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19 Must-See Movies Still To Come In 2016

With nearly 3 1/2 months remaining in 2016, and now that the summer movie season is wrapping up, that there likely isn’t going to be but a few films still to be released worth seeing in the theater. Typically, October has never been a huge month for releases, save when the Saw franchise was pumping films out annually near Halloween time. The holiday season, from around Thanksgiving through Christmas, generally has two, perhaps three, movies certain to appeal to many.

So what’s in store for the remaining months of 2016 to get you in the theaters? PopCultHQ brings you the releases, dates, synopsis, and trailers for films debuting worth picking up some popcorn at the refreshment stand. So, as the song goes, “Let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby to get ourselves a treat!


September 16

blair-witchBlair Witch

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

This sequel to The Blair Witch Project, the third in the series, picks up where the last two Blair Witch films left off: In Burkittsville, Maryland woods where three filmmakers disappeared 20 years ago. Director Adam Wingard stated that, while the first film is about being lost in the woods, this film is about being chased.


September 16

snowdenSnowden

Snowden reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

This film may not be for everybody, but it will certainly be intriguing and an eye-opener into the power of government. The film is based on “Time of the Octopus,” a novel written by Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, and Luke Harding’s “The Snowden Files, The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man.” Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone is at the helm, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a fantastic job capturing Edward Snowden, and other stars involved include Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage and Rhys Ifans.


September 23

magnificent-sevenThe Magnificent Seven

With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

This remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Seven Samurai, looks impressive and something different than your average fall/winter film fare (and that’s a good thing). Will it be another Tombstone, Unforgiven or No Country for Old Men? Perhaps not. But with a strong narrative, a different kind of action/adventure film, and some great actors associated with the film, this looks to be at the very least entertaining and worth the price of admission.


October 14

accountantThe Accountant

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

This thriller has a great concept and its stars have never been hotter. With Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and Jon Bernthal tied to the project, that alone should translate into box office dollars.


October 21

jack-reacherJack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher heads back to his old military base in Virginia to take a woman to dinner who is now the commanding officer. By the time he gets there, she has been arrested, and Reacher finds himself being charged with pummeling one guy and fathering a child with a woman. He can’t remember either transgression but gets to the bottom of it with cunning and sometimes brute force.

Sequel to the 2012 film Jack Reacher, and based on the novel by Lee Childs of the same name which is the 18th book in the series, Tom Cruise’s second outing as the titular character could help him maintain his place in Hollywood. Sure there have been a few unsuccessful Cruise films recently, but this movie has the potential to reassure fans’ faith in the hit celeb’s big screen performance. Plus, having Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill from The Avengers) and Robert Knepper (T-Bag from Prison Break) along for the ride should make for a unique lineup.


October 21

booTyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween

In Boo! A Madea Halloween, Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a hilarious, haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls, and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.

Though it’s been three years since the last Madea film the film’s origins date back some time. Tyler Perry and Chris Rock conspired to include a fictitious Madea Halloween movie in Rock’s film Top Five. In that movie, Rock’s character enters a movie theater and sees movie goers lined up for a fictional Tyler Perry movie about Madea fighting ghosts in a haunted house. That movie was also called “Boo!” Lionsgate then approached Perry and suggested that they make the movie for real.


October 21

ouijaOuija: Origin of Evil

In 1967 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their seance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by a merciless spirit, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

This sequel to 2014’s sleeper hit that opened to No. 1 at the box office is the first of two October scare films this month. Given the time of year, and how horror films are generally synonymous with Halloween, this looks to be the right flick to give the chills this fall.


October 28

ringsRings

A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…

Another horror sequel, Rings features Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights) and is the second film this season for Vincent D’Onofrio (The Magnificent Seven).


October 28

infernoInferno

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon tries to stop a global genocide scheme by following clues in Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” which take him to Florence and Venice, Italy. He battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science.

Author Dan Brown’s books featuring symbologist Robert Langdon, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the series, comes back to the big screen with Ron Howard again directing (both were involved in the previous two films). The Da Vinci Code took in $758 million worldwide in 2006, while Angels & Demons earned $485 million globally in 2009. Though the third novel, The Lost Symbol, had been planned as the third in the series, director Howard backed out and the film is still on the shelf. This movie, Dan Brown’s fourth in the Langdon series, will likely continue its success as it adds a different kind of thriller/suspense/action film then your typical fare. Plus Howard + Hanks = Box Office $$$. Definitely worth seeing this fall.


November 4

doctor-strangeDoctor Strange

Dr. Strange was a self-centered New York surgeon robbed of his touch after a car accident. After a stint as a wandering derelict, he encounters a healer in the Himalayas and learns to tap into psychic powers to battle wrongdoers.

Doctor Strange, the latest film in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is packed with big name actors, remarkable special effects, and another film which will continue to tie-in all of the Marvel films to-date (and beyond). This movie does bring in a new dynamic to its universe and that’s the ancient art of mysticism. Marvel chief Kevin Feige gives some insight into the character, his importance in the MCU, and how this mystical aspect will play out: “Doctor Stephen Strange, brilliant neurosurgeon, bit of an arrogant fellow who gets in a car accident and ruins what he thinks are the tools of his trade: his hands. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the supernatural, that involves everything from quantum mechanics to string theory. The idea of this film is to open up a whole new corner of the cinematic universe. We want to enter, through Strange, the world of parallel dimensions.”

Though not listed in the credits at IMDB.com, it will be interesting to see how Doctor Strange attempts to tie-in to the MCU. Here’s to hoping that Elizabeth Olsen reprises her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War) but serving as an apprentice under Stephen Strange, which would fall in line with the comics.


November 4

trollsTrolls

This hilarious film transports audiences to a colorful, wondrous world populated by the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant dance in their step and a song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomachs.

After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious curmudgeonly Branch (Timberlake) set off on a journey to rescue her friends. Together, this mismatched duo embark on a rescue mission full of adventure and mishaps – trying to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done.

The voice talent in this all-ages film are spectacular: Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Kunal Nayyar, Russell Brand, John Cleese, Christine Baranski, Gwen Stefani (and more). Definitely going to be a fun one in which to take the kids.


November 11

arrivalArrival

When mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker usher in a sci-fi flick where alien craft have landed throughout Earth. It’s up to Adams character to establish communication with the “visitors.”


November 18

fantastic-beastsFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Get your Muggle money ready! This is the first installment of the new Harry Potter spinoff franchise, which is being planned as a trilogy, and is based on J.K. Rowling’s book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which was inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook. This spinoff from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) will be directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter feature films. If this doesn’t take in a Hogwart’s trainload of Galleons, it’d be surprising.


November 23

bad-santa-2Bad Santa 2

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is ‘the kid’ – chubby and cheery Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity.

Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Kathy Bates, as Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke. A super butch super bitch, Sunny raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior. Willie is further burdened by lusting after the curvaceous and prim Diane, played by Christina Hendricks, the charity director with a heart of gold and libido of steel.

If you’ve seen Bad Santa, then this film is looooong overdue. Lauren Graham could not reprise her role as Sue, due to her commitment to the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix, so in comes Christina Hendricks (a welcome addition). Plus Kathy Bates looks to garner big laughs for her role as Willie’s mother.

*** PLEASE NOTE: NSFW!!! ***


November 23

moanaMoana

In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.

Another great flick to take the kiddos, this one featuring the voices of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk. This new musical picture is the first Polynesian-themed Disney animated feature film since Lilo & Stitch (2002). Given the holiday spirit your young’uns are likely to possess, this will keep them captivated for a good hour-and-a-half.


December 2

la-la-landLa La Land

Tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

Okay, we had to throw a “Date Night” film in here, right? Nuff said!


December 16

rogue-oneRogue One: A Star Wars Story

Following the formation of the Galactic Empire, a rogue band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans.

I think most people knew this film was eventually going to surface. The best way you could possibly hear about this film is from Lucasfilm producer Kathleen Kennedy herself…

Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for Rogue One.

So yeah. And because it’s Star Wars.


December 21

assassins-creedAssassin’s Creed

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

Based on the popular video game of the same name, Michael Fassbender takes on a new role as an assassin. He was attracted to the project because he wanted to do a fantasy film that was rooted in science, and also thought the idea of Templars vs. Assassins was intriguing. Expect a great performance as Fassbender likely has done his homework to perfect the character.


December 21

singSing

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.

The final entry for the entire family, Sing will be visually appealing for the kids and keep them laughing. Adults will be entertained as the film does include some references “grown-ups” would only get.

Jason Bennett
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's senior editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. He is a big lover of coffee, cats, cooking and comics (plus all things Green Lantern). He is a strong supporter of indie comics, creators, and publishers and Chris Hardwick is his spirit animal (we don't know how to respond to that). Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett
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