2011, just like all the other things, wasn’t a great year for movies. 2012, on the other hand, promises a much greater year for movies. Here is a list of ‘my’ 50 most anticipated movies of 2012. Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest or have lost interest in that particular genre, c). I have no interest in that movie at all. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.
So, here goes my list, with my takes, arranged in a bottom-up manner. Cheers!
The 50 most anticipated movies of 2012
50. Wettest County
Why: A crime-drama which stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, and Shia LaBeouf. The movie is set in the Depression-era where a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities wanting a cut of their profits.
49. The End
Why: Abbas Kiarostami directs one of another most awaited movies for festival circuits which follows the story of “the unusual relationship between a student, who works as prostitute on the side to pay for her studies, and a brilliant, elderly academic who is one of her clients.”
Why: The plot – “A drama focused on five months in the life of pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement”. Intriguing, indeed! Hope the execution is not loud and in the face, and we are up for some real good cinema.
47. Total Recall
Why: Based on a Philip K. Dick’s short story (his stories have made many sci-fi movies before), this sci-fi/action movie talks about power struggle between two geographies And a normal guy (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.
46. Anna Karenina
Why: Movie adaptation of the novel of Leo Tolstoy. This one stars Jude Law and Keira Knightley in lead roles and is directed by Joe Wright, who has much experience in adapting novels into movies, such as, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, etc.
45. Chaalis Chauraasi (4084)
Why: Watched the trailer recently on TV and it was as hilarious as one can get. One police van, four Cops, one night, one job, one hell of a ride. This stars Naseeuddin Shah, KK Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kishen, Zakir Hussain, Rajesh Sharma, and Manoj Pahwa. Being a comedy/crime movie, I am expecting an incredibly fun-filled roller-coaster ride for two hours.
44. Moonrise Kingdom
Why: I find the combination of cast and plot interesting enough to watch this movie. Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray, it is a story of a pair of lovers who flee their town causing a local search party to fan out and find them.
43. Agent Vinod
Why: A usual Bollywood star-cast of Saif, Kareena, Gulsan Grover, etc; but the movie is an international action thriller, appearing like a desi Bond movie. This could well be worth watching because it is directed by a very talented Indian thriller-movies director, Sriram Raghavan.
42. Gangster Squad
Why: A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.
41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Why: The plot – “An introvert freshman, while coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend and his own mental illness, is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.”
40. Midnight’s Children
Why: A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.
Why: Mark Wahlberg is the guy whose teddy bear comes to life as the result of a childhood wish. Besides, the young director, Seth MacFarlane, has a fine record of writing and directing TV comedies.
Why: Based on Shakespear’s play about rise & fall of power, deceit, vangeance, and tragedy – set in modern day. This is enough to pick this flick.
37. Red Lights
Why: The plot. The story is about a psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant who study paranormal activity and that leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic (Robert DeNiro?).
36. The Raven
Why: Purely due to the plot – A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life (John Cusack in lead role), in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories.
35. Paan Singh Tomar
Why: Much awaited real-life chronicles of a runner-turned-bandit, lead role played by Irrfan Khan and directed by talented Tigmanshu Dhulia. Hopefully, this movie sees the light this year.
Why: Oliver Stone’s crime drama about 2 guys’ face off with the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Starring Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, and John Travolta. I genuinely believe we can forget his sequel of Wall Street before watching this one.
Why: A drama directed by Michael Haneke which is certainly going to feature, and receive awards too, at several film festivals. The plot revolves around a retired couple which deals with aftermath of the wife suffering from a debilitating stroke.
32. The Amazing Spider-Man
Why: Not a fan of Spidy franchise, but loved the director Mark Webb’s first and only other movie he directed (500 Days of Summer). Plus, the trailers looks like it deals much with teenager Peter Parker and how he evolves into Spiderman. Plus Plus, Irrfan Khan as the villain and seriously speaking, IK is only Bollywood actor who I believe can get a decent, nice-length Hollywood role.
Why: A Steven Soderbergh directed action-thriller, which stars Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, and Antonio Banderas. The plot is about a super soldier’s revenge after she is betrayed and set up during a mission, which very much seems like that of Salt (except the director and the cast ensemble).
30. Men in Black III
Why: Because The Men are back. Leaving K (Tommy Lee Jones), J (Will Smith) time travels to 60s where an alien with its sights on the younger K (Josh Brolin) has gone rouge.
29. Seven Psychopaths
Why: Collin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson form the cast of this comedy caper which is the second film of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges was the first). And this movie features a screenwriter, a dog, gangsters, and psychopaths!
Why: First, the plot – A sci-fi/action story in which a killer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out that his next target is his own future self (Bruce Willis). Second, the people at the helms – Rian Johnson (last movie – The Brothers Bloom) and the actors.
27. Life of Pi
Why: Yet another movie adaptation of a novel. This one is based on the awesome adventure-drama novel of Yann Martel and involves a kid and a lot of his animal companions. The story has a huge connection to India and fittingly it stars many Indian actors, Irrfan Khan and Tabu to name a few.
26. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Why: Well, the title itself sounds interesting. If not, then read the plot – “President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.” Interesting yet?
25. Being Flynn
Why: I somehow liked the story very much. Based on a true story, it’s about a guy who often intersects with his brilliant but troubled father and then wrestles with the idea of reconnecting with him. The father (Robert DeNiro) has had an erratic lifestyle and a self-proclaimed poet (An excerpt from the trailer -“America has produced only three classic writers – Mark Twain, J D Salinger, and Me.”).
24. The Hunger Games
Why: A futuristic story based on a novel, which feels like a combination of unusual sports (Battle Royale) and reality tv (Truman Show). Coincidentally, the director’s (Gary Ross) two other movies were related to one of these two themes – Seabiscuit involved drama revolving around an unusual sport and Pleasantville involved something like surrealistic sitcom.
23. Cogan’s Trade
Why: Third movie written and directed by talented Andrew Dominik and his second with Brad Pitt (‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ was the first). This one is a crime thriller where Brad Pitt is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.
22. The Great Gatsby
Why: Movie adaptation of one of the most famous novels. Though I am not a fan of Buz Luhrmann (except, I really enjoyed watching Moulin Rouge), this stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan (loved her in Drive) in the lead roles and well…features our very own Amitabh Bachchan (AB’s maiden Hollywood movie).
21. The Dictator
Why: Yet another super satire by Sasha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles (the ‘Borat’ team) about a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. Watch the trailer!
20. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Why: Peter Jackson is back with the hobbits and the dwarfs – where a hobbit, with thirteen dwarves, begins a journey which will take him into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers…and Gollum.
19. The Grandmasters (Yut doi jung si)
Why: Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.
18. John Carter
Why: Watch the trailer. Mars, a man somehow placed there, among 12-foot tall barbarians and several other kinds of creatures, with a lot of fights in the unknown terrain – looks like a Star Wars movie, with toppings of Planet of Apes and Avatar.
Why: Lone survivor, Sandra Bullock (also starring George Clooney), of a space-mission-gone-wrong desperately looking to return to Earth and her daughter. Sounds like a purist Sci-fi movie with a backdrop of human’s desires and longings for relationship. Proven record of the director, Alfonso Cuaron, in both kind of themes – Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien. And those who have seen CoM know what kind of Sci-fi movies Cuaron makes.
Why: Ben Affleck is one of those few actor-turned-directors whose directed movies are more awaited than the ones they act in. This is only his third movie, after Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is about a political crisis with a pacy screenplay – “As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. ”
Why: Aamir Khan produces and stars in Rima Kagti’s crime thriller where Aamir plays a cop.
14. The Bourne Legacy
Why: 1. Bourne. 2. Tony Gilroy (the first movie he directed was Michael Clayton). 3. Edward Norton as a villain. Interestingly, Jeremy Renner is enacting the lead role.
13. Gangs of Wasseypur
Why: The film is about the coal mafia in Dhanbad, said to be inspired from the story of Bihar politician Surajbhan Singh, and has turned out to be a two-part marathon, each two hours and 40 minutes in length. Directed by Anurag Kashyap. Manoj Vajpayee is in the lead role. Everyone in India knows what these people are capable of and if you are aware of the real-life stories of the coal mafia in Dhanbad, this is surely one must-watch for 2012.
12. Untitled Terrence Malick Project
Why: Terrence Malick and a plot involving intricacies of human relationship. Surely the eyes are upon this, especially when the director has released ‘the tree of life’ last year. The plot says – “A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.”
11. The Expendables 2
Why: This may not deserve a mention in a top-15 anticipation list, but this probably features on everyone’s watch-list. A perfect guilty pleasure starring – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and others – all in one purely hell of an action movie.
And the *drum-rolls* for the Top 10.
10. Dark Shadows
Why: Tim Burton, with his regular team members, joins Johny Depp again in a Gothic movie involving perhaps one of the most weird set of characters ever. The tale centers on the life of playboy vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.
Why: Arguably, one of the most talented Bollywood director of our times, Dibaakar Banerjee’s 4th movie is a political thriller. The movie is the official Hindi adaptation of a political thriller by Greek novelist Vassilis Vassilikos, who wrote about the real-life assassination of a dynamic politician. As Dibakar said early this year – “Well this film is going to see him go right into the heat and dust of a hellish Indian small town and its deadly politics. No leather jackets, suave bars and foreign locales. Abhay was never seen like this before – in a negative, cold, almost vicious character. Imagine Abhay being the establishment instead of fighting it. He looks at you through his glasses, wearing his stiff shirt and you wonder what’s on his mind”. It also stars Emraan Hashmi (interesting casting!) and Kalki Koechin.
8. The Avengers
Why: Why? I mean, it features Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, HawkEye, Black Widow, and pirate-eye Nick Furry – it’s like a ‘comic book digest’ (a story involving multiple superheroes) we used to wait for months and buy/rent immediately in our childhood.
7. Cloud Atlas
Why: Wachowski brothers team up with Tom Tykwer to direct a sci-fi epic, a movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel. Can be termed as one of the most ambitious movie of the year which is about 6 stories set in a different time and place which become intricately related to each other. Expecting one of the best sci-fi sets of our times. On top of that, it stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant
Why: Ridley Scott and sci-fi genre. A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Said to be a prequel of his ’79 movie ‘Aliens’ (a long time since then) it brings back the thrill, horror, and action in the other part of universe. Needless to say, this also involves a huge budget (see the trailer) and interesting star cast of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce.
5. The Master
Why: PTA. Paul Thomas Anderson is certainly our generation’s Stanley Kubrick (only 5 feature films over a career spanning more than 2 decades – all masterpieces). Number 2, the plot, which says, as per IMDb – “A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as ‘the Master’ whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.” Philip Seymour Hoffman is the Master, Joaquin Phoenix is the right-hand man, and ‘Scientology’ is the religion in question. Beat that!
Why: Spielberg directing a biography of one of the most famous American President, Abraham Lincoln, role enacted by Daniel Day-Lewis (Yes!). Need say more?
Why: A ‘lethal’ combination of 007 and Sam Mendes. Starring the blonde Bond, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes & the cameras at the helms of the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.
This is going to be EPIC and will, without any doubt, get the 007 on the top.
2. Django Unchained
Why: Tarantino, Tarantino, and Tarantino. Bonus is the plot with solid star cast – A slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx), with the help of his mentor (Christoph Waltz), sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio as the villain!).
Also starring JGL, Samuel L Jackson, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
1. The Dark Knight Rises
Why: Everybody knows everything about this movie and this probably stays on top of everyone’s most anticipated movie of 2012. This epic grand finale of Nolan’s Batman trilogy will, I reckon, stay on top again in the lists of the best movies compiled at the end of 2012, well, if the world doesn’t end in 2012.