From beloved Disney revamps, to a heartbreaking conception of a classic tale, 2014 seems to be the year of adaptations, sequels and remakes. We will get to see Angelina Jolie make her first on-screen appearance since 2011, and be enlightened by director Christopher Nolan’s return post-Batman. So, in spirit of the New Year, I present you with this list of seven must-see films of 2014.
1. The Monuments Men: February 7
Based on true events, a group of men during World War II are made responsible to collect all art masterpieces from the Nazi’s, much like a treasure hunt, and return them to their rightful owners to avoid thousands of years of culturally significant items being destroyed. This group, called the Monuments Men, consists of seven meek museum directors, curators, and art historians, making the task much more unlikely to succeed. The film, based on the book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History” by Robert M. Edsel, is directed, written by and starring George Clooney, and also features performances by Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett.
2. Winters Tale: February 14
In this heartbreaking and supernatural Valentine’s flick, based on the 1938 novel by Mark Helprin, an Irish burglar (Colin Farrell) falls in love with an heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay) as she is dying. It is a tale of crossed-destinies and the miracle of love. The film is written and directed by the talented Akiva Goldsman (The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind, I am Legend).
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel: March 7
Hopefully what will be another brilliant addition to Wes Anderson’s portfolio, The Grand Budapest Hotel appears to be a conglomeration of all his prior work starring the majority of his go-to cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, and Jason Schwartzman. In similar fashion, this dramedy offers adventurous insight into the life of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel, and his best friend and lobby boy, Zero Moustafa. You can view other Wes Anderson films, including Rushmore and Moonrise Kingdom, on DirecTV and Netflix.
4. Maleficent: May 30
For those of us who wished we saw more of Angelina Jolie, this remake of the Sleeping Beauty tale, featuring Jolie in her first film role since 2011 as the evil Maleficent, will appease our longing. As the haunting trailer exposes, this film is told from the perspective of the evil witch (the one in the original story that curses the young princess Aurora) and what the troubles were in her life that hardened her heart.
5. 22 Jump Street: June 13
In this follow-up comedy to 21 Jump Street, we once again see Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum moving up in the world as they go undercover — this time, in community college. This time around, they have to learn how to deal with co-ed bathrooms, party like college students, and face the reality of what it means to be a mature adult.
6. Interstellar: November 7
Finally, Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Rises, Inception) is back in theatres as the director of the sci-fi film Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway. Like Star Trek on crack, the film follows a group of explorers and space travelers who encounter a wormhole into the unlimited interstellar and then travel through it to extend human space travel limitations.
7. Annie: December 19
Just like the classic tale goes, a wealthy businessman (Jamie Foxx) rescues a young orphan named Annie from the hands of the cruel and drunken Miss Hannigan. However, this time around, the story features an all-black cast and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan
The film is produced by rapper Jay-Z and actor Will Smith, who envisioned this remake as “a modern re-imagining of a beloved musical”.
There is no official trailer available yet, but you can check out the cast preparing for the iconic song “Tomorrow.”