Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2015

As part of EdgarReviews’ 12 Days of Christmas, a Top 10 will be posted every few days from 14th December to 25th December.

2015 is set to be one of the biggest years in film history. The sheer amount of hotly-awaited blockbusters (Terminator: Genisys, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) is only one of the reasons why next year will break box office boundaries. The amount of potentially fantastic films is so impressive that there’s no room for the Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain drama, A Most Violent Year, the nostalgic hits of Terminator: Genisys and Jurassic World, David O’Russel’s latest, Joy, and the Marvel centerpiece, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

10: SPECTRE

UK Release Date: 6th November 2015
US Release Date: 6th November 2015

I haven’t been too impressed by the Daniel Craig era of James Bond. Casino Royale was unfulfilling, Quantum of Solace was objectively poor and Skyfall didn’t have the feel of a Bond movie. But I’m excited for Spectre. Very excited. And that’s because of its bolstered cast. Lea Seydoux is the new Bond girl, Andrew Scott joins Craig as an ally, and most importantly, Christoph Waltz is the new Bond villain. Anybody who has seen Inglourious Basterds will know that he’s going to knock it out of the park.

9: THE MARTIAN

UK Release Date: 27th November 2015
US Release Date: 25th November 2015

When it comes to cast ensembles, it’s hard to turn your head away from The Martian. Helmed by Ridley Scott, this film could potentially be a return to form for the wayward director (Prometheus was shunned and Exodus is currently getting lacklustre reviews). The film follows Matt Damon as he attempts to survive while being stranded on Mars with limited resources. Add to that promising premise with a cast featuring Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels and Chiwitel Ejiofor, The Martian has enough starpower to be stunning. If Scott can keep the film running smoothly and not place visual set-pieces over substance then we could be looking at one heck of a film.

8: THE GOOD DINOSAUR

UK Release Date: 27th November 2015
US Release Date: 25th November 2015

PIXAR are, for the first time in their history, releasing 2 films in one year. The first, Inside Out, looks relatively underwhelming. The second however, The Good Dinosaur, shows much more promise. The film tells the tale of an Apatosaurus named Arlo befriending a young boy. It poses the question: what would happen to the Earth if Dinosaurs were never wiped out. With the ingenious premise we’ve come to expect of PIXAR, their sumptuous visuals, and a stellar voice cast (Frances McDormand, Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader), The Good Dinosaur is my bet to be the animated film of the year.

7: PAN

UK Release Date: 17th July 2015
US Release Date: 24th July 2015

I’ll be completely honest; until it’s fantastic trailer, I wasn’t sold on Pan beforehand. It seemingly followed a long string of sub-par gritty fairytale reboots (no, I’m not even gonna try and list them all), but I’m hopeful that Pan will break this run. Simply put, the film looks wonderful from both a visual and stylistic perspective. Of course it would; the film is directed by Joe Wright, known for his adventurous directorial style – both Anna Karenina and Atonement were wonderfully crafted. Pan itself follows Levi Miller as the titular character, swept away from his orphanage where he battles against Hugh Jackman’s frightening Blackbeard. Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund, Amanda Seyfried and Cara Delvigne also star; Pan is yet another fantastic cast ensemble of 2015.

6: THE HATEFUL EIGHT

UK Release Date: TBA
US Release Date: TBA

The only reason The Hateful Eight is not higher up on my list is because I don’t rate Quentin Tarantino as highly as others do. But anybody who doesn’t look forward to Tarantino’s next flick following the success of Django Unchained worries me. It looks just as bloody, violent and iconic as his previous films; and yup, its cast is also fantastic. Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and potentially both Jennifer Lawrence and Channing Tatum feature. In terms of plot points, it’s being kept under wraps (unless of course you’ve had the fortune of peeking at its leaked script that caused a flurry of backlash and Tarantino to momentarily drop the project).

5: THE SEA OF TREES

UK Release Date: TBA
US Release Date: TBA

Matthew McConaughey has already proven himself as a fine actor, and The Sea of Trees looks to be another addition to the ‘McConaissance’. Featuring both McConaughey and Ken Watanabe, the film follows the pair as they befriend one another following an attempted suicide. Directed by Gus Van Sant, The Sea of Trees is seemingly a gem in the flurry of blockbusters in 2015.

4. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

UK Release Date: 18th December 2015
US Release Date: 18th December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens had to be on this list somewhere, despite me not being a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise (both the originals and the prequels). Sending nerds into delirium with its announcement, the trailer more than shows that JJ Abrams is comfortable with helming such a huge project. The cast itself is also impressive: Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and the return of the familiar Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford makes this an unmissable film. Whether you enjoy the franchise or not, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a film you need to see in cinemas.

3. CRIMSON PEAK

UK Release Date: 16th October 2015
US Release Date: 16th October 2015

Guillermo Del Toro’s latest project, Crimson Peak, tells the story of a woman (Mia Wasikowska) who mistakenly marries a suspicious character (Tom Hiddlestone). The acclaimed director goes back to his horror roots, which is a welcome sight when you look at his last film, the horrendous Pacific Rim. The cast is one of the best of 2014, with the aforementioned actors plus Jessica Chastain and Charlie Hunman. I don’t usually go for horror, but Crimson Peak has certainly piqued my interest…

2. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

UK Release Date: 15th May 2015
US Release Date: 15th May 2015

Forget Star Wars, Jurassic World, Avengers and Terminator – Mad Max: Fury is the blockbuster I’m looking forward to most of all in 2015. Just look at the trailer – it’s absolutely stunning. Aside from being a visual masterpiece, the film looks entirely engrossing, a rare feat when the plot consists of a 2 hour car chase. Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult all star in the film, though the hero is George Miller, a director that was made famous due to his Mad Max films. If you remain doubtful that Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t going to be excellent, just remember this – the studio was so impressed with the film that they walloped a hefty added budget to reshoot and make the flick even more spectacular.

1. BIRDMAN

UK Release Date: 1st January 2015
US Release Date: 14th November 2014

My most anticipated film of 2015 is also the earliest film released in the list; already released in the US, us UK citizens only have to wait til the start of 2015 for Birdman. I’ve only seen one film from its director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, which was Javier Bardem’s Biutiful, a fantastically morbid and grim look at Barcelona that makes me excited for Birdman. The film has been picking up awards in abundance, is a frontrunner in numerous categories for the Academy Awards, and will most likely grab a Golden Globe. It’s been met with universal acclaim, where critics have especially pointed out Keaton’s performance. That’s not to say Keaton is the only A-list actor in the film – Naomi Watts, Zach Galifanakis, Emma Stone and Ed Norton all put in strong performances. Birdman looks to be a mind-bender of a film, with beautiful cinematography and fantastic camera work – the whole film is made to look like one continuous shot. I’m definitely hyped for it.

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