We may still be in the throes of awards season, but cinephiles are already buzzing about 2013’s eagerly awaited films. This year comic-book adaptations (Man of Steel, Iron Man 3) and sci-fi (Star Trek into Darkness, Oblivion) will continue to reign supreme. We’ll see reboots (The Lone Ranger, Carrie) and films based on classic literature (The Great Gatsby, Oz: The Great and Powerful). Below are the films we most want to see this year. Got something on your radar that we missed? Tell us in the comments.
Gangster Squad (Jan. 11)
We were excited for Gangster Squad back in the fall, but the shooting in Aurora, Colo., forced a re-edit and delayed release. The star-packed movie, featuring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone and Sean Penn, tells the story of Mickey Cohen (Penn) and his Los Angeles rampage in the 1940s. Skeptics worry that director Ruben Fleischer has helmed only two movies, both comedies: Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less. We’re hoping for the next L.A. Confidential.
Warm Bodies (Feb. 1)
Zombies in a teen romance sounds absurd, but if anyone can pull it off, director Jonathan Levine (50/50) can.
A Good Day to Die Hard (Feb. 14)
Ignore the ridiculous title. New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back, teaming up with his oldest son (Jai Courtney) in Moscow to prevent a nuclear weapons heist. While 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard was preposterous (though it made over $380 million worldwide), we’re optimistic the fifth Die Hard will be more like 1988’s original. We anticipate lots of shattering glass.
Stoker (March 1)
Director Park Chan-wook is known for his South Korean blockbusters Oldboy and Joint Security Area. His English-language debut is a gothic thriller starring Mia Wasikowska as a girl entranced with her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode). Nicole Kidman looks creepily good as her emotionally unstable mother.
Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8)
Oz gets racy. James Franco stars as the young wizard in this Wizard of Oz prequel (the role was vacated by Robert Downey Jr.), which tells the story of a fast-talking stage magician who falls in love with Glinda (Michelle Williams). The two team up to fight the evil witches Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Theodora (Mila Kunis). Directed by Sam Raimi, the film looks magical, if a bit like Alice in Wonderland.
Carrie (March 15)
Yes, we’ll always love Brian De Palma’s 1976 film that landed Oscar nominations for Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie. But we can’t help getting excited about this remake, which stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore as the mother-daughter team, with Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) directing.
The Place Beyond the Pines (March 29)
The film earned rave reviews (and Godfather comparisons) at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Ryan Gosling — mastering the art of the dangling cigarette — plays motorcycle stunt rider Luke, who provides for his son and ex-girlfriend (Eva Mendes) by robbing banks. Bradley Cooper is Avery Cross, a New York cop climbing the ranks to become a politician. Their paths collide, and the drama unfolds over 15 years as the sins of the past haunt their teenage sons.
Oblivion (April 19)
Sure, Tom Cruise stars as a lone drone repairman. And sure, it’s written and directed by Joseph Kosinski, the man responsible for Tron: Legacy. But the postapocalyptic sci-fi film does provide a gorgeous vision of a decimated earth, and Morgan Freeman seems perfectly cast as the leader of a band of survivors.
Iron Man 3 (May 3)
The success of last summer’s The Dark Knight Rises proved that we like our superheroes brooding. Iron Man is the latest crusader to get serious. Fresh from the epic team-up of The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, who goes up against Ben Kingsley as the villainous Mandarin.
The Great Gatsby (May 10)
Leonardo DiCaprio is the tortured Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire is Midwestern outsider Nick Carraway and Carey Mulligan plays Daisy Buchanan. The much anticipated Baz Luhrmann adaptation was pushed back from its original Christmas release — perhaps for a bigger box-office return. But hey, Jay-Z is reportedly producing the score, so maybe it will be worth the wait.