Let’s be honest, 2015 was a pretty dismal year for movies. Sure, we saw the renewal of great franchises like Star Wars and Jurassic Park, but we also had to suffer through the disappointment of high-profile films like Tomorrowland and The Good Dinosaur. Still, a new year means new movies, and as is tradition here at Crosswalk, it’s time to look ahead to the most promising candidates of 2016. Here, in no particular order, are the ten movies we’re looking forward to in 2016.
Current Release Date: February 5th, 2016
Stars: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum
2016’s first major comedy, Hail, Caesar!, features a cavalcade of stars and a self-deprecating premise that’s just too good to miss. When the lead actor of a major motion picture is kidnapped by a mysterious group calling itself “The Future”, a Hollywood agent (played by Josh Brolin) must find a way to raise $100,000 to secure his release. Things grow even more complicated however, as he’s forced to deal with overbearing directors, scheming gossip columnists, dimwitted actors, and everything else Hollywood can throw at him.
Current Release Date: February 19th, 2016
Stars:Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth Cliff Curtis
Risen is already making waves in Christian circles for its stirring trailer. The story follows a Roman Centurion (Joseph Fiennes) who is charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate the disappearance of Christ’s body and quell an imminent uprising in Jerusalem. Risen is being billed as a Biblical noir mystery, and honestly, the whole film looks amazing. Christians should keep a sharp eye on this movie, it may just redefine the faith-based genre.
Current Release Date: February 12, 2016
Stars: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen
The boys are back and looking better than ever. Most audiences will remember the first Zoolander as a zany, nonsensical, off-the-walls-comedy, and it appears the sequel promises more of the same. This time around, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and his friend Hansel (Owen Wilson) are recruited by Interpol to discover who is assassinating the world’s most beautiful people. Better start practicing your “Blue Steel”, cus things are gonna get crazy!
God’s Not Dead 2
Current Release Date: April 1, 2016
Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe, Ray Wise, Ernie Hudson
The Christian phenomenon which swept box offices in 2014 will return this April with a brand new installment. Reversing positions from the previous film, God’s Not Dead 2 focuses on a high school teacher (Melissa Joan Hart) who is drawn into an epic court case after quoting the Bible in class. The movie plans to explore issues like religious freedom, persecution, prayer in public schools, and their effects in modern society. For now, Christians can only wait eagerly until it arrives on April 1st.
Current Release Date: May 13, 2016
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage,
Based on true events, Snowden chronicles the life of Edward Snowden and his actions leading up to one of the largest classified information leaks in history. Though the film itself is bound to be controversial, the stellar cast list demands attention. With names like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Quinto, and Nicholas Cage attached to the project, Snowden will be interesting to say the least.
Current Release Date: (?) 2016
Stars: Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Ciarán Hinds,
Unlike the other faith-based movies on this list, Silence appears more reminiscent of 2014’s Calvary. The tone is much darker, and the story promises difficult questions about faith, forgiveness, and survival. The film’s plot takes place in the seventeenth century, where two Jesuit priests travel to Japan hoping to find their mentor and spread the Gospel of Christ. Instead, they are met with violence, persecution, and an uncertain future.
Literally EVERY Superhero Movie
Current Release Dates: Various
Stars: Everyone, just…everyone
Superheroes have long since become a prime staple of the film industry, but 2016 is apparently the year where studios are slapping a cape and spandex on just about everything. First up is Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the first major film from the D.C universe (Green Lantern doesn’t count), which will probably set the stage for the villainous Suicide Squad later this year. Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox will unveil its 9th X-Men film along with the much-anticipated release of Deadpool. Finally, Marvel is hoping to capitalize on one of its more popular storylines with Captain America: Civil War before introducing audiences to a new hero in Dr. Strange. All things considered, you should probably brush up on your comic book lore, you’re going to need it.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Current Release Date: November 18th, 2016
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller
J.K. Rowling brings the wizarding world of Harry Potter stateside in this upcoming fantasy-drama based on the book of the same name. Unlike the other Potter movies, Fantastic Beasts revolves around the famed wizard-zoologist Newt Scamander and his adventures in 1926 New York. Though some Christians will be hesitant to engage Rowling’s world a second time, fans will no doubt be overjoyed at the chance to revisit their favorite series in an exciting new location. Viewers can expect plenty of callbacks (or callforwards?) to the original films, and maybe even an appearance from everyone’s favorite wizard.
Current Release Date: November 23, 2016
Stars: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Alan Tudyk
Despite the horde of live-action remakes Disney has clogging up its schedule, it’s nice to see the studio hasn’t completely given up on original projects. Moana is Disney’s latest addition to their animated royalty. Set in ancient Oceania, the movie follows a young girl named Moana as she seeks to become a famous navigator. Along her journey, she teams up with a legendary fisherman named Maui, who helps her explore the surrounding islands. Will this new princess put an end to Frozen’s icy reign? Probably not, but it looks fun anyway.
Current Release Date: June 17, 2016
Stars: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson,
Not long ago, Crosswalk named Finding Nemo our top Pixar movie of all time. With beautiful animation and a story packed full of emotional moments, it was easy to see how Finding Nemo wasn’t just a good movie, it’s the reason we watch movies. It should be no surprise then, that we’re anticipating the sequel to Pixar’s ocean-spanning masterpiece. As the name suggests, Finding Dory will focus on the Royal Tang, Dory, as she searches for her lost family. Pixar has demonstrated before that they can make a sequel which surpasses the original, we can only hope the same holds true here.
What about you? What movies are you looking forward to in 2016? Leave your comments in the space below!
*Ryan Duncan is the Entertainment Editor for Crosswalk.com