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Ten films to watch in 2016

We give you a heads up on the year’s best blockbusters – from superhero adventures to classic reimaginings to villains snatching the spotlight

1
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
1/10

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Opens Mar 24
Dir: Zack Snyder. 2016. USA. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams.

This is the smackdown we’ve all been waiting for (Ben Affleck versus Henry Cavill? It’s gonna be legendary). Say hello to the DC Cinematic Universe, where the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel face off in a live-action movie for the first time. And let’s not forget the silver screen introduction of several new characters, including Aquaman, Cyborg, a (possible) splitsecond red blur that is The Flash, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (before she stars in her own film next year).

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2
The Jungle Book
2/10

The Jungle Book

Opens Apr 14
Dir: Jon Favreau. 2016. USA. Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray. 

As a throwback to the beloved ’60s animated film, Disney breathes new life into the story of orphan boy Mowgli and his jungle friends with this stunning CGI piece. You’ll recognise Baloo (who’s still looking for the bear necessities), King Louie, Shere Khan and the slithering, seductive Kaa, aptly voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Just watch the trailer – it gives the classic tale a modern twist with mind-blowing visuals.

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3
Captain America: Civil War
Photo: Marvel/TNS
3/10

Captain America: Civil War

Opens May 5
Dir: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. 2016. USA. Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson.

Things aren’t going so well in the superhero realm, what with the Batman and Superman feud, and now Captain America battling Iron Man. But hey, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right? And even though this is Cap’s movie, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Vision and Scarlet Witch all show up. Not to mention Spider-Man, Black Panther and Ant-Man. It’ll either be a feast for the eyes, or a superhero overload. Either way, Avengers versus Avengers is gonna be awesome.

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4
X-Men: Apocalypse
4/10

X-Men: Apocalypse

Opens May 19
Dir: Bryan Singer. 2016. USA. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence.

Sure, you’ve got the solo outings of Deadpool, Gambit and Wolverine to get psyched about. But why watch one mutant when you can have ’em going all battle royale against an ultra-powerful villain? This edition’s big baddie arrives in the form of an ancient immortal named Apocalypse, who’s got Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke in his corner. So the fate of all mankind hangs in the balance as Charles Xavier and his band of new gen good guys lobby to save humans from extinction.

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5
Finding Dory
Photo: Pixar
5/10

Finding Dory

Opens Jun 16
Dir: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane. 2016. USA. Ellen DeGeneres, Idris Elba, Diane Keaton.

Twelve years after Nemo’s ocean adventure, Dory embarks on her own. The scene-stealing surgeonfish with the memory of a, err, goldfish is still voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, and regains some of her lost memories before swimming off to a family reunion. Since this is a kid-friendly Pixar film, expect learning lessons, touching scenes and moments of hilarity in between.

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6
Ghostbusters
6/10

Ghostbusters

Opens Jul 21
Dir: Paul Feig. 2016. USA. Chris Hemsworth, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig.

An all-female reboot of the classic ’80s series? It doesn’t get much cooler than that. Paul Feig, who helmed laugh-out-loud comedies Bridesmaids and Spy, is behind the wheel for this one. The fearless foursome with the Proton Packs comprises Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones – basically all top-notch Saturday Night Live funny women. Oh, and Chris Hemsworth swaps his hammer for a telephone to play… a receptionist. We’re guessing there’s more to this, and we can’t wait to find out.

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7
Suicide Squad
7/10

Suicide Squad

Opens Aug 4
Dir: David Ayer. 2016. USA/Canada. Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto.

Baddies take the lead here – yes, you heard that right. Supervillains like the Joker, Harley Quinn, El Diablo and Captain Boomerang and Deadshot form the Suicide Squad, a group of prisoners coerced by cold-blooded government agents to undertake deadly black ops missions in exchange for pardoned sentences. And with so many notorious assassins working together in close quarters, who knows what kinds of madness they’ll cook up. 

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8
Doctor Strange
Photo: JStone/Shutterstock.com
8/10

Doctor Strange

Opens Nov 3
Dir: Scott Derrickson. 2016. USA. Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton.

After the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, Marvel is expanding its reach into the lesser-known heroes. This one delves into the mythical and magical, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the arrogant surgeon whose path takes a swerve after his career goes down the drain and a sorcerer appoints him as an apprentice.

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9
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Photo: Jaap Buitendijk
9/10

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Opens Nov 18
Dir: David Yates. 2016. UK/USA. Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell.

Still reeling from wizard withdrawal? Well, here’s your chance to get another helping, with this adaptation of JK Rowling’s newest book (it’s also her screenwriting debut). Set 70 years before Daniel Radcliffe even picked up a wand, the story centres on Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, an author who plays a pivotal role in the underground magic scene of New York. And if everything goes well, you can expect parts two and three of the spin-off trilogy to get the green light.

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10
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
10/10

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Opens Dec 15
Dir: Gareth Edwards. 2016. USA. Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Felicity Jones.

We’re barely over the glorious return of Star Wars to the big screen – it’s been too long! – and now we’ve got another to look forward to. The director of sci-fi gems like Monsters and Godzilla brings us back in time before the events of A New Hope, zeroing in on a gang of Rebel fighters who plot to swipe the Death Star plans from the Empire. Just the fact that this transports us to the days of the original trilogy (and conjures up feelings of nostalgia) is enough reason to forget that it’s a spin-off.

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