Our predictions for the 10 surprise hits of 2016

  • Our predictions for the 10 surprise hits of 2016

It's a massive year for films, with superhero flicks like Batman v Superman, Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad peppering the cinema releases this year.

Not only that, we can look forward to the likes of The Hateful 8, The Jungle Book, Independence Day: Resurgence and Bridget Jones's Baby all coming out in 2016.

But what about those 'surprise hits' - The ones that'll come out of nowhere to be among the finest films of the year? Here are our predicitions for those great movies that no-one will see coming... except us, in this list:

1. High-Rise - March 2016

Already gaining glowing feedback when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, the British flick is adapted by director Ben Wheatley from J.G Ballard’s 1975 novel of the same name.

Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller, the 1970s-set sci-fi drama is set in a luxury tower block isolated by the rest of society.

When a new doctor moves in after being promised a gratifying lifestyle, he falls in love but also discovers complex loyalties and class injustices running through the tower block.

With Hiddleston, Miller and Luke Evans all nominated for their roles at the British Independent Film Awards, it sat alongside breakout 2015 films such as Legend, Brooklyn, Suffragette and Ex Machina.

2. Money Monster - May 2016

Channelling the fear and mistrust during these uncertain economic times, Money Monster sees George Clooney play a financial TV personality Lee Gates, who offers stock advice on his hit show.

When one viewer, played by Jack O'Connell, loses all his money on a bad tip from Gates he takes the TV host hostage live on air demanding his stock increase by 24 points as viewers tune in to watch the on-air drama.

With aspects of Dog Day Afternoon and Network, the Jodie Foster-directed film echoes desperate situations that people have found themselves and the anger felt towards financial institutions that caused the economic crash.  

3. Sausage Party - August 2016

Who knew that Hollywood could spin out a full-length feature film based on a pun or turn of phrase title? When we've had releases like Get HardWho’s Your Caddy and The Hottie and the Nottie, it would seem Hollywood loves launching a film on a punning title alone.

But don't let that put you off, the animated film boasts some of the finest, and funniest voice talent in Hollywood, including Seth Rogen, James Franco, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek and Bill Hader to name a few.

Written by Seth Rogen and his Superbad and Pineapple Express writing partner Evan Goldberg, this adult animation about a sausage who falls out of a shopping cart and must get back to the aisles before the Fourth of July sale has the potential to be the funniest adult animated flick since the South Park movie.

4. Skull Island - November 2016

Despite Peter Jackson making everyone hate King Kong, Warner Bros. are keen to rejuvenate the story of the gigantic gorilla, but this time they have a plan!

Taking inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. are planning to set up a shared Kong/Godzilla universe, with famous kaiju characters such as Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah set to make future appearances.

With a talented cast including Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbell and Samuel L. Jackson, if director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (whose only previous film is The Kings of Summer) is able to produce a story more engaging and less drawn-out than the 2005 King Kong, then we'll be set for a very exciting movie universe.

5. Tarzan - July 2016

The six-pack wielding Alexander Skarsgård slips into a loincloth to play Tarzan, who, having grown accustom to life in London, is called back to the jungle to investigate activities at a mining encampment.

With Tarzan films coming thick and plenty - this will be the 8th since 1980 - the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912 is very much 'old hat' these days and needs a good reboot up the backside.

Is this the film that will relaunch the Tarzan story as something that cinemagoers don't roll their eyes when they hear is coming out? We're going to say yes... unless we're wrong, in which case, ignore this.

6. Arms & the Dudes - August 2016

Y'know what isn't ripe for comedy? True stories from the war in Afghanistan.

Except for this one, which is more of a comedy-drama (if that helps), about the real life tale of two arms dealers, played by Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, who secure a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm American troops and US allies in Afghanistan.

Jonah Hill has already proved his acting chops as well as his ability to pick a big film, with Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street, and Miles Teller, despite the hugely disappointing Fantastic Four reboot, continues to see his star on the up and up.

As well as a strong front cast, writer and director Todd Phillips has brought us Old School, The Hangover Trilogy and Project X, so it's a formula for success, so long as they do the story justice.

7. Eddie the Eagle - April 2016

Taron Edgerton provided us with a 2015 surprise hit in the form of Kingsmen: The Secret Service, and will he star in another from 2016 with Eddie the Eagle?

Very loosely based on the story of skier Eddie Edwards' attempts to become the first British ski jump competitor at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Edwards - with the nickname Eddie the Eagle - became a media sensation and unlikely public hero.

Edgerton puts on the trademark reading glasses to play Edwards, with Hugh Jackman as his trainer Bronson Peary; this heart-warming British tale has the feel to be an underdog success along the lines of Cool Runnings and Billy Elliot.

8. Why Him? - November 2016

After dominating dramatic film and TV for the last few years with Breaking Bad, Argo and Trumbo, Bryan Cranston returns to his comedic roots teaming up with James Franco in Why Him?

Cranston plays a father who takes his family to visit his daughter in college, only to finding himself vying for her affections against her new, brash tech billionaire boyfriend as the pair butt heads in hilarious fashion... probably.

Having established himself as one of the finest actors of the moment, Bryan Cranston would no doubt have his pick of films, so we're expecting something big from him and James Franco.

Having said that, the script has been penned by John Hamburg, who has written all of the Meet the Parents/Fockers films, so hopefully it's got more than the well-worn 'dad means prospective husband' humour in it.

9. Dirty Grandpa - January 2016

With Zac Efron's star as a comic actor continually on the rise, he is joined by Robert De Niro who plays his recently-widowed grandfather, a sex-mad former Army general.

Efron is an uptight guy who is soon-to-be a very henpecked husband when his grandfather tricks him into heading to Florida to go let loose on spring break.

With a great cast including Julianne Hough and Aubrey Plaza, a barrel-load of inappropriate jokes and the potential comedy mismatch of Efron and De Niro, this has the potential to be an even bigger comedy hit than 2014's Bad Neighbours.

10. A Cure for Wellness - September 2016

A supernatural horror in which Dane DeHaan's character is sent to rescue his boss from a European "wellness spa", only to discover he is trapped and that the facility has a more sinister purpose that serving the patients' health.

Despite his relative newcomer status, DeHaan has already shown off his acting chops with the likes of Chronicle and Life, and with Pirates of the Caribbean films director Gore Verbinski behind the camera, we could be in for a great and unsettling horror.

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