|Gangster Squad, January 11|
Despite an undeniably excellent cast - Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and others - Gangster Squad suffered under the eye of the not especially experienced Ruben Fleischer. He's got a couple of credits under his name - Zombieland is the most recognizable - but he's spent more time on TV, which may add to the bloated feeling of the film.
It was definitely an enjoyable watch (particularly in an AVX theatre), but it could have been much more.
|Zero Dark Thirty, January 11|
Zero Dark Thirty, on the other hand, was everything it was billed to be. Despite not generating nearly the Oscar buzz that director Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker did, it was no less of an achievement. Many did not like its depiction of torture as an interrogation technique, but the underlying story throughout is that the interrogators know they won't get anything worthwhile out of their captives, but really have nothing better to work with.
Also, Chris Pratt is awesome, and I love Mark Strong.
|Broken City, January 18|
I'm not 100% sure I'll be able to ignore Russell Crowe's obvious Kiwi accent while portraying the mayor of New York City, but he's still the head of a strong cast. Mark Wahlberg is learning how to rely on more than just his abs and the face he's making in the poster, and Jeffrey Wright is one of my absolute favourite underutilised actors.
Half of the Hughes Brothers directed this, so who knows how violent it will be, and it's been in development hell for nearly five years, but hey, Marky Mark!
|Warm Bodies, February 1|
I've been waiting for Warm Bodies since last year, and I hope it doesn't disappoint. The role of a zombie for Nicholas Hoult may play to his facial expressions in the same way that Keanu Reeve's "Whoa" personality worked in The Matrix. Director Jonathan Levine should know his way around out-of-the-ordinary romances, having directed 50/50, but he did forget to cast a certain someone. I'm not going to say whom.
|Side Effects, February 8|
I'm very curious to see this one. The trailers don't really go in depth on the plot, but it does just enough to be intriguing. This will probably be more convuluted than Soderbergh's Magic Mike - as is his way, really - and I'm glad to see Rooney Mara's not just banking on the Millennium series to further her career. Plus, Jude Law always seems to play sinister (I'm assuming he's sinister) very well.
|Identity Thief, February 8|
I hate Jason Bateman, but love Melissa McCarthy. Director Seth Gordon did direct Horrible Bosses, which was much better than it should have been, plus, McCarthy punches Bateman in the throat at least once. Win-win.
|A Good Day to Die Hard,|
Steve Carrell had it right as Michael Scott - John McClane is becoming less hard-luck cop and more superhero with each passing movie. No Justin Long in this one, but with any luck, Mary Elizabeth Winstead will have more screen time. Yippee Ki-Yay.
|Jack the Giant Slayer, March 1|
This is either going to be a sweeping epic, or a giant 3D mess. Nicholas Hoult and his figurin' face is backed by an impressive supporting cast - Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, and Ian McShane - and Brian Singer doesn't often misfire, so this should be pretty good.
|Oz, the Great and Powerful, March 8|
Bruce Campbell is rumoured to be in this (and, realistically, Sam Raimi directed it, so he'll be there). There are some other people, but Bruce Campbell.
|Dead Man Down, March 8|
Although I wish people would stop casting Terrence Howard in things, Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace could make a nice combination. And Dominic Cooper is one of cinema's greatest sleazeballs.
|42, April 12|
Save for the bat-flip from the trailer - that would get you head hunted even today, regardless of your race - this is probably a story that probably deserves the big screen treatment. Hopefully, it won't be too hard to control for director Brian Helgeland, who hasn't directed anything of significance since The Order.
Chadwick Boseman plays Jackie Robinson, and has a lot of support behind him - Harrison Ford, Alan Tudyk, Chris Meloni, and John C. McGinley.
|Oblivion, April 19|
If it's not zombie, it's space invaders that have turned the Earth into an uninhabited world. Tom Cruise heads off to destroy some Thetans, but runs into Morgan Freeman and Olga Kurylenko (reason enough to see this).
|The Reluctant Fundamentalist,|
I'd be worried if I was Riz Ahmed - potential terror threats have not fared well with Kiefer Sutherland. A bit of a strange supporting case - Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber also take turns - in this movie about a young Pakistani man trying to make it on Wall Street while trying to resist being pulled back to his old life.
|Iron Man 3, May 3|
The Iron Man 3 Super Bowl trailer was apparently cut short. So Tony Stark blew the power. Har.
There's not much that can be said new about the Iron Man franchise - other than Terrence Howard from the first film (sorry Chris), there really haven't been any misfires. Guy Pearce should be a welcome addition; it's nice to see him taking a few more roles. Plus, Ben Kingsley shows that we really haven't progressed that far from the days of white dudes playing the Chinese Mafia in Hawaii Five-O.
|The Great Gatsby, May 10|
This was originally scheduled for an end of 2012 release, but it was pushed back due to scheduling conflicts. Hopefully, the extra time will have given director Baz Luhrmann time to polish it up instead of add extraneous crap.
DiCaprio may prove to be an inspired choice as Jay Gatsby, but I don't know if Tobey Maguire can remember how to act. Carey Mulligan is essentially a transplanted flapper girl anyway, and Joel Edgerton's big, square Aussie head should play well as Tom Buchanan.
Yes, we're excited for this movie.
|Star Trek Into Darkness,|
Benedict Cumberbatch plays "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN". Or John Smith. Either way, sweet.
|After Earth, June 7|
This movie combines two of Will Smith's favourite things - being in a movie mostly by himself, and being in a movie with his kids. M. Night Shyamalan helms his first film since The Last Airbender, and a story about a father and son crash landing on an abandoned Earth 1,000 years in the future just screams tremendously frustrating twist.
|Now You See Me, June 7|
Random disclosure: I'm bothered by the fact that Jesse Eisenberg's silhouette on the poster looks more like Andy Samberg. I don't know why I think, I don't know why I care.
Anyway...magicians! Bank robbing magicians! Plus, Morgan Freeman - either as a narrator or a sage, I'm sure - Isla Fisher, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent, and Elias Koteas.
|Man of Steel, June 14|
So, Superman Returns was...not good. Brandon Routh has done little to nothing since, and Bryan Singer, more or less, left to focus on House. So, Superman stalled for seven years.
But now, with Henry Cavill (good to resist the urge to cast a name in the role) as the titular hero and Zack Snyder behind the camera, it could warm right back up. A solid supporting cast (including Michael Shannon as General Zod) should help kick the franchise right in the pants.
|World War Z, June 21|
I'm not sure what to expect from this. The source novel was essentially a collection of anecdotes, whereas the film is apparently much more of a linear overview. Director Marc Forster certainly has some interesting and varied titles under his belt, but I'm just worried if this would even be coming out without Brad Pitt fronting it (and producing it).
|Kick-Ass 2, June 28|
First, let me get this out of the way - Aaron "Taylor"-Johnson, you are a wiener. You're a 22-year-old married to a 45-year-old who already has two (badly-named) kids. Again, the year of the goofy-looking Britons rears its "handsome" head - if he was American, that same story would have been ripped in the press.
Anyway, Jim Carrey joins the DIY superhero cast as Colonel Stars and Stripes, and Christoper Mintz-Plasse attempts to outgrow his nerdy image by, I guess, saying his alter ego's name - simply, The Mother Fucker - a lot.
|The Heat, June 28|
Ignore the release date on the poster - this is scheduled for a June release. Basically, it's a buddy cop comedy, but with female buddies! Awesome! But, those buddies are Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, so it should be pretty good. Plus, Paul Feig directs and Ben Falcone is in it! And not Jason Bateman!
|Despicable Me, July 3|
It's so fluffy! That's all that needs to be said, and we're good.
|The Lone Ranger, July 3|
Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp team up again to bring the Lone Ranger to the big screen, with Armie Hammer - who no one seems to care is in this - as the eponymous hero, and Depp as Jack Sparrow with white face paint on in the role of Tonto.
|Pacific Rim, July 12|
Giant monsters. Giant robots. Hellboy. Stringer Bell. Guillermo del Toro. Not to mention the fact that Idris Elba was cast instead of Tom Cruise? This is going to be 100% guy movie, but it's going to be excellent.
|The Wolverine, July 26|
Happy birthday to Mike, happy birthday to Mike, please be better than Origins, happy birthday to Mike.
|300: Rise of an Empire,|
There's really no way that this is going to become the phenomenon that the first one was, but I would imagine it'll stick to the same formula. Despite not being directed by Zack Snyder, he did work on the screenplay, and if new director Noam Murro lends his own hand to it instead of just trying to parody Snyder's direction, it could turn out alright.
|Elysium, August 9|
The team of Sharlto Copley and Neill Blomkamp brought us District 9, and while it was by no means a flawless movie, it will be interesting to see what they can do with a nine-figure budget. This film, again, deals with themes tied to apartheid, but this time is set about 150 years from now. And stars Matt Damon. No word yet on if he breaks out his South African accent.
|Rush, September 13|
I'm not sure why I'm excited about this movie. I don't particularly care for racing, I don't really know the story as it takes place in the late 70s, and I'm not sure how intense it will be with Ron Howard behind the camera. Yet, somehow, the story of Niki Lauda's near fatal crash still intrigues me greatly.
|Prisoners, September 20|
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) and starring a bang-up cast - with the exception of God-damned Terrence Howard - this is already attracting super-early Oscar buzz.
|Sin City: A Dame to |
Kill For, October 4
While 300 has foregone it's old director for someone new, Sin City retains the same team (less "Special Guest Director" Quentin Tarantino). Clive Owen has been replaced by Josh Brolin as Hartigan - which will probably increased the booze-soaked feel of the film - and Joseph Gordon-Levitt joins the cast.
|Gravity, October 4|
The premise of this movie really freaks me out - during a space walk, debris crashes into Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's shift, and they're set adrift in space. Creepy.
|Captain Phillips, October 11|
Here we have a pirate movie that won't cause people to dress up for Hallowe'en as any of the characters. Directed by Paul Greengrass, who has a way with action, this thrilling story that, honestly, I don't really remember hearing much about, should be highly enjoyable.
|Oldboy, October 25|
The poster is actually from the original, but I liked how it looked, so it will do here. Directed by Spike Lee and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Brolin - among others - it tells the story of a man kidnapped and held in solitary confinement for 20 years before inexplicably being released.
|Ender's Game, November 1|
I've never read any of the books, and with Gavin Hood behind the camera, I'm not 100% sure what to expect from this. There is talent here, though, and it should be enjoyable.
|Thor: The Dark World,|
Everyone's back from the original, and it will be interesting to see the role that the events of The Avengers will play, as they did in Iron Man 3. This is also the first of two Idris Elba movies this month, although he clearly plays a much smaller role.
|The Wolf of Wall Street,|
|The Fifth Estate, November 15|
This film about WikiLeaks founder and world-class creepo Julian Assange stars Benedict Cumberbatch and a host of others, and directed by Bill Condon, following up from directing Breaking Dawn 1 and 2. Apparently, Assange himself had a little hissy-fit at an early draft of the script, so we'll see how noisy he is throughout its theatrical run.
|The Hunger Games:|
Catching Fire, November 22
Nothing much really needs to be said about this - everyone knows its coming out, and its going to make boatloads of money. Jennifer Lawrence is well on her way to being one of Hollywood's most bankable stars, and if the male leads can mail it in like they did before, this will nicely set the stage for the completion of the sequel.
|Mandela: Long Walk to |
Freedom, November 29
I love Idris Elba, and rumour is that this movie could score him an Oscar if it performs well. This has apparently been flowing around adaptation hell for about 10 years, so hopefully it delivers.
|The Hobbit: The Desolation|
of Smaug, December 13
The Two Towers proved that the second part of a trilogy need not just be filler material until the final chapter unfolds. This film will feature more Smaug, and, frankly, you know you're going to see it, and it's probably going to be fairly awesome.
|American Hustle, December 13|
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and David O. Russell have collaborated before, and it worked out well. Also tagging along are Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Robert DeNiro (also from Silver Linings) - among others - and if you think the hairdos on Bale and Renner are rough, Google Cooper in this movie. Priceless.
|Anchorman: The Legend Continues,|
What can you say, really? The quotability of Anchorman won't be matched here, but everyone is back, despite carving out considerable careers on their own.
You stay classy.
|The Monuments Men, December 20|
Already being hailed as this year's Argo, George Clooney directs Matt Damon and others as museum curators and art historians working to recover works of art stolen by the Nazis before they are destroyed by Hitler.
|Jack Ryan, December 25|
Kenneth Branagh directs Christopher Pike as the latest incarnation of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner come along, and Colm Feore joins in as, I'm sure, a good guy that turns out to be a bad guy.