10 Must watch Movies 2016

10. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Or: the film where Warner Bros puts lots of eggs in one basket, as it effectively launches the DC movie universe.

Zack Snyder follows up Man Of Steel here, by bringing back Henry Cavill as Superman, this time facing off against Ben Affleck as Batman. Yet Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice will also see the introduction of a whole host of characters to the big screen. Jesse Eisenberg is the new Lex Luthor, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa is likely to debut Aquaman, Ezra Miller may pop up as the big screen's The Flash, Jeremy Irons is the new Alfred and Holly Hunter is playing a US senator. Amy Adams is back as Lois Lane, and Laurence Fishburne is Perry White.
The main shoot for this one finished in December 2014, so Snyder and his team have had a lot of time to lock down their cut. It's going to be an unmissable movie for fans of comic book films, certainly, but most fans will also be hoping for a sizeable jump forwards following Man Of Steel.
9. Jason Bourne

Universal reached for its cheque book when the Jeremy Renner-headlined The Bourne Legacy struggled to recapture the heights of particularly The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. As such, director Paul Greengrass has been lured back to make Bourne 5, and as he promised, Matt Damon has followed too.
It's the union of Damon and Greengrass that makes this so tantalising, and from what we know, the new Jason Bourne film will be very much centred on contemporary issues. As well as Damon, the cast includes Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander and Vincent Cassel. Plans reportedly still remain afoot for a Bourne Legacy follow-up, but this is the Bourne movie we've been waiting for.

8. Free Fire (Ben Wheatley)

About to release his latest film High Rise in UK cinemas, director Ben Wheatley already has his next movie lined up: the crime drama, Free Fire. Its genre might suggest a return to the low-budget, rugged territory of his debut, Down Terrace, but it looks as though Wheatley's working on a much bigger canvas here. Martin Scorsese's credited as a producer, for one thing, and the movie's attracted a spectacular cast, which includes Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor alongside Wheatley regular Michael Smiley. About a deal between two gangs that goes violently wrong, it's sure to be another intense, brutal movie from one of Britain's finest directors.

7. Captain America: Civil War

Is it Captain America 3 or Avengers 2.5? Marvel insists it's the former, but with a cast that includes Robert Downey Jr, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman (debuting Black Panther), Tom Holland (debuting his take on Spider-Man), Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, it's hard not to see Captain America: Civil War as a crucial part of the Marvel cinematic universe jigsaw.
Chris Evans headlines as Captain America in a film that's set to put him head to head with Downey Jr's Iron Man/Tony Stark. Joe and Anthony Russo return to direct following their success with Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and then they're off to make the next two Avengers films), and hopes are very high. In common with X-Men: Apocalypse and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, this looks a very busy film from the outside. But the Russo brothers are nobody's fool. And this may turn out to be something really rather special.

6. Midnight Special

If you saw 2011's Take Shelter or 2012's Mud, you'll already know that Jeff Nichols is a great director of starkly effective dramas. Midnight Special sees him take on the sci-fi genre, with John Carpenter's initially overlooked genre romance Starman cited as an influence. Taking in a father and his gifted son, a religious cult and Adam Driver as a government agent, it sounds like an exciting change of pace from Nichols. Given just how good Michael Shannon was in Take Shelter, it's exciting to see him cast as one of the leads here. Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton and Sam Shepard also star.

5. Passengers

It's a regular complaint: movie studios don't invest in expensive, standalone sci-fi movies. We'd argue that's why it's important to salute the fact when one of them does.
This time it's Sony, which has paid big bucks to bring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt together for Passengers, a hugely ambitious looking movie from The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum. Jon Spaihts has penned the script for this one, which tells the story of a spaceship carrying thousands of people in hypersleep. Only, as circumstances progress, two of them are awake. 
Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne are also in the cast, and this looks a fiercely ambitious, resolutely big standalone science fiction movie. We're looking forward to it enormously.

4. Star Wars: Rogue One

The Force Awakens marked the triumphant return of Star Wars to the silver screen, but Gareth Edwards' forthcoming spin-off appears to have an altogether more sombre tone. Set before the events of A New Hope, it details attempts to steal the plans to the Empire's most deadly weapon: the Death Star. Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen and Riz Ahmed are among the "wayward band of Rebel fighters" at the heart of the story, while the great Ben Mendelsohn plays one of the villains.
Edwards has teased a film told in "shades of grey" rather than the good-and-evil black and white of Star Wars movies past. Could this be the Lucasverse take on the Dirty Dozen? We'd have no objections if it was. 

3. Suicide Squad

On the subject of the Dirty Dozen, here's DC Comics' take on similar material: a gang of misfit supervillains thrown together to complete a top-secret mission by cold-blooded government official, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). A certain amount of attention has gone to Jared Leto, the latest actor to take on the role of the Joker, but Suicide Squad also stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag. If we get the version of David Ayer who brought us End Of Watch and Fury, and not the Ayer who made the disappointing Sabotage, then Suicide Squad should prove to be an uncompromising, entertaining summer thrill ride.

2. The Nice Guys 

Warner Bros is a studio that's gambled and not quite won (commercially at least) several times in recent years by picking non-franchise movies amongst its summer blockbuster slate. 
That it's put significant funds behind Shane Black's third film as director, The Nice Guys, is enormously to its credit.
Black, who penned the likes of Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout, follows up his directorial work on Iron Man 3 with The Nice Guys, a 70s-set big budget thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. With support from Kim Basinger, Ty Simpkins, Matt Bomer and more, the film tells the story of a PI looking into the case of a former porn movie star who appears to have committed suicide. Digging a little deeper, he uncovers a darker mystery.
Don't be surprised if Warner Bros ultimately moves The Nice Guys away from its current summer slot - it's got savvier at moving films to less competitive surroundings. But we can but hope it holds its nerve here...

1. Arrival

Ted Chiang's award-winning sci-fi short story is a challenging, mind-expanding thing to even attempt to adapt for the screen, which is why we're so excited about Arrival (previously Story Of Your Life). That it's being tackled by Denis Villeneuve, arguably one of the most exciting filmmakers currently working, is all the more reason to look forward to it; he previously directed such films as IncendiesPrisonersEnemy and this year's pressure-cooker-tense Sicario, so it'll be fascinating to see how he handles this cerebral tale of humanity's first contact with a superior alien species. Are they benign or a threat? That's what Amy Adams' language expert has to find out.
In a year full of big, bombastic and exciting screen spectacles, it's this sci-fi curio that has us most intrigued.


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