Top 40 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014: Part Two - #21-30

Top 40 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014: Part Two - #21-30

You may have noticed, yesterday's start to my list of this year's most anticipated movies got off to a bit of a cynical start. Well, I hope to change that with today's batch of ten films as I think we are getting into better and better territory and a group of films I feel far more genuinely excited to see, and a couple of which that may end up being the most talked about films of the year.

Again, featured directly below is a navigation for this year's most anticipated feature, linking to yesterday's ten films and I will be updating it with links for the installments to come.

Most Anticipated 2014 Navigation

#1-10 | #11-20 | #21-30 | #31-40

The Fault in Our Stars
June 6

The Fault in Our Stars
Photo: 20th Century Fox

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

Amazon: $3.20 (84% Off)

Buy Now

I get the feeling this is a film that will either be just another sappy, melodramatic adaptation of a much-loved novel, or, and this is what I'm hoping for, it will be a film that sneaks up and surprises us just like Perks of a Wallflower did in 2012.

The film stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (Divergent) as the two leads and co-stars Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern and Mike Birbiglia. I have high hopes for this one.

Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.


Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Serena
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Serena
Photo: 2929 and Studiocanal Productions

Serena: A Novel (P.S.)

Serena: A Novel (P.S.)

Amazon: $6.60 (56% Off)

Buy Now

I feel like I've been talking about Susanne Bier's adaptation of Ron Rash's novel forever, but maybe that's because we got a first look at the picture you see above back in April 2012 and since then I've had it on my most anticipated list of 2013 and on a list of potential Oscar contenders for 2013.

It's still without a distributor, which isn't a good sign, but I know (or at least am fairly confident) this will play a film festival this year and my money is on Toronto.

Serena is based on Ron Rash's acclaimed novel of the same name, which was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

The film follows newlyweds George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence) who travel from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina where they begin to build a timber empire in 1929. Serena soon shows herself to be the equal of any man: overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man's life in the wilderness. Together, this king and queen rule their dominion, killing or vanquishing all who stand in the way of their ambitions. But when Serena learns that she can never bear a child, she sets out to murder the woman who bore George a son before his marriage. And when she starts to suspect that George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage begins to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.

March 21 / April 18

Nymphomaniac picture
Charlotte Gainsbourg in Nymphomaniac
Photo: Magnolia Pictures

I don't know whether it's appropriate to anticipate Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac or just shrug and move on. I'll admit my anticipation here is more out of curiosity than anything else, but it also feels like one of those films I have to see just to make sure I'm in on the conversation.

Watch the trailer below, but be warned, this is very not safe for work and contains considerably explicit images.

Nymphomaniac: Part I is the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is discovered badly beaten in an alley by an older bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), who takes her into his home. As he tends to her wounds, she recounts the erotic story of her adolescence and young-adulthood (portrayed in flashback by Stacy Martin). PART ONE also stars Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier.

Nymphomaniac: Part II picks up with the story of Joe's (Charlotte Gainsbourg) adulthood, and stars Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jean-Marc Barr in addition to Gainsbourg, Skarsgård, Martin and LaBeouf.

  • TheLastEquivocationofBrist

    I'll admit I never watched Buried or cared to, but Locke does sound very interesting to me. Tom Hardy vs. Ryan Reynolds probably has something to do with that. I'm also vaguely looking forward to The Fault in Our Stars without having read the book.

    • SmartFilm

      I would urge you to seek out Buried. It was certainly a surprise to me but I absolutely loved it. Easily Reynolds greatest role.

      • Newbourne

        I loved it too. I frankly can't see how anyone wouldn't like it.

  • G-Man

    I am so excited for Dumb and Dumber To. Sucks we have to wait so long still, but hoping to avoid the serious amount of marketing that will come with it.

    The Judge was also on my list of most anticipated:

  • Django

    I can't wait to see Locke and Dumb & Dumber To.

  • Silvergirl

    I'm looking forward to TFIOS - it was a beautiful and heartbreaking story. The tag line for the movie was absolutely awful and I hope they change it because it does not reflect the tone of the story. I haven't seen Shailene Woodly's acting yet so I hope she can adequately portray Hazel Grace. And since I adore JLaw, I'm looking forward to both Serena and Mockingjay. I'm concerned that MJ1 will be slow as HP 7.1. I'm also curious to see at what point they split the book. I loved CF and having read the book I thought they ended it perfectly.

    • Django

      Jude Law is going to be in Mockinjay? Awesome!

      • Silvergirl

        Hahahaha ;-)

    • Ian

      Shailene Woodley is fantastic in both The Descendents and The Spectacular Now. For the former I thought she was robbed of an Oscar nomination when she actually deserved to win.

  • m1

    The Fault in Our Stars has been sitting on my bookshelf for the past couple of months so I will have to finish it before the movie comes out. It sounds pretty interesting.

    And whoever "us" refers to does not include me. I had read The Perks of Being a Wallflower months before I saw the movie and was not surprised that it got the well made film adaptation it deserved. Hopefully TFIOS will also be a good film.

    • GregDinskisk

      "Us" referred to the vast majority of critics who hadn't heard of it before the film adaption...

      The Fault in Our Stars is John Green's second best novel, in my mind... It's okay. Pretty crowdpleasing and the last act is pretty solid. Some bits have some of those annoying Greenisms, but it's pretty entertaining.

      I have hopes for the film adaption.

  • Ian

    This is a much more interesting list than yesterday's. A lot of these sound intriguing...a Whitey Bulger story certainly has potential and I have no idea when Barry Levinson last made a movie. There's really no reason to hope Dumb and Dumber will be as fun as the first one, but hope I shall. Locke sounds interesting, as does A Most Wanted Man, and I agree that Corbijn plus le Carre sounds like magic (I liked The American and love Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Like you, Nymphomaniac would be on my list just because. Is he still doing the two different versions or did that idea get scrapped? Because if an unedited version exists I imagine it'll be hard to find in American cinemas. Serena sounds compelling but as you say it's been around forever which probably isn't a good sign. And I'm looking forward to Mockingjay as well (haven't read the books yet), though having it split up definitely dulls the excitement, particularly for the first part. Frankly, given how much you disliked the pacing of both Deathly Hallows 1 and Breaking Dawn 1 (yeah I know but I specifically said "pacing," all other qualities aside), I'm surprised it's on your list at all. Maybe more happens in the first half of Mockingjay?

  • Roger Judd

    Before I Go To Sleep could be a real sleeper if it's done well. The book was pretty intense with an ending no one saw coming.

  • SmartFilm

    Certainly amped to see that two of these are playing Sundance. Planning on seeing both (if schedule allows.) See, it ain't all bad in Sundance Brad.

  • Winchester

    The only ones there that interest today are -

    'Serena', 'Before I Go To Sleep' (even though 'Brighton Rock' was atrocious and near unwatchable) and 'A Most Wanted Man', maybe 'The Judge' nearer the time once word is out a bit more.

  • Verbal

    That aside you wrote, about not wanting to list any Malick pictures even if they had a concrete release date, that's a bunch a BS. We all know "King of Cups" is gonna be the tits. What's your beef with Malick?

    • Brad Brevet

      After Tree of Life, but particularly To the Wonder, I can't say the prospect of a new Malick film moves me all that much one way or another. That might change if I knew more about the project and saw there was a distributor of any size legitimately interested in backing it, but we're not talking about the Malick that made Badlands, Days of Heaven and Thin Red Line. This latest film journey he's on has sort of lost my attention... for the time being at least.

      I'm curious, why makes you say Knight of Cups is going to be "the tits"?

      • Verbal

        Tree of Life was pretty damn epic in my mind. To the Wonder I feel is a slow burn, but still way better than most of the crap put out in America. I'll admit i'm a huge Malick fanboy, but it just seems like a Malick movie about celebrity and excess starring Christan Bale and Portman seems like a recipe for an awesome cinematic experience. I don't think any of us should ever underestimate Malick.

  • Joyce Tyler

    I'll reserve my comments until I see the entire list.

  • interiris

    Locke sounds interesting and anything with Colin Firth peaks my interest.

  • Hudsucker

    Brad isn't sure he'd want to see a Terrence Malick film? Well, I respectfully disagree. I lurve Malick.

  • Josh Batchelder

    I haven't read the book yet, but Fault in Our Stars looks absolutely terrific, judging only from the plot and the cast. Ansel Elgort really impressed me in Carrie, and Shailene was phenomenal in The Spectacular Now. I adored Perks of Being a Wallflower, and I definitely get a Perks vibe from this. Hopefully it won't disappoint.