Coming soon: 40 unmissable movies

The best new films of 2013 and beyond

0

Comments

Add +

Sci-fi

The sheer volume of science fiction movies on the horizon boggles the mind. This is just a six-strong selection of the most intriguing, from psychedelic arthouse oddities to megabudget interstellar Tom Cruise vehicles.

  • The Congress

    When your first film’s as artistically groundbreaking and critically beloved as Ari Folman’s debut ‘Waltz with Bashir’, which memorably combined animation and documentary to build a shattering portrait of life in the Israeli army, you’ll be under serious pressure to perform second time around. Well, Folman isn’t one to shy away from a challenge: his second feature is an adaptation of ‘The Futurological Congress’ (the title has unsurprisingly been shortened), a 1971 satirical sci-fi novel by Russian pioneer Stanislaw Lem, whose work also inspired Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’.

    Lem’s book is constructed as a psychedelic trip, as a young man on hallucinogenic drugs is rocketed 150 years into the future to a utopian society regulated by government-mandated medication. The film, meanwhile, is apparently about the creation of the world’s first all-digital actress. Exactly how these two outlines will intersect remains to be seen, but with Folman at the helm – and Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm and Danny Huston in the cast – the result is bound to be fairly mind-expanding.

    The Congress’ is out in 2013.

    The Congress
  • Elysium

    South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s debut ‘District 9’ used science fiction to explore big ideas: immigration, racial politics and poverty. His second film ‘Elysium’ looks set to explore those same themes on an even grander scale, and with the full weight (and financial resources) of Sony Pictures behind it.

    Matt Damon stars as Max, an ex-con eking out a meagre living on a scarred, apocalyptic Earth. All he wants is to get to Elysium, the orbiting paradise reserved for the very wealthy, and ruled over by Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster). Combining timely satire and effects-heavy action, if ‘Elysium’ can retain the wit and boldness of ‘District 9’ it should be something very special indeed.

    Elysium’ is out on Sep 20 2013.

    Elysium
  • Ender’s Game

    One of those books which inevitably draws Hollywood interest, Orson Scott Card’s bestselling sci-fi adventure ‘Ender’s Game’ has been the source of film industry rumour ever since its publication back in 1985. But the author has been fiercely protective of his work, refusing to allow any other writers to adapt it. That changed a few years back, when ‘Tsotsi’ and ‘Wolverine’ director Gavin Hood submitted a script which met Card’s strict criteria, and subsequently signed on as director.

    You can see why the studios were so keen: the story concerns shy pre-teen Ender, who is taken by the military authorities of a future Earth to train as a fleet commander in preparation for a war with humanity’s vicious enemies, the alien Formics, and ends up leading the fleet into battle. After a lengthy casting process, ‘Hugo’ star Asa Butterfield was cast as Ender, joined by Harrison Ford as the grim drill sergeant Graff, Ben Kingsley as legendary warrior Rackham and young stars Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld as fellow trainees.

    Ender’s Game’ is out on Oct 25 2013.

    Ender’s Game
  • The Europa Report

    © Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA

    Jupiter’s fourth moon Europa is a scientific mystery: covered in ice and with a thin oxygen atmosphere, it’s often been posited as the most likely place for extraterrestrial life to exist within the solar system. In keeping with its namesake, ‘The Europa Report’ is also something of an enigma: written and directed by Ecuadorian filmmaker Sebastian Cordero (whose ‘Cronicas’ garnered good reviews back in 2004), it concerns a mission to the titular moon carried out by a group of privately funded astronauts seeking answers to the great scientific questions.

    The cast is low-recognition – though the presence of ‘District 9’ star Sharlto Copley is definitely intriguing – while a recent trailer showcased impressive digital imagery, but little in the way of plot specifics. All in all, this could either be the next ‘2001’ or the next ‘Mission to Mars’ – but it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

    The Europa Report’ is out in 2013.

    The Europa Report
  • Gravity

    It’s the sci-fi script that James Cameron allegedly said was too ambitious: two people, two spacesuits and whole lot of inky blackness. ‘Children of Men’ director Alfonso Cuaron penned the script back in 2007 with his son Jonas, and the project went through a number of production hiccups and casting changes – Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman and Robert Downey Jr all came and went – before cameras finally rolled in London over the summer of 2011.

    The plot sees two astronauts – played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock – on a final mission when their shuttle explodes, leaving them stranded in Earth orbit, tethered to nothing but one another, and with their oxygen supplies ebbing away. The film was pushed back from its original 2012 release date, which isn’t usually a good sign – but with Cuaron directing, Clooney and Bullock starring and that intriguing subject matter, we’re not willing to defy ‘Gravity’ quite yet.

    Gravity’ is out in 2013.

    Gravity
  • All You Need is Kill

    Independence Day’ meets ‘Groundhog Day’ in this big-budget sci-fi actioner adapted from a popular Japanese novel. Tom Cruise plays Bill Cage (and if that ain’t an action hero’s name, we don’t know what is), an inexperienced soldier sent on a suicide mission against the alien race known as Mimics. But when Cage is killed, he finds himself back at the start of the same day, forced to re-enact the same pointless mission over and over again, each time learning a little more about his enemy and how to defeat them.

    Emily Blunt co-stars as a kick-ass Special Forces soldier – that’s casting, folks – and we’re pleased to see Bill ‘game over, man!’ Paxton back on the big screen in a supporting role: if anyone knows a thing or two about fighting aliens, it’s Bill.

    ‘All You Need is Kill’ is out on Mar 7 2014.

    All You Need is Kill

The Congress

When your first film’s as artistically groundbreaking and critically beloved as Ari Folman’s debut ‘Waltz with Bashir’, which memorably combined animation and documentary to build a shattering portrait of life in the Israeli army, you’ll be under serious pressure to perform second time around. Well, Folman isn’t one to shy away from a challenge: his second feature is an adaptation of ‘The Futurological Congress’ (the title has unsurprisingly been shortened), a 1971 satirical sci-fi novel by Russian pioneer Stanislaw Lem, whose work also inspired Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’.

Lem’s book is constructed as a psychedelic trip, as a young man on hallucinogenic drugs is rocketed 150 years into the future to a utopian society regulated by government-mandated medication. The film, meanwhile, is apparently about the creation of the world’s first all-digital actress. Exactly how these two outlines will intersect remains to be seen, but with Folman at the helm – and Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm and Danny Huston in the cast – the result is bound to be fairly mind-expanding.

The Congress’ is out in 2013.


Users say

0 comments

Best films now showing

1

Paddington

  • Rated as: 4/5

Fond and giddy, the film of Michael Bond's books is everything you want it to be

2

Manakamana

  • Rated as: 5/5

A soulful, uplifting documentary following the occupants of a Nepalese cable car

3

Black Sea

  • Rated as: 4/5

Jude Law reveals hidden depths in this tense, relentless submarine thriller

See more Time Out film reviews