11 films to be excited about in the first half of 2016

Now that The Force Awakens is well and truly embedded in our cinemas, it feels like we have finally come to the end of a period of one anticipated film after another. It was a record breaking year, too, with Jurassic World, Furious 7, Minions, Star Wars VII, Inside Out and the final Hunger Games working hard to break every record in the books. Exciting for film lovers – but expensive – and for some, exhausting (there’s only so many midnight screenings we can attend!)! But you shouldn’t rest too easily –  coming up in the first half of 2016 are a pile of films we should all be excited about. To help give you an idea of what you’re all in for, here are the eleven films we’re most looking forward tom in order of their release…

The Hateful Eight (21st January)


Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film looks set to have it all – and filmed as well as presented in the classic Ultra Panavision 70mm, it’s going to be a must see for cinefiles around the world. While the official release date is on the 21st, there will be special screenings – including ones with Quentin, Samuel L Jackson and Kurt Russell in attendance – from January 13th.

Zoolander 2 (11th February)

The cult favourite comedy Zoolander is finally getting the sequel it has long deserved (and promised). The original cast returns for this really, really, really good looking film, with Kristin Wiig, Benedict Cumberbatch and Penelope Cruz along for the ride.

Deadpool (11th February)

This looks hilarious and pretty damn violent – both keeping true to the original comics – and early indications are this is a film we should all be very excited about. Ryan Reynolds is returning to the role he made a splash in in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though expect a very different take on the role here. They’ll be making full use of the MA15+ rating, for starters…

Hail, Caesar! (25th February)

The Coen Brothers are back with the end of what is being dubbed the “Numskull Trilogy”. The fact the film is being released outside of Awards Contention period does have a bit worried, but given the run of great films the Brothers have dished up in recent years, we’re keeping the faith. If nothing else, it’s going to be a pretty fun ride…

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (24th March)


After the relative success of their last Superman film, DC comics is set to officially launch their DC Film Universe by bringing Batman and Superman together, as well as Wonder Woman. And Aquaman. And maybe The Flash. A maybe Barbara Gordon. The film could go either way to be honest,

Captain America: Civil War (28th April)

This may as well be Avengers 3 given how many Marvel Universe characters that are included in the film (even “Giant-Man” is in the mix…)! The film is set to launch the main run of storyline (“Phase Three” as they’re calling it) that will lead up to next Avengers film, Infinity War – set in two parts in 2018 and 2019 – the first feature film to be shot entirely in IMAX! Both the directors and screenwriters of Civil War will be taking over the Avengers films, with Joss Whedon having left the series.

The film will see its title – and storyline – derived from the popular Civil War storyline of the comics, which sees the Avengers pitted against each other – one group led by Captain America, the other by Iron Man. If you’re starting to feel a bit worn out by the franchise, you’re certainly not alone – Avengers 2 was a huge success, but fairly disappointing for some – but you know you’re going to see it all the same. And with a new storyline to shake things up, we should see an interesting Phase Three indeed…

X-Men: Apocalypse (19th May)

If you’re starting to notice a trend here, you’re not wrong. Thanks greatly to the success of The Dark Knight and Marvel Universe films in recent years, the amount of comic book films has skyrocketed. Thankfully, the quality has increased with it. Bigger budgets have meant better actors, better scripts and better directors. But in many ways, with X-Men: Apocalypse – as in 2014’s Days of Future Past – we’re going back to where it all began.

Brian Singer – who helmed 2000’s X-Men, whose success and quality helped bring in 15+ years of successful X-Men films, returns once again for the latest X-Men film (his fourth, after briefly toying in the Superman universe to a mixed response).

Finding Dory (16th June)

The third Pixar movie in 12 months will be the first in a long line of sequels over the next few years – from a new cars to a new Incredibles and Toy Story. Following the relative disappointment of The Good Dinosaur, we’re not getting ourselves too excited. But then again, it’s hard not to be. Watch the trailer, rekindle the memories and see how you fair yourself, as Marlon, Nemo and Dory embark on their next adventure. And you know this is going to look *beautiful* in 3D.

Independence Day 2: Resurgence (23rd June)


The BFG (30th June)

The Roald Dahl classic is getting the big screen live action treatment in what is Spielberg’s directorial debut for Disney. The kid in all of us is excited. And talk about nostalgia… The Force Awakens might have it, but Roald Dahl can do it just as well…

There may be no Bond, Jurassic, Minions or Hunger Games, but with a list like that, and a second half of the year that includes the likes of another Star Wars film, Star Trek Beyond, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, the new first in a Potter spin-off trilogy Fantastic Beasts, new entries into series including Ghostbusters, Bourne, Bridget Jones, Red Dog and more, 2016 is set to be another incredibly solid year for the film industry.

All release dates were correct at the time of printing but are subject to change. Check out our release dates page for the latest schedule.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.