Collider’s Most Anticipated Movies: April to June

     March 31, 2014


The first quarter of 2014 had a good handful of movies that lived up to our expectations including The LEGO Movie, The Raid 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and more.  Now we’re at Q2, so it’s time for the blockbusters.  Summer has arrived even earlier than usual with Captain America: The Winter Soldier leading off April, and there are plenty of other sequels headed our way.  There are three sequels on all three of our lists, and while it’s easy to be excited when you have a good idea of what came before, there are also some fresh movies (or at least non-sequels) in the bunch.

Once again, Adam, Dave, and Matt have each compiled a Top 5 list of most-anticipated movies for the next three months.  Hit the jump to find out what they can’t wait to see and why.

Matt’s Picks

[Note: I’ve seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dom Hemingway, Under the Skin, The Unknown Known, Blue Ruin, Joe, Locke, The Double, Draft Day, God’s Pocket, Cold in July, and Tracks, so they were ineligible for my “most-anticipated” list]



Director: Gareth Edwards

Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, and David Strathairn.

Release Date: May 16th

Why I’m Excited: I was very encouraged by what I saw when I went on the set, and even though the story was being kept under wraps, we learned that the man-vs-nature theme was going to be in play.  From a visual perspective, Edwards looks like he’s come up with something very exciting (I love the red smoke descending from the sky) that also respects the character’s history, learned from the awful 1998 adaptation, and should be inviting for both fans and the uninitiated.



Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer LawrencePeter DinklageEvan Peters, Ellen PageShawn AshmoreHalle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart.

Release Date: May 23rd

Why I’m Excited: I’m surprised so many people (or at least the ones I follow on Twitter) aren’t excited for this movie.  Bryan Singer, who directed the best film in the franchise thus far (X2) has returned to the helm.  There are plenty of mutants, but I think it’s pretty clear that most of them will be fun cameos.  The main cast will be Hugh Jackman plus the crew from X-Men: First Class, and those newcomers were all great.  It’s based on one of the best storylines in X-Men history.  There are sentinels, which fans have wanted for years.  I’ve really liked the trailers.  Rather than being wary of this one, I think my expectations might be too high.



Director: Seth McFarlane

Cast: Charlize TheronLiam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda SeyfriedSarah Silverman, and Giovanni Ribisi

Release Date: May 30th

Why I’m Excited: McFarlane’s feature debut, Ted, was hilarious, and judging by the red-band trailer for A Million Ways to Die in the West, the director/co-writer/star has upped his game for his next outing.  Even if you’re not excited at the prospect of McFarlane appearing on screen rather than voicing a character (he looks fine), he’s surrounded himself with a lot of talent.  Talent like Neesons.  Talent like NPH.  And the movie is a blend of dark comedy and the western genre?  I’m so in.



Directors: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Amber StevensJillian Bell, and Craig Roberts.

Release Date: June 13th.

Why I’m Excited: Of the five movies on my list, this is the one I’m approaching with cautious optimism.  Comedy sequels are almost never as good as the originals.  Additionally, most people went into the first movie with almost no expectations (I had high hopes because I love Lord and Miller’s first movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and the trailers were hilarious).  It’s a fresh challenge, but after Cloudy, 21 Jump Street, and The LEGO Movie, how many times does this directing duo have to prove themselves?  Lord and Miller have more than earned my trust, and I’m hoping they can surprise all of us yet again.



DirectorDean DeBlois

Voice Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen Wiig.

Release Date: June 13th.

Why I’m Excited: I rag on DreamWorks Animation a lot, but I always have to point out their one truly excellent movie, How to Train Your Dragon.  It’s an absolutely wonderful picture, and I’ve waited four long years to return to Berk.  In a surprising twist, they’ve actually aged up all of the characters, and so that could be a neat aspect to this new story.  It’s going to be tough to recapture the fun, excitement, and heart of the first movie, but I believe that the charm of these characters and world will be enough to make this sequel soar.

Adam’s Picks



Director: Richard Ayoade

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Page, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts, and Paddy Considine

Release Date: May 9th

Why I’m Excited: I enjoyed but wasn’t over-the-moon about Ayoade’s 2010 feature debut Submarine, but his follow-up film looks positively delightful.  I think Eisenberg is an incredibly gifted actor, and The Double feels like an excellent opportunity for him to stretch both his dramatic and comedic chops.  Moreover, the tone of The Double feels gleefully odd and ever-so-slightly dark, promising a twisty and entertaining ride as we follow a meek office drone who comes across a man who looks exactly like him.  After the terrifying Enemy from earlier this year, I’m game for another round of dual identities with The Double.



Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, Lucas Till, Ellen Page, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Adan Canto, Daniel Cudmore, and Bingbing Fan

Release Date: May 23rd

Why I’m Excited: I wasn’t that much of a comics kid growing up, but I was absolutely obsessed with the X-Men animated series from the 1990s; they’re arguably my favorite group of superheroes.  Bryan Singer’s feature film adaptation in 2000 is one of the godfathers of the current superhero movie era, and while Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand is unwatchable drivel, Matthew Vaughn reinvigorated the franchise with the excellent First Class in 2011.  I was blown away by the first trailer for Days of Future Past when it debuted at Comic-Con, and the film looks to be a mix between Nolan’s “gritty” superhero tone and Marvel’s lighter touch.  I’m also curious to see Singer’s return to the franchise, and while his last directorial effort may be cause for concern, the incredible cast has me optimistic that Days of Future Past might be one hell of a way to kick off Summer 2014.



Director: Josh Boone

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, Emily Peachey, and Willem Dafoe

Release Date: June 6th

Why I’m Excited: Man, this one’s gonna destroy me.  Author John Green’s novel of the same name is a sharply funny and emotionally devastating chronicle of a beautiful relationship between two people who happen to be cancer patients, and the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars looks like it has captured Green’s tone perfectly.  Woodley has shown fantastic range in films like The Spectacular Now and The Descendants, and this is yet another character that I can see her infusing with that signature naturalistic charm and honesty.  I’m not 100% sold on Elgort just yet, but I’ve got high hopes for what might be one of the surprise hits of the summer.



Director: Dean DeBlois

Voice Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kit Harington, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Djimon Hounsou, and Kristen Wiig

Release Date: June 13th

Why I’m Excited: DreamWorks Animation gets a bad wrap for, well, not being Pixar, but the studio has its share of gems.  At the top of the pile is 2010’s magnificent How to Train Your Dragon, which is a soaring achievement on every level.  While a sequel was a foregone conclusion given the success of the first film, I’m encouraged that the studio took its time on the follow-up.  It’s also promising to see that the story picks up years after the events of the first movie, which hopefully means we won’t be treading familiar territory.  But really, if the character charm, gorgeous visuals, and John Powell’s fantastic score are back, then I don’t see how How to Train Your Dragon 2 could be a disappointment.



Directors: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, and Craig Roberts

Release Date: June 13th

Why I’m Excited: Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are quickly becoming some of my favorite filmmakers working today.  Everything they touch is gold, and their 21 Jump Street “reboot” turned a laughable premise into a fantastic comedy with great characters and just the right amount of goofiness.  Lord and Miller have yet to make anything that I didn’t love, and with the same creative team back onboard for the sequel, I have no reason to believe that 22 Jump Street will break that streak.

Dave’s Picks



Director: Joe and Anthony Russo

Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford, Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp, and Hayley Atwell

Release Date: April 4th

Why I’m Excited: Although it feels like the rest of the world has already seen this film (or that the marketing has ruined a fair bit of it), Marvel’s Cap sequel is what summer blockbusters are all about.  It’s just the first of a few superhero films, but it just so happens to be my most-anticipated film of the year.  Visiting the set certainly helped jack up my level of excitement.  The source material is bold and engaging, and the creative team both in front of and behind the camera positively exude confidence in their handling of the adaptation.  And more than just a run-of-the-mill heroic action movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier promises to be a tense political thriller with super-heroic elements. It will be everything I can do to avoid spoilers for the rest of this week.



DirectorBryan Singer

CastHugh JackmanJames McAvoyMichael FassbenderJennifer LawrencePeter DinklageEvan Peters, Ellen PageShawn AshmoreHalle BerryIan McKellen, and Patrick Stewart.

Release Date: May 23rd

Why I’m Excited: Let’s be honest, X-Men: First Class did wonders to turn the mutant movie franchise around.  Singer established the property in the cinematic world early on with the wonderful X-Men and X2 follow-up, but successive films threatened to derail the whole deal.  Now, we appear to be back on track after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel, and I can only hope that Singer’s take is up to par with Disney/Marvel’s current offerings.  Not only does Days of Future Past have awesome source material to draw from, but we’ll also see casts from both cinematic runs appearing on screen in the same film.  That’s just meta comicbook candy, right there.  However, as X-Men: Age of Apocalypse has already been announced, First Class has got its work cut out for it as far as establishing the line to get to the next film.  This picture has a cast that just won’t quit though, so fingers crossed that it lives up to the expectations.  



Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Lara Pulver, Jeremy Piven, and Bill Paxton

Release Date: June 6th

Why I’m Excited: I took a bath on sci-fi films last year, so I’m going to be a bit more bearish on them this year.  One of last year’s disappointments for me was Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion, which starred Tom Cruise.  However, one of 2012’s stand-outs for me was Rian Johnson’s Looper, starring Emily Blunt.  This one could easily go either way.  Will we get The Bourne Identity Doug Liman, or the Jumper version?  Will Christopher McQuarrie’s screenplay be more Jack Reacher or Jack the Giant Slayer?  I’m taking a chance on this one, and I’d probably be better off just reading Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s source material “All You Need Is Kill”, but I’m hoping the military exo-suits and time-travel mechanism will make for an entertaining film.



DirectorDean DeBlois

Voice CastJay BaruchelCate BlanchettGerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen Wiig

Release Date: June 13th

Why I’m Excited: This one’s a no-brainer.  DreamWorks Animation’s original adaptation was one of the few films in recent years that made me feel like a kid again.  No small achievement, that. Since the Cressida Cowell books on which the films are based is quite a long-running one, I don’t have the usual case of “sequel dread” since there’s plenty of story to draw from, rather than just making a cash-grab follow-up.  We haven’t seen a whole lot from the sequel so far, but I’m hoping that we get to explore the island of Berk and the world around it quite a bit more.  With Pixar bowing out of any 2014 offerings, look for How to Train Your Dragon 2 to be the biggest thing since this year’s The LEGO Movie. (Probably not going to come close to Frozen status.)



DirectorsPhil Lord and Chris Miller

CastJonah HillChanning TatumIce CubeNick OffermanAmber StevensJillian Bell, and Craig Roberts

Release Date: June 13th

Why I’m Excited: Well, since I just mentioned The LEGO Movie (and how much I enjoyed it), it goes without saying that I’m looking forward to another outing with Lord and Miller at the helm.  This film’s about as different you can get from the animated family-friendly picture, but if my visit to the set is any indication*, then the sequel’s got some surprises in store as well.  Lord and Miller aren’t the types to do things the easy way, or the expected way, and that’s apparently the way they like it.  They’ve got some interesting ideas in mind for their live-action R-rated comedy follow-up that will either delight audiences with their unique brand of irreverence, or will leave the less clued-in viewers shaking their heads in confusion.  Either way, 22 Jump Street should be a hilariously entertaining ride. *Look for my set visit report this week!

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