There are a ton of potentially powerful movies to fill our time this year. From lumbering giants like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World, to more cerebral offerings from directors like Terrence Malick and Martin Scorcese, there’s really a lot to look forward to.
Sure, preferences may vary, but we’ve done our homework and concluded that these are the 30 movies that need to be on your radar in 2015, and these aren’t necessarily the one you’d expect.
In July, Paul Rudd shrinks down to insect size to kick ass in Ant-Man. Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly (Lost) co-star, although I find this to be a strange choice for the main character. We’ll see!
14. The Look of Silence
The most anticipated documentary of the year has to be this powerful piece about a young man – whose brother was killed during the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66 – confronting the men who murdered him.
13. The Walk
Maybe you remember Man on Wire, that 2008 documentary about the guy who walked between the World Trade Center’s twin towers. That story is now getting the biopic treatment. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as high wire daredevil Philippe Petit.
12. Crimson Peak
The spectacularly creative Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy), is cooking up an original horror film about an aspiring author who’s torn between her love for her childhood friend and a mysterious outsider.
11. Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller
There’s no title on this one yet, but it’s the first pairing of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in more than 10 years. The plot involves an American lawyer who’s recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot being held in the Soviet Union.
Bond 24 will feature the excellent Daniel Craig back as 007 once again, along with Christopher Waltz, a sexy Aston Martin DB10, and undoubtedly a slew of gadgets, explosions, and car chases.
9. The Hateful Eight
Production just began on this Quentin Tarantino-led Western, but it’s already been through hell, with script leaks, lawsuits, and assorted pre-production chaos. With Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and plenty of others, this tale of a stagecoach’s journey through a wintry Wyoming will undoubtedly be interesting.
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
The highly successful Hunger Games series comes to a conclusion with this surefire blockbuster due around Thanksgiving time. Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen as she spearheads a revolution against the Capitol.
7. Midnight Special
Not much is known about this one, other than it’s being billed as a “sci-fi chase” movie, with a father and son on the run after the dad learns his boy has special powers. We’ll just have to wait and see.
6. The Martian
Ridley Scott doesn’t half-ass anything, so when we hear he’s making a movie about an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on Mars, we take notice. We’re quite curious about spotting the hysterical Kristen Wiig in the supporting cast though.
5. The Good Dinosaur
Pixar’s other release set for 2105 stars the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader, and John Lithgow, and though not much is known about the plot, it’s pretty easy to trust these guys.
4. Knight of Cups
Terrence Malick films are often beautiful, deep, and divisive, as his works lean much more toward the abstract. Knight of Cups looks to be typical Malick, as the only slightly less enigmatic Christian Bale plays a screenwriter who’s trying to make sense of the bizarre events occurring around him.
3. Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will be back on the big screen again in George Lucas’ iconic universe. If Abrams can improve the series’ stiff dialogue, leave Jar Jar-like distractions out, and manage to capture that intangible essence of what makes a Star Wars film special, he’ll have The Force with him always.
2. The Revenant
Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of the finest directors in the world. His work on Babel, Biutiful, and Best Picture contender Birdman have fleshed that out. Now he’s at the helm of a story about a trapper (Leonardo DiCaprio) who’s out for revenge against the men who left him for dead after a bear attack.
This Martin Scorcese film about two Jesuit priests who encounter violence when they travel to Japan to spread Christianity has been plagued by delays. It’s possible it could be pushed back to 2016, but if not, the combination of Scorcese, Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield should prove a blessing.