Most Anticipated Movies of Oscar Season 2016

The year is coming to an end and with it some great movies. As we begin to turn our eyes towards the Academy Awards, some real contenders are coming to finish off the year with a bang. Here are my 10 most anticipated movies for the rest of the year.

Keep in mind, these are not the movies I feel will compete for an Academy Award (although I think some will). These are the movies I feel have the most potential to be moving, entertaining or maybe even life changing. 


#10 - Moana

Kicking us off is the new movie from Disney Animation Studios. Call me crazy but we might be in another Disney animated “golden years”. With recent movies like Big Hero 6, Frozen, and Wreck-it-Ralph, it seems like these guys can’t miss. Mix an amazing track record with gorgeous animation, diversity and the charisma of The Rock and you have yourselves potential for an instant classic.

#9 - Hacksaw Ridge

Say what you will about Mel Gibson - the guy knows movies. With a directorial debut of best picture winner Braveheart, it’s hard to not have faith in the man. With what seems like an amazing performance from Andrew Garfield and a powerful message - this movie looks like an Oscar contender. Can Peter Parker help William Wallace have a comeback? Hopefully.

#8 - Birth of a Nation

Praised at Sundance and anticipated by many. This African American war story seems like a potential knock out. The occasional bad review on iMDB wont stop the momentum this movie has built over the past year. With indie star Nat Turner both directing and starring, hopefully this movie can not only be entertaining but make a statement for the better. 

#7 - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

While starring Mrs. Stephen Hawking herself and being directed by Gareth Edwards should make this movie great, many are still skeptical. With lore that has lasted the test of time and has powered one of the biggest movie franchises in history, we shouldn’t be too worried. Not taking place in the regular timeline and the return of Darth Vader have doubts high and anticipation even higher. But remember - it’s Star Wars. You can’t help but be excited!

#6 - Doctor Strange

Disney makes the list yet again. With few missteps in the MCU and my personal favorite Marvel movie Captain America Civil War having come out earlier this year, this movie is a must see. Riding the risk of introducing different dimensions and magic, is cleverly backed up with star power from Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tilda Swinton. It seems most of us are excited to see how this movie will impact the future of the superhero genre we have come to love. 

#5 - La La Land

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in a musical. Need I say more? It might seem like a shock that this fun loving and light musical is directed by the same brilliant man that made the dark and brooding Whiplash, but Damien Chazelle seems to have drummed all the right beats with La La Land. It’s being praised and praised again by any and all who see it. GQ called it “A musical for those who hate musicals.” Sounds to me like it’s a movie for everyone.

#4 - A Monster Calls

Felicity Jones makes this list again with this book to film adaptation. Staring the applauded Lewis MacDougall and the voice of Liam Neeson, this movie seems like a tear jerker, edge of the seater and a life changer all in one movie. Praised at film festivals and by critics everywhere, this movie seems to promise and deliver. 

#3 - The Accountant

Warrior is one of the greatest movies of all time (writer’s opinion). From the same writer and director, Gavin O’Conner, comes the most biased pick on this list. Ignore that fact and you still have a potentially great movie in The Accountant. Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, and J.K. Simmons lead the cast of this crime thriller. It seems like an intense movie with twists and turns that will keep you entertained the entire time. 

#2 - Deepwater Horizon

From one of the greatest production companies in Hollywood comes this disaster film. Participant Media seems to have done it yet again. With a track record of Lincoln, The Help and Spotlight, it seems Deepwater Horizon has the potential to take home the Oscar. A message that needs to be heard, great visuals and a cast lead by Marky Mark come together to create potential greatness.

#1 - The Magnificent Seven

If you don't know who Akira Kurosawa is, go look him up. As a pioneer in film, Kurosawa created one of the greatest films of all time - Seven Samurai. Based on the story Mr. Kurosawa laid forth with his 1954 epic, Magnificent Seven seems to have all that’s required to make a great movie; good studio, great director, iconic story and powerful actors. This western remake might not change the world, but I fully expect to be entertained and smiling the entire time I’m in the theater. 

What are you looking forward to most? Let us know on Twitter @reel_contender or email

Cj Lindsey