2009 Movie Preview
Ok movie fans. 2007 was big. 2008 was bigger. But 2009 could be the biggest box office year yet, with the return of powerhouse franchises like Harry Potter and Transformers, and potentially great new films like Watchmen, Pixar's Up and Public Enemies (starrring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale) on the way. Here's a look at the 50 movies we think will be the most massive in 2009!
Starring: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway
Instant recipe for movie success: combine one romantic comedy queen (Kate Hudson), another (Anne Hathaway) on the rise, throw in a wedding scenario and some fabulous gowns, and voila, you've got an entire female generation, all of their mothers, and at least some of their boyfriends covered.
My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Opens Jan. 16
Starring: Jaime King, Kerr Smith
What's better than being pick-axed in the back? Well, lots of things, but now due to the magic of 3D cinema, you can find out what that and other icky, sticky and otherwise gruesome situations feel like in the dubiously remade, but hopefully still lots of fun happy horror holiday flick My Bloody Valentine 3-D.
Opens Jan. 23
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany
Mr. Go-to-Fantasy/Adventure-Man Brendan Fraser returns to his favorite genre after racking up a couple of hits last summer with the latest Mummy and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D. This time, the ex-Encino Man is a daddy with the curious ability of bringing book characters to life...
He's Just Not That Into You
Opens Feb. 6
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennfier Aniston
It's almost Valentine's Day, and guess what? Even movie celebs like Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Justin Long, Kevin Connolly and Scarlett Johannsson have a hard time finding true love in this contemporay dating scene romantic comedy.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Opens Feb. 16
Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy
We loved her as the fiery, raven-haired supporting player in Wedding Crashers and The Lookout. Now Isla Fisher is ready to take her place in the spotlight as an aspiring fashion writer who loves to shop and tell.
Jonas Brothers 3-D Concert Movie
Opens Feb. 27
Starring: The Jonas Brothers
Never underestimate the clout of the tween demographic. Chances are, all of those that rushed to see Twilight, High School Musical and Hannah Montana are already checking their fan alerts to find out when tickets are available for this Jonas Brothers concert presented in Disney Digital 3D.
Opens Mar. 6
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson
The embattled movie about a group of superheroes who get pulled out of retirement when one of their own is killed has only taken some 22 years to get to the big screen. As studio lawyers debate, it’s still on track to open on schedule—but we’ll see if we have to wait longer yet.
Race to Witch Mountain
Opens Mar. 13
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Carla Gugino
Remember that Disney classic about the kids with the special powers drawn to a place called witch mountain? (Trivia note: one of those kids, Kim Richards, is the aunt of Paris Hilton). Anyway, that gem has been updated into a new version with The Rock and better special effects.
Opens Mar. 20
Starring: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts
Closer co-stars Clive Owen and Julia Roberts re-connect as an ex-CIA agent (Roberts) and former MI6 operative (Owen) working with and against each other in a race between two companies to patent an elusive, highly profitable product.
Monsters vs. Aliens
Opens Mar. 27
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen
Aaaaaaah! Here comes...Susan!! The government imprisons Earth's freaks of nature—a giant woman, a blue blob, and a cockroach scientist—and pits them against unwelcome alien intruders. Their mission: (of course) Save the world!
Fast & Furious
Opens Apr. 3
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster
The original gang's back in this fourth edition of The Fast and the Furious, called simply, Fast & Furious. What brings drivers Vin Diesel and Paul Walker back behind the wheel? Eh, who cares, as long as the vehicles are loud and the eye candy plenty.
Hannah Montana: The Movie
Opens Apr. 10
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Billy Ray Cyrus
When Hannah Montana’s pop-star persona becomes too much to handle, dad decides to bring her back to her roots: home sweet home—Crowley Corners, Tenn. Fans who loved Miley in the Best of Both Worlds, here's a second helping.
State of Play
Opens Apr. 17
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, Helen Mirren
The 2003 BBC series this film is based on had only six episodes, but they were so critically acclaimed Universal gave the green light for a big-budget thriller, and an all-star cast. Russell Crowe headlines as the journalist buddy of Ben Affleck's framed (maybe?) politician.
Opens Apr. 17
Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry
Back in the '80s, a little known actor named Tom Hanks hit the Big time playing a kid trapped in a thirty-year-old's body. Now, teen heartthrob Zac Efron will attempt a similar path to movie success as a thirtysomething failure stuck back in his seventeen-year-old figure.
Opens Apr. 24
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey, Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Rachael Harris
Moved out from last year (and thus denying Robert Downey Jr. the possibility of a movie hit hat trick and possible 2008 Oscar), this biographical drama tells the true story of a brilliant, deranged homeless musician befriended by a Los Angeles Times journalist.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Opens May 1
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schriber, Ryan Reynolds
If the trailer's any indication, summer will get started off with a bang and then some with the opening of Wolverine. Mutant hero Hugh Jackman looks ticked off and ready to do something about it, going head to head with Gambit (Taylor Kitsch), Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Sabretooth (Liev Schriber) and others.
Opens May 8
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Karl Urban, Eric Bana, Simon Pegg, John Cho
Trekkies, rejoice! This origin story looks like it’s going where no Star Trek movie has gone before, exploring the early relationships between the Enterprise crew and featuring some new and cool special effects.
Angels & Demons
Opens May 15
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan McGregor
Based on Dan Brown's bestseller, this follow-up to The Da Vinci Code enlists Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon for another earth-shattering adventure. When the pope dies and a terrorist threat endangers the Vatican's population, Langdon races against the clock to solve the case and save the papal candidates.
Opens May 15
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen
Borat merry prankster Sacha Baron Cohen is back with another big screen project based on one of his characters from "Da Ali G" HBO series. This time, he skewers society and various cultural absurdities as Bruno, the gay fashion expert and self-declared "voice of Austrian youth TV."
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Opens May 22
Starring: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams
Security guard Larry Daley’s adventures continue with museum collections that spring to life—this time at the Smithsonian, which is home to the displays of Amelia Earhart, The Lincoln Memorial, The Thinker, and more historical icons.
Opens May 22
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Common
Christian Bale steps into John Connor’s shoes to rage against the machines in the fourth installment of the post-apocalyptic franchise, set in 2018 at the height of the war between computer network Skynet and mankind. Even though it’s directed by McG, who brought us the Charlie's Angels debacle, we have confidence in Bale to save the day and make this flick a must-see.
Drag Me to Hell
Opens May 29
Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long
Spider-Man and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi returns to his horror roots with Gen Y stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long in tow. No rumors of a Bruce Campbell appearance, but the plotline, also scripted by Raimi, should be chilling on its own, with a young loan officer (Lohman) put under a curse after evicting an old Eastern European woman from her home.
Opens May 29
Starring: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer
Pixar's latest tells the story of seventy-eight-year-old Carl, who, desiring to see South America's wilderness, ties thousands of balloons to his house. After liftoff, he discovers a young, overzealous stowaway on his front porch, who inadvertently joins his once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Land of the Lost
Opens June 5
Starring: Will Ferrell, Danny R. McBride
The dinosaurs, the monkey people and those rascally reptilian Sleestaks are all back in this big screen update of the Sid and Marty Krofft TV series. Human co-stars Will Ferrell and Danny R. McBride (fresh off hilarious appearances in Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express) add in some prehistoric laughs.
Opens June 12
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Malin Akerman
In another Bridezilla role, romcom sweetheart Sandra plays a book editor who tries to avoid deportation to her native Canada by marrying her male assistant.
The Taking of Pelham 123
Opens June 12
Starring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta
Back when John Travolta was starring in Grease, a gritty action movie starring Walter Mathau called The Taking of Pelham 123 was released. Three decades later, Travolta's a co-star in the Tony Scott-directed remake, which pits his subway hijacker against Denzel Washington's transit cop in a true clash of the Hollywood titans.
Opens June 19
Starring: Jack Black, Michael Cera
If half the battle really is casting, then check Year One as comedy gold. Jack Black and Michael Cera team up as two lazy villagers who embark on some wild adventures after being banished from their homeland.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Opens June 26
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson
It’s been two long years since the first live-action Transformers blasted onto screens, and it was practically still in theaters when director Michael Bay started work on this sequel, which has a bigger budget and, if possible, even more action. With more money for special effects, look for the Autobots to have a much-expanded role.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Opens July 1
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary
Diego, Manny, Sid and the rest of the beloved CG-animated gang return in the third installment of the Ice Age franchise, a perfectly cool refreshment for the kids big and small over the Fourth of July weekend.
Opens July 1
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Channing Tatum, Giovanni Ribisi
Dream casting. Why haven’t we seen Depp and Bale in a movie together before now? The hunk factor alone is enough to predict this mob movie’s summer blockbuster status. And with Michael Mann behind the camera, it has cachet aplenty.
Opens July 10
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton
Master of the disaster-movie maker Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) casts John Cusack and an all-star ensemble in another apocalyptic vision foretelling a Mayan prophecy that the world ends on December 21, 2012.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Opens July 17
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
Eight months after its originally scheduled release date, Potter fans will be eager to see Harry return to Hogwarts. This school year sees students dealing with rampaging hormones, but Harry’s got more to worry about: He and Dumbledore must embark on a dangerous mission to seek and destroy Voldemort’s horcuxes—the objects that contain fragments of the Dark Lord’s soul.
Opens July 31
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill
Team Apatow and Team Sandler team up on a story about something near and dear to both...comedy. The movie's plot revolves around standup comedy and one comedian's near-death experience. Co-stars include funny people Jason Schwartzman, Eric Bana and Leslie Mann.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Opens Aug. 7
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Sienna Miller, Christopher Eccleston
Transformers showed that special effects and well-directed action could bring toys to life with success, and hoping to follow that precedent is G.I. Joe, Hasbro’s beloved doll invented in the ‘60s as a boys’ answer to Barbie.
Opens Aug. 21
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger
Whether or not you’re a Quentin Tarantino fan, you have to admit this is a curious choice of movie for the director, which makes it a must-see if just for that. Brad Pitt leads a team of Jewish-American soldiers who insidiously and brutally kill Nazis. Being Tarantino, you can bet it’ll be blood-n-guts galore.
Opens Sept. 18
Starring: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula
In the tradition of Syriana and Traffic comes a spy thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon and Scott Bakula. It's the real-life tale of a biochemist and FBI agent who somehow managed to bring down a global price-fixing plan.
Opens Sept. 25
Starring: Debbie Allen, Charles S. Dutton, Bebe Neuwirth
Fame! Do you want to live forever? As hard as it is to imagine a Fame without the original '80s Irene Cara theme song and Leroy and Coco be-bopping down the hallways, we're comforted at least that the new edition does feature Fame-d teacher and choreographer Debbie Allen (now the principal at the most famous school of the performing arts), along with a new batch of kids learning how to make it big from old school thesps Bebe Neuwirth and Charles S. Dutton.
Toy Story in 3D
Opens Oct. 2
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
Bust out the 3D specs—these toys are coming to life in another dimension! When cowboy Woody and space ranger Buzz Lightyear become separated from their owner, they must overcome their differences in an effort to make it home. It’s Pixar's classic tale of becoming best buds—newly rendered to 3D infinity and beyond!
Opens Oct. 2
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for another A-list, all-star affair that features DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as US marshals searching for an escaped mental patient on a secluded island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Where the Wild Things Are
Opens Oct. 16
Starring: Max Records, Benicio Del Toro, Paul Dano, Tom Noonan, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker, Lauren Ambrose, Catherine Keener
Who didn’t love this awesome kid’s classic about a little boy who embarks on mythical forest adventures with monsters while wearing a wolf suit? The film has been embroiled in controversy, though, and Warner Bros. was recently rumored to be considering reshooting the whole thing.
Opens Nov. 6
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt
The world's most famous lycanthrope is back in Universal's update, starring Benicio Del Toro as the eventual Wolfman, Anthony Hopkins as his estranged father and Emily Blunt as his love interest. Adding to the beast's incredible look is legendary makeup artist/creature creator Rick Baker.
Disney's A Christmas Carol
Opens Nov. 6
Starring: Jim Carrey, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Oldman
Robert Zemeckis, who directed Tom Hanks in The Polar Express, takes Jim Carrey and audiences on another Christmas CG-animated adventure with Disney's re-telling of A Christmas Carol. Carrey, the master of a million faces, gets a chance to play Scrooge and the voices of Christmas past, present and future.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Opens Nov. 6
Starring: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray
Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story comes to stop-motion, animated life with some talented stars supplying the voices. Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) does his best to outwit the three mean farmers who plot to rid their lives of the clever chicken thief and his family.
Opens Nov. 13
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Robert Downey, Jr.'s return to Hollywood greatness should keep rolling with a starring role as Guy Ritchie's version of the world's most famous detective. Jude Law is shrewdly cast as his assistant, Dr. Watson, and Rachel McAdams tags along as Holmes' love interest Irene Adler.
Opens Nov. 20
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson
Stephenie Meyer’s second episode in the Twilight saga introduces werewolves into the mix of vampires and romance. The Cullen clan temporarily disappears from the scene after Bella’s birthday bash results in a small amount of bloodshed. Heartbroken, Bella turns to her friend Jacob, who becomes a strong rival for her affections.
Opens Nov. 25
Starring: John Travolta, Robin Williams
You can't teach old dogs new tricks. But if those old dogs are John Travolta and Robin Williams, why try? Best to let them do what they do best. The dynamic duo co-star as close business partners' whose lives are turned upside down when 7 year-old twins are left in their care.
The Lovely Bones
Opens Dec. 11
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz
LOTR director Peter Jackson returns with the rest of his able filmmaking crew to tell the tale of The Lovely Bones, adapted from Alice Sebold's bestseller about a murdered girl who looks down from heaven on her family and her killer, weighing her dual desires for vengeance and family healing.
Opens Dec. 18
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver
James Cameron fans, the wait is nearly (at least as of this writing) over. Next December, the Titantic director releases his first major motion picture in over a decade-a 3D sci-fi odyssey about an ex-war veteran who is sent to establish a human colony on a distant planet, and ends up battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous race.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel
Opens Dec. 25
Starring: Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney
Just when you thought it was safe to open the cupboards, here comes "Alvvvinnnnn" once more to ransack the pantry and sing you that familiar holiday tune. It worked two Christmases ago, and we're sure those cuddly critters will have your nieces and nephews once again jumping up and down like a...hmmm, let's see...
The Princess and the Frog
Opens Dec. 25
Starring: Anika Noni Rose, John Goodman
In time for Christmas '09, Disney delivers a classic, hand-drawn, animated tale from Aladdin directors Ron Clements and John Musker, set in New Orleans and featuring the voice talent of Anika Noni Rose as Disney's first animated, African-American heroine.