Our Most Anticipated Films of 2016

Hopefully you’ve had time to peruse our Best of 2015 rundowns (Part One and Part Two), but now that we’ve officially reached 2016 it’s time to present some of the film we’re most looking forward to seeing in the following twelve months. Rather than present an enormous list of upcoming releases (75 is probably a bit of a stretch at this point) here are ten choice selects handpicked by the CineVue team.

American Honey

British director Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights) returns to the fold next year with her first US film, the story of a teenager who falls into a life on the road. Star (Sasha Lane), a teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a travelling magazine sales crew who move across the Midwest. Finding her feet amongst a group of misfits, she soon gets sucked into their lifestyle of hard partying, law-bending and young love. Daniel Green

Bourne 5
Fans of the Bourne series disappointed by the jumbled mess that was The Bourne Legacy – rejoice! 2016 sees Matt Damon returns to action as the do-gooding, car-smashing, headache-suffering rogue agent. Thankfully Paul Greengrass is back behind the wheel after Tony Gilroy’s ill-fated writing/directorial combo last time out. Julia Stiles also returns as Nicky Parsons and is joined by Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel and Riz Ahmed for what should be a rollicking good summer release. Matthew Anderson

The Circle
James Ponsoldt has been quietly building a body of excellent work. In 2015 he finally got into the mainstream with the subtly neat dissection of literary fame in End of the Tour, where Jason Segal plays a shambling Dr. Johnson-like David Foster Wallace to Jesse Eisenberg’s Rolling Stone Boswell. Next year will see his star-studded adaptation of Dave Eggar’s bestseller, The Circle – a kind of ‘Brave New Google’ starring our own high-flying exports Emma Watson and John Boyega with seasoned veterans Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton. John Bleasdale

Hail, Caesar!
A new film from the Coen brothers is always a cause for celebration and the first trailer for their latest endeavour, Hail, Caesar! gives no reason to doubt them. A golden-age Hollywood caper in their inimitable trademark style. George Clooney seems to have returned to play a fourth Coens’ ‘fool’ as kidnapped screen idol Baird Whitlock, while a stellar cast including Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Frances McDormand and Jonah Hill scrabble around to find him. Expect lots of ins, lots of outs, lots of what-have-ious, and lots of laughs. Ben Nicholson

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
Werner Herzog has not one but two films due for release next year, but our interest predominantly lies with his documentary on humanity’s relationship with perhaps its most powerful creation: the internet. Due to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, little has been revealed other than a concise synopsis and title but we should be in very something very special indeed. DG

The Neon Demon
After the crowd-pleasing pulp of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn offered up the pulsating Only God Forgives that proved somewhat more difficult for many audiences to digest. Despite this, his particular brand of blood-soaked neon cool will surely warrant much excitement when it returns in 2016 with The Neon Demon. Elle Fanning (Maleficent) stars as an aspiring model whose arrival in L.A. sparks a horrific meditation on what Refn describes as “vicious beauty”. Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone and Keanu Reeves co-star. BN

Star Wars: Rogue One
As someone whose first ever film experience was February 1978 Star Wars, I had become heartily sick of seeing my nostalgia repackaged hyped to the hilt. The prequels and lunchbox ubiquity of the Galaxy Far, Far Away had just about stamped on any ember of love that remained but J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens somehow managed to breathe the whole thing back to life. And now the prospect of seeing the first ‘Anthology’ film Star Wars: Rogue One fills me with boyish excitement. To also liberate the universe from the endless Skywalker saga and make what promises to be essentially a war film prequel to A New Hope also promises a change in tone and a broadening of possibilities. That said the prospect of the cinematic year being carved between Marvel and Disney should perhaps make me feel the death grip of the Empire tightening. JB

Martin Scorsese follows up The Wolf of Wall Street with probable Cannes competition offering Silence, based on the novel by Japanese writer Shusaku Endo. In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson) face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. Think Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men meets The Last Samurai – but more the former than the latter in terms of quality. DG

As teaser trailers go, a brief run down of Edward Snowden’s work highlights against the backdrop of a distressed Star Spangled Banner doesn’t reveal much. Needless to say, however, that a biopic of the CIA whistleblower – now one of the US of A’s Most Wanted – is sure to make tsunami-sized waves. The capable hands of master conspiracy spinner Oliver Stone, combined with the talents of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, make for essential viewing. The powers that be Stateside have yet to approve the film’s release there but it will hit UK cinemas on 12 May. MA

Three on the Road
The prolific Johnnie To has been on the festival circuit in each of the last few years with finance musical Office appearing to rave reviews at the London Film Festival and the barmy rom-com Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 doing the rounds 12 months earlier. In 2016 he is due to be back to his most famous genre, with crime thriller Three on the Road being mooted for the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Cops, goons, and a risky ploy to take down a Hong Kong gang should make for typically compulsive viewing. BN