The first six months of the year have come and gone. With that, there are many films that were on my original list of anticipated 2016 films that I’ve gotten to see. There are some others still to come, including: Star Wars Rogue One, Martin Scorsese’s Silence, and Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Even so, with the first half of the year being over, I thought it would be nice to update you all on some films I’m really excited about seeing. Since January, high profile independent films have come onto the scene and trailers have come out for more blockbusters. Plus, there are some films that simply look like true gems. With that, here are ten more films that I’m super excited to see in the second half of 2016! *Films mentioned above that were on the original list but haven’t been released will not be included.
Swiss Army Man
Here’s a film that won’t be a very long wait, hopefully at least. Swiss Army Man is a film that first screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. I was instantly intrigued when I read headlines about the “Daniel Radcliffe Farting Corpse Movie”. Yes, this film follows a corpse (played by Daniel Radcliffe) that washes up onto a deserted island and is found by a lone man trapped there (played by the always excellent Paul Dano). This movie simply looks weird, but weird in a good way. I think this has potential to be the most original movie in years. It is brought to us by a pair of filmmakers who simply call themselves the Daniels. The duo is making their debut with this movie, having previously directed a number of strange short films and the very strange music video for the hit song Turn Down For What?. If you’ve seen that music video, then you shouldn’t be shocked at how weird this movie looks. But if you’re like me, then you’ll be interested simply because it doesn’t appear there’s ever been anything like.
Swiss Army Man is an independent film, and will thus mostly likely have a staggered limited release throughout the country. It hits it’s first batch of theaters (outside of LA & New York) on July 1st.
Michael Keaton is on a role. First, he busted back into film with a lead role 2014’s Birdman, which won the Oscar for Best Picture that year. He followed it up with a lead in 2015’s Best Picture winner Spotlight. Yes indeed, he seems to be a magnet for the golden statue. Could The Founder continue that trend? I don’t think so, looking at the slate of other films being released, but I do think this will keep up the trend of spot on performances by Keaton. The trailer alone is electrified by his darkly comic, sarcastic performance as Ray Croc, the man responsible for franchising McDonald’s. The Founder tells the story of how Croc basically screwed over the McDonald brothers in order to make their burger stand his billion dollar empire. It is brought to us by the director of The Blind Side, but this will clearly not be a similar heartwarming tale. The Founder looks dark, but very intriguing. According to my history teacher, the story behind the film is nothing short of amazing.
The Founder hits theaters on August 5th.
Batman v. Superman divided audiences, but Warner Brothers is hoping that their heroes of the day will be the baddest villains in the DC universe. Suicide Squad is a unique idea, and one that could continue to freshen up the superhero genre after Deadpool and Civil War brought new elements to these popular blockbusters. The question being posed is simple: What if the bad guys were forced to be heroes? How would that go? The answer is hopefully found at the end of a true thrill ride; studded with stars such as Margot Robbie, Will Smith, and Jared Leto. Here’s to hoping that director David Ayer can deliver a universally loved superhero movie for the studio that desperately needs give audiences some mouthwash after such a divisive major release earlier this year.
Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5th.
Matt Damon finally returns to his most famous role. Almost equally exciting, though, is director Paul Greengrass returning to the franchise for the first time since Bourne Ultimatum. Greengrass is one of the best action directors working today, and understands tension better than most other directors out there. Even though I wasn’t sold on the idea of another Jason Bourne movie, I could not help but be struck by the names on paper. Then the trailer hit, and oh my, was I floored! Within that two minutes, I was sold on the whole idea. This movie doesn’t just look good, it looks awesome! And even more than that, it looks like a uniquely crafted entry into the summer blockbuster season by a true auteur.
Jason Bourne hits theaters July 29th.
Midnight Special was on my original list of anticipated 2016 films, and was directed by a man named Jeff Nichols, who I have praised before on this blog. Nichols makes my list again with his second film coming out this year, Loving. This is no science fiction thriller, however; this is a historical drama, a genre that Nichols is yet to try his hand at. Loving follows an interracial couple-Richard and Mildred Loving-that is sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to much praise; many even said that it would be a top contender later in the year during Oscar season. While there hasn’t been a trailer released yet, there has been a clip released which came out of Cannes. It’s a short and simple scene, but you can definitely sense the tender care with which the movie will handle it’s material. With the fascinating plot and the buzz already surrounding the movie, I cannot help but once again fanboy over Jeff Nichols.
Loving is an independent film, and will thus mostly likely have a staggered limited release throughout the country. It hits it’s first batch of theaters on November 4th.
The Birth Of A Nation
Here is the film that won top prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The Birth Of A Nation is the directorial debut for Nate Parker, whom the film also stars. It tells the true story of slave Nat Turner (Parker) and the rebellion he lead against his masters. Having come across the exciting, violent tale in my history class, I cannot help but be excited to see it come to the big screen. The fact that it won at Sundance just intensifies my excitement!
The Birth Of A Nation is an independent film, and will thus mostly likely have a staggered limited release throughout the country. It hits it’s first batch of theaters on October 7th.
This movie looks like the Inception of Marvel films. The simply two minute trailer is mind bending in and of itself; I cannot imagine what the two hour movie will be like! Luckily, Inception is one of my favorite movies, so all of these feelings are a product of exuberant anticipation. Doctor Strange seeks to open up the realm of magic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it nears it’s grand finale in the coming Avengers films. It stars one of my favorite actors working today, Benedict Cumberbatch. And, like Deadpool and Suicide Squad, it looks to be a very unique film for the genre. It does seem that 2016 is the year that the superhero movie attempts to destroy audience fatigue with blazing originality!
Doctor Strange hits theaters on November 4th.
This will be one of the most controversial movies of the year, as it revolves around one of the most controversial figures of the last ten years. While I myself am not educated on Edward Snowden enough to offer a true opinion for or against his actions, I can say that the trailer for this Oliver Stone movie was thrilling! Throw in Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, who oozes charisma, as Snowden and you have what is hopefully a recipe for success. With that, I put real world politics aside and look forward to what is hopefully a very good time at the movie theatre.
Snowden hits theatres on September 16th.
I grew up on the original Pete’s Dragon. I know nothing about the people behind this remake, other than a few of the cast members. But for once, that doesn’t matter. While I was initially suspicious of a modern telling of one of my beloved childhood favorites, all it took was the young child star of the movie yelling “Elliot!” in the trailer to bring a tear to my eye. This simply looks like a magical Disney experience; I hope this cute and fuzzy dragon will offer a new classic for this generation!
Pete’s Dragon hits theaters on August 12th.
Finishing off this list is a movie that I didn’t learn about until it’s trailer hit the web. This appears to be satirical comedy at it’s best, offered to us by Jonah Hill and Miles Teller no less! While I still have some suspicions about the ability of the film’s director-who made a great comedy in The Hangover but also made it’s terrible sequels-the aforementioned trailer had me rolling laughing. The chemistry between Teller and Hill seems spot on, and their line delivery appears impeccable! While it has the greatest chance of disappointing out of any film on this list, I cannot deny that this comedy has me waiting to laugh!
War Dogs hits theaters on August 19th.