21 Movies You Can Still Look Forward to In the Second Half of 2013
by Ethan Anderton
July 8, 2013
Just last week, I divulged my five favorite films from the first half of 2013, but that doesn't necessarily mean all of those films will make the cut for my favorites when the end of the year rolls around. In fact, looking ahead to the releases hitting theaters over the next three months, there are plenty of new films, from blockbusters to indie darlings, coming our way. Beginning this week with the epic Pacific Rim and ending with a the pair of Christmas releases Jack Ryan and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, we've compiled a list of 21 films (because 20 just wasn't enough) that you can still look forward to later in 2013. List below!
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
In Theaters July 12th
We've already seen plenty of footage from the epic-sized, sci-fi blockbuster from director Guillermo del Toro, and in just one week the entire package arrives on the big screen. The giant kaiju monsters and human-operated robots are certainly the stars of the film, and plenty of names like Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman and Charlie Day will keep it grounded for the human element to the story. As we understand it, the spectacular, monstrous action is prominent and stunning, but there's plenty of real character driven drama as well. Give this a chance for the sake of original sci-fi.
Directed by James Wan
In Theaters July 19th
James Wan has become one of the more prominent names in horror as his original genre films, starting with Saw and leading to Insidious (and the forthcoming sequel) most recently, are delivering some real scares. The Conjuring is his latest effort, and after that first haunting teaser trailer, audiences should have already been sold. But the more recent trailer, featuring the real family who serves as the inspiration for this haunted house tale, really sealed the deal. Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor lead this horror film which has been buzzed as the best studio horror in a long time.
Directed by James Mangold
In Theaters July 26th
Honestly, we're still not sure what to expect from this spin-off sequel. The trailers have fluctuated from highlighting intriguing character driven drama to the silly action that made X-Men Origins: Wolverine a messy piece of work. Hugh Jackman and long-running comic book legacy is what's truly keeping fans interested, and we're hoping that the drastic location change to Japan with their culture infused in the superhero world is enough to make the character feel fresh again. Though we wish Darren Aronofsky ended up taking this project on, we're hoping James Mangold has done his best to make it work.
The Spectacular Now
Directed by James Ponsoldt
In Theaters August 2nd
The film was the #2 favorite for both myself and Alex Billington when we named our favorite films of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and this indie gem is finally coming later this summer. Featuring a breakthrough performance from Miles Teller and more evidence of why Shailene Woodley is one of the most gifted rising actresses of her generation, this coming-of-age flick is original, touching and just plain great. Brie Larson and Kyle Chandler also put in fantastic supporting turns, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead also pops up to reunite with her Smashed director James Ponsoldt, who further proves his talent as a gifted storyteller with a penchant for real drama and heart.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
The next movie from Neill Blomkamp, the talented South African sci-fi filmmaker that brought us District 9, called Elysium starring Matt Damon and set in a different future time where the wealthy live on a space station orbiting Earth. We've been excited for this ever since it was first announced and have been following its development closely. Multiple trailers have been released showing us what looks like an extraordinary new sci-fi vision and a world full of realistic robot mechs and hydraulic-enhanced exoskeletons. The cast includes Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Alice Braga and Sharlto Copley as the badass henchman Kruger. This is one of our most anticipated left this year.
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
In Theaters August 16th
Even if Jim Carrey is still no longer supportive of the comic book adaptation due to the graphic violence, this follow-up bringing back Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz as Kick-Ass and Hit Girl still has us pumped. The cast is boosted by a whole new crew of superheroes (like Donald Faison and Clark Duke stepping into a hero role) fighting against Christopher Mintz-Plasse and his new villainous alter ego The Mother Fucker with his own team of bad guys. It's Carrey's defined and almost unrecognizable characterization in the trailer that really turned some heads, and this sequel has the chance to outdo its predecessor in almost every way if audiences give it a chance.
The World's End
Directed by Edgar Wright
In Theaters August 23rd
It's time to finish out the the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, again featuring Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a bang. This time the story sees a group of five friends returning to their hometown to finish an epic pub crawl that went uncompleted when they were a young crew of best friends. Now with their own different lives and agendas, they must all reconcile their differences and fall out while dealing with their town being overrun by some sort of invading robot alien force. It's exactly what you would want from an Edgar Wright film.
The surprisingly hilarious film from Sony Pictures Animation is getting a sequel, but it has nothing to do with the books that inspired the original film anymore. This time, Flint Lockwood's food weather machine has gone truly haywire, turning Chewandswallow into a jungle filled with "foodimals" like shrimpanzees and mosquitoast. The most recent trailer showed off the pun-filled world with more of the comedy that made first film easily accessible to kids and adults alike. With Will Forte taking a bigger role alongside returning voice cast members like Bill Hader and Anna Faris, we're thinking this will be a great sequel.
Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
In Theaters September 27th
People have been fawning over Joseph Gordon-Levitt as he's become one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood with impressive films like Looper, (500) Days of Summer and The Dark Knight Rises behind him. Now we'll see if audiences will like his work as a first-time director with this Sundance selected romantic comedy. Gordon-Levitt also stars in this film about a porn-addicted Don Juan who never seems fully satisfied with the dozens of women he brings back to his bedroom. None have the allure of his precious pornography. But the same can be said for his latest female friend (Scarlett Johansson) who seems just as obsessed with a fairytale, Hollywood romance. The film is unique, funny, sexy and shows great potential for Gordon-Levitt as a director.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
In Theaters October 4th
From Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron comes another exhilarating original sci-fi thriller. Sandra Bullock stars with George Clooney as astronauts on a space station that experiences a catastrophe, sending them drifting into space. The intensity of the first teaser trailer hints that we'll be getting a very suspenseful yet breathtaking story, including stunning long-takes and a rumored 20-minute uncut opening scene. It's set for a Comic-Con appearance and nationwide 3D/IMAX release in the fall after being delayed for a year, giving them more time to polish the remarkable visual effects.
Directed by Gavin Hood
In Theaters November 1st
An adaptation of the beloved classic sci-fi novel written by Orson Scott Card, this ambitious futuristic story tells of a world where we train young children to battle an alien species. Asa Butterfield from Hugo stars as Ender, the brilliant young military mind recruited by Colonel Graff being played by legend Harrison Ford. Directed by Gavin Hood and produced by Kurtzman/Orci, our hope is that turns out as spectacular as the book promises. We've seen some fantastic footage in the new trailer and I expect we'll be blown away once they tease more. This is definitely one more sci-fi movie to keep an eye on coming up later this year.
Thor: The Dark World
Directed by Alan Taylor
In Theaters November 8th
It's a Marvel sequel, so that's pretty much all we need to know. Part of Phase Two of the comic book studio's cinematic universe, the film will not only continue the adventures of the god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth), but it will also give us another link in the chain that will lead to The Avengers 2. Considering the credits bumper in Iron Man 3 didn't serve as any sort of set up for the future films, we're interested to see if this one will begin any thread that hints at what's to come in Captain America: The Winter Solider or the return of The Avengers. Either way, the prospect of getting Loki (Tom Hiddleston) back in action, this time in order to save Asgard from a dark force, is very enticing.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Directed by Martin Scorsese
In Theaters November 15th
Martin Scorsese is back with his Gangs of New York, The Departed and The Aviator star Leonardo DiCaprio for this high energy, 80s set financial drama featuring a group of eclectic talent like Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey and Kyle Chandler. The screenplay comes from Terence Winter ("The Sopranos", "Boardwalk Empire"), based on Jordan Belfort's book which chronicles the man's wild real life endeavors including drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting, not to mention the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab. This is one of those real American stories that has to be seen to be believed (trailer), and even then you might not buy it.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Directed by Francis Lawrence
In Theaters November 22nd
After being surprisingly gritty and grounded, the adaptation of the young adult novel The Hunger Games impressed plenty of audiences, and it opened the floodgates for more female centric sci-fi and fantasy adaptations. Now the sequel is coming this fall, and following an Oscar win for Jennifer Lawrence earlier this year, some more people might take an interest in the franchise. Plus, Liam Hemsworth gets a little more to do this time around to show audiences he might be as good of a leading man as his comic book franchise leading brother Chris Hemsworth. But we think the most exciting thing about this sequel is Philip Seymour Hoffman returning to blockbuster territory.
It's been three years since the Coen Brothers had a film in theaters, and we're glad to have their filmmaking sensibilities back on the big screen with this folk music centric drama starring Oscar Isaac, showcasing his musical talents for the first time. He's also joined by Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, and their music should make for quite the amazing soundtrack later this year as well. It's almost a guarantee that this film will get some Oscar love when awards season rolls around, and that's exactly what the Joel & Ethan Coen deserve.
Directed by David O. Russell
In Theaters December 13th
We've yet to see a single frame from this film, but if you do some Googling you can find some unofficial set photos like the one above. David O. Russell reunites with his Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, but that's not even the best part of the cast. Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Jeremy Renner and even Louis C.K. also star in the story of a con artist and his partner in crime, who were forced to work with a federal agent to turn the tables on other cons, mobsters, and politicians - namely, the volatile mayor of impoverished Camden, New Jersey. Yep, sounds like another Oscar movie in the making for Russell.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Directed by Peter Jackson
In Theaters December 13th
At this point, we shouldn't have to tell you why we're excited about this flick. Personally, I wasn't absolutely overjoyed with the first installment of The Hobbit trilogy from director Peter Jackson, but with Benedict Cumberbatch having a significant role in the film, not to mention Luke Evans and Evangeline Lily showing up as new elves along with the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, the sequel still sounds appealing. After this encounter with the dragon named in the title, we're wondering just what's going to fill out the rest of this film trilogy. If you need more of a tease, check out the first full-length trailer.
The Monuments Men
Directed by George Clooney
In Theaters December 18th
The film already appeared on my personal list of 13 anticipated films from this year, and once the film starts the publicity machine, you can be sure plenty will be paying attention, if only because this cast is amazing. George Clooney stars in the film, in addition to directing, alongside Bill Murray, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin. The film goes back to World War II times to follow a crew of art historians and museum curators working together to recover renowned works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them as his defeat draws nearer
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Directed by Adam McKay
In Theaters December 20th
Ron Burgundy is back along with the whole Channel 4 News Team. The first real trailer with footage from the comedy sequel from director Adam McKay just arrived with World War Z, and while we got a taste of the trouble Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner will get into, there's going to be a lot of surprises in this movie, mostly in the form of mind-blowing cameos. Some of these have been spoiled elsewhere online, but we wholly recommend going into this film blind for maximum enjoyment.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
In Theaters December 25th
Chris Pine takes the lead in yet another franchise reboot at Paramount Pictures after being part of J.J. Abrams' successful Star Trek series, but this time his action will be grounded on Earth as Tom Clancy's recurring spy character Jack Ryan. This one dives into the origins of Ryan before he became the character brought to life by Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin in films like The Sum of All Fears, Patriot Games and The Hunt. Director Kenneth Branagh (Thor) is at the helm of this film which sees Ryan as a young covert CIA analyst, who uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack. We'll see if Pine can give another familiar character new life.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Directed by Ben Stiller
In Theaters December 25th
Just one official first look photo has surfaced from this new adaptation of James Thurber's classic short story (besides footage at CinemaCon). This time the film version follows Ben Stiller (who is also directing) as a timid magazine photo manager who daydreams of exciting adventures, only to get into an adventure of his own when he goes in search of a missing photo negative. The cast also features the likes of Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn and Sean Penn, and after the exuberant early buzz comparing it to 500 Days of Summer, this film is easily becoming one of my more anticipated of the winter.
So you see, there's still a lot of great movies to check out later this year. What are you excited to see?