The new year has arrived, and so we must rejoice (while stocking up for the oncoming Trump-ocalypse) and look forward to 2017 (Mark Hamill take plenty of vitamins). What we can do, is look at what is coming to a cinema near us (and also you), so let’s walk you through the films on the slate and what we think.
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Director: Justin Kurzel
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte
Rampling, Ariane Labed, Michael K Williams.
Plot: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.
Expect: A Video-Game movie that bucks the awful mould, and actually works.
A Monster Calls
Director: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, Toby Kebbell, Liam Neeson.
Plot: A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother’s terminal illness.
Expect: Tears, pain and a visually arresting fantasy drama.
The Bye Bye Man
Director: Stacy Title
Starring: Douglas Smith, Doug Jones, Erica Tremblay, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway.
Plot: Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the veil behind man’s most unspeakable acts.
Expect: Scares, jumps and a possibly brilliant introduction to a new nightmare vision.
La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, J.K. Simmons, Rosemarie DeWitt. Plot: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
Expect: The best musical Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire never lived to make. Oscars aplenty.
Read: ‘La La Land’ – Review
Plot: In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Catholicism.
Expect: Scorsese’s best religious film, and biggest epic since Gangs of New York, as well as the acting redemption of Liam Neeson.
Live By Night
Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Scott Eastwood, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Cooper.
Plot: A story set in the Prohibition Era and entered around a group of individuals and their dealings in the world of organised crime.
Expect: Ben Affleck on awards form, and Boardwalk Empire on the Big Screen.
Director: Pablo Larrain
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Richard
E. Grand, John Carroll Lynch.
Plot: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.
Expect: Another golden man for Miss Portman.
Director: Garth Davis
Starring: Dev Patel, David Wenham, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman.
Plot: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometres from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Expect: Further proof that Dev Patel is acting gold.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Kim Director, Jessica Sula.
Plot: After three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 dual personalities they must find some of the different personalities that can help them while running away and staying alive from the others.
Expect: Shyamalan’s return, McCoy’s reinvention.
Director: Antonio Campos
Starring: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Kim Shaw.
Plot: The story of Christine Chubbuck, a 1970s TV reporter struggling with depression and professional frustrations as she tries to advance her career.
Expect: Harrowing real life drama, with another pitch perfect performance by Rebecca Hall.
Director: Mel Gibson
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Rachel Griffiths, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer
Plot: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honour without firing a shot.
Expect: The Passion Project of the Gibson.
Plot: A continuation of the Trainspotting saga reuniting the original characters.
Expect: The best kind of high, and a cracking soundtrack.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton, Michael Shannon.
Plot: The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, who challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.
Expect: Less United Kingdom, more A Divided States of America. A classy drama.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Iain Glen.
Plot: Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where it began.
Expect: The not-so-final chapter, and a boring action blood fest.
Director: F. Javier Guiterrez
Starring: Vincent D’Onofrio, Johnny Galecki, Laura Wiggins, Aimee Teegarden
Plot: A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in 7 days.
Expect: The return of true terror.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Joe Alwyn, Beau Knapp, Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, Steve Martin, Kristen Stewart.
Plot: 19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad – contrasting the realities of war with America’s perceptions.
Expect: The best war drama in years.
Fifty Shades Darker
Director: James Foley
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Bella Heathcote, Tyler Hoechlin, Kim Basinger, Luke Grimes, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden.
Plot: While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of women who came before her.
Expect: Ana Steele’s long halftime wank.
Read our review of Fifty Shades Darker – “all tease and no release”
The Space Between Us
Director: Peter Chelsom
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, Gary Oldman, BD Wong.
Plot: The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. he embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.
Expect: The Earthian.
Director: Denzel Washington
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson
Plot: An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.
Expect: Another chance for actor-directors everywhere to throw off the arrogance shackles.
Director: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Laura Dern, Patrick Wilson.
Plot: The story of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc.
Expect: Another triumphant performance by Mighty Michael Keaton.
Read our review of ‘The Founder’
Director: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge.
Plot: A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.
Expect: True life thrills, and awards glory.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Director: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Stormare, Laurence Fishburne, Common.
Plot: The continuing adventures of former hitman, John Wick.
Expect: Everybody Gun-Fu fighting.
Director: Julius Onah
Starring: Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris O’Dowd, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo
Plot: A team of astronauts aboard a space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment causes the Earth to disappear.
Expect: Another intriguing addition to the Cloverfield series.
Director: John Madden
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy,
Plot: In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. But when taking on the most powerful opponent of her career she finds winning may come at too high a price.
Expect: A Gordon Gekko for the female world.
Director: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Jharrell Jerome, Trevante Rhodes.
Plot: A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami. A UK release date for the film is yet to be confirmed.
Expect: So many Oscars.
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons, John Goodman
Plot: An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’ actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes a city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.
Expect: Another so-so “real life” story with Marky Mark and a whole funky bunch of po faced performances.
Director: James Mangold
Starring: hugh jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Dafne Keen.
Plot: In the near future, an ageing Wolverine and Professor X must protect a young female clone of Wolverine from an evil organisation led by Nathaniel Essex.
Expect: The best stand-alone superhero film ever made, and Hugh Jackman’s Unforgiven with claws.
-Read out review of Logan
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Wyatt Russell, Amanda Crew, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, June Squibb.
Plot: Ex-mad of honour Eloise – having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text – decides to attend the wedding anyway only to find herself seated with 5 “random” guests at the dreaded Table 19.
Expect: Big belly laughs, another razor sharp comic performance by Kendrick.
Kong: Skull Island
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Toby Kebbell, John Goodman, John C Reilly, Tian Jing.
Plot: At the height of the Vietnam War, Kong: Skull Island sees a team of soldiers, along with scientists, mercenaries and a war photographer head to the infamous Skull Island where the king of the Island waits for them, but bigger horrors lurk under the surface.
Expect: Big action, bigger monsters, occasional laughs.
Rules Don’t Apply
Director: Warren Beatty
Starring: Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, Annette Bening, Candice Bergen.
Plot: An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver and the eccentric billionaire they work for.
Expect: The return of Warren Beatty.
Beauty And The Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline.
Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy-tale about a monstrous prince and a young woman who fall in love.
Expect: A tale as old as time, a song as old a rhyme.
Read: our review of Beauty And The Beast
Director: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Keith Stanfield, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones.
Plot: A young African American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s cursed family estate.
Expect: Scares, uneasy tension, a Richard Ayoade turn for Mr Peele, and a racially tinged shocker.
Read our review of Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’
A Cure For Wellness
Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Celia Imrie, Susanne Wuest, Lisa Banes, Adrian Schiller.
Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness centre” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem.
Expect: The return of Verbinski’s Ring prowess.
Director: Dean Israelite
Plot: A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
Expect: Mighty. Morphin. Power. Rangers.
Read our full review of the Power Rangers movie
Director: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley.
Plot: Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.
Expect: The proverbial hitting the fan in spectacular fashion.
Ghost In The Shell
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Wincott, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Rila Fukushima, Takeshi Kitano, Chin Han.
Plot: In Ghost In The Shell, The Major, a cyborg policewoman attempts to tackle a nefarious computer hacker.
Expect: A pale imitation of the original (geddit?)
Director: Dito Montiel
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara, Clifton Collins Jr
Plot: In a post-apocalyptic America, former U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer searches desperately for the whereabouts of his son, accompanied by his best friend and a survivor.
Expect: A good performance – SHIA SURPRISE!
The Boss Baby
Director: Tom McGrath
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Tobey MaGuire, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel
Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.
Expect: Donald Trump: the early years.
Going In Style
Director: Zach Braff
Starring: Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Christopher Lloyd, Ann-Margret, Joey King, Matt Dillon.
Plot: Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock of the very bank that absconded with their money.
Expect: Ocean’s Grandparents.
The Fate of The Furious
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren (yes, really), Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, Lucas Black.
Plot: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
Expect: Car-nage (geddit?)
Read our review of the Fate of the Furious
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Plot: Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, the continuing adventures of the team as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.
Expect: I am Groot.
Read our review of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2
Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Hannibal Buress, Kelly Rohrbach.
Plot: Two unlikely prospective lifeguards vie for jobs alongside the buff bodies who patrol a beach in California.
Expect: Slo-mo running, wet bods, and The Rock.
Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Director: Roachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Stephen Graham.
Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.
Expect: The deterioration of Depp’s acting ability.
Read our review of Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Annabelle Wallis, Jude Law, Katie McGrath, Eric Bana, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Aiden Gillen, Djimon Hounsou.
Plot: A feature film adaptation of the famous Arthurian legend.
Expect: Slow mo fights and lots of shouting.
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, James Franco, Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace, Billy Crudup, Callie Hernandez, Danny McBride, Damian Bichir.
Plot: The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
Expect: Ridley back on terror form, Fassbender back on creepy form, and a welcome return of our favourite dick-headed alien.
Read: Alien: Covenant review
Director: Patty Jenkins
Plot: An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes.
Expect: The revival of hope for the DCEU.
Read our review of Wonder Woman
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe, Courtney B. Vance, Jake Johnson.
Plot: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grwon over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
Expect: A ham-fisted attempt at a monster movie universe, and Tom Cruise running.
Read our review of The Mummy
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan, Mckenna Grace.
Plot: Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with mother.
Expect: A touching emotional drama.
The Book of Henry
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Lee Pace, Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Maddie Ziegler, Sarah Silverman, Jaeden Lieberher, Dean Norris.
Plot: A single mother raises a child genius.
Expect: The feel good film of the year.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro
Plot: Transformers doing transforming things.
Expect: Robots in disguise, American flags, hard to follow action.
Despicable Me 3
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin & Eric Guillon
Starring (voices): Steve Carrell, Trey Parker, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan.
Plot: Balthazar Bratt, a child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination. Gru and Lucy must try to stop him.
Expect: Plenty of Minions tie-in toys.
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Hannibal Buress, Logan Marshall-Green, Donald Glover, Jon Favreau, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori.
Plot: A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man begins to navigate his newfound identity as the webslinging superhero.
Expect: Him to do whatever a spider can.
Read: our review of Spiderman: Homecoming
War For The Planet of The Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Ty Olsson, Sara Canning, Amiah Miller.
Plot: A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar become embroiled in a battle with an army of humans.
Expect: Damn dirty apes, and even dirtier damn humans.
Full review: War for the Planet of the Apes
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy.
Plot: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Expect: Tom Hardy saving the world, and finally a reason for WW2 films to continue to be made.
Read our review of Dunkirk
The Dark Tower
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Katheryn Winnick, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz.
Plot: Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.
Expect: The Lord of the Kings: The Fellowship of Stephen King.
Read our review of The Dark Tower
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort, Flea, Eiza Gonzalez.
Plot: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Expect: Sharp dialogue, flashy direction, possibly a cornetto.
Read: our full review of Baby Driver
Director: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Lola Kirke, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays, Jesse Plemons.
Plot: A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s. Expect: Cruise finally off auto-pilot (geddit?)
Director: Andres Muschietti
Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Nicholas Hamilton, Owen Teague.
Plot: In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.
Expect: All new nightmares for an all new generation. Beep beep little Ritchie.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle
Berry, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson, Elton John, Vinnie Jones.
Plot: When an attack on the Kingsman headquarters takes place and a new villain rises, Eggsy and Merlin are forced to work together with the American agency Statesman to save the World.
Expect: Foul language, great action, belly laughs, good manners.
Our review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Blade Runner 2049
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana De Armas, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi.
Plot: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD officer K unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos.
Expect: Some more moments lost, like tears in the rain.
Read our full Blade Runner 2049 review.
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Liam Neeson, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill, Jonathan Banks, Elizabeth McGovern.
Plot: A businessman is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.
Expect: Liam Neeson punching some throats like a madman.
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson,
Mark Ruffalo, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Hopkins, Jaimie Alexander, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill.
Plot: Thor must team up with Loki and Bruce Banner to find his father Odin and stop the end of days.
Expect: The best solo Thor film, a realm trotting adventure and more Loki fanfiction.
Read: Thor: Ragnarok review
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra MIller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Amber Heard, Kisersey