2015 has ended on a high with the likes of Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens reminding us exactly why we love film and how waiting a whole year for a release can pay off. But now it’s time to look forward to what the new year has to come, with my list of 100 films to look forward to in 2016.
Not only are there plenty of sequels from some of the most recently successful films set to be released, but there’s a handful of films that we’ve been waiting years to see, and some we thought weren’t even an option. From adaptations of mobile phone games, book adaptations that could fill a library, to some of DC and Marvel’s most anticipated superhero origin stories and collaborative war efforts, 2016 is going to be big, and there’s a lot of anticipated releases heading our way.
To help you trawl through the masses of films listed below, which starts off with January’s biggest award contenders, we’ll go through films by continuity groupings, genres, and end with everything else. Let me know what film(s) you’re looking forward to the most by commenting below, too!
The Danish Girl (1st Jan)
The film I am looking forward to the most (so what better place to start?), The Danish Girls follows a fictitious love story inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s ground-breaking journey as a transgender pioneer. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), and based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, the film also stars Matthias Schoenaerts and Ben Whishaw.
Joy (1st Jan)
Seeing the third collaboration between director David O. Russell and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro, Joy tells the true story of Joy Mangano (Lawrence), a self-made millionaire who, in the early 1990s, created her own business empire when she invented the Miracle Mop, becoming the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty. With the recent releases of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Joy looks set to be equally as brilliant.
The Hateful Eight (8th Jan)
The latest from Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is a black comedy western which, set some years after the Civil War, follows eight strangers – including a bounty hunter and his prisoner – who seek refuge from a blizzard in a stagecoach stopover in a mountain pass. The incredible cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern.
Room (15th Jan)
With screenplay by Emma Donoghue, based on her own novel of the same name and directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Room stars Brie Larson as a mother who has brought up her son (Jacob Tremblay) imprisoned in a single room his entire life. This is the only world that Jack knows, but soon the boy will make a thrilling discovery: the outside world.
The Revenant (15th Jan)
As we cross our fingers that Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an award this year, it looks promising as he leads this brutal true story set in the 1820s, which follows a frontiersman named Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) as he sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), The Revenant also stars Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson.
The Big Short (22nd Jan)
Directed and co-written by Adam McKay, and based on the 2010 book of the same name by Michael Lewis, The Big Short tells the true story about the financial crisis of 2007–2010 by the build-up of the housing and credit bubble. Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, the film follows four outsiders in the world of high-finance, who predicted the collapse and decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.
Spotlight (29th Jan)
Another true story, Spotlight is based around how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. Directed by Tom McCarthy, the film stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and Stanley Tucci.
Youth (29th Jan)
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, Youth sees Michael Caine play a retired orchestra conductor who, whilst on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps, receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday. With Harvey Keitel starring alongside Caine, the film sees these two elderly best friends reflect on their lives, telling a story of the eternal struggle between age and youth, the past and the future, life and death, commitment and betrayal. The cast also includes Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda.
Trumbo (5th Feb)
Yet another true story, Trumbo follows the life of Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) in 1947, Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Directed by Jay Roach and based on the biography Dalton Trumbo by Bruce Alexander Cook, the film also stars Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Concussion (12th Feb)
Directed and written by Peter Landesman, and based on the 2009 GQ exposé Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas, Concussion follows the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), an accomplished forensic pathologist who uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play, as he fights against the efforts of the National Football League to suppress his research. The film also stars Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks.
Anomalisa (11th March)
From the incredible mind of Charlie Kaufman, this stop-motion adult animation, which is based on Kaufman’s own eponymous play, follows a man who, crippled by the mundanity of his life, experiences something out of the ordinary. With a voice cast including David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan, Anomalisa looks like a film you’ll be thinking about for the whole year.