Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies for 2009

While 2008 was a good year for film, 2009 has a great deal of potential. Especially in the crazy-amounts-of-intense-action department. Here are my top 10 most anticipated films, in alphabetical order:

Duplicity: Directed by Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Identity), this film pairs up Julia Roberts and Clive Owen (who were phenomenal together in Closer) as former spies trying to pull off a huge con on their corporate bosses. The film includes Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti. Great cast, excellent director, and a cool concept all make me intrigued.

Public Enemies: The latest crime thriller from one of my favorite directors, Michael Mann (The Last of the Mohicans, Heat), this film is about the 1930s clash between federal agents and gangsters, including John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd. The film also stars Christian Bale as federal agent Melvin Purvis, determined to take down Dillinger's crime spree. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale with fedoras and machine guns? You know it'll be good. Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, and Giovanni Ribisi round out the cast.

The Road: Based on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer prize-winning novel--and one of my favorite books from 2008--this dystopian film looks at post-apocalyptic America from the perspective of a man and his son. The book was a powerful look at hope in the bleakest of situations, and I pray that the film can live up to McCarthy's vision. If I had to pick one film I was most anticipating for next year, this would be it. I'll predict Oscar nominations now.

Star Trek: J.J. Abrams reinvents the science fiction cult classic. The preview looks absolutely thrilling, and the casting couldn't be better. I've never been into Star Trek, but this film could change that.

Terminator Salvation: I don't think I would be looking forward to this except for the inclusion of Christian Bale. I have tremendous amount of respect for him as an actor. He is a remarkably diverse actor, and this film looks like it could make make up for the last mediocre Terminator movie.

The Tree of Life: Terrence Malick is one of my favorite directors, and arguably one of the best American film directors of all time. The guy just knows how to make visually stunning films. His latest film's IMDB synopsis is incredibly vague: a 1950s period piece about a young boy and a loss of innocence. The film has two acting powerhouses on board, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

Up: Pixar's latest looks charming and fun. I love how they take a basic idea and create a wonderfully enriching story. Simple, yet profound.

Watchmen: Based on arguably the greatest graphic novel ever written, this film looks visually extravagant. Set in an alternate 1985 America, where superheroes are part of everyday life and the tension of the Cold War looms over society, a group of crime-fighters join up to search for a killer. I recently read the graphic novel over the course of a weekend; it was surprisingly engaging and in-depth, with some of the best character development I've ever read in a novel. It's incredibly dark, cynical, and philosophical; we'll see how it translates to film.

Where the Wild Things Are: I've been waiting for this film for so long! It is one of the most imaginative and engaging children's books out there. The film had a ton of delays in production, but my hope is that everything turns out according to director Spike Jonze wishes.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Sabretooth, Gambit, Deadpool, The Blob, and other mutants all play a part in the story of how Logan (Hugh Jackman) became Wolverine. The first two X-Men films are some of the best superhero movies out there (the third, not so much). The action looks ridiculously over-the-top. I'm just excited to see Gambit; it brings back memories of Saturday morning cartoons.

Runner-Ups: These films look and sound great in theory, but there's simply not enough information to make an informed judgment call. Thus, runner-ups:

The Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson), Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese), Sunshine Cleaning (Christine Jeffs), Arrested Development (Mitchell Hurwitz), The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (Terry Gilliam; this is Heath Ledger's final film), New York, I Love You (multiple directors, sequel to Paris, Je T'aime), Sherlock Holmes (Guy Ritchie)

(trailers and pictures from traileraddict and /film)



  1. Another good list. All movies that I am looking forward to as well.

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for participating in this with me again this year. I love reading your movie lists and comparing what we have. Here's to another year at the movies, and hopefully we can do this again next year!

  2. Cam, thanks for organizing all this! I gotta admit, it was a lot of fun for me to create all these lists. I love film and I love community, so combining the two was great!