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50 Biggest Movies Coming This Summer
(sponsored by Cineworld)

50 Best Summer Movies 2016 (UK Release Dates) Blockbusting season is here so let’s look through the top summer movies of 2016. The release line-up features the usual mix of sequels (X-Men: Apocalypse), reboots (Ghostbusters), big screen adaptations (Absolutely Fabulous) and movies based on MMOs (Warcraft).

CINEWORLD asked if they could sponsor this year’s rundown and since I spend a lot of time in their perfectly nice cinemas I thought why not. They do an Unlimited Card which is genuinely a good idea if you’re going regularly. Also worth highlighting is their IMAX project. They’re rolling out new IMAX-enabled screens across the UK and Ireland, combining powerful digital sound and crystal-clear digital projection with a much larger, slightly curved and tilted, specially-treated screen. 10 Cloverfield Lane and Batman v Superman are playing in IMAX at the moment, with the likes of Captain America: Civil War and Warcraft due to run there soon. The bigger the better as far as I’m concerned. Here’s what’s coming up across all screens over the next few months:


– APRIL 8th –
(UK Release Dates)

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
Starring: Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton
Director: Jeff Nichols
uk summer movies 2016

Sci-fi thriller about a father (Shannon) desperate to protect his “uniquely gifted” eight-year-old son (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher). Hunted by an extreme religious sect (led by Sam Shepard) and a government task force (headed up by Driver), he teams with two others (Edgerton and Dunst) to race the boy to a secret location. The outcome of this full-on chase could just bring about a world-changing event… This marks the first studio project for writer-director Nichols, after the well-received ‘Mud’ and ‘Take Shelter’, the latter of which also starred Shannon. Nichols says, “However absurd this sounds, ‘Midnight Special’ is more grounded than ‘Mud’. I really wanted to make a 1980s John Carpenter film like ‘Starman’. I love the way those films look.” The saviour-boy plot structure and grounded nature also make it sound quite similar to ‘Children of Men’. Nichols is a major rising talent and it’ll be interesting to see what he does with a studio budget.

HARDCORE HENRY
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth
Director: Ilya Naishuller
best summer movies 2016

First person action film that shows everything through the eyes of Henry, a man resurrected from the brink of death as a cybernetic supersoldier. Struggling to remember his past or purpose, he sets out to save his wife/creator who has been kidnapped by a telekinetic warlord with a scheme to bio-engineer soldiers. In the unfamiliar city of Moscow, Henry must avoid being destroyed with the help of his spiffing new British companion (Copley)… Produced by the director of ‘Wanted’, it was filmed with the same GoPro Hero 3 camera, via a specially-built rig worn like a mask, which director Ilya Naishuller used for his viral internet shorts. This sort of chaotic, hardcore first person perspective is not new, it was famously used in the Prodigy music video ‘Smack My B*tch Up’ and even briefly in ‘Grimsby’ earlier this year. But it is the first time it has been been used for an entire action feature and it’ll be interesting to see if it can hold up for 90 minutes. Early word suggests it’s light on character but has the tongue-in-cheek humour and jaw-dropping wtf action creativity that will make it, at least, a cult favourite. This is a close cousin of found footage movies like ‘Blair Witch’ and ‘Cloverfield’ which had a significant impact on their release. Changing the point of view in cinema can do that.

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Nick Frost
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
summer movie guide 2016

Prequel/sequel to dark fantasy action-adventure ‘Snow White & The Huntsman’ based on the characters from the Brothers Grimm’s ‘Snow White’ and Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’. When Freya (Blunt), a young queen who can freeze her enemies in ice, learns of the demise of her sister, the evil Ravenna (Theron), she summons her soldiers to recover the Magic Mirror. After resurrecting Ravenna, the two wicked sisters amass a seemingly indestructible army that threatens the kingdom. Only the skills of Eric the Huntsman (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain), two warriors who defied Freya by falling in love during their training, can save this enchanted land from the forces of darkness…. The director of the original was dropped after it was revealed publically he had cheated on his wife with ‘Snow White’ star Kristen Stewart. Instead this is the directing debut of the visual effects supervisor on the first film. Not sure the world was demanding a sequel, but here it is.


– APRIL 15th –

THE JUNGLE BOOK
Starring: Neel Sethi, (voices) Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray
Director: Jon Favreau
uk movies this summer 2016

An orphan boy is raised in the Indian jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther… Disney’s recent tradition of producing live action versions of their classic animations (‘Cinderella’, ‘Alice’, ‘Maleficent’ etc) continues. While this is adapting the 1967 version, it includes overlooked elements from the Rudyard Kipling novel to make it more adventurous and dangerous. Lyricist Richard M. Sherman, who wrote songs for the original has reportedly written new ones for this version, though it’s far from a musical. The voice cast, which includes Bill Murray as Baloo (his first ever Disney movie), Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Christopher Walken as King Louie and Idris Elba as Shere Khan, is so recognisable it’ll be hard to see past. However director Jon Favreau is very capable, with the likes of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Elf’ in his resume. The fully cgi environments and photo-real animals look terrific.

CRIMINAL
Starring: Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds
Director: Ariel Vromen
best movies of summer 2016

In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a deceased CIA agent’s memories, secrets and skills are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous death row inmate (Costner) in the hope he will complete the operative’s mission. Gary Oldman is the CIA chief, while Tommy Lee Jones is the neuroscientist who transplants the memories. Ryan Reynolds has a brief role as the deceased (making this a bizarre unofficial continuation of last year’s ‘Self/less’ in which a deceased Ben Kingsley’s brain was transferred into his). Gal Gadot (‘Wonder Woman’) has a substantial role as Reynolds’ widow. From the screenwriting duo behind ‘The Rock’ and ‘Double Jeopardy’, and the director of the well-received ‘The Iceman’. The concept makes ‘Face/Off’ seem realistic, but with a veteran cast this strong (something of a ‘JFK’ reunion) it should be guilty-pleasure entertaining.

EYE IN THE SKY
Starring: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam
Director: Gavin Hood
summer movie release dates

International thriller centred on drone warfare. A London-based military intelligence officer (Mirren) remotely commands a secret drone operation to capture a terrorist group living in a safehouse in Kenya. When she learns that the group plans to carry out a suicide attack, her objective is changed to eliminating them. The drone pilot (Paul) targets the safehouse for destruction but reports a nine-year-old girl entering the kill zone. With unforeseen collateral damage now in the equation and the volatility of the situation increasing with every second, she must pass the mission’s authority up the “kill chain” to politicians and lawyers, for them to weigh the legality and morality of action and inaction. From the screenwriter of well-received political dramas like ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’ and ‘Omagh’, this was originally developed at the BBC. The director has done well on similar ground with ‘Rendition’ and ‘Tsotsi’. Expect a complex moral discussion amidst a close critique of the practice. Festival reviews have been excellent, with all describing it as “tense”.


– APRIL 22nd –

BASTILLE DAY
Starring: Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon
Director: James Watkins
list of summer movies 2016

Bastille Day (which is French National Day on July 14th) sees a gruff former CIA agent (Elba) enlisting a young artist/occasional pickpocket (Madden, ‘Game of Thrones’) to help him on an anti-terrorist mission in France… Despite being completed in December 2014, what the characters are up against, and where, couldn’t be more timely. The British director is switching to the action genre after chillers ‘The Woman In Black’ and ‘Eden Lake’. ‘Bastille Day’ looks cliched but might just be carried by Edris’ charm. It feels like something of a Bond audition for him.

Also Released: Tina Fey’s dramedy war memoir Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, troubled western Jane Got A Gun, weak-sauce horror Friend Request


– APRIL 29th –

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
movies out this summer uk

It’s Captain America vs Iron Man and hero vs hero in a dispute that splits the Marvel universe in two. The conflict in the comics centered around the authorities, backed by Stark, forcing heroes to register and reveal their true identities after a disastrous incident causes civilian death. Cap disagrees on moral grounds, backs freedom, and two warring sides are formed. But since Marvel’s movie characters don’t have secret identities, the dispute here will center mainly on governments of the world wanting to regulate the heroes and virtually control them after such an event. Cap’s side is depicted in the image above and they’re up against Stark, War Machine, Vision, Black Widow and the newly introduced Black Panther. The new Spider-Man will be unveiled too, caught in the middle of it all. Daniel Brühl’s Baron Zemo is the main villain, with Frank Grillo’s Crossbones as a secondary. William Hurt returns as General “Thunderbolt” Ross, now U.S. Secretary of State. Martin Freeman has an as yet unspecified role, working for the government to limit superheroes. The directors of ‘Winter Soldier’ remain in charge, which’ll bring a more serious tone than ‘Age of Ultron’s quippery.

Also Released: Jake Gyllenhaal’s unraveling life drama Demolition, animated videogame adaptation Ratchet And Clank


2016 SUMMER MOVIES : MAY, JUNE, JULY, AUGUST

UK Summer Movies 2016

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4 Comments »

  • gd smith said

    There’s some interesting stuff on the list.
    Of the sequel/franchise movies I’m glad they’ve given Bones more of a role in the new Star Trek. Karl Urban does it to perfection and the Spock/Bones exchanges are about as old school as you can get.

    I know a lot of people are citing Spielberg, but the man on the run protecting a gifted child in back roads of Motel USA atmosphere actually reminds me of Firestarter more than anything else.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Yeah Karl Urban is the highlight of the rebooted crew. Who’d have thought we’d live in an age when there are three times as many Star Wars movies coming out as Star Trek.

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  • Watcal said

    Nice share. I see most potential in Jungle Book and Civil War.

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