Top 20 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2016

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Top 20 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2016

neon demon banner

2015 was a pretty frakking stellar year for cinema. So much so I had to indulge in some numerical yoga with the Frakking Favourite 25 Films of 2015 list by adding 21 additional “Honorable Mentions”.

Breaking my usual ritual of obsessively researching the upcoming 12 month of cinema releases around New Years, it’s now the end of February and I’ve only just finished compiling the 2016 list. That means certain titles like THE REVENANT, HAIL CESEAR, TRIPLE-NINE and THE WITCH have already hit movie-houses and won’t feature. As of today there is officially 79 enticing films due to hit screens this year that made the short-list, here are the top 25!

Scratch that! Firstly, because I’m OCD in my studies, there were a few films from my Top 30 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2015 that for one reason or another were bumped. Let’s call them roll-overs, at least now it’s nearer release date I have trailers for them. So here are the rollovers followed by the Top 20 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2016.

2015 Roll-Overs:

 

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

Release Date: March 18th, 2016

Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER, SHOTGUN STORIES, MUD)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Adam Driver, Kristen Dunst, Sam Shepard

IMDB Synopsis: A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers.

 midnight special poster

I’ve been smitten to full blown in love with all Jeff Nichols works. Now his nod to 80’s sci-fi chase films even name checking Carpenter’s STARMAN as inspiration, has me saying “yellow light, speed up.”.

Watch the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL trailer

 

  1. HIGH-RISE

Release Date: April 28th, 2016

Director: Ben Wheatley (KILL LIST, DOWN TERRACE, SIGHTSEERS)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller

IMDB Synopsis: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

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Like Nichols, Ben Wheatley too has delivered repeatedly. Word is this adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s (CHILDREN OF MEN) dystopian sci-fi novel is worth catching the elevator to the penthouse to see.

Watch the HIGH-RISE trailer

 

  1. KNIGHT OF CUPS

Release Date: March 4th, 2016

Director: Terence Malick (BADLANDS, THE THIN RED LINE)

Starring: Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Elizabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Wes Bentley, Teresa Palmer, Freida Pinto, Isabel Lucas

IMDB Synopsis: Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.

Knight of Cups poster

New Terence Malick, that’s all some of us need.

Watch the KNIGHT OF CUPS trailer

  1. SEA OF TREES, The

Release Date: TBD

Director: Gus Van Sant (ELEPHANT, DRUGSTORE COWBOY, MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO)

Starring: Ken Watanabe, Matthew McCounaughey, Naomi Watts, Katie Aselton

IMDB Synopsis: A suicidal American befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out.

sea of trees poster

Slammed at Cannes, but the idea of going on an existential journey through Japan’s suicide forest with the man who gave us the internal crisis of ELEPHANT and GERRY has me eager to take a wander.

Watch the SEA OF TREES trailer

  1. ELLE

Release Date: TBD

Director: Paul Verhoeven (ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL, SOLDIER OF ORANGE, STARSHIP TROOPPERS, THE 4TH MAN)

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Christian Berkel, Anne Consigny

IMDB Synopsis: Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown …

elle film poster

The man may have slipped a few times but Verhoeven returned to his native tongue with BLACK BOOKS and proved he could still subvert, sleaze and sophisticate with his own cinematic flair. ELLE sees him return to the psycho-sexual sandbox and the temptation is irresistible for me.

Watch the ELLE trailer

 

  1. DEMOLITION

Release Date: April, 8th 2016

Director: Jean Marc-Vallee (DALLAS BYERS CLUB, C.R.A.Z.Y)

Starring: Jake Gylenhaal, Chris Cooper, Naomi Watts

IMDB Synopsis: A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash.

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Gylenhaal is on a roll at the moment and in the hands of an actor’s Director like Jean Mac-Vallee I expect another textured performance.

Watch the DEMOLITION trailer

2016 List

  1. NEON DEMON, The

Release Date: TBD 2016

Writer/Director: Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE, VALHALLA RISING, BRONSON)

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Jena Malone, Ell Fanning, Joel Edgerton

IMDB Synopsis: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

neon demon film still

Frakking spellbound by all Winding Refn’s work there is only one honest answer to the question of what film I’m most anticipating in 2016. That promises to shoot for the stars and even if it only makes it the moon will still be a colorful vision. At once throwing-back to cinema of the past and leaping-forward to represent current film zeitgeist.

 

  1. WAR ON EVERYONE

Release Date: TBD 2016

Writer/Director:  Martin McDonough (CALVARY, THE GUARD)

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Micheal Pena, Theo James

IMDB Synopsis: Two corrupt cops in New Mexico set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. Or is he?

 war on everyone film banner

CALVARY and THE GUARD are all I need to follow this McDonough brother on another drama filled charming sinners, philosophical musing and belly laughs.

 

  1. NICE GUYS, THE

Release Date: May 20th, 2016

Writer/Director: Shane Black (LETHAL WEAPON, KISS, KISS BANG BANG)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Kim Bassinger, Keith David

IMDB Synopsis: A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.

nice-guys-movie-poster

It’s been 11 years since iconic writer Shane Black wowed with his misadventures of a P.I. Directorial debut KISS KISS BANG BANG. Finally he’s put another slug in the barrel and early footage promises twisting plots as a charismatic buddy cop type duo exchange rat-tat banter while trying to stay alive and solve the mystery. That’s not a spoiler, that’s the log line for what Black does best.

Watch THE NICE GUYS trailer

 

  1. WAR MACHINE

Release Date: TBD 2016 (Netflix)

Writer/Director: David Michod (ANIMAL KINGDOM, THE ROVER)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Alan Ruck, Will Poulter, Keith Stanfield

IMDB Synopsis: A satire of America’s war with Afghanistan with a focus on the people running the campaign.

Potentially this year’s BEASTS OF NO NATION, as in another quality Netflix feature film production.  The talent behind WAR MACHINE is foreboding enough to make this war satire cut close to the bone.

 

  1. COLOSSAL

Release Date: TBD 2016

Writer/Director: Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES, ABC’ of DEATH)

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Dan Stevens, Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Sudeikis

IMDB Synopsis: A woman discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she’s suffering.

I frakking loved TIMECRIMES.  While some of the Directors other work hasn’t reached that same level of dark cerebral amusement COLOSSAL has the makings of psychological sci-fi entry worth remembering.

 

  1. COMMANCHERIA

Release Date: TBD 2016

Director:  David McKenzie (STARRED UP)

Writer Tyler Sheridan (SICARRIO)

Starring: Jeff Bridges Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Katy Mixon

IMDB Synopsis: A divorced dad and his ex-con brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s farm in West Texas.

Jeff Bridges doing a western probably is enough to get me to saddle up but when that cast, writer and Director are also listed ain’t no way I’m not riding out into that savage frontier.

 

  1. FREE-FIRE

Release Date: TBD 2016

Writer/Director: Ben Wheatley (KILL LIST, DOWN TERRACE, SIGHTSEERS)

Starring: Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, Sharlto Copley, Noah Taylor, Michael Smiley

IMDB synopsis: Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival

More Ben Wheatley and a killer cast.

 

  1. LOVING

Release Date: TBD 2016

Director:  Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER, SHOTGUN STORIES, MUD)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll, Joel Edgerton

IMDB Synopsis: Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married.

I think I made my Jeff Nichols love clear with MIDNIGHT SPECIAL I’ll add my Michael Shannon fandom.

 

  1. STORY OF YOUR LIFE

Release Date: TBD 2016

Director: Denis Villeneuve (SICARIO, PRISONERS)

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

IMDB Synopsis: 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.

Villeneuve has proven to be a thorough researcher and his knack for upping the intensity has me hoping for his CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND….

 

  1. SILENCE

Release Date: TBD 2016

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson

IMDB Synopsis: In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.

silence-film

It’s Pavlovian by now. We don’t even think about it. The synopsis doesn’t matter. We watch new Scorsese. It’s what we do, right?

 

  1. NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Release Date: TBD 2016

Writer/Director: Tom Ford (A SINGLE MAN)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Armie Hammer, Isla Fisher, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

IMDB Synopsis: A “story inside a story,” in which the first part follows a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. The second element follows the actual manuscript, called “Nocturnal Animals,” which revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. It also continues to follow the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself.

 

  1. WEIGHTLESS

Release Date: TBD 2016

Writer/Director: Terence Malick (A NEW WORLD, TREE OF LIFE)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, Benicio Del Toro, Rooney Mara, Val Kilmer, Clifton Collins Jr, Holly Hunter, Patti Smith,

IMDB Synopsis: Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.

 

  1. SNOWDEN

Release Date: May 13th, 2016

Director: Oliver Stone (NATURAL BORN KILLERS, PLATOON, WALL STREET)

Starring: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Nicolas Cage, Timothy Melissa Leo, Olyphant, Shailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans, Zachary Quinto, Scott Eastwood, Tom Wilkinson

IMDB Synopsis: SNOWDEN stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is written and directed by Oliver Stone. The script is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena.

 snowden film

  1. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME

Release Date: April 15th, 2016

Director: Richard Linklater (DAZED & CONFUSED, WAKING LIFE, BEFORE SUNRISE, A SCANNER DARKLY)

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Blake Jenner, Dora Madison

IMDB Synopsis: A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.

everybody wants some film

  1. HANDMAID, THE aka AGASSI

Release Date: March 18th, 2016

Director: Chan-Wook Park (OLDBOY, THIRST, STOKER)

Starring: Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo, Min-hee Kim

IMDB Synopsis: An heiress falls in love with a petty thief. A modernized Korean version of Sarah Waters’s novel, Fingersmith.

handmaid film

  1. PATERSON

Release Date: TBD 2016

Director: Jim Jaramusch (GHOST DOG, DEAD MAN, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE)

Starring: Adam Driver, Kara Hayward, Golshifteh Farahani

IMDB Synopsis: Set in the present in Paterson, New Jersey, this is a tale about a bus driver and poet.

paterson-driver-jarmusch

  1. HHhH

Release Date: TBD 2016

Director: Cedric Jimenez (THE CONNECTION)

Starring: Jack O Connell, Mia Wachowski, Rosamund Pike, Jason Clarke, Jack Reynor

IMDB Synopsis: 1942: The Third Reich is at its peak. The Czech resistance in London decides to plan the most ambitious military operation of WWII: Anthropoid. Two young recruits in their late twenties, Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, are sent to Prague to assassinate the most ruthless Nazi leader – Reich-protector Reinhard Heydrich, Head of the SS, the Gestapo, and the architect of the “Final Solution”

 

  1. HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING

Release Date: April 22nd, 2016

Director: Tom Twyker (RUN LOLA RUN, PRINCESS & THE WARRIOR)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Skerritt

IMDB Synopsis: A failed American businessman looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch.

a-hologram-for-the-king-tom-hanks

  1. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

Director: Chad Stahelski (JOHN WICK)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, Peter Stromare, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo

IMDB Synopsis: The continuing adventures of former hitman, John Wick.

John-Wick-2-Unofficial-Logo

  1. GREEN ROOM, The

Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier (BLUE RUIN)

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, Mark Webber

IMDB SynopsisA band straying into a secluded part of the Pacific Northwest, stumbles on to a horrific act of violence. Because they are the only witnesses, they become the targets of a terrifying gang of white power skinheads who want to make sure all the evidence is eliminated.

Watch THE GREEN ROOM TRAILER

 

RUNNERS UP:

WARREN BEATTY HOWARD HUGHES FILM

WOODS, The

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