John’s 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2015

List created and owned by John McGinn

Well 2014 is coming to an end in a few weeks, and I thought it was time to look forward 2015 in film.  There are well over a hundred films coming out next year with the likes of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kung Fu Panda 3, Taken 3, Entourage, Tomorrowland, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, and London Has Fallen to name a few, and I’m sure most will be mediocre to terrible.  Still there are quiet a few that I am highly anticipating and will most likely be good to great films.  In fact there are 25 films I am really looking forward to in 2015, and here they are from number 25 to number 1.

25. The Gunman

Plot: An international operative named Martin Terrier (Sean Penn) wants out of the game, so he can settle down with his longtime love (Jasmine Trinca). The organization he works for has other plans in mind, and he is forced to go on the run across Europe.

The trailer below looks good, and The Gunman stars Sean Penn, Ray Winstone, Idris Elba, and Javier Bardem, so I’ll add it to my list of must see films of 2015.

24. The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Plot: The Gladers have escaped the Maze, but now they face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a world ravaged by solar flares and disease.

I surprisingly really enjoyed The Maze Runner.  I liked the concept of the film, and the mystery around the world the maze and Gladers exist in as well as the good acting by the unknown cast, and the action, and surprisingly I am really looking forward to The Scorch Trials.

23. In the Heart of the Sea

Plot: In 1820, the whale ship Essex is crewed by Captain George Pollard, Jr. (Benjamin Walker), first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), second mate Matthew Joy (Cillian Murphy), and cabin boy Thomas Nickerson (Tom Holland). During their voyage, the ship is sunk when it is rammed by a very large and enraged bull sperm whale, ultimately leaving its crew shipwrecked at sea for 90 days over a thousand miles from land.[2][3] After the attack, the crew sails for South America and is forced to resort to cannibalism.

22: The Walk

Plot: The Walk is an upcoming American biographical film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Christopher Browneand Zemeckis. It is based on the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of theWorld Trade Center on August 7, 1974. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Steve Valentine and Charlotte Le Bon. The film is scheduled to be released on October 2, 2015, by TriStar Pictures.

21. Terminator Genisys

Plot: The year is 2029. John Connor, leader of the resistance, continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angelesoffensive, John’s fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when TECOM spies reveal a new plot by Skynet that will attack him from two fronts, past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.

On the verge of winning the war against Skynet, Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese back through time to save his mother’s life and ensure his own existence. But what he finds on the other side is like nothing he ever expected. After being orphaned at age nine by a Terminator, Sarah Connor has been brought up by another Terminator programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject.

The Terminator franchise has really fallen since it’s height of popularity with James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  2009’s Terminator Salvation was a complete disaster and nearly killed the Terminator franchise, but the franchise was resurrected with thanks to Paramount Pictures.  Sure the first trailer didn’t look that good, but it’s a Terminator film, which brings back Arnold, and has Emilia Clarke and Matt Smith in it, so Genisys is a must see film for me.

20. Joy

Plot: A story based on the life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs.

At first glance the plot doesn’t sound that interesting, but with Director David O. Russell attached to direct along with my love Jennifer Lawrence attached to star along side Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and  Édgar Ramírez I’m all in for Joy.

19. Blackhat

Plot: American and Chinese agencies work together to stop a conspiracy involving a cyber criminal. With the help of Nicholas Hathaway, the authorities pursue the mysterious suspect as the dangerous search leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong.

Well we have a thrilling plot that has relevance today and in the future dealing with the ever growing cyber crime around the world, and the real and serious threat of cyber terrorism around the world.  Plus the film is directed by one of my all time favorite directors in Michael Mann who has directed the likes of Heat, Collateral, Miami Vice, The Insider, and The Last of the Mohicans as well as throwing in an international cast led by Thor himself Chris Hemsworth, and you have one of the must see films of 2015.

18. St. James Place

Plot: St. James Place is an upcoming 2015 spy thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Matt Charman, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. The film stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda and Eve Hewson. It is based on the 1960 U-2 Incident, in which a lawyer named James Donovan is thrust into the center of the Cold War when he is given a mission to negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, a pilot whose plane was shot down in the Soviet Union.

All it should take is three names to make you see this film, and those names are Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and John Williams.

17. Criminal

Plot: The memories and skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous criminal to find some criminals and finish the job.

Well right now there isn’t a lot to go on with Criminal, but I do like the Sci-fi/thriller.  Plus the film has a pretty good cast with Gary Oldman, Scott Adkins, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve, and Kevin Costner as well as being directed by Ariel Vromen the director of the critically acclaimed 2012 film The Iceman, which makes Criminal a must see film of 2015.

16.  Furious 7

Plot: Furious 7 is set to take place after Fast & Furious 6. After defeating Owen Shaw and his crew, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew are able to return to the United States and live the normal life again as they had wanted, but Owen’s older brother, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham), is after Dominic, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, putting the entire crew in danger once more. After learning of Han’s death, the crew sets out to find the man who killed one of their own, before he finds them first.

Well Furious 7 is a must see film of 2015 for obvious reasons, but even without the death of actor Paul Walker it still would have been a must see film of 2014 or 2015.  You have the usual great and over the top action and stunts bring,  but they are bringing together a great cast for the seventh film in the surprisingly long running Fast and Furious franchise with Djimon Hounsou, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Kurt Russell, Jordana Brewster, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Dwayne Johnson.

15. Chappie

Plot: Chappie, an experimental robot built and designed to learn and feel is kidnapped by local gangsters for their own nefarious gains.

After the ambitious disaster that was 2013’s Elysium director Neill Blomkamp needs a bounce back performance, and it certainly looks like 2015’s Chappie could be it.  The premise about a robot learning to feel and experience emotion like humans sounds interesting, and the trailer certainly looked good, but so did Elysium’s trailer, so we’ll see, but I’m going to give Blomkamp one more shot by adding his film to my list of the must see films of 2015.  Hopefully Chappie won’t be another major let down of a film.

14. Everest

Plot: A story based on the real events of 1996 Mount Everest disaster which led to the deaths of several climbers.

I’m not impressed with director Baltasar Kormákur as his work so far with Contraband and Two Guns has been mediocre, but I do like the plot based on a traggic historical mountain climbing disaster, and the cast is really good with Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, Josh Brolin, and Robin Wright, so Everest certainly has potential to be a great film, and is a must see film of 2015.

13. Ant-Man

Plot: Thief Scott Lang must aid his mentor Dr. Hank Pym in safeguarding the mystery of the Ant-Man technology – which allows its user to decrease in size but increase in strength – from various new threats, and plot a heist that will save the Earth.

The first of two Marvel Studios films on this list, and I’m sure you can guess the other.  Ant-Man certainly has struggled to get to the screen with Edgar Wright who had been long in developing Ant-Man dropping out with rumors of many disagreements with Marvel.  I have been critical of Marvel Studios films in that the sacrifice character exploration, and depth for the greater goal of a Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it has shown on screen with all their films.  Even with the potential of Ant-Man being Marvel Studios first real failure as a film Ant-Man is still a must see film of 2015 as it is a Marvel Studio film introducing new characters, and expanding their Cinematic Universe, so of course Ant-Man is a must see film.

12. Triple Nine

Plot: A group of corrupt police officers are blackmailed into pulling off a seemingly impossible heist. They plot the murder of a rookie police officer in order to orchestrate a “999”, code for ‘officer down’, to pull off the heist across town.

John Hillcoat director of critically acclaimed films The Road and The Proposition is bringing us what sound is going to be a riveting crime thrller in Triple Nine with a excellent cast that includes Anthony Mackie, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gal Gadot, Casey Affleck, Norman Reedus, and Kate Winslet, so without even seeing a trailer, I know Triple Nine is a must see film of 2015.

11. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Plot: Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. centers on U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin. The two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

10. Jurassic World

Plot: Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar, off of Central America’s Pacific coast, now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This new park is owned by the Masrani Global Corporation. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of the park’s on-site staff, conducts behavioral researchon the Velociraptors. At the corporation’s request, the park’s geneticists create a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur to boost visitor attendance, but it soon runs wild on the island.

In all honest I haven’t really been interested in Jurassic World through it’s casting, pre-production, filming and post-production until I saw the first trailer for the up coming film.  The really good trailer harkens back to the first film that captivated a generation in the 1990’s, though through Jurassic Park’s two sequels that didn’t live up to expectations, and age the film and franchise has lost some of it’s luster.  Hopefully with star Chris Pratt, and director Colin Trevorrow will bring back some of the wonder and awe that the first film inspired with next years Jurassic World.

9. The Revenant

Plot: In the 19th century, Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a fur trapper, is mauled by a bear while hunting. His companions (Hardy, Poulter, and Gleeson) rob him and leave him to die, but he survives and sets out to get revenge on the men who betrayed him.

I am excited just because The Revenant is a Western a genre that I love, and think is under used, and when you add in Tom Hardy, and Leonardo DiCaprio as well as critically acclaimed Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu directing the film, and that make The Revenant a must see film of 2015.

8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Plot: The film is set approximately thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and stars “a trio of new leads” alongside returning actors from the previous installments.

Of course The Force Awakens is going to be on my list of the must see films of 2015.  I mean come on it’s Star Wars, the first Star Wars film in a decade directed by J.J. Abrams, and with an outstanding cast in Harrison Ford, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher.

7. Spectre

Plot: A cryptic message from an unlikely source sets James Bond navigating the layers of a sinister organisation known asSPECTRE. As M continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6, Bond draws closer to uncovering a hidden truth that threatens to destroy everything he has fought to protect.

Sam Mendes returns as director to the Bond franchise with the up coming Spectre which might be the all around best casted Bond film ever with Dave Bautista, Naomie Harris, Daniel Craig, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, and Monica Bellucci.

6. Mad Max: Fury Road

Plot: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, loner Max meets Furiosa, a woman who wishes to cross the desert.

Wow it’s been just about thirty years since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome came out, so another Mad Max film is long over due.  I know some might be mad that Mel Gibson isn’t back, but I’m not with Fury Road staring Tom Hardy,  Nicholas Hoult, Charlize Theron, and directed by George Miller I am happy, plus with the bat shit awesomely crazy second trailer makes Fury Road one of my top films for 2015.

5. The Martian

Plot: The film is based on the 2012 novel The Martian by Andy Weir.

Man Hollywood executives and producers certainly move quickly.  Weir’s novel has only been out for three years, and Hollywood’s already has film coming out based on the novel, and they did the same thing with Gone Girl.  I have never heard of or read Weir’s novel, but the plot sounds riveting.  When you add in it’s being directed by Ridley Scott, and stars Sean Bean, Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, and Jeff Daniels then I am all in for The Martian.

4. Tomorrowland

Plot: Frank (George Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) travel to a place somewhere in time and space only known as Tomorrowland where their actions directly affect the world and themselves.

Director Brad Bird and writer Damon Lindelof are certainly tight lipped with details about Tomorrowland.  Outside of the vague trailer there isn’t much to go on, and honestly I like that.  In the times we live in with the internet where it’s hard not to find spoilers or plot details about an upcoming film, and trailers that reveal way to much, it’s nice to have some mystery about what a film is about, and that is certainly work for Tomorrowland the sci-fi adventure film starring George Clooney.

3. Child 44

Plot: Set in Stalin-era Soviet Union, a disgraced MGB agent is dispatched to investigate a series of child murders — a case that begins to connect with the very top of party leadership.

The premise of Child 44 reminds me a little of HBO’s great film Citizen X staring Max von Sydow, Stephen Rea, and Donald Sutherland, which was based on the Soviet Unions efforts to catch serial killer Andrei Chikatilo who was has been confirmed of killing 53 people, but most speculate that Chikatilo killed at least 57 people.  Anyway Child 44 is based on  Tom Rob Smith’s novel directed by Daniel Espinosa, and starring Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Vincent Cassel, Noomi Rapace, and Jason Clarke. 

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Plot: The second half of the final film of the Hunger Games trilogy.

No one should be surprised that I put Mockingjay Part 2 so high on my list of the most anticipated films of 2015 as it will be the thrilling conclusion to a great trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins, and the great films based on her novels that truly propelled my love Jennifer Lawrence to stardom.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Plot: With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron, a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, and it is up to Iron Man,Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him from enacting his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, as well as the familiar Vision.

Like Mockingjay above that Age of Ultron is this high on my 25 most anticipated films of 2015 shouldn’t be a surprise to any one.  I did think the first Avengers film was highly overrated as the only thing it really has going for it was the cool factor of seeing all these stars and characters in one film.  Now with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige might finally produce another exceptional Marvel Studios film that will surpass the only other Marvel film that was exceptional in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  They wisely added James Spader as the villain and voice of Ultron and will delve into what will hopefully be a romance between Bruce and Natasha which I surprisingly find the potential for the two compelling along with the usual action and drama.  Hopefully Joss Whedon won’t let me down again with Age of Ultron.

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Categorised in: Movie News, Opinion

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