. Comparisons will always be made so will Leto make it his own or crumble under the pressure of such a big comic book role? Regardless of how good the Joker is, Suicide Squad will undoubtedly be the winning movie that the DCEU so desperately needs.