After making this list of 36 movies for teens in 2016, it seems like 2016 movies are made up almost exclusively of films based on books, superhero stories based on comic books, and science fiction stories.
1. Dirty Grandpa (1/22) Uptight Jason (Zac Efron) is about to get married when his mischievous grandpa (Robert DeNiro) tricks him into going on a buddy trip to Daytona for spring break. Comedy about living life to the fullest and bonding between young and old. Also starring Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney and Adam Pally. (Rated R, older teens only)
2. The 5th Wave (1/26) – Science fiction thriller in which there are five waves of alien attacks. This movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe and Liev Schreiber. (PG-13)
3. The Choice (2/5) Another romantic drama movie based on a Nicholas Sparks’ novel. This one stars Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling and Tom Wilkinson. (PG-13)
4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2/5) Instead of the drama of the original book by Jane Austen, this movie is full of action, comedy and horror as 19th Century England is overrun with zombies! Based on the 2009 novel of the same name. (PG-13)
5. The Divergent Series: Allegiant (3/18) Yet another book series where the final book has been broken into two parts. In this first half, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago.
6. Midnight Special (3/18) This science fiction thriller is about a father trying to protect his strangely gifted 8-year old son. They must get to a secret location before they are captured by an extreme religious sect or a government task force. Starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Sam Shepard. (PG-13)
7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (3/25) DC Comics live action movie featuring both Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck). Also included are Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Jeremy Irons as Alfred: Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler and confidant.
8. The Boss (4/8) Another comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, directed by her husband Ben Falcone and produced and co-written by both. This time McCarthy’s character is a titan of industry sent to prison. Also starring Kristen Bell and Peter Dinklage.
9. Everybody Wants Some (4/15) Somewhat of a follow-up by Richard Linklater to his 1993 film, Dazed and Confused, which followed high school kids in the 70’s. This movie is about college kids, who are also baseball players, in the 80’s.
10. The Jungle Book (4/15) An all-new Disney live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. He must leave and embark on a journey of discovery. Starring Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Neel Sethi and Christopher Walken.
11. Captain America: Civil War (5/6) This movie is intended to be the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson and more star wattage than I can list.
12. The Angry Birds Movie (5/20) This 3D computer animated film stars Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Peter Dinklage.
13. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (5/20) Sequel to Neighbors starring Zac Efron as a frat boy and Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as the married couple living next door to the frat. This time around sorority sisters move in. Also starring Dave Franco and Chloë Grace Moret.
14. Alice Through the Looking Glass (5/27) This sequel to Alice in Wonderful is produced by Tim Burton. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Sacha Baron Cohen.
15. X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27) Marvel Comics superheroes and sequel to 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence.
16. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (6/3) This 3D science fiction movie, based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters, is a sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The film stars Megan Fox, Stephen Amell and Will Arnett’
17. Now You See Me 2 (6/10) Sequel to Now You See Me. Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman are back, along with new additions, Danielle Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan. Radcliffe plays Caine’s son. He wants to bring the Four Horsemen to justice for what they did to his father. (PG-13)
18. Warcraft (6/10) Live-action movie based on the video games and novels set in the world of Azeroth. (PG-13)
19. Central Intelligence (6/17) An action comedy about a lethal CIA agent (Dwayne Johnson) who recruits a former acquaintance, now a mild mannered accountant (Kevin Hart) at his high school reunion. Also starring Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Amy Ryan.
20. Finding Dory (6/17) It could be difficult for Pixar to beat last year’s movie, Inside Out, possibly its best film yet. However, Finding Dory, a sequel to finding Nemo, starring Ellen DeGeneres, could be the one. Albert Brooks is back, along with a hugely funny cast including Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson and Ed O’Neill.
21. Independence Day: Resurgence (6/24) The aliens were able to transmit a distress signal before their defeat 20 years ago in Independence Day. Now, 20 years after the Alien Invasion of 1996, the aliens threaten the human race once more. Reprising their original roles are Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Vivica A. Fox. Liam Hemsworth is a new addition, presumably to take over as the young hero, since Will Smith has not returned.
22. The BFG (7/1) Steven Spielberg is directing a fantasy adventure based on the Roald Dahl novel, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). With those names attached, this live action 3D film is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
23. The Legend of Tarzan (7/1) – Years after Tarzan left the jungle to live in London as Lord Greystoke, with his wife, he is called back to the Congo to investigate the activities at a mining encampment. Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou and Christoph Waltz.
24 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (7/8) – A comedy in which two guys place an online ad to find dates for a wedding and the ad goes viral. Starring Adam DeVine, Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. Great cast.
25. Ghostbusters (7/15) 34 years after the original, we have a remake of Ghostbusters, starring some of the funniest females in Hollywood. The four ghostbusters are played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. And I love that Chris Hemsworth is the receptionist! I am looking forward to this one. Should be fun for teens, tweens and parents.
26. Star Trek Beyond (7/22) This is the 3rd installment in this reboot and the sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness. The USS Enterprise has been attacked and destroyed, leaving the crew stranded on a new planet, where they must fight off a new ruthless enemy.
27. Suicide Squad (8/5) Based on the DC Comics antihero team, the movie stars Will Smith and Jared Leto. It will be released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.
28. Pete’s Dragon (8/12) This remake of the 1977 Pete’s Dragon combines live action with animation. The film stars Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Wes Bentley and Karl Urban.
29. Kubo and the Two Strings (8/19) This 3D stop motion fantasy thriller is set in ancient Japan. A small boy’s life is turned upside down when a spirit from the past returns. Starring Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro.
30. Masterminds (9/30) Heist comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis. Probably for older teens only.
31. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (10/7) Based on the 2011 James Paterson novel by the same name. This is the first of seven books in his highly acclaimed middle school series. Both the books and the movies should be great for tweens.
32. Doctor Strange (11/4) Another superhero film, this one about Marvel Comic’s Doctor Strange. Based on the cast and plot, this film seems to be very different that the typical superhero movie. It seems much more cerebral. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange, a doctor who discovers the world of magic and alternate dimensions after a horrific car crash. Also starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams.
33. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (11/18) This movie is a spin-off and prequel to the Harry Potter series. The screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, was her first and based on her book by the same name. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, last year’s Oscar winner and current nominee.
34. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12/16) The first film in the Star Wars Anthology series, a collection of stand-alone stories set in the Star Wars universe. Rogue One is set shortly before the events of Star Wars (1977). The plot centers around a group of rebel spies on a mission to steal the Death Star.
35. Passengers (12/21) Science fiction romance starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. After a spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers, a single passenger is awakened 60 years early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger.
36. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (12/25) This dark fantasy adventure is directed by Tim Burton and is based on the book of the same name. A 16-year-old boy accidentally works himself onto a mysterious island where he helps a group of peculiar orphaned children at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, protecting them and leading them away from horrible creatures who are out to destroy them.