The first half of 2013 is over and it has been a significantly mixed bag for films. Some have been very good, but most of them have been pretty bad. There is a lot to look forward to in the next six months and these ten movies are certainly a good start.
I’ve ignored a number of big movies that I have no excitement about whatsoever, so you certainly won’t be seeing The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug here. You will however be seeing ten potentially great movies that should make 2013 a better cinematic year than it has been so far.
Neil Blomkamp burst onto the scene in 2009 with the critically acclaimed District 9, immediately establishing himself as one of the new, leading talents in sci-fi cinema. Elysium, starring a shaven-headed Matt Damon, is his eagerly awaited follow-up.
Set in a world where the rich live in luxury, segregated from the overpopulation of the Earth, it looks set to be another intriguing sci-fi hit that is well worth seeing.
UK Release Date: 21st August
This looks like it could be the sci-fi film of the year. Featuring George Clooney, it is set to revolve around astronauts stranded in space with their oxygen supply rapidly running out.
Director Alfonso Cuarón was responsible for the brilliant Children of Men and, if anyone can bring a unique directorial style to a big budget feature, he is that man.
UK Release Date: 18th October
8. Thor: The Dark World
After the slight misfire that was Iron Man 3, the Marvel cinematic universe has to produce something special to get back on form. Judging by the publicity material, Thor: The Dark World could be that film.
Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) is to replace Kenneth Brannagh in the director’s chair and former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston will play scary-sounding villain Malekith the Accursed. Chris Hemsworth is back and so, encouragingly, is Natalie Portman. This could be really good.
UK Release Date: 30th October
7. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
British comedy is set to form a considerable presence on the silver screen this summer. Continuing the trend set by The Inbetweeners Movie and, regrettably, Keith Lemon: The Film, Alan Partridge is to go from TV to the cinema with Alpha Papa.
The trailer is already insanely quotable and Steve Coogan is nothing short of a comic treasure. This looks like a good one.
UK Release Date: 7th August
Remaking a Brian de Palma classic is very rarely a wise move. However, early signs are encouraging for Kimberley Peirce’s (Boys Don’t Cry) version of 1976 horror landmark Carrie.
Chloe Grace Moretz is one of the best young actors currently working and so her casting in the title role seemed almost a no-brainer. With a clear visual flair evident from the trailer and a proven director at the helm, this could surpass Evil Dead to win the battle of 2013 scary remakes.
UK Release Date: 29th November
Speaking of remakes, this could be another to buck the trend of low quality. Provocative film maker Spike Lee is at the helm of this rather ambitious attempt to bring one of South Korea’s most depraved works to a Western audience.
Starring a surprisingly starry cast given the severity of the material, Oldboy looks set to be every bit as violent as the original and every bit as potent in the effect that it ultimately has. It’s not just Thor who can bring the hammer down.
UK Release Date: 6th December
4. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
The first Anchorman film remains one of the best and most quotable comedy films to come out of the Apatow machine. It remains Will Ferrell’s defining role and launched the careers of all of its stars.
UK Release Date: 20th December
3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Last year, The Hunger Games managed to live up to all of the pre-release hype and turned Suzanne Collins’ thrilling novel into an equally thrilling film. With a meatier text to take on, and a new director in the shape of Francis Lawrence to bed in, Catching Fire faces a difficult task.
Early signs for the sequel seem good and Jennifer Lawrence’s star has gone stratospheric since the first film. She’s now an Oscar winning actress. This one comes highly recommended.
UK Release Date: 21st November
2. Kick-Ass 2
Ever wondered what would happen if The Avengers had been grounded in reality? Probably something a bit like Kick-Ass 2. With Jim Carrey on board and a villain called The Motherfucker, there’s very little chance that Kick-Ass 2 will be anything other than hilarious, violent and completely amazing.
The Kick-Ass 2 comic is ludicrously violent and probably a step too far for the big screen, but most of it is perfect. Of all of the films coming out in the rest of 2013, this one will probably be the craziest.
UK Release Date: 14th August
1. The World’s End
After the remarkable success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright trio is set to finish their Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy with sci-fi comedy The World’s End.
Pegg’s manchild gets together his old friends to finish a pub crawl in their hometown that they never got to finish. Unfortunately for them, an Invasion of the Bodysnatchers style invasion gets in the way of their drinking.
Will it be last orders? Either way, it’s sure to be brilliant.
UK Release Date: 19th July