58 Films to watch in 2016: Part 2

18 Jan 2016 BY Joe Ursell

6 mins
Finding Dory
Finding Dory

With so many great films out this year, we wanted to take a closer look at the upcoming releases including Steven Spielberg's The BFG, and Pixar's latest animation Finding Dory.

We've already brought you the films from January to June, and now here's our film programming team's guide to the film releases from July to December.


Tale of Tales is a critically acclaimed fantasy horror film from Italy centred around a circus family, creating a dark, fresh and magical new take on traditional fables. Harry Potter director David Yates returns with the latest big screen version of Tarzan, a spectacular looking, lavish take on the well-known story. Whiplash director Damien Chazelle follows up his Oscar-winning success with La La Land, a musical drama about a jazz pianist falling in love with an aspiring actress, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. While Thomas Vinterberg returns to his native Denmark, following up Far From the Madding Crowd with The Commune, a drama exploring issues around tolerance, solidarity and personal desire. 

Captain Fantastic sounds like a comic book, but it's actually a sensitive drama about a father attempting to raise and educate his six children himself, until he is forced to introduce them to the outside world. Finding Dory sees the folks at Pixar back exploring the world under the sea, this time focussing on the forgetful blue-tang as she attempts to search for her family. On the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth, Steven Spielberg brings The BFG back to the big-screen. The combination of two masters of family entertainment is massively exciting and we cannot wait to see how Spielberg interprets the much-loved story. Fans of the Ice Age, Star Trek and Bourne franchises will be rushing out to see the latest instalments in their respective stories, and the Ghostbusters get an all-female reboot in what promises to be one of the most talked-about films of the year.


The original 1977 version of Pete's Dragon has long been an Into Film favourite, so we can't wait to see what the new live-action version will be like. Another classic film getting a remake this year is Ben-Hur, a biblical epic with the small task of following up an original that won 11 Oscars! One of the most admired directors working today, Pedro Almodvar returns with Julieta, a story of one woman told during two periods of her life, in 1985 and 2015. Little else is known about the film but audiences will be hoping for something as sublimely beautiful as films like All About My Mother and Volver.


Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke are among the actors lining up for the remake of classic western The Magnificent Seven (itself a remake of Japanese masterpiece Seven Samurai). Meanwhile, the geniuses at Laika Studios who previously brought us Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls are back with Kubo and the Two Strings, a story about a young boy caring for his mother in ancient Japan.


The latest Marvel character to get their own movie is Doctor Strange. With an impressive cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton, we're hoping this entry offers up something fresh and original. Trolls is an animated film from Dreamworks set in the world of the famous Danish dolls with furry hair, while Storks is another animation from the makers of The Lego Movie with an intriguing story involving the long-necked birds, new-born babies and global internet companies! For slightly older audiences A Monster Calls is an adaptation of the fantasy novel about a boy seeking the help of a tree monster to cope with his mother's illness.


Two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee returns with Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk about an army infantryman recounting the final hours before his return from a tour of duty in Iraq. However, lots of talk is bound to focus on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first in a trilogy of Harry Potter spin-offs, with a dazzling cast, led by Into Film ambassador Eddie Redmayne. Eddie plays Newt Scamander, a writer in a secret community of wizards and witches in 1920s New York. We can't wait!


The Christmas period is stacked with high-profile new releases, led by another spin-off, Star Wars: Rogue One. The story is shrouded in secrecy, but we do know that it deals with events leading up to the beginning of the first Star Wars film and a mission to steal plans to the original Death Star. There is more sci-fi with Passengers, featuring the dream team casting of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, while Michael Fassbender, Marion Cottilard and director Justin Kurzel reunite following last year's visceral Macbeth for computer game adaptation Assassin's Creed. Legendary director Tim Burton returns with Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiars a fantasy film based on the hugely popular young adult story. Finally, Son of Rambow's Gareth Jennings turns to animation with musical comedy Sing, featuring Taron Egerton and Matthew McConaughey and Disney will be hoping for another Frozen sized hit with Moana, about a young girl growing up in the South Pacific searching for a mysterious island.

Other Films

There are loads more films we're excited about which don't even have confirmed release dates yet. They include A United Kingdom, Amma Asante's follow-up to Belle, starring David Oyelowo; A Storm in the Stars about the romance between Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft which led her to write Frankenstein; and Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship from cult director Whit Stillman. Andrea Arnold one of the most distinctive British filmmakers working today makes her American debut with teen drama American Honey while fellow Brit Asif Kapadia returns to fiction film following Senna and Amy with Ali and Nino. Werner Herzog examines the all-consuming power of the internet in Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World and issues around online security are also explored in documentary Zero Day. British auteur Ken Loach returns with I, Daniel Blake, about a man striking up a friendship with a single mother and her two young children, and Martin Scorsese brings his passion project to the screen after years of trying to get it made: Silence is a historical drama about two Jesuit priests travelling to Japan to spread the teachings of Christianity and stars Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson. So much to look forward to!

Portrait picture of Joe Ursell

Joe Ursell, Film Curator

Joe has a BA in Film & American Studies from the University of East Anglia and an MA in Contemporary Cinema Cultures from King's College London. He has worked with the BFI London Film Festival and on the production of ITV documentary 56 Up.

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