Top 10: Films not to miss in May 2014

Jennifer Lawrence returns as Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Following an April of interesting releases, May marks the real beginning of summer blockbuster season, with a new X-Men film and the much-anticipated Godzilla reboot chief amongst the month’s cinematic attractions.

There are also a few intriguing action movies on the horizon, the return of a British television icon and a weird comedy in which Michael Fassbender wears a giant papier-maché head.

All of that and more appears in my top ten films you really should see in May.

 

10. Brick Mansions (May 2)

Brick Mansions is a farewell for Paul Walker

A great deal of the publicity around Brick Mansions comes from the tragic death of its star Paul Walker, famed for appearing in the Fast & Furious series. Walker plays an undercover cop working in the titular buildings which, in this dystopian city, house only the worst criminals.

The film is a remake of the French thriller District 13, with original writer Luc Besson also taking part in producing the English language script. Reviews haven’t been great, but there’s certainly a nugget of something within the film.

It’s a potentially interesting premise that seems, if nothing else, a lot of fun.

 

 

9. Frank (May 9)

Michael Fassbender dons a massive papier mache head for Frank

Frank has a reasonable claim to being the weirdest film of 2014. Its star is none other than box office darling Michael Fassbender, swapping Magneto’s helmet for a giant papier-maché head, similar to that immortalised by Frank Sidebottom.

The film follows Domhnall Gleeson’s young musician as he joins a band fronted by the eccentric Frank and his theremin-playing sidekick (Maggie Gyllenhaal).

It has been praised for its oddball whimsy and looks to be one of the more off-the-wall indie releases of the year. With Fassbender’s star power behind it, it has to be worth watching.

 

 

8. Edge of Tomorrow (May 30)

Tom Cruise stars in sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow

Previously wearing the considerably more provocative title of its source material, All You Need Is Kill, the latest Tom Cruise film is a bit of a mind-bender.

Cruise plays a soldier, fighting a hostile alien race. The twist to it all is that he is stuck in a time loop, so that every time he dies, he returns to the battle. Like Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers, it looks like a film that has the potential to be a great slice of escapist action cinema.

There’s a chance it could suffer from overcomplicated time travel gubbins, but if it keeps it simple, it could be really good.

 

 

7. Postman Pat: The Movie (May 23)

Stephen Mangan will voice the iconic delivery man in Postman Pat: The Movie

Oh yes! Britain’s most famous postie and his black-and-white cat are back and on the big screen. With Stephen Mangan voicing the title mailman and David Tennant on villain duties, this could be a brilliant slice of Britain in the US-dominated animation market.

The plot sees Pat forced to leave his job when he successfully auditions for a TV talent competition. His singing voice is provided by Ronan Keating… obviously.

 

6. A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 30)

Seth MacFarlane has followed up Ted with A Million Ways to Die in the West

Ted was an enormous success for Seth MacFarlane. After a poorly received stint as presenter of the Oscars, he’s back in the director’s chair, on scripting duties and in front of the camera for A Million Ways to Die in the West.

The Family Guy creator has followed up his foul-mouthed bear tale with a gunslinging Western fused with bawdy comedy. MacFarlane plays a sheep herder who finds love with a gorgeous woman (Charlize Theron), and conflict with her outlaw husband (Liam Neeson).

If Ted is anything to go by, this should be a delightfully filthy comedy with a real goofy streak.

 

 

5. Sabotage (May 7)

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns once again to the action movie fold with Sabotage

Arnie is back! Following The Last Stand and Escape Plan last year, the Austrian Oak is well and truly a staple of action cinema once again. His latest film, Sabotage, looks like it could be the best release yet of his new career resurgence.

Directed by End of Watch and Training Day helmer David Ayer, Sabotage tells the story of an elite DEA unit. During one dramatic raid, they steal $10m from a dangerous drug cartel. Unsurprisingly, they immediately face reprisals from the criminal gang.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is arguably the man at the top of the geri-action genre and a team-up with Ayer can only be a great thing.

 

 

4. Bad Neighbours (May 3)

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne battle Zac Efron's frat leader in Bad Neighbours

Almost certainly set to be the funniest film on this list, Bad Neighbours is a comedy that could show a different side to Seth Rogen. Instead of playing a pot-smoking slacker, Rogen stars as a loving father and spouse to Rose Byrne. Their bliss is shattered when Zac Efron (looking to help us all forget That Awkward Moment) and his house full of frat boys moves in next door.

The trailers for this have been genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and Rogen looks to slip into the slightly straighter role very comfortably. At this stage of his career, any change of gear is welcome.

Bad Neighbours promises silly slapstick, pop culture references and plenty of one-liners. I can’t wait.

 

 

3. Maleficent (May 28)

Angelina Jolie plays the iconic title villain in Maleficent

Angelina Jolie steps into the outfit of one of the most famous villains in Disney history as she turns Sleeping Beauty’s foe into a live action menace.

In the style of Wicked, Maleficent portrays the iconic tale from the shifted perspective of the villain. Jolie seems to really relish the role and villains are always more fun.

This could also be a great way to encourage younger viewers into seeing a film from 1959. That can only be a good thing.

 

 

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 22)

James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart both play Professor X in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Is that image not enough to sell the film?

A meeting of two different incarnations of Professor X is far from the only pleasure on offer in X-Men: Days of Future Past, featuring the return to the franchise of director Bryan Singer. The time travel tale sends Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine back to the 1970s to save the mutant race from the evil Sentinels.

With just about every member of the X-Men cinema franchise on board, this promises to be a superhero film with the star power to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

 

1. Godzilla (May 15)

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star in Godzilla

Bryan Cranston and a big freaking lizard. What more can you want? Since 1954, the enormous kaiju has fascinated cinemagoers and now Gareth Edwards has rebooted the franchise for 2014.

Marketing has shrewdly kept much of the monster’s design under wraps until just before release, creating real intrigue as to the nature of Edwards’ take on the classic monster.

With the human cast featuring Cranston alongside Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, all of the ingredients are there for the potential Blockbuster of the Year.

 

 

Let me know which of these films you have seen or plan to see in the comments section below. Are there any exciting releases I haven’t mentioned?

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