20 Movies You Can Still Look Forward To in the Second Half of 2012

July 4, 2012

20 Movies You Can Still Look Forward To

Now that we've made our way into July, complete with the blockbuster release of The Amazing Spider-Man just in time for the holiday weekend, it's the halfway point. But there's plenty of movies to look forward to, especially for those who have been somewhat disappointed by the movies of the summer (see our own Brandon Lee Tenney's outlook on this year's duds). And so, there's no time like the present to look at some of the films slated to hit theaters in the second half of the year which still have our curious eyes watching closely. From The Dark Knight Rises to The Hobbit, there's plenty to be pumped for in the rest of 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises
Directed by Christopher Nolan
The Dark Knight Rises
In Theaters July 20th

What more needs to be said at this point? We're only a few weeks away from finally experiencing the finale to Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy. We've got Bane, who looks more and more badass every day, along with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman teaming up with or fighting against—we're not sure—Batman, who is just trying to keep Gotham City clean. Everything about this seems to be leading up to an incredibly spectacular finale, with Hans Zimmer's score, over an hour of IMAX footage shot by Wally Pfister, and Christopher Nolan going all out to end this with a bang. I'm literally on-the-edge-of-my-seat anxious with excitement to see how this ends, and will likely watch it over and over again in IMAX as many times as I can.

The Watch
Directed by Akiva Shaffer
The Watch
In Theaters July 27th

Take a little but of Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Faculty and shake it up with some Judd Apatow humor and you've got The Watch, this summer's sci-fi action comedy starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Richard Ayoade. Those first three names are already well known, but the latter directed Submarine, brings the laughs on the British comedy series "The IT Crowd" with Chris O'Dowd, and will certainly make a splash with his first big film in the US. If the red band trailer was any indicator, this is going to be one raunchy sci-fi blast this summer, and should be a return to form for comedy from Ben Stiller. Plus, it's directed by The Lonely Island cohort and Hot Rod helmer Akiva Shaffer, so there.

The Bourne Legacy
Directed by Tony Gilroy
The Bourne Legacy
In Theaters August 10th

After an excellent conclusion to the original Bourne trilogy, we weren't sure how a sequel would work without star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass. But series writer Tony Gilroy has come up with a cool spin by introducing us to a new character played by Jeremy Renner, and having events from The Bourne Ultimatum play out in the background of this completely new story. The action looks great, and with a solid cast of newcomers (Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz) as well as some familiar faces (Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Albert Finney), we're looking forward to seeing how the series moves forward.

The Campaign
Directed by Jay Roach
The Campaign
In Theaters August 10th

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have each had their own comedy breakthrough which has blossomed into a successful film career, not only as funnymen, but powerful dramatic actors as well. But now the two are sticking with the straight-up laugh riot approach for The Campaign, a political comedy from Jay Roach, a director who has gone from the spoof nature of Austin Powers to the political drama of Recount and Game Change. Ferrell is doing a bit of George W. Bush and Rick Perry while Galifianakis is bringing his stage persona of his fictional brother Seth Galifianakis into the mix, and they are going head-to-head for Congressional dominance. And with a supporting cast that also includes Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd and Brian Cox, I think we're in for a hell of a comedy for the election year.

The Expendables 2
Directed by Simon West
The Expendables 2
In Theaters August 17th

Let's be honest, if you're not already excited to see this movie, then you just don't care about old school action and the big musclehead stars of yesteryear. But there are plenty who know that they can expect mindless action from The Expendables 2, especially with Con-Air director Simon West in the driver's seat with an ensemble of the biggest action stars (and Liam Hemsworth) coming together for an explosive good time at the movies. The most recent trailer really served up the action on a platter, but the real draw for me is seeing Jean Claude Van Damme as the villain this time. But then, of course, there's Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis and, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger, so get your steroids and popcorn ready!

Directed by Chris Butler & Sam Fell
In Theaters August 17th

Laika has already shown great potential with Henry Selick's adaptation of Coraline (plus, the director is also giving the same treatment to Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book), and now the animation company is back with more glorious stop-motion animation in the form of ParaNorman. Tale of Desperaux director Sam Fell is teaming up with storyboard artist Chris Butler to co-direct this darkly charming family film featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and more. The last trailer offers plenty of gorgeous animation and great fantastical horror that the whole family can enjoy.

Gangster Squad
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Gangster Squad
In Theaters September 7th

While I've been impressed with director Ruben Fleischer's comedies (like Zombieland), I've been waiting for him to show us what he's capable of with action, now's the time. Fleischer has directed a badass 40s/50s police-vs-mobster Los Angeles crime drama called Gangster Squad, starring an unbelievably awesome cast and based on a true story. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick and Anthony Mackie on the good guys side, and Sean Penn, Giovanni Ribisi on the bad guys, plus Emma Stone somewhere in the middle. Not only is it going to be a tense drama about cleaning up the streets when it's a challenge to do so, but from the looks of the official trailer, there's going to be some awesome tommy gun, cops-'n-robbers style action and I can't wait to see it. Bring it on, Fleischer!

Directed by Rian Johnson
In Theaters September 28th

Director Rian Johnson is currently one of my favorite filmmakers working today. Though he's only deliver two feature films, those films happen to be Brick and The Brothers Bloom, each of which made my Top 10 of their respective release years. Now Rian Johnson is going a bit bigger with his latest film Looper, a sci-fi film following hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who kills targets sent to him from the future, where time travel has been invented. But complications arise when he discovers his future self (played by Bruce Willis) as the target, causing him to go on the run. Aside from the cool concept, and promising action from the trailer, it's seeing Gordon-Levitt in habit a young Bruce Willis that's truly remarkable. This looks to be another great film from Rian Johnson, and we can't wait to see it.

Taken 2
Directed by Olivier Megaton
Taken 2
In Theaters October 5th

After the original Taken became a surprise hit in 2008 and launched Liam Neeson into one of cinemas biggest badasses, we've been patiently waiting to see how Bryan Mills would put his particular set of skills to use again. The first teaser trailer changes the locale but looks to give us the same ass-kicking action that we've come to expect, and the story seems to involve Maggie Grace's Kim character helping rescue her parents this time, switching up the dynamic a little. But as long as Neeson gets to threaten some people with that gravelly voice, blow some stuff up, and snap a few necks, we'll likely be happy with the results.

Directed by Ben Affleck
In Theaters October 12th

Ben Affleck has proven himself as a solid director with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and now he's taking on a period piece with his third film behind the camera. Argo tells a fascinating true story of the Iran hostage crisis and looks to have a bit more flash and style to it than the director's previous efforts. Affleck stars as the man tasked with rescuing the trapped Americans, and he's joined by an excellent supporting cast that includes John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber and even Kyle Chandler. It may not be one of the most anticipated of 2012, but it could be one of the most well-crafted.

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Prometheus taught me to finally not trust the Hollywood hype machine.The movie may be good but reserve judgement until you see it.Hype is just hype.It's there to sell tickets.

Huh? on Jul 4, 2012


Thank you Buzz Killington

TDKR on Jul 4, 2012


You are welcome.You need anything else?

Huh? on Jul 4, 2012


Ya, can you tell the joke about why W.S. Gilbert was frequently drunk on his transatlantic crossings?

LosZombies on Jul 4, 2012


Is that Anne Hathaway or a dude?

Graeme on Jul 4, 2012


while i'm looking forward to quite a few movies - NOTHING gets me more excited than "hobbit".

beevis on Jul 4, 2012


You, sir, get my vote, along with The Hobbit as well.

LosZombies on Jul 4, 2012


thanks! now, if only hollywood would come to its senses and get busy on adapting terry brooks "shannara" books!

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


I second that, but then I see Taken 2 and remember how much I love seeing some Neeson, anger/revenge filled ass beating with a twist of "Hey, you're bleeding, Oh, nevermind you're dead now." But I concur, once again, on a return to Middle Earth.

Quanah on Jul 4, 2012


can't argue with neeson in anything! have you ever seen "rob roy"? neeson, along with the rest of the cast (that includes tim roth, john hurt, and jessica lange) are excellent. neeson is also excellent in "michael collins".

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


I have, and I loved it.

Quanah on Jul 5, 2012


great! nice to see there are some who have seen movies that were made before 2000.

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


Oh yeah...most of my favorite films predate 2000. I even remember Neeson in Darkman, which I liked and is also a Sam Raimi film I think a lot of people forget.

Quanah on Jul 5, 2012


i hear ya! yea - i liked DM too - i don't think it was anywhere as good as RR, MC, taken, or schindlers list...but it was good. hey! did you like "the other man"? i thought that was a good watch - not a classic by any means; but, still good.

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


I haven't, but it sounds like I should.

Quanah on Jul 5, 2012


Great movie! Tim Roth was amazing!!

grimjob on Jul 5, 2012


i couldn't agree more! i'm a big TR fan - he's so good. how about his dutch schultz in hoodlum?

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


I haven't seen it. Just looked it up on imdb. Great cast, AND directed by Bill Duke?! I need to see this!

grimjob on Jul 6, 2012


you absolutely need to see hooldlum - i think you'll love it.

beevis on Jul 8, 2012


What?! No Twilight?! LOL!

mgray on Jul 4, 2012



axl on Jul 4, 2012


Wow John Goodman in three of these movies! I hope he finally gets his comeback. Nothing suprising here, except reading Wreck-It-Ralph had game cameos. No chance in getting Scarlett to cameo as Samas Aran?

Akirakorn on Jul 4, 2012


In my opinion any five on that list has to be better than most of the crap that has been dished out so far this year. Only movies that I've really enjoyed in the first half of 2012 are The Avengers and The Hunger Games, so bring them on. But, why or why did Nolan decide to bring the Catwoman into The Dark Knight Rises? That character is about as dumb looking and as irritating as Robin and is the only thing that's making me a little nervous about this one. But hey, it's Chris Nolan's movie so I fgure how bad can she be?

Hattori Hanzo on Jul 4, 2012


A "gay" blond Aussie made a lot of people nervous about TDK, too...

Razor on Jul 4, 2012


the "gay" remark is unnecessary - that being said, i don't remember anyone looking at ledger pics (as the joker) being "nervous" about TDK (personally - i was excited to see what ledger did with joker - and he didn't disappoint). also, ledger had shown he could act before TDK. it seems like those wanting to defend AH as catwoman are now trying to use a made up opinion of ledger (pre TDK) to justify hathaway being catwoman - and this sounds like an arguement a child would dream up. the only thing that can show nolan was right is if she pulls off an amazing performance - and that remains to be seen. i'm a doubter - she's never been spectacular in anything (in my opinion) and i feel she'll end up bombing like katie holmes did in nolans first "batman" movie......but, we'll find out soon.

beevis on Jul 4, 2012


I thought Anne Hathaway has shown some impressive acting chops in Brokeback Mountain, Rachel Getting Married (she was Oscar nominated after all) and even in Love & Other Drugs. Ledger may have shown that he could act but he wasn't exactly considered a flamboyant actor, which is what most people would think someone playing the Joker would be like (such as Jack Nicholson). I didn't see Heath Ledger as the Joker when I first heard the casting news but once I saw footage I was sold on it. Besides, the character of Selina Kyle/Catwoman has been around since the Batman comics began in the 1930s. That's a lot of material to work with. Rachel Dawes was made up by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer so I think Hathaway has an advantage there that Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal didn't.

politicaldefiance on Jul 4, 2012


Plus, just the fact that Hathaway CAN act gives her an advantage over Holmes.

grimjob on Jul 4, 2012


Here Here!

LosZombies on Jul 5, 2012


You know I watched batman begins the other day and Holmes wasn't that bad. Obviously Maggie G is twice the actress but still I don't understand the bad rap Katie gets.

Jon Odishaw on Jul 5, 2012


Its not just Batman Begins, its all her work. She was ok, I guess. But that's all she ever is. Mediocre. And when she works with people that have 10x the talent, her weakness shows even more. Her and Alba. Pretty faces, but nothing to really contribute.

grimjob on Jul 5, 2012


beeves, see the movie first, before you trash Anne Hathaway's performance. You can't hide your hate for Anne. Hathaway had to read and screen-test opposite Christian Bale, before she won this coveted female role. You can google the praises of Christian Bale, Jonathan Nolan, and Chris Nolan for Anne's performance. Remember, Katie Holmes was hired because Warner Brothers told Chris Nolan to do so. They wanted an A-list name at the time. Before Batman Begins was released in the movie theaters, Nolan didn't have much clout.

pmp on Jul 4, 2012


what do you mean "you can't hide your hate for anne"??? i don't hate her - i've never met her....but, i also have never tried to hide my dislike for her acting ability since i don't think she's a very good actress - so, i don't know why you'd say that.

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


In terms of praises , pmp : everyone involved with SWATH Praised KStew up and down for her "dedication to her character " You think she was good in SWATH ??? if u didn't praise your fellow actors from a movie , you wouldn't be in too many more movies . Take Bale and the Nolans with a grain of salt see the movie . I'm not starting a Hate KStew thread , I'm just sayin' ..

Dominic A on Jul 8, 2012


as far as the rest of the "AH defense force" comments replying to me.........i'm certainly not trying to irritate or anger anyone. it's my opinion that AH is a poor choice for catwoman and she isn't a very good actress. also, in that outfit she looks like a college coed going to a halloween party - she looks ridiculous. i'm not a huge fan of angelina jolie; BUT, i think she is the obvious choice for catwoman and it's too bad she isn't doing the part. i could even expand my doubts on the movie as a whole - as excited as i was for the first 2, i don't have that enthusiasm for this one. there's something (that has nothing to do with AH) about the footage i've seen that doesn't seem right to me. hopefully, the film will be as good as the previous 2 in the series.

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


Its funny, my eyes usually gloss over and I immediately lose interest any time Jolie's name comes up. But your mention of her as Catwoman is pretty good. I think she would have been a better choice. And as far as the movie itself, I'm with you. I was pissing myself over TDK, but I'm just not that excited for this one. I'm sure it'll be good, but there's something that just isn't doing it for me.

grimjob on Jul 5, 2012


you know, jolie is talented....but, i just never seem to be interested in a lot of her movies. i really liked "taking lives" though. she seems like such a natural fit for catwoman. 3 things that bug me about DKR - 1. i don't like the baddies being bane and catwoman - i think there were better choices. 2. AH as catwoman -as i said, it seemed SO obvious for jolie to play her. 3. from the footage i've seen, it doesn't even remind me of a batman film - more of a cross of transformers set piece disasters and terrorism.....and that leaves me unsure as to how good this will end up being.(as a batman/superhero film, that is)

beevis on Jul 5, 2012


Yeah, you know, you're right. Its like they're pushing this as more of an action film with barely any need for a script. I'm sure that's just marketing and it will turn out to be more. Maybe my problem is I'm comparing this to TDK. I think I'm just HUGELY disappointed that Ledger is gone and we'll never get any closure on the Joker, and I don't really care about Bane. I would have loved to see a darker take on the Riddler. Or perhaps Price's Egghead. j/k

grimjob on Jul 5, 2012


What about SALT ? Good cast slightly-unbelievable stunts

Dominic A on Jul 8, 2012


i thought the stunts were just too ridiculously unbelieveable. i did like "changeling" and "tomb raider" (while not great) was a fun watch. it's plain to see that AJ has a lot of acting talent, tho -

beevis on Jul 8, 2012


What I said about Catwoman has nothing with Anne Hathaway, it's the Catwoman character that I don't like; the character was always cheesy and unnecessary in my mind. Just don't see the character working in Chris Nolan's take on Batman. Then again, he could have done worse by having Batgirl in it instead.

Hattori Hanzo on Jul 5, 2012


Cheesy and unnecessary? You just called one of the most critical pieces in comic books this. That was maybe the dumbest statement I have ever heard about Batman. Plus, how can you assume that adding Batgirl would have been a bad thing? You obviously are not a fan of the comics are you? You probably go off of the movies and the recent video games to get your facts, huh?

BatFan1313 on Jul 21, 2012


I am stunned that Lawless and Only God Forgives didn't make the cut. I fully undertand the latter might not make it to theatres this calendar year, but if it does I expect it to be a rare piece of pure cinema, like Drive.

Day on Jul 4, 2012


Me Too 28 Mar 2013 , Blast!

Ehsan Davodi on Jul 5, 2012


The Master Life Of Pi Lincoln ParaNorman Most Surprising Flicks (for me)

Ehsan Davodi on Jul 5, 2012


The Master is the one I really can't wait to see. Beyond that (2013) Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring!

Davide Coppola on Jul 5, 2012


I am such a Daniel Day Lewis fanboy, so I think Lincoln is atop my list. Then Skyfall and The Hobbit.

jacobcrim on Jul 5, 2012


jack reacher should be there

kure on Jul 5, 2012


You're right on point. I'm a big Reacher fan and had misgivings about TC being cast in the role. However, Lee Child helped banish some of my doubts with a thoughtful reply to his fans fury at the odd casting choice. If anyone can open this movie, TC can. Say what you will about him but he's a triple A movie star with a proven track record, recently recharged by MI4. If you doubt this, compare his box office haul over decades with YOUR fave movie star and see.

Delphic on Jul 16, 2012


Well said!

Rohan Michael Morbey on Aug 7, 2012



rico on Jul 5, 2012


Seven Psychopaths should be on this list. McDonagh writing and directing, Farrell, Rockwell, Harrelson AND Walken starring....I mean c'mon!

spike on Jul 5, 2012


Is there a reason these lists can not be own on long page instead of separated on two? I always prefer just having to scroll then clicking on a second page. // Good list. LOOPER, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and THE HOBBIT are on the top of my list. Those films cannot disappoint!!!

DAVIDPD on Jul 5, 2012


Giovanni Ribisi is NOT a bad guy in The Gangster Squad... just sayin.

NoOneNeedsToKnow on Jul 5, 2012


Life of Pi looks horrible.

happy camper on Jul 5, 2012


Lots of good stuff coming our way, I almost forgot.

tzarinna on Jul 5, 2012


Where's Twilight?

Team Jacob on Jul 10, 2012


Between The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit, I'm driving myself mad with excitement.

Justin Buell on Jul 10, 2012


You guys forgot one, "The Man With The Iron Fists"

BangBangSkeetSkeet on Aug 4, 2012


Jack Reacher!

Rohan Michael Morbey on Aug 7, 2012


No sign of DREDD in this list then? Poor list.

willy2fly on Aug 29, 2012

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