All things considered, 2013 has been a slow year for the film geeks among us. Sure, there was “Gatsby” to get everyone excited early; “Iron Man 3” and “Man Of Steel” kept the superhero crowd placated, and “Mud” may have been one of those sneaky spring films that ends up competing for some high profile awards. But for the most part, 2013’s best has been saved until the fall and winter, with several promising releases on the horizon. Here are 10 intriguing films still coming this year, and why we can’t wait to see them.
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde
Why We Can’t Wait: Well, for starters, the trailer is one of the most engaging we’ve seen all year. Additionally, Hemsworth and Wilde satisfy our need for eye candy in both genders. But more importantly, this looks like the kind of truly human sports story that only comes around every so often. Some are calling it Ron Howard’s best film to date, and that’s a lofty claim indeed. “Rush” seems to have the potential to make Bruhl a household name and catapult Hemsworth from young start to true Hollywood A-lister.
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson
Why We Can’t Wait: Mostly, because this is the JGL solo project that somehow seems to have been coming for a while. No one doubts Gordon-Levitt’s talent, and he has a natural charm that’s tough not to love. So when we hear he’s written, directed and starred in a project – which happens to be about a young man obsessed with porn, which has lots of comedic potential – we get pretty excited!
Director: Brad Furman
Starring: Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake
Why We Can’t Wait: Because this looks like a boy against the world movie we can all relate to. JT plays a Princeton student who spends his free time making money in online poker – you know, the same guy who lived down the hall from you in college constantly absorbed in this or that casino game online, making and losing money. But when Timberlake’s character gets cheated in a poker game, he seeks out the all-powerful Ivan Block (Affleck), a gambling “entrepreneur” running an offshore criminal enterprise. From that point on, it looks like a fast-paced thriller, and despite poor early reviews, it looks like a blast.
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Starring: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock
Why We Can’t Wait: The easiest answer is that James Cameron came out and called it the best space film ever made. Whether or not you trust Cameron, it’s enormous praise considering Cameron has a budding mega-franchise (set in space, sort of) on his hands with Avatar. But on top of this, “Gravity” looks like one of the most unique films we’ve seen in years. The premise? Clooney and Bullock play two astronauts stranded in space. It looks like one of those films that makes you cringe without letting you look away – in a good way.
Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Tom Hanks
Why We Can’t Wait: Put simply, this is Tom Hanks’ comeback. Not that he ever declined, really, but he hasn’t undergone an ambitious project in years, so his turn as captain of an American ship hijacked by pirates from Somalia – based on the true story of the Maersk Alabama – should be a blast. Plus, there’s that inexplicable tension that Greengrass builds up effortlessly, which should turn this into a moment-to-moment thriller.
The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl
Why We Can’t Wait: It’s the Julian Assange film that nobody was really asking for, and if we’d thought about it before, Wikileaks doesn’t seem like a great topic for a film. But if you watch the trailer, you’ll be convinced. Condon looks to have injected some real pace and thrilling elements into a film perfect for a generation obsessed with content, security, and leaked information. Plus, Cumberbatch is about to be a superstar – it’s a matter of time.
12 Years A Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender
Why We Can’t Wait: History films tend to be hit or miss, but given this extraordinary headline cast, we can’t imagine “12 Years” being the latter. Ejiofor plays the role of Solomon Northup, a freed Afrian-American man sold back into slavery following the Civil War in the United States.
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem
Why We Can’t Wait: This one’s easy: because Cormac McCarthy directly wrote the screenplay! Known for his gritty, harsh plots and settings, McCarthy has a massive collection of excellent novels, many of which have been adapted as popular films. But this is his first foray into big screen writing, and the combination of his enormous talent and this dynamite cast is enough to make us salivate.
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams
Why We Can’t Wait: Last time Russell teamed up with Lawrence and Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook” happened and a surprise Oscar contender was born. This time, they won’t be sneaking up on anybody. A con story from the 70’s, “American Hustle” is positively oozing with star power.
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate
Why We Can’t Wait: Because we’re still laughing from the original “Anchorman.” Sequels to comedies tend to be dangerous, because it’s tough to nail a script the second time around with the same comedic flavor as before. But this film may be different, if only because Will Ferrell and the gang get so many laughs just by, basically, goofing off. Time will tell, but this is one sequel comedy we can’t wait to see.