25 Must-See 2014 Movies | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 4 January 2014

25 Must-See 2014 Movies


It's a brand new year of 2014 and that means there will be tons of new movies to look forward to! Of all the movies are slated to release this year, I have compiled and shortlisted into "25 Must-See 2014 Movies". Here goes:


1. MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM (January 9)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: In this timely biopic (the late Nelson Mandela passed away last year on December 5, 2013), Idris Elba gives his finest performance to date as the iconic figure himself. This is one well-meaning biopic needed to be seen. (Full review coming soon).

2. LONE SURVIVOR (January 14)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Forget about BATTLESHIP. Peter Berg is back in top form with the fact-based military actioner, LONE SURVIVOR. I've seen the movie, and it was great. The cast is top notch, while the action is one of the best combat sequences I've ever seen in a long while (Full review coming soon).

3. HER (January 16)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: A high-concept romance movie about a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) forms an unlikely relationship with a female-voiced intelligent computer operating system (Scarlett Johansson)? Now that is something you don't get to see everyday.

4. JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT (January 16)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: After the once-lucrative franchise stalled with 2002's THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, it's nice to see the JACK RYAN series made a comeback. This time, it's Chris Pine takes over the iconic role previously handled by Alec Baldwin (1990's THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER), Harrison Ford (1992's PATRIOT GAMES and 1994's CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER) and Ben Affleck (2002's THE SUM OF ALL FEARS). On the plus side, there's the inspired casting of Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh (who also the director of this movie) and Keira Knightley in the mix.

5. ROBOCOP (January 30)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Okay, so I admit it's really pity to see visionary director Darren Aronofsky chose to back out the ROBOCOP remake. But still, it's interesting to see acclaimed Brazilian director Jose Padilha, who is best known for his two ELITE SQUAD movies, in his first Hollywood production here. Here's hoping he can stamped his relevant social commentary here in this ROBOCOP remake just like Paul Verhoeven once did successfully with his 1987 original.

6. THE LEGO MOVIE (February 6)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: It's the first LEGO-based movie! That's why.

7. ALL IS LOST (February 20)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: It's always interesting to see a movie where the actor or the actress does a one-man/one-woman show. Case in point: Tom Hanks in 2000's CAST AWAY, James Franco in 2010's 127 HOURS, Suraj Sharma in 2012's LIFE OF PI and Sandra Bullock in 2013's GRAVITY. Adding to the list is the great Robert Redford in ALL IS LOST. And the result? He is just phenomenal! Read my full review here.

8. 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (March 6)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: The stylized comic-book like visual, the endless gore and the blood-splattering violence are back in 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE! Judging by the trailers so far, the battle scene which shifts focus from the first movie's cliff battle to a naval engagement looks visually stunning.

9. THE RAID 2: BERANDAL (March 13)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Have you seen the first full trailer yet? If you still not, check it out here -- it's really awesome! Director Gareth Evans certainly goes all out expanding the scope of his production from the small-scale setting of THE RAID (2012) to this epic action-packed sequel, THE RAID 2: BERANDAL. Oh yeah, do pay attention for the impressive baseball-bashing scene in the trailer.

10. NOAH (TBA)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: This first biblical epic of the year is certainly interesting to check out for. First, acclaimed Darren Aronofsky is finally back on the director's chair since BLACK SWAN (2010). Second, it has plenty of impressive cast here including Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone. Finally, it would be interesting to see how Aronofsky tackles his first big-budget studio production -- to put this way -- in a biblical proportion filled with grand special effects and epic storyline based on Noah's Ark.

11. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (April 3)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Billed as a "political thriller" for this upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, this sequel to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011) and THE AVENGERS (2012) is certainly interesting enough. First, this is Anthony Russo's and Joe Russo's first action-oriented directing gigs, who previously known for comedies such as YOU, ME AND DUPREE and TV's Community. And of course, the brilliant casting of Robert Redford as the S.H.I.E.L.D. head honcho, as well as appearances of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, Sebastian Stan's The Winter Soldier himself and Anthony Mackie's Falcon!


12. TRANSCENDENCE (April 17)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Christopher Nolan's frequent cinematographer, Wally Pfister made his directing debut in this heady sci-fi movie which is not based on any remake or any published material. And have you seen the first trailer? It sure shows a lot of promise for a first-time director like Wally Pfister.

13. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (May 1)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: If you are one of the viewers who get a bit put off from the darker tone of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2012), returning director Marc Webb seems to be addressing that issue and made the sequel here, well, appropriately lively and colorful (at least judging by the trailers so far). That's not all -- the sequel is bold enough to include three recognizable comic-book villains (Electro, Rhino and Harry Osborn) as well as a hint of Sinister Six appearances (to non comic-book fans, it's actually refers to a group of supervillains consisting of Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and Sandman!). Sounds too much like SPIDER-MAN 3? Let's hope Webb knows what he's doing.

14. GODZILLA (May 15)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Forget about the Roland Emmerich's version of GODZILLA. Judging by the first teaser trailer, this GODZILLA remake finally looks like a real deal. Personally, I'm more confident to see Gareth Edwards in his first big-budget production here after impresses the studio with his low-budget MONSTERS (2010).

15. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (May 22)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS director Matthew Vaughn may have been out, but fans will be rejoiced with the return of Bryan Singer, who made the first two original X-MEN movies. Plus, it would be really interesting to see how Singer juggles the parallel storyline between the current and past franchise combined together.

16. EDGE OF TOMORROW (May 29)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: It's GROUNDHOG DAY in a sci-fi mode! Plus, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are in the leads. And not to forget also, it's nice to see director Doug Liman (THE BOURNE IDENTITY, MR. AND MRS. SMITH) made his comeback to the big-budget studio production.

17. TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (June 26)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Yes, Michael Bay lied when he said he's done with the third TRANSFORMERS movie but he's back for the fourth one anyway. Likewise, epic action and big special effects are guaranteed for a Michael Bay movie. But what intrigues me the most is Bay finally introduce the fan-favorite Dinobots in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

18. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (July 10)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Rupert Wyatt's RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011) was a surprise hit and definitely one of the best big-budget remakes I've ever seen. It's a pity that Wyatt chose to back out for this highly-anticipated follow-up, but luckily Fox made a wise choice replacing him with Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD, LET ME IN). And that Caesar's (voiced by Andy Serkis) war-painted face? I'm guessing DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is going to be something more epic and action-packed than the first one.

19. JUPITER ASCENDING (July 24)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: The Wachowski siblings (Lana and Andy) are back in a big-budget sci-fi summer blockbuster with JUPITER ASCENDING. It's based from their original screenplay, and judging from the first trailer, it looks very promising enough.

20. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (July 31)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Of all the Marvel movies that has been made since 2008's IRON MAN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is easily the studio's riskiest project ever tackled. It's based on a second-tier property that isn't known by mainstream viewers, which is of course, made this movie all the more curiously fascinating to check out for. James Gunn (SLITHER, SUPER) is obviously the right director for this out-of-the-world quirky material, while the eccentric cast of characters (including a talking and gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper) reminds me of the Guillermo del Toro's two HELLBOY movies.

21. GONE GIRL (October 2)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Two things: David Fincher and a mystery thriller based on Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel of the same name. So far, Fincher never fails to impress when comes to tackling thriller genre. Need proof? Here goes: SEVEN (1995), THE GAME (1997), PANIC ROOM (2002), ZODIAC (2007) and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011).

22. INTERSTELLAR (November 6)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: After ended THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy on a high note with the spectacular DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012), it's nice to see writer-director Christopher Nolan tackles a original material since INCEPTION (2010). Likewise, details are sketchy about his upcoming sci-fi movie INTERSTELLAR. So far, the official synopsis only indicated that it's about a team of explorers and scientists embark on a space voyage through a wormhole. With intriguing premise and a list of all-star ensemble (Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, and many more), it's really hard not to ignore this at all.

23. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - Part 1 (November 20)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: 2014 movies will never be complete without the mention of THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1. After all, this is the first chapter of the two-part finale from one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.

24. EXODUS (December 11)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: The second biblical epic of the year (first one out of the gate is Darren Aronofsky's NOAH) is a movie about Moses. The Moses character was once famously portrayed the late great Charlton Heston in Cecil B. DeMille's THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), and now it's the versatile Christian Bale's turn to play such an important character. Director Ridley Scott is no stranger to such period epic, having directed the Oscar-winning 2000's GLADIATOR and 2005's KINGDOM OF HEAVEN before with varying degree of success.

25. THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN (December 18)

WHY DOES IT MATTERS?: Last December's THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (read my review here) was an improvement over the bloated HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012). Frankly, I personally thought that two HOBBIT movies are actually more than enough. Then again, I'm hoping Peter Jackson will go all out in this third and final chapter of THE HOBBIT trilogy.

1 comment:

joehaz said...

I'm waiting for robocop! :D