By Matt Singer | Criticwire December 31, 2012 at 10:08AM
"Sorry, but I've been instructed not to 'live in the future.' Also, if this year's taught me anything it's that you never know. I usually only allow myself a top twenty for my blog's best-of-the-year feature, and this year I was hard-pressed to keep it down to twenty-five. So either I'm getting soft or the year was unusually robust. I'm hoping for the same, or similar enough, in 2013."
"'Meekong Hotel,' the new Apichatpong Weerasethakul."
"While interested particularly in finally seeing the U.S. debut of Abbas Kiarostami's 'Like Someone in Love,' I'm more excited about catching new releases of 'Ministry of Fear' and 'Chronicle of a Summer' from Criterion and 'Trust' and 'Don Giovanni' from Olive Films on video formats, seeing as how I do the vast majority of my viewing from home."
"Besides the obvious choice of 'To The Wonder,' I'm quite curious to see what Godard does with 3D in 'Goodbye to Language.' I'm not a particular fan of the post-'60s Godard, but I'm curious to see what the legend approaches the new forms and styles of cinema."
"'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.' While I think the first film was flawed, I liked an awful lot about it, and feel it sets up the next film very, very well. 'The Lord of the Rings' is still my favorite film of all time, and given how good the next part of 'The Hobbit' book is, I anticipate this next film living up to the legacy of the trilogy."
"Feels weird to say it, but I don't have one. There are lots of sci-fi blockbusters that could hold a lot of promise -- 'Ender's Game,' 'Pacific Rim,' 'Elysium,' or one of the many superhero sequels or reboots -- and random choices like 'Monsters University' and even 'The Lone Ranger' -- but I'm not jumping up and down like a fanboy for any of them. Yet."
"'Gravity.' 'Children of Men' made me think Alfonso Cuarón can do anything."
"As for decades, my most anticipated films of this or any other year will be whatever is new from Pedro Almodovar, the brothers Coen, Martin Scorsese, and Jacques Tati, whose footage absolutely KILLED at Comic-Con."
"The most terrifying thing about looking ahead isn't the incoming trend of Secret Service films ('Olympus Has Fallen,' 'White House Down') but that there's a lot of incredible stuff showing up as soon as February. My easy undistributed-yet-will-be-within-hours-of-screening answer is 'Upstream Color,' which will either be curing cancer or pissing off people at Sundance. But I'm strangely excited for Steven Soderbergh's 'Side Effects.' Supposedly his last theatrical film -- aside from HBO's 'Behind the Candlelabra' -- and it is going to dive into the fun world of pharmacology with Rooney Mara and Jude Law working off a script from Scott Burns."
"As much as I'm dying to see the blockbuster likes of 'Elysium' and 'Man of Steel' as well as very interested in how 'Before Midnight,' 'Labor Day,' and 'Nebraska' turn out as Oscar players, I think I'm looking forward to 'The Place Beyond the Pines' most of all. 'Blue Valentine' was my #1 film of the year when it came out, so the re-teaming of filmmaker Derek Cianfrance with Ryan Gosling is a must see in my book. Factor in the strong word of mouth I got from people at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and it's the one I'm most anticipating right now."
"'La Ultima Pelicula,' co-directed by Mark Peranson and Raya Martin and starring 'The Color Wheel''s Alex Ross Perry, is easily my most anticipated film of 2013."
"I actually don't know the title of my most anticipated movie of 2013 yet. Every year, there's some movie that comes out of Sundance or Toronto that earns amazing buzz and gets me excited. Only time will tell what that movie will be for the coming year. Of the films already on my radar, I'm most excited for 'This is the End,' because I'm a huge comedy buff, and the idea of a movie starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jason Segal, Danny McBride, Mindy Kaling, and other top funny people is like cinematic catnip. I'm also psyched for 'The Wolverine.' I named my son Logan after Wolverine's real moniker, so that'll give you an indication of how much I love this character. For the record, my least anticipated film in 2013 is the One Direction 3D concert movie."
"Wong Kar-wai's martial arts epic 'The Grandmasters,'' which appears to be a return to form for the Hong Kong auteur after the embarrassingly awful 'My Blueberry Nights,' his first and hopefully last English-language entry. Runner-up: 'Hors Satan,' by the underappreciated French director Bruno Dumont, who has yet to make an inferior feature."
"'The Wolf of Wall Street.' Like a figure-skating judge, I'm impressed by the level of difficulty -- Scorsese's first movie in 2D digital, and taking on a topic (high finance) that Hollywood rarely bothers with and often gets wrong when it does. Plus, at least part of this story was already made into an excellent movie: 'Boiler Room.' It's some task Scorsese has taken on, but I hope he pulls it off."
"Anticipation isn't always positive. In that spirit, I'm anxious to see 'World War Z.' I came across Max Brooks' sprawling fake history as a book-on-tape at a truck stop in San Francisco and it made the drive back down to LA pass by as quickly as if I'd slid through a time portal. It's huge, it's rich, it's global, and it's clearly impossible to film, hence all the bleak rumors spilling out of director Marc Forster's set. Like the story itself, the production started off disastrous and only got worse -- how many over-budget epics can say they were invaded by Hungary's Anti-Terrorism Unit? 'World War Z' might not be brilliant, but it'll definitely be interesting. Is it Brad Pitt's 'Ishtar?' Maybe. Will movie writers claim it is? Absolutely. Am I dying to see it? 100%."
"Why, 'To the Wonder,' of course. I'm also looking forward to seeing 'Leviathan' again."
"My column on Sound On Sight is called 'Hey You Geeks!' I deal in sci-fi, comic, horror and action, and 2013 is looking to be a huge year for geek film. That said, with three original sci-fi films coming out from three directors I admire greatly (Spike Jonze, Alfonso Cuarón and Neill Blomkamp) there's a lot to look forward to. Then there's del Toro's 'Pacific Rim' which looks mind-blowing. But beyond these and other potentially great flicks only one has been on my radar for over a decade. George Miller's return to the 'Mad Max' franchise with 'Mad Max: Fury Road' is my absolute most anticipated release for 2013. Tom Hardy is the perfect choice in taking over Gibson's iconic role (imagine if the once-rumored Sam Worthington had been cast). Granted, the movie isn't set for release until Christmas 2013, and knowing the hell this production has seen, my most anticipated film of 2013 may end up released in 2014."
"Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity.' I'm looking forward to watching Cuarón's follow-up to his 2006 film 'Children of Men.' Cuarón has proven he can make a brilliant sci-fi film and I'd really like to see what he could do with big Hollywood movie stars in outer space. I'm also looking forward to another father-son team up ('Gravity' was written by Cuarón's son, Jonas), M. Night Shyamalan's 'After Earth' featuring Will and Jaden Smith. I root for Shyamalan every time he comes out with a movie and I've been disappointed that his last few films were utter failures. I feel he still has something in the tank and maybe 'After Earth' could be it. Will Smith also produced 'After Earth' so I'd be curious to see how he and Shyamalan will work together."
"Lots of great choices. After leaning toward 'A Good Day to Die Hard' (no, I'm not kidding) and 'Elysium,' I'm going to select Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' ... basically because he hasn't directed a feature-length film since the outstanding 'Children of Men,' and I'm trembling with anticipation thinking what he can do with a full-blown science-fiction story starring one of my favorite actors working today, George Clooney."
"Quite a large part of me wants to say 'Side Effects,' even though I disapprove of the notion of a last Steven Soderbergh film. Another quite large part of me wants to say 'Jimmy Picard,' because of the meshing of Desplechin, Amalric and Del Toro. But if I'm honest, I'm mostly geeking out over 'Before Midnight,' because it's been too long since the last 'proper' Linklater ('Bernie' is good, but it's not fully him). And because I know it will destroy me."
"My most-anticipated film of 2013 is the same as 2012. Unfortunately, 'Gravity,' the upcoming space epic from Alfonso Cuarón (who delivered my favorite film of the last decade with 'Children of Men'), was delayed and even though a release date is still up in the air, we're set to get it before next year ends."
"Well, I really don’t know much about upcoming films in 2013 because I feel it’s best to avoid hype at all costs. With that said, like anybody else, I’m a hypocrite, so considering the films I do know about, I’d have to say that I look most forward to Terrence Malick’s 'To the Wonder' and the Coen Brothers’ 'Inside Llewyn Davis.'"
"My most anticipated film of 2013 would have to be Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Only God Forgives.' 'Drive' was my favorite film of 2011 and Refn's newest collaboration with Ryan Gosling sounds like it could be equally tense, violent, and haunting. We haven't seen or heard much about 'Only God Forgives' but that only adds to the anticipation. It may not have the recognizable faces that 'Drive' contained, but if the quality is even remotely close, I'm sure I won't be disappointed."
"My most anticipated 2013 releases are 'Gravity,' 'Nymphomaniac,' and 'I Want Your Love.'"
"At the risk of being redundant -- I'm sure other folks will offer the same response -- I am waiting with bated breath for Godard's 'Goodbye to Language.' While I am not indiscriminate in my embrace of his late work (I have some problems with a few of them), I do think this current phase easily stacks up with anything the man has ever produced. Works like 'Histoire(s) du Cinema,' 'In Praise of Love,' and 'Film Socialisme' will stand not only as masterworks of intellectual cinema, but of European high modernism, or whatever is currently replacing it. So what will the man, now 82 years old, do with 3D? God only knows..."
"I was asked this question last year regarding 2012, and my answer is unfortunately the same now as it was then: 'The Grandmaster.' A film from perhaps my favorite living filmmaker, 'The Grandmaster' sees Wong Kar-wai tackling the legendary tale of Yip Man and I can't wait to see how he tells his story. Wong Kar-wai is famed for taking his time and 'The Grandmaster' has been a long time coming. The film is allegedly finally going to open in China on the 8th of January 2013 and will receive its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival shortly after. With The Weinstein Company handling the UK release of the film I won't be holding my breath to see the film in UK cinemas any time soon though, at least not without some unwanted editing from Harvey Scissorhands, but I'm still remaining hopeful that I wont be answering this question with the same answer in twelve months time."
"'Gravity,' from Alfonso Cuarón. His intense, searing futuristic drama 'Children of Men' was my favorite film of 2006, and if anything, the seven-year gap between projects has made his return all the more welcome. Outside of a basic plot synopsis about two astronauts stranded in deep space, not much is concretely known about 'Gravity,' but the setting plus big-name actors like Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are intriguing enough. Add to that the rumored thirty-minute opening shot, bringing back fond memories of the extended, jittery takes Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki pulled off in 'Children of Men,' and I’m ready to line up for tickets for 'Gravity' as soon as Warner Bros. gets off its metaphorical duff and announces a firm release date."
"2013 already looks like a Christmas tree hanging over the world's most tantalizing batch of presents. What's WKW got for us? Or the Coens? Cuarón, Miyazaki, Jarmusch, von Trier? That said, no film intrigues me more than Bong Joon-ho's 'Snow Piercer.' More sci-fi from the director of 'The Host?' With Tilda Swinton, no less? Pardon me if I'm drooling."
"Johnnie To's 'Drug War.' I would recommend viewing the trailer."
"Off the top of my head, I'm pretty psyched for 'Ender's Game.' On the one hand, it might look on paper like a built-in franchise; on the other, it's big-budget sci-fi with an underlying theme of post-traumatic stress disorder. Assuming it's faithful, it'll either strongly hit a nerve or really piss people off, and I'm very curious to see which. If our debate about guns versus video games keeps going strong, it could prove quite timely."
"Any or all of the Terrence Malick projects and new films by Asghar Farhadi, Lars von Trier, and Sofia Coppola, I am looking forward to reviewing. Although visually glamorous, the soundtrack in the trailers for Baz Luhrmann's 'Great Gatsby' limits my anticipation. Luhrmann directed Judy Davis well as Elsa Schiaparelli for the Met Museum's Costume Institute exhibition 'Impossible Conversations' with Miuccia Prada. Leonardo DiCaprio looks very convincing as Jay Gatsby and has shown his remarkable skill as 2012 villain of the year Calvin Candie in Tarantino's blood red 'Django Unchained.' Films I can highly recommend that are getting their theatrical release in 2013 are Sophie Fiennes's 'Pervert's Guide to Ideology,' Olivier Assayas's 'Something In the Air,' Cristian Mungiu's 'Beyond The Hills,' and Abbas Kiarostami's 'Like Someone In Love.'"
"My most anticipated film of 2013 was one of my most anticipated films of 2012 -- until it was delayed. Now I have to wait until October to catch Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity.' My interest in it comes purely from Cuarón's attachment. 'Children of Men' was my favorite movie of 2006, and I've been waiting for another full-length feature from him ever since."
"My most anticipated film of 2013 is 'Before Midnight.' I'm a huge fan of the first two films, so I'm eager to see what Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy do with the third. I already have my pet theories about what happened to Jesse and Celine since we last saw them."
The Best Movie Currently In Theaters on December 31st, 2012: