Some films that could have made the list but I'm not so sure about whether they will be as good as the hype has presented. Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, suffers from my misgivings of the first film. The first film is just not as good as I wanted it to be. I love Jennifer Lawrence but the books began losing steam after the first. The first Wolverine was crap and no amount of hype is going to get me excited over this new one, even if it has Famke Janssen in it. That's not enough.
With my disappointment in the final chapter of the Dark Knight Trilogy,I still have trepidation coming into Man of Steel. Can Zack Snyder go beyond 300 and Sucker Punch and make Henry Cavill the star that he could be? Or will Cavill fall to the wayside like he did in Immortals?
1. Stand Up Guys
Plot: A pair of aging con men try to get the gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment -- to kill his comrade.
Why watch out for it?
Plot: Mia Wasikowska plays a young woman whose father dies and an uncle she has never met moves in with her and her unstable mother, Nicole Kidman. Wasikowska suspects that this uncle might have ulterior motives and becomes infatuated with him.
Why watch out for it?
Plot: A Kansas con-artist is swept into a magical land where he must fight an evil sorceress.
Why watch out for it? With Sam Raimi at the helm he might make this a visual treat but the acting prowess of its four leads -- James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Mila Kunis just seals the deal. I'll be honest, it doesn't seem to carry as much muscle as I would hope, veering more towards Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (which I didn't like), but I get excited every time Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz are in a movie. So I'm there.
Plot: A love story between a couple, Marina and Neil, who face problems coming to Oklahoma after visiting Mont Saint-Michel.
Why watch out for it? I've loved every Terrence Malick film (Tree of Life, Thin Red Line), the few that there are, and with a cast that includes Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, and Rachel McAdams, this will be amazing. Stunning visuals and a completely intelligent and philosophical view on love -- this might just be his most accessible film to date.
Plot: In the far future, Earth has been evacuated after it has been destroyed in a battle with aliens. But a team set on drone repair discover something still lives in the planet and what they know of history is put into question.
Why watch out for it? Tom Cruise always manages to have the biggest budgets and to work with the most interesting people when it comes to his big-budget Hollywood draws. The trailer is amazing and the script is from the guy who wrote The Departed (William Monahan, who wrote the screenplay for The Departed, wrote the first draft of Oblivion before turning it over to the film's director Joseph Kosinski, and screenwriters Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt); so with the budget and the star power -- Olga Kurlylenko, Morgan Freeman -- it has got to be good.
Plot: Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.
Why watch out for it? I never read the book myself but it is a favorite of many of my friends and they are so eager to see this movie that the effect it has on people intrigues me. Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan are superb actors, as is Joel Edgerton. My problem is Tobey Maguire and Baz Luhrmann. But the good outweighs the bad.
Plot: Captain Kirk and Spock and the rest of the Enterprise must face an unstoppable force of terror and capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
Why watch out for it? The first reboot was enjoyable but somehow suffers on second viewing, my opinion, but all you need to say is Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and I'm watching. No question.
8. World War Z
Plot: Based on the book of the same name, World War Z is about a U.N. employee who is racing against time and fate as he travels the world to stop a zombie pandemic from taking over the globe.
Why watch out for it? Marc Foster and Brad Pitt? Game on. Great source material, the book is excellent. So, other than the unexpected high-octane action sequences, what's not to love?
9. Pacific Rim
Plot: When an alien attack threatens the Earth's existence giant, robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.
Why watch out for it? Giant robots fighting giant monsters in the Pacific coast of Earth? Bring it on. With writer/director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) at the helm, it's bound to be engaging and off-the-wall and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) is an added bonus.
Plot: Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
Why watch out for it? From the director of District 9, Neill Blomkamp, and a cast that includes Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, this sci-fi, action, thriller has exciting and good written all over it.
Plot: Astronauts attempt to return to Earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.
Why watch out for it? The teaser shows nothing, really, but Alfonso Cuaron is writing and directing it, so I know I am in good hands. Sandra Bullock is fabulous in everything, and this will be her first science fiction film, if ever. Can I just buy tickets now?
12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Plot: Part 2 of The Hobbit, the dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf arrive at the Misty Mountain and face off the dragon Smaug.
Why watch out for it? There's a dragon and it is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Enough said.
(Note on the video: this is just a taste of what to expect from Smaug; stolen clips from YouTube from the first Hobbit film. There's no trailer or teaser yet.)
13. The Monuments Men
Plot: In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renown works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them.
Why watch out for it? George Clooney, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, AND Cate Blanchett with an Avenger's type story about art historians and museum curators in a race against the Nazis to save art? Directed by George Clooney? I'm game.
What movies are you excited to see this year?