There's a whole bunch of movies to look forward to in the next 12 months. From blockbusters and comedies to Oscar-tipped favourites, these are the films you should be watching this year.
Opens Jan 28
Director: Danny Boyle
There will never be a shortage of tributes to Steve Jobs, the supercilious and fast-talking visionary tech mastermind who cares more about his machines than actual relationships. Michael Fassbender – a spitting image of the egomaniacal Apple magnate – is the perfect vehicle for Job’s wiriness, delivering a version that’s fiercer, surer and much more charismatic than Ashton Kutcher’s unloved 2013 biopic ‘Jobs’. This is a film run on a Sorkinian chip: The signature quickfire walk-and-talk riffs and fiery dialogues paint an astonishingly energetic yet human portrait of a cult figure that shook the world.
Opens Jan 28
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
This previously stalled project, which predates Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning ‘Birdman’, is inspired by true events, starring a scruffy Leonardo DiCaprio who seeks survival in a hellish winter after being mauled by a bear and left dead by members of his own hunting team (including one played by Tom Hardy). Basically, it’s Leo’s gruelling 156-mintue plea for an Oscar: He eats uncooked bison liver, sleeps in animal carcasses, and lives at the mercy of the icy wilderness illuminated by just natural light (cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki shot without electrical lights). Just hand the poor man a statuette already.
Opens Feb 11
Director: David O Russell
It’s a ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ reunion; joy, oh joy. Russell’s latest is an ode to women, specifically women who are the unsung heroes of their households. This is a story loosely based on Joy Mangano, a Long Island single mum who invented the Miracle Mop that made her a millionaire. There’s no one better, really, to play this matriarch-turned-self-actualised-entrepreneur than Jennifer Lawrence, who incidentally has a natural gift for female empowerment (and tripping on an orange cone or two). As promised, look out for Bradley Cooper as a HSN executive and Robert De Niro as Joy’s father.
Opens Feb 18
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
This period comedy has all the trappings of a Coen Brothers oeuvre: immersive cinematic experiences with a sprawling ensemble you know and love: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson and a dashing Channing Tatum in a tailor suit, mmm-mmm. Set in 1950s Hollywood, fixer Eddie (Brolin) attempts to track down Clooney’s character, actor Baird Whitlock, who was kidnapped during the making of a Roman epic. Catch the flick and see it evoke fond memories of some of Coens’ best.
Opens Mar 3
Director: Ben Stiller
The return of hapless male model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and his equally washed-up frenemy Hansel (Owen Wilson) has created quite a stir. First, there was the ‘Zoolander Invasion’ where the duo pulled off a dramatic walkoff in the middle of a Valentino show. Then there’s the controversial trailer, in which Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal as an androgynous model named ‘All’ was labelled ‘an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals’ by advocates (There, there, Benedict; haters are gonna hate). If everyone has stopped overreacting, thank you, watch how our beloved models solve crime with Interpol agent Valentina (Penélope Cruz).
Opens Jun 16
Director: Andrew Stanton & Angus MacLane
If you’ve always wanted to know if that forgetful Blue Tang fish in ‘Finding Nemo’ ever got lost again, she did. Only this time, she sleep-swims and floats away unconsciously while muttering about her lost family between snores. Marlin and Nemo, together with new characters – a ‘sectopus’, a beluga whale and a whale shark (no, no clams) – help Dory escape an ocean sanctuary facility to find her family.
Opening date TBC
Director: Martin Scorsese
Will Martin Scorsese, the mastermind behind epics ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Mean Streets’, finally be content? Never, it seems. Based upon the novel by Shusaku Endo, Scorsese’s latest, starring a gaunt Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, ran into a 6.1 earthquake in Taiwan during production. But he’s adamant on pushing this elaborate picture – focusing on two Jesuit priests who face violent persecution when they travel to Japan – to the fore. A ‘shaky’ start it may be, but the premise and cinematography are bound to break grounds.
Opening date TBC
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino has courted a great deal of controversies throughout his career – the latest being the police union threatening to boycott ‘The Hateful Eight’ following his comments about police brutality. This and a leaked script later, the director decided to press on, rounding up heavyweights like Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh to star in a spaghetti Western homage that pits a group of gun-toting outlaws in a blustery mountain stopover in post-Civil War Wyoming. There will be unflinching violence, there will be blood, and there will be an Oscar nomination.