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Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2013

Written by on January 15, 2013 

80. Closed Circuit (John Crowley; TBD)

Synopsis: Martin and Claudia are lawyers — and ex-lovers — who find themselves put at risk after they join the defense team for an international terrorist’s trial.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: After writing one of David Cronenberg‘s finest recent works with Eastern Promises, we’ve been eagerly awaiting Steven Knight’s next project and it will finally debut this summer. Directed by John Crowley, who provided Andrew Garfield with his break-out role in the coming-of-age drama Boy A, brings together Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall Jim Broadbent and Ciarán Hinds for what should hopefully be a nail-biting thriller. – Jordan R.

79. The Way, Way Back (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash; TBD – Sundance Premiere)

Synopsis: Over the course of his summer break, a teenager comes into his own thanks in part to the friendship he strikes up with one of the park’s managers.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: It seems as though Nat Faxon and Jim Rash learned the clout an Oscar can hold quite quickly. The duo, one of whom provides some the best laughs on Community, were rightfully awarded for their work on The Descendants, and here we are a year later, with their directorial debut set for a Sundance bow. With a cast including Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Amanda Peet, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Maya Rudolph and Rob Corddry, it’s not only one of our most-anticipated films of the aforementioned festival, but of the year as well. – Jordan R.

78. Life Itself (Steve James; TBD)

Synopsis: The story and struggles of film critic, Roger Ebert, based on his memoir, “Life Itself.”

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Anticipating a documentary project can be difficult, considering the best kind usually sneak up on you, but it’s safe to say we’re always looking forward to next film from Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters director Steve James. Following the world’s most recognized film critic, with support from Martin Scorsese and Steve Zaillian, this look inside not only the day-to-day activities of Roger Ebert, but his life itself (literally) could truly be something special. – Jordan R.

77. Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro; July 12th)

Synopsis: When an alien attack threatens the Earth’s existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Scheduled to release in July, Guillermo Del Toro’s highly anticipated epic actioner has all the makings of a major summer blockbuster: robot-monster fights, unlikely heroes, massive destruction, mayhem. Did I mention robot-monster fights? Previews for the film did little to quell the hype, as they showed costumes, set pieces, and CGI of a quality that would cause sci-fi fans to froth at the mouth. And besides, even if Pacific Rim doesn’t live up to fanboy expectations, it will still deliver plenty of entertainment. – Amanda W.

76. White Bird in a Blizzard (Gregg Araki; TBD)

Synopsis: A young woman’s life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Most of my anticipation tied to any upcoming Gregg Araki feature has to do with the unexpected nature of his films. The Kaboom and Mysterious Skin director recently completed production on his latest project, one that sees The Descendants star Shailene Woodley likely stepping outside of her comfort zone, and although the brief logline is fairly by-the-numbers, one knows it will likely be just the beginning. Also starring Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe, expect it to land in the fall. – Jordan R.

75. Breathe In (Drake Doremus; TBD – Sundance Premiere)

Synopsis: When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family’s relationships and alters their lives forever.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Although I was far from enamored by his last feature, the Sundance award winner Like Crazy, Drake Doremus‘ follow-up has sparked my interest. Taking on a seemingly more mature story with darker tones, I’m curious as to where this story of forbidden love may head. Led by Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan and more, let’s hope Doremus uses his talents to a stronger effect here, and with a Sundance premiere, we’ll find out the result soon. – Jordan R.

74. Dallas Buyer’s Club (Jean-Marc Vallée; TBD)

Synopsis: Loosely based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug taking, women loving, homophobic man who, in 1986 was diagnosed with full blown HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: After being much talked about due to the insane weight loss its actors had to endure (see Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto above), here’s hoping that won’t be the only discussion point when it comes to this drama. Likely gearing up for a late-year bow after a festival debut, if all goes well, this true story will continue McConaughey’s incredible streak of must-see projects. – Jordan R.

73. Lone Survivor (Peter Berg; TBD)

Synopsis: Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wing.” Four members of SEAL Team 10, were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader, Admad Shad. Marcus Luttrell was the only member of his team to survive.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: 2012 was not a good year for Peter Berg. The otherwise strong director made a box-office bomb for the history books with Battleship, a failed attempt at a mega blockbuster in the vein of Transformers. All the personality of Berg’s previous films was missing in the Hasbro story, but hopefully Lone Survivor, a true pasion project, will get him back on track — not unlike Joe Carnahan‘s rejuvenating experience with last year’s The Grey. – Jack G.

72. The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (Fredrik Bond; TBD – Sundance Premiere)

Synopsis: A guy falls for a woman who’s claimed by a violent crime boss.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Having proven he can carry a film without robots in last year’s Lawless, before Shia LaBeouf gets freaky in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, he’s set to lead this smaller drama from praised commercial director Fredrik Bond. Being compared to the eclectic mix of True Romance, Wild at Heart, Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction, the Sundance-bound drama stars Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Aubrey Plaza, Rupert Grint, Til Schweiger and Melissa Leo, and if all else fails, it will go down easy on the ears, with songs from Moby, M83 and The XX. – Jordan R.

71. August: Osage County (John Wells; TBD)

Synopsis: The Weston family overcomes certain differences when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing.

Why We’re Looking Forward To It: Because even though William Friedkin isn’t helming this Tracy Letts-penned adaptation, there’s still plenty of pedigree to look forward to — mainly, an all-star cast that includes Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, and Meryl Streep. There is, too, the small little factoid that the Letts stage play of the same name won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama — a feat that neither Killer Joe nor Bug (Letts’s first two plays) likely came close to achieving. And even if director John Wells probably won’t pack the same atmospheric audacity as Friedkin, he showed a good touch with actors in his debut, the under-seen The Company Men, and if sticks to that approach, the number of memorable performances here could well enter double-digit territory. – Danny K.

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