Awhile back I wrote an article for my Top 10 most anticipated films of 2014. I was looking back at that article and realized at that time I didn’t have the best idea on what was set to be released in the months after the summer season was over. All since there wasn’t many trailers or release dates set for the many films coming out from September on. Reading the upcoming calendar and realizing how many great looking films there are and since the summer season is now over, it’s time to announce my top 10 most anticipated films for the rest of the year.
Granted just because a film makes this list does not mean the movie will be good and if a film doesn’t make this list, that doesn’t mean I won’t go see or end up enjoying it. So here you are my top 10 most anticipated films for the remaining year.
Exodus: Gods and Kings-
When talking about some of the greatest directors of all time, Ridley Scott sometimes gets a little unfairly overlooked. He has created some of the best and most epic films of the past couple decades. Recently though he has hit a bit of a rough patch. 2010’s “Robin Hood” was a huge mess, 2011’s “Prometheus” effectively split audiences right down the middle and last year’s “The Counselor” should have been the next “No Country for Old Men” but instead turned out to be among the conversation for worst movie of the year. Despite all of that this is still Ridley Scott and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has an outstanding cast. Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver just to name a few. Sure most of the cast is white and some might see this as white washing the film yet most of the biblical films of old were all white cast and are considered to be among the greatest films ever made, so the race of the actors don’t bother me. With the success of “Noah” earlier this year and now this, perhaps the biblical epic will make a comeback in Hollywood.
World War II films are a dime a dozen yet still no matter how many are made there is something always appealing to them. With Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Pena this has a star studded cast. The plot is simple, the few versus the many and in a war setting that type of narrative can very effective, just look at the recent “Lone Survivor” for example. Writer/Director David Ayer may be a bit hit or miss, but when he is on he is on. His script for “Training Day” was outstanding and “End of Watch” was an emotional and smartly made story of two police officers. It seems like when he is dealing with serious subject matter he does a good job at both writing and directing. When he isn’t he delivers us scripts like “The Fast and the Furious.” “Fury” is as serious of a subject matter as it gets and Ayer looks like he’ll be on his game.
When you find a great horror film that can scare you throughout the film with great acting and directing you’ve got really special on your hands. “The Conjuring” was easily one of the best American horror films to come out in years and was a massive success. In the genre of Horror if there is even a small success you know there will sequels, prequels, spin offs and in betweens and reimagining’s. Now comes the prequel to “The Conjuring”, “Annabelle”. The creepy doll the beginning of “The Conjuring” gets its own feature film. At first I wasn’t sold on the idea and since “Conjuring” director James Wan wasn’t directing. However the recent trailers and creepy up close shot of the Annabelle doll on the main poster was more than enough to excite me and give me the creeps. Will this be as good as “The Conjuring”? More than likely the answer would be no but it has the potential to be a damn scary fright fest.
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1-
As far as young adult book adaptations “The Hunger Games” series is easily among the best. It’s mature themes and narrative are accessible to adults yet still has something the teenage audience can handle. The past two films have been critically acclaimed and it makes it hard to not to get excited for the latest addition to the series. I still am not a fan of the final film getting split into two parts which does hamper my excitement just a tad bit. Still though the series has been excellent up to this point so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Amidst all of the Iron Man and Avengers popularity it is easy to forget just how dynamic of an actor Robert Downey Jr. can be. From “Chaplin” to “Sherlock Holmes” and “Topic Thunder”, Downey has terrific range. Yet with Iron Man it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Downey flex those acting muscles. “The Judge” pairs Robert Downey Jr. with acting heavyweight Robert Duvall, in what has the potential to be a dramatically powerful film with heart and emotion. Coming from the writer of the critically acclaimed film “Gran Torino” doesn’t do this film any harm either.
I’m a big of crime thrillers and even though this film isn’t getting a ton of attention right now, the trailer was outstanding and got me completely excited for this film. Recently the past 3 of 4 years there has been an excellent crime drama dropped in September. 2010’s “The Town”, 2012’s “End of Watch”, and last year dark and disturbing “Prisoners”. Hopefully this year “The Drop” will join that pantheon. A strong cast and good source material, “The Drop” has a good of chance as any, to become a quality film. With it being James Gandolfini last role in his acting career, and being paired up with star Tom Hardy, this looks like it could be an expertly crafted and memorable crime drama.
David Fincher directs this cold, dark, and emotionally heavy looking crime drama. Fincher is an excellent director who has a near perfect track record with bringing not just quality but Oscar level films to the big screen. Casting Batman himself, Ben Affleck to play the lead role and even bringing in other such actors against their type (Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry), the acting in this movie will be incredible. The trailers have been outstanding and it’s based off an acclaim bestselling novel, I will be shocked if this movie turns out to be poor.
It’s always fascinating when we comedic actors taking on dramatic roles and stripping themselves of what we are used to seeing them as. The late great Robin Williams was one of the few that could switch between funny and heartwarming to something really serious and dramatic on the fly. Tom Hanks made a complete shift from funny man in the 1980s to winning two Oscars in a row. Adam Sandler has also impressed us with some incredible dramatic performances. When I get into discussions with people on who could be the next comedic actor to shine in a drama, I always end up saying Steve Carrell. Falling back on some key scenes from “The Office” there is always hints of an excellent diverse actor. Now in “Foxcatcher” he has made a huge transformation. He is nearly unrecognizable in his role and seems above else committed to his part. From people who have already seen the film there is already Oscar buzz surrounding this entire production including Best Picture and possibly best actor for Steve Carrell. This is being directed by Bennett Miller of “Capote” and “Moneyball” fame, and looks like he has put an extremely different spin of what is a sports movie (even though this doesn’t look like a sport movie that we’re use to seeing). I am beyond excited to see this movie.
It’s hard to find a movie I am more excited about than “Foxcatcher” but these last two picks have just edged it out for my number 1 and 2 spot. In my number 2 spot is “Intersteller”. Being directed by Christopher Nolan (one of my favorite filmmakers) and headed up by a A-list cast that includes but not limited to, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and Michael Caine. Although not much about the plot is known, it looks like it’ll have some deep themes and ideas, and use it’s sc-fi potential to its fullest. It may not look like it’ll be loaded with action like some of Nolan past sc-fi films like “Inception” but it doesn’t seem to need it to get us hooked. Some already think it could be the “2001: A Space Oddessy” of our times. I think that’s a bit unfair of an expectation since “2001” is one of the greatest films ever made. Yet I suppose if there is an upcoming sc-fi film that has the best chance of getting even remotely close to it, it would be this one.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies-
At my number 1 spot is what could be our final trip into Middle Earth (at least in Peter Jackson’s version), “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”. Are “The Hobbit” films as good as “The Lord of the Rings”? No, but how many are really? “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is a towering achievements in cinema history. “The Hobbit” films may not be quite on that level and do have a few flaws but all in all they are great films in their own right. Now another trilogy is concluding, the trailer was amazing and ever since we got that cliff hanger at the end of “The Desolation of Smaug” I have been eagerly awaiting this film to see it all end.
So there you have, my Top 10 most anticipated films of the remaining calendar year. Hop into the comment section and let me know if you thought I missed any films that should be on this or tell me what your list would be, I’d love to know your picks. I hope these 10 films turn out as good as they look.