Percentages reflect how much each of the three categories (Director, Cast and X factor) contributed to the movie’s ranking.
Release: Not set
With Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Mathieu Amalric, Sarah Gadon, Emily Hampshire
Director: David Cronenberg
- Director (50%) Cast (15%) X: Don DeLillo (35%)
The cast doesn’t overly excite me, but I know Cronenberg can do great things with them. This looks like a very unusual movie for him, although he really has been branching out in the last several years. I haven’t read the source novel, but I do enjoy DeLillo’s work and look forward to what is apparently the first major film adaptation of one of his novels. At this point, the movie looks to be released around December.
19. The Grandmasters
Release: Not set
With Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chen Chang, Cung Le, Hye-kyo Song, Siu-lung Leung, Julian Cheung, Benshan Zhao
Director: Wong Kar Wai
- Director (38%) Cast (24%) X: Martial arts (38%)
The release of this film has been delayed for a couple years already, so it would be heartbreaking not to be able to see it next year. However, I realize that it will be released in Hong Kong first, and I can’t be sure when it will cross the ocean. Whenever I do get to see it, I look forward to WKW’s first action film, and his first movie in Chinese since 2046 (2004). Not having any idea what to expect is what keeps this movie low on the list, unfortunately.
18. Great Expectations
Release: Not set
With Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Robbie Coltrane, Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger, Ewen Bremner
Director: Mike Newell
- Director (15%) Cast (40%) X: Charles Dickens (45%)
This particular novel has been adapted many times, but I do love the story, and none of the other adaptations had Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. Set to be released in England later in the year as part of the celebration of Dickens’ 200th birthday, I’d like to think it’ll be seen across the pond not very long after that. I’ve heard whispers of changes to the story, which is fine by me. If you want a faithful adaptation, no one can beat David Lean.
Release: November 9
With Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Roy Kinnear, Ben Whishaw
Director: Sam Mendes
- Director (8%) Cast (46%) X: 007 (46%)
“The next James Bond film” is still something to look forward to, and this time it will be graced with Roger Deakins’ cinematography. The return of Q brings the hope of a sense of fun returning to the series, which would be nice. Brooding and self-doubt can certainly be refreshing, but eventually Bond has to be Bond. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have not seen a single one of the Oscar winner Sam Mendes’ films, but this looks to be quite different from anything he’s done before.
16. Gangster Squad
Release: October 19
With Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, Nick Nolte, Robert Patrick
Director: Ruben Fleischer
- Director (38%) Cast (42%) X: Crime/Noir (20%)
Zombieland turned out to be one of my favorite movies of 2009. Being Ruben Fleischer’s feature debut made it an exciting start to his career. Now, this film looks nothing like that one, but it will be interesting to see how Fleischer handles the crime genre. He has a wonderful cast to work with, and the historical period of the story always makes for sharp-looking films. Michael Mann’s Public Enemies (2009) didn’t do much for me, so I’m hoping this gangster film will.
15. The Avengers
Release: May 4
With Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgård, Tom Hiddleston
Director: Joss Whedon
- Director (20%) Cast (55%) X: Hype (25%)
Sure, why not? Everyone else, seemingly, is looking forward to this one. It’s a blatant marketing move: let’s take a few successful movies and blend them together into one super-movie. But the world is Marvel’s sandbox. Everything they dream up is possible. This movie will have had a four-year buildup before it finally arrives, and it promises to be fascinating even if it’s terrible. Just look at that cast! Hopefully some of them will get something to do.
Release: October 5
With the voices of Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Martin Short, Robert Capron, Atticus Shaffer, Conchata Ferrell
Director: Tim Burton
- Director (35%) Cast (30%) X: Stop motion animation (35%)
Tim Burton has been doing remakes so long, he’s even started to remake his own stuff. In this case, at least, that doesn’t bother me a bit. For one thing, this is an expansion of a famous short film he made back in the 80’s. For another, it’s a story that’s obviously very near to his heart. It’s very interesting that Burton has never done a straight Frankenstein adaptation, although the themes of that classic permeate his work and he’s adapted just about every other famous story in his wheelhouse. Anyway, I love stop motion animation. It’s so unique and can’t help but reflect the patience and dedication required to pull it off.
Release: June 22
With the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane
Directors: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman
- Directors (15%) Cast (25%) X: Pixar (60%)
“The next Pixar film” is, to say the least, more exciting to me at face value than “the next James Bond movie” or “the next superhero movie.” After the hiccup of Cars 2, this one, we all hope, will be a return to form for the masters of animation. Invading Pixar’s boys’ club is their first female protagonist. Although nothing I’ve heard or seen so far makes this movie look better than, say, Mulan, I don’t think any Pixar trailer has done justice to how good the movies usually end up being. Pixar has the attention of the world’s children, and if the studio can produce a mesmerizing fairy tale, we’ll have an instant classic.
12. Nero Fiddled
Release: Not set
With Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Alessandra Mastonardi, Alison Pill, Judy Davis
Director: Woody Allen
- Director (40%) Cast (50%) X: Romantic comedy (10%)
Easily the least portentous film on my list, and not coincidentally the only comedy. Unfortunately, this movie gets knocked down a spot just because of the title change. Sure, The Bop Decameron was confusing to some people, but it sounded very cool and was memorable. Nero Fiddled, not so much, but we’ll have to live with that. Woody Allen has done New York, London, Barcelona and Paris, and now he makes a film in Rome. I think the presence of Jesse Eisenberg is probably the most exciting thing about this film. He was born to be in one of these.
11. Dark Shadows
Release: May 11
With Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote
Director: Tim Burton
- Director (40%) Cast (50%) X: Vampire (10%)
That’s right, Tim Burton will be releasing two films next year, and I’m looking forward to both of them. I did enjoy some of his films from the 00’s, but Alice in Wonderland did not feel like a personal film for him at all. Dark Shadows, on the other hand, was a TV series that he grew up loving, and it’s a cult show, so this might turn out well. Johnny Depp as a vampire might be the main attraction, but there are quite a few members of the cast that I’m looking forward to seeing again. I’m prepared for disappointment (Burton may be past his prime), but this one still gets a pretty good spot on the list.