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Preview of 2014: The most intriguing films of the coming year

10 of the films you won't want to miss this year, including Noah, Godzilla and Interstellar

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Films to look forward to in 2014

Frank

2014 is shaping up to be a big year for film, with big budget blockbusters jostling for elbow room with intriguing indie comedies, literary adaptations and low-key labours of love. Here's our pick of the best 10 films scheduled to be released this year.

Noah

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins
Most immediately on the cinematic horizon is the big budget biblical bombast of Noah. Having already tackled the worlds of drug addiction, mathematics, pro wrestling, ballet and existential love, daring filmmaker Aronofsky turns to ambitiously reshaping the written word of God, with the trailer promising as much melodrama and operatic sensibility as his Oscar winning Black Swan.
Due for release on Fri 4 Apr.

Frank

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal
No other upcoming film sounds as quirkily enticing as this one, about an aspiring musician (Gleeson) joining a band fronted by the papier-mâché-headed eponymous character (Fassbender). With Fassbender turning his hand to comedy so soon after cementing his place as one of the best actors of his generation, this promises to be an interesting if bizarre tale.
Due for release on 2 May.

Godzilla

Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
Can Gareth Edwards and Godzilla succeed where Guillermo Del Toro and Pacific Rim failed in creating a Japanese-inspired monster movie with sympathetic character, instead of just resorting to collapsed buildings, spontaneous explosions and overblown CGI? After making Monsters, a film with very few monsters but an engaging human heart, will we even get to see much of the infamous giant reptile? All will be revealed…
Due for release on 16 May.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman
The summer heralds the next instalment in the mutation based superhero franchise (see also: The Amazing Spider-Man 2), which takes a time-skipping turn that sees the return of old favourites as well as the new breed. The most glaring problems facing the sequel are the expansive cast of characters and the loss of Matthew Vaughn as a director, but if anyone can take his place, it's surely original X-helmer Singer.
Due for release on 22 May.

Big Eyes

Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz
Burton steps out of the overbearing shadow of studio-backed money makers to portray the relationship between Walter and Margaret Keane, the works of art that drove their marriage apart and who eventually got credit for them. A move towards more human drama (and away from fantasy epics set in Wonderland), Big Eyes is penned by the screenwriters (Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski) behind Ed Wood, arguably Burton’s greatest work.
Due for release on 28 Aug.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Starring: Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin
The much delayed, long overdue sequel (one of many this summer) to the stylishly shot 2005 neo-noir is once again set in a crime and grime ridden city full of corrupt cops, ruthless vigilantes and bloodthirsty revenge seekers. This second instalment continues the stories of the thrilling black and white original based on co-director Miller’s graphic novels.
Due for release on 29 Aug.

Gone Girl

Director: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike
Fincher has already proven his ability to adapt novels for the screen with striking verve and energy (in some cases even adding a depth and quality that the source material only touches upon, such as his modern masterpiece Fight Club), so his involvement in this Gillian Flynn adaptation is reassuring. While Gone Girl may not have the profile of your Gatsbies or Hobbits, it will be interesting to see Fincher’s take on this psychological thriller.
Due for release on 3 Oct.

Interstellar

Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway
Christopher Nolan has become synonymous with arthouse filmmaking in blockbuster clothing, delivering intelligent and thought-provoking cinema and treating his audiences like they're as smart as he is. His next project, a secrecy-cloaked sci-fi, should be one of the most interesting films in 2014.
Due for release on 7 Nov.

A Most Wanted Man

Director: Anton Corbijn
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams
Anton Corbijn’s films look beautiful. What’s more, they feature hopeless individuals, lost within themselves, their souls gaping voids that the audience can see right into. This story of a Chechen immigrant living Hamburg (an adaptation of the John le Carré novel of the same name) should be similarly compelling, dark viewing. It'll also feature what will be one of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last performances.
Due for release sometime in 2014.

Birdman

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Edward Norton
Mexican writer-director Iñárritu, best known for his all encompassing, interwoven character studies, is in the late stages of working on his pseudo-comedy about a former superhero movie star who exorcises his demons by putting on a Broadway play. A shadowy wit is most likely to preside over this intriguing premise.
Due for release sometime in 2014.

Noah

  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 138 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone
  • UK release: 4 April 2014

The story of the ark-building biblical patriarch Noah (Crowe), who in this version believes that God intends the flood as a human genocide. Director Aronofsky crafts an intense conflict between Noah and his own family, making for a compellingly weird and occasionally wonderful story.

Interstellar

  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US/UK
  • 169 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Jessica Chastain, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway
  • UK release: 7 November 2014

Cooper (McConaughey) is a pilot-turned-farmer who's recruited for an intergalactic mission to find humanity a new home. Despite awe and nail-biting tension, there's too much clunky exposition and cinematic clichés, and although Nolan's intentions to make a singular and cerebral film are admirable, it all gets a bit silly.

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