20 Movies I’m Excited to See in 2014

SPOT.ph blogger Paul Daza shares his list of the 2014 films he can’t wait to see.

*Release dates subject to change without prior notice; some films do not have trailers available yet.





Saving Mr. Banks

Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson

Director: John Lee Hancock

Release Date: January 2014


Forget Perseus and Medusa...the real clash of titans is the one fought between showman Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and author PL Travers (Emma Thompson) to adapt her novel Mary Poppins for the big screen in the early 60s.






The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig

Director: Ben Stiller

Release Date: January 2014


The beloved short story by James Thurber about an ordinary Joe with a vivid fantasy life is lovingly brought to cinematic life by actor/director Ben Stiller with sumptuous images and a wistful tone.






The Wind Rises

Starring the voices of Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Stanley Tucci

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date: ?


Hayao Miyazaki is known as the "Walt Disney of Japan," and his latest animated opus is about the man who designed the Japanese fighter planes used in World War II. Not one Miyazaki film has ever been shown in theatrically in the Philippines. Let's hope that changes with The Wind Rises, which is reportedly the brilliant moviemaker's swan song.






American Hustle

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale

Director: David O. Russell

Release Date: February 2014


This adult drama about a British con man who's forced to work with the FBI in 1970s New Jersey has already been named best picture of 2013 by the New York Film Critics Circle and has received 7 Golden Globe nominations, including best picture. It's from David O. Russell, the man who gave us the Oscar winners Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter.







The Lego Movie

Starring the voices of Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, Will Arnett

Directors: Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Release Date: February 7, 2014 (USA)


Can't wait till the end of 2015 to see Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together on the big screen? Thumb-sized versions of these Justice Leaguers- together with Green Lantern- will try to save the world from a villain who wants to glue the Lego universe together. FYI, Superman is voiced by Channing Tatum, while Green Lantern is voiced by Jonah Hill.






The Monuments Men

Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett

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Director: George Clooney

Release Date: February 7, 2014 (USA)


Based on a true story, this action drama is about the small group of museum curators and art historians who were sent to Germany as World War II neared its end to retrieve the art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis.






Muppets Most Wanted

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Ricky Gervais, Stanley Tucci, Salma Hayek, Tina Fey, Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, and more

Director: James Bobin

Release Date: March 21, 2014 (USA)


While touring Europe, the Muppets are embroiled in a jewel heist perpetuated by a master thief who looks like Kermit the Frog...with a mole. European locations, muppet slapstick and mayhem, Tina Fey as a Russian prison guard...what's not to like?







Starring: Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Release Date: March 28, 2014 (USA)


Thanks to The Black Swan director's hallucinatory visuals, Noah already looks like the most visually arresting biblical epic ever made.






Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson

Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Release Date: April 4, 2014 (USA)


Without sci-fi staples like monsters, aliens, and intergalactic dimension hopping, not to mention a plot rooted in the tension between the USA and Russia, this Captain America sequel feels more grounded in reality, like a Jack Ryan movie. Robert Redford's presence as a SHIELD superior gives this superhero adventure even more class.






Rio 2

Starring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Andy Garcia

Director: Carlos Saldanha

Release Date: April 11, 2014 (USA)


Though it's called Rio 2, the bulk of this sequel reportedly takes Blu, Jewel, and their three baby birdies on an adventure in the Amazon rainforest. There, Blu will meet the scariest creature of all... his father-in-law.




Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman

Director: Wally Pfister

Release Date: April 18, 2014 (USA)


The talented cinematographer of Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception makes his directorial debut with this futuristic sci-fi drama about a terrorist organization's efforts to stop a computer that's smarter than all of mankind from becoming a reality.



The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan

Director: Marc Webb

Release Date: May 2, 2014 (USA)


Its electrifying trailer hints that Amazing Spider-Man 2 could end cliffhanger-style with the rise of the Sinister Six, a rogue's gallery of supervillains from the Spider-Man comics who want  Spidey dead. Could this be why Sony has already committed to releasing Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 in 2016 and 2018, respectively?






Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston

Director: Gareth Edwards

Release Date: May 16, 2014 (USA)


Why am I excited to see yet another movie about Japan's most famous kaiju? Because this one's directed by Gareth Edwards, the gifted filmmaker responsible for Monsters, that low-budget gem of a creature feature that was released in 2010.




X-Men: Days of Future Past

Starring: James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Anna Pacquin, Nicholas Hoult

Director: Bryan Singer

Release Date: May 23, 2014 (USA)


The stars of the original X-Men movie trilogy meet their younger prequel counterparts in a casting coup that's also a concept coup unlike anything we've seen in the movies.





Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

Director: Robert Stromberg

Release Date: May 30, 2014 (USA)


Taking a cue from the stage musical Wicked, Disney's Maleficent will show us a fairy tale we thought we knew by heart from the point of view of the villain. With Angelina Jolie as the witch who waits many years to kill Princess Aurora, the future Sleeping Beauty, this one promises to be scary fun.




How To Train Your Dragon 2

Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Kristen Wiig, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett

Director: Dean DeBlois

Release Date:  June 13, 2014 (USA)


A more mature Hiccup returns with his faithful Toothless in a soaring adventure that involves a new threat to all the dragons of Berk, and Hiccup's unexpected reunion with the mother he never knew.





Big Eyes

Starring: Amy Adams, Krysten Ritter, Christoph Waltz

Director: Tim Burton

Release Date: August 28, 2014 (Netherlands)


A biopic about Walter Keane (played by Christoph Waltz), who became famous in the 1960s for his paintings of people with big eyes. Only the works were actually created by his quiet wife, Margaret (Amy Adams).





Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

Director: Christopher Nolan

Release Date: November 7, 2014 (USA)


With Inception director Christopher Nolan calling the shots, this science fiction adventure about a team of scientists who journey through a wormhole could be 2014's smartest popcorn popper.




The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Director: Francis Lawrence

Release Date: November 21, 2014 (USA)


Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes the face of the rebellion against the Capitol and reluctantly deals with the "showbiz" duties the role entails. As was the case with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the big question here is, at which point in Suzanne Collins' final Hunger Games book will this prelude to penultimate movie, Mockingjay Part 2, end?




The Hobbit: There and Back Again

Starring: Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch (voice), Evangeline Lilly

Director: Peter Jackson

Release Date: December 17, 2014 (USA)


Those who have read JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit may think they know how this trilogy-closer will end, but as the events in The Desolation of Smaug showed, Peter Jackson can still surprise us with story tweaks and wow us with his setpieces. Here's hoping that There and Back Again ends on a high note and silences those who are still puzzled by how a relatively simple story became three long movies.

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