Part 1: Honourable Mentions
These all look great, but didn't quite crack the top 10. That said, you can be sure that some of the very best of the year will come from this list (and also from outside this post all together).
Before Midnight - yes, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are at it again after doing so brilliantly with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. They pulled it off twice, so surely they can do it again?
Only God Forgives. Drive duo Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling reunite in a story about a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster who settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match. Sounds cool, and check how fucked up Gosling looks in the above shot from the film.
Blood Ties. The title is balls, but anything from Tell No One director Guillaume Canet and which stars Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Clive Owen, James Caan and Matthias Schoenaerts has my full attention. The story is something about organized crime in Brooklyn in the 70s.
Trance. Danny Boyle is one of my favourite directors, so I am always excited to see his films, even if they have James McAvoy in them. This one is about an art auctioneer who becomes mixed up with a group of criminals and partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.
Serena. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in front of the camera, and Susanne Bier (criminally underrated) behind it. After seeing those two together in Silver Linings Playbook just yesterday, I would watch them in anything! Oh, and the story looks interesting - timber empires, murder, infertility, infidelity and women going crazy. Sweet.
Pain & Gain. This one just needs to be seen because it's about a trio of bodybuilders in Florida who get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. It's directed by none other than Michael Bay, and stars The Rock and Mark Wahlberg. Check out the trailer below and become as curious as I am.
Out of the Furnace. Christian Bale; Woody Harrelson; brothers; Zoe Saldana; Casey Affleck; cruel twist of fate; Willem Defoe; Sam Shepard; Forest Whitaker; violent crime ring. Sold!
Star Trek Into Darkness. Simply because I really enjoyed the last JJ Abrams-directed Star Trek. And Benedict "The Voice" Cumberbatch is the villain.
Rush. Finally, a movie about Formula 1 that might actually be good. Daniel "Frederick Zoller" Brühl plays Niki Lauda and Chris "Thor" Hemsworth is his rival, James Hunt. Ron Howard is behind the camera.
The Counselor. This one is pretty damn close to being in the top 10, and probably should be. The story? "A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking." The lawyer? Michael Fassbender. Those putting him in over his head? Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem. Throw in some Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz for good measure. Fuck me that's a good cast! Wait a second - Cormac McCarthy wrote the screenplay. Why did I not put this in the top 10? Must be something about the top 10 then... (next time).