Just by looking at the release schedule this year, it almost feels as if studios have completely eradicated the idea of containing their films within the traditional Summer movie season – May through August. Some of the biggest blockbusters are releasing earlier than ever, months before May, and they even continue all the way through the end of the year. With big franchises returning to the silverscreen, such as Transformers, Spider-Man, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there is no telling who is going to come out on top. Check out Turn The Right Corner’s 31 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014 after the break and start booking your calendars now.
The LEGO Movie – February 7 – (Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller) Starring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, and Morgan Freeman. Synopsis: LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together. (Watch the trailer)
From the directors/writers of 21 Jump Street and the Robot Chicken team comes the first big animated film of the year, The LEGO Movie. There’s something about the combination of the voice cast, the colorful and stylish animation, and the hilariousness of the concept that makes The LEGO Movie seem like a sure fire winner for kids and adults alike. We’ve all grown up with them and now it’s our turn to watch them come to life right in front of our eyes by some of the funniest people in the business.
Welcome to Yesterday – February 28 – (Directed by Dean Israelite) Starring Ginny Gardner, Sir Maejor, Sofia Black-D’Elia, and Amy Landecker. Synopsis: A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.
This little found footage film came out of nowhere, as they typically do, but luckily for us Welcome to Yesterday is not a horror. The trailer does the premise justice, but don’t be fooled by its indie facade. All of the big boys are looking to get their piece of the found footage pie with Platinum Dunes and Paramount Pictures behind its production. If executed well, Welcome to Yesterday could be the refreshing take on this style of filmmaking that has worn out its welcome.
The Grand Budapest Hotel – March 7 – (Directed by Wes Anderson) Starring Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, and Edward Norton. Synopsis: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.
It’s a Wes Anderson movie starring one of the most star studded casts to ever grace the big screen sans those awful holiday movies. I’m not a huge fan of Wes Anderson movies, but he’s been on a roll with me ever since The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Moonrise Kingdom is such a delight, and I catch the same vibes when I watch the trailers for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Divergent – March 21 – (Directed by Neil Burger) Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, and Ansel Elgort. Synopsis: Beatrice Prior, a teenager with a special mind, finds her life threatened when an authoritarian leader seeks to exterminate her kind in her effort to seize control of their divided society.
You had me at Shailene Woodley. I’m not a big proponent of these terrible young adult novel adaptations, especially when they are unsuccessful – The Host; Beautiful Creatures; Percy Jackson; The Mortal Instruments – but from what I hear this series of books written by Veronica Roth has gotten a lot of street cred. Could this be the next Hunger Games? Maybe, but they share such similar nuances that I don’t see audiences flocking to it unless it turns out to be warmly accepted by critics. Neil Burger (The Illusionist; Limitless; The Lucky Ones) doesn’t give me too much hope, and neither does the marketing, but I really want to believe that Shailene Woodley can really make this work.
The Raid 2: Berandal– March 28 – (Directed by Gareth Evans) Starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and Raiden Integra. Synopsis: The plot is unknown, however, the story begins two hours after the first movie ends.
If you haven’t see The Raid: Redemption I suggest you stop reading this and immediately watch it. I’m dead serious. As one of the greatest action films to have ever been made, The Raid is just balls to the wall adrenaline, smothered with delightful intensity. And as the follow up, which hit Sundance this year, The Raid 2 has been praised even higher than its predecessor. To believe that is absolutely ludicrous. The trailer for Berandal teases more insane fight sequences and I wish my future self has created a time machine so I could watch it now.
Noah – March 28 – (Directed by Darren Aronofsky) Starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, and Russell Crowe. Synopsis: The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan; Requiem for a Dream; The Wrestler) has gone full blockbuster with Noah. Emma Watson and Logan Lerman in a Aronofsky picture? Noah definitely feels like the most commercial work Aronofsky has ever done, and I sure hope the studios have allowed the artistically dark and visual director to utilize his full playbook. I’m not big on Bible epics, but with Aronofsky behind the project I am far more willing to give it a shot. I’m still a bit peeved that he couldn’t do The Wolverine.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4 – (Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo) Starring Chris Evans, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, and Scarlett Johansson. Synopsis: Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.
Anyone following Marvel Studios‘ track record knows that this is one team you don’t want to bet against. After the mighty success of Thor: The Dark World, it is truly foreseeable that these non-Avengers, non-Iron Man properties can hold their own, with an ever expanding fan base. The trailers for The Winter Soldier are nothing short of what we have come to expect, filled with action and deep-rooted mythology. This story arc for Captain America is truly going to be a game changer for the tone and direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Transcendence – April 18 – (Directed by Wally Pfister) Starring Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, and Rebecca Hall. Synopsis; A terminally ill scientist downloads his body into a computer. This grants him power beyond his wildest dreams, and soon he becomes unstoppable.
Cinematographer Wally Pfister has been behind the camera for some of the most beautiful pieces of film of our generation (The Dark Knight; Inception; Moneyball; The Prestige). However, this time around, all eyes are on Mr. Pfister to see if he has what it takes to don the director’s seat. The concept, written by first timer Jack Palgen, is rather intriguing. And with a cast like this, Transcendence is setting itself up for one of the most interesting times at the theaters. I predict it will either be pretty cool or bomb gloriously. Either way, I’m all for watching this original story, which we don’t get enough of these days.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – May 2 – (Directed by Marc Webb) Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, and Paul Giamatti. Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.
Although The Amazing Spider-Man was lackluster, disappointing, and unnecessary, I really like what Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have going on. And now with Peter Parker getting into the thick of it with Electro, Rhino, The Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, and Alistair Smythe, my emotions are at war with themselves. At one point I am still flustered by how poorly handled three villains were in Spider-Man 3, and now Webb is returning to the model but with even more characters to balance out. Pretty ballsy if you ask anyone. And on the other side of the coin, the trailers make the film seem really fun, full of character, and the classic Spider-Man we know and love. Oh first world problems.
Neighbors – May 9 – (Directed by Nicholas Stoller) Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, and Lisa Kudrow. Synopsis: A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.
Seth Rogen versus Zac Efron and Dave Franco, what more could you ask for? I can’t believe we’re at the point in Seth Rogen’s career where he can be conveyed old and mature enough to have a family. The trailers for Neighbors are hilarious and the chemistry between the actors looks like they had a great time making this. Although I much disliked The Five-Year Engagement, director Nicholas Stoller still has clout in my book for Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Godzilla – May 16 – (Directed by Gareth Edwards) Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, and Ken Watanabe. Synopsis: A giant radioactive monster called Godzilla appears to wreak destruction on mankind.
When I saw the king of the monsters in front of me in the Godzilla experience at Comic-Con last year I was blown away by the sheer magnitude of the lizard king. As he roared his classic roar, I felt shivers all over. My body knew I was ready to see Godzilla back on the big screen. Once that first teaser trailer dropped it was as if you could sense everyone on the planet in utter silence as if they were watching this well-crafted piece of marketing with you. If you haven’t seen director Gareth Edwards’ Monsters I highly suggest you seek it out on Netflix. Godzilla has all the makings to be one of the best experiences all year, at least it better be. Or else ::shakes fist::
X-Men: Days of Future Past – May 23 — (Directed by Bryan Singer) Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, and Nicholas Hoult. Synopsis: The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
With three Oscar winners (Halle Berry; Jennifer Lawrence, and Anna Paquin) and four other Oscar nominees (Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page, and Michael Fassbender), X-Men: Days of Future Past has got to be the greatest team of award-winning celebrities in a superhero movie ever. The concept and the trailer have built it up to be the most highly anticipated superhero flick of the year, it could be as fun as The Avengers. With Bryan Singer (X-Men; X2) back at the helm and two eras of mutants coming together to face a common enemy, DOFP is what geek dreams are made of.
Edge of Tomorrow – June 6 – (Directed by Doug Liman) Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Lara Pulver. Synopsis: A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way.
When I watch the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow I think Groundhog Day meets the Academy Award-winning Starship Troopers. And when you combine both films together, with the always lovely Emily Blunt and the awesome force of Tom Cruise, how could you lose? Edge of Tomorrow sells itself very well, and with as much action as they show in the trailer and the curiosity it sparks, I am buying in.
22 Jump Street – June 13 – (Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller) Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, and Sal Longobardo. Synopsis: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Do you really need me to explain how incredible this sequel is going to be? 22 Jump Street recently released its first teaser trailer and already I believe it will be the funniest movie of the year. There should be a three-way boxing match between Channing Tatum, Michael Cera, and Leonardo DiCaprio to determine which bromance between themselves and Jonah Hill is better.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – June 13 – (Directed by Dean DeBlois) Starring Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, and Jonah Hill. Synopsis: It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds.
My anticipation to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 is through the roof. As soon as my eyes found their way to the first teaser trailer it was as if nothing else mattered in the world. The first HTTYD is just absolutely breathtaking, and HTTYD2 appears to have upped the ante with more dragons, more vikings, and more thrilling fun. The full-length theatrical trailer is a bit spoilerish, depending on how you look at it, but regardless I am going to put money on HTTYD2 winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. There’s no competition if this film can maintain the caliber of the first.
Transformers: Age of Extinction – June 27 – (Directed by Michael Bay) Starring Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, and Stanley Tucci. Synopsis: A mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down Autobots and Decepticons – and a paranoid government official – on them.
It’s Transformers. Come on now. Who wouldn’t go see this clash of the titans again? Plus there are Dinobots. DINOBOTS! And as an added bonus there won’t be any Shia LeBeouf, no silly Witwicky parents, and John Turturro doesn’t have to embarrass himself anymore. Of course the Super Bowl spot was absolutely insane, and Age of Extinction will more than likely let us down, but a man can dream right?
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – July 18 – (Directed by Matt Reeves) Starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Synopsis: Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar’s growing forces.
Out of sheer form of witchcraft Rise of the Planet of the Apes actually turned out to be a good movie. Thanks to a brilliant motion capture performance by Andy Serkis, a decent script, and of course James Franco, the studios have built up a pretty convincing world I want to return to. Now years down the road in the timeline, with an all new cast, I really don’t know what to expect, and I couldn’t be more happy about that. And who could say no to Gary Oldman? His speech in the teaser trailer is filled with so much tension, and the imagery of Caesar at the end builds it up even more.
Jupiter Ascending – July 25 – (Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski) Starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, and Eddie Redmayne. Synopsis: In a universe where humans are near the bottom of the evolutionary ladder, a young destitute human woman is targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe because her very existence threatens to end the Queen’s reign.
I’m not exactly sure where this came from, but I want it. The Wachowskis. Channing Tatum. Mila Kunis. Why hasn’t this film been made sooner? The first trailer for Jupiter Ascending is a bit strange, but the visuals look stunning. I can’t tell whether this film will be good or not, but I’m especially game with how Cloud Atlas turned out.
Step Up All In– July 25 – (Directed by Trish Sie) Starring Briana Evigan, Alyson Stoner, Adam Sevini, and Ryan Guzman Synopsis: All-stars from previous installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.
Since Briana Evigan stole my heart in Step Up 2: The Streets I have never been the same. As one of the silliest franchises still alive, Step Up All In is like The Avengers of the Step Up franchise. The dancing always gets better, the plots zanier, and the dialogue just hilariously more cheesy. There’s no way I could miss this. I think this would be the first time I watch a Step Up movie in theaters.
Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1 – (Directed by James Gunn) Starring Chris Pratt, Lee Pace, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Benecio Del Toro, and John C. Reilly. Synopsis: A jet pilot gets stranded in space, and must unite a diverse team of aliens to form a squad capable of defeating cosmic threats.
After seeing the footage this past summer at D23 Expo, along with the cast, and the director James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy will absolutely tear it up. I predict GOTG to be one of the most entertaining cinematic achievements of the year because it brings something entirely different to the MCU and will catch Marvel movie fans off-guard in a really positive way. The tone of the film is perfect to introduce these characters and it will be the perfect balance against The Winter Soldier’s dark and brooding tone.
Snowpiercer – August 1 – (Directed by Joon-ho Bong) Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Luke Pasqualino, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer Synopsis: In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine.
Premise alone, Snowpeircer comes across to me as one of the most interesting and unique stories of the year. Although it is an adaptation of a graphic novel, it feels more original than most of the films on this list. The trailer is pretty grim and serious, but it’s got a little something something that draws me in.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – August 8 – (Directed by Jonathan Liebesman) Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Pete Ploszek, William Fichtner, and Noel Fisher. Synopsis: Aliens invade Earth and inadvertently spawn a quartet of mutated reptile warriors, the Ninja Turtles, who rise up against them to defend the world.
It’s the freaking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in live action form, with Megan Fox as April O’Neil. I mean, you can’t expect much, especially from a Platinum Dunes joint, but it will be flashy, stylish, and probably sexy? The fact that I graduated high school with Pete Ploszek (who is playing Leonardo) just blows my mind. I have no idea if he is even a good actor; I didn’t even know he even liked acting. But I digress. It’s a new live-action TMNT movie that we have all been waiting for. Luckily they aren’t aliens as originally speculated per something silly Michael Bay or someone on the prodution claimed.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – August 22 – (Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez) Starring Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Synopsis: The town’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants.
As much as I don’t want this sequel to my favorite movie of all time, but I do so much it hurts. It’s been almost ten long years in the making, and all I can feel is fear and excitement. Luckily Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have returned along with the entire cast besides the late Michael Clarke Duncan – RIP. So I think we can get some positive momentum going for this long awaited sequel. As long as it doesn’t taint the first film that’s all that matters to me.
The Maze Runner –September 19 – (Directed by Wes Ball) Starring Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dylan O’Brien, and Kaya Scodelario Synopsis: Set in a post-apocalyptic world, young Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.
We’ve got another young adult series on our hands, but this time it seems like the boys will have their day. Sure it’s one more post-apocalyptic story for Hollywood to sink their teeth into, but at least it’s a little different. Lord of the Flies meets The Running Man? That’s what I see here, and I’m OK with that. I’m not sure what the message is they’re going to try and shove down my throat, but I will embrace it with an empty stomach.
Gone Girl – October 3 – (Directed by David Fincher) Starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Missi Pyle, Emily Ratajkowski, and Tyler Perry. Synopsis: A woman mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary.
You can’t say no to a David Fincher (The Social Network; Fight Club; Zodiac) movie. The man is a master of the adaptation and has one of the best cinematic styles of filmmaking today. I’m not sure what Gone Girl is about exactly, but I hear the book is really good. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Fincher’s work in theaters – his last was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back in 2011; he’s been busy with House of Cards – but signed, sealed, delivered I’m yours David. I’m yours.
The Interview – October 10 – (Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen) Starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, and Diana Bang Synopsis: An attractive talk show host and his producer unwittingly get caught up in an international assassination plot.
Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, the writer/directors of This is the End, are back for more, and this time we’ve got ourselves another Franco-Rogen buddy comedy. It’s not hard to believe that they are one of the best up-and-coming comedic duo in Hollywood right now. Together they have written The Green Hornet, Pineapple Express, Superbad, and unfortunately The Watch. I have a lot of faith in their abilities and I’m sure The Interview will have me ROTFLMAOSHMSFOAIDMT.
Interstellar – November 7 – (Directed by Christopher Nolan) Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway. Synopsis: A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
Big Hero 6 – November 7 – (Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams) Starring No cast announcements thus far Synopsis: A group of six superheroes are recruited by the government to protect the nation.
As Dinsey’s only big animated release this year, and with The Good Dinosaur pushed back to next year, we have to rely on an existing Marvel Entertainment property to fill the void of princesses and Pixar. If we were ever going to get a sequel to The Incredibles this might be as close as we get. There hasn’t been anything officially released that could give us a hint at the tone or the story, but the visuals that we’ve seen thus far in the five-second teaser and production art looks fantastic.
Dumb and Dumber To – November 14 – (Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly) Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Laurie Holden, Kathleen Turner, and Rob Riggle Synopsis: 20 years after the dimwits set out on their first adventure, they head out in search of one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney.
Despite the Farrellys not being on such a winning streak these days (Hall Pass; Movie 43; The Three Stooges) I have to believe that these two can’t screw up a franchise they invented, their first movie too. Part of me still has a bad taste in my mouth after Anchorman 2, but there’s a nostalgic piece of my brain that has so much hope for this to succeed.
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 – November 21 – (Directed by Francis Lawrence) Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willow Shields, and Liam Hemsworth Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.
Without a doubt Francis Lawrence saved The Hunger Games from utter disaster. Sure the franchise has its fans, but the first film was almost a complete wreck. And if Catching Fire hadn’t been the success critically and commercially as it ended up being than the property would have been a garish nightmare for Lionsgate. But Mr. Lawrence is not out of the woods yet because Mockingjay is an absolute worst nightmare of a book. If the rest of the franchise is to live up to what Lawrence has started I suggest they throw away the books, write an original story, and don’t look back.
Into the Woods – December 25 – (Directed by Rob Marshall) Starring Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep, and Emily Blunt Synopsis: A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
That cast though. Anything with Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect; 50/50; Up in the Air) is just pure gold, but to add Meryl, Depp, and Blunt, you’ve got yourself a party. Let’s be thankful that Rob Marshall is going back to musicals and staying away from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Incorporating this powerhouse into a Disney musical has all the makings for a great way to end 2014.
Which big releases are you looking forward to seeing this year? Tell us in the comments section below.
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