2016 fall movie preview

This 2016 fall movie preview was written by Jacob Hall and Jack Giroux.

The summer is over and the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting milder and (fingers crossed) the movies are going to start getting better. The next four months offer an embarrassment of cinematic riches, with new films from Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Tim Burton, Gareth Edwards, Paul Verhoeven, Mel Gibson, Robert Zemeckis, Park Chan-Wook, Terrence Malick, J.A. Bayona, Jeff Nichols, Ang Lee, Denis Villeneuve, Kenneth Lonergan, and other filmmakers of note waiting in the wings.

We’ve narrowed down the list of must-see movies to 32 titles and have ranked them from “We really want to see this!” to “We will push you out of the way at a sprint to see this!”

2016 fall movie preview miss peregrine

34. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Tim Burton’s films are generally only as good as the material he’s working with. Over the past few years, his output has been inconsistent, but this time, he has a script from screenwriter Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) based on author Ransom Riggs’ popular series. Goldman’s involvement is what gives us hope there’s a cohesive, satisfying story to go along with Burton’s lavish visuals. The trailers have been teasing what some call “Tim Burton meets X-Men,” but more promising than that combo is that it looks like one of Burton’s more heartfelt efforts. – Jack Giroux

assassin's creed trailer

33. Assassin’s Creed

For many video game fans, Duncan Jones’ Warcraft did not break the famous video game movie curse. Will Assassin’s Creed be the one to do it? Impossible to say right now, but with Justin Kurzel behind the camera and working with his Macbeth star, Michael Fassbender, in front of it, this loose adaptation of Ubisoft’s wildly popular video game series certainly has a shot at defying expectations. Plus, putting aside that this is Assassin’s Creed for a second, just the idea of Kurzel and Fassbender reuniting after their visually stunning and visceral William Shakespeare adaptation is enough to make this action movie promising. – JG

2016 fall movie preview deepwater horizon

32. Deepwater Horizon

Peter Berg’s career is in a great place right now. No matter what you think of Lone Survivor, it probably afforded him opportunities to make movies like Deepwater Horizon and Patriot’s Day. While we all wait for Berg to stop toying with our emotions and finally direct The Rundown 2, these potentially inspiring, brutal true life stories are far more preferable to Berg having to direct, say, another Battleship (his most pedestrian work to date). Deepwater Horizon, which is about the horrific oil spill in 2010, not only reunites Berg with Mark Wahlberg but also gives the director the opportunity to work with Kurt Russell — an actor we’re always excited to see on the big screen. The trailer isn’t subtle, but it sure is effective. – JG

2016 fall movie preview the magnificent seven

31. The Magnificent Seven

Is a remake really a remake if it’s remaking a remake? You can debate that amongst yourselves. The new version of The Magnificent Seven finds star Denzel Washington teaming with director Antoine Fuqua for the third time following Training Day and The Equalizer, but as the title implies, he has some assistance in the form of Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier. Even if you haven’t seen the original movie (or Seven Samurai, upon with the the original is based), you know the drill here: nasty bad guys threaten a town, who hire a band of misfit outlaws, bounty hunters, and gunmen to save the day. If that cast is any indication, there will be terrific banter a’plenty and if the trailer keeps its promises, there will be one action-packed western. – Jacob Hall

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

30. Keeping Up With the Joneses

Jon Hamm is one of those actors I want to see in more comedies. He’s always a committed and game host on Saturday Night Live, even when the sketches aren’t the sharpest, and who could forget his unforgettable turn as Ted (“You’re no longer my no. 2!”) in Bridesmaids? In Keeping Up With the Joneses, Hamm is starring in his first comedy in a while, and it’s coming from director Greg Mottola, the director behind Superbad and Adventureland. There’s plenty of talent involved in Keeping Up with the Joneses – Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fischer, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt, and Kevin Dunn, to name a few – but seeing Hamm at the center of it is an opportunity hard to pass up. – JG

2016 fall movie preview the birth of a nation

29. The Birth of a Nation

While discussing The Birth of a Nation, it’s best to separate the art from the artist. If you’re incapable of doing that with Nate Parker’s (Beyond the Lights) film because he was charged, tried and acquitted for rape, and after he recently made some unsavory comments about that part of his life, that’s understandable. For those who can separate the filmmaker’s life from the film, The Birth of a Nation is still the Nat Turner story, still the movie that Fox Searchlight acquired for a record-setting figure, and it’s still the movie most critics applauded at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “While the film errs on the side of bluntness,” Angie wrote at the festival, “there’s no denying it packs a powerful punch. The Birth of a Nation isn’t an easy story to watch, but it’s one that absolutely demands to be told.” – JG

2016 fall movie preview patriot's day

28. Patriot’s Day

Patriot’s Day is the second Mark Wahlberg/Peter Berg project arriving in theaters before the year is out, and like Deepwater Horizon, this is a dramatization of a very real, very recent, and very painful event. Set in 2013, the film follows the lead up to and the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, including the manhunt for those responsible. It’s a brutal and heartbreaking story, but also one that has the potential to make for gripping, journalistic cinema in the same vein as something like Zero Dark Thirty. It helps that Wahlberg is backed up by a stunning cast that includes Michelle Monaghan, Kevin Bacon, and John Goodman, J.K. Simmons. – JH

2016 fall movie preview hacksaw ridge movie

27. Hackshaw Ridge

Here’s another case where you don’t have to approve of what an artist has said or done to appreciate their work. After nearly a 10-year absence from directing, Mel Gibson returns with this World War II drama starring Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, and Teresa Palmer. Hackshaw Ridge is poised to be his comeback as a filmmaker, but we’ll see about that. The trailer is perhaps a little cheesy, but we expect more than grandiose drama from the director of Apocalypto and Braveheart. Gibson is a fine filmmaker that will most likely dig deeper into Desmond T. Doss’ (Garfield) inspiring story than the trailer suggests. – JG

2016 fall movie preview elle

26. Elle

Elle arrives a decade after the brilliant and wildly underrated World War II drama Black Book showcased a new side of RoboCop and Starship Troopers director Paul Verhoeven. From the sound of things, he’s not done pushing buttons. His latest feature inspired a, uh, passionate response out of the Cannes Film Festival, with critics debating whether or not this rape/revenge thriller took things a step too far. In other words, it sounds like classic Verhoeven. Early buzz suggests that any plot synopsis should be kept to a minimum, but Elle stars the great Isabelle Huppert as a woman who is sexually assaulted and sets out to find her attacker. What happens (and I can honestly say that I remain spoiler-free) got a lot of people talking earlier this year. I’m impossibly intrigued to discover the details for myself. – JH

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