Tag Archives: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens (2015) Retrospective Review

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

Time: 135 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Science Fiction Themes and Violence
Cast:
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Finn
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke
Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka
Director: J.J. Abrams

A scavenger (Daisy Ridley) and a renegade stormtrooper (John Boyega) enlist the help of legendary smugglers/freedom fighters Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) to transport a droid carrying information regarding the whereabouts of long lost Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) of the Resistance before it falls into the hands of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order.

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Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens was one of the most anticipated films of all time. After Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, they started on making a new trilogy, and people were looking forward to seeing new movies. While there’s certainly a lot of divisiveness about the sequel trilogy now, I think most people generally liked The Force Awakens, and I’m still one of those people. As a ‘soft reboot’, this is the best this movie could’ve possibly been, and it succeeded very well as that.

To get this out of the way, yes, The Force Awakens is very derivative of A New Hope, and most of its plot points are very similar, but it does enough to differentiate itself from that first movie. Not to mention it was a good way of introducing the current state to new audiences. I will admit that some parts copy just a little too much, like I could’ve done with something else other than a killer star base that’s just bigger than the Death Stars. From beginning to end, J.J. Abrams gives the movie a fast pace, but it also work for the story, it doesn’t go so fast that it skips past important details or anything. Plotwise, I think the only thing I had a problem with was the option to blow up an entire planetary system of the New Republic. Doing this pretty much ensured that there was basically no system or anything, and it was a wasted opportunity for world building. That’s my only big problem with the plot or anything I think. I guess not all the answers to things were given in this movie, but that basically passed it on to other instalments to provide them there.

The newer cast are quite good. Daisy Ridley acts really well as Rey, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding her character and you don’t learn a lot about her, and so it required someone like Ridley to play the role in a way to make her work on screen. I really do feel like John Boyega’s Finn didn’t get to do as much as he could’ve (especially with the setup with him as a stormtrooper, which we hadn’t gotten with other main Star Wars characters beforehand), but Boyega does what he can and is pretty good. Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron doesn’t get a whole lot of screentime, generally because his character was meant to die early on, but was kept alive since they liked Isaac. That was a great decision, because Oscar plays him really well, even in his short screentime you really like him easily, and that’s all because of his performance. The standout actor and character across the sequel trilogy is Adam Driver as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. I’m not the type of person to put characters up against each other, but at the very least, he in this movie is a lot better than Darth Vader in A New Hope, since the two get compared a lot. Kylo is more than just a copy of Vader. He’s conflicted, he’s all over the place, and at least in this movie is trying so much to be like his grandfather. Even just looking at him in this movie, Kylo is one of the best characters in the Star War series. The other main antagonists were General Hux, Captain Phasma, and Supreme Leader SNoke. Domhnall Gleeson plays the role of Hux pretty well, and in this movie it does take him seriously (until he was used as the butt of many jokes). Gleeson doesn’t get many moments to shine in the trilogy, but he does have a big speech before Starkiller base fires a weapon, and he owned that scene pretty well. Gwendoline Christie as Phasma is pretty much the Boba Fett of the sequel trilogy, she looks cool but doesn’t really do anything. I know that her not doing much doesn’t really matter, but I would’ve liked her to have had a little more screentime and things to do. As for Snoke, you only get to see him for a couple scenes, but Andy Serkis added quite a lot to him through his motion captured performance. I really wished that Lupita Nyong’o got to do more as Maz Kanata, she play it fine enough I guess, but she mostly just gives out information. I have no idea why Max von Sydow was in this movie, he was pretty much just a cameo. The main cast from the previous movies returns, with the most notable being that of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, who both play their roles of Han and Leia very well once again.

J.J. Abrams directed this very well, effectively fast paced. Everything from the production design, practical effects, digital effects, everything on a technical level is great, fantastic on a visual level. The action is also quite entertaining and put together nicely, from the ship battles, gunfights, and to the final battle between Kylo and Rey, which I still think is one of the best lightsabers duels in the series. The exception of these action scenes is of course is the Rathtars scene. At this point I accepted that it exists, but compared to the rest of the movie I didn’t really love it. John Williams scores this movie quite well, but I do think that the sequel trilogy’s scores aren’t nearly as great or memorable as the other two trilogies. The most memorable themes were that of Kylo Ren, Rey, and the Resistance, nonetheless the score on a whole worked well for the movie.

Star Wars Episode 5: The Force Awakens was a great way of bringing back Star Wars to today’s audiences. It’s very well directed, the cast are good, and quite well paced. It set up things for future instalments to potentially pursue, and was a good way to get people on board with Star Wars again. It was at the very least a good starting point for this new trilogy.

Top 10 Movies of 2015

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I know that it’s a little late (2-3 months) for me to be posting my best of the year, but I deliberately held off making the list because I wanted to watch many of the later released films like Steve Jobs and Carol. Time went on and progress on my best of the year had been slowed down, but now I’ve finally completed it. I should mention that I haven’t watched every movie, so movies like The Hateful Eight and Room won’t make this list, though I’m sure that I would’ve included them in this list, had I watched them. And yes, I’m going to make a worst of the year list.

Honourable Mentions

Ant Man

Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..© Marvel 2014

This movie proved to me that Marvel can do no wrong, at this point they could probably do a Howard the Duck movie and I’d be confident that it would be great. This movie doesn’t have an easy concept to adapt to the big screen but somehow they made it work. Paul Rudd made for a likable character, the supporting cast of Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena and Corey Stoll were also great. It was also a breath of fresh air from the ‘save the world’ type superhero movies and went much smaller scale and the movie really benefited from that. Ant Man is another solid entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and along with Age of Ultron, shows that Marvel are showing no sign of slowing down.

My review of Ant Man

The Big Short

Left to right: Steve Carell plays Mark Baum and Ryan Gosling plays Jared Vennett in The Big Short from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises

The Big Short didn’t have an easy task: it had to create a story about the collapse of the economy while making it entertaining and interesting for the general going audience, but this movie in my opinion succeeded at doing this. Director Adam McKay (Anchorman) made his directional debut in drama and seeing this makes me think that he might have more success in drama than comedy. The performances from Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and others added even more to the movie. As I said in my review, the film doesn’t always get it right as some of the details did get confusing but the fact that I understood some of the concepts showed how well written and directed this movie was. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

My review of The Big Short

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Avengers Age of Ultron is a movie that I’ve noticed get a lot of criticism. It’s been compared to the first Avengers quite of bit, and is often called lesser in comparison. In some ways I think that it is better than the previous movie. The characters are more developed (particularly Hawkeye) and the story does go bigger and does everything a sequel needs to do. James Spaders’ Ultron was a little divisive for some people but I actually thought that he made for a pretty entertaining villain. On its own I think Avengers Age of Ultron is a really good movie, whether you compare it to the first film or not. It’s not perfect, but neither was the original film. My trust in Marvel has not wavered after this movie, if anything it has been strengthened.

My review of Avengers: Age of Ultron

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

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The Mission Impossible Franchise has been on the rise ever since its third instalment. No one thought that Ghost Protocol could be topped, with its actions and particularly with the stunts. However Christopher McQuarrie has successfully created a sequel which in my opinion stands at least at the same level of Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise shows once that he can still be great in action films, his supporting cast also does great an Rebecca Fergusson was awesome in this movie (and will probably now be in more movies now). This movie has all the action you can hope for, a water scene, a motorbike chase scene, a car chase scene, and of course, Tom Cruise doing a risky stunt with the airplane. The Mission Impossible franchise is getting better and better the more the series is going on and I’m looking forward to see is get even bigger and better, it’s hard to imagine that happening at this point.

My review of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Steve Jobs

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Despite a lot of hype, Steve Jobs didn’t get the acclaim that it deserved, both by the critics and the box office and I personally don’t understand why. The direction by Danny Boyle was excellent and stylish, working quite well for the movie. The cast also did quite well, Michael Fassbender was magnificent as Steve Jobs, and the supporting cast with Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels were also great, they all added to this movie and had their moments. But what tied it all together was Aaron Sorkin’s excellent screenplay. The dialogue, the focus on three important segments of Steve Jobs’s life, everything was well put together. If you haven’t seen Steve Jobs, you really should, it is a dialogue driven movie so it’s not for everyone but even if you aren’t a fan of those types of movies I think this film is worth a watch anyway, it might change your mind.

My review of Steve Jobs

10. Kingsman: The Secret Service

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2015 was a big year for spy movies and in my opinion, Kingsman: The Secret Service was the best out of all of them. With Matthew Vaughn’s excellent direction, Kingsman ended up being one of the most fun cinema experiences I’ve had. The action was so well filmed by Vaughn, in particular the church scene which is completely insane and over the top and fun. The humour was so well put in, it poked fun at the spy genre while being a great one itself. The acting was also great, with newcomer Taron Edgerton impressing, Colin Firth showing that he can do action and Samuel L. Jackson having a ton of fun as an over the top villain. I heard that the sequel is being planned for a 2017 release and after seeing this movie twice, I’m looking forward to seeing it.

My review of Kingsman: The Secret Service

9. The Martian

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Ridley Scott has been making some films that weren’t that good recently (take the Counsellor for instance) but with The Martian, he seems to have made a welcome return. It did do well at focussing on one character struggling to survive, which is no easy task. The cast was great, consisting of Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels and many others but it really is Matt Damon’s show here, whether or not this movie would work depends on him. Damon pulls off an excellent performance just right for the film. Unlike a lot of isolated survivor films, his character is very likable and entertaining to watch, and Damon conveyed all of this in a great way. I don’t know if Ridley Scott will go back to making above average films and I don’t know how Alien: Covenant will turn out but at the very least we can say that The Martian is his best film in a long time.

My review of The Martian

8. Inside Out

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Inside Out shows once again how great animated movies can be. It tackled a subject that I didn’t think a kids animated movie would tackle very competently: emotions. However this turned out to be one of the best written and smartest animated movies I’ve seen, I actually think this film was actually more suited to adults. I don’t know if there is any spin offs or sequels to the original movie being planned (nor do I think they are necessary) but in whatever case, Inside Out is quite an excellent movie on its own and one of the best animated films I’ve seen in a while.

My review of Inside Out

7. Sicario

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Denis Villeneuve has proven with Prisoners, Enemy and now Sicario that he’s one of the best directors working today. Everything on the production value was perfect, from the excellent cinematography from Roger Deakins, to the soundtrack from Johann Johannson, and the action scenes so brilliantly filmed by Villenueve, everything is so well put together. The performances were also great from Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro (the latter being a particular standout). With a new film from Denis Villenueve coming out this year (as well as him directing the new Blade Runner), I’m excited to see much more of his work.

6. Spotlight

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Spotlight was one of the best written films of 2015. The way that the dialogue was written, the way the film was paced, the way we learned information about the Boston Priest Molestation scandals at the same rate as the protagonists, everything was nicely strung together by writer and director Tom McCarthy. The ensemble cast consisting of Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and even more added much more to the movie. Now whether the movie deserved Best Picture or not, that’s up for debate. But ignoring the awards, Spotlight really is a great and important film by itself and if you haven’t watched it, you really should.

My review of Spotlight

5. Creed

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I’m not a huge fan of the Rocky movies, I’ve only watched the first film before Creed. I wasn’t particularly excited for this film, sure it had director Ryan Coolger, Michael B. Jordan as well as Sylvester Stallone returning to the role of Rocky but I wasn’t sure of what to expect. Creed was one of the biggest surprises this year. Although it had many beats from the original it did manage to add its own spin on the classic story and made it even better than the original (in my own honest opinion). Creed also had fantastic performances from Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone (the latter particularly giving an Oscar worthy performance), and their pairing is what tied the film together. I heard that there is going to be a sequel in 2017, I don’t see how they can top this movie, especially with rumours that Ryan Coogler won’t be involved. I think that Creed can stand on its own as a great movie, and one of the best of 2015.

My review of Creed

Now these top 4 movies could honestly be put in any order, they are all 10/10 movies to me.

NOTE: My top 4 of the year had changed since I’ve made this list. Further below I will list the order.

4. The Revenant

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The Revenant was one of the most intriguing cinema experiences I’ve had. As I said in my review, The Revenant is one of the best directed movies I’ve ever seen. Everything looked real and there were times when I could honestly not know how they managed to shoot certain scenes, take the bear attack scene for instance. Fantastic performances by actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter elevate this movie even further. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu has proved along with Birdman that he is one of the best directors working today. I know that The Revenant has some divided people and to be fair, I know that this film isn’t for everyone. But even if you don’t like it, I hope you appreciate some of the strong aspects of the film. I know I gave The Revenant a 9 in my original review but months after seeing it, I have to say that it is a 10/10 movie.

My review of The Revenant

3. Carol

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Carol is one of the best romance films I’ve seen in a long time and director Todd Haynes crafted this entire film perfectly. First of all the setting is right from the 50s with great attention to detail, whether it comes to production design, costumes, you name it. However the excellent acting is the highlight of the film, with Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett shining and delivering some of the best performances of their career, and that’s saying a lot. The subtlety in their relationship is what makes the love story so great and along with the writing, both actresses convey that perfectly. Carol has unfortunately not gotten enough attention from a lot of people, especially when it comes to awards. If you truly appreciate film, I recommend checking out this movie.

My review of Carol

2. Mad Max Fury Road

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As I said in my review, Mad Max Fury Road is one of the best action movies of the decade so far. It blended in practical effects with minimal CGI effects and it was the perfect balance, not one moment did it feel overly fake or CGI. The action scenes were some of the best I’ve ever seen but it’s not just the action scenes that impressed me. The film can do so much with so little, it had a story but achieved it through visual means, not requiring a lot of dialogue to explain what was going on. It is one of the most visual immersive movies I’ve ever seen and it will be remembered for years to come. On a side note I know that some people are unhappy that this movie didn’t win Best Picture but I think I should say that it’s an achievement in itself that Mad Max: Fury Road, a movie that could be just considered a non stop action movie, was recognised by the Academy with a nomination.

My review of Mad Max: Fury Road

1. Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens did what Creed and Mad Max Fury Road has done: create a new instalment in a franchise while making it a great movie on its own. The new cast with Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and others show great promise and the next films look great. I will say that The Force Awakens is my third favourite Star Wars movie, in front of Return of the Jedi and behind A New Hope. The fact that The Force Awakens is anywhere near as good as the original trilogy is an achievement in itself. I am truly excited to see what these new Star Wars films have to offer in the years to come.

My review of Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens

NOTE:
Now my top 4 of the year is as follows:
1. Carol
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. Mad Max Fury Road
4. The Revenant

So what do you think of my picks for the best of the year? Do you agree with them or disagree with them? What are your personal picks?

Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens (2015) Review

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

Time: 135 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Science Fiction Themes and Violence
Cast:
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Finn
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke
Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka
Director: J.J. Abrams

30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

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Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens is my most anticipated movie of 2015. I loved the original trilogy, liked one of the prequels and after 10 years from the last instalment, here we are with the latest film. The Force Awakens was the movie I was hoping it to be, it was to Star Wars what Creed was to Rocky; creating a great new instalment in the franchise while also being a pretty good movie in itself. This is the Star Wars movie that you’re looking for.

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Some will say that The Force Awakens is very similar to A New Hope (in that many of the plot points are the same), and while that’s true, I’m not really complaining. The writing and story actually feels like Star Wars, it wasn’t like the prequels where it all felt artificial and at times lifeless. There was real human emotion that could be felt with these characters. Also tonally it was balanced out, this film can go pretty dark (not quite Revenge of the Sith dark) but it also has humour from the characters and dialogue, this film actually has the most comedy (that worked) out of all the Star Wars movie. Without spoiling anything I will say that this movie ends with not all the questions answered which I love, it makes me even more excited for the next couple of films.

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The film did a good job at integrating the old and new cast. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are the main leads and they are absolutely excellent in their roles and I think that they are the ones to carry this new trilogy. Oscar Isaac was also really good, we don’t get to see as much of him as I liked but as I will mention later, it might be for the better. Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver was a really great villain and while there may be comparisons to Vader there is a pretty strong difference between him and Darth Vader. Some of the characters like Supreme Leader Snoke aren’t really used that much but that’s probably because of the large amount of characters and story that they have, and they will probably be developed over the next films. Not all of the original cast gets a big amount to do but as I said, that’s something for the next films. Harrison Ford is excellent in this movie as Han Solo, he didn’t just feel like old Harrison Ford, he was older Han Solo. Carrie Fisher also was really good as Leia and both her and Ford shared pretty good chemistry when they were on screen together. As for Mark Hamill as Luke, I’ll just say that he’s in the movie, without spoiling anything.

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Unlike the prequels, The Force Awakens uses quite a lot of practical effects. The parts where they have to use CGI is well done and integrated. Think of the special effects of Abrams’ Star Trek mixed with the practical effects of Empire Strikes Back. The action is excellent, whether on ground or air. Without spoiling anything, this movie has one of the best lightsabre fights I’ve seen in a Star Wars movie. John Williams’ soundtrack as usual is magnificent, it’s nothing like we’ve heard before.

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The Force Awakens is not a flawless movie but the original trilogy wasn’t either. This movie did what it was supposed to do, to be a new instalment in the franchise while also being a great movie on its own. I’m looking even more forward to all the Star Wars movies coming out, with Rogue One coming out next year. Stay away from spoilers and watch the movie as soon as possible. JJ Abrams has created a fantastic addition to the Star Wars universe and it’s one of the best movie going experiences I’ve had.

Top 15 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

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2014 was a big year for movies, whether it be with big blockbusters such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men Days of Future Past or other impressive films like Gone Girl, Boyhood and Interstellar. I was initially going to write a list of the best films of the year, however I changed my mind as there are many films that I missed or at least won’t be able to see for a while (Nightcrawler, Birdman, Whiplash, etc). It is something to consider doing for the end of this year however.

I’m looking ahead at the movies coming up next and 2015 looks to be a very big year, an even bigger year than 2014. 2015 will have the release of a sequel to the third highest grossing movie of all time (The Avengers), a new Mad Max movie, a new Terminator movie and how can anyone forget, a new Star Wars movie. Along with that, we have many original films made by some great directors (Michael Mann, Quentin Tarantino). There are so many reasons to be excited for 2015.

Now keep in mind that I don’t know every movie coming out this year, many of them might have made my list if I had heard about them earlier. I’ve made a list of movies I’ve heard about at the last moment that I thought were worth mentioning (check at the end of the list for those chosen movies). With that said, let’s start the countdown.

15. Terminator Genisys

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The Terminator franchise is one of the greatest franchises ever made and Terminator 2 is one of the best movies of all time. The last entry from the franchise was Terminator Salvation and it really disappointed. I didn’t personally find it bad but a lot of the elements were forgettable. 6 years later, the next entry in the franchise, Terminator Genisys will be released this year and has a chance to energize the franchise again.

On the verge of winning the war against Skynet in 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back through time to save his mother’s life and ensure his own existence. But what he finds on the other side is like nothing he ever expected. After being orphaned at age 9 by a Terminator, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) has since been brought up by another Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject. The film also stars Matt Smith, Lee Byung-hun, Dayo Okeniyi, Courtney B. Vance, Sandrine Holt and J. K. Simmons

Apart from the slightly generic title (and a confusing way of spelling Genesis) I’m quite curious with what the movie will be like. It is directed by Alan Taylor (Thor the Dark World, Game of Thrones) and I think that he’s a competent director for this movie. Although I don’t know what the outcome will be of the movie, I’m sure it will at least be entertaining. The story seems quite like X-Men Days of Future Past, in that it shows time travel from different time periods. There is an impressive cast which consists of Arnold Schwarzenegger (obviously), Emilia Clarke, Matt Smith and many others. There is a great amount of potential that this film has to be great and perhaps one of the better movies in the franchise. In either case it will at least be better than Terminator Salvation.

Terminator Genisys is scheduled to be released on 1 July 2015

14. Jurassic World

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Jurassic Park is one of the most revolutionary films ever made and one of Steven Spielberg’s best films. Its two sequels were okay but didn’t get even close to reaching the level of the original. After many years, the franchise is releasing another movie, Jurassic World. I honestly don’t really know how this movie is going to turn out, it could turn out to be only better than Jurassic Park 2 and 3 or it could be even end up being better than just that. No matter how it turns out, I’m excited to see it.

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This new park is owned by the Masrani Global Corporation. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of Jurassic World’s on-site staff, conducts behavioural research on the Velociraptors. At the request of the corporation, the park’s geneticists create a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur. The film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, BD Wong, Judy Greer and Irrfan Khan.

I personally think Jurassic World will turn out to be at least good but I’m cautiously optimistic of the results, as the last two instalments did lack some of the elements of the first, and this movie is made a couple of decades after the original. I do however think the film will at least be better than Jurassic Park 2 and 3. From the trailer it does look good, the special effects look decent and Chris Pratt is a great actor to be chosen as the main star. Although I’m not sure how the movie will turn out but I’m sure it will at least be entertaining.

Jurassic World is scheduled to be released on 12 June 2015.

13. Ant Man

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Marvel is continuously expanding its movie universe and I’ve liked all of their recent movies ever since Iron Man. Although I don’t know much about the comic books, Ant Man looks to be another great addition to the franchise and I am confident that this movie will succeed just as well as Marvel’s other movies.

It’s about a con-man (Paul Rudd), who has a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, who must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. The movie also stars Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale and Michael Peña.

I don’t know too much about the character or the comic books but I am nonetheless interested in how Ant Man will turn out, I’m a big Marvel movie fan after all. Marvel did very well with Guardians of the Galaxy, which was based on a group of characters that weren’t that well known, so I’m confident that this movie will turn out being really good. I am a little sceptical of the director Peyton Reed who has made such movies as The Break Up and Yes Man, however I’ll remain open minded until I finally see the movie. Marvel has been on a winning streak and have never let me down yet and if all goes well, Ant-Man won’t let me down either.

Ant Man is scheduled to be released on 17 July 2015

12. Mission Impossible 5

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I’m a fan of the Mission Impossible movies (even the second despite its problems) and I particularly loved Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol which is why I’m really excited for its sequel. Even though I’m not sure if it will reach the level of its predecessor, I’m curious to see how Mission Impossible 5 will end up. Although the plot isn’t given yet, I am confident that the movie will have a great plot to go along with the great direction.

Under the direction of Christopher McQuarrie (who previously directed Jack Reacher, a misunderstood film in my opinion) this movie looks to be quite big. It’s hard to imagine a bigger Mission Impossible movie than Ghost Protocol, particularly with the scene of Tom Cruise on the side of the tall skyscraper in Dubai. Recently however, there was news that Tom Cruise performed a stunt which involved him strapping himself to the side of an airbus as it’s flying in the air. This news shows me that there is a good chance that it won’t disappoint, even if it may not reach the level of Ghost Protocol, I am certain that it will be quite entertaining.

Mission Impossible 5 is scheduled to be released on 25 December 2015.

11. Furious 7

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The Fast and Furious franchise didn’t really have my interest until it picked up with 2011’s Fast Five. It changed the franchise from a street race series to a heist movie series and in my opinion, the change was for the better, with it being more interesting and entertaining. 2013’s Fast and Furious 6 did in my opinion just as well. Furious 7 looks to follow along those lines of the previous two movies, which means those who loved those movies (including myself) won’t be disappointed.

Furious 7 is set to take place after Fast and Furious 6. After defeating Owen Shaw and his crew in the previous movie, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew are able to return to the United States and live the normal life again as they had wanted, but Owen’s older brother, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham), is after Dominic, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, putting the entire crew in danger once more.

I’m guessing that the film will follow the same tone and feel as Fast Five and Furious Six. Paul Walker’s final and posthumous performance makes this movie seem even more interesting and elevates my anticipation even more. Added to this is the fact that Jason Statham is playing the villain; Statham for me is one of the most ideal actor to be in the Fast and Furious franchise, he’s been in a lot of action movies (especially those involving cars); it’s only just that he finally plays a part in the series. Under the direction of James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) Furious 7 looks to be entertaining and another great addition to the franchise.

Fast and Furious 7 is scheduled to be released on 3 April 2015

10. Chappie

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Neill Blomkamp is a director to watch, with his great films District 9 and Elysium. His next film, Chappie, is another science fiction movie but it is different from his previous two films, one that isn’t quite as dark as them. Although the plot does seem a little similar to some other movies, because of Blomkamp direction, I think that he has an opportunity to add some originality to it and to tell an engaging story.

Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.

I’ve liked Neill Blomkamp’s previous movies so far which is the main reason makes I’m excited to see Chappie. The cast is great here which consists of actors such as Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver. Sharlto Copley, who was with in the director’s previous movies is also in this movie to motion capture Chappie and is sure to steal the show. The movie doesn’t look like it will have too much action (from the trailers there are some there but not a lot) but it looks good, as does Chappie. The main thing I’m looking forward to Chappie is the story and how Blomkamp will direct it, and so far, it looks like he will end up with a great movie.

Chappie is scheduled to be released on 6 March 2015.

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

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The Hunger Games franchise is one of the better young adult book adapted movies which I like. I personally liked the first Hunger Games despite its flaws and Catching Fire improved on everything and is overall a great movie. I also liked Mockingjay Part 1, although it at times felt stretched, it was a good movie. Finally after years of these movies, The Hunger Games movie series finally concludes with Mockingjay Part 2. Despite being a little tired of movies based on young adult books series always ending in two parts (Harry Potter, Twilight, Divergent), after all these Hunger Games movies building up, I’m excited to see the conclusion.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) now fully realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival, they are for the future. With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off mission, using the unit from District 13 – and risking their lives – to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow increasingly obsessed with destroying her, the mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

Under the direction of Francis Lawrence, the director of the previous two movies, it looks to be a fitting conclusion to the series. I am certain that Mockingjay Part 2 will end up being the best of the franchise and will be the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 of The Hunger Games franchise. The rest of the great cast of the previous film returns: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last performances ever to be recorded on film. I am hyped for the final chapter of the franchise and I’m sure that it will be the best.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is scheduled to be released on 20 November 2015.

8. Blackhat

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Michael Mann is one of my favourite directors so I was excited when I heard about him directing a new movie. Blackhat is another crime-based sort of movie which I think are his best type of films (Collateral, Heat, Public Enemies). This time Mann is directing a movie involving cyber-technology and from everything I’ve seen and heard, Blackhat looks to be a very good movie, despite my initial worry of it being released in January, the month of bad generic movies (like with Woman in Black 2).

It’s about a man, Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) who is released from prison to help American and Chinese authorities pursue a mysterious cyber-criminal which leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong. The film also stars Tang Wei, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany and Leehom Wang.

The thing I’m most looking forward to see Mann’s direction, he is one of those visual directors who knows exactly how everything should look, just take the heist scenes from Heat or the nightclub scene from Collateral for example. The world from the trailer looks quite interesting and very big with all this cybertech. Michael Mann also knows how to create great tense thrillers and Blackhat looks to be that and even more. I’ve only seen a few of his movies but he’s so far hasn’t disappointed.

Blackhat is scheduled to be released on 16 January 2015.

7. Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Comic book superhero movies are often enjoyable but I find it interesting when there are movies based on graphic novels which aren’t superhero based. That is the case with Kingsman, which is based upon an acclaimed comic book and is about spies. Although I haven’t read them, from everything I’ve heard and seen of the movie, it could be really good and an overall really fun experience.

The movie tells the story of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), a veteran secret agent of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid, Gary Unwin (Taron Egerton) into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). The film also stars Mark Strong and Michael Caine.

With this film based on a graphic novel, it is only suitable that Matthew Vaughn, who directed movies like Kick Ass and X-Men First Class is the one to direct it. Kingsman from the trailer does have a Kick Ass vibe to it, it’s like the Kick Ass of British spy movies. It has a really good cast, including actors such as Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine who are sure to bring a lot to this movie, I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Firth. I haven’t read the comic book it’s based on but from the trailers and everything I’ve seen about it, it looks to be a whole lot of fun.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is scheduled to be released on 1 February 2015.

6. Mad Max Fury Road

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Before hearing the director of this movie, when I heard that there was going to be another Mad Max movie, I was sceptical because reboots/sequels of really great franchises don’t always turn out for the better. It is rare that a reboot/sequel which is made decades after the previous film is directed by the same person, in this case, George Miller, whose involvement boosted my confidence in the movie. I liked the three movies (some more than others, Mad Max 2 is my favourite) and it was fitting that Miller would be the one to make this movie.

From the trailer, this film looks like it will go back to the previous 3 movies’ styles with its gritty look and brilliant stuntwork and action scenes. Along with that, the cast looks pretty good with actors like Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy in particular as he is the one to play the role of Max. Tom Hardy has shown that he is an actor to really pay attention to and I’m certain he will be able to portray Mel Gibson’s classic character, which isn’t easy seeing as how much of an icon Max Rockatansky is as a character. I’m pretty sure Miller, Hardy and the rest of the people involved will have created a great movie.

Mad Max Fury Road is scheduled to be released on 15 May 2015.

5. Silence

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Martin Scorsese is one of my favourite directors and has so far never failed in making a great movie. He just directs everything with style and every movie he makes feels complete, so naturally I would be very interested in him making a new movie. This type of story is much different than his previous film The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s more closely related to Kundun and The Last Temptation of Christ. I haven’t read the book it’s based on but nonetheless, I’m hyped to see it.

Two Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francis Garrpe (Adam Driver), travel to track down their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) in seventeenth century Japan which has, under the Tokugawa shogunate, banned Catholicism and almost all foreign contact. There they witness the persecution of Japanese Christians at the hands of their own government which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. The film also stars Tadanobu Asano.
Silence is based off the book of the same name by Shūsaku Endō which is a historical fiction novel set in the 17th century. I’m looking forward to what Scorsese can bring to this movie, he has some good material to adapt and work with. The film also has a great cast, particularly Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver and I’m looking forward to seeing their performances. Everything I’ve heard so far about Silence is great and I can’t wait to see it when it comes out.
Silence is scheduled to be released in November 2015

4. Spectre

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I’m a big fan of the Bond movies, especially with the latest instalments in the franchise. Because of this I’m of course excited that a new James Bond movie is being made. Sam Mendes’s involvement in this movie is exciting after directing 2012’s Skyfall, which was in my opinion one of, if not the best Bond movie. Every bit of news I hear about this movie is exciting, whether it be the cast or the story and elevates my anticipation even more.

A cryptic message from an unlikely source sets James Bond (Daniel Craig) navigating the layers of a sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. As M (Ralph Fiennes) continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6, Bond draws closer to uncovering a hidden truth that threatens to destroy everything he has fought to protect. The film also stars Naomie Harris, Ben Wishow, Rory Kinnear, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista and Jesper Christensen

The fact that Spectre is now a part of these new Bond movies really gets me excited because there is now a chance that it can play a part in multiple movies. I also really like the new James Bond movies have a more serious tone, my two favourite Bond movies are Casino Royale and Skyfall. The characters of Moneypenny, M and Q are established and the new cast is pretty good. A highlight of the cast is Christoph Waltz who will playing the villain, I’m very excited to see his performance as he’s a great actor. Some people are speculating that his character is secretly Ernst Stravo Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. I don’t know whether it is true but in either case I’m glad that Christoph Waltz is playing the villain. I’m overall very confident that this instalment of the Bond franchise will result along the same lines of Casino Royale and Skyfall.

The film is scheduled to be released on 23 October 2015.

3. The Hateful Eight

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After his intentions to not make it because of the script leaking, Quentin Tarantino finally deciding to create The Hateful Eight, his new western. I really liked Django Unchained and how well he managed to create that western world and I’m 100% confident that he will be able to create this movie at least as good as Django Unchained.

In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff.

Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

So far this movie seems like a mix between Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained, both great movies by Quentin Tarantino. It has a great cast so far with actors like Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Channing Tatum and Bruce Dern. The real star of the movie however is Quentin Tarantino (his writing of course). Every line that he writes is perfect (excluding Death Proof) and I don’t see any reason why he would fail doing it here. Everything from the acting, directing and of course brilliant writing has my anticipation. The Hateful Eight might even turn out to be one of my favourite Tarantino movies, he has certainly achieved that with Django Unchained.

The Hateful Eight is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2015.

2. The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

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The sequel to the third highest grossing movie of all time is finally here, and everything from it looks absolutely amazing so far. The Avengers universe has been consistently good in making movies link into each other. I particularly like how Marvel managed to place all the Marvel characters, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye in one movie, The Avengers. This continues into Age of Ultron which even looks like it will be better than the first.

With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron (James Spader), a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, and it is up to Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him from enacting his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins, Pietro (Aaron-Taylor Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), as well as the familiar Vision.

The thing that stood out to me is the darker tone that set for this movie, I am excited to see how dark Whedon takes the film. With new characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (played by Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), and a much darker story, this movie looks to be one of the great superhero movies. Along with this, we have Andy Serkis (who’s character’s name is unknown as of this time) and James Spader, playing Ultron, who looks to be one of the best super villains. The trailer has made this movie look much darker and I actually think that this movie will end up being better than the first, which is no easy task.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to be released on 1 May 2015

1. Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens

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I just couldn’t resist putting this at number one. I’m excited to return to the Star Wars universe after the last film, Revenge of the Sith was released 10 years ago and J.J. Abrams is in my opinion a great person to start the new trilogy off. Everything from the cast to the director and story looks great and seems to be going in a better direction.

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, Harrison Ford, Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels return to their roles after many decades, which is very exciting. The new additions to the cast include Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, and Max von Sydow. So far, everything I’ve heard is quite good, the director is good, the cast is good and there is a great potential for an incredible story. I don’t know if it would be as good as the original trilogy but I’m certain that it is better than the prequels. The teaser trailer makes the movie look incredible and much better than the prequels. After everything I know of The Force Awakens, I can say that I’m certain that this film will not let anyone down.

Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens is scheduled to be released on 18 December 2015

There are a lot of movies that I’ve heard of recently that sound very interesting. As I made the list already though, they might have missed making it. Had I heard of them earlier, I may have included them on the list. Many of the movies do sound very good and should be noticed, so I think I should mention them and give my quick thoughts on them.

Honourable Mentions

True Story

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Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) is a recently terminated New York Times journalist who’s struggling for work after a story gone wrong. One day, he receives a phone call from a man regarding an FBI Most Wanted individual named Christian Longo (James Franco), who’s been captured and claimed to be living as Finkel. Longo and Finkel meet and form a potentially marriage shattering bond while Longo is in prison awaiting his trial. Finkel exchanges journalism tips for the real events behind Longo’s alleged heinous acts of murdering his family. Through the twists and turns in the movie, only at the end will Finkel uncover the True Story.

The main reason I’m interested in this movie is the acting. The acting looks really good here, especially from Jonah Hill who has been on a winning streak recently with roles in movies like Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. Along with that, the story does actually look pretty interesting, and it’s based on a true story. If all goes well this might be one of the best movies of the year.

Carol

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Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman, Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett).

Carol is based on a book, The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. Again, like True Story, the reason I’m most looking forward to this movie is the acting. The two standouts in the cast for me is Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who are really great actresses and I’m sure that they will be really good in their roles.

The Revenant

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It’s about a frontiersman, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), in the 1820s who sets out on a path of vengeance against his companions John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) and Andrew Henry (Domhall Gleeson) who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

The main reason I’m looking forward to this movie again is for the acting, particularly from Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Alejandro González Iñárritu is another reason to be excited. Even though I haven’t seen his 2014 film Birdman yet (I can’t see it for at least a couple months), everything that I’ve heard about it is great. The story is also quite an interesting one, it’s a revenge movie. The Revanant is a revenge film directed by a great director with an excellent cast. What’s not to love?

Macbeth

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Spurred on by an eerie prophecy of the power he could gain if he were King, Macbeth (Michael Fassbender), an army general, murders Duncan, the King of Scotland, and takes the throne. However, his guilt, and that of his wife (Marion Cotillard), may prove to be their undoing.

I haven’t read the play of Macbeth but I know of the type of story and characters that Macbeth has. From what I know of the characters, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are so far perfectly cast in this movie. These actors are the main reason I’m interested in this movie, as well as the type of story that it has, which is very interesting. If all goes well, this movie may end up getting some nominations at the Oscars.

Knight of Cups

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Knight of Cups is a story of a man, temptations, celebrity, and excess from director Terrence Malick. Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep. Rick’s (Christian Bale) father used to read this story to him as a boy. The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth?

I will be honest, I’ve never seen a movie by Terrence Malick so far, I just haven’t gotten around the time to doing it but I know that he’s a great filmmaker. Just based on what I know of the film, Knight of Cups looks like a great movie. It’s not entirely clear to me what the story is but it does look quite interesting. Another thing that excites me the most is the great cast with actors like Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman; all who, from the trailer looks like they give great performances. Overall, everything I’ve heard so far is great and will hopefully result in one of the year’s best films.

Thank you for taking the time to read my list. Let me know in the comments what your most anticipated movies of the year are.