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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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Synopsis: Two astronauts from a remote space station are the only survivors from an exploding satellite, sparking an emergency return home.
What You Need to Know:  From the start, “Gravity” sounded like one of those doomed projects that would never happen, after original leads Natalie Portman and Robert Downey Jr. bailed, but eventually, director and studio met halfway, choosing Sandra Bullock to be the face of their $80 million 3D space thriller, with George Clooney in support. Director Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”) has only allowed morsels of details to emerge from the film, which finds Bullock on a mad dash to return to her daughter on Earth, but from our read of the script, it should be an intense, lean thrill-ride, something close to "Touching the Void" in space. Furthermore, the film is going to feature an ambitious twenty minute opening shot, leading into a movie that will be roughly 60% CGI. Whispers about the movie’s tech center around this, technologically, being in the realm of “Avatar,” but while James Cameron uses these advancements to further his passive-aggressive relationship with the military-industrial complex, Cuaron is said to be telling a Kubrick-ian outer space story, with most of the screentime occupied by only one character, and much of the soundtrack occupied by silence. While this obviously won’t be an austere Tarkovskian think piece, we’re thrilled that Cuaron has managed to take this threadbare story as an excuse to create what may be the year’s most visually exciting picture.
Release: November 21

Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
Synopsis: A Hollywood take on the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel where new-money millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) pines after his old love Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). When she comes back into her life with new husband Tom (Joel Edgerton), Gatsby, with the help of new friend Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), tries to win her back.
What You Need To Know: Baz Luhrmann takes on the classic American tale --  and boldly shot in 3D no less. Luhrmann’s last venture, “Australia,” definitely didn’t impress critics, getting mixed reviews and disappointing at the box office, but he’s never one to shy away from a challenge regardless. Employing a workshop format to cast the film, he ended up with quite the impressive roster; working with DiCaprio again for the first time since his take on “Romeo & Juliet,” he also has a galaxy of stars in support, including Maguire, and, playing against type, Mulligan as the materialistic, sometimes simple-minded Daisy Buchanan; curiously, it’s her first leading role in a big Hollywood production. Up-and-comer Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher round out the cast. "Australia" might have been uneven and indulgent, but we’re not worried here; Luhrmann’s work is strongest when he’s putting his unique visual take on age-old tales, and early stills suggest he's got the style down.
Release: Christmas Day 2012, which means Warner Bros. are crossing their fingers it'll be a heavy Oscar hitter.

He Loves Me

"He Loves Me"
Synopsis: A successful author overcomes writer's block by creating the woman he thinks will love him. Things get complicated when he ends up actually willing her into existence.
What You Need To Know: It's been a long time since "Little Miss Sunshine," the fun and heart-warming first feature by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris that wooed audiences and nabbed an Oscar nod. After many subsequent fits and starts ("The Abstinence Teacher," "Used Guys," "Will," all projects that never came to  pass), the duo were finally able to solidify a gig up at Fox Searchlight, directing a script penned by "The Exploding Girl" actress Zoe Kazan. Reteaming with Paul Dano, the whimsical logline and early buzz promises something in vein of Charlie Kaufman -- not a bad comparison point and it should reel in those who thought their debut was too cutesy-quirky. This is Kazan's first screenplay credit, but we have no reservations on the quality of her work: her Off-Broadway play "We Live Here" unfortunately drew comparisons to the often histrionic and extravagant "Rachel Getting Married" for sharing a similar plot, but the former was actually a much stronger and subtler work without all of the miserablist Oscar-beggar mayhem. "He Loves Me" is a bit more playful by design, and it'll be interesting to see what Dayton and Faris do with the "Adaptation"/"Weird Science"-esque tone of the script. Icing on the cake is the supporting cast (Alia Shawkat, Annette Bening, Deborah Ann Woll, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, Aasif Mandvi, Chris Messina and Toni Trucks), a collection of talented and non-trendy cameos from actors who generally elevate whatever material they're given. While this kind of premise sometimes comes off as rather weak and empty ("Wristcutters: A Love Story" anyone?), we're hoping the mass of proven talent behind it will come through.
Release Date: 2012 festival appearance is likely, but with no Sundance in the cards, this one will likely hit the fall film festival circuit at the earliest.

Martin Freeman, The Hobbit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Synopsis: In the first of a two-part prequel to “The Lord of the Rings,” Bilbo Baggins relates an early journey with Gandalf and a pack of unruly dwarves to steal a horde of treasure from the dragon Smaug.
What You Need To Know: Given that the original trilogy was near-universally beloved, a giant box-office hit (taking close to $3 billion worldwide) and even managed to be win a record haul of Oscars with its last installment, getting "The Hobbit," J.R.R. Tolkien's novel set, and written, before "The Lord of the Rings" proved surprisingly tricky, with rights issues and studio bankruptcy holding the project up for years, even before original director Guillermo del Toro bailed. But Peter Jackson's finally returned to Middle Earth, and if the recent atmospheric teaser is anything to go by, he hasn't forgotten what he's doing. Settling back into the world feels like putting on a comfortable pair of old shoes, and the filmmaker looks to have the perfect Bilbo in "The Office" star Martin Freeman, who leads a group of new arrivals to the franchise including Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Aidan Turner, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Lee Pace and Evangeline Lilly, along with many returning favorites. We have our reservations: is Jackson's heart really in it, after spending so long saying he didn't want to direct the film? Will the two-part structure feel padded and indulgent for a book that only runs to 285 pages? Will having a baker's dozen of dwarves mean that they blend into one? We hope not, and if anyone can pull it off, it's the hirsute New Zealander.
Release Date: December 14

"Hyde Park on Hudson"
"Hyde Park on Hudson"

Hyde Park On Hudson
Synopsis: The story focuses on a rather curious moment in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s life, taking place over a weekend in 1939 when Brit royalty visits his upstate New York home for the weekend, while also taking a look at the President’s affair with his cousin Margaret Stuckley.
What You Need To Know: Bill Murray plays FDR. That’s it. Oh, you need more? Well if Peter Venkman getting all Presidential isn’t enough for you, ‘Hyde Park’ features a "Rushmore" reunion of sorts, with Olivia Williams playing FDR's wife, Eleanor, while Laura Linney plays Margaret in the project, while British actors Samuel West and Olivia Colman (who earned raves for "Tyrannosaur") are stepping into the shoes of King George and Queen Elizabeth. So yeah, pretty great cast. The wild card here is Roger Michell (“Venus,” “Notting Hill,” “Morning Glory”), a solid, if somewhat workmanlike and not particularly remarkable director, which means his cast will likely have to do the heavy lifting to get the material to sing. And as it’s based on a radio play, this thing will have some work to do to catch fire on the big screen. But again, it’s the promise of Murray going period, with a tone that will likely strike a balance between the dramatic and comedic that has us curious, and grateful he’s doing stuff like this and not ghostbusting.
Release: Set for release next year by Focus Features, we’d guess festival appearances will determine if it’s an awards horse or simply a curio.

Inside Llewyn Davis

"Inside Llewyn Davis"
Synopsis: Set in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early ‘60s that birthed Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and loosely based on a friend of Dylan's, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a folk singer who, despite his talent as a singer and guitarist, can't seem to make ends meet.
What You Need To Know: Coming off a streak that has seen them produce a Best Picture Winner ("No Country For Old Men") and the biggest box office hit of their careers ("True Grit"), the Coen Brothers have probably been afforded the opportunity to make whatever they want. In this case that's an original screenplay set in the early ‘60s folk scene starring "Drive" and "Sucker Punch" secret weapon Oscar Isaac as the titular folk singer who isn't able to get his career off the ground. He'll be leading a cast of more familiar faces including the Coen's longtime MVP John Goodman as a jazz musician, F. Murray Abraham as legendary folk manager Bud Grossman, Justin Timberlake (yes, you read that right) as a rival folk singer, and Carey Mulligan as Timberlake's wife. Now entering the fourth decade of their careers, the Coens have consistently marched to the beat of their own drummer, tackling existential thrillers and slapstick comedies and everything in between. And with the exception of a few brief stumbles in the mid aughts, that instinct has rarely led them astray.
Release Date: Unknown -- the film, backed by StudioCanal, doesn't yet have a distributor -- but filming is set to begin shortly and with megaproducer Scott Rudin on board, we're picturing a late fall release aimed at awards season.

Lay The Favorite

Lay the Favorite
Synopsis: A ditzy thirtysomething stripper-turned-cocktail-waitress (Rebecca Hall) becomes involved with a group of geeky fiftyish men who have found a way to work the sportsbook system in Las Vegas to their advantage
What You Need To Know: Directed by Stephen Frears ("The Grifters," "The Queen" "Tamara Drewe"), a filmmaker who has admittedly had a hit-and-miss career, but featuring a pretty much all-star cast of Bruce Willis (always good in the hands of a real filmmaker), Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vince Vaughn, Laura Prepon and Joshua Jackson, it’s hard not to be intrigued by a mid-sized dramedy that’s not being made by either a major studio or a mid-sized indie. Frears has navigated comedy and drama before quite well (see “High Fidelity”) so expectations, while tempered, are still relatively high.
Release Date: TBD, but with a Sundance premiere and that kind of star wattage, it would have to be a major turd to not find itself some kind of 2012 release.  Look for buyers like The Weinsteins, Focus and Paramount Vantage (which still seems to exist despite being “shuttered”) to be interested.

Les Miserables

Les Miserables
Synopsis: The big screen version of the hit stage musical, following an escaped convict unable to escape his past as France simmers on the edge of revolution.
What You Need To Know: After taking home the Oscar for Best Director and Best Picture for “The King’s Speech,” helmer Tom Hooper is raising the stakes for his followup that is aiming to get him back in the Kodak Theater in 2013. The big splashy musical -- which will not be in 3D (thank god) -- teams up Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne with, only last night, Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift reportedly offered roles, in a movie that is yet to go in front of cameras, but is racing to meet a release date in less than a year. But with a tightly run production schedule, a movie that will likely mostly be shot on a soundstage should be just about able to get in on time, so the real question is, will this be another “Nine”? That movie too gathered up a bunch of stars and had them sing and dance, only to fail with both critics and audiences. But then again, it didn’t have twenty five years of record-breaking, award-winning history behind it. Was “The King’s Speech” a feel-good fluke or the arrival of a director who will be a contender in years to come? Guess we’ll find out around the end of 2012.
Release Date: December 7

Life of Pi

Life of Pi
Synopsis:  After a harrowing shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat in shark-infested waters with a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
What You Need To Know: In the works for years, with a variety of different directors all kicking it around at various points -- Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Alfonso Cuarón and M. Night Shyamalan among them -- the best-selling “Life of Pi” is finally on its way to the big screen, in 3D. The big hurdle Fox will have to vault on this one (at least domestically) is the international, mostly star-free cast, that features newcomer Suraj Sharma, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu and in a small role, Tobey Maguire. But then, if you think name recognition is an instant stamp to box office success, just ask Sony execs who are wondering why “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” wasn’t a smash hit out of the gate, while the unknown-filled "Slumdog Millionaire" was a giant hit only a few years ago. Fox seem to be making this their annual December animal movie, a la "Marley & Me" and "We Bought a Zoo," but the material is much tougher, so it'll be interesting to see how it does. Hopefully, it'll at least see Lee back on form after the misfire of "Taking Woodstock."
Release Date: December 21... the same day as Kathryn Bigelow’s new film, “World War Z,” “This Is Forty” and one week after “The Hobbit.” Good luck.


Synopsis: Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," the Steven Spielberg film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the martyred president and follows the last several months of Lincoln's life as he faced violent opposition, on the battlefield and in the White House, as the Civil War gasped to a close, concluding with that fateful visit to Ford's Theatre.
What You Need to Know: This has been a passion project of Spielberg's for almost a decade (he acquired the rights to the book in 2001), initially tapping Liam Neeson for the role until, in Neeson's words, he got "too old." John Logan and Tony Kushner (among others) have worked on the script and the cast is bursting with talented performers playing historical figures, including Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Todd Lincoln, David Strathairn as Secretary of State William Seward (who was also targeted the night Lincoln visited Ford's Theatre), Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens, and (most recently) Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant. (There are a bunch of awesome people like Walton Goggins and John Hawkes in smaller roles.) While we wonder what shape the film will take, given the expansive nature of the source material, we are itching for a decent Lincoln movie, especially after the lacklustre “The Conspirator."
Release Date: We're guessing Christmastime 2012, but with the season already so crowded, it could go a little earlier.

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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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