I don't even want to talk about how stealthily this snuck up on me, but it's here, it's happened — it's the new year. And instead of getting up in my head about where the time possibly could have gone, I'm gonna shake it off and do something productive, like tell you about the 2016 movies that every woman needs to go see. Men, you can for sure go see them too, and you should; they all sound really good, and I won't be standing at the door checking IDs. But I've picked these out for women in particular because this is gonna be a big year for us, but only if we make it so. As you know, women face pretty ridiculous obstacles in Hollywood, with jobs tough to get, and good work seldom rewarded, but 2016 could be a tipping point.
The year 2015 brought an influx of women in lead roles, so I'm hoping that 2016 will do the same thing for female directors. And the way to encourage that momentum is for us to get off our butts and go see the projects these women are putting out. So with that in mind, I put this list together; some of the movies on it are helmed by women, all of them have female stars or largely female casts, and they're all highly-anticipated. There's great stuff out there by and for women, and it's our job to encourage its creation! So here they are, ladies, the nine movies that every woman needs to go see in 2016. Let's do this!
1. How To Be Single
Release Date: Feb. 12
Rebel Wilson plays a confident woman who owns her sexuality and has to instruct the socially awkward Dakota Johnson on how to rediscover herself after a breakup. I feel like so much of the time, with films like this, the character who's supposed to be awkward is just slightly shy, but the trailer for How To Be Single suggests they get it right in Johnson's case. Because yeah, I'm 28 and single, and I still don't know how the whole guy-buying-you-a-drink transaction is supposed to work, so I'll be watching this movie with my eyes peeled for lessons from Wilson.
2. The Invitation
Release Date: Mar. 25
This indie horror movie is directed by a woman — Karyn Kusama, of Jennifer's Body — and is about a man who's invited to a dinner party at his own former home, hosted by his ex-wife and her new husband, only to realize they seem to have some very unsettling plans for him and the rest of the guests. It's indie, like I said, so the only name I recognize from the cast list is Michiel Huisman (that guy who's in everything right now), but it sounds delightfully creepy.
3. The Huntsman: Winter's War
Release Date: Apr. 22
Yeah, it's Chris Hemsworth's character's name in the title, but the real stars of this sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman are Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Chastain. Theron reprises her role from the original, as the evil queen Ravenna, with Blunt playing her powerful sister Freya, and Chastain playing a character who's referred to in the trailer as "The Warrior" and gets some serious action shots. Yes, please!
4. Money Monster
Release Date: May 13
Directed by Jodie Foster, Money Monster stars big names Julia Roberts and George Clooney, the latter as Lee Gates. Clooney's Gates is a man who dispenses stock market advice through his TV show, only to be taken hostage by a man who lost all his money listening to him. The plot sounds interesting to me, but mostly I'm just excited to see Foster helm a movie that isn't The Beaver.
5. Maggie's Plan
Release Date: May 20
Another film directed by a woman (yay!). This time the director is Rebecca Miller. Maggie's Plan is about a young woman played by Greta Gerwig, who falls for a married man (played by Ethan Hawke) only to realize that he really is better off with his wife (played by Julianne Moore). Wow, we're only three actors and a director in, and I'm already sold. Plus, it's refreshing to see a plot every now and then where a woman has a head on her shoulders and is able to look at the bigger picture, instead of just competing with another woman over a man.
6. Finding Dory
Release Date: June 16
Like I really need to talk you into this one. We already have the fact that it's Pixar and a sequel to Finding Nemo playing in its favor, and then add on the fact that it stars Ellen DeGeneres and just announced roles for Kaitlin Olson and Ty Burrell and it's a given. Where do I sign my life away for some tickets?
Release Date: July 15
It's an all-female reboot of the classic directed by Paul Feig, of Bridesmaids fame, and starring your favorite ladies in the game right now: Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones. Yes, yes — a thousand times yes!
8. Bridget Jones' Baby
Release Date: Sep. 16
Our girl is back! Renee Zellweger returns as Bridget Jones, and you'll be relieved to hear that she still doesn't have her life together, so you're doing fine. Your favorite bumbling Brit is currently pregnant with a child from one of two men: Colin Firth or Patrick Dempsey. She's also being directed by a lady, Sharon Maguire... so things could honestly be a lot worse for you, Bridge. Wanna trade lives?
Release Date: Dec. 21
The plot of this film is that Chris Pratt is being transported to another planet and is supposed to be in some form of cryo-sleep or something high-tech like that, but he accidentally wakes up 60 years too early. He promptly wakes up a second passenger — presumably his co-star, Jennifer Lawrence — because he can't bear the thought of living and dying alone. It's directed by a man, and it sounds like Pratt is really the star, so if you're wondering why I'm finishing out the list with this movie, I'll tell you: it's because it's the one that Lawrence negotiated a higher salary for, after it came out that she was paid less than her male costars on previous projects! So yay! Victories!
And that's what I have for you so far! Totally doable, right? Nine movies in 12 months, to support your fellow ladies and have a damn good time doing it? I think we can all manage that.
Images: Gamechanger Films; Sony Pictures; Disney/Pixar; Giphy