Alright, so before we dive in, I want to acknowledge that I got a little carried away and there are a lot of movies listed below. I set out on this journey because I had no idea what to expect from the movies in 2015 and finished my research beyond excited for what’s to come. It appears as though we’re in for a great year and I hope that many of these live up to their billing. Most of these dates are locked in, but I’m sure some will change. There is also a section at the bottom for films slated for 2015 that don’t have a release date yet.
***Note that you can click on any title that displays in blue to play the newest trailer I could find (including the new Star Wars and Hateful Eight trailers that arrived today).***
Child 44– April 17, 2015
Director- Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House”)
Notes- I’ll see anything with Tom Hardy. He’s undoubtedly in the top 3 actors currently working today. It has gotten mediocre reviews so far but I’ll probably still try to catch it at some point.
Far From The Madding Crowd– May 1, 2015
Director- Thomas Vinterberg (“The Hunt”)
Notes- Vinterberg is a well respected director and this stars Carey Mulligan. That’s enough to intrigue me. I doubt I’ll see it, but I figured it was worth noting.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron– May 1, 2015
Director- Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”)
Notes- Eh. I’m sure I’ll see it but I’m totally over all the constant Marvel bombardment (I did LOVE “Guardians of the Galaxy” though).
Mad Max: Fury Road– May 15, 2015
Director- George Miller (Best known for “Mad Max” aaaaand “Happy Feet”)
Notes- I’m not a big “Mad Max” guy but I don’t know that I’ve given it a fair shot. The first couple were just so out there and so 80’s. We’ll see. Like I said, this falls into the “I’ll see anything with Tom Hardy” Rule.
The Early Years- May 21, 2015 (Release date in Italy)
Director- Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”)
Notes- Sorrentino is an Italian filmmaker who makes beautiful movies. This one doesn’t sound overly exciting, but it’s going to be in English and stars Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel and Paul Dano.
Spy– May 22, 2015
Director- Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”)
Notes- Like seemingly every other person on earth, I love Melissa McCarthy. I’ll laugh at just about anything she does. Last year’s “Tammy” was a terrible movie but I was still moderately entertained because she is just so attention-demanding. I’m very excited for this and have pretty high hopes at the moment.
Tomorrowland– May 22, 2015
Director- Brad Bird (“The Iron Giant”, “The Incredibles”, “Ratatouille”)
Notes- I have really high hopes for this one. Brad Bird has a great track record, it stars George Clooney, and Damon Lindelof (“LOST”) is a co-writer. Sounds like success to me.
Aloha– May 29, 2015
Director- Cameron Crowe (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Say Anything…”, “Jerry Maguire”, “Almost Famous”)
Notes- I like Cameron Crowe a lot. Despite its cheesy elements and dialogue, I love “Jerry Maguire.” “Aloha” stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski and Bill Murray. Yeah, I’m all in here.
Entourage– June 5, 2015
Director- Doug Ellin (Creator of “Entourage”)
Notes- I don’t know that this will break any new ground, but I think it’ll be fun to see the gang back together.
Jurassic World– June 12, 2015
Director- Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”)
Notes- I don’t know if this will be great, but I’m certainly looking forward to it. Like everyone else, I love Chris Pratt and I’m sure I’ll get swept into the hype which will inevitably increase in the next two months the more I hang out with Joseph.
Terminator Genisys– July 1, 2015
Director- Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”)
Notes- At this point, my girl Emilia Clarke is really the only draw here for me. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining and make a lot of money but in terms of quality, my current expectation level is in the 6/10 range.
Inside Out– June 19, 2015
Director- Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”)
Notes- This is the first of two Pixar films to be released in 2015. I have super high hopes here for the first original, non-sequel Pixar film in years.
Ant-Man– July 17, 2015
Director- Peyton Reed (“Yes Man”, “The Break-Up”)
Notes- I just can’t seem to bring myself to be excited for this. I want to care, but I just don’t.
Trainwreck– July 17, 2015
Director- Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Knocked Up”)
Notes- Written by and starring Amy Schumer, who I have super lukewarm feelings towards. This new Judd Apatow entry actually has a lot of potential in my opinion. I love Bill Hader and am really looking forward to this. I hope it’s good if for no other reason than I don’t want to read the terrible play-on-words review headlines if the film is a “trainwreck.”
Irrational Man- July 24, 2015
Director- Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”, “Midnight in Paris”)
Notes- Woody Allen has been super hit-or-miss lately, but he continues to pump out star-filled films one after another. Whereas Quentin Tarantino has gone on record many times on his awareness of preserving the integrity of his filmography and how he will probably stop at 10 films to try and avoid flops, Woody Allen just seems to want to put out as many films as possible. I’m a fan of Woody Allen’s work in general but I kind of wish he would slow down and focus on quality. Your guess is every bit as good as mine as to whether or not this will be worth seeing. I am intrigued to see him directing Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone though.
Pan– July 24, 2015
Director- Joe Wright (“Pride and Prejudice”, “Atonement”)
Notes- I’m intrigued, but not ready to make any grand proclamations.
Mission: Impossible V– July 31, 2015
Director- Christopher McQuarrie (“Jack Reacher”, wrote “The Usual Suspects”)
Notes- McQuarrie is best known as a screenwriter but I think that there’s some legitimate potential here for a solid summer blockbuster. Obviously it stars Tom Cruise but this installment also features Jeremy Renner (who apparently has to be in every action franchise now), Alec Baldwin, and Simon Pegg.
Southpaw– July 31, 2015
Director- Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”)
Notes- At this point “Southpaw” is most known for Jake Gyllenhaal’s physical transformation (which is especially crazy following “Nightcrawler”). It was originally going to feature Eminem as a continuation of “8 Mile” but he eventually dropped out. It’s certainly an interesting project but I’m quite not sure what to do with it yet.
Ricki and the Flash- August 7, 2015
Director- Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”)
Notes- Meryl Streep stars here as an aging rocker in a film written by Diablo Cody. That should be enough to peak your interest.
Fantastic Four– August 7, 2015
Director- Josh Trank (“Chronicle”)
Notes- Eh. Again, I’m kind of tired of Marvel beating me over the head with their franchises. This does star Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara, so I’ll certainly keep an eye on it. But it just feels wildly unnecessary. It already has a sequel set, so Marvel certainly feels good about it.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.– August 14, 2015
Director- Guy Ritchie (“Snatch”, “Sherlock Holmes”)
Notes- Rumored to have been originally toyed with by both Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh, Guy Ritchie eventually picked up the film. I’m not sold on it being anything special but it’s one to keep an eye on.
Triple Nine- September 11, 2015
Director- John Hillcoat (“The Proposition”, “The Road”, “Lawless”)
Notes- Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Woody Harrelson and Michael B. Jordan. All in.
Black Mass- September 18, 2015
Director- Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”)
Notes- Stars Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Sienna Miller, Jesse Plemons, Adam Scott and Juno Temple. This should be one to keep an eye on.
Legend- September 18, 2015 (UK release date)
Director- Brian Helgeland (Wrote “L.A. Confidential”)
Notes- Tom Hardy. Therefore, I’ll see it. The story is about identical twin gangsters who wreak havoc in London in the 1950’s. Apparently, Tom Hardy plays both twins according to IMDb. Should be interesting.
Sicario- September 18, 2015
Director- Dennis Villeneuve (“Incendies”, “Prisoners”)
Notes- This one stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. Interesting plot and as someone who really enjoyed “Prisoners,” I’m excited to see what Dennis Villeneuve has in store next.
Life- September 25, 2015 (UK release date)
Director- Anton Corbijn (“A Most Wanted Man”)
Notes- Interest in this one mostly centers around last year’s “A Most Wanted Man” being such an interesting and unique film. Just on the list to keep an eye on.
The Walk– October 2, 2015
Director- Robert Zemickis (“Back to the Future”, “Forrest Gump”)
Notes- Biopic on the subject of the awesome documentary “Man on Wire”. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I have high hopes for this one. Ok… pun kind of intended.
Victor Frankenstein- October 2, 2015
Director- Paul McGuigan (“Sherlock” TV series, “Lucky Number Slevin”)
Notes- Classic Frankenstein tale told through the eyes of Igor, Frankenstein’s assistant. James McAvoy stars and Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe co-stars as Igor. Not totally sold on this yet but it’s one to watch for.
Steve Jobs- October 9, 2015
Director- Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”, “Slumdog Millionaire”)
Notes- I wasn’t really sold on this at all but I’m starting to come around. I like Danny Boyle and this has a great cast including Kate Winslet, Michael Fassbender, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogan. It was also written by Aaron Sorkin. I’m still hesitant but look forward to hearing more.
Crimson Peak– October 16, 2015
Director- Guillermo del Toro (“Cronos”, “The Devil’s Backbone”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”)
Notes- Guillermo del Toro’s roots are firmly planted in the horror genre and seems to have returned to form with this haunted house-type tale. I’m not a huge horror guy, but this is one of the films I’m most excited about for the back end of the year.
Bridge of Spies- October 16, 2015
Director- Steven Spielberg (“Jaws”, “Schindler’s List”, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.)
Notes- Obviously, Spielberg’s name carries a lot of weight. But the Coen Brothers also helped co-write the screenplay, so expectations here are about as high as they can be. Also, Tom Hanks.
Suffragette- October 23, 2015
Director- Sarah Gavron
Notes- This one is about the “foot soldiers of the early feminist movement”. That doesn’t do a ton for me, but Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Brendan Gleeson do.
Spectre– November 6, 2015
Director- Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”, “Skyfall”)
Notes- Not much to say here. Should be a solid conclusion to the Daniel Craig era as James Bond.
The Hateful Eight– November 13, 2015
Director- Quentin Tarantino
Notes- The release date isn’t locked in, but November 13th is what I read on one website. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was released in the U.S. early in 2016. A Tarantino film doesn’t need any ramblings from me to hype it up. “Django Unchained” proved he’s still got it and I can’t wait to see this one.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Pt. 2– November 20, 2015
Director- Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”)
Notes- The last film in the franchise was supposed to be building up to this one. Hopefully it delivers.
Midnight Special- November 25, 2015
Director- Jeff Nichols (“Shotgun Stories”, “Take Shelter”, “Mud”)
Notes- I think Jeff Nichols is one of the most underrated and creative filmmakers coming up and I’m sure this will be another interesting, bizarre entry.
The Good Dinosaur- November 25, 2015
Director- Bob Peterson (“Up”) and Peter Sohn
Notes- Not a whole lot is known about this one. Getting two Pixar releases in one year is certainly exciting though.
The Martian- November 25, 2015
Director- Ridley Scott (“Alien”, “Blade Runner”, “Gladiator”)
Notes- Obviously, most Ridley Scott films are “can’t miss” but this one seems extra interesting as he follows up his recent critical failure, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”. I’d anticipate this one being a return to form since it’s a sci-fi film. It also stars Matt Damon (“Interstellar” Ice Planet Matt Damon???), Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Wiig and Kate Mara.
In the Heart of the Sea– December 11, 2015
Director- Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind”)
Notes- Ron Howard is a master storyteller. I’m sure this will be no exception.
Knight of Cups– December 11, 2015
Director- Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”, “The Tree of Life”)
Notes- In a seemingly loaded year, this might be the one I’m most looking forward to. Terrence Malick is one of the best filmmakers of all time but, if I’m being honest, I hated his latest film, “To The Wonder”. I’m expecting him to get back on track here but there are all sorts of weird things to be aware of regarding this film. For instance, there was no script. All of the lines were improvised apparently and none of the actors even knew what the film was about. It has also been in post-production for two years. With a cast of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman, it’ll be very interesting to see the final result. My only major cause for concern is that Christian Bale and Natalie Portman have said they spent more time on voice-over work than they did actually shooting the film. I loved the voice-over work in “The Tree of Life” but hated it in “To The Wonder”. I’m hoping it doesn’t kill this for me. Regardless of how it turns out, there’s one thing I know for sure: it’ll be one of the most visually beautiful films you’ve ever seen.
Sisters– December 18, 2015
Director- Jason Moore (“Pitch Perfect”)
Notes- Anytime you bring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey together good times will be had.
Star Wars: Episode VII– December 18, 2015
Director- J.J. Abrams (“LOST”, “Star Trek”)
Notes- Not much to add here. The trailer currently has 61 million views. You know the drill.
Joy- December 25, 2015
Director- David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”, “American Hustle”)
Notes- Well the band is all back together…Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro all star in this Christmas Day drama.
Snowden- December 25, 2015
Director- Oliver Stone (“Platoon”, “JFK”)
Notes- After last year’s awesome and important documentary, “Citizenfour”, we get a biopic look at the events that transpired from Oliver Stone. I think this will be good, but besides more people learning more about Snowden and what actually transpired, I fail to really see the point.
The Revenant- December 25, 2015
Director- Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”)
Notes- It may end up coming out the first week in 2016 but this one has crazy potential. Alejandro González Iñárritu plus Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. No way this doesn’t live up to however much hype you throw at it.
UNKNOWN RELEASE DATE
A Hologram For The King
Director- Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”, “Perfume”)
Notes- I like the Tykwer films I’ve seen and this stars Tom Hanks so I’ll be curious to see what the two come up with.
Beasts of No Nation
Director- Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”, 8 episodes of “True Detective”)
Notes- I don’t know much besides it stars Idris Elba and a lot of movie blog people seem to be excited about it.
By the Sea
Director- Angelina Jolie (“Unbroken”)
Notes- Written, directed and starring Angelina Jolie. Also stars Brad Pitt and my girl Melanie Laurent. I wouldn’t get overly excited but we’ll keep an eye on it.
Director- Todd Haynes (“Far From Heaven”, “I’m Not There.”)
Notes- Stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Coach Taylor. Movie blog people seem to be excited about it. Do what you will with that information.
Director- Jean-Marc Vallee (“Dallas Buyers Club”, “Wild”)
Notes- Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper. Vallee has been on a roll lately so it’ll be interesting to see what has for us next (I didn’t love “Wild” but it’s not a bad film).
Digging For Fire
Director- Joe Swanberg (“Drinking Buddies”)
Notes- Debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Awesome cast of Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell, Brie Larson, Orlando Bloom, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Elliott and Mike Birbiglia. I thought “Drinking Buddies” was a well-made indie comedy but I didn’t see Swanberg following it with this lineup. We’ll see.
Everything Will Be Fine
Director- Wim Wenders (“Paris, Texas”, “Wings of Desire”)
Notes- I saw “Paris, Texas” last year for the first time and was blown away. I’ve been meaning to check out some of Wim Wenders other films and look forward to seeing this one despite the lukewarm response I’ve seen thus far. It stars Rachel McAdams and James Franco.
Director- Ben Wheatley (“Sightseers”)
Notes- Wheatley has a strange style but this one seems interesting. Stars Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elizabeth Moss.
Director- Kent Jones
Notes- Gather round movie nerds! This is a documentary featuring many great directors discussing how Francois Truffaut’s book “Cinema According to Hitchcock” influenced them. Listed are: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Richard Linklater and Brian De Palma.
Director- Justin Kurzel (“The Snowtown Murders”)
Notes- A story that’s been told in many ways many times but it’s interesting due to it starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Kurzel is also considered an up-and-comer of a director.
Director- Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”, “Frances Ha”)
Notes- Baumbach and Greta Gerwig combine again following “Frances Ha” in the film that debuted at Sundance this year. I’m sure it’ll be quirky and yada yada yada.
Director- Jodie Foster (“The Beaver”)
Notes- I’m not a huge Jodie Foster fan but this stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell (who has been killing it lately).
Director- Lenny Abrahamson (“Frank”)
Notes- Last year’s “Frank” was a very interesting and original film and so I’m intrigued to see what Abrahamson does next. The plot description on IMDb just says, “A young boy is raised within the confines of a small shed.” It stars William H. Macy and Brie Larson, both of whom I like a whole lot.
Queen of the Desert
Director- Werner Herzog (“Grizzly Man”, “Rescue Dawn”)
Notes- Werner Herzog is most known as one of the best documentary filmmakers ever so it’ll be interesting to see him stray from that again. This is a biopic about Gertrude Bell’s life and stars Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Damien Lewis. I don’t know that it sounds overly interesting but Herzog’s name along with the cast certainly carry some weight.
That’s What I’m Talking About
Director- Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”, “Before Sunrise”)
Notes- Not a lot is known about this one and I’m skeptical that we’ll see it in 2015. But I think most movie people are curious what Linklater does to follow “Boyhood”. I don’t really see any big names attached to this (which I actually like) so I think we’ll be seeing Linklater continue to give us a portrait into the lives of regular people (apparently baseball players here).
The Light Between Oceans
Director- Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine”, “The Place Beyond the Pines”)
Notes- I thought Cianfrance’s last two films were (depressingly) great so I’m more than willing to check out his next work. This one stars Michael Fassbender (who seems to be in every other movie this year) and Rachel Weisz.
Director- Yorgos Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”, “Alps”)
Notes- Lanthimos makes super weird movies but they’re usually pretty hard to take your eyes off of. “Dogtooth” might be the strangest movie I’ve ever seen but I’ve also seen it ranked as the best movie of the last decade. This one stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly. The plot? A dystopian near future where single people are forced to find a mate in 45 days or they are turned into animals and released into the woods. Do what you will with all that.
The Sea of Trees
Director- Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hunting”, “Milk”)
Notes- This is one that I find the plot quite compelling. It’s about a suicidal American who befriends a Japanese man lost in the forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out. It stars Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts. I hope this one is really good.
War on Everyone
Director- John Michael McDonagh (“Calvary”, “The Guard”)
Notes- I loved “The Guard” and REALLY loved “Calvary” so I’m highly interested in this one. I love McDonagh’s dark humor and hope this one follows the same path as the last couple.