The Oscars are this Sunday, but the annual award ceremony is already old news — who cares about what films we liked last year when there are so many fantastic movies to look forward to?
Here are a few picks — selected through rigorous scientific analysis — for the top 10 movies coming later this year.
Official descriptions say Stoker is a psychological thriller directed by Korean director Park Chan-wook. For those familiar with Park, that description is more than enough, as the director’s handling of his “Vengeance Trilogy” — most notably, 2003’s Oldboy — has earned the admiration of many movie lovers.
Park’s first English-language film, Stoker, is set to be released March 1.
Actress Mia Wasikowska and director Park Chan-wook at a press conference to promote Stoker.
Iron Man 3
Kicking off the summer blockbuster season, Iron Man 3 will see the titular superhero in his first standalone following 2012’s The Avengers.
While the original Iron Man ranks among one of the best superhero movies of all time, the 2010 sequel Iron Man 2 left some fans wanting. But with all the signs pointing to Marvel Studios learning from its slight misstep — and, of course, the return of Robert Downey, Jr. — many can’t wait to see Iron Man 3 when it’s released on May 3.
Star Trek Into Darkness
The 2009 Star Trek remake breathed new life into the long-running sci-fi series, bringing new fans for a ride on the U.S.S. Enterprise. The sequel — directed, like the first, by J.J. Abrams — will aim to capitalize on that momentum, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as a new villain and seeing the return of the cast of the original.
When Star Trek Into Darkness is released May 17, however, it could be Abrams’ farewell to the franchise, as the director is currently slated to take the helm of the seventh installment in the Star Wars universe.
Man of Steel
In Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and featuring the Dark Knight trilogy’s Christopher Nolan as producer, DC Comics will try to jump-start its Justice League franchise with a Superman movie that seeks to repeat the success of last year’s The Avengers. Still, other DC-based movies haven’t performed too well (see: Green Lantern), giving some comic fans pause for concern.
Man of Steel is set to hit theaters June 14.
The long-anticipated prequel to Pixar Animation Studio’s 2001 Monsters, Inc., Monsters University brings protagonists Sulley and Mike back to their college days, where the two were once rivals in the same fraternity.
As with just about any Pixar movie (see: Toy Story, Up, Finding Nemo), Monsters University is sure to please viewers of all ages when it’s released June 21.
World War Z
World War Z has divided fans of the best-selling Max Brooks zombie apocalypse book on which it was based.
While the novel is comprised of a series of post-zombie war interviews, the movie adaptation instead places Brad Pitt — as United Nations employee Gerry Lane — in the role of protagonist, a decision that has some fans wary. Set to be released June 21, World War Z seems all but guaranteed to be a summer blockbuster.
Mireille Enos, left, and Brad Pitt in a scene from the motion picture World War Z.
Guillermo del Toro is a trusted name in filmmaking, and for good reason. His 2006 fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth won numerous accolades, including three Academy Awards. Pacific Rim — featuring giant robots piloted by humans that fight Godzilla-sized monsters — plays perfectly into del Toro’s strengths.
Del Toro describes the film, which hits 3D and IMAX 3D July 12, as “a beautiful poem to giant monsters.”
Directed by noted filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men), Gravity is to focus almost entirely on Sandra Bullock as the lone survivor of a space mission trying to return home. Cuarón, known for his filmmaking prowess, is rumored to have included technical feats such as a 17-minute, single-take opening shot.
Set to be released in 3D and IMAX 3D, Gravity will hit theaters Oct. 4.
The World’s End
Combining movie lovers’ favorites Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, The World’s End is the third film by the duo, following on the heels of Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
This time around, Pegg (who stars alongside Nick Frost) and a group of friends attempt to recreate a legendary pub crawl that ends at a bar called The World’s End — coincidentally, of course, at the same time the Earth is actually nearing its end. Many will join them when The World’s End is released Oct. 25.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Any student who hasn’t seen the first Anchorman has probably missed out on his or her share of hilarious movie references. The original has become such a classic, one can only hope that Anchorman: The Legend Continues lives up to the hype.
With a tentative release date of Dec. 20, fans have a while to wait. It’s OK, though: 60% of the time, sequels are great every time.
What movies are you looking forward to this year?
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