Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Posted: January 26, 2014 in Thoughts and Reflections

With another fantastic year of films behind us, our eyes are now set on the equally-great year before us. 2014 will see Marvel continuing its last stage of Phase 2 films before the next Avengers, other Marvel properties like Spider-Man and the X-Men continuing in their respective franchises, two Biblical epics coming to the big screen, the next Christopher Nolan film, and the final chapter in the Hobbit trilogy.

 

#10 Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy_Cast

You remember that odd mid-credit scene from Thor: The Dark World that left you as confused as everyone else in the theater? That little tidbit was somewhat of a prologue to Guardians of the Galaxy, which will be the last Marvel Phase 2 film before the next Avengers in 2015. It also gave us the overall tone of the film, which would be “strange,” to say the least. The Guardians have a long history of peace-keeping, stretching all the way to the 31st century. Throughout their past they have had affiliations with Thor, Captain America, and Wolverine, and have battled against the villainous Doctor Doom.

It may have a talking tree and a little crime fighting raccoon, but it’s Marvel. And from what I’ve seen of Marvel’s work in the past few years, I’m sure that they’ll tone down its comic book-based oddness a bit and make it relatable to the general audience . . . although, based on that mid-credit scene, I think we’re still in for one strange film.

Release date: August 1

 

#9 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes_Caesar

2011”s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a really solid film, especially compared to the original. It may not have had Charlton Hesston, but it had everything else that the original Apes didn’t plus more. Based on the trailer, this next installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot looks just as imposing and impressive as the last.

With another outstanding performance by Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong) as the formidable ape leader Caesar, along with stunning motion-capture technology and actor Gary Oldman, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is sure to become a great installment to a franchise worth standing behind.

Release date: July 11

(See trailer)

 

#8 The Monuments Men

The-Monuments-Men

Every once in a while a film comes out that sets entertainment aside and seeks to highlight an influential time period in history. In 2012 it was Lincoln. Last year it was 12 Years a Slave. This year it’s The Monuments Men—–a film based on the true events about the small group of men who rescued countless pieces of priceless art from destruction in Nazi Germany. With a stellar cast including Matt Damon, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, and George Clooney, this looks like a great film concerning an aspect of World War II that very few know anything about.

Release date: February 7

(See trailer)

 

#7 X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past_Wolverine, Professor X

This is a franchise that will never die out. Including last year’s The Wolverine, this marks the 7th X-Men film to date. Of course, the after-credit scene from the afore-mentioned film has generated quite a bit of buzz for Days of Future Past. In this next installment in the X-Men franchise, all mutants—–good and bad—–must team together to defeat a common threat. The most intriguing part of all: they must travel years into the past to prevent the threat before it comes to fruition.

Not only will it see the return of Hugh Jackman in his now-iconic role along with Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, but it will also create a converging point for both the original X-Men cast and the newer, younger X-Men: First Class cast. We will get to see old Professor X meet the young Charles Xavier; that in and of itself is something to look forward to.

Release date: May 23

(See trailer)

 

#6 Noah

Noah_Russel Crowe

The Bible contains some pretty fascinating accounts, and the classic story of Noah’s ark and the great flood is no exception. While many of us have the childrens’ story image in our mind of a pretty little boat floating on a calm sea with a rainbow reaching across a blue sky, the stark truth is that the worldwide flood described in the Old Testament was a horrific event—–nothing at all like what the kids’ books describe.

With a first-class actor like Russell Crowe leading the way, Noah looks like it’s going to be one epic film. Since the Bible is pretty vague in its descriptions (and, in some areas, offers almost no detail concerning specific people and environments), artistic license is a huge factor. You can certainly tell that director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) is taking his vision far beyond the brief descriptions supplied in the Bible.

Release date: March 28

(See trailer)

 

#5 Exodus

Exodus_Christian Bale

The other Biblical story being developed is the account of Moses. Equally fascinating as the story of Noah, Christian Bale stars as one of God’s greatest servants in this retelling of The Ten Commandments. With director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) helming the project, this is sure to be an amazing reiteration of one of the greatest films to ever appear on screen.

Release date: December 12

 

#4 The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Amazing Spider-Man was far superior to any of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films in nearly every way. We were given a far more relatable Peter Parker—–and therefore a better Spider-Man—–in a far more grittier and realistic film. So for the next installment in the franchise, I’m really looking forward to seeing Parker grow more as he embraces and endures his enormous responsibility.

This also marks the most amount of villains we’ve seen in a single superhero film since Spider-Man 3. We will be introduced to Harry Osborn and thoroughly delve into the mysterious activities of OsCorp: something that was only briefly touched on in the first film.

Release date: May 2

(See trailer)

 

 #3 Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier_Chris Evans

Captain America is an intriguing character, because he really is a “man out of time.” While The Avengers gave us a mere subplot of Rogers’ coping with the 21st century, The Winter Soldier will be a thorough, 2-hour exposé of the First Avenger’s struggle handling the modern times. With returning Avengers cast like Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, The Winter Soldier really will feel like the follow-up post-Avengers Cap adventure.

Release date: April 4

(See trailer)

 

#2 Interstellar

interstellar_logo

Not much is currently known concerning Interstellar . . . except that it’s a Christopher Nolan film. This seemingly-small fact is an enormous hint that this film—–like all of Nolan’s past films from Memento to The Dark Knight Rises—–will be amazing in every possible way. The second hint of the film’s enormous success is the cast: including Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow and, in his 6th consecutive Chris Nolan film, Michael Caine . . . to just name the top billed cast.

Release date: November 7

(See teaser trailer)   

 

#1 The Hobbit: There and Back Again

The Hobbit

If the next Hobbit continues the trend of increasingly-better films, There and Back Again will become the new Return of the King of this decade. Given the surprisingly curt ending of Desolation of Smaug and the state of matters and characters at its impromptu ending, the term “cliffhanger” has been reinvented in the world of Tolkien films. Kili the dwarf still isn’t out of the woods yet after being shot with a Morgul arrow; Legolas has a personal score to settle with Bolg the Orc; the last we saw of Gandalf, he was hanging staff-less in a cage in Dol Guldur; legions of Orcs are marching against Erebor to wage war against Thorin and Company; and we’ve yet to see the complete desolation of Smaug when he gets to Lake-Town and how the dragon will meet his prophesied death. Five words summarize what will make this final film so great: Battle of the Five Armies.

Release date: December 17

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