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2014 Preview: From 'Nymphomaniac' to 'Gone Girl,' What Films Look Good, Great, and Troublesome This Year

Thompson on Hollywood By TOH! | Thompson on Hollywood January 30, 2014 at 2:50PM

With awards season still very much in full swing, it's still too soon to shake off 2013 completely. But a slate of great-looking films lies ahead on the horizon, as well as the theatrical releases of some of 2013's festivals hits that we've already seen.
"The Monuments Men."
"The Monuments Men."


1. February 7, 2014: Well, this one we've already seen. And our worries were correct. (TOH! review here.) World War II art heist thriller "Monuments Men" from director-producer-star George Clooney didn't make the awards-season cut (too many VFX to complete, they said) and as it turns out, it is dead on arrival. It's a great story, but the pace drags and the period settings never come to believable life. It's a big old creaky airplane that never achieves liftoff.

2. February 7, 2014: "Lego Movie," from what we saw at CinemaCon, also looks DOA. Another toy brand in search of story. 

3. March 7, 2014: DreamWorks Animation's "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" may be a 'tweener that skips both its obvious target--little kids-- and their parents, the ones who will actually remember the '60s Hanna-Barbera cartoons. 

Nicole Kidman in 'Grace of Monaco'
Nicole Kidman in 'Grace of Monaco'

4. March 14, 2014. Let's say off the bat that Cannes opening night film "Grace of Monaco" has a better chance of turning out well than the Naomi Watts-starrer "Diana." Nicole Kidman is always worth taking seriously. But Weinstein Co. pushing it back again and again is not a good sign. It will open Cannes, however, so we'll see.

5. March 21, 2014: "Divergent" unveiled promising footage at CinemaCon, but yielded to disappointing further footage at Comic-Con. It's a young adult dystopian would-be franchise with a strong heroine---but this one could teeter too far toward romance to lure a male demo. 

This article is related to: Features, Nymphomaniac, Noah, Interstellar, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Divergent

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.