We’ve just been bombarded by the usual glut of christmas films to keep us entertained into the New Year.
But what now? What have we got to look forward to now 2016 has landed?
Well, only this little lot.
Directed by Morten Tyldum, who won critical acclaim for 2014’s The Imitation Game, Passengers is a futuristic drama set in deep space. It tells the story of a spacecraft travelling transporting thousands of people to a distant colony planet. During the trip a single passenger – played by Chris Pratt – is woken up 60 years early. Faced with the prospect spending the rest of his life alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger – Jennifer Lawrence. With a cast that also boasts Laurence Fishburne and the always excellent Michael Sheen playing Arthur, the robot traveling along with Pratt’s and Lawrence’s characters all the pieces are in place for this to be a feature-length Red Dwarf, but serious.
After a preliminary screening, The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, not only received a standing ovation but also caused a wave of controversy due to its brutal nature. The harrowing epic directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) is loosely based on the real-life survival tale of fur trapper Hugh Glass (c. 1780–1833) and is packed full of bloody entrails, shattered bones, grisly hand-to-hand violence and a savage grizzly bear attack. During the challenging shoot – in which DiCaprio allegedly slept inside an animal carcass and ate raw bison to get into character – tensions between crew members ran high with a number quitting the set. However this has just increased interest and with a UK release set for January 15 we fully expect it to be a serious Oscar contender in several major categories.
Due for release in April, this Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts-fronted drama is another hotly anticipated one having been chosen to open the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers’ Club), Gyllenhaal plays Davis Mitchell, an investment banker who struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. His mental and emotional health then spiral into terminal decline, however his character forms an unlikely connection with a customer service rep and single mother, played by Watts, and with her help he starts to build his new life, but not before the demolition of his old one.
No, it’s not a gruelling three-hour documentary about Wales’ highest mountain. It is in fact one of the most eagerly awaited releases of the next 12 months. Directed by the legendary Oliver Stone, the man responsible for classics like Scarface, Platoon and JFK, this will be the first narrative feature to tackle the controversial figure of Edward Snowden – the former CIA employee considered a traitor by some and a hero by many. The Snowden documentary Citizenfour won this year’s Best Documentary Oscar and with Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to take on another challenging role, all the omens are pointing to this being another great one for 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
This could be one of the most significant Marvel releases we’ve seen. Due to hit screens on May 6, this one sets in motion the events that lead to Avengers: Infinity War. As if that wasn’t enough we’re also likely to meet Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and the new Spider-Man for the first time. But when a film sees Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark go up against each other you just know it’s going to worth the ticket price.
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist
Looks like there could be a few decent horrors out this year, although a Friday 13th remake doesn’t look good. However, what does look frighteningly interesting is the next instalment of The Conjuring. With both director James Wan and the original writing team of Chad and Carey Hayes on board as well as the return of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga to their lead roles this one will once again be loosely based on a true story. This time the events unfold in the London suburb of Enfield and for an insight into what to expect it is well worth checking out the 2015 Sky mini-series The Enfield Haunting.