16 Must-See Movies of 2016

Shelby Snigar, Staff Writer

It's a new year and with that comes new entertainment. What better way to look forward to all of 2016 than to check out these 16 must-see movies?

1. Kung Fu Panda 3 (PG)

 Photo courtesy of DreamWorks.

Photo courtesy of DreamWorks.

Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni

Release Date: Feb. 29, 2016

Actors: Jack Black (Po), Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), Bryan Cranston (Po’s father Li), J.K. Simmons (The evil Kai)

Synopsis: Kung Fu Panda 2 ended by revealing that Po’s father, Li, was alive and that there was a secret panda nation thriving in the mountains.  In Kung Fu Panda 3, Li leaves the panda nation to search for his son.  Li wishes to bring Po home to remember what it’s like to be a panda. Before Po meets his father, Master Shifu has given Po his most important lesson: to become the teacher.  This lesson is important for Po as he must train his fellow pandas in the art of Karate in order to form his own army and stop the evil Kai.  Can Po train the pandas?  Can he defeat Kai?  Find out on Feb. 29th when Kung Fu Panda 3 comes to theaters.

2. Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (PG)

 Photo courtesy of Disney.

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Director: James Bobin

Release Date: May 27, 2016

Actors: Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Anne Hathaway (Mirana), Mia Wasikowska (Alice), Helena Bonham Carter (Iracebeth, the Red Queen), Sacha Baron Cohen (Time)

Synopsis: Alice steps into a glass mirror to return to the Underland through time.  Time is a man, a magical person one does not wish to make enemies of.  However, to save the Mad Hatter, Alice must turn back the hands of time during the Underland’s darkest of hours.  In order to do this, she must take the Chronosphere, a sphere that glows and spins inside the Grand Clock, powering time itself.  With the power of the Chronosphere, she may be able to save the Mad Hatter, and the Underland.

3. Zootopia (PG)

 Photo courtesy of the official  Zootopia  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of the official Zootopia Facebook page.

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Release Date: March 4, 2016

Actors: Jason Bateman (Nick Wilde), Ginnifer Goodwin (Judy Hopps), Idris Elba (Chief Bogo), J.K. Simmons (Mayor Lionheart), Nate Torrence (Officer Clawhauser), Jenny Slate (Assistant Mayor Bellwether), Tommy Chong (Yak), Octavia Spenser (Mrs. Otterton), Bonnie Hunt (Bonnie Hopps), Don Lake (Stu Hopps), Alan Tudyk (Duke Weaselton), Tommy “Tiny” Lister (Finnick), Raymond Persi (Flash)

Synopsis: Judy Hopps is the newest member of the Zootopia police force.  However, the job is not easy as she is the first bunny.  With a determination to prove she’s a real police officer, she takes on a case about some animals going wild.  The only witness to the accident is Nick Wilde, a scam-artist fox who does not wish to help.  However, in order to crack open the goods and solve the mystery, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde take on this dangerous adventure, and learn a little more about themselves along the way.

4. Ratchet & Clank (PG)

 Photo courtesy of  ratchetandclankmovie.com .

Photo courtesy of ratchetandclankmovie.com.

Director: Kevin Munroe, Jericca Cleland   

Release Date: April 29, 2016

Actors: David Kaye (Clank), Paul Giamatti (Chairman Drek), James Arnold Taylor (Ratchet)

Synopsis: Ratchet has a dream to be a part of The Galactic Rangers, and when a spot opens up, he auditions to join the team.  After rejection, he finds a metal contraption he names Clank.  They team up to stop Chairman Drek, an evil alien who threatens to destroy every planet in the Solana Galaxy along with The Galactic Rangers.

5. The Legend of Tarzan (PG)

 Photo courtesy of official  Tarzan  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of official Tarzan Facebook page.

Director: David Yates

Release Date: July 1, 2016

Actors: Alexander Skarsgård (Tarzan), Margot Robbie (Jane Porter)

Synopsis: After having left Africa’s jungles to be with his wife Jane, Tarzan is now returning.  He has been selected to be the trade emissary of Parliament by Captain Leon Rom.  However, there’s a deadly plan coming to action and Tarzan must save them all, including his Jane.

6. Prayer Never Fails (PG)

 Photo courtesy of prayerneverfails.com.

Photo courtesy of prayerneverfails.com.

Director: Wes Miller

Release Date: Feb. 12, 2016

Actors: Eric Roberts (Judge Bolden), Lorenzo Lamas (Judge Rogers), Corbin Bernsen (Joseph T. Harrington), Lynn Whitfield (Loral Hess), Nick Lashaway (Aiden Paul), Clifton Davis (Michael Brown)

Synopsis: After learning about the troubles one of his students is having at home, a high school basketball coach prays with the team.  This ultimately gets the coach fired, even though the school was on its way to record number of wins.  Now the coach is getting a lawyer to fight for his right to pray with the students.  However, the coach does not realize at the time that his lawyer is a gambler, and will end up redeeming him in this fight for rights.

7. National Park Adventure (G)

 Photo courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman.

Photo courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman.

Director: MacGillivray Freeman

Release Date: February 2016

Actors: Robert Redford (Narrator), Conrad Anker (Mountaineer), Max Lowe (Adventure Photographer), Rachel Pohl (Artist)

Synopsis: Take a trip through America’s natural habitats.  See all that America’s National Parks has to offer.  Within the movie, Conrad Anker, Max Lowe and Rachel Pohl all go hiking and climbing through the national parks as 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the world’s majestic lands.  They plan to give viewers the times of their lives in this adventure.

8. Norm of the North (PG)

 Photo courtesy of official  Norm of the North  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of official Norm of the North Facebook page.

Director: Trevor Wall

Release Date: Jan. 15, 2016

Actors: Rob Schneider (Norm), Ken Jeong (Mr. Greene), Maya Kay (Olympia), Bill Nighy (Socrates), Heather Graham (Vera)

Synopsis: Norm is a polar bear who cannot hunt.  However, he can talk to humans.  When humans decide to take over Norm’s home, he stows away to New York with three friends.  On this journey, he plans to sabotage Mr. Greene’s plans of development in the Arctic, and to save his home.

9. Moana (PG-13)

 Photo courtesy of Disney.

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Director: John Musker, Ron Clements

Release Date: Nov. 23, 2016

Actors: Dwayne Johnson (Demi-God Maui), Auli’I Cravalho (Moana), Alan Tudyk (Unknown)

Synopsis: Moana, Disney’s newest princess, is a natural born navigator.  Maui is a legendary demi-god and Moana’s hero.  Together they travel the world in search of a specific island.  However, there’s a mystery to every adventure, and one especially for this princess.

10. The 5th Wave (PG-13)

 Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Director: J Blakeson

Release Date: Jan. 22, 2016

Actors: Chloë Grace Moretz (Cassie), Zachary Arthur (Sam), Nick Robinson (Ben), Ron Livingston (Oliver), Maggie Siff (Lisa), Alex Roe (Evan)

Synopsis: Aliens have arrived and with them, they bring destruction to Earth.  This could mean the end to the human race.  The aliens destroy the earth in waves.  The five waves are a blackout, an earthquake, a disease, an arrival and a complete annihilation. With the fourth wave, Cassie’s little brother Sam has been taken.  She will do anything to get him back, even team up with Evan whom she just met and has yet to trust.  Can she find her brother?  What will happen to Earth? Find out in theaters.

11. The Finest Hours (PG-13)

 Photo courtesy of official  The   Finest Hours  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of official The Finest Hours Facebook page.

Director: Craig Gillespie

Release Date: Jan. 29, 2016

Actors: Casey Affleck (Ray Sybert), Chris Pine (Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber), Eric Bana (Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff)

Synopsis: Based on the true story about the Coast Guard rescuing survivors with the Coast Guard’s small boat.  A massive storm on February 18, 1952 strikes New England and causes the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker, to split in two.  Ultimately, 30 sailors are trapped in the sinking vessel.    Ray Sybert, the senior officer and first assistant engineer, takes charge of the crew.  In order for them to survive, the crew must put away their differences and ride out the worst storm they have ever encountered on the East Coast.  The U.S. Coast Guard has finally received word of the disaster and Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff orders a rescue team.  At the head of the team is Coast Guard Captain Bernie who sets out with four other men to save these survivors in what seems to be an impossible rescue mission.

12. Miracles from Heaven (PG)

 Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Director: Patricia Riggen

Release Date: March 18, 2016

Actors: Jennifer Garner (Christy Beam), Queen Latifah (Angela), Martin Henderson (Kevin Beam), Eugenio Derbez (Dr. Nurko), John Carroll Lynch (Pastor Scott), Brighton Sharbino (Abby Beam), Kylie Rogers (Anna Beam)

Synopsis: Based on a true story.  After 10-year-old Anna becomes sick, her parents rush her to a hospital.  Anna has a rare disease that is incurable.  However, her mother refuses to give up and continues looking for a solution.  Then a freak accident occurs.  Anna is playing with her sisters by climbing a tree.  She ends up falling 30 feet when a branch snaps under her weight.  Anna hits her head and miraculously, she is cured.

13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (PG)

 Photo courtesy of official  TMNT  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of official TMNT Facebook page.

Director: David Green

Release Date: June 3, 2016

Actors: Megan Fox (April), Stephen Amell (Casey Jones), Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Johnny Knoxville (Leonardo), Jeremy Howard (Donatello)

Synopsis: When disaster enters New York City, the turtles gear up to save the people.  April gets surrounded by a group of ninjas and Casey Jones enters the fight to save the girl.  Splinter has returned with new villains: a mutant Rhino and a mutant Warthog.  The turtles prepare to win their battles together.

14. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (PG-13)

 Photo courtesy of official  Batman vs. Superman  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of official Batman vs. Superman Facebook page.

Director: Zack Snyder

Release Date: March 23, 2016

Actors: Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Jeremy Irons (Alfred J. Pennyworth)

Synopsis: Batman has decided that Superman has too many untold secrets.  With that decision, he goes to war with Superman as the world tries to figure out what type of hero it needs.  This leaves the world vulnerable, and as the battle between the two heroes continues, a new threat is closing in.  When that threat reaches Superman and Batman, it goes to destroy them together.  However, they’re saved by Wonder Woman.

15. Captain America: Civil War (PG-13)

 Photo courtesy of Marvel.

Photo courtesy of Marvel.

Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

Release Date: May 6, 2016

Actors: Sebastian Stan (Bucky/Winter Soldier), Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson)

Synopsis: Captain America has just set his friend Bucky, the Winter Soldier, free and this makes him a vigilante in the eyes of the government.  Unable to stay out of the affairs of the government and Bucky, Captain America is put up against Iron Man.

16. Gods of Egypt (PG-13)

 Photo courtesy of official  Gods of Egypt  Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of official Gods of Egypt Facebook page.

Director: Alex Proyas

Release Date: Feb. 26, 2016

Actors: Gerard Butler (Set, God of the Desert), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus, God of the Sky), Elodie Yung (Hathor, Goddess of Love), Brenton Thwaites (Bek, Theif of Legend), Courtney Eaton (Zaya, Beauty of the Nile), Chadwick Boseman (Thoth, God of the Wisdom), Geoffrey Rush (Ra, God of the Sun), Bryan Brown (Anubis, God of the Underworld)

Synopsis: Set, the God of the Desert, has become God of Darkness.  He has stolen the throne of Egypt by ripping out the powerful eyes of Horus, the God of the Sky.  Horus gets his eyes back when Bek steals them from Set.  However, the battle has just begun with Horus against Set.  Horus must win to save the world.