Books, Film & TV Sunday, January 10th Words by: Darrell James

The 50 films to see in 2016: part two

Books, Film & TV Sunday, January 10th

The 50 films to see in 2016: part two

From Katniss and Starlord teaming up for a love story set in space, to Tina Fey going to war and Dory getting lost again, 2016 has plenty of offerings to stave off the boredom. 

You've read part one, now come and tumble down the magical movie rabbit-hole for part two of Herefordshire Live’s 50 films to look out for in 2016.


Creed – 15 January

Few would have thought that a spin-off from an ever increasingly silly series of films would work. Even fewer would have said it would be talked about as a possible Oscar contender. Until they saw it. Leaving behind the caricature villains of the original franchise, Creed follows the story of Adonis Johnson (Michael. B Jordan) son of Apollo Creed, the late friend and former rival to Rocky Balbao. Now serving as the younger Creed’s trainer and mentor, Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) has to face a different challenge, as he fights to prevent his protégé from wasting his natural born talents. Both Johnson and Stallone are mesmerising, while up and coming director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) continues to be a name to look out for.


The Big Short – 22 January

After gifting the world with Sex Panther, a Spanish speaking, cheese-wheel-eating-dog and Ron Burgundy, director Adam McKay tries his hand at a more serious look at the American recession of the mid-2000s, a subject he touched upon in the comedic farce The Other Guys. After predicting the financial collapse of the credit and housing market, four inhabitants from the world of high finance decide to take on the fat cats and expose them for their greed and lack of foresight. A strong cast includes Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and the increasingly brilliant Steve Carell.

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Trumbo – 5 February

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Everyone’s favourite meth dealer (Bryan Cranston) stars as the titular Trumbo, while director Jay Roach veers away from sexually frustrated spy romps and Ben Stiller vehicles into slightly more Coenesque territory. Time will tell if he can pull it off.

Bone Tomahawk – 19 February

This chilling horror/western hybrid follows a band of men as they set out into the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers. Fortunately for them, one of the group is Kurt Russell, sporting a beard so masculine that it would make even the most cannibalistic of cave dwellers quiver in his flesh made boots. Word of warning when watching this one – go armed with a pillow, you may need to divert your eyes on a few occasions.


The Witch – 19 February

With his first feature, writer/director Robert Egger delivers this revelation from the Sundance Film Festival. A horror that focuses on what isn’t there rather than what is, we follow a Puritan family torn apart by the disappearance of their infant child following a game of peek-a-boo, and a revelation that black magic may be involved. What follows is a slow-burning descent into hell, as their religious beliefs threaten to consume them.

tina fey Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – 4 March

A war comedy starring Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton and directed by Glen Ficarra and John Requa, (Crazy, Stupid, Love) set in Afghanistan and chronicling the story of a female war correspondent in a testosterone dominant industry, as she embarks upon an existential journey of self-discovery all set in a country where the female gender are barely allowed to be seen? What’s more to be said other than yes, please and thank you. Note the naughty abbreviation in the title – what the fudge indeed.


Captain America: Civil War – 29 April

Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man. After surprising everyone in 2014 by seamlessly moving from comedy TV (Community) into mainstream cinema with the solid, 70’s conspiracy thriller inspired Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Russo brothers return – this time to put a huge dent in the Avengers by pitting Chris Evans all American boy against Robert Downey Jr’s snarky, PTSD suffering, billionaire, before bringing them back together again in a few years, for the two part Avengers: Infinity War.

The Secret Life of Pets – 24 June

Ever wondered what the critters get up to when we left the house? We’ll soon find out as this animated delight shows us what takes place inside a Manhattan apartment building during a working day. Max's life as the favourite pet is turned upside down with the arrival of Duke, a sloppy mongrel. However they have to put their quarrels behind them when they discover that an adorable little bunny named Snowball is plotting revenge on all happy pets and their owners, with his own army of abandoned animals. Which just goes to prove a point... never trust a rabbit.


Star Trek Beyond – 22 July

With previous director J.J. Abrams opting out of this threequel to direct that other Star-based escapade (fool, as if that was ever going to take off), Fast & Furious stalwart Justin Lin takes over proceedings, while Scotty himself Simon Pegg gets a writing credit. Not much is known about the plot at this moment in time, although my hunch tells me this one will be set in space. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) return, this time facing off against Idris Elba’s villainous Krall.

Finding Dory – 29 July

After helping to re-unite the adorable Nemo with his dad back in 2003, anterograde amnesiac suffering Dory has what she believes to be the inklings of a past memory, and subsequently sets out on a daring mission to find her family. Pixar bring back some of the voices actors from the original cast, and in a stroke of genius reunite Idris Elba and his The Wire alumni Dominic West. Whether Dory will find her home or not, one thing is certain…she’ll just keep swimming.

girl on the train hd izle film

The Girl on the Train – 7 October

This mystery thriller stars Emily Blunt as the eponymous rider of public transport. On a trip to London, Rachel (Blunt) witnesses the “perfect” couple. However, things may not seem exactly as they appear, and Rachel is embroiled in a disturbing murder mystery. Co-starring Mission Impossible 5 scene stealer Rebecca Ferguson and from the novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins, this may be the one time that you wish you’d have stood in line for the bus.

The Accountant – 4 November

Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick head up director Gavin O’Connor’s story of a forensic accountant who specialises in ‘un-cooking’ the books for illicit clients. Personally I’m a big fan of O’Connor’s Tom Hardy/Joel Edgerton 2011 flick Warrior, and with soon to be Frank ‘the Punisher’ Castle amongst the cast (Jon Bernthal), and providing Batflecks take on Bruce Wayne doesn’t dent his career a la The Daredevil and send him spiralling back into a world of Gigli and JLo music vids, this should be one to look forward to.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk - 11 November

Director Ang Lee’s war comedy tells the tale of an infantryman who recounts the final hours before he returns to Iraq. With an excellent cast (Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin and Tim Blake Nelson) performing from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), this could do big business come the 2017 awards season.

Passengers – 23 December

Hollywood’s hottest duo Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence take centre stage in this thoughtful sci-fi adventure, as a spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant planet has a malfunction with one of its sleep pods. A single passenger (Pratt) is awakened 60 years early and faced with the prospect of growing old alone, decides to wake a second passenger (Lawrence).

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John Wick 2 – TBC

In 2014 Keanu Reeves starred in the story of a former hitman who embarks on a mission of brutal revenge against Russian mafia after his puppy, a dying gift from his terminally ill wife, is killed in a raid on his home. The film was an instant cult classic, and easily one of the most entertaining in recent memory. Dog lovers across the world rejoice as John Wick returns later this year. No plot is known at this time, but expect a high body-count.

The Promise – TBC

Set during the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and taking place in Paris, The Promise follows a love triangle between brilliant medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac), the beautiful and sophisticated Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) and renowned American journalist Chris (Christian Bale). Director Terry George has been fairly quiet since his 2004 hit Hotel Rwanda, so this should see a return to former glory. Mainly because it stars Oscar Isaac. Everything should star Oscar Isaac.

Mile 22 – TBC

Mark Wahlberg (the Funky Bunch) and Iko Uwais (The Raid) team up for this story of a CIA field agent and an Indonesian police officer who work together to confront extreme political corruption. Under the watchful eye of director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor), this has the potential to be a hidden gem.

Nocturnal Animals – TBC

Fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford follows up his 2009 melodrama A Single Man with this adaptation, based on the novel Tony and Susan. When Susan’s (Amy Adams) ex-husband sends her a manuscript he has been working on, it forces her to re-evaluate her life. Co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer and the always excellent Michael Shannon (Man of Steel).

Collateral Beauty – TBC

Will Smith and Helen Mirren star in this drama which follows a New York ad salesman who, after a tragic event, embarks on a downward spiral. A change of direction from director David Frankel (Marley and Me, The Devil Wears Prada).

hacksaw ridge cast still

Hacksaw Ridge – TBC

This true story see’s WWII Army medic Desmond T. Doss becoming the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour, after he refuses to kill in the name of war. This stars one time Spider–Man Andrew Garfield in the lead role, and is directed by actor turned political correctness advocate Mel Gibson.

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The Neon Demon – TBC

Auteur film-maker Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive) focuses his neon drenched eye over the fashion industry in LA. In what is almost a riff on a classic Disney film, aspiring young model Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to the City of Angels in an attempt to make a name for herself in front of the lens. However, upon noticing her youth and vitality, a group of beauty-obsessed women will go to any lengths necessary to get what she has. If this avoids the over indulgent artistic whims Refn struggled to keep at bay for his last release, Only God Forgives, then this swerve into the horror genre should really get under your skin.

Free Fire – TBC

British writer/director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise) takes his vision across the pond with this Boston set crime drama. Two rival gangs meet in a secluded warehouse, which suddenly explodes into a violently brutal shootout, leaving the surviving members to fight for their own lives. In a major coup, Martin Scorsese has put his name to this as an executive producer. Plus, it’s always good to hear someone swear in a Boston accent. Fingers crossed The Departed’s Sergeant Dignam makes a time-travelling cameo.


Silence – TBC

Not much is known about this film of two 17th century Jesuit priests, who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity. However, one thing is certain. With Martin Scorsese directing and a diverse cast featuring Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Tadanobu Asano, this will be one of the first in line when the little golden statues are handed out.

Gold – TBC

An unlikely pair venture into the Indonesian jungle in search of gold. This marks Matthew McConaughey’s third attempt to search for the gilded treasure, following 2005’s Sahara and the 2008 critical smash (sarcasm alert) Fool’s Gold. Hopefully, in the hands of writer/director Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic), this latest attempt will bring him much bigger reward.

Story of Your Life – TBC

Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, fresh off the critically adored Sicario, returns with what appears to be a high concept sci-fi thriller. Reuniting “American Hustle” co-stars Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams, expect this one to have a lot more than initially meets the eye.

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