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2014: Most Anticipated Films

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So here, for your reading pleasure, is a list of 210 films I’m looking forward to this year. The first 3 blocks are mostly the really big stuff, the stuff everyone (or at least most film buffs) will know about. Beyond that…I’m digging into the little movies, stuff I might never even see, but which, based on the often minimal info I have, sounds intriguing. So many of these films I know about only through the B+ Movie Blog and its lists of 2014 films. Without those lists, this list of mine would not have been possible (links at the bottom). I owe a debt to Wikipedia as well, but it’s B+ that helped me to go as deep as I did.

I’ll hold forth on all the films in due time; I’d like to try and do a block a day, having already done the first two. Some of them I won’t have much to say about, but I’ll do my best to say SOMETHING about each one.

  • Nymphomaniac: It’s Lars Von Trier. ‘Nuff said.
  • Inherent VIce: Paul Thomas Anderson. First-ever Pynchon adaptation. Joaquin Phoenix in the lead. Do I need to say more?
  • BoyhoodThe Tree of Life meets the Up series in a film made over a 12-year period, chronicling the actual growth of our protagonist (Ellar Coltrane) and his parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette). Directed by Richard Linklater. Epic-length running time (164 minutes). This sounds perfect for me.
  • Maps to the Stars: David fuckin’ Cronenberg, coming off a great, hugely underseen film. An absolute must.
  • Snowpiercer: Should have come out last year. Better come out this year.
  • Birdman: A dark comedy about Michael Keaton (playing an actor best known for playing a superhero) trying to get a play on Broadway. From Alejandro González Iñárritu, who did 21 Grams and Babel. Co-starring Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan…and Zach Galifianakis. Incredibly stoked.
  • Jupiter Ascending: The new film from the Wachowskis. Mila Kunis is a janitor who might be queen of the Universe. Channing Tatum is a soldier with wolf DNA. This could be disastrous or incredible.
  • Gone Girl: David Fincher. Need I say more?
  • Foxcatcher: Steve Carell as paranoid schizophrenic John du Pont, Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz, the champion wrestler he killed, and Channing Tatum as Dave’s brother, Mark. Bennett Miller directing (coming off the excellent Moneyball). Carell could be looking at an Oscar nomination soon enough.
  • Under the Skin: Abstract science fiction, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who occupies a human body and seduces the unsuspecting. Much of it filmed on location in Scotland with locals unaware of what was truly going on. Looks incredible.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: One of Marvel’s more unusual superhero teams, with a director known for low-budget ultra-dark comedies (like Super) at the helm. Plus, Rocket Raccoon. No way I’m not excited.
  • Godzilla: Just watch the trailer. And look at the cast. This has huge, huge potential.
  • The Immigrant: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner in a drama set in 1921 New York. Phoenix is a pimp, Renner a magician, and Cotillard is exploited by one and loved by another. I’m very intrigued.
  • The Better Angels: A film of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, with Jason Clarke as his father, Diane Kruger as his mother, and Brit Marling as his sister. Filmed in B&W, produced by Terrence Malick. I’m all over this.
  • A Field in England: It just looks so fascinatingly strange. I want this to be as great as it looks.
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence: Roy Andersson’s newest. Songs From the Second Floor and You the Living were brilliant. I’m hoping this is, as well. Not 100% certain it’s coming out here this year, but until further notice, it makes the list.
  • The Lego Movie: The reviews are mostly laudatory. It looks incredibly fun. I’ll find out in just a few days.
  • Interstellar: New Christopher Nolan. While I had some definite issues with The Dark Knight Rises, I think part of that was due to his desire to move on. And now he has.
  • The Boxtrolls: Stop-motion animation from the makers of ParaNorman, which I loved. Great-looking trailer, too.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The trailer looks magnificent. And First Class was great. Plus, I love the idea of mixing the two franchises (Stewart/McKellen and McAvoy/Fassbender).High hopes here.

  • Big Hero 6: Disney Animation (who’ve been doing very well as of late) tackling another lesser-known comic book property, set in the city of “San Fransokyo”, featuring characters like fighting chef Wasabi-No-Ginger. This could be fun. Or weirdly racist. But hopefully fun.
  • Fury: A WWII film about a tank unit. From the writer-director of End of Watch (which I haven’t seen but hear good things about). Brad Pitt plays a character named “Wardaddy”. This sounds badass.
  • Child 44: A thriller set in 30s Soviet Russia, starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and Gary Oldman. As a Slavic Studies minor, this is right up my alley.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: I liked the first one. The trailers are good. Fingers crossed.
  • Dom Hemingway: Look at the last poster in this article. Tell me that doesn’t look worthwhile.
  • Locke: More Tom Hardy! And it’s basically a one-man show, as he drives to London one night to attend the birth of his illegitimate child. The reviews out of Sundance were really solid, too. I’m intrigued.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Rise was good, and this is about an ape-dominated Earth and the attempts of the remnants of humanity to survive. Sounds good to me.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: This was originally two parallel films with a combined running time of over three hours. Now it’s apparently being re-edited and combined into one film. So I’m a touch less bullish than before, but I’m still quite intrigued, plus I’m thinking Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy could contend for my 2014 awards.
  • Big Eyes: Tim Burton sets aside the special effects and makes a film about Margaret and Walter Keane, and the dispute over who created the infamous “big eyes” paintings. The lead players? Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. Written by the guys who wrote Ed Wood. High hopes.
  • Knight of Cups: The new Malick film. Much as I liked To the Wonder, I’ll admit it was a step down from his best work. I probably should put this in the “Highest Rank” section, but until I know a little more, I’m hedging my bets.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: The new Wes Anderson film. Ridiculous cast. Could be a lot of fun. I’m not an Anderson die-hard, but I’ll be giving this a shot.
  • The Zero Theorem: New Terry GIlliam. Mixed reviews, but the trailer looks great. So I’ll roll the dice.
  • Noah: Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe go Biblical. The conflict between Aronofsky and the studio over whose cut to use might promise a legitimately daring approach to the material. Or it could be a mess. Either way, bring it on.
  • ExodusRidley Scott and Christian Bale go Biblical. Scott’s troublingly uneven, but if we adhere to the general good film-bad film-good film pattern of his career, this will be a good one.
  • Calvary: John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson reunite. The Guard was great, and this–apparently about Gleeson as a good priest grappling with the ugliness of the world–has to potential to be so as well.
  • Muppets Most Wanted!: It’s the Muppets. End of story.
  • Million Dollar Arm: It’s about a sports agent in dire straits, who travels to India to recruit cricket players to try their hand at baseball. The agent is played by Jon Hamm. His neighbor/love interest is played by Lake Bell. And it’s opening in mid-May–a pretty plum release date. This is intriguingly strange. Plus, it looks pleasant enough from the trailers.
  • The Judge: A comedy-drama starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Billy Bob Thornton, and Leighton Meester, from the director of Wedding Crashers. I’m at least interested. Probably should wait for a trailer before I say anything more.
  • Unbroken: The story of Olympian Louis Zamperini, who ran in the 1936 Berlin Games, survived 47 days at sea in a raft during WWII, and was picked up by the Japanese, whereupon he spent almost four years in a POW camp. Directed by Angelina Jolie, co-written by the Coen brothers, with cinematography by Roger Deakins. And it’s opening on Christmas Day. This is clearly some prestigious shit.
  • Book of Life: Wikipedia’s synopsis: “The film is described as the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must face his greatest fears.” Guillermo del Toro is a producer on this, too. So this could be something worth checking out.
  • Belle: A film about Dido Elizabeth Belle, the biracial daughter of a British naval officer, who was raised by his uncle’s family in 18th-century England and occupied a rather difficult spot in that society. Directed by Amma Asante. Several friends of mine are especially interested in this.
  • Macbeth: Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Need I say more?
  • A Most Wanted Man: John Le Carre adaptation, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and Daniel Brühl. From the director of The American (which I need to see). Got good reviews out of Sundance.
  • The Imitation Game: Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. ’nuff said.
  • The Voices: A mentally ill man off his meds hallucinates his cat telling him to kill and his dog telling him not to. The man is Ryan Reynolds. It’s directed by Marjane Satrapi, who’s best known for Persepolis. Also got great reviews at Sundance. Sounds fucking awesome.

  • Chef
  • 300: Rise of an Empire
  • Non-Stop
  • Winter’s Tale
  • Sabotage
  • Bad Words
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Mood Indigo
  • Blood Ties
  • Frank
  • Serena
  • Far From the Madding Crowd
  • The Cobbler
  • Manglehorn
  • Suite Francaise
  • The Cobbler
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Draft Day

  • Jane Got a Gun
  • RoboCop
  • Pompeii
  • Walk of Shame
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Endless Love
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  • Into the Woods
  • The Giver
  • Sabotage
  • Jersey Boys
  • Animal Rescue
  • St. Vincent de Van Nuys
  • Maleficent
  • The Two Faces of January
  • Transcendence
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • The Last Five Years

  • Squirrel to the Nuts
  • The Interview
  • Laggies
  • Lucy
  • Get on Up
  • Hercules: The Thracian Wars
  • Dark Places
  • How to Catch a Monster
  • Men, Women, and Children
  • Winter Sleep
  • Mr. Turner
  • Eden
  • Carol
  • Cyber
  • Two Days, One Night
  • Midnight Special
  • The Rover
  • While We’re Young
  • The Green Inferno
  • The Quiet Ones
  • Every Thing Will Be Fine
  • A Fall From Grace
  • Fallen
  • 5 to 7
  • Flock of Dudes

  • Ang Sugo: The Last Messenger
  • Annie
  • Blackbird
  • The Hundred Foot Journey
  • Welcome to Me
  • War Book
  • The Railway Man
  • Leviafan
  • Kill the Messenger
  • Theory of Everything
  • The Cut
  • True Story
  • The Gambler
  • God Help the Girl
  • Ex Machina
  • Slow West
  • The Trip to Italy
  • The Homesman
  • Black Sea
  • They Came Together
  • The Forger
  • Forsaken
  • The Girl Who Invented Kissing
  • Good People
  • The Gunman

  • 99 Homes
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones
  • Love & Mercy
  • Aloft
  • And So It Goes
  • Born to Be King
  • Brooklyn
  • The Captive
  • Dumb and Dumber To
  • McFarland
  • Paddington
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • The Equalizer
  • This Is Where I Leave You
  • Caught Stealing
  • Cold in July
  • The Maze Runner
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • No Good Deed
  • Sex Tape
  • Happy Christmas
  • Heat
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness
  • I Origins
  • In Your Eyes

  • Cooties
  • The Coup
  • Madame Bovary
  • Maggie
  • The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet
  • Cut Bank
  • Merry Friggin’ Christmas
  • Miss Julie
  • Cymbeline
  • Dear Eleanor
  • The Devil’s Harvest
  • Mojave
  • Mortdecai
  • Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
  • The Dying of the Light
  • Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale
  • Eliza Graves
  • Nightcrawler
  • Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen
  • Outcast
  • Jamie Marks is Dead
  • Just Before I Go
  • The Keeping Room
  • Kill Me Three Times
  • The Labyrinth

  • Left Behind
  • Life Itself
  • Rosewater
  • The Pirate Fairy
  • A Little Chaos
  • Spring Break ’83
  • Staten Island Summer
  • Suffragette
  • The Little Prince
  • London Fields
  • Little Accidents
  • The Longest Week
  • Shelter
  • The 33
  • Rudderless
  • The Salvation
  • Low Down
  • The Last Knight
  • Parts Per Billion
  • Trash
  • The Water Diviner
  • Young Ones
  • Pawn Sacrifice
  • Posh
  • The Prophet

Two articles that helped me immensely in creating this article:

All of the B+ Movie Blog’s articles on upcoming films are worth reading as well.

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2 thoughts on “2014: Most Anticipated Films

  1. Pingback: 2014: Most Anticipated Films (REVISED) | If you want the gravy...

  2. Pingback: TRAILER SALAD IV: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, BIG EYES, THE BETTER ANGELS, JOHN WICK, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, NORTHERN SOUL, STRETCH (NSFW clip), THE INTERVIEW (NSFW), and FORCE MAJEURE | If you want the gravy...

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