Sequels, spinoffs, action comedies, films inspired by true events, and crime thrillers make up 2016’s batch of action movies. 2016’s first action film will arrive on January 15th with the release of 13 Hours from director Michael Bay, a filmmaker who’s no stranger to the genre. Other directors returning to action films include Godzilla‘s Gareth Edwards with the Star Wars film, Rogue One; Frank Darabont helming the Snow White sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War; and Iron Man 3‘s Shane Black with The Nice Guys.
In order to keep this list from being too long, all of the comic book-inspired action films can be found on a different list.
2016’s Action Movies:
(Listed in alphabetical order)
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (January 15, 2016)
Starring: Pablo Schreiber, John Krasinski, Toby Stephens, David Denman, and James Badge Dale
The Plot: To protect CIA outposts and personnel in unstable regions, the agency employs elite ex-military operators. In 2012, the threat level in Benghazi, Libya was deemed critical. When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right. This is a true story.
Assassin’s Creed (December 21, 2016)
Starring: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard
The Plot: Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
Central Intelligence (June 17, 2016)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul, and Danielle Nicolet
The Plot: The story follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Dwayne Johnson), coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (Kevin Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.
Collide (April 1, 2016)
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins, and Ben Kingsley
The Plot: In Collide, a young American couple Casey (Nicholas Hoult) and Juliette (Felicity Jones) are plunged into an adrenaline- pumping game of cat and mouse across Germany when they find themselves caught between two ruthless feuding criminals (Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley).
Criminal (April 15, 2016)
Starring: Gal Gadot, Alice Eve, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, and Kevin Costner
The Plot: The story of the right man in the wrong body. In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous death-row inmate in hopes the he will complete the operative’s mission.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (February 26, 2016)
Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Harry Shum Jr, Jason Scott Lee, Roger Yuan, Eugenia Yuan, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo
The Plot: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny tells an epic story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.
Deepwater Horizon (September 30, 2016)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’Brien, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, and Kate Hudson
The Plot: Deepwater Horizon is based on the true events that occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the story chronicles the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (March 18, 2016)
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Daniel Dae Kim, Rebecca Pidgeon, Xander Berkeley, Keiynan Lonsdale, Jonny Weston, Bill Skarsgård, Nadia Hilker, Andy Bean, and Naomi Watts
The Plot: After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.
The Finest Hours (January 29, 2016)
Starring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz, and Eric Bana
The Plot: On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on the ships caught in its deadly path, including the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern. As the senior officer on board, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) soon realizes it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and inspire the men to set aside their differences and work together to ride out one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast. Meanwhile, as word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders a daring operation to rescue the stranded men. Despite overwhelming odds, four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little, if any, means of navigation, facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.
The Free State of Jones (May 13, 2016)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell And Mahershala Ali
The Plot: Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross and starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, The Free State of Jones is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy.
Banding together with other small farmers and with the assistance of local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. His marriage to a former slave, Rachel, and his subsequent establishment of a mixed race community was unique in the post-war South. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.
Gods of Egypt (February 26, 2016)
Starring: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton, Elodie Yung, and Chadwick Boseman
The Plot: The survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites) undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in an unlikely alliance against Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War (April 22, 2016)
Starring: Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain
The Plot: Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen — including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain) — only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.
When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable…unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.