The summer movie season has nestled in for its brief hibernation (we crowned our favorites of the summer on our latest podcast), so with the heat and superheroes behind us, we eagerly turn to the promise of fall and all the riches it has to offer us at the cinema. Sticking with a glass half full (of gin) optimism, we've doubled the list of films from the ten titles we most anticipated last fall -- a roster that included a few gems like Birdman, and some stinkers (*cough Big Eyes cough*). Below you'll find the twenty movies we're most excited for this year (ten for each of us, in order by US release date), plus one sequel that you might possibly be familiar with. Clicking on a film's title takes you to the movie's trailer.
Matt's Top 10 Most Anticipated
The Martian (10/2)
Director Ridley Scott has knocked sci-fi out of the park before (Alien, Blade Runner), so I'm hopeful he can do it again with this intense, detailed, and often funny story of an astronaut/botanist/engineer (Matt Damon) stranded alone on Mars after being left by his crew following an accident. The supporting cast is filled with awesome people like Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
The Final Girls (10/9)
The usual set-up: a young woman's deceased mother was the star of a classic 80's slasher film that the young woman has never seen, so her pretty friends take her to a screening of said film only to find themselves trapped inside the movie fending for their lives alongside the film's dimwitted characters.
Steve Jobs (10/9)
An Aaron Sorkin script + Michael Fassbender + Kate Winslet + director Danny Boyle = YES.
I'll be there opening night.
The uber-talented Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) stars as a young woman torn between two countries (and, naturally, two men) in 1950's New York and Ireland. Screenwriter Nick Hornby is fresh off the success of Wild (our collective favorite film of 2014), and Domhnall Gleeson is fresh off the success of being Domhnall Gleeson (which is a very good thing to be).
I love me a good investigative journalism movie, this one detailing the true story of the Boston Globe staffers who broke the child molestation scandal and cover-up within the Catholic Church. Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo are on a roll after a very impressive 2014, and I'm always rooting for another fantastic Rachel McAdams performance.
The Hateful Eight (12/25)
Tarantino hopefully providing Jennifer Jason Leigh a plum opportunity to steal the show from a septet of men.
The Lobster (TBD)
An absurdly wonderful and unique premise: In the near future, all single people are forced to find romance within 45 days or else they are turned into an animal of their choosing. With Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and the lovely Ben Whishaw. It will play at the NY Film Festival, though a US release date has yet to be set.
Nathan's Top 10 Most Anticipated
Goodnight Mommy (9/11)
In last year's fall movie round-up I confessed my weakness for trailers, and this one is goooood. Looks like one part Under the Skin, one part The Skin I Live In, and one part Death Becomes Her—with a liberal dash of horror. All in all, a damning indictment of plastic surgery.
Whatever genre this is leaves me cold (Netflix might call it Crime Dramas Straddling the Mexican-American Border), but Sicario has a few other things going for it. The first is Emily Blunt, who kicked alien ass last summer in Edge of Tomorrow. (Another role without a hint of damsel-in-distress!)
Then there's the track record of the director, Denis Villeneuve. His recent films Enemy and Prisoners ran their nails across the chalkboard of my soul. I still get nervous around the plywood walls at construction sites (is some battered and bloody wretch imprisoned on the other side?), and I still fight a long-dormant arachnophobia whenever I enter my bedroom. <shudder>
As a young gay, I learned that a suffragette was someone who wore a snazzy sash and silk gloves and shared the screen with a flying nanny. As an older gay, I know that suffragettes existed to give Oscar-bait roles to talented women. There's also something about voting rights in there.
Seriously, though, I'm voting rights for life. And Carey Mulligan for life.
The Wonders (10/30)
Bees, Italy, and a flamboyant reality TV star. I'm there.
Another trailer that got my attention from a series that doesn't always. Seems like the creative team behind Spectre hearkened back to the classic Bond era when the tension revolved around well-drawn characters instead of vacuous special effects.
All this as I'm swooning over the nerdiest young thing that side of the pond. #hypocrite
Part 1 won the CineMunchie last year for Film that Surprised Us the Most--In a Good Way. Stark and unrelenting, the film could have been a here's-half-a-story cash grab, but instead displayed a gravity and reverence rarely seen in YA adaptations. Here's hoping Part 2 can carry that torch to the finish line.
The Danish Girl (11/27)
Eddie Redmayne, fresh off his Oscar win, will have to wade through his share of controversy this awards season. What gives him the right to portray a transgender character when there are so many fine transgender actresses? Well, he's a damn fine actor, for one. Plus this story seems to focus on his character before and during her struggle to find herself.
Impossible to say where I stand until I see the movie. But I'm looking forward to the debate, and happy that mainstream movies are coming out to help prompt the discussion.
Arabian Nights: Volume 1-3 (12/4)
Portugal. My one true love.
When I watched Director Miguel Gomes' Tabu last month it shot straight into my top ten list of 2012 for its blunt depiction of human rhythms that lead to human failures. And, you know, for that crocodile.
And now he's filmed a folklorical-political-docudrama in three parts, clocking in at over six hours? Sign me up!
I've been a fan of fawns since I first laid eyes on James McAvoy in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Now there's another fawn-like creature on the loose: a crazed Christmas demon named Krampus.
Nothing more to be said, really, but if you're not sold yet then Adam Scott and Toni Collette should do it.
The Revenant (12/25)
Another genre that doesn't normally grab my attention (Period Dramas Starring Men Who Grunt and Fire Aimlessly Into the Fog?). Also Leonardo DiCaprio is a hard no.
So how did this make my list? I blame the trailer (bold, frantic, and otherworldly), and a guy named Iñárritu. In this case, that was enough.
It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Despite not being anything close to fanboys, we're waiting with bated breath alongside the rest of the world for a return journey to a long time ago in that galaxy far, far away. You already know this, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18th.
What films are you most looking forward to this fall/winter? Let us know in the comments!