It’s a brand-new year, which means twelve months of brand-new movies to wait patiently for. Here are our top 10 picks of what’s to come over 2014…
10 – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Whether or not you enjoyed the 2012 reboot of the web-slinging Marvel superhero, you can’t deny that for the sequel they’re really upping their game with more villains and more action than ever before.
Which, to be honest, makes us cautiously optimistic about The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
It does look like a lot of fun, and Andrew Garfield seems to still be an adorable male lead – ditto Emma Stone, reprising her role as Gwen Stacy – but the overcrowded villain department was a consensual criticism about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 and could very well be a major weight here as well. Here, we have Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Paul Giamatti’s Rhino, and (possibly) Dane DeHaan’s Harry Osborn/Green Goblin to deal with, not to mention the ongoing mystery behind Peter Parker’s disappearance as well as Parker and Stacy’s romance (already sliced in half after the deletion of Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane and thus a love triangle) and struggling to get through high school in one piece.
It could be an overcrowded mess, but the first one was a fun surprise so we’re hopeful this one will be too…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
18TH APRIL 2014
9 – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Wes Anderson is perhaps one of the most influential visionary directors working in this day and age. Now, he follows up previous hits like The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox and the wonderful Moonrise Kingdom with another beautiful-looking romp known as The Grand Budapest Hotel.
And no, before you ask questions, this is not the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; but like that film it does have a wide range of thespian actors within its massive ensemble, including Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Saoirse Ronan and Tom Wilkinson.
But if one judges by the trailer, this should be another triumph for Anderson – especially in the visual department, and also quite possibly with its storytelling – who once again seems to be the real star of the show. Let’s just hope it at the very least lives up to expectations…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
7TH MARCH 2014
8 – DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Just when everyone thought that the Planet of the Apes saga was dead and buried after Tim Burton’s disastrous 2001 remake, along came a prequel 10 years later which took everyone by surprise and left audiences craving for more.
At last, a new chapter of the origin story will be unleashed upon the world, like the deadly virus introduced at the end of the last film. With a bigger budget, a bigger cast – including Gary Oldman as a human resistance leader – and, of course, a bigger band of intelligent apes led once more by Andy Serkis’ Caesar, director Matt Reeves aims to continue the apocalyptic story with the epicness and gravitas that the Planet of the Apes films never got but so desperately needed.
It’s not long before we see what the Dawn looks like, but in the meantime there’s the epic teaser trailer above to go ape over…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
17TH JULY 2014
7 – GODZILLA
Here’s yet another DOA film franchise that has been given new lease of life, but this is an entirely different kind of beast (no pun intended) than before.
Monsters director Gareth Edwards seems to have put his all into bringing back the ultimate movie beast, including an impressive international ensemble cast – Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe etc – and some stunning effects work to make it all seem far too real.
As for the big guy himself? The marketing, including the incredible above trailer, has kept him very much in the shadows so it seems we’ll have to wait till this summer to see it in its full form. But like, say, The Hobbit’s Smaug, the final design is sure to win over even the most cynical movie fan.
And hey, it’s got to be a far cry from when Matthew Broderick uttered this timeless dire-logue in Roland Emmerich’s version:
WHEN’S IT OUT?
16TH MAY 2014
6 – CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER + GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Two exciting Marvel Universe properties are coming our way this year, one sequel and the other a bizarre new story that aims to excite as well as boggle the mind.
For their first offering this year, Chris Evans returns as the shielded Captain America as he – along with other familiar members of S.H.I.E.L.D such as Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow – encounters threats both old and new. Those include Sebastian Shaw’s titular baddie, Cap’s former best mate Bucky Barnes now brainwashed into the dangerous Winter Soldier, and possibly even Robert Redford’s mysterious new head of S.H.I.E.L.D. It should capture the adventure and backwater politics that made his first outing so enjoyable, and also continue his adventures in modern day after the events of The Avengers.
Far more out there is their next film, director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. How’s this for a sci-fi/superhero romp: a group of intergalactic criminals, including a human (Chris Pratt), a Vin Diesel-sounding tree, and a CG raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper, go on the run from dastardly evil forces such as The Hobbit’s Thranduil and Doctor Who’s Amy Pond. From the offset, that all sounds mighty silly. But Marvel clearly sees something big and epic in it, so we’ll take their better judgement and hold opinions until we actually get to see the damn thing.
Either way, it looks like Marvel’s “Phase 2” is going strong, all the while leading to 2015’s epic Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
28TH MARCH 2014 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
1ST AUGUST 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy)
5 – HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
Arguably one of their strongest pieces of work in terms of storytelling and visual wonder, How To Train Your Dragon was one of DreamWorks Animation’s biggest surprises in a good long while. Now, they are aiming to continue and expand the world of dragons and Scottish Vikings – as well as their not-Scottish-for-some-reason offspring – with a sequel that manages to do just that and more.
Once again, at the heart of the story is young Viking Hiccup and pet dragon Toothless as they discover new worlds and new species of dragon, as well as get caught up in a war that threatens both mankind and dragon-kind all at once. Not only that, but we get the surprising reveal of someone from Hiccup’s past, a reclusive warrior known as Valka (Cate Blancett) so we’re probably in for some strong human drama as well.
Given the rousing success of the first film, we are very excited to see what adventures they have in store for us this time, and families everywhere should have a fantastic time experiencing it as well…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
4TH JULY 2014
4 – INTERSTELLAR
Though his last movie as director – The Dark Knight Rises – got a mixed reception from audiences and fans, Christopher Nolan is aiming high for his next film. So much so, he’s going into space for it.
Nolan takes on the new sci-fi project originally intended for the likes of Steven Spielberg, but with his and brother Jonathan Nolan’s script he aims to combine rip-roaring adventure with factual science about the nature of travelling across galaxies. Expect to see many wormholes and maybe one or two new planets, but who are we to speculate when we have no idea what’s really in store just yet?
Nolan has assembled a typically-grand ensemble cast including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and, because no Nolan film nowadays would be complete without him, Michael Caine. All of them, as well as behind-the-scenes players like composer Hans Zimmer and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, contribute to what looks like a grand, smart sci-fi epic.
Only Nolan could pull off something as complicated as Interstellar, and it seems he’s going to manage it…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
7TH NOVEMBER 2014
3 – THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN
Whatever your thoughts may be on Peter Jackson’s controversial Hobbit trilogy, the third and final part of the story is set to be an explosive, action-packed fiesta that will wrap up (nearly) all loose ends over the past couple of entries.
Now we know that one of the very first things we’ll get to see is a giant, apocalyptic assault on the innocent Lake-Town by the fearsome dragon Smaug, what should follow is an endless display of effects, action, character drama and people either dying or living in the heat of battle, all leading to the anticipated Battle of Five Armies that serves as the story’s epic climax.
We’ll also get closure with the relationship between Thorin Oakenshield and his fellow dwarves, as well as how titular Hobbit Bilbo Baggins eventually makes it home after the long journey. It’s set to be a riveting conclusion to an enjoyable set of films, and one that should offer the kind of big-scale battles that Peter Jackson did so well with his Lord of the Rings films.
It’s a journey we’re sad to see go, but it’ll most likely stay in our hearts and memories long after the journey ends…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
19TH DECEMBER 2014
2 – THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1
The end is nigh for Katniss Everdeen and allies, with the rebellion now in full swing and only one person strong enough to lead the Districts to glory.
So goes the plot to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, based on the third and final book in the original book series by Suzanne Collins. However, for its film adaptation, it shall be released as a two-parter (with the second and final half coming late 2015) which, if we’re honest, we’re not sure how it’s going to work. The book itself isn’t really THAT long, and there’s only so much plot to make up two whole movies.
But we’ll have plenty of time to complain once this baby’s unleashed upon the world. For now though, be excited by the fact that Jennifer Lawrence et al are back – with some new faces including Julianne Moore and Natalie Dormer – and that Mockingjay – Part 1 should be able to keep up the high-quality form of entertainment as we’ve seen in previous Hunger Games instalments (particularly Catching Fire).
But no matter what, its inevitable cliffhanger ending will no doubt annoy all intrigued moviegoers once they learn that there’s a whole year until the final film. There won’t be a better moment to pray for a time machine to skip ahead into the future.
WHEN’S IT OUT?
21ST NOVEMBER 2014
Speaking of time machines…
1 – X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Other Marvel projects like Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man may be more noteworthy with a mainstream audience this year, but let’s be honest: the one you’re REALLY looking forward to out of all of them is the most ambitious X-Men movie to date.
Welcoming back director Bryan Singer, whose last contribution was 2003’s first sequel X-Men 2, he has been working round the clock to ensure we are given the mutant sequel we deserved but never got (Brett Ratner’s X-Men 3 is dead to us). And he’s certainly raising the stakes: not only is he bringing back familiar mutants like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Halle Berry’s Storm and, of course, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as Professor X and Magneto respectively, but he’s also bringing in members of the First Class crowd – so that means James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as young versions of Prof. X and Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as shapeshifter Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult as Hank McKoy/Beast. It’s going to be a packed mutant jamboree, so much so that poor Anna Paquin (Rogue) has been cut to make room for everything else. But hopefully it’ll be worthy it (and don’t worry Anna, we’re looking forward to seeing your deleted scenes on the DVD!).
And if all that wasn’t enough, it seems like Singer is going for the popular Days of Future Past comic storyline which involves giant robots called Sentinels, a human-mutant war on the brink of collapse and – of course – a fair amount of time travel. These are all the sorts of elements that make a great movie, and X-Men: Days of Future Past aims to be exactly that.
There’s no telling whether it really will meet everyone’s alarmingly high expectations, or if it’ll divide opinion just as Man of Steel did last year, but we’ll definitely be checking it out with a great amount of enthusiasm and passion. After all, it can’t be any worse than X-Men 3, right? Right?…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
22ND MAY 2014
ALSO OUT THIS YEAR
- Robocop (out: 7th February 2014)
- The LEGO Movie (out: 14th February 2014)
- 300: Rise of an Empire (out: 7th March 2014)
- Need For Speed (out: 14th March 2014)
- Muppets Most Wanted (out: 28th March 2014)
- Noah (out: 28th March 2014)
- Divergent (out: 4th April 2014)
- Transcendence (out: 25th April 2014)
- Edge of Tomorrow (out: 30th May 2014)
- Maleficent (out: 30th May 2014)
- 22 Jump Street (out: 6th June 2014)
- A Million Ways To Die In The West (out: 6th June 2014)
- Transformers: Age of Extinction (out: 10th July 2014)
- Jupiter Ascending (out: 25th July)
- The Inbetweeners Movie 2 (out: 6th August 2014)
- The Expendables 3 (out: 15th August 2014)
- Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (out: 29th August 2014)
- Boxtrolls (out: 12th September 2014)
- Gone Girl (out: 3rd October 2014)
- The Equalizer (out: 10th October 2014)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (out: 17th October 2014)
- Horrible Bosses 2 (out: 28th November 2014)
- Paddington Bear (out: 28th November 2014)
- Exodus (out: 5th December 2014)
- Dumb and Dumber To (out: 19th December 2014)
- Night at the Museum 3 (out: 26th December 2014)