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The Movie Waffler's 2016 Summer Movie Preview

Ditch the sun-creme, we're set for another summer stuffed full of movies.

Words by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)


All UK release dates are correct at time of writing but may be subject to change. We've defined 'summer' here as May-September.




Suicide Squad
Release date: August 5th

Warner Bros and DC will be hoping to continue the financial if not critical success of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice with their next offering. It may not have the mainstream appeal of BvS, and its title is sure to cause trouble in some territories, but the internet seems obsessed with this movie. David Ayer (Fury, Sabotage) directs the Dirty Dozen inspired tale of a team of super-villains assembled to take on top secret missions. Jared Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn are getting so much of the fan attention, you could easily forget the movie stars Will Smith.



Knight of Cups
Release date: May 6th

Booed at its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015, Terrence Malick's latest hasn't fared well with Stateside critics. Christian Bale plays a Hollywood screenwriter wandering the streets of LA in an existential fugue. The all-star cast also features Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas, Imogen Poots and Freida Pinto. [Read our review]



Everybody Wants Some!!
Release date: May 13th

Soaking up the goodwill of Boyhood's success, Richard Linklater delivers lighter fare in a comedy about a group of freshmen baseball jocks in 1980s' Texas. Linklater has called the film a spiritual sequel to his 1993 Dazed and Confused, though the trailer and clips released so far suggest a much broader tone. [Read our review]



Green Room
Release date: May 13th

This is one we've seen already, and boy is it a recommend! Director Jeremy Saulnier fulfils the potential displayed in Blue Ruin with this tense and gruesome tale of a punk band fighting for their lives after witnessing the murder of a young woman by a neo-Nazi skinhead. [Read our review]



Mustang
Release date: May 13th

Again, this is one we've seen, and it's another recommend. Deniz Gamze Erguven's film plays like a Turkish take on The Virgin Suicides as its young female protagonists are wed against their will, one by one. A damning critique of religion's attitude to and fear of female sexuality. [Read our review]



X-Men: Apocalypse
Release date: May 19th

Another of the year's big comic book adaptations sees Bryan Singer return to the world of the X-Men once again for this '80s set movie. Oscar Isaac plays the titular villain, a God-like mutant awakened from his slumber with the destruction of the planet on his mind. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence return to the roles of Professor X, Magneto and Mystique.



Alice Through the Looking Glass
Release date: May 27th

Despite mixed reviews, Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland raked in over a billion dollars at the global box office, so it's no surprise to see an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's sequel. Mia Wasikowska is back as Alice, as are Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. A voice acting contribution makes this the late Alan Rickman's final movie.



Free State of Jones
Release date: May 27th

Matthew McConaughey is Newton Knight, a farmer who led a revolt by white farmers and black slaves against the Confederacy in 1862. The Hunger Games' Gary Ross directs, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Brendan Gleeson also starring.



The Nice Guys
Release date: June 3rd

After a brief dalliance in the Marvel universe with Iron Man 3, Shane Black returns to his comfort zone of the buddy action comedy. The mismatched buddies here are Ryan Gosling's private eye and Russell Crowe's hired enforcer, teaming up in '70s LA to solve the disappearance of a young girl.



Warcraft
Release date: June 3rd

The cult game that's stolen countless hours from its many players' lives hits the big screen with Moon's Duncan Jones at the helm. When the first footage was released, the general reaction was one of shock at how much CG is on display - it appears to be for all intent and purpose, an animated feature. Paula Patton and Ben Foster star, though you wouldn't know it from what we've seen so far. Stock up on Mountain Dew.



The Conjuring 2
Release date: June 17th

British TV fans will be familiar with the case of the Enfield haunting, subject of a recent ITV drama starring Timothy Spall, and it provides the basis of this sequel. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, taking on the English case in the '70s.



Independence Day: Resurgence
Release date: June 24th

The nostalgia continues with a 20 years after sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi blockbuster. Emmerich is back in the director's chair, as are stars Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, though Will Smith sits this one out in favour of Suicide Squad. The aliens are back, and in greater numbers, but will audiences make a similar return?



Now You See Me 2
Release date: July 8th

The 2013 magician caper was a surprise hit, and so here's a sequel. This time, Woody Harrelson's gang of magic misfits are forced to pull off a heist by a tech magnate, and must use their skills of illusion to clear their name. Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Kaplan join the cast.



The Legend of Tarzan
Release date: July 8th

Every few years we get another rendition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' tree-hugging hero, and they rarely make much of an impact at the box office. Starring Alexander Skarsgard in the title role, with Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson and Christoph Waltz also on board, this is the biggest budgeted version we've had yet, but are audiences really interested in a Tarzan movie in 2016?



Ghostbusters
Release date: July 15th

No other mainstream summer release has stirred up as much of a backlash as Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot. Some fans are annoyed at the idea of their beloved movie being remade, while others are angry that it's been reworked for a female cast. Meanwhile, some have expressed outrage at the portrayal of Leslie Jones' character. The most important question is "Will it be funny?", which remains to be seen.



La La Land
Release date: July 15th

Damien Chazelle follows up his acclaimed Whiplash with another tale of a musician. This one's a full blown, old school musical in which Ryan Gosling's jazz pianist falls for Emma Stone's actress. Sounds great on paper, and we're fascinated to see how this one turns out.



The Purge: Election Year
Release date: July 15th

The Purge series gets all topical in its third installment. The first two movies failed to make the most of an intriguing premise, so let's hope it's third time lucky. Frank Grillo returns, now as the head of security for an anti-purge senator played by Elizabeth Mitchell.



The BFG
Release date: July 22nd

Steven Spielberg quickly follows up Bridge of Spies with this adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's story, reteaming with Mark Rylance who voices the eponymous large, sociable colossus. Rebecca Hall and Bill Hader also feature.



Star Trek Beyond
Release date: July 22nd

Director Justin Lin takes over from JJ Abrams for this third episode in the newly rebooted Trek franchise. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew find themselves trapped on a hostile planet, battling a race of aliens led by a heavily made up Idris Elba.



The Commune
Release date: July 29th

After Far From the Madding Crowd, Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg returns home for a movie based on his childhood experiences of growing up in a middle-class commune in '70s Copenhagen. Sounds a lot like Lukas Moodysson's Together, which told a similar tale of flower power parents.



Finding Dory
Release date: July 29th

13 years after Pixar's hit Finding Nemo, Ellen DeGeneres returns to voice Dory, who sets off on a quest to find her family at the Monterey Marine life institute.



Jason Bourne
Release date: July 29th

Another belated sequel, arriving nine years after we last saw Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum (though we did get the 2012 spinoff, The Bourne Legacy). Plot details have been kept under wraps, though Damon has hinted the film explores the "post Snowden world". The ubiquitous Alicia Vikander co-stars, along with Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel.



Julieta
Release date: August 26th

A mother searches for her runaway teenage daughter in Pedro Alomodovar's adaptation of Alice Munro's short stories. Previoulsy titled 'The Silence' but renamed so as not to be confused with Scorsese's upcoming drama.



War Dogs
Release date: August 26th

Previously known as 'Arms and the Dudes', War Dogs tells the true story of a pair of young arms dealers (Miles Teller and Jonah Hill) who get in over their head after agreeing a deal to supply weapons to US-backed forces in Afghanistan.


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Release date: September 30th

Tim Burton returns for more kooky costume drama, based on the novel by author Ransom Riggs. Eva Green is Miss Peregrine, headmistress of a school on a mysterious island that comes under attack by hostile monsters.



Bad Neighbours 2
Release date: May 6th

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne team up with their old enemy, frat boy Zac Efron, when a hard partying sorority, led by Chloe Moretz, arrives in the neighbourhood.



I Saw the Light
Release date: May 6th

Oddly enough, it's taken until now for country music legend Hank Williams to get the biopic treatment. Suave Brit Tom Hiddleston may seem like an odd choice to play the redneck singer, but he's said to deliver an impressive performance. Elizabeth Olsen plays Williams' wife and duet partner Audrey Sheppard Williams.



Angry Birds
Release date: May 13th

Remember Angry Birds? I'm not sure anyone still plays the mobile game that gripped the world a few years ago, but we're getting a movie regardless. Jason Sudeikis voices a bird with anger issues, whose paradise island is invaded by pigs. Sounds like a trainwreck, but in this post Lego Movie world, you just never know.



Our Kind of Traitor
Release date: May 13th

The latest John le Carre adaptation features Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris as a British couple embroiled with Stellan Skarsgard's money laundering Russian oligarch while on holiday in Marrakech. Potential next James Bond Damien Lewis also stars. [Read our review]



A Hologram for the King
Release date: May 20th

Run Lola Run's Tom Tykwer directs Tom Hanks in this adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel. Hanks plays a struggling salesman who travels to Saudi Arabia to secure a contract, no doubt learning a thing or two about himself along the way.



Money Monster
Release date: May 27th

Jodie Foster directs George Clooney as the host of a financial advice talk show who finds himself held hostage by Jack O'Connell's disgruntled viewer. Julia Roberts and Dominic West also star.



Me Before You
Release date: June 3rd

Emilia Clarke falls for the disabled millionaire (Sam Claflin) in her care in this adaptation of Jojo Moyes' novel.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Release date: June 3rd

Megan Fox returns with her half-shell hero friends for this sequel to a movie we honestly forgot ever happened. The turtles must save New York from invaders from another dimension, while cult characters Bebop and Rocksteady make their first appearances.



The Boss
Release date: June 10th

Along with appearing in the Ghostbusters reboot, Melissa McCarthy headlines this comedy as a formerly successful businesswoman newly released from prison after serving time for insider trading.



Gods of Egypt
Release date: June 17th

A flop on its Stateside release earlier this year, Alex Proyas' period epic was held back for European audiences. Set in an alternative Ancient Egypt, where Gods walk among men and the locals resemble Gerard Butler and Brenton Thwaites.



The Keeping Room
Release date: June 17th

The western revival continues with this story of a trio of Southern women forced to defend themselves from rogue Union soldiers in the last days of the civil war. Western regular Hailee Steinfeld stars alongside Brit Marling and Sam Worthington.



Cemetery of Splendour
Release date:June 17th

Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul's latest drama is as challenging as his name is unpronounceable. Set in a school turned into a makeshift clinic for soldiers, Weerasethakul's film focuses on a volunteer nurse whose interactions extend beyond the physical realm.



Tale of Tales
Release date: June 17th

Matteo Garrone brings the folk tales of writer Giambattista Basile to the screen with help from Salma Hayek, John C Reilly and Toby Jones.



The Shallows
Release date: July 1st

Blake Lively's surfer finds herself stranded at sea following an attack by a Great White shark. Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop) directs.



Ice Age: Collision Course
Release date: July 15th

The Ice Age franchise shows no sign of halting with this fifth installment, in which Scrat finds himself pursuing acorns in outer space. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary all return.



Sausage Party
Release date: August 12th

Seth Rogen voices a sausage attempting to escape a kitchen without getting fried, boiled or grilled in this adult animation. Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill and James Franco also lend their vocal talents.



Ben-Hur
Release date: August 26th

Professional headache inducer Timur Bekmambetov directs this latest version of the tale of the Christ. Jack Huston steps into Charlton Heston's sandals.



Captain Fantastic
Release date: September 9th

After a decade of raising his six kids in isolation, Viggo Mortenson is forced to rejoin society. We're getting a very Wes Anderson vibe from this one.



Kubo and the Two Strings
Release date: September 9th

Animation studio Laika (Paranorman, The Box Trolls) return for this ancient Japan set tale of a young boy on a quest to retrieve a magical suit of armour.



Florence Foster Jenkins
Release date: May 6th

Meryl Streep stars in this biopic of the New York heiress who became an opera singer despite possessing a voice that sent cats running up trees. Hugh Grant and rising star Rebecca Ferguson also feature. [Read our review]



A 10-year-old boy questions why his island is inhabited solely by women and young children in Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution (May 6th). [Read our review]



Robinson Crusoe gets the animated treatment in a Franco-Belgian production (May 6th).



Two old friends are reunited in the Argentine comedy Truman (May 6th).



Eli Roth's debut Cabin Fever gets a surprise remake (May 13th).



A trip to the Grand Canyon leads to trouble for two families in the Kevin Bacon starring supernatural thriller The Darkness (May 13th).



Zach Braff remakes the George Burns comedy Going in Style, with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin as a trio of OAPs planning a bank heist (May 13th).



Rookie soldiers battle killer robots in sci-fi actioner Kill Command (May 13th).



The connections between politics and organised crime in Italy are explored in Suburra (May 13th).



An online VR game takes a nasty twist in The Call Up (May 20th).



The relationship between two teenage brothers is strained by their attraction for a girl in British drama Chicken (May 20th). [Read our review]



There's more family tension in Aussie drama The Daughter, starring Geoffrey Rush (May 20th).


And in Departure, an English family collapses while selling their holiday home in France (May 20th).


Damien Lewis's clergyman attempts to keep his remote Scottish community together while becoming involved in a love triangle in The Silent Storm (May 20th).


Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny reunite with their Last Days of Disco director Whit Stillman for Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship (May 27th).


Amnesiac Tom Sturridge attempts to reconstruct his mysterious past in Remainder (May 27th).


Top Cat Begins explores the origins of the animated feline (May 27th).


Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood are crooked cops in The Trust (May 27th).


Race tells the story of African-American athlete Jesse Owens (June 3rd).


Teens indulge in organised orgies in Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (June 10th).


An Amazonian shaman searches for a sacred plant in Oscar nominated Embrace of the Serpent (June 10th).


Patricia Clarkson takes driving lessons from Ben Kingsley in Learning to Drive (June 10th).


Jennifer Garner's daughter experiences a miracle in Christian drama Miracles From Heaven (June 10th).


An ensemble cast gathers for Garry Marshall comedy Mother's Day (June 10th).


Keanu Reeves' lawyer defends a teen accused of murder in The Whole Truth (June 10th).


The Violators is a gritty coming of age teen drama and the cinematic debut of novelist Helen Walsh (June 17th).


A rookie cop uncovers a Satanic cult in Turkish horror/cop thriller hybrid Baskin (June 24th).


Emma Watson joins a dangerous cult in an attempt to rescue her husband in Colonia (June 24th).


Michael Shannon is Elvis and Kevin Spacey is Nixon in Elvis & Nixon, a dramatisation of the 1970 meeting between the two men (June 24th).


Penelope Cruz battles breast cancer in Julio Medem's Ma Ma (June 24th).


The Secret Life of Pets gives us an animated take on what our furry friends get up to in their owners' absence (June 24th).


A cult British '90s sitcom makes its big screen debut in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (July 1st).


Dwayne Johnson's CIA agent returns home for a high school reunion and teams up with Kevin Hart in action comedy Central Intelligence (July 1st).


The true story of theologian John Hull, who detailed his developing blindness in a series of audio recordings, is recounted in Notes on Blindness (July 1st).


Greta Gerwig decides to reunite her husband with his former wife in Maggie's Plan (July 8th).


A YouTube sensation struggles with her newfound fame in dance movie Breaking Through (July 15th).


Cecile de France and Izia Higelin enter a troubled relationship in Summertime (July 15th).


Kevin Spacey becomes trapped in the body of a cat in Barry Sonnenfeld's Nine Lives (July 29th).


Zac Efron and Adam DeVine hook up with the unstable duo of Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (August 12th).


Ricky Gervais' Office protagonist gets his own movie in David Brent: Life on the Road (August 19th).


Children's book Molly Moon And The Incredible Book Of Hypnotism comes to the screen (August 19th).


A teenage Martian travels to Earth to meet his love in The Space Between Us (August 19th).


Burglars bite off more than they can chew when they break into the home of a blind man in Don't Breathe (August 26th).


The true story of a family of Argentine kidnappers is told in The Clan (September 2nd).


Gemma Arterton gets caught up in another global pandemic in sci-fi The Girl with All the Gifts (September 9th).

A group of youngsters attempt to save a yacht through dance in musical Love in Spain (May 27th).

Three college students are haunted by Doug Jones' supernatural entity in The Bye Bye Man (June 3rd).

An art dealer befriends a homeless man in Same Kind of Different as Me (June 17th).

An innocent man is charged with murder after intervening in a rape attempt in Canadian thriller River (July 8th).

James Badge Dale leads a special ops outfit in a battle against supernatural forces in Spectral (August 12th).

Teresa Palmer battles her fear of the dark, and a supernatural entity, in Lights Out (August 19th).

Jason Statham returns for sequel Mechanic: Resurrection (August 26th).

Those partying teens are back in Project XX (August 26th).

Matt Smith battles a plague turning humans into highly intelligent zombies in Patient Zero (September 2nd).

The recent trend of belated sequels continues as Renee Zellweger returns for Bridget Jones's Baby (September 16th).

Daniel Radcliffe goes undercover with white supremacist's in Imperium (September 16th).

Catfish creators Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman helm the Young Adult adaptation Nerve, starring Emma Roberts (September 16th).

The western revival continues with a big budget remake of The Magnificent Seven starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke (September 23rd).

Backdraft's Kurt Russell fights fire once more, alongside Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon, based on the 2010 environmental disaster (September 30th).


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