10 Movies To Watch For in 2014

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A lot of the movie announcements we are reading these days are for films that are scheduled to hit theaters in 2015 and beyond. That year is likely going to be one of the biggest and most profitable years for film in history. I don’t think I’m exaggerating that fact either. With films like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII, Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Batman Vs. Superman, Fantastic Four, Ted 2, Bond 24, Terminator: Genesis, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2, and many more, there will be a lot of films to draw people to theaters. I think we can agree that 2015 will be a mind-blowing year for films.

But, next year will also be a year to look forward to in regards to film and should not be overlooked. Of course, there are several comic book films to look forward to, some great action/adventure popcorn movies, as well as the usual sleeper films that no one sees coming and goes on to make a kazillion dollars at the box office. What I’ve done here, or at least tried to do, is compile a list of the films you should be keeping an eye on next year. I know there will be films I’ve missed and in order to capture more that ten, you’ll find a few “Honorable Mentions” towards the bottom.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Release Date: April 4th
Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Van Camp, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and Cobie Smulders
What You Need To Know: The sequel to Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger focuses on Cap’s adjustment to the modern world after the events of The Avengers. He, along with Black Widow and their newest ally, Falcon, must take on a new threat that comes via an old friend: The Winter Soldier. The film, as with the past few Marvel films and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy (see below), serves as a lead-in piece for Avengers: Age of Ultron. How the events of The Winter Soldier tie into that film is unknown at this time.  
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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Release Date: May 23rd
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy and Evan Peters
What You Need To Know: Bryan Singer brings together his original cast with the cast of X-Men: First Class in a film that will center on time travel. The two teams must find a way to change pivotal events from happening to save mutant kind. The cast is one of the most impressive and talented ever gathered, and not just for a comic book movie. Add to that the famed Days of Future past story line and you have yourself and potentially epic film. However, Fox and Singer have a bit of a reputation for altering things to the point of almost making things unrecognizable. Hopefully they won’t veer too off course. As we just learned, this film will serve as a direct lead-in to its sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: August 1st
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Djimon Hounsou
What You Need To Know: Guardians of the Galaxy marks Marvel’s first venture into the cosmic world. We’ve gotten a brief taste of it in the two Thor films, but this one will be a baptism by fire. The nerd world is quite excited for this film, but it is a tad bit of a gamble in regards to the general movie going audience. The film will be the final puzzle piece in the studio’s Phase 2, before we see Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. Expect to see a tie-in or two, likely as a mid-credit or end-credit scene. The actors involved in the film have been extremely optimistic so  far, and the mid-credit scene in Thor: The Dark World certainly gave us a good look at what to expect.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Release Date: May 2nd
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Chris Cooper, Felicity Jones, BJ Novak, Colm Feore and Sarah Gadon
What You Need To Know: The Amazing Spider-Man was a rather polarizing film for most fans. Some enjoyed Marc Webb‘s more dark take on the character, which also added the smart-ass element that had been missing in Sam Raimi’s films. However, the film fell victim to some rather choppy and severe editing, causing the film to have some large plot holes. Hopefully, that problem won’t happen again. The problem this go-round is the odd approach to character design, namely Rhino and Goblin, which look more like a Transformer and Billy Idol, respectively. We got just a teaser of the film last week, but that doesn’t change the fact that they look a tad weird.

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The Hobbit: There and Back Again

Release Date: December 17th
Starring: Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Lee Pace, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm
What You Need To Know: We’re just a few days away from the release of Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy. From what we’ve heard, all the problems that were present in the first film have been fixed and the movie is a great improvement. There have been some deviations from the book, but they also made three films out of a rather short book, so that can be expected. This film will be the closer for the franchise and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a nod to the Lord of the Rings trilogy from a few years back.
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Interstellar

Release Date: November 7th
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Caey Affleck, Michael Caine, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn and McKenzie Foy
What You Need To Know: As with most Christopher Nolan films, he’s keeping things rather close to the chest with Interstellar. What we know so far is that the film will center on a team of space explorers who use a newly discovered worm hole to take the levels of human space travel to a whole new level. Once again, Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan, helped with the screenplay. Nolan surprised a lot of people with Inception a few years ago and I’d expect to see the same thing here: a very story-driven film with a concept that is quite deep. His last film, The Dark Knight Rises, left a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths, so hopefully this one will wipe that clean.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction

Release Date: June 27th
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, TJ Miller, Stanley Tucci, Bingbing Li
What You Need To Know: Michael Bay recently reiterated that this film is not a reboot. It takes place in the same “universe” as his previous three films, set three years after the events of Dark of the Moon. The returning robots all have a new, edgier design, both in robot form as well as their vehicular counter parts. We don’t yet know the details of the film, specifically who the villain will be. Bay has also said this film will have a more serious tone to it that his previous films. The plan is for him to take the franchise in a new direction with Age of Extinction then allow a new director to take the reigns. We’ll see if that actually happens.

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The Lego Movie

Release Date: February 7th
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Cobie Smulders, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Liam Neeson, Charlie Day and Nick Offerman
What You Need To Know: This will mark the first feature-length film based on the lucrative Lego universe and it looks to b starting things out with a bang. Admittedly, I was rather concerned about this idea, but if the film is half as good as the trailers, we’re in for a good time. Don’t be surprised to see Will Arnett’s Batman character to steal the show. The cast is great, all of them great comedy actors. I’m sure we’ll see something for both the kids and the adults with this one.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Release Date: August 8th
Starring: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, William Fichtner, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Woodburn, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard and Pete Ploszek
What You Need To Know: I include this film on the list only in the hopes that it will be better than we are all expecting. Despite denying the rumors several times, the “alien” concept keeps rearing its ugly head. The only possible saving grace I see for this film is the fact the the fighting and action scenes are being compared to those of the high-impact flick The Raid. While I’d love to see that paired with the Ninja Turtles, I just can’t see it happening. I’m hoping this crap-filled freight train won’t come to an end in a fiery disaster, but all signs are pointing to that.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 18th
Starring: Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smitt-McPhee and Kirk Acevedo
What You Need To KnowRupert Wyatt opted to not return for this anticipated sequel, so Cloverfield helmer Matt Reeves took on the project. The film is said to be taking place about 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so we can expect to see a much more evolved ape race, especially their leader, Caesar. We’ve seen a few few set pics in which several of the actors portraying the motion-capture apes are riding horseback. None of the original “human” cast will be returning, but the project is in good hands with Gary Oldman and Keri Russell.

Of course, there are numerous other films coming out next year that are worth a watch, and I’d be here forever if I were to list them all. The films listed above are sure to be among the biggest money-makers, but there are several others that should be recognized as big players at the box office.

Muppets Most Wanted
Release Date: March 21st
Starring: Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Christoph Waltz, Tom Hiddleston, Zack Galifianakis, Ricky Gervais, Lady Gaga, Ross Lynch, Salma Hayek, Stanley Tucci and Danny Trejo

Godzilla
Release Date: May 16th
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olson, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn

22 Jump Street
Release Date: June 13th
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Ice Cube

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Release Date: August 22nd
Starring: Josh Brolin, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Juno Temple, Jaime King, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Chung, Jeremy Piven and Stacey Keach

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt 1
Release Date: November 21st
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore and Lily Rabe

It truly is hard to narrow this list down to just 15 titles, let alone 10! Just shows that we actually do have some things to look forward to in 2104. There are quite a few other films that are guaranteed to be hits, namely the family films like How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls, Planes: Fire & Rescue, Rio 2, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and the first Disney/Marvel animated team-up Big Hero 6. 

Well, Comic Book Therapy readers, what films are you looking forward to the most? What films are on your most anticipated of 2014? Let us know below!

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