Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
Coming off one of the biggest and best years in film history, 2014 has a lot to live up to. With many established films such as more Marvel films and another Hunger Games sequel on its way, there are high expectations for this year’s releases. Here are the top 10 hottest and most anticipated films for 2014.
March 28th: Noah
Noah is the passion project of acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky. A feature length adaptation of the biblical story, his adaptation will be dark and complex, and will more than likely be a character driven film. The film stars Russell Crowe in the titular role and features supporting performances from Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, and Logan Lerman. The early release date is an interesting choice, as Aronofsky’s last two films (Black Swan, The Wrestler) were both released closer to awards season. Aronofsky is known to bring out the best performances in his actor’s careers, so expect big things from Crowe.
March 28th: The Raid 2: Berandal
Berandal, marketed in America as The Raid 2, is a sequel to 2012’s The Raid. This film will premiere at Sundance before it’s release in American theaters. Berandal is an Indonesian and Japanese language film. The story follows Rama, an elite police force operative who goes undercover in an Indonesian prison in order to keep his family safe and to expose the corruption amongst those in power. The film makes use of martial art pencak silat, which is a traditional Indonesian martial art. This form of combat is a large part of what made the first film a hit, and will hopefully make the sequel just as much of a thrill ride. An American remake is currently in the works.
April 18th: Transcendence
Transcendence is the directorial debut of frequent Christopher Nolan collaborator, Wally Pfister. Pfister steps from behind the camera and takes a shot in the director’s chair in this sci-fi drama. The film is about a scientist whose goal to create a sentient artificial intelligence causes trouble to befall him. The film looks to be in a similar vein to the work of Christopher Nolan. This film will hopefully mark the return to prominence of star Johnny Depp. While his career has waned in the past few years with iffy performances in films like The Rum Diary and The Tourist, this has all the makings to be a strong performance in an interesting and compelling film.
May 23rd: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Essentially The Avengers of X-Men films, Days of Future Past will combine the casts of the original trilogy with the cast of X-Men: First Class. This entry in the long running superhero series will also mark the return of director Bryan Singer. Singer previously directed the first two films in the franchise. The film is based on arguably the most popular of all X-Men comics story lines, and it involves Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine traveling back in time in order to save the mutant race. The red-hot Jennifer Lawrence also returns to the sequel. This will be one of if not the biggest blockbuster of the summer.
July 11th: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Even without the return of director Rupert Wyatt, this sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is posed to be a hit film this year. The studio wasted no time tying up Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In). The film is set 8 years after the previous installment, and features almost a completely new cast. Andy Serkis is the only actor to return. He plays Caesar, leader of the ape race. Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee lead the human cast. This is also the first leading blockbuster role for Jason Clarke, who has garnered attention for strong performances in Zero Dark Thirty and 2011’s short-lived television drama, The Chicago Code.
October 3rd: Gone Girl
David Fincher has adapted some of the best and most popular mainstream novels in modern times including Fight Club and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which made him the obvious choice to direct Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn. The film is about Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife’s (Rosamund Pike) disappearance. All signs point to him being guilty. The novel is filled with twists and turns and has some of the most unpredictable plot points. The film will be very graphic and dark, much like the majority of Fincher’s films. This will more than likely garner a lot of Oscar attention.
October 10th: The Interview
Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s follow up to last years hit comedy This Is the End is sure to offend some, but others will probably read the outrageous synopsis of their new film and already find things to laugh about. The story follows James Franco and Seth Rogen as a talk-show host and producer respectively, who get an exclusive interview with the leader of North Korea. It all goes awry when they are roped into an assassination attempt by the US government. This seems to be even more insane than their last feature together, and could end up being one of the better comedies of the year.
November 7th: Interstellar
Christopher Nolan returns to the director’s chair for the first time since he concluded his Batman trilogy with 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. The cast is stacked with some of the biggest actors alive right now. Matthew McConaughey leads the cast, but is joined by Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, and more in supporting roles. The film is a sci-fi movie about a group of explorers and scientists that leave Earth to investigate. The film is speculated to be about time travel or other dimensions, but not much is known about the production.
Foxcatcher was originally supposed to be a 2013 release, before ultimately being pushed to an unannounced date in 2014. The film is Bennett Miller’s first since Oscar nominee Moneyball in 2011. Foxcatcher is another pseudo-sports film, this time about a mentally ill coach of a wrestling team and his relationship with two of his Olympic caliber wrestlers, portrayed by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Steve Carell plays the coach in the film, which is based on a true story. Bennett Miller has had both of his narrative films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and has had both of his leads nominated for Best Actor. One can assume that this will be the same for Foxcatcher.
Unannounced: Inherent Vice
Inherent Vice is Paul Thomas Anderson’s follow up to The Master, and features the same lead actor as his previous film. Joaquin Phoenix will play Doc Sportello, a private investigator that is hired to look in to the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. The film takes place in late 1960’s Los Angeles. It is an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name. Pynchon is thought to be an “unfilmable” director, but if anyone can tackle his work it’s Paul Thomas Anderson. The supporting cast is made up of Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Maya Rudolph, Jena Malone and Benicio del Toro, as well as others.