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10 must see films in 2014 (and two to stay well clear of)

By Molly Lyon,

So, which films will become box office phenomenons in 2014? Will it be the latest romantic comedy starring Vince Vaughn? Or the fifth installment in yet another slasher horror series? Or maybe it will be the newest car chase movie starring some beefed up Hollywood actor? Okay, bad examples. But, sarcasm aside, these are the films I think will top the box office this year:

Gone Girl

David Fincher has been quiet since adapting the first book of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo,  in 2011. But now the Oscar nominated director is set to make another book adaptation in the form of Gone Girl.  The 2012 phenomenon, written by Gillian Flynn, soon rose to fame, reaching numerous bestsellers lists including the New York Times. The movie adaptation, starring Ben Affleck follows the story of Nick Dunn (Affleck) who is catapulted into a media frenzy following his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), being reported missing on their fifth wedding anniversary.

Divergent

Also based on a book, Divergent, set in a futuristic dystopian Chicago, in which people are divided into five factions depending on human virtues. Tris (Shailene Woodley) finds out she‘s Divergent, and won’t fit into one group, posing problems when she discovers a faction leader is set out to destroy all Divergents. Being the first of a trilogy, and the child of a best-selling book the expectations of this stealing the box office top spot are quite high, but with it being dubbed “the next Hunger Games” by many, will it deliver?

Transcendence

Surprisingly, something that hasn’t had much coverage yet is Transcendence. The film follows Will (Johnny Depp) who is a scientist that downloads his mind into a computer after he is targeted and attacked by extremists. His search for knowledge turns into a need for power and with such intelligence, he becomes unstoppable. This intense science-fiction thriller has a strong cast including Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara, and marks the directorial debut of Willy Pfister, who is mainly known for providing the cinematography for many Christopher Nolan films.

Maleficent

Having the word Disney attached to a film usually means its popularity is set in stone. This retelling of Sleeping Beauty, tells the backstory of the villain, Maleficent, and what caused her to curse the baby, Aurora. Starring Angelina Jolie, and being a dark fantasy prequel of a well-known fairy tale, it’s easy to say that this film will be very popular upon its released in May.

22 Jump Street

I don’t think anyone even remotely expected a remake of a 80s TV show to be just as hilarious as 21 Jump Street so the question is, can it be done again? Both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are returning for the sequel this summer. I suggest that if you haven’t already seen the first film, you head straight to Netflix and watch it. Tatum and Hill could be the duo to replace the Hangover shaped hole in comedy.

The Quiet Ones

Dubbed this years answer to The Conjuring, The Quiet Ones is the latest film to have come from the recently revived Hammer Horror – the giants behind The Woman in Black and Let Me In. This film tells the story of a British professor who enlists some of his students to help him in his unofficial experiment: to create a poltergeist.  With the horror genre currently lacking presence in mainstream cinema, this “inspired-by true events”, chilling, supernatural horror is likely to be popular, especially for those not wishing to see one of the many superhero and family-friendly films out this year.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

I didn’t really know what to expect from the first film, produced by Dreamworks, and only really heard of the film when my younger cousins dragged me into the cinema demanding that it’s a “must-see.” So I had very little hopes for the first film yet it shone and become one of the highest grossing Dreamworks films ever made (excluding the four Shrek films that rank 1-4). The same cast is returning for this fun-packed family animation, and the second is likely to be just as popular when it’s released in July.

Captain America : The Winter Soldier

Being Captain America’s (Chris Evans) second film and first since Avengers Assemble, some of the characters from The Avengers have been brought into this with larger roles. Scarlett Johansson will be joining Chris Evans and Samuel L Jackson in this sequel, as the tight-outfit donning Black Widow. As apprehensive as I was to add another addition to the Marvel franchise, I realised, that my opinions aside, Marvel sells. And given that they are reported to have ideas scheduled until 2028, it looks like they won’t be disappearing any time soon!

Mention worthy

Another investment in the X-Men franchise, and possibly one of Hugh Jackman’s last films in the role of Wolverine, comes in the form of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The X-Men fight a war across two time periods and the heroes from the original X-Men trilogy join forces with their younger selves (and the cast of X-Men: First Class). No doubt it’ll get slightly confusing, but an interesting concept, none the less.

Tim Burton is back! This time, in the form of a “biographical drama”, called Big Eyes. This is quite the cloak and dagger deal at the moment, with very little information surrounding this, but a Tim Burton film usually delivers, especially to his loyal followers. Surprisingly, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter have NOT been cast in this film, instead he has cast Amy Adams as the female lead.

The Probably-Nots

Fifty Shades of Grey, the best-selling erotic novel trilogy that was inescapable. Ten minute journey on a bus? Someone’s reading it. Quick walk through the park? Oh, look, someone else’s reading it. Ignoring the fact that the book was awfully written, just HOW is this supposed to work on the big screen? Sex-scenes in movies are awkward enough in a packed cinema, but a BDSM scene in a room filled with 50-year-old mums? And I’m curious, is this the type of film to watch with your partner, family or alone? I just can’t see this one working.

The Inbetweeners, the hilarious British comedy that worked in 20 minute slots only. The first “trying too hard” film worked, with it being their first break into full features. But has it not lost all effect now? I’m definitely tired of the escapades of four “lads” that are yet to show any signs that they are growing up. It could be just me, but I’m struggling to believe they can take storylines any further.


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