13 Hours: The Secret Story of Benghazi – We’ve all been waiting on the secret story of Benghazi, haven’t we Hillary? HAVEN’T WE?!? Anyway, this Michael Bay-directed thriller will likely be crap. But maybe it’ll be exciting crap. For something so early in the year, that’s really all we can hope for.
Hail, Caeser! – The Coen Brothers’ star-studded comedy is one of the year’s most anticipated films. I hate to see it release so early, considering Oscar’s very short memory, but I have no doubt it’ll be as memorable as anything the Coens have made recently.
Race – First of all, amazing title. Stephan James (“Selma”) stars as Jesse Owens, the Olympic runner who redefined race expectations and defied Nazi Germany during the 1940 Olympics. This is an easy bet.
The Free State of Jones – Matthew McConaughey encountered his first failure in years starring in the under-performing “Sea of Trees” this year. Playing a man who leads a revolution against the Union army during the Civil War, 2016 might see him make another comeback and really solidify his McConaissance.
The Jungle Book – This brilliantly cast computer-animated adaptation of the beloved story is bound to be unforgettable. Bill Murray as Balloo? Christopher Walken as King Louis?! I can hear the songs now.
Everybody Wants Some – The next college film from director Richard Linklater stars Glen Powell, who blew audiences away with his hilarious role as Chad Radwell in FOX’s “Scream Queens.” Let’s hope this one has more substance than Linklater’s gimmicky “Boyhood” from a couple years ago.
Snowden – Joseph Gordon Levitt had this on his radar around the time he was prepping for “The Walk.” I knew this role would be better for him, and the movie will be so much more exciting. One downside: Snowden’s story is still very much up in the air, so a movie ending can’t really happen.
Finding Dory – It’s been 13 years, but we all remember P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Can “Finding Dory” remember how to be funny like its near-perfect predecessor?
The BFG – The Roald Dahl classic, about a Big Friendly Giant, gets the Disney treatment. With Steven Spielberg at the helm? Okay!
Suicide Squad – Jared Leto resurrects the Joker for the first time since Heath Ledger made it his character. Can he do it any justice? And don’t forget about Will Smith and Margot Robbie, too, hopefully better than their failed efforts in “Focus.”
Deepwater Horizon – A dramatic action thriller about the 2010 oil drill explosion and subsequent climate disaster starring Dylan O’Brien (“The Maze Runner”) and Mark Wahlberg? Count me in.
The Accountant – This sort-of-sequel to “The Judge,” written by the same writer, stars Ben Affleck. “The Judge” worked. I’m confident the dramatic actor and convincing everyman can make this one work, too.
A Monster Calls – Liam Neeson hauntingly narrates this unique children’s tale about a boy who calls upon a monster to get him through a tough time. The trailer alone gives me chills.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The next movie from the “Harry Potter” franchise stars Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, which automatically makes it better than anything with Ron Weasley.
The Founder – Call it a McBiopic. The story of McDonalds founder Ray Kroc, starring Oscar-nominee Michael Keaton as the revolutionary fast foodie, is bound to be an interesting one.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – No explanation necessary.