15 for 15

Upcoming movies worth surviving the holidays


Ermahgerd! Jam packed with long-awaited sequels, promising indie fare and Quentin Tarantino’s Hate, 2015 promises to blow the lid off the box office while blowing our lids. What follows is my most anticipated 15 films of 2015. It’s completely fair for you to be excited about other movies because there’s no law against being wrong.

15 – Jupiter Ascending

Directors: The Wachowskis

Release date: Feb 6

Channing Tatum plays an alien wolfman trying to rescue the queen of the universe (Mila Kunis) while fighting lizard people. I’m in. It’s not an encouraging sign that the studio moved this wacky space opera from July 2014 to February, but Edge of Tomorrow proved studios have no idea how to appropriately market sci-fi that doesn’t have a Trek or Wars in it. Although they’ve been maligned, I am and always will be Team Wachowski.

14 – Chappie

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Release date: March 6

If you think about it, why wouldn’t sci-fi auteur Blomkamp write a movie about a sentient robot taken in by a pair of criminals played by the members of the real-life art rap band Die Antwoord? Free advice: If you Google Die Antwoord and see their music videos, make sure you’re in a happy, well-medicated place before watching. Although the trailer didn’t instill overwhelming confidence, looking like an indie version of I Robot, District 9 bought Blomkamp decades of my trust. Spend wisely, friend.

13 – Silence

Director: Martin Scorsese

Release date: November

One day, Martin Scorsese is going to direct his last film. On that day, cinema will lose one of (if not the) all-time greats. If he’s making a movie, that movie goes on my anticipated list. Even if it has a plot that sounds like something I’d hate…and this one does. An adaptation of a novel, this will feature two Jesuit priests in Japan trying to spread Christianity. The cast is interesting, with Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and THE Liam Neesons, but the real appeal is from the Marty man himself.

12 – Beasts of No Nation

Director: Cary Fukunaga

Release date: 2015

Fukunaga directed HBO’s “True Detective.” Ergo, I want to watch whatever Fukunaga does next. “Excited” and “anticipated” aren’t easy words to use about a movie that tells the story of a child soldier fighting in a civil war in Africa. So, let’s say I’m “intrigued” and “interested” to see what Fukunaga can do with this content, as his beautiful style seems at odds with the brutal subject.

11 – Ant Man

Director: Peyton Reed

Release date: July 17

Had the original director, Edgar Wright, survived the preproduction process, this would have been higher on my list. That said, how can you not be revved to see Paul Rudd play a superhero and see Evangeline Lilly do literally anything? Described as more of a “heist” movie than a superhero outing, Marvel is hotter than Hansel, and there’s no reason to doubt this will break that streak.

10 – I Walk with the Dead

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Release date: 2015

I’m one of the five people in the world who really liked Refn’s Only God Forgives. If I loved that, there’s little doubt I’m on board for this, even if it is in my second least favorite genre. Refn doing a horror movie sounds…well, dangerous, quite frankly. The fact that he’s committed to making an all-female horror film ups the stakes and promises to increase the scrutiny on the brilliant weirdo.

9 – Spectre

Director: Sam Mendes

Release date: Nov 6

Skyfall was the best Bond movie, even if you’re a Sean Connery apologist. Heck, it was the best Bond movie, even if you’re Sean Connery. The title indicates 007 is finally going to tackle a global menace for the first time in Daniel Craig’s tenure. Christoph Waltz is the big baddie, and rumor has it he may be stroking a cat before it’s all said and done. That’s not a euphemism. He may play Blofeld. Get your mind out of the gutter.

8 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Director: Frances Lawrence

Release date: Nov 20

Somehow, the dude who directed I Am Legend and Constantine has delivered one of the most defining sci-fi film series of our era. With Jennifer Lawrence’s raw, gutty performances buoying the proceedings, this franchise hasn’t faltered yet. Although some readers kvetched about the ending of the book series, I’m not one of them. I found the conclusion so satisfying that the only way the movies can disappoint me is if they listen to the whiners and change something.

7 – Untitled Rian Johnson Sci-fi Project

Director: Rian Johnson

Release date: 2015

You know you’ve made an impression if you don’t have a plot or title for your movie and it cracks my top 10. I was way, way too hard on Looper when I first watched it. Subsequent rewatches lead me to conclude that Johnson’s voice is one we need in my favorite genre. Moreover, since we’re losing him to Star Wars in the next few years, it’s more important than ever we get one final go with an original idea beforehand.

6 – Pitch Perfect 2

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Release date: May 15

I do not and will not apologize for my love of the first Pitch Perfect. From the funky acapella breakdowns to a soft-spoken Asian girl making snow angels in vomit, I loved every single thing about it (I’m looking at you, Anna Kendrick). With Banks sliding behind the director’s chair, I have full faith that this will leave me in aca-awe.

5 – The Hateful Eight

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Release date: 2015

When Tarantino’s script for this leaked, he threw a tantrum and said he wouldn’t make it. Then he did a live reading. Then he came to his senses. Now we all get to see this Western tale of bounty hunters trapped in a blizzard. Some advice for those hunters: if you have to resort to cannibalism, don’t even think about chomping on Sam Jackson.

4 – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Director: Joss Whedon

Release date: May 1

Have you heard about this small independent film? A sequel to one of the top-grossing films of all time, this action orgy of comic book goodness features my favorite Avengers’ bad guy. After all these years, part of me still feels like this wave of Marvel movies was the result of a wish I made on birthday candles at some point.

3 – Mad Max: Fury Road

Director: George Miller

Release date: May 15

How did they give the director of Happy Feet a huge budget to make an installment of a franchise that has been dormant for 3 decades? That’s not me complaining. Featuring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and all of the explosions and car chases, the trailer alone for this one had my heart doing the Red Bull dance.

2 – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Director: JJ Abrams

Release date: Dec 18

After the prequels, Star Wars fans went through the five stages of grief. Just as we arrived at acceptance, Episode VII was announced. Having been hurt before, we pretended not to be excited. Then the first trailer hit, and we collectively nerdgasmed, screaming “Star Wars is back!” If Abrams sticks the landing, he’ll be the most beloved thing to geeks since Internet pornography.

1 – Untitled Benh Zeitlin project

Director: Benh Zeitlin

Release date: 2015

You may be thinking “Who?” Zeitlin did Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is my favorite movie of all time. There isn’t a frame of film or bit of score that I don’t love with all my heart. I’ve been waiting to hear how he’d follow up a film that came out of nowhere to snag a Best Picture nomination. I still don’t know much, but I know that something is coming. And I. Can’t. Wait.


Category: Film

Leave a Reply