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

July 4, 2012

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 Master
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
The Master
In Theaters October 12th

Few filmmakers have consistently impressed me as much as Paul Thomas Anderson. Though his recent films have been few and far between, the director of Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love (he even got a career high performance out of Adam Sandler), and There Will Be Blood hasn't done me wrong yet, and his reputation precedes him. That's why the long gestating film The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix already has my attention, especially after two rather mysterious trailers. The film is said to be about the founding of Scientology, but it could be about a Justin Bieber circus, and with P.T. Anderson at the helm, I would see it in a heartbeat.

Cloud Atlas
Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski
Cloud Atlas
In Theaters October 26th

Say what you will about the Wachowskis, they continue to push the limits of film and try things no director ever have. Their next undertaking is an adaptation of a novel that includes six century-spanning storylines that intertwine with characters, and they even use the same actors to play different roles. The Wachowski siblings have teamed up with Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The International) to create all six pieces, rounding up a cast lead by Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent and Xun Zhou as Yoona-939. As many of those involved keep saying about this "dangerous adventure", I'm excited to see how they've taken on such a bold concept, and how it all turns out. We haven't even seen a trailer yet, and I'm planning to see this opening night.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis
In Theaters November 2nd

Die-hard movie fans should all be excited about seeing award-winning director Robert Zemeckis rise from his self-inflicted motion capture grave and return to directing live action again. Denzel Washington stars as a pilot who safely crash lands a plane against all odds but must face scrutiny when it's revealed he had alcohol in his system during the flight. Don Cheadle, John Goodman, and Bruce Greenwood round out the cast, and from what we've seen from the trailer, this one looks like it could be making a play for some Oscars early next year. Perhaps Zemeckis can replicate the success he had with Tom Hanks in Cast Away, his most recent live-action effort and one that, coincidentally, also involved a plane crash.

Wreck-It Ralph
Directed by Rich Moore
Wreck-It Ralph
In Theaters November 2nd

John C. Reilly is gonna wreck it! At least that's what he has been doing for years as the villain of an old school arcade game in Disney's non-Pixar computer animated film Wreck-It Ralph. But when this villain wants more than his normal place in the video game world, he ventures outside of his own system, and into other video games. What's most impressive is the collection of official video game characters who appear in the first official trailer. From Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog to Pac-Man's ghosts and more, this looks to be a hilarious and charming film for video game fans and families alike. In addition to Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch also provide their voices.

Directed by Sam Mendes
In Theaters November 9th

Bond is back. And better than ever. Eon Productions finally rounded up the cast and crew to make the 23rd Bond film, now titled Skyfall, once again starring the current Agent 007 - Daniel Craig. At the helm they have Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Away We Go), who I keep saying was the perfect choice for this, making it a bit more darker and edgier, while still keeping the focus on the characters and story at hand. The first teaser trailer was already a short thrill, and I'm excited to see what this builds into, and what secrets they're keeping from us. In addition to Craig, the cast includes Judi Dench as M, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ola Rapace, Bérénice Marlohe and Javier Bardem as the villain. Plus they're introducing Ben Whishaw as a young Q! This is going to be awesome.

The Hobbit
Directed by Peter Jackson
The Hobbit
In Theaters December 14th

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. And so it began. As huge fans of Peter Jackson's original Lord of the Rings trilogy, there's no question that we're kind of insanely excited to see his new take on The Hobbit, the story that precludes LOTR. Everyone is back, especially Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf (it wouldn't be the same without him), Andy Serkis as Gollum and Hugo Weaving as Elrond, plus Jackson seems to have found the perfect Bilbo Baggins - Martin Freeman. We've seen plenty of making of featurettes, photos and one official trailer so far, and it's looking magnificent. I'm also excited to see Luke Evans as Bard (though that might not be until 2013) and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, as well as the rest of the company of dwarves. It's going to be so wonderful to return to Middle Earth again.

Les Miserables
Directed by Tom Hooper
Les Miserables
In Theaters December 14th

The classic musical is coming to the big screen, and damn does it look heart-wrenching and exquisite. From Oscar winning The King's Speech director Tom Hooper comes this seminal musical featuring the vocal talents of Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks. That first teaser trailer was haunting, beautiful and just a taste of things to come when the film hits theaters just before Christmas. Musical and film fans will be pleased all at the same time, and Neil Patrick Harris isn't even involved.

Django Unchained
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Django Unchained
In Theaters December 25th

Fan/cult-favorite filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is making a spaghetti western starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz as bounty hunters and Leonardo DiCaprio as a dastardly plantation owning villain. That's really all that needs to be said. Oh, and Jonah Hill and Samuel L. Jackson and RZA and Franco Nero (the original "Django") will show up for a bit, too. If you're not excited about this movie, that makes us relatively sad. It'll be interesting to see what Tarantino does with his dialogue when the story is set before a time when TV and movies were part of pop culture, but from the looks of the trailer so far, we've got nothing to worry about. This one is definitely going to leave an impression.

The Great Gatsby
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
The Great Gatsby
In Theaters December 25th

Baz Luhrmann taking on the classic novel from F. Scott Fitzgerald as only the director of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge can deliver? Sold. And then that first trailer hit with the musical stylings of Jay-Z and Jack White, and all hell broke loose. But for my tastes, I mean that in the best way possible. This adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and more just looks like a visual sensation and a truly unique adaptation of the familiar story. My personal hope is for the modern music to engulf the film with the score, but that's just me.

Directed by Steven Spielberg
In Theaters December 2012

There's not a lot we need to say about why you should be considerably excited to see this one. One of our greatest living directors taking on a passion project about one of our country's greatest presidents, with a cast that includes a certain Daniel Day-Lewis as the title character, plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Walton Goggins, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, David Strathairn and Sally Field? What's not to love? This may turn out to be the best cast of the year, and since Spielberg has been working on this movie for years (once with Liam Neeson in mind to play Lincoln), we know he's passionate about the material and will bring us his own take on the life of one of the great American heroes.

Bonus! Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee
Life of Pi
In Theaters November 21st

Out of left field comes one last bonus entry. Oscar winning filmmaker Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, Brokeback Mountain) adapts the beloved novel by Yann Martel about a boy trapped on a lifeboat on the ocean with a tiger for over 200 days. Fox has only just started teasing bits of this film, shot in 3D by master filmmaker Ang Lee, starring unknown newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel. The footage we've seen at CinemaCon and glimpses at what Ang Lee has come up with elicit wonderful feelings inspired by the magic of cinema, reminiscent of Martin Scorsese's Hugo from last year. It's sure to be a big Oscar contender, as well as just a film to make you believe in hope and happiness. Worthy late addition to this list.

Well, there you have it. And in addition to these films, there's still plenty more coming in the second half of 2012. Keep your eyes on the release calendar, and stay tuned for updates on all these films and many more!

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Find more posts: Editorial, Feat, Hype, Lists



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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