With 2015 now upon us, we cast our eyes forward to the year ahead in the film. As such, here are the 15 films we’re most excited about this coming month.
Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (January 1st): Michael Keaton gives a career-best performance in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s off-the wall metaphysical tale of a washed-up superhero actor searching for artistic credibility. Review coming soon.
The Theory of Everything (1st): Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star as the Hawkings in James Marsh’s gentle biopic, portraying the strain placed on their relationship by the legendary astrophysicist’s struggle with motor neurone disease. Review coming soon.
Taken 3 (8th): Liam Neeson returns for Oliver Megaton’s final instalment of the action trilogy about a CIA operative with the world’s most kidnapped family. This time Brian Mills is on the run after being accused of murder and out to clear his name.
Foxcatcher (9th): Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo turn in a trio of powerful performances in Bennett Miller’s icy, sinister exploration of wealth and ambition, as seen through the lens of patronage and Olympic wrestling. Read our review here.
Into The Woods (9th): Chicago‘s Rob Marshall returns to the musical genre with a star-studded take on Stephen Sondheim’s dark, lyrical fairytale, with a cast that includes Meryl Streep as scatty The Witch and a salacious Johnny Depp as The Wolf.
American Sniper (16th): Clint Eastwood’s Iraqi War action-drama is based on the exploits real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, played here by Bradley Cooper, documenting the wartime experience – and aftermath – of the deadliest sniper in US military history.
Testament Of Youth (16th): James Kent brings to life Vera Britten’s memoir of her time as a VAD nurse during the First World War. Breakout star Alicia Vikander plays Britten and Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harrington her ill-fated lover Roland Leighton.
Whiplash (16th): Damien Chazelle directs this taut and gripping drama about a talented young drummer, played by an intense Miles Teller, driven to the edge of insanity by an insanely demanding conductor, a ferocious yet nuanced J.K. Simmons. Read our review here.
Wild (16th): Reese Witherspoon makes her dramatic comeback in Jean-Marc Vallée’s adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s solitary 1,000-mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. Think a feminist Into The Wild from the director of The Dallas Buyer’s Club.
Ex Machina (23rd): Screenwriter Alex Garland makes his directorial debut in this seeming morality tale in which Domhall Gleeson’s unassuming computer programmer becomes acquainted with imprisoned AI Ava, played by Alicia Vikander.
The Gambler (23rd): Mark Wahlberg stars in Ruper Wyatt’s remake of the 1974 drama, which follows a literature professor who ends up over his head. Perhaps a chance for Wahlberg to redeem his work in Transformers: Age of Extinction.
A Most Violent Year (23rd): Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain star as New York power couple the Morales, seeking to make it in the cut-throat world of ’80s business, in this simmering, character-driven drama from Margin Call’s J.C. Chandor.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (29th): Kick-Ass meets James Bond in this slick spy caper from Matthew Vaughn. Colin Firth plays suave bad-ass Harry Hart who sets out to save the world with his rough-edged protege, played by newcomer Taron Egerton.
Inherent Vice (30th): P.T. Anderson takes a shot at Thomas Pynchon’s psychedelic “surfer noir” tale of disillusionment and corruption in ’70s California. Joaquin Phoenix takes the lead as unconventional P.I. Doc Sportello. Read our review here.
Son of a Gun (30th): Ewan McGregor takes on an Australian twang as Antipodean public enemy no. 1 Brendan Lynch, who takes a vulnerable youth, played by Brendan Thwaites, under his wing in Julian Avery’s biographically inspired crime thriller.