Top 40 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014: Part Three – #11-20

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#18
Stretch
March 21

Stretch

Cinematographer Yasu Tanida filming a stuntman on the set of Stretch
Photo: Joe Carnahan’s Twitter

Joe Carnahan is a director I have faith in when it comes to balls-to-the-wall action flicks, not to mention his best film, the down-in-the-dirt and gritty Narc. Carnahan’s tendencies haven’t necessarily been geared toward films such as Narc as of late, but more toward the absurd actioner such as Smokin’ Aces and The A-Team, but The Grey showed he’s still got an eye for more level-headed drama. Stretch, however, appears to be another trip into the absurd and I’m all for it.

An action comedy/thriller centers on a down-on-his-luck chauffeur (Patrick Wilson) looking to relieve himself of some debt when he starts working for a billionaire who makes his life hell.

#17
Maps to the Stars
TBA

John Cusack in Maps to the Stars

John Cusack in Maps to the Stars
Photo: eOne Films

Written by noted Los Angeles author Bruce Wagner (“Wild Palms”), David Cronenberg‘s latest apparently sets out to take a stab the celebrity-obsessed society of Los Angeles and instead of attempting to boil the plot down in my own words, I’ll allow the following plot synopsis to set the story straight.

My interest here should be obvious, it’s a Cronenberg film, need I say more?

A contemporary tale exploring the demons of our celebrity-obsessed society, story follows the Weiss family, which is led by Stafford (John Cusack), a psychotherapist and life coach who made his fortune with self-help books. His wife (Olivia Williams) is the overbearing mother-manager of their 13-year-old son (Evan Bird), a TV star recently out of drug rehab. Their estranged daughter (Mia Wasikowska) has just been released from a psychiatric hospital and befriended a limo driver (Robert Pattinson) who is also an aspiring actor.

One of Stafford’s celebrity clients is Havana (Julianne Moore), an actress with an unusual new assistant. Havana’s dream of reprising her dead mother’s (Sarah Gadon) starring role from the 1960s slowly crumbles while ghosts, death and all manner of vices collide.

#16
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
July 11

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer

Photo: 20th Century Fox

My highest ranking studio franchise feature is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and now we have news director Matt Reeves has already signed on for the next Apes film so there must be some kind of confidence in the return of Caesar and his furry friends. I wonder, though, can they end it there or will there be an urge to continue the franchise on and on and on, just as they did the original Apes features?

Set 15 years after the events of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will focus on a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis), threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

#15
Calvary
TBA

Calvary movie trailer

Brendan Gleeson in Calvary

I would assume many of you are familiar with Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), but I’d also guess a lot of you aren’t as aware of his brother, John Michael McDonagh, who made his directorial debut with The Guard in 2011, a solid, darkly comic tale well worthy of the family name.

Well, John is back with a new film titled Calvary, centered on a priest (Brendan Gleeson) tormented by his community. The film will make its premiere at Sundance this month, so why don’t you check out The Guard before word of how great (I’m assuming) his latest his?

A darkly comedic drama about a priest (Brendan Gleeson) tormented by his community. Father James is a good man intent on making the world a better place. When his life is threatened one day during confession, he finds he has to battle the dark forces closing in around him.

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