Today, we continue our countdown of the top 50 movies you should be anticipating for the rest of the year. If you happened to miss the first part of this post, it was published yesterday. And back to the countdown…
25. The Great Gatsby, dir. Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher
Release: December 25
Whether you like or dislike Luhrmann, his projects always demand attention. Don’t want to watch another Romeo and Juliet movie? Boom, he brings in a strapping young Leo. Tired of musicals? Boom, he brings in Nicole Kidman. Tired of Nicole Kidman? Boom, he brings in Nicole Kidman anyway and places her in Australia, and the movie nerd inside you gives in. This time around he brings back DiCaprio, as well as adding in the sensational Carey Mulligan. The trailer was pretty iffy, as it looks like Lurhmann might be trying too hard once again, and DiCaprio’s acting is beginning to get overly repetitive.
24. Hyde Park on Hudson, dir. Roger Michell
Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Olivia Colman, Samuel West
Release: December 7
Oh, Bill Murray. As if he wasn’t magnificent enough already, he decides to play one of the more popular Presidents in American history. Murray’s charm and the tone of this film seemingly go hand-in-hand, and I also expect terrific performances out of the always reliable Laura Linney and Olivia Williams.
23. Anna Karenina, dir. Joe Wright
Starring: Keira Knightely, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams
Release: November 9
Shot on a single stage, this adaptation of the beloved novel is the latest in period pieces from Joe Wright. He changed up styles with Hannah, but is heading back to more familiar work that beckons to the day when he brought in Knightley for both Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. I will have to say that while I haven’t always been Knightley’s biggest fan, she hasn’t been half bad the past couple years, and thought she was absolutely perfect in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Most people haven’t seen Aaron Johnson in anything but Kick-Ass, so it will be interesting to see what this does for his career. At the very least, this tale of love and loyalty will be beautiful to look at, with Wright well known for his set pieces and costume design.
22. The Bourne Legacy, dir. Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Joan Allen
Release: August 10
I know plenty of people of questioned whether this series needed a continuation or not, but I think that there’s a number of opportunities for a franchise like this without rehashing the same story line. Tony Gilroy wrote the screenplay for the first three movies, so while it’s being directed by someone new, it’s also being directed by someone who knows what works and what doesn’t for these specific characters. Gilroy doesn’t have a lot of directing experience, but one of his two previous efforts was Michael Clayton, which he also wrote. Renner looks more than capable of carrying this franchise for a few films.
21. The Grandmasters, dir. Kar Wai Wong
Starring: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang
Kar Wai Wong, Leung, and Zhang have all worked together before on 2046, a movie that didn’t live up to the hype for some, but still a very good film, nontheless. Leung and Wai Wong were the masters behind the magnificent In the Mood for Love, and it would be hard to name a Chinese film over the past decade that caught on with American audiences that didn’t include Ziyi Zhang. This particular story follows Tony Leung playing Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee. I don’t pretend to be an expert on Chinese films, but even I can recognize the talent that came together for this movie.
20. Love, dir. Michael Haneke
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Release: December 19
Michael Haneke’s previous film, The White Ribbon, was my top rated film of 2009, and still remains the only A+ I’ve ever dished out on this site. Haneke’s latest film, much like The White Ribbon, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, arguably the second most prestigious award in the film business behind Oscar’s Best Picture. This movie follows a elderly married couple, whose love is tested when one of them has a health scare.
19. Gangster Squad, dir. Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi
Release: September 7
This one has B movie cheese written all over it, but that doesn’t matter. It still looks fun and plenty of action. Director Ruben Fleischer is best known for Zombieland, and while I doubt we see as much comedy from this crime drama about the LAPD trying to keep the East Coast Mafia out of LA, he has brought in a pretty impressive ensemble of actors. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn all look like inspired casting choices, and Fleischer also brings back his Zombieland star Emma Stone, who once again will be the romantic interest for Ryan Gosling.
18. Lawless, dir. John Hillcoat
Starring: Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Shia LaBeouf, Mia Wasikowska
Release: August 29
What we have here is the director of The Proposition once again doing a period piece about a bootleggers trying to evade the law. If that doesn’t get you excited, the cast surely will. Sure, Shia LaBeouf’s career has plummeted over the past five or six years and has actually become the focus of joke after joke, but the rest of the cast is impressive. Tom Hardy continues his takeover of Hollywood, while young starlets Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska bring along their talents as well. The trailer has also promised a new and exciting turn by Guy Pearce, relishing in the villain role.