We’re almost a month into the year of 2016, so I better post this list before, y’know, the year is over. Here are the films I’m most eager to see in 2016, in order of release date:
Hail, Caesar! (Joel and Ethan Coen). With their darkly comic narratives and quirky-yet-enlightened character, the Coen brothers are some of my favorite filmmakers. Hail, Caesar! looks like a return to the madcap humor of films like The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother, Where Art Thou? February 5
The Witch (Robert Eggers). I rarely venture into the theater to see horror films, so when I do, they have to be exceptional. The Witch was highly praised at the festival circuit last year, and I’m curious to view this creepy Puritan horror tale. Apparently it has scary goats. February 19
Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick). It’s Terrence Malick’s new film. So I will watch it. While some typical Malick tropes are present–the roving camera and esoteric narration–the urban setting and exploration of hedonism is new territory, and I’m interested to see what Malick’s ideas. March 4
Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols). While the above trailer makes me wonder about the more mainstream approach to the film, Nichols has crafted some excellent movies in the past, like Take Shelter and Mud. I trust that his take on the superhero genre will be unique and full of interesting ideas. March 18
La La Land (Damien Chazelle). Chazelle’s first feature film, Whiplash, was one of my favorite films of 2014. This musical exploration of Los Angeles reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (previously in Crazy Stupid Love). The whole project sounds absolutely charming. July 15
Doctor Strange (Scott Derrickson). While I’m becoming less taken in by the hype of Marvel superhero films, Doctor Strange intrigues me for its director, Scott Derrickson, and his unique approach to films, as he’s worked primarily in the horror genre. Also, this boasts one of the best ensemble casts of any film in 2016: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chitwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelson. November 4
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Garret Edwards). Edwards has taken interesting approaches to his monster films, Monsters and Godzilla, showing a significant amount of restraint. There’s more room to explore new creative territory in the Star Wars universe. With a cast like Felicity Jones, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelson, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, and Ben Mendelsohn, it could be a fascinating addition to the Star Wars saga. December 16
Silence (Martin Scorcese). It’s been a long wait for Scorcese’s adaptation of Shusako Endo’s novel about Jesuit priests and their crises in Japan. The novel is one of my personal favorites, and has challenged me in my approach to missions, prayer, and God’s presence in my life. I’m hoping 2016 will be the year we finally see what Scorcese has to offer. Starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver. Unknown
Seller (Asghar Farhadi). I know absolutely nothing about this film apart from its apparent release in 2016, and its director. Farhadi has not made a bad film yet (from what I’ve seen), and I am eager to see anything the Iranian filmmaker creates. Unknown
The Unknown Girl (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes). The Dardennes brothers have made some of my favorite films–The Son; The Kid with a Bike; Two Days, One Night–so I anticipate their next project to be in a similar vein: a parable of grace and an exploration of the working class in their native Belgium. The plot summary at IMDB simply says “A doctor attempts to uncover the identity of a patient who died after she refused her treatment.” I’m sure it’ll be phenomenal. Unknown
And here are five Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order): Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Circle, Finding Dory, Love & Friendship, The Light Between Oceans.
What movies are you excited to see in 2016? Share your most anticipated films in the comments.