2016 has arrived and like with the start of every year, movie-lovers are sharing their most anticipated films of the year, so that's what I'm here to do. The following list is a 10-1 countdown of my most anticipated movies of 2016.
Before the list begins, please keep in mind that just because a movie doesn't make this list, it doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to it. I'm going to say right now that Marvel's "Doctor Strange" won't be on this list. I'm still looking forward to seeing that movie for sure, but there are just 10 more movies coming out that have grabbed my attention more than "Doctor Strange". I wanted to keep this a more traditional top 10 list rather than going overboard with a top 20 list. I'm excited for a lot of movies this year, but here are the 10 that especially interest me.
10. The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist
Starting off this list is definitely more of a personal choice compared to the other movies on this list and the hype surrounding those. I really liked 2013's "The Conjuring" when it first came out and I still like it to this day for being genuinely suspenseful, creepy, and sticking with you once it's over. As much as horror sequels have failed in the past, I'm confident that James Wan will show why he's one of the best horror directors alive right now with what is hopefully a new story that has some of the old school scares that the first film and the "Insidious" films had. Also, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are reprising their roles as the Warrens, so this movie at least has the advantage of bringing in some solid talent. I think I also want to see this movie because I've actually read up on the actual Enfield Poltergeist case and it really creeped me out, so hopefully Wan can do the story justice.
9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I'm a big Harry Potter fan and having read the actual book that this movie is based on, I think a big screen adaptation could work very well if put in the hands of a competent director. It already looks like we have that with David Yates, director of the last four Potter Films as well as my personal favorite director of the movies. To me, Yates understood the balance of staying loyal to the book and adding his own personal touches without sacrificing any of the vital character and storytelling aspects. And with Eddie Redmayne playing the role of Newt Scamander, I think that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will at least be a fun, adventurous spin-off that's able to stand on its own without the shadow of Harry Potter leering over it.
8. Finding Dory
Pixar is coming off of the strength of "Inside Out" and to a lesser extent, "The Good Dinosaur". And as good as those movies were, Pixar hasn't had the greatest track record with sequels. They can either be great like "Toy Story 3", or just plain embarrassing like "Cars 2", so I think "Finding Dory" is a bit of a toss up at this point. However, I'm sure that the writers have had more than enough time to plan this movie out and not rehash the first film. The story is that Dory wants to find her family and based off of the trailer, I think Finding Dory has some things working for it. I'm sure the animation and voice talent will be great as usual, but the story is the big one. From what I've seen, it looks promising and I'm putting my faith in the people of Pixar to give us something new.
7. Star Trek Beyond
I won't lie, I didn't like the new trailer for this movie at all. It came off as a cheap "remember that from the first movie?!" type of thing with "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys playing throughout, and it felt more like a "Fast and Furious" trailer than it did "Star Trek". However, I loved the previous two movies, so I'd be lying to you guys if I said I wasn't interested in this one. It looks like we're getting a glimpse at the Enterprise's adventures from their five year exploration, and we have new cast members such as Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella joining the regular cast we all love. Also, given the director's chair being passed from J. J. Abrams to Justin Lin, I know we'll at least get a "Star Trek" film with plenty of fun action and spectacle.
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Like with "Star Trek Beyond", this movie has the disadvantage of recently releasing a trailer that wasn't any good. I really liked the first two trailers for this movie, but that third one we just got with Doomsday, Jesse Eisenberg playing Willy Wonka, and the entire plot being spoon-fed to us has me slightly worried about how this movie will turn out. Given what was shown in the trailer, I'm worried that this movie will have some of the issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" in that it's all setup for future movies while losing focus on movie at hand. That being said, it's Batman Vs. Superman. Of course, I'm still excited to see this movie. We've never seen this happen on the big screen, so you bet your ass I'll be seeing this movie as early as possible. Had the third trailer been better or not debuted at all, this movie would easily be in top 5 on this list. But it's still on this list regardless and that's all that matters.
5. Suicide Squad
Jared Leto as the Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn...those two casting choices alone should sell you on this movie. "Suicide Squad" is essentially DC's response to "Guardians of the Galaxy" in that it's a group of mostly unknown characters getting together for the first and in turn making it a pretty big risk for the studio in charge. With what was shown in the only trailer for this movie, I'm extremely excited that this is going to be more than just your typical "good guy fights bad guy" comic book movie. The potential for camaraderie between these characters already looks great and I get more and more amped for the cast with each passing day. Everyone know Robbie will crush the role of Harley Quinn, but some people are still skeptical about Leto's Joker given the first official image of him that was shown. Say what you will about the look, but I think his small role in the trailer was more than enough to sell me on his performance, as well as the movie in general.
4. X-Men: Apocalypse
Once again, we're dealing with a movie that recently released a trailer that was "meh" at best, but with "[X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267)", it has almost everything else working in its favor. Bryan Singer showed us with "Days of Future Past" that he's the best possible director for an "X-Men" film, bringing us not only the best film in the franchise to date, but also one of the best movies of 2014. I'm also really excited to see Oscar Issac's portrayal of the villain, Apocalypse. His look has been drawing a mixed reaction at best, but it's really the acting that matters. Oscar Issac is one of the best actors working right now and I liked what I saw from him in the trailer. As much as I wasn't crazy over the trailer itself, the movie still has strong potential to be the allegedly closing, epic finale to the main "X-Men" films.
If there's one thing that this movie is going to be remembered for mostly, it's the marketing campaign. The way that this movie has been marketed has been nothing short of genius, taking full advantage of the trademark Deadpool characteristics as well as giving us some kick ass trailers that are a lot of fun to watch. You can also tell that Ryan Reynolds is really passionate about doing justice to the character after the incident with "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". So far the trailers have shown us everything we want to see in a Deadpool movie and with both the writers and Ryan Reynolds apparently understanding the type of character they're dealing with, this looks like it could be the big early hit for 2016.
2. Captain America: Civil War
Yep, another comic book movie, and there's no shame in that whatsoever. The trailer for this movie was nothing short of great and I'm very confident that the Russo Brothers are telling the proper story that will advance what happened in "The Winter Soldier" while also furthering things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. This movie is essentially Captain America Vs. Iron Man. How could you not be excited for something like that? Should "Dawn of Justice" be every bit as mediocre as its third trailer, at least we have this movie, a comic book film that looks a lot more confident in its own story. I'm certain that "[Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409)" will be a game-changer for the MCU, starting off Phase 3 and setting things up for future installments while focusing on its own story.
1. Rogue One
Let's face it, I'm a "Star Wars" fanboy. "The Force Awakens" revitalized any hope for future "Star Wars" films and with Episode VIII not coming out until Summer 2017, we at least have a spin-off coming out this winter, one that has a lot of shoes to fill. This movie's plot is that it takes place before "A New Hope", exploring the events that lead to the Rebellion obtaining the plans for the Death Star. From what I understand, it's going to focus on a small group of rebels played by the likes of Felicity Jones and Ben Mendelsohn. This movie has the potential to be a simple story with strong characters that we can connect to on their journey, but also furthering the story of "Star Wars" and keeping in touch with the classic vibe it has. Director Gareth Edwards is coming off of what is in my opinion an underrated "Godzilla" film, and now he's taking on "Star Wars" of all things. I can't imagine having to direct the spin-off film following "The Force Awakens", but I think Edwards can pull it off and give us what is hopefully another great "Star Wars" film.
Those are my 10 most anticipated movies of 2016. We have a lot of stuff coming out this year and I'm sure I missed out on other movies that others are looking forward to, but that's just a minor downside in what is otherwise a fun list to make. 2016 has a lot to live up to not just for its releases, but also as a follow up to a strong year such as 2015. Here's to 2016 so long as we can survive the January releases.