Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris
Release Date: October 4th
Why I’m Excited: For a year that started off so promising for the sci-fi genre, this film is my last hope for a picture that actually pushes some boundaries rather than rehashing tired stories and settings we’ve experienced before. James Cameron may have called it the “best space film ever done”, but I’ve been anticipating this one since the attachment of Cuarón at the helm. Buzz for the film has been strongly positive, as has been talk of Gravity’s awards chances. We’ll see if it’s worth the wait in just a couple of days, and if this will be the film to earn Cuarón a fourth Oscar nomination and, perhaps, his first win.
Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine Keener, Max Martini, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahaman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Corey Johnson, Chris Mulkey, Yul Vazquez, and David Warshofsky
Release Date: October 11th
Why I’m Excited: Regardless of the social inequalities and political ideologies this film is sure to explore, my anticipation is all about Hanks and his portrayal of the title character. Greengrass has a proven ability to handle military actioners and Hanks certainly knows how to play a man on a metaphorical island (or a literal one), so it’s exciting to see these two collaborate for the first time. It sounds like this flick could be a new career high for the accomplished Hanks, so I for one would like to judge that assessment for myself.
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, and Carice van Houten
Release Date: October 18th
Why I’m Excited: If there’s a more timely film that’s come out this year then I haven’t heard about it. In an age where more and more people are using the power of the internet to take justice into their own hands when it comes to perceived wrongdoings of governments, militaries and corporations, The Fifth Estate will likely be just one of many similar stories to come. However, it remains to be seen if any future adaptations will have a cast like this or another name as ubiquitous as that of Cumberbatch in the lead.
Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Sam Shepard
Release Date: December 6th
Why I’m Excited: I’ve got a bit of a local connection to this one as it was filmed in an economically hard-hit suburb of Pittsburgh. I’m excited to see how it plays up on the big screen. I’m equally excited to see Cooper’s directorial follow-up to the beautiful and touching Crazy Heart, not to mention we get to see the Dark Knight himself take to the screen in a dramatic lead, his first since concluding Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. It will be nice to see him take on a small-scale story with personal stakes once again, rather than being tasked with saving millions.
Director: Ben Stiller
Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine
Release Date: December 25th
Why I’m Excited: We’ve only seen trailers for the picture at this point but it looks to be every bit as creative and free as the human imagination itself. Anyone who’s spent weekday afternoons lost in a pleasant haze of daydreams while toiling away at a nine-to-five office job can surely appreciate the film’s premise. What remains to be seen is just how the plot of the protagonist’s real world adventure plays out, but I’m excited to be along for the ride.