Last year, I provided for this site my Top 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2013. As someone who sees well north of 100 films a year, whittling down options from the upcoming calendar is a Herculean task to undertake (The Rock, not Kellan Lutz). However, I have persevered for you, Dear Reader. By popular demand*, below are Hainline’s 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2014. These do no reflect the anticipations of the Movie Mezzanine staff, founder Sam Fragoso, or anyone who fails to revel in the simple pleasures of the Resident Evil series. These are my feelings and mine alone.
To start with, I’d like to separate the films from last year’s list that had their release bumped to this year. That way, you get less repetition (though it would’ve saved me a great deal of writing) and I get to include more new movies in my list. Win win!
ELEVEN OF LAST YEAR’S ANTICIPATED FILMS, BUMPED TO THIS YEAR:
– David Wain’s They Came Together.
– Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young and Prodigious Spivet.
– George Clooney’s The Monuments Men.
– James Gray’s The Immigrant.
– Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man.
– John Carney’s Can A Song Save Your Life?
– Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer.
– Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher.
– Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem.
– Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert.
– David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars.
And now, with no further ado… THE 2014 LIST.
50.) The Equalizer
Talent involved: Antoine Fuqua, fresh off Olympus Has Fallen. Denzel Washington. Chloe Grace Moretz. Melissa Leo. Bill Pullman.
Description: Based on the TV show, Robert McCall is a former covert ops officer turned vigilante. Denzel versus an army of Russian gangsters.
49.) The Gambler
Talent involved: Rupert Wyatt. William Monahan. Mark Wahlberg. Brie Larson. Jessica Lange. John Goodman. Michael K. Williams.
Description: A remake of the James Caan film from the 1970s. Wyatt hit a grand slam with the Planet of the Apes prequel, a quality remake should be in his wheelhouse.
48.) Night Moves
Talent involved: Kelly Reichardt. Dakota Fanning. Jesse Eisenberg. Peter Sarsgaard. James Le Gros. Alia Shawkat.
Description: Three environmentalists plot to blow up a dam. Reichardt goes genre.
47.) Need For Speed
Talent involved: Scott Waugh. Aaron Paul. Dominic Cooper. Imogen Poots. Dakota Johnson. Kid Cudi. Michael Keaton.
Description: A street racer framed for murder plots his revenge. A bounty is placed on his head. Aaron Paul shows off his crying ability.
46.) Step Up: All In
Talent involved: The best of the Step Up series! (Minus the Tatums, obviously.) Briana Evigan. Alyson Stoner. Twitch. Moose.
Description: I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and say it involves an upcoming dance competition. Just a guess though.
45.) Black Sea
Talent involved: Kevin Macdonald. Jude Law. Scoot McNairy. Jodie Whittaker (the nurse from Attack the Block). The outstanding British playwright Dennis Kelly.
Description: A submarine captain undergoes a quest searching for gold at the bottom of the Black Sea. Presumably, things go awry.
44.) Million Dollar Arm
Talent involved: Craig Gillespie. A script by Tom McCarthy. Jon Hamm. Lake Bell. Alan Arkin. Suraj Sharma. Bill Paxton.
Description: The true story of a sports agent who recruits Asian cricket players as potential baseball professionals. If anyone can sell this concept to MLB teams, I reckon it’s Don Draper.
Talent involved: Paul W.S. Anderson. Kit Harington. Carrie-Anne Moss. Emily Browning. ADEBISI. Jared Harris. KIEFER.
Description: Gladiator meets Volcano. Jon Snow and Adebisi against Jack Bauer. Molten lava couldn’t keep me away.
42.) Love & Mercy
Talent involved: Bill Pohlad. Script by Oren Moverman. Paul Dano. John Cusack. Elizabeth Banks. Paul Giamatti.
Description: A Brian Wilson biopic. Biopics concern me… but Moverman co-wrote the wildly unconventional I’m Not There, so hope abides.
41.) Men Women & Children
Talent involved: Jason Reitman. Sandler. Emma Thompson. Jennifer Garner. Judy Greer. Dean Norris. Rosemarie DeWitt. J.K. Simmons. Dennis Haysbert. Roy from The Office.
Description: A group of teens and adults deal with sexuality and relationships in the Internet age. Contains a rare quasi-dramatic Sandler turn.
40.) Edge of Tomorrow
Talent involved: Doug Liman. Christopher McQuarrie. CRUISE. Emily Blunt. CRUISE. Jeremy Piven. CRUISE. BILL PAXTON. CRUISE. CRUISE. CRUISE.
Description: A soldier fighting aliens experiences a Groundhog Day-esque time loop during his last day of battle. Did I mention that soldier is CRUISE?
39.) Jane Got a Gun
Talent involved: Gavin O’Connor. A Brian Duffield script. Natalie Portman. Ewan McGregor. Joel Edgerton. Rodrigo Santoro. Noah Emmerich.
Description: The rare female-led Western, following a woman who’s looking to save her husband from a gang looking to gun him down. A passion project for Portman, a troubled production, and, perhaps most importantly, a Western.
38.) Gone Girl
Talent involved: David Fincher. Rosamund Pike. Ben Affleck. Missi Pyle. NPH. Casey Wilson. TYLER PERRY.
Description: An adaptation of the super-popular book everyone I know has read. Makes the list primarily for fulfilling my dream of seeing Tyler Perry in a David Fincher film. Now I can only hope Fincher shows up in a Perry film next.
Talent involved: *deep breath* Christopher Nolan. Matthew McConaughey. Anne Hathaway. Jessica Chastain. Michael Caine. Wes Bentley. Casey Affleck. Topher Grace. John Lithgow. David Oyelowo. Ellen Burstyn.
Description: Plot details unsurprisingly vague, but it involves space exploration using a wormhole. Rumors that Ellen Burstyn wears a mask that renders her voice unintelligible have yet to be addressed.
36.) Squirrels to the Nuts
Talent involved: Peter Bogdanovich. Owen Wilson. Jennifer Aniston. Kathryn Hahn. Imogen Poots. Rhys Ifans. Will Forte. Bogdanovich favorites Tatum O’Neal and Cybill Shepherd. Richard Lewis.
Description: Bogdanovich unveils a new screwball comedy about a Broadway director who attempts to promote the acting career of a hooker he falls for. This would be elevated roughly twenty spots up the list if Richard Lewis was the lead.
35.) The Giver
Talent involved: Phillip Noyce. Lois Lowry. Meryl Streep. Jeff Bridges. Alexander Skarsgard. Katie Holmes. …Taylor Swift?
Description: I, like every other person of my generation, read this book around sixth grade. The stunt casting of Swift gives me pause, but Bridges is perfect for his role and Noyce is a compelling choice of director.
34.) The Double
Talent involved: Richard Ayoade. Jesse Eisenberg. Mia Wasikowska. Chris O’Dowd. Wallace Shawn. Sally Hawkins. Paddy Considine. James Fox. Noah Taylor. Cathy Moriarty.
Description: A man’s life starts to go awry when his doppelganger strolls into his life. It got terrific reviews in Toronto last fall, shooting it even further up this list.
Talent involved: Ridley Scott. Christian Bale. Aaron Paul. Sigourney Weaver. Joel Edgerton. John Turturro. Ben Kingsley.
Description: Moses leading the slaves out of Egypt. Hopefully Ridley Scott’s newest epic from the past is closer to Gladiator than Robin Hood.
32.) The Interview
Talent involved: Seth Rogen. Evan Goldberg. James Franco. Lizzy Caplan. Jonah from “Veep.”
Description: a talk show host and his producer get tangled up in a plot to assassinate the head of North Korea. If it’s half as terrific as This Is The End, it could easily end up the most quotable comedy of 2014.
Talent involved: Todd Haynes. Patricia Highsmith. Cate Blanchett. Rooney Mara.
Description: A period piece directed by Todd Haynes. I don’t need to hear anything else.
30.) Mr. Turner
Talent involved: Mike Leigh. Timothy Spall. Roger Ashton-Griffiths.
Description: a biopic of British artist J.M.W. Turner. The tag team of Leigh and Spall should send any cinephile’s heart a-flutter.
Talent involved: David Ayer. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sam Worthington. Terrence Howard. MIREILLE ENOS. Olivia Williams. Joe Manganiello. JOSH HOLLOWAY. Harold Perrineau. ONE OF THE CARTEL TWINS FROM BREAKING BAD.
Description: after a DEA task force robs a cartel safe house, they find themselves being hunted down. The Ayer/Arnold combo gets my blood pumping, and the trailer flat-out rules. I’m counting the days.
Talent involved: David Ayer. Brad Pitt. Shia LaBeouf. Logan Lerman. Michael Pena. Jon Bernthal. Jason Isaacs.
Description: Six men in a tank behind enemy lines. Not enough entries to date in the “Tank Film” genre.
27.) Big Hero 6
Talent involved: Don Hall. Chris Williams. Marvel. Disney Animation.
Description: Disney tackling a Marvel property via animation. Could be the start of something magical.
26.) Jupiter Ascending
Talent involved: The Wachowskis. Channing Tatum. Mila Kunis. Sean Bean. Eddie Redmayne. Douglas Booth. Doona Bae. Terry Gilliam.
Description: something about the Queen of the Universe, the fate of humanity, and Channing Tatum in odd makeup. Sounds like the Wachowskis, all right.