With two Marvel movies, X-men and Spider-mansequels, new films from Christopher Nolan and the Wachowski siblings, as well as a new take on Godzilla coming out, 2014 is going to be a big year for fanboys and girls.
By Evan Saathoff
The Lego Movie - released February 7
Few animated movies have been as funny or charming as The Lego Movie. Both hilarious and familiar, and full of great moments, it's no wonder it became an instant hit. And with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman involved, this almost counts as an unofficial Justice League film.
300: Rise of an Empire - March 7
This sequel promises more of the same: more blood, more fights, more stabby slo-mo on the battlefield. But this time women are really getting in on the action as Lena Headey returns as the King of Sparta's widow and Eva Green leads the charge as evil Xerxes's vengeful right-hand lady killer.
Need for Speed - March 14
Hot off the demise of that show with that guy named Walter White, Aaron Paul makes his debut as a leading man in a big-budget action movie with this one, starring as a street-racing ex-con with a bounty on his head.
Divergent - March 21
In this dystopian YA tale based on the best-selling book series, Shailene Woodley plays Tris, who gets labeled "divergent" when she doesn't fit the mold of the five other factions society is divided into. With a fan base comparable to The Hunger Games book series, it has the potential to be a huge release.
Noah - March 28
Darren Aronofsky's Noah is a real curiosity. How biblical will it be? How silly will it look? What about these pre-evolved CG creatures the film is supposed to feature? This could be incredible, but it could just as easily be too serious for its own good.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - April 14
No one who watched that first Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer came away unexcited. Maybe even more than Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3, this 2014 Marvel entry is a must-see, mostly thanks to its cool espionage story and potential for awesome action.
Transcendence - April 25
In a weird take on the concept of artificial intelligence, Johnny Depp plays a research scientist whose brain gets uploaded into a computer after he's nearly killed. Christopher Nolan's go-to cinematographer Wally Pfister takes on directing duties and the trailer looks great, so we're intrigued.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - May 2
Something strange happened between the first Amazing Spider-Man and this sequel because the original's somber tone appears to have been replaced by rampant comic book goofiness, which is very much a good thing. This could be seriously amazing, particularly if director Marc Webb handles the lead-up to future sequels well.
Godzilla - May 16
Guillermo del Toro brought Kaiju back with Pacific Rim. Now it's time for the Kaiju king to return to the big screen. Hopefully it's been long enough since the last disastrous Godzilla film that people will give the big guy another shot.
X-Men: Days of Future Past - May 23
Brian Singer's return to the X-Men franchise already shows a lot of red flags, but also displays promising potential. Its darker time-traveling story allows for a simply massive cast culled from the entire series thus far. On the other hand, its overly somber tone and flat trailer could hold it back.
Edge of Tomorrow - June 6
Formerly known as All You Need is Kill, Doug Liman and Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow has a solid premise (Tom Cruise plays a guy who dies over and over again until he learns how to get it right) and cool science fiction look. Hopefully it's enough to make it stand out in a competitive summer.
22 Jump Street - June 13
While the jokes in 21 Jump Street were great, the movie's real magic came from Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill's charming chemistry. So if nothing else, 22 Jump Street promises another healthy dose of that. This time the storied bromance must survive college life.
Transformers: Age of Extinction - June 27
Before he brings us his CGI Ninja Turtles in August, Michael Bay reboots the very franchise that he helped launch a decade ago. This time, Mark Wahlberg takes the lead with Jack Reynor playing his son and Nicola Peltz as the eye candy. And explosions. Lots of explosions.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - July 18
Many of us were surprised by the impressive quality of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. No longer an underdog, Dawn will have to bring out the big guns to live up to expectations. Luckily, it has chimpanzees riding horses, so that probably won't be an issue.
Jupiter Ascending - July 23
After The Matrix Trilogy, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas, the Wachowski siblings have more than earned enough credibility to garner excitement regardless of what they come up with next. Though it doesn't hurt when that film's a space epic starring Channing Tatum.
Hercules: The Thracian Wars - July 25
Who better to take on the godlike role of Hercules but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? It's the second of two Hercules movies; the first one, starring Kellan Lutz, came (and went) in January.
Guardians of the Galaxy - August 1
This is going to be a wacko space comedy starring a walking tree and a Bradley Cooper-voiced raccoon, indicating Marvel's willingness to really push how weird audiences are willing to go with their brand. Good or bad, it's going to be fascinating.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - August 8
A largely mo-capped, Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie starring Megan Fox probably has no right to be good. But it also sounds just strange enough to provide something special that might actually appease Turtles fans of all ages.
The Expendables 3 - August 15
The testosterone levels rise EXponentially with each sequel. This time, Sly, Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren and the rest are joined by Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes, among others. It's an '80s dream team!
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - August 22
Cross your fingers and hope this sequel actually makes its 2014 release date. Having been delayed for several times, the sequel directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller is primarily based on the second volume of Miller's comic series. The film stars Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well as original Sin City stars Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson.
The Maze Runner - September 19
In a dystopian future world, teenagers are mysteriously being rounded up and left to fend for their own food, shelter and safety from some horrific beings called "Grievers" in a place called "The Glade." What does it all mean?
Big Hero 6 - November 7
A superhero movie NOT from Marvel or DC, this Disney animated effort has the high-tech city of San Fransokyo (!) being threatened by criminals for certain destruction. Can a robotics genius and his robot pal, along with a couple of superheroes, save the day?
Interstellar - November 7
Christopher Nolan is great, but when engaged in an original story he's excited about, he gets really great. We still don't know much about Interstellar, but with Nolan in full sci-fi mode and directing a cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and many others, this one's a no-brainer.
The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 1 - November 21
With Catching Fire setting the box office on fire fans of the franchise won't have to wait long to see the next installment of the YA juggernaut franchise. Up next for Katniss and Peeta will be the first part of the final book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy. How will fans react to the final book being split into two movies? We'll find out very soon.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again - December 17
Say what you will about Peter Jackson's ambitious, three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, it's certainly an epic undertaking. How much of this third entry will focus on Bilbo and his pals remains to be seen, but if you stuck with the series this far how could you miss the surely massive finale?