Following on from part one of this list, we now continue our rundown of the 30 movies to look forward to this Fall and Winter:
16. Big Hero 6
With Disney’s purchase of Marvel, it was only a matter of time before the Mouse House scoured Marvel’s back catalogue to see what properties had animated franchise potential. Big Hero 6 is the result, a Marvel property as done via Disney. The first couple of trailers showcased beautiful animation, a suitably hero/villain Marvel storyline, all of which filtered through a Disney sensibility. It all looks wonderfully realised, with the heart warming inflatable wonder known as Baymax already grabbing the hearts of many. Featuring a voice cast that includes Jamie Chung, T.J Miller, Scott Adsit, Damon Wayans Jr, Alan Tudyk and Maya Rudolph, and with the combined power of Disney and Marvel, expect this to launch big.
Release Date: November 7 US, January 30 UK.
17. Theory Of Everything
With a figure as compelling and as iconic as Stephen Hawking, it’s a wonder that it’s taken until 2014 to bring his life story to the big screen. Eddie Redmayne steps into the great genius’ shoes with Felicity Jones playing his wife, Jane Hawking, with both actors looking to be on top form as the couple, with the film promising to be far more character driven then simply a lecture on Hawking’s theories. Man on Wire’s James Marsh is calling the shots on this one, which will no doubt be shouting from the rooftops for awards for Jones and Redmayne when the film is released later this year.
Release Date: November 7 US, January 2 UK.
Satirical funny man, Jon Stewart, took a three month hiatus from The Daily Show last summer to shoot this true life tale of Iranian born journalist, Maziar Bahari, who was captured and imprisoned by Iranian authorities in 2009, following the outcome of the controversial Iranian elections. Accused of being a spy by the Iranian government, Bahari was imprisoned and interrogated without charge for 118 days before being released. The film has received slightly lukewarm reviews since its premiere at Telluride recently, but with a powerful trailer, and what looks like another strong performance from Gael Garcia Bernal, Jon Stewart seems to have crafted a high drama about the endurance of the human spirit.
Release Date: November 7 US. No UK release date as of yet.
Christopher Nolan teams up with man of the moment, Matthew McConaughey, for this science fiction tale, that was once in the hands of Steven Spielberg. Ever since the film was first announced, little has been revealed about the upcoming film, other than it involves space ships, interstellar travel, wormholes, and Matthew McConaughey trying to save the world. Frankly, the lack of information is incredibly welcome in this day and age, as this seems like a film, like all Nolan films, that will be best viewed completely fresh. Plus the little bit we’ve seen from the trailers, suggest an intelligent and highly emotional and complex blockbuster. Emotion being the key word here, as that seems to have sold Nolan’s movies short on numerous occasions. Hopefully Christopher Nolan can deliver the emotion as well as the spectacular.
Release Date: November 7 US and UK
20. The Hunger Games: Mokingjay Part 1
Yes, I know. They probably could’ve adapted the last book of Suzanne Collins trilogy into one movie, but hey, that’s Hollywood. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Hunger Games movie. I thought it was mediocre at best. But Catching Fire surprised me. A thoroughly engaging and enjoyable sequel that expanded on the world that Collins created and featured strong performances from its cast. Hence my excitement for the next instalment in the franchise. Now that the Hunger Games themselves are officially over, revolution is promised with the first part of what promises to be a truly epic finale, as Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss finally accepts her destiny as the Mockingjay and symbol of all hope. Get ready folks, this is gonna be big.
Release Date: November 21 US and UK.
21. American Sniper
After the lacklustre performance that was Jersey Boys this summer, Clint Eastwood offers up a far more intriguing affair, this Christmas, with the adaptation of Chris Kyle’s non-fiction book recounting his time as a Navy SEAL sniper. Originally set a s potential directing vehicle for Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood takes over the reigns with Bradley Cooper exchanging space raccoons for a sniper rifle as Kyle. Cooper’s on a role at the moment, so expect another strong performance from him. Hopefully this will also mark a return to form for Eastwood in the director’s chair too.
Release Date: December 25 US, January 16 UK.
22. Into The Woods
Already set to be one of the big hits of the holiday season, Rob Marshall’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s award winning musical features an all star cast, including Meryl Streep as a wicked witch and Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf. If that bit of casting alone doesn’t excite you, then I don’t know what will. There’s already been a ton of talk behind this film, from the rumoured significant changes in the somewhat dark edged story to the teaser trailer’s lack of singing,, this already has people intrigued to see the final result. However, I’m sure that Marshall is more than capable of delivering a wonderfully fun holiday musical.
Release Date: December 25 US, January 9 UK.
It’s a different, more darker sort of magic that Daniel Radcliffe seems to be experiencing in Horns. After Harry Potter ended, a lot of questions were asked whether or not Daniel Radcliffe could escape the clutches of the boy wizard and be able to forge a career outside the biggest franchise of all time. Turns out he can. Going from strength to strength with every role he picks, Horns looks set to be another wise decision for the young thespian. The trailer looked all kinds of dark and fun, and Radcliffe to seems to be revelling in his role as a young man who discovers strange horns growing out of his head as he investigates the rape and murder of his girlfriend. Just in time for Halloween too.
Release Date: October 29 UK, October 31 US
24. The Interview
Already a source of much attention, and a potential catalyst for World War 3, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s sophomore directorial effort (following This Is The End) is another irreverent comedy, in which Rogen and best pal James Franco play a couple of journalists, recruited by the CIA to enter North Korea and assassinate Kim Jong-Un. Naturally of course, the North Koreans themselves are none too happy about this, spouting off as they do blah blah blah. So much so in fact, that according to rumour, a major scene has already been cut from the film. Let’s hope not, because I for one, think this film looks great. Plus, I don’t care what anybody says, anything that pisses off Kim Jong Un is worth a look in my book.
Release Date: December 25 US, January 30 UK.
25. Big Eyes
Tim Burton is a director who used to be great. A man who delivered wonderfully inventive pieces of work, that stood against against the grain. Then came a slew of dull, unimaginative works that had us lamenting about the good old gothic days of Tim Burton. It seems though, that with his latest effort, it could signal a return to form for the gothic auteur. Big Eyes promises to be an intimate look at the work of artist Margaret Keane, whose paintings (known for featuring characters with the titular big eyes) were a phenomenal success in the 1950s, but were credited to her husband, resulting in a dramatic legal battle. Amy Adams plays Margaret Keane while Chritsoph Waltz plays her husband. A Tim Burton film worth looking forward to. Finally… Been a while since I could say that.
Release Date: December 25 US, No UK release date as of yet.
26. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Finally, the defining chapter. At least, that’s how the first trailer for Peter Jackson’s final instalment in the Hobbit trilogy claims it anyway. We can go on about for an eternity whether or not it was a good idea to adapt Tolkien’s slim source material into three three hour long epics, but… Oh let’s not and look forward to what promises to be an epic final chapter in Jackson’s sojourn into Middle Earth. The first trailer was a moody affair, a slow build to the no doubt massive epicness that is the titular battle itself. The first movie was a plodding affair, while the second movie in the trilogy was a vast improvement, a rollicking fantasy adventure, so here’s hoping that Jackson and co can finally recapture that Lord of the Rings magic that we’ve been desperately waiting for.
Release Date: December 12 UK, December 17 US.
Angelina Jolie’s first movie In The Land Of Blood and Honey was a little seen, underrated war movie, showcasing a skill and craft that may have gone amiss to the masses. It looks as if for her second movie, that her skill as a director will not go amiss this time with Unbroken, the fascinating true life tale of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, who was taken captive by Japanese forces during World War II. Featuring up and comer Jack O’Connell as Zamperini (whose Starred Up is currently on release now and should most definitely not be missed) this could finally showcase the new Mrs. Pitt and Mr. O’Connell fully deserve.
Release Date: December 25 US, December 26 UK
28. Inherent Vice
Probably the top on most cinephile’s must-see-films-of-2014 lists, Paul Thomas Anderson returns to our screens this year with an adaptation of Thomas Pychon’s blistering novel. Joaquin Phoenix reunites with Anderson as Doc Sportello, the drug-fueled private detective on a search for his former girlfriend through the seedy world of 1970s Los Angeles. Featuring an all star cast of awards bait, including Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Owen Wilson, this will no doubt be the movie that most critics will be slathering over when its released later this year.
Release Date: December 12 US, January 30 UK.
29. The Imitation Game
After last year’s disappointing The Fifth Estate, Benedict Cumberbatch is hoping for better luck this time around, with his portrayal as famous mathematician Alan Turing, as he uses his brains and smarts to crack the German enigma code during World War II. The film has already scored raves on the festival circuit, particularly for Cumberbatch’s portrayal as Turing. So naturally of course, talks of a nomination are already on the table. Wouldn’t that be nice. He can place that right next to his recently acquired Emmy. With strong support in the likes of Keira Knightley, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode and Charles Dance, the BAFTA committee will no doubt lap this one up.
Release Date: November 14 UK, November 21 US.
Bennett Miller is perhaps one of the greatest American filmmakers working today. Without a doubt, one of the greatest, if not the greatest American filmmaker working today. His first two features, Capote and Moneyball were marvellous examinations and dissections of real life characters and determined individuals. His third feature, Foxcatcher, has already scored raves when it premiered at Cannes earlier this year, particularly for Steve Carell and Channing Tatum’s awards worthy performances. The year long delay of the film (having been pushed back from last year) seems to have not hurt the film’s chances at all. For me, Foxcatcher is definitely The Must See Movie of 2014.
Release Date: November 14 US, January 9 UK.