The 2013 Film Release Calendar (Films Without Release Dates; M-Z)

The Film Release Calendar is something I do each year to preview the upcoming year’s slate of films. It started as both a way for me to start paying attention to what was coming out (since I was really slacking around the time I started the blog) and to be able to see how well I know myself and how much I know exactly what I’m gonna think about a movie before I even see it.

What I do is, I go through the list of films scheduled to come out in a given year (using my go-to article, Wikipedia’s year in film article), month by month. I write down what they’re about, who’s in them, and generally what my thoughts are on what I see. And then I guess what I think I’m gonna rate it when I see it. Because at this point — I’ve seen so many movies — I know what a movie is gonna be. I’m running about a 70% correct percentage on guessing stuff in January. Plus, that aside, it also gives me a chance to see what movies, come the end of the year, surpassed (or fell way below) my expectations (or everyone’s). So it’s not all just a chance for me to talk about how awesome I am (since, believe me… I’m gonna do that anyway).

Today, we’re looking at the films that currently have no official release date, but are either filming or in post-production, which means they’re most likely going to come out in 2013 (and whatever doesn’t come out, we’ll just roll over into 2014 and make that release calendar easier to do):

Mad Max: Fury Road

Self-explanatory. Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough — it’s another Mad Max movie.

I hope it’s good. 3 stars for now. I’m not gonna lie — I’ve never actually seen any of the films in this franchise. Apparently it also may get a 2014 release. So I have time to revise that rating, potentially.

Magic Magic

In remote Chile, a vacationing young woman begins to mentally unravel; meanwhile, her friends ignore her claim until it’s too late.

Starring Juno Temple, Michael Cera, Emily Browning, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

I hope it’s more psychological than anything. Gives me a Black Narcissus vibe. I’m sure it won’t be that good, but — it’s enough to get me to pay attention to this.

2.5 stars. I need it to show me something before I can think it’ll actually be good.

Man of Tai Chi

In Beijing, a young martial artist’s skill places him in position to experience opportunities and sacrifices.

Directed by and starring Keanu Reeves.

The end.

3 stars.

You know you’ll see this.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Not quite sure what it’s about. Thinking it might have something to do with the Boer Wars.

Idris Elba is Mandela, Naomi Harris is Winnie.

3 stars? No idea.

A Many Splintered Thing

Unrequited love motivates a guy to write about his experiences.

Starring — Chris Evans, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Aubrey Plaza, Topher Grace, Luke Wilson and Philip Baker Hall.

This could be a lot of things, but let’s say 3 stars.

Möbius

A FSB officer fall in love with his agent, an American woman who works as a trader in a Russian bank.

I only mention this because it’s Jean Dujardin’s first film, post-The Artist.

3 stars. I just want to see what it’s like. It sounds intriguing.

Mood Indigo

A woman suffers from an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs.

Directed by Michel Gondry, starring Audrey Tautou and Omar Sy from The Intouchables.

3.5 stars. Could be a lot of things, but Michel Gondry’s films are usually technically interesting, at the very least.

A Most Wanted Man

A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught up in the international war on terror.

Based on a John le Carré novel, directed by Anton Corbijn, who did Control and The American. Starring Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe and Daniel Brühl.

Honestly, what makes you think this won’t be a 4 star movie?

Motel

A criminal bides his time at a seedy motel, waiting for his boss after killing several men and making away with a mystery bag.

Starring Robert De Niro, John Cusack, and Crispin Glover.

This is giving me certain expectations that I just know won’t be met. But — 3 stars. Why. The fuck. Not.

Mud

Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Technically 2012 film,but it’s getting a 2013 release.

Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, who did Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter.

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon and Joe Don Baker.

3.5 stars. I trust Nichols.

Nebraska

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize.

Alexander Payne’s new movie. It’s gonne be entirely in black and white. Will Forte and Bruce Dern are the father and son. Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach and June Squibb are also in it. (This is a good opportunity to check out my Character Actors list, in case you don’t know who those people are.)

4 stars. I’ve liked all of Payne’s movies save one, and even that I might think differently about since it’s almost been a decade since I’ve seen it. Why would this be any different?

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

A guy falls for a woman who’s claimed by a violent crime boss.

Starring Shia LeBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, Til Schweiger, and Melissa Leo.

3 stars. Could be more, could be less. Dunno.

A Night in Old Mexico

Forced to give up his land and his only home, cantankerous Texas rancher Red Bovie isn’t about to go quietly to the dismal trailer park that’s all he can now afford, and instead goes off with his grandson Gally – son of his long-estranged son Jimmy – for one last wild and woolly adventure during a night in Old Mexico.

Starring Robert Duvall and Jeremy Irvine.

3 stars. I hope it’s more, but my hopes aren’t that high.

I just love seeing Duvall on screen.

Night Moves

A drama centered on three environmentalists who plot to blow up a dam.

Kelly Reichardt’s new movie. She did Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy and most recently Meek’s Cutoff.

Starring Dakota Fanning, Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard.

I enjoy Reichardt’s movies. They’re not too interesting to me, so 3 stars. But I’ll see it.

Night Train to Lisbon

Raimund Gregorius, a Swiss Professor abandons his lectures and buttoned-down, life to embark on a thrilling adventure that will take him on a journey to the very heart of himself.

I originally thought this might be a remake of Night Train to Munich. It doesn’t seem to be.

Starring Mélanie Laurent, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Lena Olin, Charlotte Rampling, Rom Courtenay, Bruno Ganz, and — Christopher Lee.

Sounds good. 3.5 stars.

Nina

The story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson.

Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone and David Oyelowo (who is apparently the new Chiwetel Ejiofor. He was in Last King of Scotland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Help, Red Tails, and The Paperboy. He’s also the dude who is in the opening scene of Lincoln as the guy who recites the speech) is Henderson.

I’ll bite.

Also — female writer/director! (This is my new thing. Celebrating this when it’s not bad, broad comedies or Kathryn Bigelow movies.)

3 stars.

Non-Stop

An air marshall must spring into action aboard an international flight.

Done by the Taken guy and starring…

Oh, you fucking know who it’s starring…

Liam Neeson.

Of course Liam Neeson.

Julianne Moore is also in it. As is Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Corey Stoll and Linus Roache.

3 stars. We know what we’re getting here. I hope it’s higher. I can’t assume the badass quotient will be high, but I can guarantee 3 stars as a baseline, with a half-star swing in either direction.

Nymphomaniac

A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

Lars von Trier’s new movie, with real sex scenes, apparently. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Jamie Bell, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Connie Nielsen, Willem Dafoe, Jesper Christensen, Udo Kier, apparently Uma Thurman — he’s got a cast.

3.5 stars. Von Trier’s movies are often interesting to me. I don’t love them, but I respect them. That’s the definition of a 3.5 star rating for me.

Only Lovers Left Alive

A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries.

Directed by… wait for it…

Jim Jarmusch.

Starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Anton Yelchin.

I’ll bite.

3.5 stars. The premise is intriguing.

Out of the Furnace

Two brothers live in the economically-depressed Rust Belt, when a cruel twist of fate lands one in prison. His brother is then lured into one of the most violent crime rings in the Northeast.

It’s the next movie by Scott Cooper, who did Crazy Heart.

Starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepard.

4 stars. The cast leads me to believe there’s quality material here.

Passion

A young businesswoman plots a murderous revenge after her boss and mentor steals her idea.

It’s a 2012 film, sort of. It’s Brian De Palma’s movie with Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. I didn’t preview it in 2012 because I was pretty certain it wouldn’t come out for 2012, and look at that.

But yeah, I’ve been on this for a while.

I want to give De Palma the benefit of the doubt and say 3.5 stars, but reviews haven’t been too positive, so, 3 stars.

Pawn

A petty robbery spirals into a tense hostage situation after three gunmen hold up a diner that’s a front for the mob.

Starring Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Marton Csokas, Stephen Lang, Michael Chiklis, Nikki Reed and Common.

Yeah… 2.5 stars. Could be 3, but I won’t hold my breath.

Pawn Shop Chronicles

A missing wedding ring leads to a wild-goose chase involving meth addicts, skinheads and an Elvis impersonator.

I love these kinds of movies. They’re usually not good, but I love them nonetheless.

This is by the guy who did The Cooler, which was a great movie. He also did Running Scared, which I haven’t seen, and Crossing Over, which was one I was gonna see (and may have), but never did, because they barely released it in theaters.

The cast includes: Elijah Wood, Paul Walker, Brendan Fraser, Vincent D’Onorio, Thomas Jane, Matt Dillon, Lukas Haas, DJ Qualls, Rachelle Lefevre, Chi McBride and Ashlee Simpson, of all people.

3 stars. Maybe more, but — we’ll stick with 3. No need to get overexcited.

Penthouse North

A reclusive photojournalist lives quietly in a New York penthouse, until a smooth but sadistic criminal looking for a hidden fortune enters her life.

Starring Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan. Keaton is the criminal.

Very excited. 3 stars, hoping for 3.5.

The Philosophers

At an international school in Jakarta, a philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty graduating seniors to choose which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race in the event of a nuclear apocalypse.

I hope this is some fucked up Ladybug Ladybug shit.

Have you ever seen Ladybug Ladybug? It’s this great Frank Perry movie from 1963. (And I highly recommend Frank Perry movies. He’s such an underrated filmmaker. He was nominated for Best Director for David and Lisa in 1962 (which was a year that included Lawrence of Arabia and To Kill a Mockingbird in that category), which is this sweet romance between psych patients, and also did this movie The Swimmer with Burt Lancaster, which is one of those movies that nobody in Hollywood would ever have the balls to make — he’s this middle-aged dude who decides to swim all the way home through all his neighbors pools. It’s just — see it. It’s so weird and great. He also did Last Summer, which I raved about in the Best Supporting Actress 1969 article. Catherine Burns is so fucking great in that movie, and Diary of a Mad Housewife, which Carrie Snodgress was nominated for Best Actress for in 1970. Most people know him as the guy who did Mommie Dearest — he’s got some really interesting films on his resume that are way outside the norm.)

Anyway, Ladybug Ladybug is this tiny movie about a classroom of kids — seven, eight years old, something like that — during the Cuban missile crisis. It’s during that time when they had nuclear failsafes and shit, in case the Russians dropped the bomb on us. Those days. So what happens is, this school’s nuclear attack alarm goes off, and it’s the kind of thing where — if it goes off, shit went down. They can’t get in contact with anyone else, and they don’t know the alarm was tripped by accident. So they think that’s it, the nuclear holocaust is upon us. So the teacher walks the students through the countryside to this bomb shelter, and we watch as everyone starts to unravel, and shit gets very “Lord of the Flies” — the teacher wigs out and abandons the kids, the kids start forming alliances and shit and not letting the people they don’t like into the shelter because they don’t want them there when they repopulate the earth and shit — it’s really fucked up and amazing. A terrific Cold War paranoia commentary.

Check it out. Check out all of Frank Perry’s movies. I still need to see a nice handful of them, but the ones I have seen (save like, one) have all been really good. And the great thing about them is how unconventional they all are. They’re about topics that nobody would have talked about during that time. Diary of a Mad Housewife is about a housewife who is bored in her marriage, and at the time, the deal was — that wasn’t okay. So the joke with the title is — there’s nothing wrong with her, they just think there is because it wasn’t acceptable for a wife to be upset in a marriage. This is shit they’d have never covered in Hollywood, unless it was a Debbie Reynolds movie, and at the end of it everyone ended up together and happy again and it was just a phase. He dealt with some real dark shit in some very interesting ways.

Anyway — I’m hoping this ends up being like that. It starts a bunch of young actors,  the three most prominent people in the movie being Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Daryl Sabara (from Spy Kids and one of my favorite hidden gems of the past decade — World’s Greatest Dad. Oh, and he was the nephew in John Carter. He was Burroughs), and James D’Arcy, who is the teacher.

I have hope this is great. So — 3.5 stars. Probably misguided, but fuck it. If anything, I’ll use being wrong to tell people to watch more Frank Perry movies.

The Playroom

Four children in their attic hideaway make up a fantastic story, while downstairs their parents weave a drunken intrigue of their own.

Mostly I put this here because I saw a trailer the other day and it looked interesting. The synopsis makes it even more intriguing to me. Written and directed by sisters (yeah, female directors and writers!), starring John Hawkes, Molly Parker — and kids.

3.5 stars. I want to root for this. I went from not knowing this existed and never seeing it to going to see it and rooting for it to be good. See why these articles are a good thing?

Plush

A psychologist who can see the memories of his patients and encounters a young woman — a musician with a dysfunctional connection to her bandmate — who possesses the same ability

It’s a Catherine Hardwicke movie. For those keeping track — not a fan of Thirteen, not a fan of her Mary and Joseph movie, not a fan of Twilight (which wasn’t really her, but still), and hated Red Riding Hood. So we’re on solid footing, I feel.

2 stars.

Don’t even think I’m not being consistent.

The Power of Few

Religious conspiracy collides with urban crime in a story told from multiple perspectives.

I really only put this here because I saw a trailer a few days ago and it featured Christopher Walken as a homeless man preaching about cloning Jesus or something. I was sold before he started talking.

Christian Slater is also in it, and Q’orianka Kilcher, who was Pocahontas in The New World. Anthony Anderson is in this too.

No fucking idea what it’s gonna be, but I’ll see it.

I remember the trailer looking like it was shot with handheld cameras — one of those horrible looking movies people joke about. So that’s good be good.

2.5 stars. I don’t know, but I’ll be paying attention to it.

The Pretty One

When a woman’s identical prettier twin sister dies, the woman assumes her sister’s identity, moving into her apartment and the big city.

Starring Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, John Carroll Lynch, and — female director! I’m telling you, this is my new thing.

3 stars. I’m sure 2.5 is most likely, but fuck it. We’ll support the women.

The Railway Man

A victim from World War II’s “Death Railway” sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story.

Not a great synopsis there, IMDB.

Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Irvine, and that badass Japanese guy who was the BAMF samurai in Last Samurai, Kaneda in Sunshine, was in Rush Hour 3 and Speed Racer — he’s also in The Wolverine and 47 Ronin — I like the cast. Plus that guy is awesome.

You know what? 3.5 stars. Doing it for you, Hiroyuki Sanada. Because you kept going even when you were being shot by a fucking gatling gun.

Can you tell I’ve been doing way too many film write-ups today?

Reach Me

A drama centered on a group of people who all have a connection to a self-help book authored by a reclusive former football coach.

Starring Sylvester Stallone. And Thomas Jane, Cary Elwes, Terry Crews, Kyra Sedgwick, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Berenger, Tom Sizemore, Kevin Connelly — jesus, it just keeps on going.

I like all of these people.

Well fuck it — no, actually, I take that back before I even say it. 3 stars. Let’s let it become a 3.5 star movie on its own. I held my horses there real fast.

Reasonable Doubt

A District Attorney has his life turned upside down when he’s involved in a hit and run and another man is arrested for his crime and charged with murder.

It’s one of those Samuel L. Jackson straight to DVD type movies.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

3 stars.

Red Machine

Two estranged brothers reunite at their childhood home in the Alaskan wild. They set out on a two-day hike and are stalked by an unrelenting grizzly bear.

I remember when i was in high school, and my friend and I would stay up on the phone until 3:30 in the morning every night, we’d look in IMDB for really shitty movies and read the reviews of them. One one time we found this movie called Grizzly Rage, and someone wrote this hilarious review that was like, “The director of this movie knows nothing of bear safety or behavior.” It was really funny.

2.5 stars. What, I gotta talk about the films specifically? I don’t give a fuck about this. I mean, yeah, Scott Glenn, Adam Beach, Thomas Jane, Billy Bob Thornton, James Marsden and Piper Pierabo are in it, but it’s about a fucking stalker grizzly bear. What can you say about something like that?

Romeo and Juliet

A modern day retelling of Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinkin’ Your Juice in the Hood.

Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, Stellan Skarsgard, Paul Giamatti — and other people. Why am I wasting time? You know what the fuck the story is.

2.5 stars. When are these stories ever really that interesting? There’s only a certain number of ways to skin a Shakepseare play. It’s not exactly like this is Baz Luhrmann doing it.

Scribble

Scribble is a comedy about a dysfunctional group of aspiring novelists whose belief in the motto “all for one” starts to crumble when the youngest member becomes an overnight success.

Not wasting time — 2.5 stars. Probably won’t even see it.

Serena

In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton’s timber empire becomes complicated when it is learned that his wife, Serena, cannot bear children.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper star, and it’s directed by the woman who won the foreign film Oscar for… I wanna say… In a Better World. Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones are also in this.

3.5 stars. I like period pieces.

A Single Shot

The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.

Yeah, Deliverance with hunters instead of rafters!

Sam Rockwell is Moon, and William H. Macy is in this, Melissa Leo, Jeffrey Wright, Jason Isaacs, Kelly Reilly, Ted Levine (of course Ted Levine is in this) — that’s a great cast.

Fuck it, 3.5 stars. I trust these people. 3 stars is most likely, but let’s have fun.

The Skeleton Twins

After coincidentally cheating death on the same day, estranged twins Milo and Maggie reunite to confront how their lives went so wrong; for Maggie, it means re-examining her marriage, which Milo tracks down his ex-lover, Rich.

Starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.

Uhh… 2.5 stars. I don’t know.

Snowpiercer

AD 2031, the passengers in the train are the only survivors on Earth.

Directed by the guy who did The Host, and starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer.

Interesting. 3 stars. Mostly I’m curious more than anything. The premise sounds pretty good.

Some Girls

No synopsis, but it was written by Neil LaBute and stars Kristen Bell, Jennifer Morrison, Emily Watson, Adam Brody, and Zoe Kazan.

LaBute’s stuff is usually 3 stars. So let’s go with that. I like the cast.

Spring Breakers

Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.

I’m sure you know all about this, from the barrage of on-set photos of all the stars in bikinis, to the qualifying run they gave this movie in the hopes that James Franco might get an Oscar nomination, to the fact that it’s a Harmony Korine movie (ever see Gummo? Or Kids, which he wrote? If not, you don’t know why this is hilarious to the rest of us) starring Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens (if you ever wanted the ultimate “shed your Disney image” statement — that wasn’t porn — this is about a far as you could go, save maybe a Showgirls or something), and Ashley Benson and Korine’s own daughter, Rachel. And Franco plays, as you can see, a weird drug dealer guy. And Heather Morris from Glee is in this too.

It’s — I can’t wait. This is gonna be so fucked up.

3.5 stars. The sheer audacity of it all makes me want to go 3.5. 3 is most likely, but — man, this — I’m not gonna say anything else. Just bring on the movie already.

The Spectacular Now

No synopsis, but it’s by the guy who did Smashes, and I believe is about high school kids who meet and get together and drink and stuff. Something like that.

Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller are the stars. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bob Odenkirk are also in it.

3.5 stars. Seems like something I’d enjoy. Plus Smashed was pretty great.

The Starving Games

Just gonna give you two words and that’ll cover everything:

Friedberg. Seltzer.

Over 9,000 stars.

Straight A’s

Pressured by his deceased mother’s ghost to return home to the family he abandoned, a former addict grabs a bag of pills and a sack of marijuana and hits the road to Shreveport.

I can’t tell if this is supposed to be a joke or not.

Starring Anna Paquin, Ryan Phillippe and Luke Wilson.

2.5 stars. I — I couldn’t tell you what the fuck this is supposed to be. I doubt I’ll see it, but stranger things have happened.

I’ll let you know once I get to Shreveport.

Tarzan

Tarzan and Jane Porter face a mercenary army dispatched by the evil CEO of Greystoke Energies, a man who took over the company from Tarzan’s parents, after they died in a plane crash.

Not happening. Won’t see it. Unless it’s a real Unforgivable shoo-in.

2 stars. All major teen actors turned this down, and the guy doing it was like the eighth lead in Twilight or something. That tells you all you need to know right there.

Ten

Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.

David Ayer is directing and it’s a Schwarzenegger movie. Sam Worthington and Joe Manganiello and Harold Perrineau and Terrence Howard and Olivia Williams are also in it.

It has a January 2014 release date, but I can’t trust them to not stick it in 2013 anyway.

3 stars, and I’ll probably have to talk about it for next year anyway. But at least I don’t have to think about the rating all that much, since I’m all but assured to be doing it again in January.

Therese

Therese and her lover Laurent murder Camille, Therese’s husband. After marrying, the couple are visited by Camille’s ghost, slowly turning their love for one another into an all-consuming hatred.

Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Jessica Lange, Tom Felton, Oscar Isaac, Matt Lucas, Mackenzie Crook and Shirley Henderson.

3 stars. Pretty standard stuff, it seems.

The Third Person

Three interlocking love stories involving Three couples in Three Cities: Rome, Paris, and New York.

Interesting. Starring Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Adrien Brody, Maria Bello, Casey Affleck and Kim Basinger.

Written and directed by Paul Haggis.

3.5 stars. Gotta be, right?

Touchy Feely

A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother’s foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.

Starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston and Allison Janney. By the (female!) director of Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister.

2.5 stars. Still, though — female director. Like seeing that.

Toy’s House

Three unhappy teenage boys head into the wilderness with a plan to build a house and live off the land.

The cast includes Alison Brie, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Angela Trimbur, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Hannibal Buress.

The premise is what got this here.

3 stars.

Trance

An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.

It’s Danny Boyle’s new movie.

James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel.

I trust Danny Boyle.

3.5 stars. I should say 4, but we’ll go 3.5. I feel safe with 3.5.

The Trials of Cate McCall

A former hotshot lawyer, now in recovery and estranged from her family, in order to be reinstated at the bar and recover custody of her daughter, must take on the appeal of a woman wrongfully convicted of murder.

Female director!

Starring Kate Beckinsale, Nick Nolte, James Cromwell, Clancy Brown, Taye Diggs, Isaiah Washington — I like this cast. Some nice character actors in there.

3 stars. I hope it’s higher.

Trust Me

Written and directed by Clark Gregg.

Starring Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet, William H. Macy, Allison Janney, Molly Shannon, and Felicity Huffman.

No idea what it’s about, so I have to give a blanket 3 stars.

Twelve Years a Slave

A man living in New York during the mid-1800s is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south.

Steve McQueen’s new movie, after Shame and Hunger.

Starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Quvenzhane Wallis, Michael K. Williams, Paul Giamatti, Garrett Dillahunt, Dwight Henry, Alfre Woodard and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

4 stars. How can you not trust Steve McQueen at this point?

The Two Faces of January

A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer.

Directed by the guy who wrote the script for Drive. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac.

I want to say 3.5 stars. If anything, I’m figuring a meaty 3 stars. So we’ll go 3.5.

Two Mothers

A pair of childhood friends and neighbors fall for each other’s sons.

Naomi Watts and Robin Wright are the mothers. It’s — interesting, the premise.

3 stars. This could play out a lot of ways. So let’s see how it plays out.

Untitled Diablo Cody project

After surviving a plane crash a young conservative woman suffers a crisis of faith.

This was originally called “Lamb of God,” but they’re changing it, it seems.

Julianne Hough is the woman, Holly Hunter is her mother, I believe. Russell Brand is in it, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman — honestly, I hear Diablo Cody and I’m sold. She misstepped for me with Jennifer’s Body but I felt she rebounded very nicely with Young Adult. I loved that script.

So I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here. I felt like when I heard the full premise of the script — from her, even. I heard he talk about it somewhere — I said, “That sounds really interesting.”

So we’ll go 3.5 stars, but I expect this could be 4.

Untitled Terrence Malick Project

Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.

It’s the companion movie to Knight of Cups.

Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Michael  Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Benicio Del Toro, Bérénice Marlohe, Holly Hunter, Clifton Collins Jr. — it seems like the two movies intersect, and the overlapping cast is because they figure marginally in the second story.

Either way, it’s Terrence Malick, and he earns a base 4 star rating no matter what based on his track record.

Upstream Color

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

It’s Shane Carruth, who did Primer, which I haven’t seen. People are crazy for it, though, so I’m excited to watch it, whenever that may be.

No idea what I’m gonna think of either film, so I guess 3 stars has to be a blanket until I can be more informed with his work to give a more accurate guess.

Very Good Girls

Two New York City girls pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.

Oh, look, another virginity movie with Dakota Fanning. Elizabeth Olsen is also in it too. They’re the friends. Demi Moore is in it and Peter Sarsgaard is too. And Ellen Barkin, Richard Dreyfuss, Clark Gregg — wow, the cast is really good, actually. And — female director! Fuck yeah!

3 stars. I can’t in good conscience guess 3.5 here.

The Way, Way Back

Over the course of his summer break, a teenager comes into his own thanks in part to the friendship he strikes up with one of the park’s managers.

Written and directed by the other two writers of The Descendants who aren’t Alexander Payne.

Starring Sam Rockwell, Steve Carrell, Amanda Peet, Allison Janney, AnnaSopia Robb, Toni Collette, Maya Rudolph, and Rob Corddry.

3.5 stars. Why not? There’s really no rhyme or reason for any of these ratings. I just have to give them something. The ultimate goal here is to find shit to watch.

Welcome to the Jungle

A company retreat on a tropical island goes terribly awry.

Starring Adam Brody, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kristen Schaal, Dennis Haysbert and Rob Huebel.

I have no fucking idea what this is gonna be, but we’re all interested, right?

2.5 stars. I just want to know what this is. It seems like Van Damme is gonna play the crazy guy for laughs. That intrigues me.

Welcome to the Punch

When a notorious criminal is forced to return to London, it gives a detective one last chance to take down the man he’s always been after.

Starring James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, David Morrissey and Peter Mullans.

Sounds relatively interesting.

3 stars.

White Bird in a Blizzard

A young woman’s life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears.

Starring Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Angela Bassett and Gaobourey Sidibe.

Directed by the dude who did Mysterious Skin and Kaboom.

3 stars.

The Wind Rises

A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

Miyazaki. That’s all you need.

5 stars.

Winter’s Tale

A fantasy story set in 19th Century and present-day Manhattan and revolves around a thief, a dying girl, and a flying white horse.

Adapted and directed by Akiva Goldsman, starring Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Kevin Corrigan, Graham Greene and… Eva Marie Saint. She’s like 88!

I’ll go 4 stars here. Why not?

The Wolf of Wall Street

A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration.

We all know about this. Scorsese’s next movie.

Leo, Jonah Hill, McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau, Shea Whigham, Jean Dujardin, Ethan Suplee, Spike Jonze, Rob Reiner, Joanna Lumley, Martin Klebba, Christine Ebersole — Marty always gets a cast.

5 stars. Look, it’s Marty. If this is anything less than 4 stars, I’d be shocked. 4.5 stars is most likely, but fuck it — I like having some 5 star guesses on this list.

Wrong Cops

Oh, Quentin Dupieux.

I seek this dude’s films out now.

This is the guy who came to my attention when I saw the trailer for his film, Rubber, which is about a tire that becomes sentient and starts killing people with its psychic powers. It’s brilliant.

So then I saw he made his film Wrong, which is a 2012 holdover and will be talked about tomorrow. Now, I see, he made this.

A group of bad cops look to dispose of a body that one of them accidentally shot.

His films are completely bizarre and absurdist and surreal, so it’s not like we really know what we’re gonna get.

All I’m gonna say is — I’ll be there for them. They’re so great because they don’t give a shit about anything.

3.5 stars. Very excited for this.

You Are Here

A comedy centered on two childhood best friends who embark on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father.

Written and directed by Matthew Weiner, which is apparently what they did during that last Mad Men hiatus.

Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler and… Peter Bogdanovich.

I sort of trust Matthew Weiner, but I don’t trust the first two names in that cast.

3 stars. I’ll wait and see on this one.

The Young and Prodigious Spivet

A 12-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s next movie. (Psst… he did Amélie and A Very Long Engagement.)

4 stars. That’s all you need is his name and I’m good.

You’re Not You

A drama centered on a terminally ill woman and the aimless young woman who becomes her caregiver.

Emmy Rossum seems to be the caregiver and Hilary Swank seems to be the terminally ill woman. (She loves swinging for that Oscar every time, doesn’t she?) Josh Duhamel is in it, as are Ali Larter, Jason Ritter, Marcia Gay Harden, Frances Fisher, Ernie Hudson (Ernie Hudson?!) and Loretta Devine.

2.5 stars. Seems bait-y.

The Zero Theorem

A computer hacker’s goal to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; this time, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.

Terry Gilliam’s next movie, starring Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon, Ben Whishaw, Tilda Swinton, David Thewlis, and Melanie Thierry.

You had me at Terry Gilliam.

3.5 stars.

Zulu

As a child, Ali Neuman narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkhata, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Only he and his mother survived the carnage of those years. But as with many survivors, the psychological scars remain. Today, Ali is chief of the homicide branch of the South African police in Cape Town. One of his staff is Brian Epkeen, a free-wheeling white officer whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid but who works well with Neuman. Together they have to deal with crime that inevitably exists in sprawling areas of un -and under- employed people, crime exacerbated by gangs, both local and from other parts of Africa. Their job gets even more difficult when the corpses of two young women are found. A new evil has been introduced in the city and a new drug has been introduced to its residents, including both murder victims. At the chaotic crossroads where brutality and modernization collide, the echoes of apartheid still resound in the shadows of a society struggling toward reconciliation.

Pretty in depth.

Starring Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker.

I — don’t think I’ll be too interested in this.

2.5 stars. Probably won’t see it.

– – – – – – – – – –

And we’re done. Tomorrow are the leftovers. That is — the films that haven’t shot yet that I’ll mention anyway, on the off chance they do happen (so I don’t randomly have some big movies missing at the end of the year) and the actual leftovers from 2012 that have to come out at some point.

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