15. The Monuments Men
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Director: George Clooney
Writers: George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov(screenplay)
Starring: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray
Synopsis: An unlikely World War II platoon are tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.
The Positive: From the writing team that gave us Good Night and Good Luck comes a film with an unbelievable cast, with perhaps 4 of my favorite actors of all-time. Hopefully the delay in releasing this film was well worth it
The Negative: Too high of expectations possibly.
14. The Boxtrolls
Release Date: September 26th, 2014
Director: Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable
Writers: Alan Snow
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Jared Harris, Toni Collette, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg
The Positive: Truly great trailer that really shows off the visual aspect of this form of animation has the world a buzz.
The Negative: Can the story can deliver on that same level
Release Date: March 8, 2014
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Starring: Russell Crowe Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly
Synopsis: The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
The Positive: Aronofsky has delivered some truly memorable films in Black Swan, The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream. Russel Crowe and Jennifer Connelly have also been known to give us a good performance or two. Not to mention another rising stat in Emma Watson
The Negative: Will it look believable enough? Can they truly capture one of the greatest events to occur in the bible and present it in a way that doesn’t get them criticized beyond belief?
Release Date: December 12th, 2014
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Steve Zallian, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
Synopsis: Director Ridley Scott tackles the Biblical epic story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt into the Sinai desert and eventually to their Promised Land.
The Positive: We all know of Ridley Scott’s resume but Steve Zallian, one of the writers has also been involved with the likes of; Moneyball, Girl with Dragon Tattoo, American Gangster, All the Kings Men, Interpreter, Gangs of New York, Hannibal, A Civil Action, Schindlers List, Mission Impossible, Clear and Present Danger, and Awakenings.
The Negative: The other two writers were involved with New York Minute. Also is there room for multiple biblical epics in one year?
11. Dumb and Dumber To
Release Date: November 14th, 2014
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writers: Sean Anders, John Morris
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rachel Melvin, Kathleen Turner, Brady Bluhm, Laurie Holden, Steve Tom, Rob Riggle
Synopsis: Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: “Dumb and Dumber To.” The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.
The Positive: The last time the Farrelly brothers teams up with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels it seemed to work pretty well
The Negative: A monumental movie for a sequel to live up to…didn’t work so well the first time someone tried it
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Director: Robert Stromberg
Writers: Linda Woolverton
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton
Synopsis: From Disney comes “Maleficent”—the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.”
The Positive: Linda Woolverton was involved in the writing of the screenplay for The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Alice in Wonderland (2010) The other writer involved here goes by the name of Paul Dini! Also the great casting of Angelina Jolie who perfectly embodies Maleficent.
The Negative: A ton of pressure for a single film to set the stage for live-action disney films for years to come
9. Muppets: Most Wanted
Release Date: March 21st, 2014
Director: James Bobin
Writers: James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey
Synopsis: Mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic
The Positive: James Bobin successfully gave us the last Muppet film installment and his resume also includes work on the hysterical Flight of the Concords.
The Negative: Tough act to follow for Muppets: Most Wanted. Can it deliver the classic feel that the last film was able to do so perfectly?
Release Date: April 17th, 2014
Director: Wally Pfister
Writers: Jack Paglen
Starring: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, Cillian Murphy
Synopsis: Dr. Will Caster is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.
The Positive: A fantastic cast led by the impeccable Johnny Depp in a truly creepy role in what has all the makings of a great science fiction film.
The Negative: In a year full of sci-fi films and with an audience who is coming to expect more and more from the genre can this film avoid all being lost in the shuffle?
7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus , Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Frank Grillo, Sebastian Stan
Synopsis: Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.
The Positive: The trailer says it all. Marvel can seem to do no wrong.
The Negative: Eventually Marvel is going to disappoint us right?
6. Guardians of the Galaxy
Release Date: August 1st, 2014
Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Gregg Henry, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
Synopsis: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” based on the Marvel comic books of the same name, features an unlikely cast of characters who must team up in order to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions.
The Positive: Guardians of the Galaxy could be the perfect mix of unique and different stars from the Marvel Universe to avoid the audiences that are tiring of the same old superhero movie mix.
The Negative: Will they truly be able to pull off this cast of characters on the big screen?
5. TeenageMutant Ninja Turtles
Release Date: August 8th, 2014
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Writers: Josh Appelbaum, Andrew Nemec, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, John Fusco
Starring: Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Will Arnett
The Positive: The original live-action film showed that this is a franchise that can be successfully translated onto the big screen. Eastman and Laird had some involvement in the film.
The Negative: Megan Fox is involved in this film…has she ever been involved in a truly great film? Also, how much is Michael Bay truly involved with this film, will he ever learn to respect the true fans of franchises? If they change too much and go too far with the alien angles this could be a train wreck.
4. Into the Woods
Release Date: December 25th, 2014
Director: Rob Marshall
Writers: James Lapine
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman
Synopsis: “Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
The Positive: Rob Marshall has a track record of directing successful musicals with his work on Chicago. The musical boasts some epic songs and truly fits with todays emphasis on fairy tale fantasies. That cast is ridiculous! Hopefully can continue the recent trend in awesome musical film adaptations.
The Negative: Will it be too ‘out there’ for people who know nothing about this play or story?
Release Date: November 7th, 2014
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Bill Irwin, Mackenzie Foy, Topher Grace
Synopsis: “Interstellar” chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
The Positive: Christopher Nolan…moving on
The Negative: Perhaps too much hype
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Simon Kinberg (screenplay), Matthew Vaughn(story)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart
Synopsis: The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
The Positive: Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, and Matthew Vaughn all have pretty great resumes but what truly sells this film is the story and the combination of the young and old cast/characters.
The Negative: Really not coming up with much unless they try to handle more than they can for one film
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: July 11th, 2014
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Scott Z. Burns, Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa, Mark Bomback
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Synopsis: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is 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.
The Positive: Visually again this will be amazing and the first film could not have done a better job of setting this film up for success
The Negative: The second film in this franchise has a history of not being so good, also the change in director and cast could be a bad sign.