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The Most Anticipated Films of 2015

We had a great time at the movies this year but why bother dwelling in the past?  As 2014 belches out its final death rattle, we look toward the future with wide eyes and hopeful hearts.  That’s right – it’s time to mark your calendars, day planners and Blackberry devices accordingly because we’re going down the list of our most anticipated films of 2015!  Please take into consideration that some titles have not been given a release date as of this article’s publish date. Also take into consideration that even the films with release dates are subject to change.  Movie studios are a fickle bunch like that.  This list will be updated accordingly when dates become available and/or change.

 

1

The Hateful Eight  

November 13

This one seems like a pretty obvious choice for our most anticipated film of the year. Never has a year gone by with a Quentin Tarantino movie premiering that it wasn’t my most anticipated release of that given year, so this year will be no exception. The Hateful Eight continues Tarantino’s foray into the western, which he has dipped his toe into in the past, most notably with Django Unchained. As its title suggests, The Hateful Eight boasts a huge ensemble cast including: Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Samuel L Jackson, Channing Tatum, and a ton more. There is no way this film isn’t going to be a blast! Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until November to see it. – David Costill

 

Sicario

2

Sicario  

TBA, 2015

From Denis Villeneuve – the director of Prisoners and Enemy, both starring Jake Gyllenhaal – comes Sicario, a film about a CIA agent (played by Emily Blunt) who goes undercover to take down a dangerous Mexican cartel and its leader, played by Benicio Del Toro.  Villeneuve is a terrific director with a knack for creating dark, menacing landscapes for his characters to suffer through.  He’s also 50/50 for sticking the landing as far as making satisfying conclusions for his films (looking at you, Prisoners).  Still, we’re so optimistic for Sicario if only for the chance to see Villeneuve direct as confident as actress as Emily Blunt who was just outstanding in this past year’s Edge of Tomorrow.  – Jeff Rollins

 

Star Wars the Force Awakens

3

Star Wars: The Force Awakens  

December 18

I was never really excited by the idea of the Star Wars prequels, for one major reason, I couldn’t act them out with my Star Wars toys. I didn’t have a Darth Maul or Anakin Skywalker figure when I was 10 years old. What I did have was the right toys to act out my own crayon written script of Star Wars: Episode VII – So you could call this the movie I’ve been imagining since I was just a little boy with a head full of questions regarding what happens after all that Ewok forest dancing. Thankfully whatever it is that happens next includes the amazing talents of John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, & Adam Driver. If you need me, I’ll be drawing wrinkles on all my old Star Wars toys in anticipation. – David Costill

 

James Bond Spectre

4

Spectre

November 6

Get a buddy to hold you back, because I’m about to drop some fighting words. The Daniel Craig Bond films are the best iteration of the character in movie form. I get it, you love Sean Connery, and Goldfinger is great, but c’mon these last 3 movies have carried Bond out of the sewers that Pierce Brosnan left him in. Spectre reunites SKYFALL director Adele Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig. This time he is up against his old nemisis Blofeld Oberhauser, and is bringing Léa Seydoux along for the ride.– David Costill

 

5

Avengers: Age of Ultron

May 1

I was like a kid on Christmas day when I walked out of the first Avengers movie.  Joss Whedon had done what I previously thought impossible: make a coherent and compelling narrative with an array of colorful comic book stars while sacrificing next to nothing in terms of credibility for both the A-listers (Iron Man, Captain America) and the B-team (Black Widow, Hawkeye, dare I say Hulk?).  That 45 minute action sequence at the end even had me, a staunch cynic when it comes to action movies, kicking my feet like a 10 year old on a sugar rush.  I admittedly know very little about what the future holds for The Avengers but despite the fact that there are two more films already scheduled, I still remain enthusiastic for this sequel featuring James Spader as the voice of a terrifying robot.  It also helps that Joss Whedon is back to direct.  This remains one of the few films I’m actually giddily looking forward to! – Jeff Rollins

 

 

Silence

6

Silence

TBA

To be perfectly frank, the plot synopsis of Silence does not exactly pop when I read it: “In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity.” But there’s one major compelling factor that makes this a must-see: Martin Scorsese. At age 72, Scorsese shows no signs of slowing down, and his recent The Wolf of Wall Street has more energy and life than most films by filmmakers half his age. As a bonus, Silence boasts a strong cast including Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. So here’s the deal: as long as Martin Scorsese is still making movies, I’m going to be excited about them. – Chris Evangelista

 

7

Mad Max: Fury Road

May 15

Have you seen the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road? If you haven’t, why not look literally right above this blurb, because it’s there. It looks incredible! George Miller looks like he’s pulled out all the stops to continue the franchise he’s created. Tom Hardy is in for Mel Gibson, and while I’d love to see Mad Mel again, I have no qualms about Hardy taking over the role. Rumors abound that the film is literally a tw0-hour chase scene, and how can you not get a little excited about that? And while Miller obviously used CGI, he also used a lot of practical effects, giving the film a perfect balance of realistic special effects. This is definitely something to get excited for.  – Chris Evangelista

 

The Revenant

8

The Revenant

January 8, 2016 (wide)

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu (Birdman, 21 Grams) comes The Revenant – the story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) who seeks revenge against those who left him for dead following a bear attack!  That bizarre setup is really all I need, but you throw in co-star Tom Hardy and I’m absolutely sold on this film.  Inarittu’s Birdman was one of our favorite films of 2014 and so anything he’s involved with is sure to raise eyebrows around the office but the pedigree of DiCaprio and Hardy really make this a film at least worth checking out.  And although its wide release date is set for January of 2016, it will enjoy a limited run at the tail end of 2015 which makes it eligible for this list.  – Jeff Rollins

 

9

Jurassic World

June 12

People immediately took to Twitter and Facebook when the first trailer for Jurassic World was released.  There were two camps:  those who were filled with the joy of seeing the actual idea of a working theme park filled with dinosaurs being realized for the first time (an idea only hinted at in previous films) and those who couldn’t get over the idea of Chris Pratt riding a moped alongside “trained” velociraptors.  To the folks in that second camp I say this: are you unfamiliar with fiction?  Anywho, Jurassic World looks like a ton of fun and as long as they clean up some of that spotty CGI in the trailer (they will, that’s how these things go), I think we’re all in for one of the best summer blockbusters in a long time that isn’t a Marvel movie.  – Jeff Rollins

 

St. James Place

10

Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller (or St. James Place)

October 16

This film does not have an official title yet, per say. The shooting title being used was St. James Place, but for now the film is known as Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller  until the official title is announced (which is going to be sometime soon). But the title isn’t important; what is important is that this project is paring up Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers, and holy crap is that exciting. I’ve heard some people lament that Spielberg has lost his touch, but I don’t agree. Sure, he occasionally turns out something truly stupid like The Terminal, but he also turns out things like Munich, Lincoln, and yes, War Horse (mark my words, one day people are going to suddenly realize that War Horse is actually an excellent movie! I’m serious!). On the flip-side, the Coen Brothers are better than ever. They had a weird period where they released The Ladykillers and Intolerably Cruelty back-to-back, and those films were truly duds. But ever since then, they’ve bounced back with some solid masterpieces, including last years Inside Llewyn Davis, which is one of the best films of the 21st century. Added to this mix is Tom Hanks, who usually works really well with Spielberg. That is a damn solid pedigree, if you ask me.  – Chris Evangelista

 

Trainwreck

11

Trainwreck

July 17

Well Judd Apatow has been in a slump since… well, pretty much since forever (with the exception of whenever he delves into television with Girls, Undeclared, and Freaks & Geeks).  The one common problem with all of Judd Apatow’s movies is that he wrote them all himself. Fortunately, Trainwreck was completely written by one of the funniest people on planet Earth right now, Amy Schumer. This should end up being the much needed comedy we are all starving for, given that 2014 was pretty much barren of laughs. Daniel Radcliffe, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, and Tilda Swinton also star, making this the most exciting cast of 2015 by far.– David Costill

 

12

Ex Machina

April 10

Taking the reigns from 2013’s Her and its study of the ever changing relationship between man and machine, Ex Machina cranks the frequency all the way up to “pitch black.”  Starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Cut Print Film favorite Oscar Isaac, we step into a world where machines are capable of love, sex, and deceipt.  But Ex Machina appears to be much more interested in testing our loyalties to the machine Domhnall Gleeson’s character seemingly falls in love with or his friendship with his best human friend, played by Oscar Isaac.  Ex Machina comes from studio A24 who are known for taking cinematic risks (Enemy, Tusk) in the name of creating films that inspire conversation and divide audiences.  I couldn’t be any more excited to see this. – Jeff Rollins

 

13

Tomorrowland

May 22

Brad Bird, animation consultant from The Simpsons, and director of The Iron Giant, and Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille, broke into live-action with 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. While I wasn’t as enthusiastic about the film as some, Bird’s direction was easily the best aspect of the film. Now Bird seems to playing to his strengths, with a film that seems more rooted in the fantastical, Tomorrowland. The film features a teen (Britt Robertson) obsessed with scientific curiosity teaming with a former boy-genius inventor (George Clooney) as they embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. The first trailer for the film had the same sort of whiz-bang energy as films like the highly underrated The Rocketeer, and that’s something exciting. Also, Hugh Laurie, who has sort of been MIA since House ended, is in the film, and it’s always a pleasure to see him.  – Chris Evangelista

 

Child 44

14

Child 44

April 17

For some reason the movie trope of “a series of murders being investigated” always piques my interest.  In the case of Child 44, this is no different.  What is notable, however, is that the film takes place in Soviet Russia under the shadow of Joseph Stalin.  Also, have a look at that cast: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, Charles Dance.  The list goes on.  Director Daniel Espinosa has already proven that he can do interesting things with the now tired thriller genre (Easy Money, Safe House) and that has me really interested in what he can do with a story that has all the makings of a sleeper hit.  – Jeff Rollins

 

15

White God

March 27

White God is something that wasn’t even on our radar, but the trailer for the film quickly remedied that. Once the trailer hit the web, everyone seemed to be talking about it, and everyone also seemed to be making the same Rise of the Planet of the Dogs joke. As a fan of dogs in general, I can say I’m 100% behind a film featuring abused dogs rising up against cruel humans. Also, that last shot in the trailer where the girl whispers, “I love you too” to an entire army of dogs never ceases to give me chills. – Chris Evangelista 

Crimson Peak

16

Crimson Peak

October 16

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with director Guillermo del Toro. I love the man’s ideas, and his interests. He seems to be interested in all the things I am: ghosts, monsters, creepy stuff that goes bump in the night. Yet while I usually love the aesthetics of all his films, the movies themselves almost always leave me a little bit cold. I’m not sure if it’s a case of his style not translating to the English language as well–because I actually love Pan’s Labyrinth and feel it’s his most successful film–but I usually walk out of a del Toro movie thinking, “God, I really wished I had liked that.” So I’m going into Crimson Peak with my expectations a little lowered, but it’s hard not to get excited for the film. For one thing, del Toro has said this about it: “Basically what it is is a really, really, almost classical gothic romance ghost story, but then it has two or three scenes that are really, really disturbing in a very, very modern way. Very, very disturbing, it’s a proper R rating. And it’s adult.” Sounds fucking cool! For another, the cast which includes Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Jim Beaver (of all people!) is pretty spectacular. Let’s hope this turns out to be one of those rare del Toro American successes, and nowhere near the utter dreck that was Pacific Rim.  – Chris Evangelista

 

17

The Duke of Burgundy

February 20

Confession: I’ve already seen The Duke of Burgundy, but it would be a crime not to include it on this list. Peter Strickland’s film is gorgeous, lush, erotic, and compelling. Detailing the S&M relationship between two women living in an undisclosed place and time, The Duke of Burgundy is the type of adult, stylistic eroticism that puts trash like 50 Shades of Grey to shame. Filled with fantastic performances and a complex narrative where nothing is quite as it seems, the film is a must-see. –  Chris Evangelista

 

The Martian movie

18

The Martian

November 25

Ridley Scott is going back where he belongs, Space. The Martian has a pretty great story, amateur novelist Andy Weir wrote the book and made it available for $1 on Amazon, and it quickly became one of the best-selling science fiction titles on the site. Now it is going to be a huge movie starring Matt Damon and directed by one of the forefathers of the genre. The plot is a Crusoe-like tale of a U.S. astronaut stranded on Mars, to which I’ve responded “2 tickets please!” – David Costill

 

19

Knight of Cups

TBA

Terrence Malick is continuing his steady stream of films with his latest Knight Of Cups. This one, unlike the last 2, shows a lot of promise from the trailer. Of course it contains all the trademarks of a Malick film, but it seems like there is some interesting stuff going on here… sex parties, neon lights, masks. I’m left dying to know how this all relates to the blur like image of the human soul? – David Costill

 

Ant-Man movie

20

Ant-Man

July 17

Ant-Man has become one of Marvel’s more notorious projects. Edgar Wright spent years developing the film, only to walk from the project after butting heads with Marvel. Basically, Wright’s film was not in-line with Marvel’s (annoying) habit of making sure all their movies tie-in with each other. So at this point, Ant-Man is something of a morbid curiosity–we’re all eager to see if it’s going to turn out good after all, or if it’s going to end up being a train-wreck. At the very least, it’s exciting to see Paul Rudd step into the role of a Marvel hero. – Chris Evangelista

Midnight Special

21

Midnight Special

November 25

Midnight Special is going to be director Jeff Nichols’ big break into the pantheon of directors to keep your eye on. His last film Mud was such an intimate portrayal of youthful adventure and the pain of trying to understand the world of adults. The synopsis for Midnight Special is magnificently intriguing:  ‘A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers’. The cast includes Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Michael Shanon, Kirsten Dunst, & Philadelphia’s own Jaeden Lieberher. Nichols said he wanted to make a film in the vein of Carpenter’s Starman; so holy shit, yes! – David Costill

 

22

Big Game

TBA

Did you see that trailer?  You did?  Good.  Watch it again.  Now, try and tell me you don’t want to see an entire movie full of moments like that.  Big Game comes from director Jamlari Helander whose previous film Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale was one of the biggest surprises of 2010.  Helander brings an offbeat sense of humor to his films that somehow pair nicely with the earnest sentimentality bubbling just beneath the surface.  Big Game  looks like a Coke commercial turned into a feature length film.  I mean that in the best possible way.  It’s also nice to see Samuel L. Jackson enjoying himself on camera again. – Jeff Rollins

 

Mistress America

23

Mistress America

January 24

I placed Mistress America on my most anticipated films of 2014 list, only at the time I didn’t know it was called Mistress America. Frances Ha alumni and most interesting married couple in Hollywood, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach are teaming up again to give us another look at the life of a 30 something struggling to exist in New York City; only this time in color! – Jeff Rollins

 

Last Days in the Desert

24

Last Days in the Desert

April 2

These days, I consider myself an atheist, but I was raised Catholic. As a result, I’m kind of fascinated by the history of Christianity and Catholicism, especially the story of Jesus. Removing any sort of that religious hogwash from the context, the Jesus saga really does make for some great fiction. Last Days in the Desert is “an imagined chapter from Jesus’ forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis,” and what makes the film interesting is that Ewan McGregor is playing both Jesus and the Devil. I’m sold! Let’s just hope the film turns out to be more like Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, and not like the TV show edited into a movie that was Son of God. – Chris Evangelista

 

Black Mass

25

Black Mass

September 18

Since the first Pirates of the Caribbean film came out in 2003, actor Johnny Depp has spent most of his screen time meandering about with various items placed on his head (a top hat, a taxidermied bird, countless hideous wigs), and Black Mass will not disappoint for Depp’s headgear enthusiasts.  What has me excited, however, is that Depp will be portaying the notoriously brutal Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, a fascinating and eccentric character that Depp is most certainly suited to play.  This is the kind of meaty role that I feel Depp excels at rather than fluff like his turns as the Mad Hatter and Willy Wonka.  I’m excited to see what manic energy we get from Depp in this role, something I haven’t said since he wet the bed as the aforementioned Wonka.  – Jeff Rollins

 

Macbeth 2015

26

Macbeth

TBA

Michael Fassbender as Macbeth!?  Is this a dream casting which I see before me, The moving pictures toward my eyes? Come, let me clutch thee. Also starring Marion Cotillard as the worst Lady of all time! Directed by Australian director Justin Kurzel, early buzz is very positive. Color me excited! – David Costill

 

Carol movie

27

Carol

TBA

Cate Blanchett is one of our best living actresses, and if you don’t think so, you are wrong. Her new film Carol is directed by Todd Haynes, director of films like Velvet Goldmine, Safe, I’m Not There and more. Haynes is one of those filmmakers where, even if you don’t like his movies, you have to admit they’re wholly unique and the work of someone with a distinct vision. Carol is adapted from the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, and tells the story of a department-store clerk who finds herself falling in love with an older, married woman. In addition to Blanchett, the film also stars Sarah Paulson, Rooney Mara, and, most importantly (to me at least), Sleater-Kinney member Carrie Brownstein. If you’re not excited for a film with both Cate Blanchett and Carrie Brownstein in it, well, I don’t even want to talk to you.  – Chris Evangelista 

 

Maggie movie

28

Maggie

TBA

I’ve talked before about my appreciation for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold is one of those actors that I’m always rooting for, so it’s disheartening when he ends up in total garbage like Sabotage. Schwarzenegger still manages to turn out some really fun, if under-seen, films like Escape Plan and The Last Stand, and Maggie looks like it could be something really special. The film is about a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) slowly turning into a zombie while being cared for by her father (Arnold). Maggie is a bit of a mystery; the presence of Schwarzenegger hints at some big, dumb zombie action movie. But rumors abound that it’s actually a more quiet, character-driven film. It was even going to premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, but was withdrawn by the filmmakers at the last minute. Here’s hoping that’s not a bad sign, and that Maggie turns out to be a win for Schwarzenegger. – Chris Evangelista

 

green-room

 

29

Green Room

TBA

Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin was one of 2014’s best films. With a shoe-string budget, Saulnier turned out an incredibly powerful film that subverted expectations at every turn. His follow-up film, Green Room, has a pretty spectacular premise: a young punk rock band find themselves trapped, by skinheads, in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence. On top of the great concept, the film also has a great cast including Imogeen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Blue Ruin‘s breakout star Macon Blair, and normally nice skinhead (because he’s bald, get it??) Patrick Stewart playing a bad guy. – Chris Evangelista

 

 

krampus 2015

30

Krampus

December 4

Trick ‘r Treat was one of those movies I was dying to see. It was an anthology-style horror film, and it was set on, and all about, Halloween–my favorite holiday. The film’s release was delayed for a long time, making it even more intriguing and desirable. Unfortunately for me, when I finally got around to watching Trick ‘r Treat, I was disappointed. I love the style of the film, and I enjoyed the final story involving Brian Cox as a cranky old man tormented on Halloween night, but I found the overall tone of the film too jokey and, well, stupid. That said, I appreciated what writer-director Michael Dougherty was trying to do with the film, and as a result, I’m eagerly anticipating his film Krampus. In mythology, Krampus is the evil version of Santa Claus–a demon who goes around abducting naughty children around Christmas time. Dougherty seems like the right man for the job to bring this story to life, and I’m always a sucker for a Christmas horror film.  – Chris Evangelista 

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The Cut Print Film Staff is all of us. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

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