2016 Most Anticipated: Risky

Runner-Ups 1 & 2 | 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

40. Girl on the Train
Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Emily Blunt
Director: Tate Taylor
Writers: Erin Cressida Wilson
Release Date: October 7
This was the book to read this year. It was short and engaging and was a nice thriller that totally rode the success of Gone Girl all the way to becoming a hugely sought-after movie adaptation. While I enjoyed the book, it was a little messy and I'm not too sure how I feel about the soapy 'twist' at the end. It felt a little bit too left field for me. But the movie's got the amazing Emily Blunt (sadly, she's no the lead). Rebecca Ferguson will play the title character and after her scene-stealing debut in the Mission: Impossible movie this year, I'm excited to see her take on a much darker, more serious role. The plot is about a woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees on her train ride to and from work and an ensuing murder she finds herself getting wrapped up in. The movie is being directed by Tate Taylor, the director behind such crowd-pleasers like The Help and Get On Up. It will be interesting to see how he handles such serious and dark material like alcoholism and domestic abuse - which are the main themes of the book. In fact, it will be interesting to see how the studio plays this out - the whole plot hinges on the main character's drinking problem, so I'd love to see the studio not shy away from how they portray the whole thing. The writer, Erin Cressida Wilson, who's best known for the quirky Secretary, is perfect for this story - so this should be a good adaptation as long as they don't hold back on plot points.

39. Gambit
Starring: Channing Tatum, Léa Seydoux
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Joshua Zetumer
Release Date: October 7
I honestly don't know if this will come out next year. It's scheduled for 2016, but they haven't even started to film. In fact, there was so much drama of would he/wouldn't he with Channing Tatum starring as Gambit that I think it delayed production. That and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) walked away from the director's chair after the studio deemed his vision for the film 'too risky'. That doesn't sound like a good thing. I'd rather have a studio take a risky approach to a project, especially the superhero genre, which is becoming so crowded year after year. But Fox has been scared ever since Fantastic Four was a commercial and critical bomb and the X-Men movies aren't guaranteed successes (well, not billion dollar successes). And honestly, I know Gambit is a fan-favorite of the all of the X-Men, but what the hell kind of story are they going to make? If they were smart, they'd avoid a origin story and just delve into some fun action-adventure, possibly noir detective genre. Channing Tatum will be good in the movie and Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) knows how to film action. I'm just worried that the story will just be ho-hum and the fact that Fox is so risk-averse right now, it'll be interesting to see how this movie shapes up.

38. Deepwater Horizon
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O'Brien, Kurt Russell
Director: Peter Berg
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan, J.C. Chandor, Matthew Sand
Release Date: September 30
Peter Berg probably doesn't get as much credit as he deserves. He's got some solid films under his belt - Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom, Lone Survivor. Even his duds - Battleship and Hancock weren't all that bad. He seems like the right guy to tackle this story and honestly, Mark Wahlberg feels like the right choice as well. Out of all the movies in this post, this seems like the safest bet. It might even get some awards love if everything comes together right. It might also just be a straight-forward action movie with a little bit of drama mixed in. And that's alright - I think Matthew Michael Carnahan can straddle that line - he's written World War Z, State of Play and The Kingdom. Plot details are pretty much non-existent right now, but I think it's going to be a pretty easy story about survival. If it all comes together right, this could be one of the better movies next year.

37. London Has Fallen
Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Charlotte Riley
Director: Babak Najafi
Writers: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast, Chad St. John
Release Date: March 4
I didn't care too much for Olympus Has Fallen, the movie where Gerard Butler stabs guys in the skull to protect our freedom and make sure the White House is terrorist-free. It was the more successful of the two White House movies that year, even though I'm probably the only person who preferred White House Down over Butler's gory manhunt. But that doesn't mean I'm not excited to see more stabbing and shootings of terrorists by this hunk of a man. Sure, it looks like more of the same, just with London as the backdrop. They have a new director - he hasn't done a big-budget or Hollywood movie yet, so yeah. It's not like this movie needs a talented/experienced hand behind the camera, it's just that they will probably stick to what works in this genre - explosions, terrible dialogue and lots of fast-paced cuts to men running around shooting things. It's not bad, I'm just not expecting to be blown away here. I also think it'll be interesting to see how much American audiences care enough to see this in theaters next year. London Has Fallen is a great name for the sequel, but will any of us care about our neighbors across the pond?

36. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Starring: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry
Director: Dave Green
Writers: Josh Applebaum, André Nemec
Release Date: June 3
I think the producers said, fuck it! We're doubling down on the ridiculous and campy attitude of the Ninja Turtles. We added the GD van, we got you a 90s-style monsters in the form of Rocksteady and Bebop (an oversized rhino and warthog), we got CASEY JONES, FOLKS. He's going to take down the Foot Clan with his hockey stick and puck. And then they throw in Madea of all people as oneo of the villains. Halleluyer. Yeah, this is going to be bonkers and we all know it. I really enjoyed the first movie - despite some of its flaws. Just please, keep Megan Fox to a minimum in this movie. So yeah, I'm going to geek out a little bit, I'm glad they're going all out for this one. We need cheesy movies to make a comeback big time. The great thing about this trailer is it seems like the people just know they can't take any of the plot and characters seriously, so they're going balls-out. Kudos, I hope this lives up to my expectations.

Runner-Ups 1 & 2 | 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

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