BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: COMING IN 2016
Our Weekend checklist of arts and entertainment offerings to not miss in 2016 can't possibly cover everything coming in movies. There's much more to anticipate than a comics superhero showdown and two movies partially filmed around Tampa Bay.
So, on this eve of a new year, here are 16 high-profile movies we may talk about next December, wrapping up 2016's best, worst and most profitable.
Hail, Caesar! (Feb. 5): Joel and Ethan Coen in cockeyed Hollywood, with George Clooney as a missing 1950s film idol.
The Jungle Book (Apr. 15): Disney reprises Rudyard Kipling's classic, with CGI critters and celebrity voices. A bare necessity.
Captain America: Civil War (May 6): The latest shuffling of Avengers trading cards, with a rift between Cap and Iron Man.
X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27): "Hey, guys! Over here! We're Marvel superheroes, too!"
Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27): Johnny Depp will do anything to dress weird these days.
Finding Dory (June 17): The forgetful blue tang with Ellen DeGeneres' voice gets her own blockbuster.
Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24): Didn't the fat lady sing for this alien invasion franchise 20 years ago?
Ghostbusters (July 15): A gender-flip reboot starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. Who else you gonna call?
Star Trek Beyond (July 22): Answering the cosmos' nagging question: Can this franchise survive after J.J. Abrams traded up to Star Wars?
Bourne 5 (July 29): Matt Damon is Jason Bourne again. Now all they need is a title.
Suicide Squad (Aug. 5): DC Comics supervillains — including Jared Leto's Joker — unite to fight crime in exchange for clemency.
Sully (Sept. 9): Tom Hanks as real-life hero pilot "Sully" Sullenberger, directed by Clint Eastwood? Roger.
Doctor Strange (Nov. 4): Yet another Marvel superhero, although Benedict Cumberbatch looks classy in a cape.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Nov. 11): Oscar winner Ang Lee directs another novel adaptation, about an Iraq war veteran getting a bittersweet tribute.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov. 18): Spinning off the Harry Potter saga, with Eddie Redmayne as the boy wizard's favorite author.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dec. 16): Yes, next Christmas will be all about the Force again. This spin-off is the story behind that opening exposition crawl in 1977 about rebel spies stealing Death Star plans.
Passengers (Dec. 21): Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt together in outer space. You had us at "Jen …"
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Skywalker saga returns full Force.
2 Room: A unique experience, with terrific performances by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.
3 Spotlight: The finest movie about newspaper reporters doing their jobs since All the President's Men.
4 Creed: Worthy successor to Rocky Balboa's underdog boxing title, and maybe an Oscar nod for Sylvester Stallone.
5 The Danish Girl: Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander are deserving Golden Globes nominees.
(dates subject to change)
Jan. 8: The Revenant
Jan. 15: Ride Along 2; 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi; Norm of the North
Jan. 22: Dirty Grandpa
Jan. 29: Kung Fu Panda 3; Fifty Shades of Black; The 5th Wave
Feb. 5: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Hail, Caesar!
Feb. 12: Deadpool; How to Be Single; Zoolander 2; Where to Invade Next