by Matt Marshall
Yes it so happens to be 2014 now. So what does that mean for all you cinephiles and casual moviegoers out there? 12 new months of movies. Now don’t get me wrong, 2013 was an exceptional year. Films like Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and Frozen aren’t going to disappear overnight. But we’re in 2014 and there’s no reason not to look ahead at what’s on the horizon.
It’s been extremely difficult narrowing down what films to place on this list. Looking at every film from now until December 31, there are countless films to choose from. Mainstream. Independent. There’s potential in every genre in 2014. Now whether or not any or all these films will make “Best of” list at the end of the year remains to be seen.
Scroll down to find out which 10 movies are my most anticipated movies of 2014.
The Monuments Men
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman
If December 2013 wasn’t already crowded, I would probably already have a review for The Monuments Men in the bag. As fate would have it, this comedy-drama directed by George Clooney is bound for a February release. I’ve been a fan of Clooney’s directorial works for some time now and The Monuments Men doesn’t seem to break that certainty. The Monuments Men undertakes a fascinating premise about returning stolen artwork during World War II. Add a solid cast of Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and director Clooney and this period piece has my attention.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Release Date: March 7, 2014
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman
It takes a certain type of moviegoer to appreciate Wes Anderson’s unique visual and narrative style. At first glance, The Grand Budapest Hotel trailer is hardly different from 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom (which I completely adored). The humor feels familiar. And we’ve seen many cast members (Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman) previous in other Anderson films. But so far, Ralph Fiennes as hotel concierge M. Gustave H. is stealing the show in this artsy ensemble film.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release: April 4, 2014
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie
Out of all the solo films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The First Avenger has stood out the most. Reason being, I admit having a soft spot for 30s serials. The Winter Soldier comes across a bit different. Like The Avengers, Captain America is still a man displaced in present day, but the world’s not as black-and-white as it was during World War II. Motives at S.H.I.E.L.D. seem sketchy and Cap squares off against an unexpected adversary, the Winter Soldier.
Release Date: April 17, 2014
Starring: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy
Unless you know your cinematographers, Wally Pfister might not be a name you’re familiar with. From The Dark Knight to Moneyball, Pfister has shot some of most acclaimed films of the past decade. Now, Pfister takes his turn in director’s chair with sci-fi thriller, Transcendence. Johnny Depp portrays an AI researcher attempting to create a sentient machine. A fascinating directorial debut, Transcendence will see if Pfister works better behind the camera or making the big decisions.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Release Date: June 14, 2014
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill
With The Good Dinosaur pushed back to 2015, audiences are left hanging without a Pixar film on the 2014 calendar. That leaves a massive hole for DreamWorks Animation to fill this year. How to Train Your Dragon was definitely one of the biggest critical and financial surprises of 2010. The inevitable sequel has been on my radar for several years. The trailer from a few weeks ago confirmed the fact that Hiccup and Toothless are flying high in a bigger, bolder adventure.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: July 11, 2014
Starring: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Keri Russell
It was a delight seeing the Planet of the Apes franchise back on track in 2011. I’m still trying to erase the Tim Burton 2001 remake from my mind. No luck though. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes briefly teased man vs. ape warfare, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes expands upon the evolutionary struggle. Set a decade after the previous film, Dawn spirals the franchise into darker territory with a seasoned Caesar (Andy Serkis) leading the charge. Even with a new director Matt Reeves at the helm, this Apes sequel looks to rule the box office this summer.
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost
Even as Pixar and DreamWorks dominate the animation market year in and year out, there’s no counting out Laika. The stop-motion animation studio has warmed the hearts of moviegoers with Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), but it very well could be this year’s The Boxtrolls transforms Laika into a major player. The two trailers released so far have kept the film tightly under wraps, so the stellar stop-motion right now is a major selling point. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost leading your voice cast.
Release Date: November 7, 2014
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Matt Damon
Christopher Nolan is one of the most accomplished directors working in Hollywood today. Is there any reason not to be anticipating his space drama, Interstellar? Interstellar doesn’t come out until this November, but there’s plenty of buzz already surrounding the film. The teaser trailer doesn’t give away much about the plot, so if you’re going in on blind faith right now, you’re not alone. And with a top-notch cast featuring Jessica Chastain, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Matt Damon, Interstellar is set to make its mark on 2014.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Release Date: November 21, 2014
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson
Just like with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “Breaking Dawn,” audiences are paying double to see a comprehensive adaptation of “Mockingjay,” the final book of “The Hunger Games” trilogy. I have no problem with that. 2012’s The Hunger Games and last year’s Catching Fire have been suitable replacements since Potter wrapped up on the big screen. Director Francis Lawrence tackles the final two installments and after a job well done with Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1 is a must-see this Thanksgiving.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Release Date: December 17, 2014
Starring: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch
In less than 12 months time, we’ll be saying goodbye to Middle-earth once again. While An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug weren’t exactly on par with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the final installment has piqued my curiosity. After all, the abrupt cliffhanger at the end of Smaug was such a calculated tease. For fans of the book, the events of There and Back Again shouldn’t come as a shock. What will however, is witnessing how far Peter Jackson will deviate from Tolkien’s novel. By separating book from film, There and Back Again looks to be a fine way to close out 2014.
So what movies are you most looking forward to seeing in 2014? Post your most anticipated movies of 2014 down below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.