2013 turned out to be a pretty strong year for film, so strong that the Oscars is really anyone’s “game” right now, 2014 will be a tough act to follow. Also I think for many of us this year is just a year to get through so we can get to the big year, 2015. But when you look up and down the list for 2014 films, you’ll see this no less of a big year than last year in fact possibly bigger. So I have decided to give you my Top 20 most anticipated films of 2014 list. To set some ground rules here, just because a film is not on here does not mean I think it will be horrible piece of cinema nor will I give it a chance.
One other thing I might want to add this list is not set in stone, there are many movies that come out later in the year during Oscar season that we don’t know about yet so I can’t really get excited about them, so the art house movie fan will more than likely hate my list, since it’s made up of mostly summer blockbuster flicks, so maybe once we get close to Oscar season I will do a second list for that. That being said, this is list is pure personal opinion and many of these I list properly won’t end up on my Top 20 of the year list either. I have also decided just to list my picks from 20-10 while my actual top 10 will include a description on why it is anticipated by me.
So here you are my Top 20 Anticipated Films of 2014 and please feel free to share with me and everyone else your list in the comment section or if you think I missed one you thought deserved a spot please feel free to leave a comment, enjoy.
(Side Note: “The Lone Survivor” did not make my list since it already had a limited release in 2013 and is technically a 2013 film, unlike “Jack Ryan” that was pushed back to 2014 and wasn’t released until then)
#20- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
#19- Transformers: Age of Extinction
#17- Need for Speed
#16- Jupiter Ascending
#15- Guardians of the Galaxy
#14- The Lego Movie
#13- Magic In Moonlight
#11- The Expendables 3
Captain America: The Winter Solider
The first “Captain America” is one of the few films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that I didn’t find that good. It had a lot of potential but in almost all department fell short, it’s by no means a terrible movie but it wasn’t enough to achieve a positive review from me either. Why did this get into my top 10? The trailer sold me, the tone was a bit unexpected and looks like it’ll have some excellent action sequences. Robert Redford’s involvement gives me even more confidence that the script is well written. Phase 2 is shaping up very nicely so far hopefully it continues.
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part I
The first “Hunger Games” came as a surprise to me. I went in with very little expectations and came out really surprised at how much depth, character focus, and power it had. Then after the critically acclaim “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” I couldn’t wait to see how the series would continue. The reason why this is not higher on my list is I don’t like the fact the filmmakers are splitting the books. Unlike like “Harry Potter” and “The Hobbit” I don’t think this has enough material to work with. I won’t go too much into the splitting films debate on this post here, but that doesn’t really change the fact that I am excited to see the next installment.
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Seth McFarlane is one of the most undoubtedly hilarious people working in Hollywood right now. Looking at his track record there isn’t much to complain about. “Family Guy” was one of the funniest shows on TV and “American Dad” although didn’t get the same viewership, is every bit as good and in many ways better. “Ted” (2012),as many of you know, I am a big fan of, and he hosted the Oscars last year to a level of quality it hasn’t seen in recent years. “The Cleveland Show” is the only misfire on his resume. What makes this film even more exciting to look forward to, is it’s a comedy set in the old west, and I love a good Western and who knows this could be “The Blazing Saddles” (1974) of our generation.
Without Wally Pfister, the look of “The Dark Knight” films would not be the same. The Academy Award winner Cinematography makes his directorial debut with this absolutely outstanding looking Sc-Fi film, with a trailer that blew me away. With spending quite a bit of time under the likes of Christopher Nolan, I am very interested to see if he has learned a trick or two from him. I could see this move either being really incredible or really falling flat with not much in between. The cast can’t get much better, and looks like a smart script that is both character driven and topical. I cannot wait to see this film.
I am among the many that hated, the 1998 “Godzilla” remake and when I heard they were remaking it again I thought to myself, this is a chance to write off a wrong. Still this wouldn’t have cracked my top 10 until the teaser came out and that got the adrenaline flowing. I love the tone and look of the film; it looks dramatic, dark, and heart stopping. A top of line cast, and fantastic looking special effects this could be the “Godzilla” flick we have been waiting. My one question is, if this is a box office success then can we get a “Godzilla vs. King Kong” film?
X-Men Days of Future Past
I’m one of the people that actually doesn’t mind having the rights of different Marvel characters split up between the studios. It just means we get more Marvel/Superhero films and what’s not to love about that? This entry of the “X-Men” franchise shows the continuation of the story that last year’s “Wolverine” (2013) set up for. Why get excited for this? It’s taking one of the best “X-Men” comic book stories and bringing it to the big screen, joining the cast from “X-Men: First Class” (2011) and the original “X-men” trilogy together, the return of Bryan Singer to the director’s chair, and now learning that this is all apart of much bigger story that is supposed to lead into “X-Men: Apocalypse” in 2016. The trailer was incredible and the franchise has been making a comeback, no reason to think this won’t continue that trend.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The rebooted Spider-Man in 2012 was a much better film as a whole than Sam Rami’s first crack at our web slinging friend in 2002. The acting, the script, and the action sequences were just all improvements and sure some of the material was recycled but that’s also part of the “Spider-man” lore. Now the whole cast and crew is back from the Marc Webb’s Spider-Man, the trailer was fantastic, and looks like the script will once again take a sharp focus on Peter Parker. Not only that is building towards something much bigger, and has a continuing storyline unlike the past “Spider-Man”, these are looking to build a universe in on its self. My only concern is the amount of villains in this flick but from the first look at the trailer it seems like they know what they are doing with them and seem well handled. Electro, Rhino, (doesn’t he look like a Dinobot from Transformers?), and some early Green Goblin action makes for some interesting villain choices. I have no doubts this will be a great summer blockbuster flick.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I have always been a fan of the “Planet of the Apes” franchise. From the original classic all the way to its sequels, there was always something so fascinating about the series, even the bad ones. That being said the remake by Tim Burton was just a slap in the face and I honestly didn’t expect too much from the reboot, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011). Then I saw it and was once again shock by just how good it actually was. The film was smartly directed, well written, and filled with great acting and is the best “Apes” film aside from the original. The teaser for the sequel came out not too long ago, and the teaser is enough to get you pumped. They wouldn’t need to release any new trailers for me, you have got my ticket after that teaser, this looks like it will be an excellent follow up to an already amazing film.
I am huge Christopher Nolan fan (but not to the point of blind praise), and of course I am looking forward to his first post-“Dark Knight” film. Although not much is known about this movie, in terms of just about anything, the teaser did look incredible yet still gave nothing away, in fact it gave nothing at all. I believe the teaser was just showing the audience the tone, and the tone had me swept up. It ‘s got an unbelievable cast of talent and once again the pairing of the Nolan brothers (Johnathon and Chris) for the writing team, Chris has yet to make a bad film, so I am all in on this movie.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
My number 1 pick is without shame, the final entry in “The Hobbit” Trilogy. Being the huge fan of the Academy Award winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, I of course cannot wait to see how this will lead into “The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001). I would agree that the first two Hobbit adventures did not quite reach the heights of “Lord of the Rings” in terms of overall quality and achievement, falling just short of that, the first two chapters still have been incredible films. There is no shame not being able to be as good as the “Rings” trilogy and these came pretty damn close. I cannot not wait to see the finale after one of the best cliffhangers in cinema history.