Now that we are about four and a half months into 2011 and we only have had one truly great film get released (Cedar Rapids), which was limited, I decided to stop looking at the present and start looking forward to my most anticipated films of the year. Everything so far seems to be slightly underwhelming or just average when taking into account the talent involved. As much as the studios would like to disagree, there are still not too many notable films in the first few months of the year, which is reinforced by the fact that early year box office results are significantly down compared to past years.
So, I have broken this up into a handful of categories, and then I will give my top 10 most anticipated films of the year overall. Enjoy.
MOST ANTICIPATED SCREENPLAYS
5. Now, written by Andrew Niccol
4. Young Adult, written by Diablo Cody
3. Red State, written by Kevin Smith
2. We Bought a Zoo, written by Cameron Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna
1. Jeff Who Lives at Home, written by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass
MOST ANTICIPATED SUMMER FLICKS
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
4. Larry Crowne
3. Cowboys & Aliens
2. Kung Fu Panda 2
1. Super 8
MOST ANTICIPATED SUMMER COMEDIES
5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
4. Bad Teacher
3. Our Idiot Brother
2. Horrible Bosses
1. 30 Minutes or Less
MOST ANTICIPATED PERFORMANCES
5. Ryan Gosling – The Ides of March
4. Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
3. Michael Fassbender – A Dangerous Method
2. Seth Rogen – Take This Waltz
1. Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS
10. Young Adult
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Plot: Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now married with kids.
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Charlize Theron, J.K. Simmons, Patton Oswalt
Release Date: None yet
9. Red State
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Plot: Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda.
Cast: Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, Michael Angarano, Stephen Root, John Goodman
Release Date: October 19
8. Super 8
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Plot: In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident.
Cast: Elle Fanning, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich
Release Date: June 10
Directed by: Bennett Miller
Plot: The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Release Date: September 23
6. Jeff Who Lives at Home
Directed by: Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass
Plot: When he leaves his house on a seemingly banal errand for his disgruntled mother, Jeff discovers that the universe might be sending him signals about the nature of his destiny.
Cast: Jason Segel, Judy Greer, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Katie Aselton
Release Date: None yet
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Plot: An action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.
Cast: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, John Hawkes, Elliot Gould
Release Date: October 21
4. We Bought a Zoo
Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Plot: Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.
Cast: Matt Damon, Elle Fanning, Scarlett Johansson, Patrick Fugit, Thomas Haden Church
Release Date: December 23
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Directed by: David Fincher
Plot: A journalist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by a young female hacker.
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellen Skarsgard, Embeth Davitz, Chrisopher Plummer
Release Date: December 21
2. Hugo Cabret
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Plot: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Johnny Depp, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Richard Griffiths, Michael Stuhlbarg
Release Date: November 23
1. The Tree of Life
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Plot: The story centers on a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
Release Date: May 27
One that I feel bad about not mentioning is the new Alexander Payne film The Descendents. He has not made a film since my third favorite film of all time (Sideways), so I am sure that this one will be amazing. I know I am completely alone in not anticipating The Hangover Part II (the first one sucked) or the new Harry Potter movie (I have not seen any of the previous ones). The new Mission: Impossible movie should be cool with Brad Bird taking over the project, but that is not coming out until December. It could be a slow summer waiting for all of these films to come out. Plus, the summer just does not seem to have as many bankable movies. It will be interesting, though, much more interesting than what we are seeing currently at least.
So, did I miss anything? What are you most looking forward to?