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The Playlist's 50 Most Anticipated Films Of 2012

by Oliver Lyttelton
January 4, 2012 12:02 PM
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Cogan's Trade

Cogan's Trade
Synopsis: Based on the 1974 George V. Higgins novel of the same name, “Cogan’s Trade” follows Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.
What You Need to Know: This will be director Andrew Dominik’s first film since “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” of 2007, a film that was met by massive critical acclaim (to our minds, one of the finest of the past decade), but that was criminally ignored by audiences and awards ceremonies. It may have been Brad Pitt’s best performance to date, and clearly he wanted to repeat his collaboration with Dominik; here Pitt once again stars, in a cast also including James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins, with newcomers Bella Heathcote and Scoot McNairy both taking on significant roles. Pitt has been pretty choosy with his projects recently, and he hasn’t struck out in a while, and The Weinstein Company has already bought the rights to distribute in North America, though since this one's a dark comedy, it remains to be seen if they'll be aiming for an Oscar bid.
Release Date: An early-to-mid September bow like “The Town” or “Moneyball” would be our guess, though it could make a "Drive"-style appearance as early as Cannes.

Company You Keep

The Company You Keep
Synopsis: Jim Grant, a  former Weather Underground militant who has been wanted by the FBI for 30 years for a Bank Of Michigan robbery, must go on the run when his true identity is exposed by a young, ambitious reporter hell-bent on making a name for himself.
What You Need To Know: Following last year’s tepid “The Conspirator,” Robert Redford returns with a project that not only has a lot more mainstream appeal, but retains his interest in politically angular material while also marking his first starring role since 2007’s “Lion For Lambs.” Along with “The Wettest County,” this will be a significant change of pace for co-star Shia LaBeouf, who is making some big strides into non-franchise territory and hoping it will pay off. The pic will also be enlivened by more young talent including Sundance sweetheart Brit Marling and Anna Kendrick, along with an ace line-up of veterans like Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Richard Jenkins and Stanley Tucci. But while the premise is sound, so was that of the “The Conspirator,” and that film soon got bogged down in Redford’s heavy-handed politics. If he has learned those lessons, though, and can keep the thriller elements brisk and the thematic undercurrents subtle, it could be his best effort since the mid-'90s.
Release Date: Not scheduled yet, though a festival bow seems likely.

Cannes Film Festival "Cosmopolis"

Synopsis: Based on the novel by American author Don DeLillo, it centers on Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a young multi-billionaire making an epic, ultimately doomed limo ride across New York City.  
What You Need to Know: David Cronenberg is enjoying an unparalleled level of critical and commercial acceptance after decades hovering on the fringe. At the outset, "Cosmopolis" seems to fall in line with the mannered, critic-friendly films of the recent Cronenberg era. It is, after all, an adaptation of a critically revered and best-selling novel and stars hunky heartthrob-of-the-moment Robert Pattinson. But on closer inspection, the movie seems more atypical and dangerous (a good thing, since "A Dangerous Method" felt far too safe for a filmmaker known for exploding heads and genital mutilation), taking place primarily in a stretch limousine as it crawls through New York City (not exactly a cinematic conceit). A number of Cronenberg's favorite thematic tics are explored, too, including man's relationship with modern technology, the messiness of murder and sexual obsession. So while it might be sold as another buttoned-up late era Cronenberg think piece, we're hoping it's going to be ruder, looser, and more like the days of yore, even if it has to be without the exploding heads and genital mutilation.
Release Date: With press for “A Dangerous Method” occupying much of Cronenberg’s time in the fall of 2011, our guess is the fall film festival circuit will be the earliest we see the picture.

Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises
Synopsis: Batman has been away for eight years, but when sinister masked terrorist Bane turns his sights on Gotham, Bruce Wayne must don the mask again.
What You Need To Know: Ignore the baggage of years of comic book continuity. Ignore the rich cinematic life this character has boasted thus far. Hell, ignore “The Dark Knight,” the previous film that grossed over a billion dollars worldwide and became a critical favorite. What we’ve got here is a meticulous, often personal filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, working at the peak of his powers within the studio system. Nolan played by their rules and made the most beloved comic adaptation of all time and his “pet project” turned into the $800 million-grossing “Inception.” It’s always exciting when great filmmakers get a blank check, and doubly thrilling that he’s opted for, from what we can tell, a fairly dark storyline. In the comics, our villain Bane shattered Batman’s willpower and his body. But the comics benefited from a reset button and a re-establishing of the status quo. Nolan’s grounded, believable Batman universe doesn’t seem so accommodating to this logic, particularly with Nolan, Christian Bale, and the entire team revealing that the story, which remains under wraps, has a distinct air of finality. With all parties involved moving on, and with Warner Bros. eager to continue the Batman saga with a likely sunnier reboot within the next few years, “The Dark Knight Rises” is a pivotal film for those intrigued by the successes and fallacies of big studio sequential filmmaking.
Release Date: July 20

Django Unchained

"Django Unchained"
Synopsis: A freed slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) teams up with a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to track down his wife (Kerry Washington) and liberate her from her plantation owners led by the sadistic Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
What You Need To Know: The eighth film from Quentin Tarantino was originally written as a vehicle for Will Smith, with Foxx taking on the role after the squeaky-clean actor passed, presumably to squeeze in another four quadrant tentpole. It's his loss. The chance to star in a Tarantino film doesn't come around often, which might explain why the ridiculously stacked cast -- which includes Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Sacha Baron Cohen, Don Johnson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Remar, Anthony LaPaglia and The RZA, among others -- also features DiCaprio, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, in a supporting role. And judging by the script there are many juicy roles here for the talented cast to dig into if the director can pull it off. After drifting close to self-parody with his indulgent, referential grindhouse entry "Death Proof," Tarantino came roaring back with "Inglourious Basterds" like he had something to prove, which of course, he did. We have to admit we're a little concerned about Tarantino returning to the revenge narrative yet again ("Kill Bill," "Death Proof," 'Basterds'), but with its racially charged and sure-to-be-controversial subject matter, 'Django' has the potential to be an epic unlike anything we've seen from the filmmaker before.  
Release Date: December 25


The East
Synopsis:  A female security agent goes undercover in an environmental anarchist terrorist group, but winds up falling for the leader.
What You Need To Know: Can lightning strike three times for Brit Marling? The actress/writer/producer lit up Sundance a year ago with the one-two punch of “Another Earth” and “Sound of My Voice,” and quickly found a home with Fox Searchlight, who not only agreed to distribute both of those films, but are also backing this one. Reteaming with ‘Voice’ co-writer and director Zal Batmanglij, their next endeavor seems to be a riff on their previous effort, centered around a cult. But here it seems the themes are opening up considerably, with the magnetism of this kind of leader being explored more deeply as Marling falls under the spell of Alexander Skarsgård (who wouldn’t?). Additionally, with an ex-lover coming into play (Ellen Page) and a doctor fighting Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms with a tainted drug (Toby Kebbell), it looks like this will be more than just a ‘Voice’ reprise with bigger stars. An issues drama? A thriller? Maybe something in the intangible middle? That’s what we’re hoping for, and with a world of expectations and hype on Marling’s shoulders, we’ll be curious to see how she and Batmanglij use the resources of a studio for the first time.
Release: No date yet, and with filming kicking off this fall and “Sound of My Voice” still waiting for a releast date, we won’t be surprised if this is festival fare only in late 2012 with a broader release planned in 2013.

Five Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement
Synopsis: Tom and Violet get engaged, but life gets in the way of their wedding plans, leading to a -- you guessed it -- extended engagement period.
What You Need To Know: Though the premise is hardly earth-shattering, simply more of Hollywood's hetro-centric obsession with upcoming nuptials, there are quite a few reasons to hope for the best in this case. The film re-teams the duo behind "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "The Muppets," writer/director Nicholas Stoller and writer/actor Jason Segel, along with the almighty Judd Apatow producing. Many people missed Segel and Emily Blunt's comedic turn together in last years mega-flop "Gulliver's Travels," in which they supplied the only cast chemistry that kept that corpse somewhat afloat, which at least bodes well for "The Five-Year Engagement." This potentially sweet-and-sour rom-com also boasts a supporting cast of absolute comedic ringers from the small screen including Alison Brie (“Community”), Mindy Kaling (“The Office”), Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation”) and Chris Parnell ("SNL"), and everyone's favorite terrifying Australian matriarch, "Animal Kingdom" Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver. Segel and Stoller have already made it clear they are aiming to mine the holy grail of rom-coms like Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” and Rob Reiner’s ”When Harry Met Sally.” Though the recently released trailer focuses on plot summary over hilarity and hi-jinks, it was still still amusing, possessing  the endearing tone we’re hoping for, plus, hopefully there’s still plenty R-rated fun and genius one-liners hidden in its arsenal.
Release Date: April 27

Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad
Synopsis: Based on a series of articles in the L.A. Times, the story follows a specialized L.A.P.D. unit set up in the ‘40s to fight the growing influence of the East Coast Mafia, namely from that infamous gangster Mickey Cohen, a mogul who started as muscle for Al Capone in Chicago
What You Need To Know: Credit to Warner Bros. for going with the inspired choice of “Zombieland” and “30 Minutes Or Less” director Ruben Fleischer to tackle what sounds like a sprawling, period L.A.-set gangster picture. The drama will see Sean Penn play the notorious gangster, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as two cops trying to bring him down, and Emma Stone as the femme fatale no doubt coming between them. And if the prospect of those four battling it out wasn’t enough, how about a supporting cast that also brings names like Anthony Mackie, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick, “The Killing “ star Mireille Enos, Sullivan Stapleton, Frank Grillo and Giovanni Ribisi among many others, together as well. Fleischer has been keeping a photo blog of the production, and the production values look high, while writer (and ex-cop) Will Beall described the film as “a Western. It's 'The Magnificent Seven' or 'Rio Bravo,' but set in mid-20th century Los Angeles. Micky Cohen is the cattle baron who has the town in his grip and it's up to our heroes to find a way to get rid of him."  Sign us up.
Release Date: October 19

Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charlie Swan III

"A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III"
Synopsis: Successful graphic designer Charles Swan III (Charlie Sheen), whose fame, money and charm has made him irresistible to women, is thrown into a downward spiral of doubt and reflection after his girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick) breaks up with him.
What You Need To Know: It's been 10 years since Roman Coppola's hugely underrated debut film "CQ" snuck into theaters and its fans, us among them, are still waiting for a follow-up. That film was a mix of autobiography and pop fantasy set in Paris during the '60s, it mixed influences as diverse as "Day For Night" and "Barbarella," into something strangely original. He's spent the last decade at work, doing 2nd unit for both his sister Sofia's films as well as co-writing "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Moonrise Kingdom" with his pal, Wes Anderson. For his long-awaited sophomore feature, he moves the action ahead a decade to the decadent '70s for another tale that looks to meld his own life with his influences. But unlike "CQ," this one is unlikely to vanish in limited release; the cast features Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plaza and perhaps most importantly, tabloid magnet Charlie Sheen in his first major role since his public meltdown. Playing a celebrity entering a downward spiral shouldn't be too hard for  the actor given his recent troubles, but if he nails the part he might sneak back into Hollywood again after his disastrous rants nearly sunk his career. Everybody loves a good comeback story.
Release Date: TBD


The Grandmasters
Synopsis: The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.
What You Need To Know: A notoriously slow and deliberate filmmaker and editor, who tends to write his film <i>as</i> as he is shooting (what a luxury), Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai is one of the most world-renowned international directors, but this will be his first film since his 2007 poorly received English-language debut, “My Blueberry Nights.” Starring longtime collaborator Tony Leung (“In The Mood For Love”), Song Hye-kyo, Chang Chen and Chinese star Zhang Ziyi ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"),  the picture will also be the filmmaker’s first action-oriented movie since 1994’s “Ashes of Time” (which Leung also appeared in). So shooting started back in 1981... ok, we’re kidding, but it really feels like we’ve been reporting on this project for three or four years now. Delays did occur due to Leung accidentally breaking his arm during a fight with a stuntman and Ziyi’s participation was always unconfirmed until set photos showed her in training, but all we know is we’ve seen a tantalizing sizzle trailer and some rain-soaked pictures and posters and now we want to see this damn picture already.
Release Date: It’s been in post forever now. It was rumored for Cannes last year, so with a year-long delay we can only hope a 2012 Cannes bow is finally in the works.

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  • Connor | January 7, 2012 1:27 PMReply

    The Dark Knight Rises
    Gangster Squad
    The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey
    Les Miserables
    A Place Beyond The Pines
    Frank Or Francis (2013 ?)
    Untitled Spike Jonze/charlie Kaufman Project (2013 ?)

    Cogan's Trade
    Django Unchained
    A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan
    The Great Gatsby
    He Loves Me
    Hyde Park On Hudson
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    The Master
    Nero Fiddled
    On The Road
    Only God Forgvies
    Red Hook Summer
    Untitled Terrance Malick Project
    The Wettest Country

    Anna Karenina
    Cloud Atlas
    Magic Mike
    Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World
    Seven Psychopaths
    Under The Skin
    Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Bin Laden Project
    Welcome To The Punch

    The Bourne Legacy
    The Company You Keep
    The East
    The Five Year Engagement
    The Grandmasters
    Lay The Favorite
    Life Of Pi
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Rust And Bone
    The Silver Linings Playbook
    This Is Forty
    Untitled David Chase Project
    Labor Day (2013 ?)

  • Huffy | January 7, 2012 10:32 AMReply

    Pretty impressive-looking collection of films. I gotta say that I'm impressed by McConaughey's recent career choices. Its like he got tired of just taking off his shirt and smirking at Kate Hudson in every single role and decided to be an actual actor again.
    One thing you guys left out is Beyond the Black Rainbow. Technically it was released last year in the festivals but most of us won't get to see it until a few months down the road, and judging by the trailer it looks orgasmically good assuming that you like hallucinogenic Kubrick sci-fi with a strong 80's aesthetic.

  • Gena | January 6, 2012 6:39 AMReply

    Definitely so much to look forward to. What you need to know about Cosmopolis: No, there will be no head explosions or genital mutilations. For those who get Eric Packer, it might only make their heads the best of ways, Cronenberg style.

  • Gena | January 9, 2012 9:52 AM

    @Kanerwa: kill all the rats,don't deal with garbage, sh@t piles up, rats reappear. This rat implodes the system that created him, much more dangerous. Makes head explosions/mutilation so passé.

  • Kanerwa | January 8, 2012 1:48 PM

    Every f@king Wall Street rat ( very symbolic in this movie) responsible for world financial crisis should finished like Packer.Head explosion or genital mutilation are very welcome.:)

  • Misha | January 5, 2012 4:29 PMReply

    Very nice list with the added value of "What You Need to Know" segments. Some refreshing titles added compared to other "2012 titles to watch" lists I've read. Still...the offerings for Sci-Fi titles are lacking for my taste.

  • Gena | January 9, 2012 9:45 AM

    You kill all the rats, don't deal with garbage, it piles all up, rats reappear.
    Obliterating Packers without dealing with the system solves nothing. It is about imploding the system, not simply dealing with what it produces. Implosion...much more dangerous, makes head explosions and mutilation kinda passe :)

  • isabella | January 5, 2012 3:42 PMReply

    What about 47 Ronin - - I think 47 Ronin will be awesome; you did not include it probably because Keanu Reeves' on it . . . Keanu is so underrated as an action star. He is better than Tom Cruise!!

  • padre | January 5, 2012 4:58 PM

    YES! BOOYAH! 47 Ronin will rule in triumph, with Superstar Keanu Reeves!

  • Brandon | January 5, 2012 12:23 PMReply

    So why is The Expendables 2 not up here? I assure you every straight man and dyke in America wants to see it.

  • Georgeann | January 5, 2012 11:38 AMReply

    What about Carlo Carlei's Romeo & Juliet, said to be released in 2012, with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth in the leading roles?

  • Kanerwa | January 5, 2012 10:33 AMReply

    I wait only for Cosmopolis.

  • Kotomi | January 5, 2012 4:00 AMReply

    Great job,Playlist! It's very good list.But no Ashes? No Upside Down? I'm bit disappointed..(there is very little info about Ashes though..)I think Jim Sturgess will finally break this year.

  • Padre | January 5, 2012 3:33 AMReply

    "Blake Lively as the girl" <--- touche, Playlist. I don't even know if that was intentional (since the girl has a name... Opehlia) but it made me LOL. Blake Lively will most likely play her as one-note and bland as she does everything so "the girl" is an appropriate description. Regardless I hope the movie is good. Glad to see Uma T. and John T. in a film together again.

  • padre | January 5, 2012 4:55 PM

    You gonna swipe my handle dude? Seriously? Of course I may have started posting here in my sleep, and just don't remember it in the morning. Sleep-posting is real.

  • 42nd comment | January 5, 2012 3:29 AMReply

    Also Labor Day is one of my favorite books that I've read recently so I'm stoked Reitman is adapting it. Killer cast with Winslet and Brolin. I can totally picture Brolin in the role as the drifter. The key here is casting a really talented kid. The entire story is told from the kids perspective so lets hope Reitman doesn't pull a Daldry and cast the most annoying kid to grace the big screen (I'm looking at you, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). I think the kid from Super 8 would be perfect- Joel Courtney I believe is his name. I wonder if he will stick to the same ending as the book... that was the only part I didn't like. A bit lackluster but nonetheless a solid read and hopefully a damn good movie. I'm sure Reitman can pull it off-- Young Adult proved Up in the Air and Juno were no flukes.

  • 41 comment | January 5, 2012 3:25 AMReply

    Where's the Tim Burton film? Can't remember the name... Johnny Depp, draculas, the usual suspects...??

  • jingmei | January 5, 2012 2:23 AMReply

    Awesome list!

  • Jordan | January 4, 2012 6:44 PMReply

    I'm happy, but surprised to see that ONLY GOD FORGIVES is on this list, as I would assume that with Gosling already having two films set for release in mid-to-late 2012, that holding this one back until 2013 would help spread things out (though Gosling did have three films out as well last year)

  • Finn | January 4, 2012 5:51 PMReply

    Am really looking forward to director Eran Creevy's second film, "Welcome to the Punch" (James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, David Morrissey). Perhaps executive producer Ridley Scott can help secure a U.S. distributor!

    Also want to see writer Ol Parker's ("Imagine You & Me") "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" with an amazing cast--just pushed from February to May 2012.

  • cirkusfolk | January 4, 2012 4:22 PMReply

    Good list but the hypocrisy of leaving off most of the blockbuster type films such as The Avengers, Snow White and Skyfall while including The Dark Knight, Prometheus and The Hobbit bugs me. You can't have it both ways. The Dark Knight is still a comic book movie like The Avengers no matter how you spin it. Sure you will cover those films in your escapism piece but why play favorites?

  • Carson Wells | January 4, 2012 11:55 PM

    I side with The Playlist on this one. It's clearly The Playlist staff 's most anticipated and, if they don't care so much for fluff like Avengers, well, all the more reason for me to read this site over others. Thanks for a great list The Playlist, keep up the good work. As for me - even though no one asked nor likely cares - my most anticipated are 1) Cogan's Trade 2) The Master 3) Mud. Looks certain to be a good year regardless.

  • Tyrannosaurus Max | January 4, 2012 7:33 PM

    Thanks Playlist. I actually really appreciate your including those films on this list while excluding The Avengers and Snow White. Mainly because Prometheus, TDKR, and The Hobbit all look at the very least quite decent or exciting and have a respectable director to their name. The Avengers looks like shit. Who cares about Snow White? Probably not most of the people other than Cirkusfolk reading this article. Sorry Cirkusfolk. Thank you, The Playlist.

  • Christian | January 4, 2012 5:34 PM

    EDIT: Lol, won't deliver... :)

  • Christian | January 4, 2012 5:33 PM

    ...(continuing) Without sounding pretentious, I think the purpose of the article was to give an overview on some of the not so obvious anticipated films. But I agree that it's kinda elitist/hipster to justify TDKR, but not Spidey or Avengers? Sure, those films are not directed by Chris Nolan, but that doesn't mean the films will deliver.

  • Christian | January 4, 2012 5:30 PM

    I agree that Skyfall is one of the most promising films of 2012; Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Roger Deakins, etc. The elements are in place, that's for sure. The Avengers could also be great or at the very least very fun and entertaining. But this blog is for people who are so interested in more than JUST mainstream films. I visit this blog to expand my horizons.

  • The Playlist | January 4, 2012 4:48 PM

    We can have it any way we want because it's our burger. :)

    Plus there's a few more lists in the next few days. Keep those pants on.

  • Snag | January 4, 2012 4:11 PMReply

    No On The Road or Paperboy??

  • Edward Davis | January 4, 2012 4:45 PM

    On The Road is there son, open your eyes.

  • cirkusfolk | January 4, 2012 4:41 PM

    They mentioned it in the Mud article as well as Killer Joe and Bernie but apparently two McConaughey movies was all they could muster despite Ryan Gosling getting three.

  • Lenz | January 4, 2012 4:00 PMReply

    Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt)
    While We're Young (Noah Baumbach)
    Lotus Community Workshop (Harmony Korine)
    Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas)
    Love (Michael Haneke)
    Holly Motors (Leos Carax)
    Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski)
    Open Five 2 (Kentucker Audley)
    Meanwhile (Hal Hartley)
    Something in the Air (Olivier Assayas)
    The End (Abbas Kiarostami)

  • The Playlist | January 4, 2012 4:47 PM

    Good ones, but While We're Young isn't even solidified let alone shooting this year. You'll be seeing a foreign film and indie list as well and some of those clips will be included. It's unclear whether Night Moves has funding yet (or has shot yet), but it might be on our indie-er list.

  • Marcel | January 4, 2012 3:57 PMReply

    Great List, Great Site ! Keep up the good work!

  • rodie | January 4, 2012 3:34 PMReply

    This is a pretty good list, but I don't like the premise because 50 Most Anticipated Films presupposes that, essentially, any given week there will be one new movie worth watching. I don't think that is the case. Maybe 35 or 40 max.

  • Chris | January 4, 2012 7:59 PM

    If you really think only 35-40 movies per year - MAX - are worth seeing, then you really must not get to the movies very much. Or you just go to the wrong movies. Hundreds of films come out every year - a lot more than 35 prove to be worth seeing.

  • Belgian | January 4, 2012 3:07 PMReply

    "French character actors Matthias Schoenaerts, Bouli Lanners and Celine Sallette".

    Aargh, Matthias Schoenaerts is a Belgian actor!! For crying out loud, it's the only Belgian mentioned in this article - which is very informative by the way, many thanks - and you mistake him for a Frenchman... Please rectify or no more Belgian chocolates for you!

  • Sven | January 5, 2012 3:04 AM

    Bouli Lanners is also a Belgian actor!

  • Christian | January 4, 2012 2:01 PMReply

    Impressive list and well-done research, guys, as always! This is what seperates you from other film blogs. All the other film blogs goe on and on about blockbuster sequels/reboots/prequels/spin-offs like The Avengers, Twilight: The Shit Is Ending,Wrath of the Titans, The Hunger Games, Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Bourne Legacy, G.I. Joe 2, American Pie: Part 117, Ghost Rider 2, etc. Maybe some of them will surprise? I don't want to sound like an elitist hipster, but I think there are going to be some much more original films this year directed by some truly visionary masters (Chase, Malick, Dominik, Refn, Nolan, PTA, Tarantino, Hillcoat, etc) This site is truly a film fan's site! Great job, Playlist!

  • Mark | January 4, 2012 1:58 PMReply

    Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut was pretty close to a masterpiece. If you can ignore Orlando Bloom's performance.

  • Edward Davis | January 4, 2012 2:01 PM

    I can't disagree more with that statement. More like Extra ZZZZZZZZZZZ..........

  • hank | January 4, 2012 1:48 PMReply

    do we all understand that no one officially involved with the film has ever referred to it as "The Master"? That stupid title is really starting to get on my nerves. I don't see you referring to "Untitled Terrence Malick Project" as "The Burial" be a journalist for Christ's sake.

  • Mikael | January 4, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    Caught a test screening of David Chase's film last fall, and it's a big disappointment. It's an entirely autobiographical coming-of-age story, and honestly plays more like Outside Providence than Almost Famous. Anyone telling you Gandolfini "shines" is spinning things (his character is a one-note oppressive father, save for one late-in-the-film scene), and unfortunately, the main kid lacks any gravity and smirks his way through the film. Some clever moments recall the Sopranos (particularly his use of T.V. clips and music), but otherwise, it's a cliche-riddled post-war bildungsroman.

  • jajko | January 4, 2012 1:06 PMReply

    Sam Rockwell won't be in Cogan's Trade! Also The Master is set for 2013 release isnt it ? Anyway this is a pretty great list , i really hope 2012 delivers some future classics.

  • Cory Everett | January 4, 2012 1:10 PM

    'The Master' finished principal photography almost 5 months ago, so unless he's taking a Malick-ian amount of time to edit, we're hoping it'll be out by end of the year.

  • [A] | January 4, 2012 12:55 PMReply

    wow, I knew nothing about MUD or SAVAGES before reading this article so....thanks for the tip

  • Chris | January 4, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    Zoe Kazan was not in "Midnight in Paris."

  • HombreGato | January 4, 2012 12:37 PMReply

    Pretty close to my own list but for the blockbusters I'm a lot more excited for The Avengers and Star Trek than Batman, Brave, or The Hobbit.

    Pretty curious to see what happens with the untitled Luc Besson thriller as well.

  • HombreGato | January 5, 2012 12:13 AM

    (Forgot that Trek was moved to 2013)

  • kure | January 4, 2012 12:29 PMReply

    its nice to see bruce willis has 3 films on this list

  • [A] | January 4, 2012 12:28 PMReply

    Why would anyone anticipate something from Judd Apatow or The Wachowskis is beyond me..

  • HombreGato | January 5, 2012 12:15 AM

    Wachowskis plus Tom Twyker, plus a best selling novel.

  • Paul | January 4, 2012 4:45 PM

    Co-sign - Apatow lost his touch eons ago

  • Bobhoff | January 4, 2012 12:25 PMReply

    Great list, as always each year, but no Skyfall?

  • k. | January 4, 2012 12:23 PMReply

    Where is Dark Shadows? It'll probably suck but I doubt it'll suck more than Great Gatsby so it should be on here!

  • alish | January 4, 2012 12:19 PMReply

    Searching for a Friend is one of the greatest scripts I have ever read.

  • JM | January 4, 2012 12:41 PM

    I second that... amazing script. ARGO has a *really* strong script as well.

    I have a friend who worked on HE LOVES ME that said it was hilariously bad and features the most annoying Manic Pixie Dream Girl of all time.

  • anna | January 4, 2012 12:12 PMReply

    I was waiting for this, thank you! Great list.

  • Glyrics | January 9, 2012 2:44 PM

    I'm waiting for Total Recall. I can't believe you included a couple on here that should go straight to video, but Anna Karenina? With Keira "Lockjaw" Knightley? I can't beieve she still gets work, much less as a fictional icon. Sex appeal??? She has no figure at all! Blasphemy!

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