|Get your game face on, folks.|
Let's be clear - it was a lot harder to figure out the bottom half of this list than it was to figure out the top 25. I don't think it's going to be that much of a surprise once I get down to the top 10. These first five movies are solid entries and I think a few of them could potentially be top 10 contenders next year, but without seeing any trailers or knowing very little, I can't really get too excited. But I'm excited nonetheless for these movies despite what little knowledge I have of them. Alright - let's get this party started!
50. St. James Place
Starring: Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Matt Charman, Joel Coen Ethan Coen
Release Date: October 16
I think most people would assume that a Spielberg movie would make it into the top 25 automatically. Well those people haven't been paying attention. I think, despite all the accolades and Oscar nominations, Spielberg hasn't directed a good movie since 2005's Munich. Lincoln, War Horse and Tintin were all self-indulgent, boring movies. BUT this movie sounds an awful lot like Munich. Honestly it just sounds like Spielberg saw Ben Affleck's Argo and thought he could do it better. St. James Place is based on a true story about a lawyer named James Donovan, who gets put on a mission to negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, a pilot whose plane was shot down in the Soviet Union in 1960. The story sounds fascinating and, much like Argo, this could be a smart and thrilling movie. It sounds funny saying this, but this movie would be higher on my list if Ben Affleck was directing instead. It's just that Spielberg these past ten years seems to have lost his sense of lightheartedness. I hope that there is more of a fun element to this movie like there was in Argo. I don't have a whole lot of faith that Spielberg can direct those kinds of serious-but-funny moments in a film anymore. The movie did get a script re-write from the Coen brothers, so I'm hoping they can inject their own quirky humor into this movie. Either way, I'm excited to see a trailer!
49. Paper Towns
Starring: Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff
Director: Jake Schreier
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Release Date: June 19
Your yearly cry-your-eyes out movie is once again occupying the month of June. Based on a novel by the same bloke who wrote The Fault in Our Stars - Paper Towns takes place in Taking place in Florida, where Quentin "Q" Jacobsen has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. One day she climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next day Margo doesn't come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery - culminating in another awesome road trip across America - he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for. If that isn't intriguing, then by gosh, you must be a robot! I'm guessing this movie will be full of emotions and silly youth-related hijinks which I'm definitely up for. I did enjoy The Fault in Our Stars (both the book and movie - although Maggie would say otherwise) and this is one of John Green's earlier books. I have not one clue about the cast - I'm sure all the kids know about Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne because of snapchat or whatever, but I'm getting old so I can't be bothered. The director, Jake Schreier, did Robot & Frank, which I thought was an fairly charming dramedy about getting old and technology. And the same writing team that put The Fault in Our Stars on the big screen is back again. So I like where this movie is headed and once again, I await a trailer so I can pass judgement!
48. London Has Fallen
Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Earle Haley
Director: Babak Najafi
Writers: Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast, Creighton Rothenberger
Release Date: October 2
When Gerard Butler isn't trying to win over the ladies as a romantic lead, he's busy stabbing terrorists in the skull. Because America. Apparently the plot to this sequel is that the Prime Minister of England dies mysteriously and all of the world leaders come to the funeral to pay their respects. But surprise! It's just a convenient way to kill like, 10 birds with one bomb. And the only one standing in the way of this treacherous plot is Butler! Seriously, there was so much CGI blood and gore in the first movie that I hope they have enough money to render 10x more blood because you know where this movie is headed. If you look at the director and writers for this movie, it sounds like Hollywood found some really cheap Eastern European film team to churn out this movie. But you know what? I enjoyed the hell out of the first movie, so I can only imagine this one will be more of the same and that's not too bad, is it? I mean, it's like eating leftover pizza. It's still pizza even if it tastes like garbage and you feel sick afterwards.
47. Kung Fu Panda 3
Starring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman
Director: Jennifer Yuh
Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Release Date: December 23
The whole cast and crew is back from the first two Kung Fu Pandas - so this is a no-brainer for me. Despite not being nearly as good as the first one, Kung Fu Panda 2 was still fun and funny. I enjoyed the plot and jokes throughout. Jack Black is meant for this role and the new plot revolves around Po the Panda facing two threats - one supernatural and one that's closer to home (whatever that means!). There's always a lot of animated movies throughout the year, but none of them really get me excited. Kung Fu Panda is the rare exception and this should be a solid entry in the series.
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: Simon Beaufoy, Lem Dobbs, Justin Isbell, Mark Medoff, William Nicholson
Release Date: September 18
Based on the real life disaster on Mount Everest in 1996 where several climbers died, Everest has an excellent cast and crew working on it. Jake Gyllenhaal has been working his butt off lately and I am continually impressed with his movie choices. Keira Knightley has slowly moved away from being just a pretty face in a movie to genuinely great acting. And I could go on and on with this movie Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson, Robin Wright - they're all really good actors. But a good cast isn't really enough to make this worth my time - the writing team behind this has written some truly great films (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Gladiator, Dark City are just a few credits among them). And Baltasar isn't a household name, but he's directed some solid action movies - 2 Guns and Contraband - so I don't think this will be too much of a stretch for him. The epicness of this movie and the effects and action might overshadow what truly should be a more intimate story about survival, but I still think this could be a special movie come next fall.