16 for ’16: Todd’s Most Anticipated Fall Movies

As the 2016 summer movie season winds down – it’s time to start thinking of the leaves changing, football (both real and fantasy), and yes – the fall slate of movies heading our way from September to December!

By most accounts, it has been a rather ho-hum summer at the multiplexes. Let’s hope the autumn frame picks things up a little. A few things are certain: the pictures being released in the final third of this calendar year will almost surely make up the bulk of Oscar-bait material. There has been very little that has counted as that in the first eight months. We have plenty of contenders and some of them are in this here list.

I decided to pick out my personal 16 most anticipated titles of what’s coming to us. This is also an exciting time of the year as my “Oscar Watch” posts are certain to increase as the major film festivals (starting with Toronto and Venice in a matter of weeks) begin to showcase some of the Academy hopefuls.

Here are 16 for ’16 titles that have piqued my interest for the rest of the year:

The Accountant

Release Date: October 14

Ben Affleck sheds the Bat-suit for this thriller from Warrior director Gavin O’Connor. Batfleck plays a math savant mixed up in some secret government activity and the stellar supporting casts includes Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons.


Release Date: November 23

Robert Zemeckis directs what sounds like an old-fashioned romantic thriller. It’s set in the WWII era in Casablanca and is headlined by Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.


Release Date: November 11

Prisoners and Sicario director Denis Villenueve delves into sci-fi territory with this alien tale featuring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Release Date: November 11

Acclaimed director Ang Lee has won two Oscars and his latest is a war drama based on a bestseller. Expect this to garner Oscar buzz. The cast includes newcomer Joe Alwyn in the title role, as well as Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, and Vin Diesel.

Doctor Strange

Release Date: November 4

After a somewhat middling 2015 with the Avengers sequel and Ant-Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe got back on track with this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Let’s see if the introduction of Benedict Cumberbatch’s title character continues the momentum. Scott Derrickson directs with a supporting cast including Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tilda Swinton.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date: November 18

Will audiences flock to the return of Harry Potter world sans Harry Potter? It’s a pretty safe bet as J.K. Rowling’s novel comes to life in this fantasy starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.

The Founder

Release Date: December 16

Michael Keaton has been on a roll lately (both 2014’s Birdman and 2015’s Spotlight won Best Picture). Expect this biopic, in which he plays McDonald’s founder Ray Croc, to also order up Academy Awards talk. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) directs.

The Girl on the Train

Release Date: October 7

This mystery thriller from The Help director Tate Taylor should give star Emily Blunt an Oscar-bait type role, just a year after her acclaimed turn in Sicario. Based on a bestselling novel, it’s no accident that its release date is the same as Gone Girl from two two years ago.

La La Land

Release Date: December 2

Damien Chazelle made a major splash two years ago with his Oscar nominated Whiplash. His follow-up is a musical featuring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and J.K. Simmons. It’s screening at the Venice Film Festival in a couple of weeks in hopes of beginning its Academy talk.

The Magnificent Seven 

Release Date: September 23

Denzel Washington reunites with his Training Day and The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua in this Western remake that also features red-hot Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Release Date: September 30

He’s been hit or miss lately, but anything from the mind of Tim Burton immediately inspires hope. The dark fantasy, based on a bestseller and starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench, and Samuel L. Jackson, looks right up his alley.


Release Date: December 21

This space thriller from The Imitation Game maker Morten Tyldum unites the box office powers of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Let’s get a trailer for this already!

**No trailer at press time

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: December 16

You may have heard of it. Gareth Edwards, who made the good Godzilla movie of the last few years, directs the latest Disney epic set in a galaxy far, far away. The events here take place between the events of Episodes III and IV with a plot to steal plans for the iconic Death Star. Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, and Diego Luna join this fabled cinematic universe… and James Earl Jones returns (!!) to voice a certain famed villain.

Rules Don’t Apply

Release Date: November 23

It’s been nearly 16 years since Warren Beatty appeared on the silver screen and 18 years since he’s directed. He’s back with this comedic drama in which he plays billionaire Howard Hughes. The supporting casts includes his wife Annette Bening, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich (soon to be young Han Solo), Matthew Broderick, and Alec Baldwin.


Release Date: Undetermined (probably December)

No firm release date has been set for Martin Scorsese’s latest – a historical drama set in Japan. Yet it’s likely to earn a 2016 release for Oscar consideration. Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver star.

*No trailer at press time


Release Date: September 9

Coming off the biggest hit of his incredible career American Sniper, Clint Eastwood directs the real-life tale of the “Miracle on the Hudson” with Tom Hanks in the title role. Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney costar.

And there you have it! There’s plenty of other intriguing films coming our way in these next four months and readers of this blog know that I’ll be reviewing, box office predicting, and evaluating the Oscar chances on them! Stay tuned…

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