While there are still a ton of great movies coming in 2015, we’re always a fan of looking ahead to next year. What can we say — we’re obsessed with our futures! The list of upcoming movies of 2016 is absolutely stacked with great films, and next year is looking like it’s going to be one of the best years for movies in quite some time. Although we have quite a few superhero movies on this list of the must-see movies of 2016, there are also great action films, animated movies, comedies, Sci-Fi and dramas as well.
Of course, there are some likely duds we’re probably just going to skip, too (like The Nut Job 2 and Project XX). But for the most part, the 2016 movie release calendar is stacked with what appear to be probable great movies.
It’s probably worth briefly pointing out that no, we haven’t seen these movies yet, but for one reason or another, these are our most anticipated movies of 2016. These movies offer up the most potential for box office success next year.
So without further ado, here are the top 25 best movies of 2016:
See Also: New Horror Movies 2019
1. The Hateful Eight
Release Date: January 8, 2016
Starring: Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell
The Hateful Eight is a western which was originally canceled last year due to a script leak, but Quentin Tarantino changed his mind and is set to release the movie early next year. The film will follow a group of bounty hunters who get caught in a blizzard and are searching for shelter when they get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. They’re forced to fight for survival after meeting four strangers at a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. Things will likely get bloody.
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano
We’ve all been desperately waiting for a Deadpool movie, and after years of push-backs, maybes and limbo, we’re finally getting a Deadpool movie. Of course, we already know that Deadpool can’t die, so we can pretty much guess how the ending is going to turn out. Still, it will be a foul-mouthed, over-the-top, no-holds-barred fun time at the theater, giving Wade Wilson his first feature-length film for Marvel.
3. The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1
Release Date: March 18, 2016
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Theo James
The Allegiant – Part 1 story will follow Beatrice Prior and Tobias Eaton in their venture into the outside world as they’re taken into protective custody by a mysterious agency known as the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. The series has been pure fun at theaters so far, and we’re expecting Allegiant – Part 1 to follow along that same path. Allegiant is just one of the 36 other upcoming sci-fi movies of 2016 & beyond.
4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Momoa
Batman has taken on Superman a few times in comic books, and they’ve always been interesting and believable bouts. Now, Ben Affleck will dawn the cowl to take on Cavill’s Superman while another threat emerges in the form of Lex Luthor. We’re still not convinced that Jesse Eisenberg can play a formidable Luthor, but we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice turns out to be a substantial enough offering when it releases next year.
5. The Jungle Book
Release Date: April 15, 2016
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken
The Jungle Book live-action movie also has a list of A-list actors, although they’ll only be voicing the animals in the film. Idris Elba will voice Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley will voice Bagheera, Bill Murray will voice Baloo, and Scarlet will voice Kaa. Add in a Christopher Walken-voiced King Louie, and we’re pretty sure that The Jungle Book live-action movie is going to be well-done.
6. Captain America: Civil War
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Holland
Captain America: Civil War is probably one of our top 5 most anticipated must-see movies of 2016. It’s going to follow a war between Iron Man and Captain America, and it’ll follow the theme set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where the “good” guys fight each other. Marvel’s first two Captain America movies were probably the studio’s best work to date, and this will likely be the best of their numerous upcoming movies.
7. X-Men: Apocalypse
Release Date: May 27, 2016
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Sophie Turner, Oscar Isaac, Olivia Munn, Michael Fassbender
We really shouldn’t even have to explain why we’re excited for X-Men: Apocalypse. We will anyway, though. There’s the A-list cast list, which adds X-Men noobies Sophie Turner (Sansa from Game of Thrones) as Jean Grey and Olivia Munn as Psylocke. Secondly, it’s directed by Bryan Singer, whose only truly flawed film was Superman Returns.
Release Date: June 10, 2016
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell, Paula Patton, Ben Foster
We’ve wasted years of our lives playing all things Warcraft, and it’s about time that the fans will get a Warcraft movie. The upcoming movie will feature Vikings star Travis Fimmel as famed Anduin Lothar, the last true descendant of the ancient Arathi bloodline and the supreme commander of the armies of the Alliance of Lordaeron during the Second War. The story will apparently portray the origin story of the initial battle between the Alliance and the Horde, and will feature many notable Warcraft characters such as Lothar, Medivh and Durotan. Anyone who knows their Warcraft lore should be excited about this film.
9. Finding Dory
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton
Finding Nemo is one of the most memorable animated movies to date, with poor little Nemo on a mission to escape the tank and his father swimming furiously to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Finding Dory is the sequel we’re all waiting for, and it will follow Dory’s journey to find her loved ones in the big blue. You can check out more upcoming animated movies here.
10. Independence Day: Resurgence
Release Date: June 24, 2016
Starring: Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum
Independence Day, the original, pretty much exemplified what a summer blockbuster movie should be, and although Independence Day: Resurgence won’t be in the film (although, a cameo is possible), we’re expecting it to follow the footing set by its predecessor. Expect big explosions, great sound design and cool special effects that are best taken in on the big screen.
11. Star Trek Beyond
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Starring: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba, Zachary Quinto
Star Trek Into Darkness was one of the most enjoyable Star Trek movies to date, and although J.J. Abrams has moved onto another galaxy far far away, we’re still expecting Star Trek Beyond to be just as formidable. Justin Lin will take the reigns, directing Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg and Idris Elba. The film has the potential to light it up at the box office in summer 2016.
12. The Secret Life of Pets
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart, Louis C.K.
Louis C.K. in an animated movie is the driving force for us calling The Secret Life of Pets a must-see movie. We’ve seen the initial teaser trailer already, and it has us believing that the upcoming movie is going to have some hilarious moments. If it weren’t for Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets would be our most anticipated upcoming animated movie in 2016.
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
The female-led Ghostbusters movie has been a hot topic of controversy among us nerds. Personally, we think it’s going to turn out to be a great movie with some truly funny moments (mostly led by Kristen Wiig). Director Paul Feig has put out impressive comedies before, including Bridesmaids and some of The Office episodes. He knows what he’s doing.
14. Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Katie McGrath, Jude Law
Charlie Hunnam dodge a serious bullet by deciding to not appear in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. His latest movie choice is Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur which will tell the famed story of the classic Sir Lancelot story. A young Arthur roams London freely until grabbing Excalibur, which will cause internal conflict as he tries to understand the magic weapon. The movie will follow Arthur’s plan to unite his people against dictator Vortigern, the man responsible for the murder of his parents to steal the crown. Expect swordfights, general badassery, and fantasy elements.
15. Suicide Squad
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Starring: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman
We were admittedly uninterested in Suicide Squad when it was originally announced — the concept seemed desperate for a reason to make another superhero movie. But now, we’re incredibly excited for the upcoming superhero movie after the cast shaped up nicely and the first trailer was released. We’re now fully expecting it to be a great summer 2016 movie.
16. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Wentworth Miller, Bingbing Li, Sienna Guillory
Milla Jovovich is finally ready to reprise her role as Alice in the final chapter of Resident Evil movies, properly titled Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. It will follow the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, with Project Alice forced to race against time as the Red Queen attempts to destroy all of humanity. The final film will give nods to some of the other great characters in the video game franchise, including Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, possibly meaning Jovovich is passing the movie torch onto the new characters.
17. Doctor Strange
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton
Benedict Cumberbatch will star in the Doctor Strange movie, which will be based on the comic book by Steve Ditko and Marvel. The film will follow Dr. Stephen Strange after his career is destroyed and he becomes a force against evil, thanks to a sorcerer who takes him under his wing. It’s also rumored that Rachel McAdams (True Detective) will take a leading role, although that has yet to be confirmed. While the market is currently flooded with Marvel movies, and will be even more so next year, Doctor Strange feels like it has the potential to be a different sort of superhero movie.
18. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Release Date: November 16, 2016
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards set seventy years before Harry Potter’s time. And, if Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie can capture even a hint of the magic that was the Harry Potter series, than we’re in for a real treat with this upcoming must see movie of 2016.
19. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Starring: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Claflin, Jonathan Aris
We’re just starting to get more details surrounding the upcoming Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One film. The first anthology movie will follow a plot by a group of Rebels to steal the plans for the Death Star. It’s being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters). It’s too early to have seen any footage of the movie just yet, but more Star Wars is always okay with us. See our list of all of the upcoming Star Wars movies here.
20. Assassin’s Creed
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Michael Kenneth Williams
We’re well aware just how typically awful video game movies usually are (with Pixels being the latest example), but Assassin’s Creed has all of the right ingredients for box office gold. The series has a serious following, and the Assassin’s Creed movie will follow Desmond Miles (the series’ most beloved character) as he’s tasked with exploring the mind of his ancestor, Altair Ibn La’Ahad. The Assassin’s Creed cast includes Michael Fassbender, Marion Cottilard and Michael Kenneth Williams. If the movie is successful, it’ll likely turn into a series.
Release Date: TBA 2016
Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are at the top of Hollywood’s list. Every director wants them in a movie, and every moviegoer wants to watch them on the screen. Now, add in a Sci-Fi backdrop and you’ve definitely got some magic. Passengers will follow a spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet with thousands of people aboard in sleep chambers. When a malfunction causes a single passenger to awaken 60 years early, he (Jim Preston as played by Chris Pratt) is faced with the probability that he’s going to grow old and die alone, unless he awakens a second passenger (Aurora as played by Jennifer Lawrence). We don’t have a Passengers release date just yet, or any promotional material for that matter, but we’re still anxiously awaiting more.
22. The Great Wall
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Starring: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe
The Great Wall will follow a mystery centered around the construction of the Great Wall of China. We don’t know much else about it just yet, aside from its impressive cast list. It’s possible that The Great Wall’s mystery might actually turn the film into a zombie movie, as Max Brooks is on the writing team and he wrote a short story about the Great Wall with zombies in it (Great Wall: A Story From the Zombie War). That’s what we’re hoping, anyway. We’re anxious to discover the mystery of The Great Wall in this must see movie of 2016.
23. The Lost City of Z
Release Date: TBA 2016
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson
The Lost City of Z is one of my personal favorite novels of all time. It follows the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett whom never returned from a venture into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization, Z. Everyone that has searched for the missing explorer since — over 100 adventurers — have disappeared. We’re not sure if the Lost City of Z movie is going to follow the journey of Percival Fawcett specifically or the attempt at his recovery, but either way, count us all in. Minus Pattinson (we could do without him).
24. The Big Short
Release Date: TBA 2016
Starring: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Karen Gillan, Ryan Gosling
The Big Short will be director Adam McKay’s first non-Will Ferrell big screen attempt. This time, he’ll direct Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Karen Gillan in a financial drama, based on the bestselling book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.
Release Date: TBA 2016
Starring: Kit Harington, Carice van Houten, Dakota Fanning
Kit Harington’s success outside of Game of Thrones has been a bit rocky, but Brimstone sounds like a good choice. Brimstone is an upcoming western movie starring Kit Harington, Guy Pearce, Carice van Houten, and Dakota Fanning and will follow the story of Liz (Fanning) who is accused of a crime she didn’t commit by a vengeful Reverend (Pearce), and has to fight for survival for her daughter. We love a good western, which is why Brimstone is on this list of the must see movies of 2016.