Wednesday, January 6, 2016


For better or worse (hopefully better), here are the fifteen movies I’m most excited about this year…

1. Captain America: Civil War
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Chadwick Boseman, Frank Grillo and William Hurt
Directed By: Joe Russo
Story: Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

2. Hail, Caesar! (2/5)
George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes
Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Story: Tells the comedic tale of Eddie Mannix, a fixer who worked for the Hollywood studios in the 1950s. The story finds him at work when a star mysteriously disappears in the middle of filming.

3. The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling and Kim Basinger
Directed By: Shane Black
Story: The Nice Guys takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Forrest Whitaker and Diego Luna
Directed By: Gareth Edwards
Following the formation of the Galactic Empire, a rogue band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans.

5. Bourne 5
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Alicia Vikander and Tommy lee Jones
Directed By: Paul Greengrass
Story: Plot details are unknown at this time, though sources say Vincent Cassel will play an assassin tracking Bourne.

6. Everybody Wants Some
Ryan Guzman, Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin and Wyatt Russell
Directed By: Richard Linklater
Story: The movie centers on freshmen who work their way through the first year of college life as they try to make the baseball team.

7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane and Gal Gadot
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Story: The greatest Super Heroes in the world - Superman and Batman face off.

8. Midnight Special
Michael Shannon, Jaeden Lieberher, Adam Driver and Joel Edgerton
Directed By: Jeff Nichols
Story: A father goes on the run to protect his young son and to uncover the truth behind the boy’s special powers.  What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever, in this genre–defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human.

9. Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds
Directed By: Tim Miller
Story: Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

10. Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith and Jai Courtney
Directed By:
David Ayer
A mix of well-known and unknown villains (Deadshot, King Shark, Captain Boomerang and Harley Quinn) are recruited by the government to accomplish a task deemed too dangerous for superheroes. The historically independent operators must bury their own interpersonal conflicts and agendas to form a cohesive unit to take on a singular task.

11. Passengers
Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Lawrence Fishburne and Michael Sheen
Directed By: Morten Tyldum
Set on a spacecraft in the future, with thousands of passengers making an interstellar voyage to a distant new planet. One passenger awakens from cryogenic sleep 90 years before anyone else and decides to wake up a female passenger, sparking the beginning of a love story.

12. Ghostbusters (7/15)
Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth
Directed By: Paul Feig
Story: Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Bergman (McCarthy) are a pair of unheralded authors who write a book positing that ghosts are real. A few years later, Gilbert lands a prestigious teaching position at Columbia University, but her book resurfaces and she is laughed out of academia. Gilbert reunites with Bergman and others when ghosts invade Manhattan and try to save the world.

13. Triple 9
Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Anthony Mackie and Aaron Paul
Directed By: John Hillcoat
Story: In TRIPLE 9, a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.

14. Kubo and the Two Strings (8/19)
Starring the Voices of:
Art Parkinson, George Takei, Brenda Vaccaro, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes and Rooney Mara
Directed By: Travis Knight
Clever, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town – but his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, he sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known.

15. The Founder
Michael Keaton and Laura Dern
Directed By: John Lee Hancock
The story will focus on how Ray Kroc — a milkshake dispensers salesman turned McDonald’s into a global fast food empire. Kroc began working for the McDonald brothers in 1954 at the age of 51 as a franchising agent and bought the chain for $2.7 million in 1961.

…and a special shout out to a good friend of mine who wrote:

Midnight Sun (10/19)
Starring: Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Rob Riggle
Story: Katie, a 17-year-old sheltered since childhood, is confined to her house during the day by a rare disease that makes even the smallest amount of sunlight deadly. Fate intervenes when she meets Charlie and they embark on a summer romance.

Much success to you in Tinsel Town, my friend!

Upcoming titles that were considered for this list include: The Magnificent Seven (Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt), Finding Dory (Pixar), Deepwater Horizon (Mark Wahlberg), Moana (Disney), X-Men: Apocalypse (Jennifer Lawrence), The BFG (directed by Steve Spielberg), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Tom Cruise), Star Trek Beyond (Chris Pine), Collide (Nicholas Hoult), La La Land (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling), A Bigger Splash (Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton), Central Intelligence (Dwayne Johnson), The Lobster (Colin Farrell), The Jungle Book (Bill Murray), Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Independence Day: Resurgence (Jeff Goldblum)…

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