2014 Preview: Top Ten Anticipated Films

After looking back at 2013 in film last week, I am kicking things off this week with a quick look forward at the coming year. It is always hard to guess which films will truly deliver. Looking back at my most anticipated list for 2013, only one (To The Wonder) made my top ten and the rest were a bit of a mixed bag. I think part of the reason that not many make my top ten is that my anticipation is usually for bigger budget event films, whilst the films on my top ten often sneak up on me. Anyhoo, on to this year’s list. Who knows if these will be any good, but in alphabetical order, these are the films I’m most excited for this year.

The Armstrong Lie

I continue to enjoy the films of Alex Gibney more and more, so I am definitely keen to check this one out (a film I know has already opened in a bunch of places). I am a moderate cycling fan and even aside from that, the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong is one that I think is pretty interesting to everyone. His mystique has all come crashing down around him and I am hoping that this film gives more of an insight into the lying and bullying side of Armstrong.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

winter capn poster

I am a little anxious about this one. I was a massive fan of the first one, and Marvel seems to be doing very little wrong with all of their properties. However, so much of my enjoyment of the first film came from the fact that it was a period film, boldly setting the action in World War II. Given the timeline of events, that is obviously no longer possible. So here is hoping that this is still a cracker from Marvel.

Godzilla

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A Godzilla reboot sounds like a terrible idea on paper. Until you write the name Gareth Edwards on the paper as the film’s director. Monsters (2010), directed by Edwards, was a monster/alien flick that was really original and had a fair bit of heart about it too. Who knows if he can bring all that out in this reboot, with presumably a lot of studio interference. But I am such a fan of Edwards that I have high hopes he can. This is possible my most anticipated film of the year.

The Hunger Games: Mockinjay – Part 1

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The second film in the Hunger Games series really blew me away. The character of Katniss has evolved into an incredible heroine with an arc that is epic and interesting. I am not really familiar with what happens at the conclusion of the Hunger Games story so am really excited to take a look at this one. So impressive was the second film, I’m not even that fussed that they have taken the now standard route of splitting the adaptation of the final book in two.

Jupiter Ascending

When I was cutting down this list, it came to a point where I had to choose between this forthcoming Lana and Andy Wachowski film or Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The quality of the Wachowskis exceptionally difficult adaption of Cloud Atlas got this one in. I’m psyched for Nolan’s film, but any time these two turn their eye to sci-fi, something exceptionally interesting and pretty generally happens.

The Lego Movie

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I have no idea how this will end up. But if they can stretch out the joyful tone found in the trailers into a cohesive full length effort, this could be one of the real surprises of the year. There is a fantastic voice cast and what looks like a delightful sense of abandon and off-kilter humour going on as well. You just have to look at the appearances of Batman in the trailers so far to see that.

Nymphomaniac (maybe?)

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Why the maybe? Lars von Trier is one of the most challenging directors our there. His films are not always successful or easy to watch. But they always make you think. The maybe is because I don’t know if I will have the chance to see this film on the big screen, in von Trier’s preferred, uncensored version. I won’t see it if it is censored, I have major problems with approaches to film and distribution like that. But I really hope that someone in Aus takes a punt on distributing this properly. I think it will be a challenging watch well worth making the effort to see. Even the truly disturbing character posters such as the one above haven’t totally put me off.

These Final Hours

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This Aussie flick came from no where to take the critics prize at last year’s Melbourne International Festival. On the strength of that, it managed to wrap up a very strong cinematic distribution deal, an increasing rarity for local films. The film, made in Western Australia, is an apocalyptic tale of relationships formed during the last day on earth. Apocalyptic films can go either way, based largely on how the filmmakers deal with the looming end. I have high hopes this one will get it right.

Whatever Terrence Malick releases this year

Depending on the source/scuttlebutt you believe Terrence Malick will release somewhere between zero and three films this year. Due to the unsure nature of any release I was going to leave the great man off this list. But I shamelessly stole the idea for this entry from Germain Lussier’s list over at Slashfilm. It is worth keeping a spot open for Malick too, he is probably my favourite director of all time and every film of his I have seen is an absolute work of art. Here’s hoping we see something, and that it manages to get a wider release than the fantastic To the Wonder.

X Men: Days of Future Past

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I thought that X Men First Class was one of the better comic origin stories of recent times. So I have been keenly awaiting this next instalment, especially as so much of the really impressive cast names are back on board. Of course, this will cross over with the later set, but earlier made X Men films in a narrative that will either be utterly brilliant, or totally befuddling to those of us who have not read the comic book arc. We shall find out soon.

What do you guys think about my choices? Any you would add, or any of these that you are not at all fussed about?

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35 responses

  1. Good list! I would definitely add Linklater’s “Boyhood” which looks like it’ll probably get a wide cinematic release this year. “Gone Girl,” “Noah” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” would likely make my list as well, thanks purely to the directors behind those projects.

    1. Oh, and “Inherent Vice,” too! Can’t go past P.T. Anderson

      1. Yeah, everything he said! Also, how could you forget Interstellar?!

        P.S: loved that you put “Whatever Malick releases,” truer words were never spoken lol.

      2. Man, I so hope we see something from Malick this year. Very keen for Interstellar. Just ever so slightly more keen for Jupiter Rising.

    2. The Grand Budapest Hotel is definitely what I’m most looking forward to. Can’t really deny Days of Future Past, though.

      1. Yeah the new Wes Anderson does look pretty cool aye.

    3. I’m not sure about Noah quite yet. Think it could go either way. Definitely keen for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Saw the latest preview the other night and it looks fantastic.

      1. And apparently the whole thing is filmed in that aspect ratio! Super interesting.

      2. Oh really, that’ cool. I think I am starting to get Anderson’s shtick these days. Moonrise Kingdom was my favourite of his films. The others have been a mixed bag for me.

  2. Over here Her is yet to be released so that’s on the top of my list, couldn’t agree more with Godzilla it’ll be interesting at the least 🙂 whilst Gone Girl Is also another sure-to-be hit by Fincher!

    1. Cheers for commenting.

      Actually Her was a 2014 list over here as well. Strangely enough, I was not very excited for it. But I have seen it since writing this list and it totally blew me away. Only early, but definitely my favourite film of 2014 so far. Have you caught it yet or still not out there?

      1. I thought it would be, many tips for Oscars and has a previous back log of awards, unfortunately not until 14th Feb but luckily I have avoided all spoilers. Instead though I’ve caught the equally impressive (most likely) Inside Llewyn Davis and 12 Years a Slave and they’ve been great films to kick off 2014!

      2. Nice. They are both out here now (12 Years…) opened today. I am hoping to check them out over the next week and a bit.

      3. Be sure to let me know what you think 🙂

  3. Some really good looking films here man. Interstellar is up there for me, although we haven’t even had stuff like Her, Inside Llewyn Davies or Dallas Buyer’s Club here yet.

    1. Yeah I have seen Her now, and absolutely loved it. I am definitely looking forward to all of those films you mentioned. Aside from Llewyn Davis (which I haven’t seen) and Her, none have been released out here as yet.

  4. I’m looking forward to X-Men the most. Godzilla, if done right, has the potential to be awesome. We shall have to wait and see.

    1. Cheers for commenting and yep, here is hoping that those two really deliver.

  5. A lot of these look very promising. Great list!

    1. Cheers mate. Anything in particular you are looking forward to this year?

      1. Probably Captain America, Interstellar, and – oddly – The Fault in Our Stars. Interested to see what Shailene Woodley can do with that role.

  6. Great post! Some of my most anticipated are on here as well, especially Nymphomaniac. I’d add Interstellar, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl and Only Lovers Left Alive.

    1. Yeah I am definitely keen for all of those Fernando. Especially The Grand Budapest Hotel.

      1. That one looks amazing. I can’t wait.

  7. My most anticipated of the year is Inherent Vice, followed by Malick’s new movies and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

    1. I so hope we get something from Malick this year. Haven’t heard anything concrete, but often they don’t really get announced til relatively close to when they come out.

  8. Jupiter Ascending looks promising. Let’s hope there’s a script to go along with the special effects.

    1. That is definitely the question.

  9. LOVE your list. I am looking forward to Mockingjay and I am hoping that splitting the film will not prove to be a mistake. Glad to hear I am not alone on the Captain America front! Also, Days of Future Past looks so promising (plus it boasts a stellar cast… you can’t really go wrong).

    I must say my biggest film I am looking forward to is most certainly Interstellar and I am also pretty excited to see what happens with the Divergent film…

    1. Cheers Zoe. I have to say I have kind of changed my tune on splitting films that are based on books. I think initially it was shameless money grabbing. And I think that is the reason why the decision is made more often than not. But really there is no reason why you can’t make multiple films from a book. I mean you have to cut so much to get it down to 90-120 minutes, so it makes sense on that level. Let’s hope they get Mockinjay right. The second one was probably my biggest surprise film of 2013.

      I think Interstellar will be great too. I really need to catch up on Nolan’s non Batman films.

      1. I get what you mean, and I don’t mind a split when the book is huge, but I mean Mockingjay is the same size/length of the previous two and they were conveyed perfectly in the time given. Catching Fire was terrific, and I am glad to see it surprised you like it did!

        He is phenomenally good, you won’t be disappointed in his other work!

  10. Very excited for both Malick films, he’s got one hell of a cast lined up.

    1. Yeah absolutely. He is one of those directors that people all want to work with.

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