2016’s almost here! Let’s kick it all off with a list of the geek movies you MUST catch in the new year. Here’s 20 of the very best, compiled by the team at Geek Crusade.

1The Hateful Eight (Jan 21)

The maestro of pulp culture is back and Quentin Tarantino’s eight and latest film promises to be nothing less than legendary. Set in post-Civil War Wyoming, it has Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson playing bounty hunters. Together with a convicted murderer (Jennifer Jason Leigh), they are forced to seek shelter from a blizzard at a stagecoach stopover, where they meet five other strangers. And then….

QT is a filmmaker’s filmmaker, and his storytelling and visual style are loaded with pop culture references and throwback filmmaking techniques that are like Easter eggs for the truest of cinephiles. This time, Tarantino’s even roped in legendary composer Ennio Morricone to score it – it’s Morricone’s first involvement in a Western in over 40 years!

Recommended by: Cinemaniac Diana Othman

2Deadpool (Feb 4)

Hold on to your chimichangas, the Merc with a Mouth is back!

It’s been a looooong wait, but never fear, geeks. The Deadpool movie looks like the movie all fans deserve. After playing the same character in the lacklustre X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, Ryan Reynolds is back, and more irreverent than ever. And we love it so, so much.

You know how people say RDJ was born to play Tony Stark? Well, Ryan Reynolds was born to play Wade Wilson. It’s as simple as that. The trailers for the movie look awesome, and I can’t bloody wait for the movie to get here already!

Recommended by: Opinionated Geek JM Wong

3Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Feb 15)

The best-selling book of the same title is finally going to be on-screen! Having seen the trailer for the movie, I’m quite excited to see the outcome of the familiar Pride and Prejudice scenes being mashed up with The Walking Dead. It not only gives Austen fans a darker spin on the classic novel, but also creates new personae for the characters.

The cast is mostly British, with Lily James playing Elizabeth Bennett. The main cast also includes the Lannister duo Charles Dance and Lena Headey, playing Mr Bennet and Lady Catherine, plus the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith as Mr Collins. You can expect this film to not only have the romance of the classic literary tale, but also bad-ass zombie combat.

Smell that? Yup, that’s the scent of a box-office hit coming to you.

Recommended by: Jasmine Ong

4Zootopia (Mar 3)

 

Having seen the trailers, I absolutely cannot wait to watch this. Animals behaving like humans is nothing new, but the scene in the trailer where Sloths operate a Department of Motor Vehicles gives me hope that the movie will have lots and lots of laughs. There’s also an interesting mix of comedians and dramatic actors providing the voices, from Jason Bateman to Idris Elba to Ginnifer Goodwin.

Recommended by: Jasmine Ong

5The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Mar 17)

Continuing from where they left off in Insurgent, this will be part one of the conclusion to Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Tobias’ (Theo James) journey as they finally discover the truth about the outside world.

Like with The Hunger Games, I initially didn’t like the idea of splitting the one book into two movies, but I figured that it was probably the only way to stay true to the book. As seen in the trailer, we can expect a lot more action and romance as the characters venture deeper into the world outside the fence.

Recommended by: Jasmine Ong

6Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Mar 25)

Ben Affleck as Batman? Who wouldn’t want to watch that? This casting choice caused huge controversy among fans, thanks to a certain Daredevil movie. With Affleck in another superhero movie, will his Daredevil baggage finally be erased? I believe it will.

Warners is certainly pulling out all the stops for this movie. Not only do we get DC’s top three in Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, we’re getting Aquaman, Lex Luthor, Cyborg and possibly even Batgirl. After all, there’s a lot riding on this movie – it’s paving the way for 10 more DC movies.

Recommended by: Andrew Khoo

7Captain America: Civil War (May 5)

So The Avengers: Age of Ultron (see our review) was more of a whimper than a battle cry, and it made our favourite captain look like a bloody old man (language!). But I believe in the Russo brothers. After all, they did an excellent job with Captain America: Winter Soldier (see our review) and gave us a Cap we could all root for.

In the wake of the events of Ultron, the New Avengers get slapped with the Sokovia Accords (the MCU equivalent of the Superhero Registration Act). But when Bucky Barnes turns up, it’s the catalyst for a battle that puts Cap and Iron Man on opposing sides.

The first Civil War trailer nearly melted my brain, because it was just so much. It looks badass and awesome, but I already know that the movie will give me ALL the feels. Why can’t they just be friends?!

Recommended by: Opinionated Geek JM Wong

8X-Men: Apocalypse (May 19)

Picking up from where X-Men: Days of Future Past (see our review) left off, X-Men: Apocalypse will see our favourite superheroes face their biggest (literally!), and most powerful enemy yet – Apocalypse a.k.a/ En Sabah Nur, who is believed to be one of the oldest mutants alive.

Yes, you’ve seen him in the DOFP end-credits scene using sheer will to lift massive pyramids while the plebians chant his name! Fast forward to the future – well the ‘80s! – and Apocalypse recruits a group of powerful mutants – Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and Angel (Ben Hardy) – to establish a new world order. Can Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and their team of young X-Men stop him before the world as they know it is destroyed?

The trailers already look great – impressive sets, a couple of character designs seem on point (particularly Angel and Psylocke), and I’m most curious to see Isaac’s interpretation of The First One. Will the Magneto, Prof X, and Mystique lurve triangle continue to break our hearts?

Also, being set in the ‘80s means the perfect excuse to bring out the look and colourful costume designs from the Jim Lee/Chris Claremont golden era of X-Men comics. Just look at the images of Jubilee (Lana Condor)! I wonder if it’s finally time for Wolverine to don the yellow spandex.

Recommended by: Cinemaniac Diana Othman

9The Conjuring 2 (Jun 9)

©Warner Bros Pictures

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as our favourite pair of (real-life) retro paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. At the end of the first movie, Lorraine told Ed that a priest wanted to “discuss a case in Long Island.” The case in question is in fact the haunting of the Amityville house, which the Warrens also investigated and was the basis for the classic 1979 horror film The Amityville Horror.

But the dreams of a thousand old school horror geeks were dashed when it was announced that the sequel to 2013’s 19th highest grossing movie was going to be about the Enfield poltergeist, which means that the Warrens are bound for England.

The plot is still under wraps but a quick Google search will yield several news stories of what The Telegraph calls “the longest and most witnessed poltergeist case in history.” A single mother and two of her four children claimed that they were victims of poltergeist activity in their house in Enfield, England.

The first Conjuring movie was a decently frightening throwback to supernatural movies of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and I really hope that director James Wan keeps up the eerie, atmospheric quality of these films.

Recommended by: Cinemaniac Diana Othman

 

10Warcraft (Jun 9)

With 2016 heralding the arrival of Warcraft and Assassins’ Creed, will we finally see a video game-based movie that isn’t utterly crap? Warcraft is an interesting choice for Legendary Pictures, because the history of Azeroth re: the opening of the Dark Portal and the arrival of the Orcs from Draenor, is pretty well documented in the video games. Most fans will be familiar with the storyline (presumably), yet at the same time, the studio won’t be able to just assume all those watching the movie will be such fans.

It’s this delicate balancing of story-telling and of course, special effects, which will either make or break Warcraft. All I’m hoping is that there will be a peasant in the movie whose only line is “More work? Noo… I’m not listening!

Recommended by: Grumpy Geek Bryan Huang

11Finding Dory (Jun 16)

The much anticipated follow-up to Finding Nemo, Dory (Ellen Degeneres) suddenly remembers that she has a family and leaves the safety of the Great Barrier Reef to look for her parents. Needless to say, Nemo and Marlin (Albert Brooks) set off to find her and hilarity should ensue.

Finding Nemo came out in 2003, which would make this sequel 13 years in the making. While I didn’t get the feeling that Finding Nemo needed a sequel, this should be a welcome addition to the Pixar line up. Now, if only they could get Brad Bird to churn out a sequel to The Incredibles.

Recommended by: Commando Geek Wong Jun Heng

12Independence Day: Resurgence (Jun 24)

If there’s one movie that could’ve done without a sequel, it was Independence Day. That movie, coupled with some excellent one-liners from Will Smith and a stirring speech from Bill Pullman, was pretty much complete (let’s ignore the virus upload and whatever, okay?). So a sequel is a risky thing. I mean, we’ve all seen what happened to The Matrix. And there’s no Will Smith, which makes this an even greater gamble, relying (mostly) on the nostalgia factor to bring viewers back.

Nostalgia may work for franchises like Star Wars, which has a huge following from its expanded universe, but ID4 was pretty much a one-hit wonder. Director Roland Emmerich has gone on a spree of world destruction since then, but there’s only that many times people will pay to see the world getting destroyed without giant robots that make no sense coming to the rescue.

Still, Jurassic World (see our review) made a great comeback in 2015, so there’s a chance ID4 2 will introduce a new generation to the franchise the same way Will Smith’s fist introduced an alien to Earth. We hope, anyway.

Recommended by: Grumpy Geek Bryan Huang

13Star Trek Beyond (Jul 22)

Another sci-fi movie to look forward to is the third instalment of the rebooted Star Trek series. JJ Abrams did a great job of injecting a much-needed sense of adventure and action, but the first two movies deviated quite a bit from the style and ingenuity that made me fall in love with the franchise.

Hopefully, with a new director at the helm (Justin Lin) and a script by resident Trekker Simon Pegg (he’s a Star Wars fan too!), the series might return to its exploration roots. Initial comments by the likes of George Takei about the first trailer have not been positive, though Pegg has asked Star Trek fans to hang in there.  This movie lands in the cinemas just in time for the summer.

Recommended by: Commando Geek Wong Jun Heng

14Bourne 5 (July 29)

©Universal Pictures

After some slight distraction with not-Bourne Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner, who also plays not-Legolas Hawkeye), we’re going back to the man who started it all. Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne is, in my opinion, one of his better roles. The trilogy is also one of my favourites, especially the way The Bourne Supremacy overlapped with The Bourne Ultimatum.

There’s no trailer yet, but Damon dropped a few hints in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly – there’ll be “a nighttime riot scene” in Athens at the beginning and a “big car chase” down the Vegas strip in the third act.

The question now is – will making an extra movie be flogging a dead horse, or a masterstroke? After all, Damon himself had said they’d “ridden that horse as far as we can”. Not to mention that we’ve seen how Tom Cruise went from Mission: Impossible to Mission: Not So Impossible But Yeah Let’s Make It Sound That Way So We Can Make More Money Regardless Of How Ridiculous This Is. Still, I’ll cross my fingers and hope, for now.

Recommended by: Grumpy Geek Bryan Huang

15Doctor Strange (Nov 3)

“How you like me now, JM?” Source: ComicBookMovie.com

I know, I know. I’ve said before that they shouldn’t have cast Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, but it’s not like they can uncast him now.

Still, the MCU could do worse than add such an esteemed actor to their stable. In Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch plays an arrogant neurosurgeon whose career is ruined after a car accident, and ends up travelling to Nepal like Batman in a bid to heal himself.

In addition to Cumberbatch, the movie also stars the divine Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen. For a superhero movie, it’s got an embarrassment of acting riches, and I can’t wait to see how the MCU will tackle the spiritual plane.

Recommended by: Opinionated Geek JM Wong

16Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov 18)

Fans are going to love this prequel to the Harry Potter franchise. Not only does it star Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, it will be produced by David Heyman, who was also the producer for all eight Harry Potter films.

The Golden Trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione may not be in this film, but that could be exactly what we fans need. Their storyline is done and we have gotten our closure. This film will then give us a chance to dive back into the world of our favourite franchise, but with new aspects and characters.

Recommended by: Andrew Khoo

17Rogue One: A Star Wars story (Dec 15)

©Lucasfilm

This will be the first movie of the Star Wars franchise that doesn’t follow the saga of the Skywalkers. Expanding on the back story of how the Death Star plans were stolen, this anthology movie will focus on a band of rag-tag team of soldiers who risk their lives to give the rebels a fighting chance against the Galactic Empire.

Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Donnie Yen, this is already shaping up to be a Star Wars movie event not to be missed. Just give Ip Man Jedi powers already!

Recommended by: Commando Geek Wong Jun Heng

18Assassin’s Creed (Dec 22)

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Or as I like to call it: Fassassin’s Creed! This historical fiction action-adventure hit game by French developer Ubisoft is getting THE live action adaptation of a lifetime. Here’s the official synopsis:

Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society through unlocked genetic memories that allow him to relive the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. After gaining incredible knowledge and skills he’s poised to take on the oppressive Knights Templar in the present day.

This movie is also turning out to be a Macbeth (see our review) reunion. Its two leads – Fassbender and Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard – as well as its scriptwriters and director Justin Kurzel are all present. And as if that isn’t chock-full of talent already, veteran Brit actors Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson will also be in the cast!

If Macbeth is any indication, we’re in for one thrilling and atmospheric treatment of Assassin’s Creed.

Recommended by: Cinemaniac Diana Othman

19Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Dec 29)

Based on the book of the same name, this is set to be an interesting and mysterious ride into the unknown. Set between the modern time and the past, it’s the story of a teenage boy who goes on a quest to uncover the secrets his grandfather has been hiding.

For a film of this nature, it was a no-brainer that Tim Burton would direct. And, the casting of Eva Green as Miss Peregrine couldn’t have been more perfect, as she embodies the mystery and decorum of the headmistress. The only worry I have is the repeat of a Dark Shadows kind of failure, when both Green and Burton were involved.

Nonetheless, this is bound to be a visually stunning film that will have your imagination running wild.

Recommended by: Jasmine Ong

20High-Rise (TBC)

Everybody’s pretend boyfriend Tom Hiddleston is known for his sweet, cuddly demeanour IRL. So you might just do a double take when (if!) you watch him in director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s violent satire High-Rise.

Think of it as the twisted adult cousin of Lord of the Flies, but set in a state-of-the-art apartment building. As basic amenities start breaking down, the cracks in society deepen until the inhabitants fall into a kind of class warfare and clash violently on every level in the building.

Wheatley is also known for his bold, often darkly funny approach to storytelling, and I can’t wait to see his treatment of Ballard’s brutal novel. High-Rise also stars Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, and Elisabeth Moss.

Recommended by: Cinemaniac Diana Othman

 

Geek movies 2016: Which ones are you looking forward to in the new year? Tell us!