After seeing a personal record of 117 different films in theaters in 2015, I became a full time student and worked part time, in addition to traveling and working out a lot, which cut into my free time in 2016. So although I only saw 88 different films in theaters this year, I still managed to check out some of the best and worst that the cinema had to offer. The year was pretty weak overall until this past month or two when all of the good stuff started coming out at once and saved cinema in 2016.
Now in my 11th year of looking at upcoming films and what I am really excited for, I wanted to first take a look at my top 10 most anticipated films of 2016 just to see how well my prediction abilities stacked up. Here is my list from last year with my brief thoughts…
10. Batman v Superman – This may be the film that divided fanboys most in 2016 and even though it is flawed, if you don’t take it super seriously, you can have a lot of fun with this movie.
9. Arrival – I basically picked this for my most anticipated list solely based off of director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Enemy, Prisoners) and I’d say I made the right call. Haven’t talked to one person who strongly disliked this film.
8. Snowden – My passion for the subject matter got me excited for this film and I think it came out at an extremely relevant time and did a good job of telling Snowden’s story in an interesting way. Glad I included this on my list.
7. The Light Between Oceans – Not the most memorable film on my list and a pretty depressing film as well but that shouldn’t take away from the beauty and the emotions that this film brings up. Worth seeing, although not as strong as Arrival, for example.
6. Doctor Strange – Of all the superhero films of 2016, this was my most anticipated because it was an original character’s first film (as opposed to a sequel), I liked the casting and was excited to see Marvel take things in a…well, stranger direction. But if you saw my 6/10 review you will know that this film is worth seeing but a big disappointment.
5. The Nice Guys – One of the most underrated and under seen films this year. If you haven’t given this film a chance, you should. Glad I was able to predict that this would be worth seeing.
4. La La Land – Last January when I made this list there had been no trailers, images or anything from this film come out that I had to go off of. But I trusted Damien Chazelle as a film maker after Whiplash was either the best or tied for the best (with Nightcrawler) as the best film of 2014. I hit the nail on the head with this one. Stand by for my review in the coming days.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – My review comes out for this one very shortly so I won’t say much except to say that even if a Star Wars film disappoints me (as the last two have), I still will always greatly anticipate every film in the series because it is Star Wars and I am a fanboy so don’t expect Star Wars films to ever disappear from my most anticipated lists.
2. The Neon Demon – Like The Nice Guys, this film is greatly underrated and under seen. Although I was slightly disappointed with it in terms of how high it ranked on this list vs how good it actually was, it is still a dark and disturbing film that if you can stomach it, you will be impressed by many aspects of the film.
1. Silence – Still haven’t seen this yet which kills me because it is the film I wanted to see most in 2016 so as soon as I do I will get my review out there but it is a Martin Scorsese film so I am sure it will be amazing.
Looking back at my Top 10 Most Anticipated Films List from last year I am pretty overall proud of my picks and my ability to predict which films will be good or right up my alley. Now let’s take a look at 2017 with my usual honorable mentions as well…
20. The Shape of Water (December 8th 2017)
19. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 22nd 2017)
18. Pitch Perfect 3 (December 22nd 2017)
17. Wind River (August 4th 2017)
16. Under the Silver Lake (*DELAYED UNTIL 2019*)
15. Logan (March 3rd 2017)
14. The Snowman (October 13th 2017)
13. Justice League (November 17th 2017)
12. Molly’s Game (November 22nd 2017)
11. Phantom Thread (December 25th 2017)
10. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Release Date: November 3rd 2017
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps, The Lobster)
Screenwriters: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone, Rachael McAdams
Rating: R for disturbing violent and sexual content, some graphic nudity and language
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SzWAfsdZXY
Plot Summary: A teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family takes an unexpected turn.
9. The Post
Release Date: December 22nd 2017
Director: Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Jurassic Park, E.T., Lincoln, Saving Private Ryan)
Screenwriter: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Starring: Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Bradley Whitford, Alison Brie, Matthew Rhys, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Michael Stuhlbarg, Zach Woods
Rating: PG-13 for language and brief war violence
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrXlY6gzTTM
Plot Summary: The story will follow the 1971 scandal after the decision of The Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Streep) to publish The Pentagon Papers. Written and leaked by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers established that the Johnson Administration had lied to the public and congress about US military involvement in the Vietnam War, and revealed that the Nixon administration had secretly escalated the war. The Nixon administration tried to stop The Post from publishing them, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General William Rehnquist took the case to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the paper.
8. Alien: Covenant
Release Date: May 19th 2017
Director: Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, The Martian)
Screenwriters: John Logan, Michael Green
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollet, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Noomi Rapace, James Franco
Rating: R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0V… (Red Band Trailer)
Plot Summary: Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with “Alien: Covenant,” a new chapter in his groundbreaking “Alien” franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
7. Baby Driver
Release Date: June 28th 2017
Director: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) Screenwriter: Edgar Wright
Starring: Lily James, Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal
Rating: R for violence and language throughout
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9YZw_X5UzQ
Plot Summary: “Baby Driver” is a crime-based action film in which the lead character, named Baby because of his young-looking face, is a getaway driver for different bank robbers. One day, he gets in trouble when a bank robbery goes wrong, putting him on the run from various parties.
Release Date: *DELAYED UNTIL 2018*
Director: Adam McKay (The Big Short, Step Brothers, Anchorman)
Screenwriter: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Rockwell, Amy Adams, Tyler Perry, Steve Carell, Bill Pullman, Shea Whigham
Rating: R for language and some violent images
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSGFt6w0wok
Plot Summary: Dick Cheney is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential US Vice Presidents in history, having served under (and, as many regard, OVER) George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. The former Halliburton chairman/CEO — who also served in the Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush administrations — was a hawkish proponent of the War on Terror and the Iraq War, and eventually left office with a 13% approval rating.
Top 5 Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows
5. Orange is the New Black
4. Vice Principals
3. South Park
2. House of Cards
1. Game of Thrones
STAY TUNED FOR #5-1 TOMORROW! Feel free to comment and predict what my Top 5 will be. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!