Saturday, November 16

The 14 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

The best part of the 2013 movie season is over. There are a couple of films I'm still excited to see (Kill Your Darlings hasn't hit The Pirate Bay yet, although Hunger Games: Catching Fire may have been), but next year is when things start to pick back up. Here are the 14 most anticipated movies of 2014:

X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir Bryan Singer) 20th Century Fox, May 23

The X-Men film franchise has always been a huge disappointment. The films insisted on replacing the classic mutant uniforms with soon-to-be-dated leather outfits, destroying any hope of them aging as well as, say, Spider-Man. First Class was a revival for the series, and Days of Future Past looks to be Marvel's Dark Knight. The time travel storyline may seem like it'll be confusing, but time/space travel and alternate universes are what the X-Men do best. The trailer is epic, ending with a meeting of the young Charles Xavier (James McEvoy) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart), the man he grows up to be. Superhero Sci-Fi is the next mutation of movie evolution.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again (dir Peter Jackson) New Line Cinema, Dec 17

Bilbo Baggins seriously needs a lint roller...

The Desolation of Smaug hasn't even hit theaters yet, but Middle Earth fever is still at a high pitch. There and Back Again, the third movie in the second Hobbit movie series (which, in true Star Wars form, is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series) will bridge the gap between the two. Fans of the saga will then be forced to purchase the trilogy on Blu Ray before being offered the full series in a special edition format that includes a Hobbit foot. You don't need to be told what this movie's about - you're either into it, or you're not.

RoboCop (dir Jose Padilha) MGM, Feb 14

When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) gets critically injured in the line of duty, a huge corporation decides to turn him into a robot enforcer. I could drone on about the many ways Robocop's dystopian future is likely to parallel current events, but I don't want to spoil a movie none of us have seen yet. Everything looks set up to do the Robocop Frank Miller wanted to do in the 80s. The only real guesswork is whether or not Miller will complain about this one.

The Monuments Men (dir George Clooney) Columbia Pictures, Feb 7

The last time George Clooney and Matt Damon teamed up to steal some art was a bit more lighthearted, but Clooney figured out a way to spin the formula into a somber WWII piece about the Nazis. Based on a true story and filmed in Germany, Monuments Men looks to be the Clooney's next political film. Don't come to this movie looking for Inglorious Basterds or Saving Private Ryan-style battles; instead expect an updated Schindler's List, Oscar-bait with a lot of dialogue.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (dir Jonathon Liebesman) Nickelodeon, Aug 8

Recently surfaced photo of 2014 TMNT concept art...

TMNT is a nostalgic ip that reminds us why we loved the 80s and 90s. With Nickelodeon hiring Michael Bay to reboot the live-action film franchise, you can bet it'll be a snarky and action-packed adventure. Purists are annoyed that the turtles were reportedly created by aliens instead of the traditional ooze, but one minor detail shouldn't derail the whole project. The only way to outshine anthropomorphic turtles eating pizza, trash-talking, and kicking butt is the casting of the totally tubular Megan Fox as April O'Neil - cowabunga, dudes!

Maleficent (dir Robert Stromberg) Walt Disney Pictures, May 30

Disney's live-action adaptation of Sleeping Beauty puts a Wicked twist on the tale, centering on the villainous witch Maleficent (Angelina Jolie). Dark live action fairytales have been trending for a few years now, and with the success of Once Upon a Time (although Grimm is better), Disney looks to reinvent the classics from its vault once again. Should Maleficent hit, Disney can capitalize on the void Twilight left behind while we wait for a Teen Wolf movie.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir Marc Webb) Columbia Pictures, May 2

As the second movie in the second Spider-Man movie trilogy, Amazing Spider-Man 2 has high expectations. Marvel has a history of making great sequels (Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 2 are, arguably, the best in each series), and the teaser featuring Jamie Foxx turning into Electro looks amazing, and we can't wait to see Paul Giamatti's Rhino. Emma Stone makes her return as Gwen Stacy, although with the Osborns involved, it's safe to say she'll be murdered within the next two movies by a Goblin.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir Matt Reeves) 20th Century Fox, July 18

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Versability
Caesar chasing Amy from Congo...Amy love..Amy pretty..Love Amy...

Although Tim Burton's re-imagination of Planet of the Apes had its moments, it was 2011's Rise that truly resurrected the series, bringing in over $481 million worldwide. Now that the apes have their freedom, Dawn will likely lead off with the the type of action we only got a taste of in Rise. So far the only teaser was shown at Comic-Con, but we know humans' number have been thinned by a virus and Caesar (Andy Serkis), the alpha ape, is being threatened by a band of human scientists led by Gary Oldman. It's a shame we already know who wins, but it'll be fun watching anyway.

Fast and Furious 7 (dir James Wan) Universal Pictures, July 11

Cars. Fast cars. Fast cars racing. The Fast and Furious franchise has so many sequels, it's difficult finding reasons to involve everyone in illegal street racing for criminal organizations. The usual suspects return, with Jason Statham joining the mix as a villainous version of his Transporter character, and Bow Wow rejoins for his first FatF since Tokyo Drift. Coincidentally, Fast and the Furious 7 is the first film in the series to take place after Tokyo Drift (so basically Han is dead, and everyone still has a fast car).

Winter's Tale (dir Akiva Goldsman) Warner Bros, Feb 14

When Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe face off, you can can expect your woman to force you to take her to see it. Winter's Tale starts off as a period piece, with Farrell as Peter Lake, a thief, and Crowe as Pearly Soames, his gangster boss seeking revenge. Lake is rescued by a horse and travels through time to current day (albeit a somewhat different) New York City. Winter's Tale isn't likely to tackle time travel as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it'll give couples a Valentine's Day movie they can agree on.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (dir Francis Lawrence) Lionsgate, Nov 21

You say you wanna revolution?

Fans of the Hunger Games book trilogy know Mockingjay is the final book in the series, where Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) unites Panem and becomes the poster child for a revolution against the tyrannical Capitol. Split into two parts (thanks, Harry Potter), Part 1 will contain all of the crucial plot elements, while Part 2 will show the final battle and character resolutions. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is sure to explore the type of corruption that gave rise to Anonymous and the Occupy movement.

The LEGO Movie (dir Phil Lord) Warner Bros, Feb 7

Fans of the popular LEGO video game series already know what kind of humor to look for in the first big-screen adaptation of the popular toy line. The trailer looks fantastic, with a Shrek-spin applied to the LEGO universe. Featuring the DC superheroes and the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and Charlie Day, LEGO Movie is sure to please both kids and adults.

Divergent (dir Neil Burger) Summit Entertainment, March 21

The Hunger Games aren't even over yet, and we already have a new trilogy about warring factions in a dystopian future. Citizens are marked with one of five distinct personality traits (courageous, kind, etc), and Tris (Shailene Woodley) is marked as essentially an unscannable (a la Idiocracy). She is forced underground, where she joins the resistance against this seemingly Utopian society.

Edge of Tomorrow (dir Doug Liman) Village Roadshow, June 6


Although it won't be shown in Germany because it stars Scientology mascot Tom Cruise, Edge of Tomorrow is poised to be an epic sci-fi war film. It'll be interesting to see how the time-looping aspect plays out (Cruise's character relives the same fatal battle over and over). With any luck, EoT will be a mixture of Halo and Groundhog's Day instead of another Battlefield Earth.

Brian Penny is a former analyst at Bank of America turned force-placed insurance whistleblower, Anon supporter, and consultant.


  1. This is a decent list. I could tell you are not a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan leaving off Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy (the latter I would put as my number 2).

    But no Interstellar and Jupiter Ascending? Both original films with very intriguing premises by proven directors (pretending that Speed Racer never happened in the Wachowski's case).
    Also, Wally Pfister's debut film, Transcendence, looks very promising too.

    I know we all got our own tastes, but I don't see how you can put TMNT by the mediocre Jonathan Liebsman, a romance film in Winter's Tale and a very bland looking, unnecessary remake of Robocop ahead of the above mentioned. But to each his own.

    I also wouldn't put Divergent on my list but I can see why anyone would, it looks cool for a new YA trilogy adaptation, and Hunger Games is all the rage right now :).

    Oh, and in your Hobbit description you forgot one important part of the film that makes it so exciting - The Battle of the Five Armies - Jackson said he is saving it for There and Back Again.

    Recommendation: You should watch the independent film'll really make you anticipate Godzilla next year, Gareth Edwards is a director who has got vision.

    1. The only reason I left off Cpt America and Guardians of the Galaxy is because I had WAY too much Marvel. I think Spider-Man and X-Men will produce a) better films and b) higher box office numbers. I think the LEGO movie will outperform Guardians as well. Serious cartoon movies don't fare as well as comedic (Atlantis, Treasure Planet, etc).

      I think Interstellar looks good, but, outside of V for Vendetta (I know, I know), I haven't liked a Wachowski movie since the 2nd Matrix. Speed Racer was visually cool, but it was essentially Cars, which was already Doc Hollywood.

      I keep trying to be excited about a Godzilla movie, but I've never seen one I couldn't find a Jurassic Park that was better. King Kong wins that battle by far. I liked The Host (2006) better than any of those (besides Jurassic Park).

      Thanks for the feedback though!

    2. Interstellar is by Christopher Nolan, it's Jupiter Ascending that is by the Wachowski's! :)

    3. ;) I know...I have a bad habit of switching thoughts mid-sentence...

  2. I'd like to issue a friendly challenge to anyone on the a list of 14 films you think will be the top box office draws for 2014 before Jan 1, 2014, and, at the end of the year, we'll see who has the highest gross...

    ...who thinks they can beat me?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. 1.) Interstellar
    Nolan's last non-Batman project, Inception, grabbed $825.5M, and a film about a space adventure by Nolan with its stellar cast will no doubt make around that much, if not more. There is also no competition - not a big summer blockbuster nor a big superhero movie. However, number 2 can give Interstellar a run for its money.

    2.) Maleficient
    Alice in Wonderland grossed $1B, while Oz grossed $429 M. It's safe to say people eat up live action, fairy tale Disney films. I see this performing quite well, slightly beating out Oz due to Angelina Jolie's drawing power. I wouldn`t be surprised if this tops out the year, but for now, Christopher Nolan owns.

    3.) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
    Don't think this needs any explanation!

    4.) Transformers: Age of Extinction
    People will complain before and after viewing it, but the last two Transformers films cracked the top 3 in yearly box office gross, and this one which features the ever bankable star, Mark Wahlberg, will easily round out the top 4.

    5.) Divergent
    This popular YA novel adaptation won't make Hunger Games like numbers, but I expect it to be up there.

    6.) The Hobbit: There and Back Again
    The first film grossed enough in 2012 to round out the top 5. I expect it to just miss that mark in 2014 with Divergent stealing number 5

    7.) Fast and Furious 7
    The franchise continues to perform well in the box office and the addition of Jason Statham to the cast only boosts this films profile.

    8.) Guardians of the Galaxy
    Like all recent MCU properties there is alot of hype for this film and it is wacky enough to attract curious non-comic fans. On top of that it will be the lead in to Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. Yes, this is a relatively unknown comic, but Iron Man was too back in 2008 and it performed extremely well.

    9.) How to Train Your Dragon 2 (HTTYD)
    This will be competing with The Lego Movie (TLM) as THE animated film of the year. The creators of TLM are known for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 & 2 which did not perform well at all being in the low 20's. I see Lego doing slightly better because of it's concept but it won't be top 14. However, HTTYD did exceptionally well, cracking the top 10 in 2010, I see this following up with the same numbers.

    10.) The Amazing-Spiderman 2
    The first film only made M$262 at #7, I see this making roughly the same, though there seems to be alot of skeptics of this film in regards to the number of villians and how Electro looks like Mr. Freeze.

    11.) A Million Ways to Die in the West
    The last Seth McFarlane property, Ted, surprisingly did really well for itself coming in at #9 in 2012, and I see this film grossing as much as that...sometimes hilarious film.

    12.) X-Men Days of Future Past
    Previous X-Men films hadn't performed well, especially compared to other superhero properties and in 2012, X-Men First Class got beat out by Captain America, but grossed just enough to slip past Planet of the Apes, both also coming out this year. Alot of people are skeptic of this film because of plots holes, yadda yadda, and people are tired of time travel kind of movies. i think this time Days of Future this will slightly beat out Captain America because of all the early hype and because it`s a popular comic book storyline.

    13.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    The first Captain America film did fairly well, though no where near as big of a draw as its MCU counterparts.

    14.) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    Planet of the Apes was #11 in 2012 in terms of domestic gross right behind Captain America and X-Men First Class in 2012, I see the pattern continuing.

    1. :) I like what do we do to kill time till next year...? ;)

    2. haha! Op, it was just announced Dumber and Dumber To will be coming out next year! I was only 5 way back in 1994, but I'm looking here that it performed pretty darn well back then and this sequel is long overdue.
      Add that to the top 14 highest grossing films! Goodbye Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

    3. :/ OH NO!!! I'm afraid your actually gonna win this now...I didn't even know their wood be another Dumb and Dumber!! :( it Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels? If not, u'r making a bad move... ;P

    4. YES! Their back with the rising Jennifer Lawrence! And Andrea from Walking Dead!
      Wait, what is your list anyways? You have 14 most anticipated but not predictions of top 14 top grossing of the year.

  4. Why are you writing about movies when you don't know shit about them and your grammar sucks? How do I get a gig like this? Geez...

    1. *Why are you writing about movies when you don't know shit about them, and your grammar sucks?

      You're welcome...