11 Must-See Movies For The Rest Of 2016

Benedict Cumberbatch's sorcery, Jennifer Lawrence's space romance, and more.


1. Ghostbusters

Despite the sexist backlash it's suffered from a few so-called fans who can't contemplate the idea of four women fronting a movie, Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot has everything going for it. Set 30 years on from the original, Ghostbusters stars stablished leading ladies Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig alongside Saturday Night Live standouts Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, and sees the quartet battling a brand new ghost invasion in Manhattan.


2. The Neon Demon

One of the most controversial contenders at this year's Cannes Film Festival, this is the latest lurid offering from Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. Elle Fanning stars as a fresh-faced aspiring model who moves to LA and is gradually devoured – literally and figuratively – by the industry. Using cannibalism as a metaphor for the fashion industry's obsession with youth and beauty, this unique horror won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it sure is intriguing.


3. Suicide Squad

Okay, so it hasn't been a great year so far for the DC Warner Bros movie universe. Batman v Superman was a disappointment to fans and critics alike, and looked all the worse in comparison with what might be the best Marvel movie to date, Captain America: Civil War.

But Suicide Squad could be a game-changer, following several convicted supervillains as they take on dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. The ensemble of baddies features Jared Leto as a brand-new Joker, Margot Robbie as his deranged accomplice Harley Quinn and Will Smith as the antihero assassin Deadshot, to name a few.

4. The Founder

The McDonalds biopic you never knew you needed could end up as a frontrunner in next year's awards season. Chronicling the fast food empire's humble beginnings in Southern California and its stratospheric rise throughout the 1960s, The Founder stars Michael Keaton as salesman Ray Kroc, who gradually took over the company after meeting the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch).

5. Snowden

As soon as the story of Edward Snowden's groundbreaking NSA leaks unfolded in 2013, you could pretty much hear the Hollywood adaptation being scripted. Sure enough, it took less than three years for this Oliver Stone-directed retelling to come together, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring as whistleblowing hacker Snowden.

Stone's track record is patchy when it comes to political biopics, and his last movie Savages was a critical and commercial disaster, so this could go either way. But given the subject matter and Stone's reputation, it's bound to be a controversial, divisive must-see no matter what.

6. Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford made a stellar directorial debut in 2009 with the striking, poignant A Single Man, and he's understandably taken his time to follow that act. Nocturnal Animals stars Amy Adams as a woman who becomes obsessively drawn into the world of a violent novel written by her ex-husband (Armie Hammer). With the lines between fiction and reality becoming increasingly blurred, this is shaping up to be a fascinating psychological thriller.


7. The Girl On The Train

Last year's bestseller becomes this year's blockbuster. Paula Hawkins' soapy page-turner The Girl on the Train was not the new Gone Girl – no matter what its press and marketing wanted you to believe – but it was a pacy, twist-filled thriller crying out for the Hollywood treatment.

With the action relocated from London to New York, Emily Blunt stars as a troubled woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she spies on during her commute, and is drawn into a violent mystery.

8. Doctor Strange

The Marvel Cinematic Universe just keeps going from strength to strength, and the cast they've assembled for Doctor Strange proves it. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Stephen Strange, an arrogant surgeon whose life is transformed after he suffers a career-ending injury, while the supporting players include Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.

Sure, the sorcery-centric story of Strange seems like a pretty huge diversion from Marvel's usual tone – but so did Guardians of the Galaxy, and look how well that turned out.

9. Passengers

Jennifer Lawrence. Chris Pratt. Space romance. We're kind of already sold. Midway through a spaceship's 120-year voyage to a distinct colony planet, two hibernation pods malfunction, causing two of its passengers to wake up 90 years ahead of schedule. Stranded in space with only each other for company, the pair – a mechanic and a writer – form a bond.

10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2016 is a great year to be a Harry Potter fan. After nine years of nothing, we're getting not one but two brand new Potter stories – one of them a sequel, the West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the other a prequel, the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Unlike the previous eight Potter movies, this one is written by JK Rowling herself, and takes place about 70 years prior to Harry's story. Named after a textbook read by Harry and his friends at Hogwarts, Fantastic Beasts follows the adventures of eccentric wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he travels the world documenting more than 85 magical species.

11. La La Land

Two years after his near-flawless jazz drama Whiplash snowballed from Sundance darling into Oscar contender, writer-director Damien Chazelle is back with a very different kind of music movie. A jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling falls for an aspiring actress played by Emma Stone, in what's shaping up to be a contemporary spin on an old-school Hollywood usical – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are the inspiration for Gosling and Stone's duo.

By Emma Dibdin

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