2015 is going to be a huge year for movies. Between massive blockbusters and star-studded indie films, there is something for everyone to enjoy this year. I’ve put together a brief month-by-month list of must-see films of 2015.
January: Selma, American Sniper
Selma tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. David Oyelowo portrays the civil rights leader with profound grace and is supported by an incredible ensemble of talent.
With its numerous combat sequences and tense scenes of moral confusion, American Sniper is definitely a difficult film to watch. It’s a story that feels like hero worship at first, but Bradley Cooper’s stellar performance showcases Chris Kyle as a flawed human being who sacrificed everything for the love of his country.
February: Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fifty Shades of Grey
I’m eager to see Kingsman: The Secret Service as the next project of Matthew Vaughn, who previously directed X Men: First Class, Kick Ass and Stardust. This spy comedy stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine and Mark Hamill.
Pardon my gratuitous eye rolling, but I suppose I have to include Fifty Shades of Grey on this list. I know I’ll end up being dragged to it just as I was dragged clawing at the ground into Twilight but seeing this raunchy romance with friends might be a great alternative for singles on Valentine’s Day.
March: Insurgent, While We’re Young
The second film in the Divergent series is about to kick things up a notch. Insurgent will be a steamy, action-packed follow-up to Tris and Four’s attempt to prevent Erudite from destroying their society. It looks like the film will make some changes from the source material (mystery box?) but I’m intrigued by how they’ll enhance the story.
Writer-director Noah Baumbach’s latest film is While We’re Young, a film about middle-aged couple Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts). Reluctant to accept their fading youth, the pair feels a renewed sense of vitality when they begin hanging out with a young hipster couple (Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver). After a while, Josh begins to harbor suspicions about the young couple’s motives.
April: The Woman in Gold
The Woman in Gold tells the incredible true story of Austrian Jewish refugee Maria Altmann’s legal campaign to restore ownership of five Gustav Klimt paintings to her family. The film stars Helen Mirren as Altmann and Ryan Reynolds as her lawyer, E. Randol Schoenberg.
May: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland
Judging by the trailer, it looks like things are going to get pretty grim for the ragtag team of superheroes in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While I’m glad the stakes are getting higher, I do hope the humor from the first film transfers over to the upcoming sequel. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen join the cast as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Walt Disney Pictures certainly piqued my interest with this fascinating trailer for Tomorrowland. George Clooney stars in this live-action science fiction adventure directed by Oscar-winning director Brad Bird.
June: Jurassic World, Inside Out
Someone put dinosaurs and Chris Pratt together in one movie? I have a feeling Jurassic World is going to make a ridiculous amount of money. Colin Trevorrow directs while Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan and BD Wong co-star in this Michael Crichton story reboot.
Inside Out, the next Disney-Pixar animated feature, is bound to be great with its thoughtful premise and outstanding voice cast. Comedians Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black play different emotions trying to balance themselves out inside a little girl’s head.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know much about comic book superhero Ant-Man, but I’ve been more than satisfied with every movie Marvel has churned out in the past few years. I am most excited to see Paul Rudd in the lead role alongside a cast full of top-notch performers.
August: Fantastic Four
With buzzy actors like Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell set to star, it’s hard to imagine Fantastic Four being anything but awesome. I think it’s safe to say it’ll be better than the train wreck Tim Story gave us in 2005.
Everest will be a grueling film to watch, as it covers the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. The film’s terrific cast includes Keira Knightly, Jack Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington, Jason Clarke and Michael Kelly.
October: Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller
Steven Spielberg’s next directing project is a currently untitled spy thriller about an American lawyer (played by Tom Hanks) who must negotiate the release of the pilot of spy plane who is detained in the Soviet Union. Let’s hope this movie matches the quality of drama we saw in Saving Private Ryan.
November: Spectre, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
In upcoming James Bond film Spectre, Agent 007 investigates a terroristic spy organization as M fights against forces trying to shut down MI6. Sam Mendes (Skyfall) returns to direct his second Bond movie.
It’s hard to believe that the first Hunger Games movie adaptation came out in 2012. By the time The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens in November, Lionsgate will have cranked out four franchise films in just three and a half years. That feat is almost as impressive as the movies themselves.
December: Joy, In the Heart of the Sea, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Director David O. Russell reunites with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro for Joy, a movie about single mother Joy Mangano’s journey to become a successful entrepreneur.
Ron Howard’s newest film was set to release in March of this year but was just pushed back to December. The movie tells the tale of the loss of the Essex whaling vessel in 1820 that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. This story of survival stars Chris Hemsworth, Cilian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson.
And finally, the movie we’re all really waiting for – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s terribly cruel to make us wait until December for the most anticipated film of the year. Don’t let us down, J.J.!
I hope this serves as a helpful guide for your 2015 movie plans, though there are plenty more awesome films to check out! Always catch the blockbusters but support independent film by looking up your local independent theater to find some unexpected cinematic gems.