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Our Most-Anticipated Films of 2011

Written by , on February 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm 

Immortals (Tarsem; Nov. 11th)

Synopsis: Greek warrior Theseus battles against imprisoned titans.

Why You Should See It: Tarsem has the eye and style of a God. The Cell and The Fall were like 2 hours of going down the chocolate river in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory with being bombarded by uncanny imagery. And with The Fall, Tarsem showed he can make something a little more coherent and emotionally compelling than his initial debut film. Hopefully, he continues that rise with this sword and sandals epic. - Jack G.

The Skin That I Inhabit (Pedro Almodóvar; Nov. 18th)

Synopsis: Based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel “Mygale”, this revenge tale tells the story of a plastic surgeon on the hunt for the men who raped his daughter.

Why You Should See It: Almodóvar continues to be one of the best foreign directors today and this reunion with Antonio Banderas promises to be as unsettling as some of his previous work - Jordan R.

Hugo Cabret (Martin Scorsese; Dec. 9th)

Synopsis: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Why You Should See It: After Shutter Island, a film I’ll defend to the death as a near-masterpiece, Martin Scorsese showed that he’s still got plenty of muscle left in his filmmaking body (as if we didn’t already know that). Just because he’s making a “kid’s movie” doesn’t mean he’s also taking a step back; this is a man who not only approaches every project with care, and it’s his first movie in 3D, something he seems to be embracing. I’m aching to see what he does here, and have more than enough confidence he’ll give us something special. - Nick N.

The Muppets (James Bobin; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: Kermit the Frog and his muppet pals put on a show to save their old theater.

Why You Should See It: It’s a Muppet movie scripted by the zany and ever-affable Jason Segel. Plus it promises a long-list of star-studded appearances. Among the confirmed celebs are: Billy Crystal, Emily Blunt, Kristen Schaal, Donald Glover, Alan Arkin, Jack Black, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Ricky Gervais, Zach Gailifianakis, Jack Black, and Jean Claude Van Damme. – Kristy P.

Rise of the Apes (Rupert Wyatt; Nov 23rd)

Synopsis: An origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Why You Should See It: One really cant go any worse than the depths of blandness that Tim Burton achieved with his Planet of the Apes remake. And from the sounds of this upcoming prequel/prequel, it’ll be better. The less action-oriented take they seem to be going for is intriguing and the rich mythology of the series is still full of potential. The cast is solid and the script has gotten good buzz. – Jack G.

Project X (Nima Nourizadeh; Nov. 23rd)

Synopsis: A group of kids document a house party that goes awry.

Why You Should See It: We don’t know much about this secret project from producer Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Due Date), but that is all part of the appeal. Featuring unknown actors and a house party premise, this $12 million project was shot completely in first person point-of-view. – Jordan R.

Mission: Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird; Dec. 16th)

Synopsis: N/A.

Why You Should See It: With J.J. Abrams already rejuvenating the series, I wondered how that success could be repeated. Then the announcement of Brad Bird as director reignited my interest. The Pixar director already showed he could handle action and story with The Incredibles, so his movement to live-action couldn’t be any more fitting. – Jordan R.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Guy Ritchie; Dec. 16th)

Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

Why You Should See It: While I wasn’t a fan of Ritchie’s first Sherlock, I’m hoping the crew has learned from their mistakes in this sequel. Adding in Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) makes me a bit more hopeful. Let’s just hope it isn’t another waste of Ritchie’s talent. – Jordan R.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher; Dec. 21st)

Synopsis: A journalist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing — or dead — for forty years by a young female hacker.

Why You Should See It: While the entire Swedish trilogy got a stateside release last year, David Fincher is set to release his adaptation of the first story in Stieg Larsson’s popular crime saga. The Social Network star Rooney Mara plays our lead Lisbeth Salander with Daniel Craig joining. There is a wide range of improvement from the Swedish films to capitalize on and can’t think of a better man than Fincher to see it through. – Jordan R.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Steven Spielberg; Dec. 23rd)

Synopsis: Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock’s ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt.

Why You Should See It: Just like his pal Scorsese, Steven Spielberg is getting the chance to try out newer technology for Tintin, that being motion capture. Based on the popular comic series by Herge, this movie seems to return him to the classic adventure stories of his early days, and it looks absolutely beautiful. Also, Edgar Wright co-wrote it. Just saying. – Nick N.

We Bought a Zoo (Cameron Crowe; Dec. 23rd)

Synopsis: A father moves his family to the English countryside to own and operate a zoo.

Why You Should See It: Based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, this film marks Cameron Crowes first writing/directing effort since Elizabethtown (2005). That alone would be enough to sell this viewer, so the fact that the cast includes Matt Damon, Scarlett Johnansson and Elle Fanning is icing on the cake. – Kristen C.

War Horse (Steven Spielberg; Dec. 28th)

Synopsis: Follows a young man named Albert and his horse, Joey, and how their bond is broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War One. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend.

Why You Should See It: Yes, we’re getting two Spielberg movies within five days of each other. That’s a beautiful thing in itself, but what I find even more exciting is that he’s working with historical fiction, as his period pieces are some of his best stuff. The cast of relative unknowns should be a great thing for the director to handle, and we should be excited to see him take on World War I. – Nick N.

The Descendants (Alexander Payne)

Synopsis: A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.

Why You Should See It: In his first film since 2004′s Sideways, Payne has enlisted George Clooney for this drama/comedy. Fox Searchlight is looking at a fall/winter release. I would expect a TIFF/Venice premiere, as they are known to do. – Jordan R.

A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg)

Synopsis: A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Why You Should See It: A new Cronenberg film is reason enough to get excited. Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel lead this look at Freud and we’ve heard it is more a comedic than his previous work. – Jordan R.

Melancholia (Lars von Trier)

Synopsis: Two sisters find their relationship challenged as a nearby planet threatens to collide into the Earth.

Why You Should See It: After petrifying audiences worldwide with Antichrist, filmmaker/huckster Lars von Trier returns with Melancholia. While his last film had him tackling horror, his next will see him giving sci-fi a shot. Kirsten Dunst is his sure-to-be-tormented lead, while Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg and the Skarsgards (Stellan and Alexander) round out the cast. Some of his work has turned me off in the past, but it says a lot about him as a filmmaker when I want to always see what he does next. – Nick N.

On The Road (Walter Salles)

Synopsis: A young man sets out to travel the roads and railways of America.

Why You Should See It: Here’s hoping Walter Salles’ next is more ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ than ‘Dark Water,’ the how-did-this-finally-get-made adaptation of the Jack Kerouac road novel. With Francis Ford Coppola producing and a young, talented cast (Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst) leading the way, this could make Beat-wannabes dreams come true. – Dan M.

Check out the rest of the list on the next page >>

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