Most Anticipated Movies for 2014

The period of retrospection and looking back to the previous year has finished, now it’s time to look forward at the year ahead. There’s a lot of interesting looking films coming up, and here’s my run-down of the 50 that I’m most looking forward to, in order:

50. The Expendables 3

01 Expendables 3
UK Release date: 15th August
I’ll come clean – I’ve still not seen The Expendables 2 as I heard it was a bit of a mess, but considering the cast that’s been added for the third part in the series, you can bet your ass I’ll be seeing this one at some point. Adding Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford are all strokes of genius, but who in their right mind thought Kelsey Grammer is a good fit for this? Well, whoever it is, give that guy a raise, because that’s what’s getting me intrigued. I’m pretty sure it’ll be terrible, but fun.

49. Divergent

49 Divergent
UK Release date: 4th April
Divergent isn’t really a film I’m looking forward to as much as it’s one I know I’ll be watching one day, just because Kate Winslet is in it. It looks like a successor to the Hunger Games throne in terms of being a dictatorial future-set young-adult novel with a revolution-inspiring female lead (Shailene Woodley). If it weren’t for Winslet I’d have no desire to see it, as it doesn’t even have the likes of Stanley Tucci or Elizabeth Banks to make it fun.

48. 22 Jump Street

48 Jump Street
UK Release date: 6th June
I wasn’t as big a fan of 21 Jump Street as everyone else seemed to be, possibly because I’m not a Jonah Hill fan and I’d expected big things after hearing all the hype. Channing Tatum was better than expected, but certainly not as revelatory as others had made out. Still, the promise of more Ice Cube and Nick Offerman as the undercover cops’ police superiors should be good, as long as they haven’t repeated the same mistake of packing all the funny bits into the trailer again.

47. The Zero Theorem

47 Zero Theorem
UK Release date: 14th March
Terry Gilliam is nothing if not an interesting director, and The Zero Theorem looks like he’s delving back to a similar world as Brazil, with Christoph Waltz playing a slap-headed computer hacker attempting to find the meaning of life. It looks trippy and bizarre, but that’s what you get from Gilliam.

46. Horrible Bosses 2

UK Release date: 28th November
As with 22 Jump Street, I liked the original Horrible Bosses but not enough to be on tenterhooks for the sequel. Plus, the original left no room story-wise for anything more, so it seems like an attempted cash-in of the original’s success, but there’s a chance it could be good, if they maintain the balance of Charlie Day exposure.

45. Transformers: Age of Extinction

45 Transformers
UK Release date: 10th July
There are some films that I really shouldn’t be looking forward to, and this is most certainly one of them. I barely liked the first Transformers movie, and hated the second enough to not see the third, but now that Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox (or some random Victoria’s Secret model) aren’t involved any more there’s potential for this to be better. Plus, it features the Dinobots, which are transforming robot dinosaurs. Tell me what part of that sentence shouldn’t make me excited?

44. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

44 Spider-Man
UK Release date: 18th April
2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man compeletely failed to live up to its name, but as with The Expendables 3 I’m hopeful for the sequel because of the cast’s new additions. Dane DeHaan is an excellent choice for Harry Osborn, and Jamie Foxx looks interesting as Electro, but it’s Paul Giamatti as the Rhino that I’m looking forward to, although chances are he’ll only be in the opening scene, which is a shame.

43. Lone Survivor

UK Release date: 31st January
The four reasons I’m looking forward to Lone Survivor are Ben Foster, Ben Foster, Ben Foster and Ben Foster. He’s been great in everything I’ve seen him in, even making Pandorum almost tolerable, so I’ll happily watch whatever he’s in. Also, Mark Wahlberg has been impressing me lately, and I still like Emile Hirsch just from Into the Wild and The Girl Next Door, so even Taylor Kitsch’s presence doesn’t deter me.

42. Jupiter Ascending

02 Jupiter Ascending
UK Release date: 25th July
The Wachowskis always make films that are at least interesting, so they’ll always appear on this kind of list for me, but the trailer left me a little cold. It looks a bit silly, with an unnecessary love plot between a would-be princess (Mila Kunis) and her sworn protector (Channing Tatum) added for seemingly no reason. Plus I’m not a huge fan of either of those actors, and it sounds like a sci-fi retelling of Snow White, with Kunis being targeted by the Queen of the Universe because she threatens the Queen’s reign.

41. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

41 Captain America
UK Release date: 28th March
Of all the individual Avengers origin stories, Captain America was my least favourite, because it was directed by Joe Johnston, who destroyed my beloved Jurassic Park franchise, although he did make Jumanji as well, and also because the character of Captain America isn’t the most interesting one. However, The Avengers built up some faith for me in his character, so I’m looking forward to where he goes next, and the trailer looks decent. I’ll be very surprised if Robert Redford doesn’t turn out to be the big villain though.

40. The Interview

The Interview
UK Release date: 5th December
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have another stab at directing after the successful but over-hyped This Is the End. Here, James Franco’s TV show host becomes embroiled in an assassination attempt, which will probably provide humour because an egotistical, self-important TV host would be comically ridiculous in such a scenario. Hopefully a more limited scope than This Is the End will offer a greater chance for hilarity.

39. Under the Skin

40 Under the Skin
UK Release date: 14th March
Scarlett Johansson as an alien seducing men into sex and then death, as directed by Jonathan Glazer, the man behind Birth and Sexy Beast. The latter is incredible, predominantly for Ben Kingsley’s powerhouse, Gandhi-forgetting performance, but I get the feeling this will be a weirder, moodier film, more akin to Birth (which I’ve not yet seen).

38. Paddington

05 Paddington
UK Release date: 28th November
Paddington Bear! Voiced by Colin Firth! Marmalade sandwiches! (I’m in.)

37. The Congress

06 The Congress
UK Release date: Unknown
When I first heard about this film, starring Robin Wright as an actress who signs her digitised likeness away for a hefty sum but has no control over what it is used for and can never work in acting again, I’d assumed it would be live action, and was genuinely intrigued as to where it would go. I imagined it would have a lot of cutting things to say about Hollywood and the predominant focus on looks over anything else, whilst offering some great effects around an incredible, awards-garnering performance from Wright. In truth, I’m a little disappointed that it’s being animated, even if it is by Waltz With Bashir‘s Ari Folman, as not only will it be less widely seen, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be a completely different film to the one in my head.

36. Transcendence

12 Transcendence
UK Release date: 25th April
The directorial debut of Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s regular director of photography, was originally a lot higher on my list, until I saw the mess of a trailer, with Johnny Depp’s scientist dying, but being merged with a computer to retain his memories and persoanlity. Inevitably, it’s all going to go wrong and devolve into some techno-horror movie, but with Pfister behind the camera it will undoubtedly look gorgeous. Speaking of which, Rebecca Hall is in here as Depp’s wife (I think?), so yay for that.

35. Robocop

35 Robocop
UK Release date: 7th February
Whilst I have seen the 1987 Paul Verhoeven original, I can barely remember anything about it, so I fully intent to catch up with that one before see this remake. This may well turn out to be another Total Recall – not terrible, just underwhelming – but the supporting cast – including Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley and Michael K. Williams – may just save it.

34. August, Osage County

34 August
UK Release date: 24th January
Speaking of films where I’m impressed by the cast, August, Osage County has a ridiculous one with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin and Benedict Cumberbatch all fighting it out around a dinner table. I don’t know too much else about this, other than it’s based on a play, so I’ll probably catch it on DVD.

33. Neighbors

33 Neighbors
UK Release date: 9th May
The idea of Zac Efron breaking out as a comedy star doesn’t hold too much appeal to me – the guy can already sing and dance, and he appears to have spare abdominal muscles, so he already has more than enough strings to his bow – but judging from the trailer for this comedy, coupled with his other 2014 release, That Awkward Moment, this could see the guy be the equivalent of Channing Tatum in 2012.

32. Labor Day

32 Labor Day
UK Release date: 7th February
The other Kate Winslet film that I’ll be seeing eventually is one that I actually want to see, becaue it’s directed by Jason Reitman, of whom every other film of his I really like, and this fits the pattern. Winslet plays a woman shut off from the world with only her son to look after her, but on a rare trip away from her home she picks up a fugitive, played by Josh Brolin in what could be the first role I like him in. It looks very tense, with the police understandably trying to catch Brolin’s character, but with his presence being almost necessary to help fix Winslet’s emotional problems. I think I could write most of the story beats now, even the ending, but I look forward to seeing it nonetheless, if only to find out if I’m right.

31. Noah

UK Release date: 28th March
Darren Aronofsky doesn’t sound like the first director you’d pick for a huge Bible epic, and to be honest if he wasn’t involved I don’t think I’d be all that interested in the film, but as he is I’m looking forward to seeing how he adapts one of the most well known stories of all time.

30. Edge of Tomorrow

08 Edge of Tomorrow
UK Release date: 30th May
Source Code but with more fighting is the basic premise of Tom Cruise’s next film, with his soldier waking up every morning to re-live the same day, dying every time. The always-great Emily Blunt is on hand to help train him up, and director Doug Liman is generally an at least interesting director in terms of his choices.

29. The F Word

29 The F Word
UK Release date: 2nd May
The concept sounds like another generic rom-com – a guy (Daniel Radcliffe) falls for a girl (Zoe Kazan), but she already has a boyfriend so he finds himself relegated to the ‘friend zone’ – but the fact that it stars Radcliffe and the adorable Kazan means I’ll definitely be seeing it at some point – though probably not until it reaches DVD.

28. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

04 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
UK Release date: 17th July
We’ve reached the point where I’ll probably start going to see films in cinemas now, with the follow-up to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The trailer seems to be looking almost like a horror film in terms of the new look for Andy Serkis’ highly intelligent simian Caesar, with a small band of humans – including Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Jason Clarke – struggling to survive in a world being taken over by monkeys.

27. Dumb and Dumber To

27 Dumb and Dumber To
UK Release date: 19th December
I’m pretty sure I’m going to get burned by this one, but part of me can’t help thinking this could be great. I love the original, although the image above doesn’t fill me with a great deal of hope. If the Farrelly brothers can retain the level of charming idiocy they captured so well 20 years ago then I think we’re in with a shot.

26. Calvary

07 Calvary
UK Release date: 11th April
John Michael McDonagh, brother of In Bruges‘ Martin McDonagh, directed The Guard in 2011, which is a very sweary, very funny culture-clash comedy between Brendan Gleeson’s brash Irish policeman and Don Cheadle’s visiting FBI agent. Calvary looks to be a completely different direction, though I doubt it’ll be much less sweary or comedic.

25. Fury

09 Fury
UK Release date: 24th October
I loved David Ayer’s End of Watch from 2012, which saw two guys – Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhall – stuck in a police car together for large swathes of the film. In theory then Fury will be at least two and a half times as good, because it features five guys, stuck together in a tank. Unfortunately, one of these guys is Shia LaBeouf, but the other four are Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Logan Lerman and Brad Pitt, who between them should make up for anythign LaBeouf tries to do.

24. Chef

13 Chef
UK Release date: 9th May
Jon Favreau may not be the best director in the world, but I love some of his films, such as Elf and Iron Man, so I’m looking forward to his next comedy, which also sees him in the starring role alongside a supporting cast including Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson and the great Bobby Cannavale. I don’t know much about the plot, other than Favreau’s character sets up a food truck with his ex-wife (Vergara), but with that support around him this could be good.

23. Cuban Fury

10 Cuban Fury
UK Release date: 14th February
Of course I love Nick Frost, anyone who has read my The World’s End review knows the guy can do no wrong in my books, and this is to my knowledge the first film where he’s the front-and-centre leading man, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well he gets on. The trailer looks very funny – Frost plays a guy who takes on an office rival (Chris O’Dowd) at salsa dancing to win the heart of Rashida Jones – although it seems like O’Dowd gets more of the funny lines.

22. Muppets Most Wanted

14 Muppets Most Wanted
UK Release date: 28th March
If this had utilised a similar advertising campaign as 2011’s The Muppets then this would undoubtedly be higher on this list, but the trailers I’ve seen so far have been somewhat underwhelming. However, it’s a movie with the Muppets in, so I’m there no matter what.

21. Snowpiercer

15 Snowpiercer
UK Release date: Unknown
The Earth has become an icy wasteland, with the only survivors living aboard a train that remains constantly in motion. Onboard a class system has developed between the privileged front carriages and the less well off rear cabins, but an uprising is about to take place, led by Chris Evans. The main reason I’m looking forward to this is the director, Joon-ho Bong, the man behind the 2006 creature feature The Host, which is awesome.

20. Dallas Buyers Club

UK Release date: 7th February
Being an inhabitant of the UK I’ve yet to encounter Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto’s apparently awards-worthy performances as, respectively, an AIDs suffering hustler and the drag queen he befriends, which were released in American cinemas almost 2 months ago, and which I’ve got to wait another month for. I’ve heard good things about the film and nothing but superlative ones for the performances, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see this in cinemas or not, purely because it sounds like a bit of a depressing story. (I really wanted to write “a bit of a drag”, or “a bit of a bummer”, without any hint of a pun or joke, but fortunately I caught it before typing.)

19. A Million Ways to Die in the West

17 A Million Ways
UK Release date: 6th June
Seth MacFarlane, in person! As in, not just voicing an animated character, but actually acting with his body and face and everything? Surely not! And yet it is so, the man behind Ted and Family Guy is starring in a comedy western that’s he’s also directing and writing. He plays a coward whose wife left him, and who needs to learn to shoot to win her back. He appears alongside the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, Giovanni Ribisi and, unfortunately, Amanda Seyfried, who has the rather pivotal role of MacFarlane’s wife, and therefore could ruin the film, as she is wont to do. Hopefully she won’t.

18. The Boxtrolls

18 Boxtrolls
UK Release date: 12th September
Stop motion animation! Yippee! That’s pretty much all I need to know really, and other than it involves trolls who either live in or are partially made from cardboard boxes, that’s all I do know.

17. Her

11 Her
UK Release date: 14th February
Another film that’s already out in other parts of the world, Spike Jonze’s Her sees Joaquin Phoenix’s awkward loner suffer a break-up, before falling in love with his Scarlett Johansson-voiced operating system. It sounds like a commentary on the direction the world is taking with regard to its dependence upon technology, but I can’t help thinking I know exactly how it’s going to end, pulling a Lars and the Real Girl with Phoenix’s Theodore learning to live without the computer and instead falling for a real person. Either way it sounds interesting, and from the trailer Phoenix looks incredible in the role.

16. The Grand Budapest Hotel

19 Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Release date: 7th March
Many people are bigger Wes Anderson fans than I am, but the guy has yet to make a film I don’t like. I appreciate the casts he always manages to assemble, as they’re always chock full of actors I’m big fans of  – mainly Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman – and his next film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, seems to have literally every actor he’s ever worked with in it, along with a few he hasn’t. If it fits with the rest of Anderson’s career then I’m guaranteed to love it.

15. Guardians of the Galaxy

20 Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Release date: 1st August
When it was announced, I initially thought Guardians of the Galaxy was a joke, as I’d never heard of the comic books and the notion of a band of superheroes including an Ent and a racoon with a rocket launcher was just ridiculous. However, apparently Marvel weren’t kidding, so now it’s gotten to the point where I just have to see what in the world this is going to be like. Plus, James Gunn directing is an inspired choice, as I loved Slither and Super, and it means Michael Rooker will be involved somehow.

14. How to Train Your Dragon 2

21 How to Train Your Dragon 2
UK Release date: 4th July
I’ll keep this quick; I love the first one, pretty sure I’m gonna love this one too. Dragons!

13. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

22 Sin City
UK Release date: 29th August
Again, I loved the first one, but I feel like I need to stop putting it on my most anticipated lists because I’ve been burned before with it being postponed for at least the past two years. However, like Charlie Brown with the American football, I’m lining up to have another kick at it, because one day Robert Rodriguez is going to finish this film, it’s going to come out and I’m going to see it, and bloody hell I hope that’s this year.

12. 12 Years A Slave

23 12 Years A Slave
UK Release date: 10th January (you know, today)
Yet another film I’ve heard loads about but haven’t been able to see yet, this actually came out a few hours ago, but as I started writing this list a few days ago it totally counts. As with Dallas Buyers Club this is more serious and depressing fare than I’m used to seeing at the cinemas, but with all the awards buzz behind it, and with a cast including some of my favourite actors – Chiwetal Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt – I feel this is something I need to see as soon as possible.

11. Gone Girl

24 Gone Girl
UK Release date: 3rd October
I know very little about this film, other than it stars Ben Affleck as a suspected murderer when his wife (Rosamund Pike) goes missing, but neither of them are the reason I’m looking forward to it, as that’s the director, a certain David Fincher. I’ve still yet to see any of his films in a cinema, which is a tradition I intend to break this year.

10. Godzilla

25 Godzilla
UK Release date: 16th May
I was wary about this latest adaptation of the Japanese legend directed by Monsters‘ Gareth Edwards and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche, right up until I recently saw the amazingly epic trailer, with David Strathairn marshalling his troops to parachute down onto the titular giant lizard. It looks so friggin’ awesome that this jumped straight into my top 10.

9. The Lego Movie

26 Lego
UK Release date: 14th February
Combining at least two of my loves – animated movies and Lego – into one film is a sure-fire way to get my money come February. Add a hilarious trailer, a terrific voice cast (Will Arnett as Lego Batman is so damn unbelievably perfect) and some top notch animation and, well, you get the picture. This is going to be Chris Pratt’s year, mark my words.

8. X-Men: Days of Future Past

27 xmen
UK Release date: 22nd May
X-Men: First Class was far better than anyone could have hoped, so of course there’s a sequel, but it could well be the most ambitious superhero movie yet, featuring the cast of not just the aforementioned prequel, but the original trilogy as well, as it sees a fugitive future-set older X-Men sending the mind of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to his younger self in order to prevent the robot-ravaged world they now live in. It all sounds a bit brain-melty, and there could be a few too many plates being spun by original series director Bryan Singer, but if this works it could be something phenomenal. Sadly no Nightcrawler though.

7. The Wolf of Wall Street

UK Release date: 17th January
“The new Goodfellas” is a phrase I’m almost tired of hearing about Martin Scorsese’s true story of excess and ambition. The trailers left me somewhat disappointed, especially the inclusion of Jonah Hill and whatever the hell Matthew McConaughey was trying to do in what is clearly his only scene in the movie (I hope), but I’ve heard so much praise, and I hold the director in such a high regard that this has to be something I’m looking forward to. Can’t say I care for the 3-hour running time, but we’ll see if it’s all worthwhile.

6. The Raid 2: Berandal

29 Raid 2
UK Release date: Unknown
The Raid: Redemption was one of my favourite new-to-me films from 2013, and I’m annoyed it took me so long to catch up with it. Based on that alone, and regardless of the ultra-cutty trailers, I cannot wait to see the follow up. Director Gareth Evans is now under a great deal more pressure – the first film came out of nowhere with no expectations from anyone – but I truly hope he can pull it off.

5. The Double

30 The Double
UK Release date: 4th April
Submarine is Richard Ayoade’s first directorial effort, and it took me completely by surprise. The sequel looks even more interesting, with Jesse Eisenberg’s timid guy’s world being destroyed when his doppelganger appears, and it looks like Eisenberg is doing a stellar job in a dual role, playing both introverted loser and his more likeable mirror image. There’s a shot in the trailer, where the first Eisenberg looks round a corner to find his double staring up at him from his cubicle with a massive fixed grin on his face, that really creeps me out. I highly doubt this will be playing near me, but I’ll be seeking it out as soon as I can.

4. Inside Llewyn Davis

31 Inside Llewyn Davis
UK Release date: 24th January
A Coen brothers film! Yay! It’s also the last film on this list that’s already been released elsewhere. I’ve heard mixed reactions, but as it’s by the Coens I will see it, and I will very probably love every second of it. I will also eventually buy the soundtrack, as tradition dictates.

3. The Monuments Men

32 The Monuments Men
UK Release date: 21st February
There are some films that seem to be tailor made just for me, and The Monuments Men certainly seems to be heading in that direction. The cast is compromised almost entirely of actors I will watch in anything – George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Bill freaking Murray – all working together on a plot that’s half Ocean’s Eleven and half Saving Private Ryan, as a team of art lovers and historians all head into Nazi-occupied Europe during World War 2 to try and save the classic artwork in danger of being destroyed.

2. The Hobbit: There and Back Again

33 Hobbit
UK Release date: 19th December
As I’ve mentioned before, I recently saw part two of the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, and as was the case last year, as soon as I watched it the following part in the series immediately jumped up a few notches on my most anticipated list for the following year. I absolutely loved Desolation, and that’s raised my hopes for There and Back Again to immeasurable levels. The battle of the five armies sequence is going to be nothing short of phenomenal, whilst Smaug’s destruction of Lake-town will be devastating. I only hope it ends more succinctly than The Return of the King did.

1. Interstellar

34 Interstellar
UK Release date: 7th November
If there’s any director that can get me into a cinema, it’s Christopher Nolan. I’ve seen the trailer for his next picture, Interstellar, and I’m glad it’s given very little away, other than it stars Matthew McConaughey, and it’s got something to do with space. I hope that’s all the information we are given about this film (it won’t be) as that’s already far more than I needed. All I wanted was the title and the director.

6 thoughts on “Most Anticipated Movies for 2014

  1. Great list. I’m looking forward to seeing Captain America(its the only one from phase 2 that looks good) Under The Skin( I like the premise) Jupiter Ascending( The trailer impressed me) oh and Dawn of the Planet of The Apes(mainly for Director Matt Reeves) Oh and great job with revealing Terry GIlliam’s new work The Zero Theorm. (never heard of that one) Oh and I cant ignore Wes Anderson’s latest either. Great post

    • Thanks Vern, there are a lot of great-looking films coming out that I’m very much looking forward to seeing. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on all the ones you mentioned.

  2. Thanks for the list. There were a few on here that I hadn’t heard of yet.

    There aren’t many that are going to get me to a theater to see them. Captain America: Winter Soldier and the third Hobbit film are the only sure things. The X-Men film, which is based on the classic Days of Future past story arc in the original comics from the early 1980s, is a strong possibility. Other than that, though, nothing else really has me that excited.

    • You’re welcome, Chip. It seems Captain America is being looked forward to far more by other people than by myself, as for this list’s first draft it wasn’t even included. I think there’s at least 10 sure things in terms of cinema visits on here for me (although some of them are oens already released in America) with perhaps another 10-25 potentials as well, depending on my schedule.

  3. Several of the movies I did not know were coming out. For example, I did not even know that Captain America 2 was coming out. After I see the first one, perhaps I will see the second one sometime. Paddington, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Lego Movie, and The Box Trolls look very cute while Noah and Labor Day looks interesting. The Muppets is still in my list of movies that I have high hopes for along with The Hobbit.

  4. Pingback: The Monuments Men | Life Vs Film

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