The Must-Sees of 2016: Films from Bridget Jones' Baby to Star Trek Beyond

The critics’ guide to the hottest tickets of the year ahead

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The Independent Culture



Colin Firth plays legendary editor Max  Perkins who worked closely with F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe (who is played by Jude Law). Genius marks the first feature film by renowned  theatre director, Michael Grandage. Perkins was a fascinating figure but it will be intriguing to see just how the film-makers generate drama out of a story of literary friendship and collaboration.

World premiere Berlin Film Festival, February


Steven Spielberg tackles Roald Dahl. He has recruited British actor Mark Rylance to play the big friendly giant. It will be intriguing to see how Spielberg tackles the subject matter – and how true he is to the darker elements in Dahl’s story.

22 July

Star Trek Beyond

It’s the golden anniversary of Star Trek (the  first series aired in 1966) and the occasion is being marked with yet another new movie. Chris Pine is back as Captain Kirk and Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote the screenplay, again plays Scotty.

22 July

The Commune

Thomas Vinterberg’s recent career has been erratic. The brilliant Danish director followed up on one of his best films, The Hunt, by  making one of the worst, his version of Far From the Madding Crowd. The Commune is a much more personal story. Vinterberg himself grew up in a commune and the new film promises to capture the idealistic side of commune-living as well as its comic  aspects and its darker elements.



Jack Huston plays Ben-Hur in the latest version of Lew Wallace’s much filmed sword-and-sandal epic. Don’t expect a classic but Russian director Timur Bekmambetov should at least know how to stage a decent chariot race.

26 August

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Fourteen years on from her first screen outing, Bridget is back and confronting motherhood in Sharon Maguire’s new film based on the characters created by Helen Fielding. It’s not just red wine hangovers and caddish behaviour from the menfolk that Renee Zellweger’s Bridget will have to endure: expect the poop to be flying too.

16 September

The Magnificent Seven

Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the John Sturges classic western, itself adapted from Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, has Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington among the gunslingers. The biggest challenge isn’t in competing with the memories of Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner and co, but in trying to come up with music anything like as atmospheric as that celebrated score written by Elmer Bernstein.

23 September