With 2013's movies all released (at least in the major markets—sorry, Real America, you'll have to wait until January for August: Osage County) it's time to start looking ahead to 2014. So without further ado, here's a list of some of our most eagerly anticipated films for the coming year. Some of them we are genuinely excited for; others were are awaiting with dread. All of them should be out in 2014. There will surely be more to get excited about as the year goes on, but here is what we're already chomping at the bit to see.
The Monuments Men - February 7. George Clooney's "Oceans 11 during World War II with art" movie was supposed to come out at the end of 2013 but was delayed in order to give Clooney and company more time to finish it. Being moved out of Oscar season would normally be a warning sign, but Clooney insisted all is well, and he is just so darn trustworthy. The movie, if nothing else, looks like good, old-fashioned fun: a wholesome picture about a group of art-inclined folks fighting the Nazis in their own special way with a bunch of actors you can't help but like. Among them? Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchett.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - March 7. Wes Anderson's latest looks positively delightful in that positively Wes Anderson way. Ralph Fiennes is a dapper concierge who has a thing for old women, one of whom is played by an aged-up Tilda Swinton. A whole bunch of Anderson's usual company are back for this one—Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson—and we can't wait.
Veronica Mars - March 14. Of course we are eager to see how Rob Thomas envisioned the futures of our favorite characters from the beloved, short-lived TV show of the same name, but the big question the Veronica Mars movie will answer is whether or not the Kickstarter project that yielded it will be known ultimately as a triumph or a setup for a massive letdown.
Divergent - March 21. Divergent has a lot riding on it as the heir to the Hunger Games legacy, but it also has a lot to prove so it doesn't end up like Beautiful Creatures or City of Bones. Veronica Roth's Y.A. series is fervently beloved by its legions of fans, and the film has collected a great cast including rising star Shailene Woodley. Hopes are high and expectations could prove correct.
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 - March 21. You can watch the first part of Lars von Trier's epic sex flick at home starting on March 6, but why not go see it in a theater for an especially awkward outing? If not, you could also always go see Muppets Most Wanted, opening on the same date.
Only Lovers Left Alive - April 11. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as vampires in this Jim Jarmusch film that has already hit the festival circuit? Sign us up.
Transcendence - April 8. Christopher Nolan's cinematographer breaks out on his own with this sci-fi story of artificial intelligence. This could also be Johnny Depp's return to less schtick-y acting, or at least we hope it is.
The Other Woman - April 25. This comedy is your chance to see both Kate Upton and Nicki Minaj test their acting skills. That alone has us sold. The film also features Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz who team up to take revenge on the scumbag who screwed both of them over (played by Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones).
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - May 2. Marc Webb's first time directing Andrew Garfield as the webslinger was unexpectedly delightful. The second go around has more franchise hopes on its shoulders and a plethora of villains that could potentially make it feel overstuffed. We're hoping that it lives up to the first film, or that at least the fantastic chemistry between Garfield and Emma Stone remains in tact.
Godzilla - May 16. Who would've thought that a Godzilla reboot would be something to get worked up about? But the first trailer for the film was so packed with wonderful character actors that our interest was piqued.
X-Men: Days of Future Past - May 23. Bryan Singer summoned basically all the stars that have ever been in an X-Men movie (and then cut Anna Paquin's Rogue) for this time-hopping extravaganza. It could be good revisionist history fun like First Class or it could be one huge mutant mess.
Maleficent - May 30. We've learned to be wary of Disney's live action takes on classic stories. Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful didn't do much to inspire us, but there's something about Angie's cheekbones as this Sleeping Beauty villain that make us think this could be a creepy joy. Or that it could just inspire drag queens for years to come.
The Fault in Our Stars - June 6 This is Shailene Woodley's second big Y.A. adaptation, and while this one doesn't have franchise potential, it has readers' high hopes attached. John Green's book is simply the story of two teens with cancer who fall in love, but it's wonderfully resistant to being maudlin even though you'll totally be sobbing by the end of it.
Jupiter Ascending - July 18. The Wachowskis are at it again, and this time they put Channing Tatum in eyeliner.
Guardians of the Galaxy - August 1. Marvel movies have become so rote that we're loathe to get excited for any of them, but Guardians of the Galaxy is something new for Disney and the comic book juggernaut. It's a weird space tale that involves a talking tree (voiced by Vin Diesel) and a talking raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and stars Parks and Recreation's Chris Pratt in his first bid at movie stardom.
The Giver - August 15. Yes, it's another Y.A. adaptation, but the adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved 1993 dystopian story deserves your attention, and not just because the movie will feature Taylor Swift acting alongside Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.
Gone Girl - October 3. Gone Girl is yet another 2014 book-to-film adaptation, but this one has decidedly darker subject matter than, say, Divergent. Gillian Flynn's twisty story about a wife gone missing is so much more than just that, and its literary turns pose significant challenges to filmmakers. If anyone is up for the challenge, though, it's David Fincher, who has assembled a positively bizarre cast for the project, including Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and the girl from the "Blurred Lines" video.
Interstellar - November 7. Christopher Nolan's first post-Batman film as a director is packed with movie stars—McConaughey! Chastain! Hathaway!—and has already produced a very cryptic trailer. It might be brilliant. It might be totally confusing. It might be both. This is Nolan we're talking about here.
Dumb and Dumber To - November 14. It's hard to say whether we're anticipating this one or dreading it, but it should be interesting to see how this long-in-the-works sequel finally turns out. Likely it will be some form of dumb, but, hey, Jennifer Lawrence is in it!
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - November 21. You know the drill. More hunger. More games. More Julianne Moore (as President Alma Coin; President of what, you ask? That's a very good question).
Exodus - December 12. Ridley Scott is taking the likes of Christian Bale and Aaron Paul to Egypt. Scott's track record hasn't been great of late, what with The Counselor either confounding, repulsing, or boring its audiences, but it should be worth seeing what he turns up with here.
Annie - December 19. We can't say we have high hopes for the Quvenzhané Wallis-starring, Will Gluck-directed, Jay-Z-produced interpretation of the classic musical. First of all, there's Cameron Diaz's Miss Hannigan hair. Second of all, they changed Daddy Warbucks's name to Benjamin Stacks. But perhaps we should be approaching this with the titular orphan's trademark optimism.
Into The Woods - December 25. Opening just a week out from Annie is another big musical adaptation, this one with perhaps higher Oscar hopes riding on it. Rob Marshall (he of the Best Picture winning Chicago) is directing this Disney adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's show about the dark side of fairytales. Meryl Streep stars as the show's Witch.
Unbroken - December 25. Angelina Jolie is directing the true story of Olympian Louis Zamperini, who was a WWII POW. Not to be confused with Jolie's hubby's WWII movie Fury, opening a month earlier.