5. The Nice Guys

Release Date: May 20th 2016
Director: Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3)
Screenwriters: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David, Kim Basinger
Rating: R for violence, sexuality, nudity, language and brief drug use
Plot Summary: “The Nice Guys” takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.

4. La La Land

Release Date: December 2nd 2016
Director: Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
Screenwriter: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons
Rating: PG-13 for some language
Plot Summary: In this modern take on the Hollywood musical from Damien Chazelle, the Academy Award-nominated writer and director of “Whiplash,” Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: December 16th 2016
Director: Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla)
Screenwriters: Chris Weitz, Gary Whitta
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed
Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Plot Summary: A rogue band of resistance fighters unite to steal the Death Star plans and bring new hope to the galaxy. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” takes place before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope” and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know.

2. The Neon Demon

Release Date: June 24th 2016
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Drive, Only God Forgives)
Screenwriters: Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws
Starring: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Desmond Harrington
Rating: R for disturbing violent content, bloody images, graphic nudity, a scene of aberrant sexuality, and language
Plot Summary: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

1. Silence

Release Date: December 23rd 2016
Director: Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver) Screenwriter: Jay Cocks
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver
Rating: R for some disturbing violent content
Plot Summary: The drama, based on the Shusaku Endo novel, is set in the 17th century as two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity.

BONUS: Top 5 Most Anticipated New TV Shows

5. Billions (Showtime)
4. Preacher (AMC)
3. Vice Principals (HBO)
2. Vinyl (HBO)
1. Westworld (HBO)

FINAL NOTES:

A couple quick notes before I let you go. First off, just as I had to give a shout out to Suicide Squad for not quite making my list at #21, I thought I would share what my #6 and #7 most anticipated new shows are, just because they were so close to making the list and they are gonna be great. “Love” comes out on Netflix next month (Feb 19th) and comes from Judd Apatow (my #6 pick) and coming to FX near the end of the year is “Taboo” from Tom Hardy and Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders) in my #7 slot. So keep an eye out for both of those. I had some friends predict what my Top 5 films would be and I know a lot of you will be surprised they did not make the list so I thought I would briefly address why a few are not on my radar even though you all may be greatly anticipating them. 1. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them – I’m a fan of Harry Potter but HP was never on the same level as Lord of the Rings for me so I definitely anticipated those and the Hobbit movies a lot more when it came to fantasy films. Plus this is not based on a book that I have read and know is good like the other HP films were so this one I will of course go see but I am not super pumped like I was for some of the HP films back in the day. If this film turns out great, which I hope it does, then look for the sequel to make its way onto a future list. 2. Untitled Jason Bourne 5 Film – I like the Bourne franchise but I don’t love it. Was not a fan of a lot of the shaky cam cinematography the films had (why choreograph awesome fights but then edit/cut them so rapidly that the audience can’t really see them?) but I am glad it is back with Paul Greengrass at the helm so again, I will see this but I tend to get more excited for Bond films (Spectre was my #14 most anticipated for last year) than I do for Bourne films. 3. Hail, Caesar – This might be unpopular to say, but the Coen Brothers, although extremely talented, are hit and miss for me. Their hits tend to be their dramas (No Country for Old Men, Fargo, True Grit, A Serious Man) and their misses tend to be their comedies (The Ladykillers, Gambit (which they wrote), Intolerable Cruelty). Hail, Caesar looks to fall into that comedy section and although they’ve acquired a fantastic cast, the trailer just didn’t do a whole lot for me. So I hope it is solid and will go see it but I’d love for them to turn their attention back to the darker dramas or even tackle the long in development project “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” by Michael Chabon. 4. Finding Dory – I love Finding Nemo and a plethora of Pixar films but the past few years have seen Pixar in a big slump. Cars 2 (and the whole Cars franchise) is the weakest work Pixar has ever done (which still isn’t awful but just not very enjoyable), Brave was very forgettable and pretty mediocre, I didn’t see Monsters University because I was deployed but it got a lukewarm reception from fans and critics, Inside Out was good (better than Cars 2, Brave and I am assuming Monster’s University) but not as great as everyone has been saying it is and The Good Dinosaur I wanted to see but it got pulled from theaters fairly quickly, partly due to Star Wars taking up so many screens but also because of the lukewarm critical reception and terrible box office performance (it is Pixar’s first true financial flop). So I really want Finding Dory to be good but I tend to prefer Pixar’s original movies (as opposed to just busting out sequels) and it has been such a long gap between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory that it worries me slightly, but I hope I am wrong. I will definitely see it but just keep my hopes in check. The only sequel of theirs that I really am looking forward to (why are they even doing Toy Story 4 when the 3rd ended so perfectly?!) is The Incredibles 2, despite the long gap between the 2nd and 1st film. That’s about it folks, thank you so much for reading all of this (if you did). Tomorrow is my second favorite day of the year…The Academy Award nominations will be announced. So be sure to check that news out and I will post my Best/Worst of 2015 as well as my Oscar Predictions next month before the Oscars happen. Go see a movie over the 3 day holiday weekend and be sure to let me know what you thought of this list. Did you agree that my Top 5 list was solid? Did it suck? Feel free to comment with your own top 5 or 10 most anticipated films of the year list. I’d love to see what you all are looking forward to. Feel free to include TV shows (new and returning) just for the Hell of it. Thanks again and take care 🙂

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