May 2016 Movie Release Preview

The Summer movie season is here. Big blockbusters. Under-the-radar gems. Surprise hits. It’s all on the horizon, starting with the weekend of May 6. Let’s take a look at what movies you should be looking out for in the month of May.


May 6:

Captain America: Civil War


The next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Captain America: Civil War is the most anticipated release of May. Starring a bevy of A-listers like Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., Civil War will depict the deconstruction of the Avengers. Look for this film to radically change the course of the MCU (at least, if they take the risks they need to take to make the film memorable).


May 13:

Money Monster


This crime thriller, from director Jodie Foster, depicts a Mad Money-style finance talk show being hijacked by a violent individual. While starring big names like George Clooney and Julia Roberts, the real acting performance to look out for in Money Monster is from Jack O’Connell, whose performance in Starred Up was star-making.


The Darkness


Friday the 13th wouldn’t be a weekend in the movie industry without an obligatory horror or thriller release. In the case of 2016, we have the Kevin Bacon-led The Darkness. Produced by Blumhouse and from the director of the 2005 cult horror darling Wolf CreekThe Darkness seems to follow basic horror tropes like ancient Native American burial grounds and possession, with a twist that the ghost-demons are very dirty.


May 20:

The Angry Birds Movie


I’ve expressed previously my confusion with this film in an attempt to gauge its box office merits. I don’t know exactly who this movie is for. If kids still play Angry Birds and didn’t move on long ago for a newer, shinier mobile app, then I guess they will want to see this film. Otherwise, I don’t think anyone cares about it. Technically it’s a video game movie, and we all know how those have fared historically. And it’s based on an app that I didn’t know was still in the zeitgeist. Perhaps my finger is simply missing the pulse, but I question how successful this movie will be in spite of the fact that it is opening to zero competition in terms of children’s affair.


Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising


Sequels are lambasted. Comedy sequels are highly stigmatized and often not particularly funny. Neighbors, in my opinion, was an alright, middle-of-the-road comedy; worth the watch given the right demographic, if not forgettable. Neighbors 2 appears in trailers as the same narrative as its predecessor only replacing college-aged men with college-aged women and moving Zac Efron out of the antagonist role. Interestingly enough, this will most likely not even be Efron’s funniest comedy film of the year.


The Nice Guys


Shane Black directed Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and wrote the first two Lethal Weapon films. His new film, The Nice Guys, stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as an unlikely pairing of private detectives in 1970s Los Angeles. Like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, this new film looks to have a similar dark comedy-action mixture. The trailers have been promising, as it shows the two leads with the quality chemistry needed to deliver laughs. The Nice Guys is one to keep on your radar.


May 27:

Alice Through the Looking Glass


This Alice sequel loses Tim Burton at the director’s chair (he remains a producer) and gains James Bobin, who directed the two most recent Muppets films. While the trailer brandishes a similar aesthetic to its predecessor, not having Burton’s vision driving the piece may prove problematic to this incarnation’s execution. We won’t know until it hits screens, but I can’t help but have a bad feeling about this one.


X-Men: Apocalypse


I’ve already spent an article discussing this film release, so I won’t go too in-depth here. But X-Men: Apocalypse is the eighth film in the X-Men franchise, and the newest film since Days of Future Past essentially reset the timeline of the series, allowing for higher narrative stakes and more characters to flood in. This film may be the one to complete the transformation between the “old X-Men” and the “new X-men” who were introduced in First Class. Of course, we are getting one last Jackman-helmed Wolverine solo film, but it is clear that the creative direction of the franchise is aimed at starting a new ensemble cast of X-Men and letting the old names peter out.


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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