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13 films not to miss in 2013

Plus one for the superstitious

Django Unchained

Without a doubt the most anticipated film of early 2013, the new Tarantino is a three-hour mashup of references to Westerns and Blaxploitation films of yore, complete with the director’s trademark snappy dialogue. A very promising comeback from that most debated of American filmmakers.

Director: Quention Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio
Paris release date: 16 January

Zero Dark Thirty

Everyone should be aware by now of the storm of controversy that this account of the hunt for Osama has stirred Stateside. Yet compared to 'Homeland', Kathryn Bigelow’s latest comes across as pretty sober. Fans of 'The Hurt Locker', Bigelow’s last feature, can expect another sharp study of contemporary America, this time starring Jessica Chastain.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt
Paris release date: 23 January

Spring Breakers

Harmony Korine – director of such indie oddities as 'Gummo' and the memorable 'Mister Lonely' – returns in 2013 with this trashy tale of four twenty-something bombshells who decide to rob a restaurant to finance a drug-fuelled road trip. Think rap video meets hyperactive cartoon.

Director: Harmony Korine
Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens
Paris release date: 27 February

I'm So Excited

After a series of serious films that began with 1999’s 'All About My Mother' and ended with 2011’s 'The Skin I Live In', Pedro Almodóvar is back on comic form with this mock-disaster movie, in which flight passengers begin to spill their life stories to each other when they realize that their plane is going to crash. The super-camp trailer, which shows three stewards shaking their stuff to The Pointer Sisters’ ‘I’m So Excited’, sums it up. We’re so excited.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo and Javier Cámara
Paris release date: 27 March


Based on an original script by Wentworth Miller (who plays Michael Scofield in 'Prison Break'), 'Oldboy' director Park Chan-wook’s Hollywood debut arrives under a weight of expectation. Expect generous helpings of ultraviolence in this psychological thriller, which stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and an apparently furious Nicole Kidman.

Director: Park Chan-wook
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode
Paris release date: 20 March

Only God Forgives

The 'Drive' actor-director duo are reunited for this Bangkok-set thriller, in which Ryan Gosling plays the boss of a Thai boxing club who sets out to avenge his brother’s death. Given Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s proven noir pedigree, and the casting of Kristin Scott Thomas in a supporting role, this should be a winner.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas
Paris release date: May TBC

Evil Dead

Sam Raimi stays on as producer and screenwriter for this remake of his cult classic, but the director’s mantle has been passed on to young Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez, on the strength of his 2009 short 'Ataque de Pánico!' (watch here). Horror aficionados will be forgiven for feeling pessimistic – after all, Raimi’s ventures as producer often turn out badly (see 2010’s 'The Possession') – but the injection of new blood may be just what the franchise needs.

Director: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez and Jessica Lucas
Paric release date: 8 May

The Great Gatsby

What with 'Django Unchained' and the announcement that he will feature in Scorsese’s next feature, 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (scheduled for an end-of-year release), 2013 is shaping up nicely for DiCaprio. Let’s just hope that this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s perennial classic, which reunites the actor with Baz Luhrmann fifteen years after 'Romeo + Juliet', will forever banish memories of the execrable 1974 Robert Redford version.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton
Paris release date: 15 May


Charlotte Gainsbourg teams up once again with her Pygmalion Lars von Trier for this latest outing, which centres on the confessions of a nymphomaniac. According to rumours, the film verges on the pornographic. The scene is set for another predictable Cannes scandal.

Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater and Willem Dafoe
Paris release date: Mid-2013 TBC

World War Z

Hollywood has been indulging some pretty mediocre genre cinema lately, and the trend continues with this mega-budget zombie film, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio (again!) and Brad Pitt (who also stars). It’s a far cry from the schlocky fun of Romero, and we can’t help but feel that this lack of authenticity will put some off…

Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and David Morse
Paris release date: 3 July

Twelve Years a Slave

Steve McQueen’s new film boasts what may just be the ensemble cast of the year: as well as regular collaborator Michael Fassbender, expect appearances from Benedict Cumberbatch, a Brad Pitt still reeling from his zombie escapades, Quvenzhané Wallis from ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ and Michael K. Williams (Omar in ‘The Wire’) Based on the real story of Solomon Northup, the film recounts the experiences of an enslaved black American – from a more serious angle than ‘Django Unchained’.

Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Paris release date: September TBC

The World's End

The British comic team consisting of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright, known for 2004’s 'Shaun of the Dead' and 2007’s 'Hot Fuzz', complete their trilogy of parodies with this sci-fi spoof. With a projected September release date in France, it should prove the perfect back-to-school treat.

Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman
Paris release date: September TBC

Only Lovers Left Alive

After centuries spent apart, two vampires are reunited: a rock musician increasingly disillusioned with humanity (Tom Hiddleston) and his muse (Tilda Swinton). But when the latter’s little sister (an out-of-control Mia Wasikowska) appears, things take a turn for the worse… Sounds like Jarmusch doing 'Twilight', which is a recommendation in itself.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton and Mia Wasikowska
Paris release date: TBC