2012’s Upcoming Movies

As of May 1st, I (Steve) have seen only one film released in 2012. That movie was The Hunger Games. Starting with the release of The Avengers this weekend, my pace should soon pick up dramatically. Here’s a list ranking the movies I’m looking forward to seeing in the coming months. Am I missing anything in my list? What are you looking forward to seeing? Leave a comment!

1. Prometheus  June 8

Why: Ridley Scott is a great director; Alien was groundbreaking and this looks to be great, too, even if it isn’t quite a prequel; great cast: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron (she was so fabulous in Young Adult), Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender (the promo with him as David the robot is so creepy cool), Guy Pearce

Why Not: It may not live up to expectations, but even then I simply cannot imagine that it won’t be in my top 5 at the end of the year; it appears that it will be in 3D and I hate 3D!


2. The Dark Knight Rises  July 20

Why: Another great director in Christopher Nolan (Memento is an all-time favorite); great cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard; trailer looks wonderfully intense

Why Not: I was underwhelmed by Inception, but I trust Nolan to come through here



3. Django Unchained  December 25

Why: I simply love Quentin Tarantino’s movies; another great cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson

Why Not: I’m generally o.k. with Tarantino’s use of violence, but there is potential for going overboard with this storyline





4. The Hobbit  December 14

Why: Peter Jackson knows how to make grand movies; Martin Freeman should make a delightful Bilbo and lots of the old favorites are back in the cast

Why Not: did this story really require two movies to be told?; Jackson overdid the battle scenes in the Ring series, but that shouldn’t be a problem here; 3D!




5. Looper  September 28

Why: Rian Johnson directing of Brick showed a lot of promise, so I’m looking forward to what he can do here; Joseph Gordon-Levitt is currently one of my favorite actors, Bruce Willis is one of my all-time favorites, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Daniels

Why Not: time travel is tricky

6. Moonrise Kingdom  May 25

Why: Wes Anderson’s movies are so delightfully twisted and the trailer for this looks positively nutty; Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis (again!), Edward Norton (another current fav), Frances McDormand, Bill Murray (I’m so pleased to see that he wasn’t really killed in Zombieland!)

Why Not: the two kids in the lead roles are newcomers so it will be interesting to see how they do, the rest of the cast should pull them through

7. Les Miserables  December 14

Why: Hugh Jackman won me over in Real Steel, he should knock this one out of the park, Russell Crowe (but can he sing?), Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen should be a blast as the Thenardiers

Why Not: I was not all that impressed with Tom Hooper’s directing of King’s Speech, I know he won Best Director, but sometimes the Academy gets things wrong!

8. The Master  October 12

Why: Restraint is not a word in Paul Thomas Anderson’s vocabulary (see There Will Be Blood and Magnolia), so I can’t wait to see what he does here with this story of a man who creates his own religion; Philip Seymour Hoffman is as good as it gets, Joaquin Phoenix (welcome back!), Amy Adams (oh, she simply radiates cuteness!); score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood who provided such interesting music for There Will Be Blood

Why Not: Restraint is not a word in Paul Thomas Anderson’s vocabulary

9. Cloud Atlas  October TDB

Why: With the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) at the helm, this looks intriguing; Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant (after a four year hiatus, he’s playing six roles here), Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Keith David. Jim Broadbent

Why Not: this could get messy with its multiple storylines and time periods; after a big splash with The Matrix, that series kind of petered out; I totally skipped Speed Racer; there aren’t many details on this yet and no trailer, but this could be a flop, but I have a feeling about it

10. Gravity  November 21

Why: Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men was great; George Clooney is the best actor working these days; the story of a lone surviving astronaut trying to return home sounds wonderfully existential; I love sci-fi thrillers

Why Not: Sandra Bullock was at best the third choice for the role of the astronaut and I’m still not sold on her acting; 3D!

11. Argo  September 14

Why: I can’t believe how much I love Ben Affleck as a director (Cry Baby Cry, The Town); he’s great at creating tension so he should do a good job with this story about the Iran hostage crisis; I’m not as sold on him as an actor, but he did fine directing and starring in The Town; John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston

Why Not: can Affleck go three for three as a director?

12. Skyfall  November 9

Why: I’ve become a big fan of Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem as the bad guy!, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Albert Finney (I’ve adored him ever since Big Fish)

Why Not: I loved Sam Mendes’ American Beauty and Jarhead was good, but I’m not sure he has the directing chops for this; I’m not actually a huge James Bond fan, but Craig is winning me over

13. The Bourne Legacy  August 3

Why: Tony Gilroy did a good job directing Michael Clayton; I’ve really come to appreciate Jeremy Renner; Albert Finney, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz

Why Not: No Matt Damon

14. Lawless  August 31

Why: Jim Hillcoat showed promise with The Road, written by Nick Cave (clearly a multi-talented rocker!); Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain (she was fabulous in multiple movies last year), Gary Oldman (I’ve loved him since Sid and Nancy)

Why Not: Shia LaBeouf was terrific in Holes, but otherwise I often find him a bit annoying

15. Untitled Terrence Malick Movie  TBD

Why: Malick’s Tree of Life was my favorite movie in 2011; all of his work is incredible; great cast: Rachel McAdams, Jessica Chastain, Rachel Weisz, Javier Bardem, Ben Affleck

Why Not: I’m going mostly on reputation here since the details on this one are sketchy (it doesn’t even have a name!); Malick’s never released two movies in so short a time so this one may not even make it to the screen in 2012

16. Hope Springs  August 10

Why: a romantic comedy for older folks; the trailer had me chuckling all along and laughing out loud a bit, too; Meryl Streep (what more needs to be said?), Tommy Lee Jones (he’s wonderful as the husband who is skeptical about reinvigorating their marriage), Steve Carell (he won me over with Crazy Stupid Love)

Why Not: The director, David Frankel, doesn’t have the most impressive resume and his last movie, The Big Year, was a flop

17. Seven Psychopaths  TBD

Why: I absolutely loved director Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges; Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Gabourey Sidibe (she was so good in Precious), Tom Waits (another multi-talented rocker!)

Why Not: Again few details, no trailer, but I still can’t wait for it!

18. Ruby Sparks  July 25

Why: Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine); Paul Dano (impresses me more and more each time I see him), Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould; the trailer looks delightful; an uplifting, but wacky, love story

Why Not: can Dayton and Faris connect again?

19. The Avengers  May 4

Why: Joss Whedon  has shown he can be a great writer (Toy Story); trailers show some promise; partly great cast: Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo

Why Not: Joss Whedon is unproven as a director; with so many characters, this could get messy, too; partly suspect cast: I’m not sold on Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, I like Ruffalo but I would prefer Edward Norton; I’m kind of tired of superhero movies: 3D!

20. Dark Shadows  May 11

Why: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp together again; Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz (I adore her!); cameos by Alice Cooper and Christopher Lee; I loved Dark Shadows as a kid

Why Not: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp together again (they may be too comfortable together to really create anything new); the ‘70s shtick may wear thin

21. Total Recall  August 3

Why: I never saw the original, but the trailer for this looks intense; Colin Farrell (another fav, especially since In Bruges), Bill Nighy, Bokeem Woodbine (enjoyed him in Saving Grace)

Why Not: I’m unfamiliar with director Len Wiseman’s work (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) so I don’t know what to expect from him

22. Cosmopolis  TDB

Why: David Cronenberg is an intriguing director (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises), and although I wasn’t overly impressed with last year’s A Dangerous Method, this dark tale should be in his wheelhouse; Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti

Why Not: Robert Patterson carries the taint of Twilight (and Colin Farrell was originally cast in the part but had to drop out due to Total Recall)

23. The Amazing Spider-Man  July 3

Why: Marc Webb’s (500) Days of Summer is much beloved in our household; Andrew Garfield was impressive in Social Network, Emma Stone (I adore her, too!)

Why Not: do we really need a Spiderman reboot?; 3D!

24. Lincoln  December TBD

Why: Steven Spielberg; I can’t wait to see Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln!; beyond that, I rank this so high mostly on the strength of the cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Hal Holbrook, David Strathairn

Why Not: Steven Spielberg

25. The Silver-Linings Playbook  November 21

Why: David O. Russell has shown the ability to be gritty (The Fighter) and a bit strange (I Heart Huckabees), so I’m curious to see what he does with this story of an ex-teacher/mental patient who tries to make amends with his family; Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence (yet another wonderful young actress), Jacki Weaver (so good in Animal Kingdom)

Why Not: Bradley Cooper in the lead role carries the taint of The Hangover

26. Zero Dark Thirty  December 19

Why: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Jessica Chastain (!!!!!), Joel Edgerton (I really liked him in Animal Kingdom and Warrior)

Why Not: Chris Platt is unproven as the lead; this story of the killing of Osama bin Laden was in the works before it happened, so when it happened they had to do some rewrites, will the rewrites show?

27. The Cabin in the Woods  April 13

Why: written by Joss Whedon; Richard Jenkins; I love humorous, scary movies with twists to them

Why Not: unproven director Drew Goddard; Chris Hemsworth

28. House at the End of the Street  September 21

Why: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue; the time going backwards element in the trailer looks intriguing

Why Not: unproven director Mark Tonderai

29. On the Road  TBD

Why: Jack Kerouac’s book is a classic; I’m not familiar with director Walter Salles’ work, but it seems well suited to this material; Sam Riley (he was so good as Ian Curtis in Control, should be good as Sal, the Kerouac character), , Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi

Why Not: Kristen Stewart carries the taint of Twilight, can she do more than mope (although moping may work well here)

30. Killing Them Softly  September 21

Why: crime thriller set in New Orleans; Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins

Why Not: another one with sketchy details and no trailer yet

31. The Gangster Squad  October 19

Why: Director Rueben Fleischer (Zombieland); Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Anthony Mackie, Emma Stone

Why Not: yet another one with sketchy details and no trailer

32. The Pirates! Band of Misfits  April 27

Why: Aardman Studios can be counted on for some wacky fun; voices of Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson (so great in The Guard)

Why Not: I’m a bit tired of pirates; 3D!

33. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  May 4

Why: Delightful cast: Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Tom Wilkinson

Why Not: Director John Madden’s claim to fame is Shakespeare in Love

34. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World  June 22

Why: a timely romantic comedy; Keira Knightey, Steve Carell, Patton Oswalt

Why Not: unproven director Lorene Scafaria

35. To Rome with Love  TBD

Why: Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was in my top 5 last year; Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin

Why Not: Woody Allen is prolific, but also inconsistent; the trailer seems a bit mean spirited

36. The Great Gatsby  December 25

Why: Baz Luhrmann is a director who brings pizzazz to his movies; Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire

Why Not: not one of my favorite stories

37. Hyde Park on the Hudson  December 7

Why: Director Roger Mitchell’s Notting Hill was fairly delightful; Bill Murray as FDR, Laura Linney

Why Not: Director Roger Mitchell’s Notting Hill was fairly lightweight; a movie about FDR’s romance with his cousin?

38. Not Fade Away  October 19

Why: a story about boys forming a rock band in the ‘60s; James Gandolfini; Steven Van Zandt in charge of the music

Why Not: David Chase (The Sopranos) is untested directing for the big screen; cast of unknowns

39. Brave  June 22

Why: Pixar

Why Not: nice to have an animated flick with a female lead, but the trailer doesn’t excite me

40. Life of Pi  December 21

Why: Director Ang Lee

Why Not: could be a tricky story to bring to the screen; 3D!

41. Trouble with the Curve  September 28

Why: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake (I can’t believe how much I like him as an actor)

Why Not: unproven director Robert Lorenz

42. Premium Rush  August 24

Why: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon (fabulous in Take Shelter)

Why Not: unproven director David Koepp; trailer not overly impressive, but what can one expect of a thriller about a bike delivery boy?

43. Savages  September 28

Why: Oliver Stone, John Travolta, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro, Uma Thurman, Damian Bichir

Why Not: can the two leads (Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch) hold their own?

44. Snow White and the Huntsman  June 1

Why: Charlize Theron, Toby Jones

Why Not: unproven director Rupert Sanders; Kristen Stewart, Chris Helmsworth 


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