2014 was a big year for both film and TV (if you’ve been following our end-of-year updates you’ll have seen our lists of best TV shows, best films, and worst films), and 2015 looks to be a gigantic year for the movies. So, given the date, we thought it was the perfect time to examine the upcoming slate, and share with you the films we’re most excited about, presenting the top 12 films due out in 2015 (the best of each month, by UK release date).
2015 gets off to an amazing start at the cinema, because on New Year’s Day only we’re treated to the release of The Theory of Everything; the impressive looking biopic of Stephen Hawking; The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death; a sequel to the Daniel Radcliffe-starring horror movie; and Birdman; Michael Keaton’s hotly-anticipated, awards-baiting drama. Not only that, but the month continues strong with Taken 3, Foxcatcher, American Sniper, The Gambler, Big Hero 6, Inherent Vice, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and A Most Violent Year all making an appearance. Yet for this writer, the most exciting film of January was an obvious choice…
Birdman (released Jan 1st):
If you weren’t already sold just hearing Birdman is the new Michael Keaton movie, it’s Michael Keaton, playing an actor, who played a superhero a couple of decades ago, and hasn’t been able to escape the role since (Batman anyone?). Birdman sees Keaton’s character struggling to open a Broadway play, and on the cusp of his career defining moment battles with his hugely inflated ego, and attempts to save both his career and family life. Co-starring Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts Birdman’s been blasted with an array of hugely positive reviews, is already racking up impressive award nominations, and is not only the best film due out in January, but one of the most exciting films of the year.
Well, first thing’s first; 50 Shades of Grey will not be the most exciting thing to open in February. Sadly Shaun the Sheep probably won’t take the crown either, yet there are a couple of interesting contenders for the film-of-the-month; including Jupiter Ascending (the Wachowskis’ biggest, and most high-concept, film since The Matrix), and the Chris Hemsworth hacker movie Blackhat, but as it stands the most exciting film due to be released in February is Predestination.
Predestination (released Feb 20th):
Starring Ethan Hawke as a time-travelling police officer, sent back in time to catch a terrorist known as the “Fizzle-Bomber”; the only criminal who’s managed to avoid him during his illustrious career, this impressive-looking sci-fi has been adapted from Robert A. Heinlein’s short story All You Zombies, raises questions of pre-emptive actions, destiny, and time travel, and does so in a TimeCop/Minority Report style action movie which should be well worth catching.
As well as seeing Spongebob Squarepants return to the big screen, March will see the release of the Jeff Bridges/Julianne Moore fantasy movie Seventh Son, In The Heart Of The Sea; a brand new, big-budget, telling of a true story which served as part of the inspiration behind the classic Moby Dick tale, starring Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy; and our pick of the month; Chappie.
Chappie (released March 6th):
District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is sticking with the sci-fi genre, and reuniting with District 9 star Sharlto Copley (in voice/motion-capture form at least), for his latest film; Chappie. Co-starring Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver, Chappie tells the tale of a gifted yet child-like robot who ends up kidnapped by gangsters who aim to use him for their own means.
Entering the spate of blockbuster releases April brings not only Furious 7 (the latest Fast & Furious movie, introducing Jason Statham as the main villain, and continuing with Paul Walker’s brother following Paul’s tragic death), John Wick (the Keanu Reeves action movie), and unfortunately the Paul Blart sequel, but the film which has been tipped to become not only one of the biggest movies of the year, but a contender for highest grossing film ever; The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Yet even The Avengers can’t take the crown for our film-of-the-month, because in April 2015, the world will be given a gift, and witness the release of…
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (released Apirl 10th):
Sadly lacking John Cusack this time out, the bonkers comedy is back and sees Nick, Lou, and Jacob returning to their Hot Tub Time Machine in an attempt to save Lou’s life after an attempted assassination. It’s not high-concept, it’s not original (in fact it just looks like a blatant rip-off of the first movie and pure cash-in), and it’s probably not going to set the Box Office alight, but if Hot Tub Time Machine 2 can bring the understated, underestimated, lighthearted charm and fun of the original and hopefully work in some of the self-aware wit we saw with 22 Jump Street we’ll be in for a treat, and a hot tub full of laughs.
George Clooney’s Tomorrowland (a difficult to explain, and still mostly unknown, sci-fi about a scientist and a teen travelling to a place and time existing within their shared memory, with the hopes of uncovering the secrets held there), Pitch Perfect 2, and San Andreas (a huge-scale disaster movie featuring the attempts of aid workers rescuing civilians caught within the biggest earthquake the world has ever seen, starring Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock) are all released in May, but not one of them has drummed up anywhere near as much excitement as the new Mad Max movie.
Mad Max: Fury Road (released May 15th):
Initially the prospect of a Mad Max remake/reboot sounded awful, and it’s a true shame we’re not seeing Mel Gibson returning to the role which made his career (and arguably could’ve done so again), but Fury Road seems to have everything going for it; not only has it been written and directed by mastermind George Miller (the creator, writer, and director behind the original Mad Max trilogy; meaning it’s clearly in good hands), but it features a stellar cast; including original Mad Max baddie Hugh Keays-Byrne, Tom Hardy as Max, and supporting stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Zoë Kravitz; but has been written and billed as one gigantic chase sequence. You’ve only got to look back at Road Warrior, and examine the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer to see that’s a good thing, and just how brutal, fun, and carnage-filled Miller’s latest will hopefully be.
In a month of stark contrasts June brings forth not only the latest chapter in the Insidious horror franchise, but child-friendly Despicable Me spin-off Minions, and the brand new Jurassic Park reboot; Jurassic World; starring Chris Pratt as a hunter, in the newly opened, dinosaur-filled theme park which now contains genetically-modified dinos (because the real ones apparently weren’t scary enough), but the most exciting TV-to-film project of a generation…
Entourage (released June 19th):
Yes, ringing in to the sound of “LLLOOOOOYYDD” we’ve not only had confirmation, but an official trailer and release date to inform us that this summer, the boys will be back; HBO’s Entourage is heading to the big screen, and we’ll get to see Vinnie Chase, E, Turtle, Johnny Drama, and everyone’s favourite Hollywood agent Ari Gold once again in the long-rumoured, awaited, and finally almost here, movie. With a premise which should translate well onto the big screen (though it does run the same risks as most TV shows making the jump to the big screen), Entourage will be a cameo-filled outing which’ll see Ari struggling with the pressures of becoming a studio head, and the boys making a movie which runs $15 million over budget, and promises to be not only fan-pleasing entertainment, but a great way to end the first half of 2015.
Agree with the list? Think Matt made a glaring omission? Picked the wrong movie as a film-of-the-month? Or simply want to talk about the films mentioned? Get involved via the comments section below, and let us know what you’re most excited about in 2015.