With hundreds upon hundreds of films seeing a release each year, it can be difficult to decide what’s truly worth seeking out. We already gave one a handful of 2013 releases to potentially be wary of, as well as some certified must-sees, but now it’s time to venture into the exciting unknown. We’ve selected 100 features that are worth putting on your radar the next twelve months and while some have set release dates, most of these will be premiering at upcoming festivals, so make sure to check back to get our take.
As a note, there’s also a handful of films that likely won’t see a release until 2014, but are worth mentioning, including Terrence Malick‘s back-to-back projects (one being Knight of Cups), the next film from David O. Russell, directorial debuts from Ryan Gosling and Wally Pfister, Bill Condon‘s WikiLeaks project and a handful of others. So, you won’t see them below, but rest assured we’ll be following their progress well into 2013. Check out the rundown below and let us know your most-anticipated films of 2013 .
100. Horns (Alexandre Aja; TBD)
Synopsis: In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: We admit, looking at any number of stills or set photos from this film makes it look like one of the silliest projects this year, but if any director can sell a concept, it’s Alexandre Aja. After commenting on the B-movie genre, while also delivering an entertaining entry with Piranha 3D, he’s back helping Daniel Radcliffe shed his Harry Potter image by having him grow some horns in what will likely be his most mature role yet. – Jordan R.
99. Can A Song Save Your Life? (John Carney; TBD)
Synopsis: A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: With a few projects that went most unnoticed, John Carney has been searching for a project worthy of his talent shown in Once and he may have it with this drama. Certainly his most high-profile film yet, this drama sees Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld and Catherine Keener come together, along with some musical talents such as Adam Levine, Mos Def and CeeLo Green. This one’s a safe bet for the fall festival crowd, where we hope it’s well-received. - Jordan R.
98. About Time (Richard Curtis; May 10th)
Synopsis: As he goes through life, a young man who can travel through time learns his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Proving he can make the romantic comedy genre entertaining for just about any demographic with films such as Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, we’re hoping that writer/director Richard Curtis can bounce back from the disappointing Pirate Radio with this feature. Complete with an intriguing premise, About Time pairs the usually charming Rachel McAdams with Domhnall Gleeson, who recently showed his talents in Anna Karenina. With a major summer release, I wouldn’t doubt if this is more entertaining than a few much-hyped blockbusters of the season. - Jordan R.
97. The To-Do List (Maggie Carey; August 16th)
Synopsis: Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: After a supporting turn in Safety Not Guaranteed, Aubrey Plaza snags her first major lead role in this raunchy comedy. Directed and written by Maggie Carey (who worked with Plaza on the web series, The Jeannie Tate Show) the story follows Brandy Clark, a high school senior who tries to complete a list of sexual experiences she wants to have before going to college in the fall. She recruits a number of men to help her, the likes of which are played by a roster of comedy contemporaries, including Donald Glover, Bill Hader and Andy Samberg, As a child of the 90s, I can appreciate the period specific jokes – the red band trailer highlights a jab at one of the decade’s unfortunate fashion faux pas, skorts. – Amanda W.
96. Third Person (Paul Haggis; TBD)
Synopsis: Three interlocking love stories involving Three couples in Three Cities: Rome, Paris, and New York.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: After a few cloying attempts at drama with Crash and In The Valley of Elah, director Paul Haggis delivered the fun, but overlooked, thriller The Next Three Days. For his next feature, he seems to be staying in lighter territory with a trio of connecting love stories. With a strong cast of Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Kim Basinger, Adrien Brody and Maria Bello, we hope this one doesn’t turn out like the similarly structured 360 from last year. – Jordan R.
95. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller; Dec. 25th)
Synopsis: A timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through daydreams embarks on a true-life adventure when a negative goes missing.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: With his handful of directorial features from Reality Bites to Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller easily has a better track record behind the camera than solely in front, giving us a strong reason to look forward to this late-year adventure comedy. With a bigger scope than its 1947 original, hopefully Stiller retains the same fun storytelling elements, along with a great cast including Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Shirley MacLaine and Patton Oswalt. – Jordan R.
94. The Butler (Lee Daniels; TBD)
Synopsis: The story of a White House butler who served eight American Presidents over the course of three decades.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: While Lee Daniels still hasn’t made a worthwhile film in his relatively short career, I can’t help but be curious about his latest. Bringing together one of the most varied casts of the year with Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Liam Neeson, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Robin Williams, James Marsden and Liev Schreiber, one sincerely hopes he doesn’t craft another misfire with this worthwhile subject matter. Unfortunately, we’ll likely have to wait until the end of the year to see if that’s the case. - Jordan R.
93. Jack Ryan (Kenneth Branagh; Dec. 25th)
Synopsis: Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Now seemingly in the blockbuster game after his Marvel outing Thor, we’re hoping director Kenneth Branagh provides a jolt to this classic Tom Clancy adaptation, now with the charismatic Chris Pine leading. With nothing but a few run-of-the-mill stills released there’s not much to go on here, but with the talented, Oscar-winning Steven Zaillian having a hand in the script and a supporting turn from Kevin Costner — who is in a bit of a career resurgence with this, along with Man of Steel and a few other projects — we’re hoping this is an entertaining year-end divergence from the award contenders. - Jordan R.
92. Dom Hemingway (Richard Shepard; TBD)
Synopsis: After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: After working on such TV shows as Girls and 30 Rock, it’s been a long wait for writer/director Richard Shepard to get behind the camera again after his 2007 dark comedy The Hunting Party. Thankfully, 2013 will mark his return, as production recently completely on his follow-up, a crime drama starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant and Demián Bichir. Although little is known, if this one packs the same sharp writing and ideal tone, it should be a nice surprise. – Jordan R.
91. Berandal aka The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans)
Synopsis: Not available.
Why We’re Looking Forward To It: One of the few films to sucker punch you in the jugular was Gareth Evan’s impressively operatic The Raid: Redemption, a perfect example of combat fueled chaos done right. The premise basically sets itself up for a bigger and badder sequel, knowing full well that if the original made money, the budget would get bigger. And sure enough, the action gods have shined down upon us with good fortune, since the sequel goes into production this month. Though details are scarce, based on a recent tweet from the director himself, the story will start exactly two hours from where the original left off. Also, if you check out our interview with the director, you’ll notice he dropped some tidbits about how action scenes will be amped to the max, including a fight involving jumping to and from moving cars, which just sounds fantastic. – Raffi A.
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