Movies to keep an eye on

Does 2011 seem like one of the worst movie years in recent memory? Yes, but no worries there are some gems on the horizon.
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1.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight, with the help of the enigmatic Selina, is forced from his imposed exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane. (164 mins.)
“ Christopher Nolan's conclusion to the Batman Series. Whatever comes after this, it doesn't matter. Nobody will do the Cape Crusader justice like Nolan has. Christian Bale battles Tom Hardy and potentially Joseph Gordon Levitt in a sure fire classic. Anne Hathaway is the movie's variable. If this doesn't earn a best pick nom in 2013, I will be appalled. ” - stephencoulter
 
2.
Lincoln (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. (150 mins.)
“ Spielberg is in the process of making a classic. I'm already excited to see Daniel Day Lewis win his third Oscar in 2013. Too bad Liam Neeson passed; however Day Lewis is the best in the business and this one will be a triumph for cinema. ” - stephencoulter
 
3.
J. Edgar (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life. (137 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Clint hasn't exactly missed on his last two movies--Invictus and Hereafter--but neither was a best pic contender nor too memorable. J. Edgar may be one of his best as the famous star tackles the man who was the first president of the FBI. Could bring Leo home his first Oscar. Naomi Watts could be up there too. ” - stephencoulter
 
4.
Django Unchained (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. (165 mins.)
“ what a plot! too bad will smith passed. Tarentino is pretty perfect though, so not to be alarmed. the second of three upcoming leo movies on the list. ” - stephencoulter
 
5.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A reluctant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home - and the gold within it - from the dragon Smaug. (169 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ This has an amazing cast and nobody can doubt Peter Jackson after the LOTR series. ” - stephencoulter
 
6.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring. (161 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ the mariano rivera of the prequel-to-lord of the rings series should not disappoint. ” - stephencoulter
 
7.
Skyfall (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (143 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ could be huge with javier bardem on board. i'd argue he's the best actor ever to appear in a bond movie, and he hasn't even appeared in one yet. now that's saying something. ” - stephencoulter
 
8.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker. (158 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ could contend for best picture if the year is as weak as its been these first seven months. fincher is long deserved for best director. ” - stephencoulter
 
9.
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu. (110 mins.)
Director: Martin McDonagh
“ dark comedy from the genius director of "in bruges" ” - stephencoulter
 
10.
Moneyball (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. (133 mins.)
Director: Bennett Miller
“ Michael Lewis's book hits the big screen this September with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill starring. It will be up for best picture for sure. ” - stephencoulter
 
11.
Lawless (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits. (116 mins.)
Director: John Hillcoat
“ should be a big hit. great cast, great story. looking forward to this one. ” - stephencoulter
 
12.
The Ides of March (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. (101 mins.)
Director: George Clooney
“ speak of casting--gosling, clooney, hoffman, giamatti. 'nuff said. anyone who questions clooney as a director only needs to rewatch 2007's good night, good luck. ” - stephencoulter
 
13.
The Master (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader. (144 mins.)
“ Plot description: A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as "the Master" whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man. Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood). Stars: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and.....drumroll....the return of Joaquin Phoenix. Should be awesome. ” - stephencoulter
 
14.
50/50 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease. (100 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Levine
“ Love the Gordon-Levitt/Rogen duo. ” - stephencoulter
 
15.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby. (143 mins.)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
“ With Leo on board, this one can't miss. ” - stephencoulter
 
16.
Contraband (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
To protect his brother-in-law from a drug lord, a former smuggler heads to Panama to score millions of dollars in counterfeit bills. (109 mins.)
“ A security guard with financial troubles considers a return to his smuggling ways when an associate offers a potentially lucrative opportunity. With Wahlberg. ” - stephencoulter
 
17.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis. (99 mins.)
“ A movie about clashing psychologists--Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortenson) and Karl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Although I'm not a fan of David Croenenberg, this one should be a surefire Oscar contender. ” - stephencoulter
 
18.
30 Minutes or Less (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else... (83 mins.)
Director: Ruben Fleischer
“ Could easily be the funniest movie of the year we'll see in two weeks. ” - stephencoulter
 
19.
Prometheus (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant moon containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone. (124 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Nobody can doubt Ridley Scott's greatness. ” - stephencoulter
 
20.
Gambit (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
An art curator decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet, but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen. (89 mins.)
Director: Michael Hoffman
“ The Coen brothers are writing. Odd cast, but Firth is on fire and Alan Rickman lights up the Harry Potter movies with his dark and omenous composure. ” - stephencoulter
 
21.
Casa de mi Padre (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Scheming on a way to save their father's ranch, the Alvarez brothers find themselves in a war with Mexico's most feared drug lord. (84 mins.)
Director: Matt Piedmont
“ Will Ferrell acts alongside the best young Latino actors out there. Should be a suprise comedy hit. ” - stephencoulter
 
22.
Man of Steel (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable human, is forced to reveal his identity when Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction. (143 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
“ I love the supporting cast they are putting around Henry Cavill (Superman)--Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon. It's unfortunate Russell Crowe is no longer in but with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins) writing everything should be ok. ” - stephencoulter
 
23.
Gangster Squad (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city. (113 mins.)
Director: Ruben Fleischer
“ Plot: A chronicle of the LAPD's fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Cast: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, etc. ” - stephencoulter
 
24.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6. (122 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
“ Looking forward to this one. Could be Gary Oldman's bid for his first Oscar nod. ” - stephencoulter
 
25.
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films. (135 mins.)
Director: Tony Gilroy
“ I have a big question mark next to this one. Could be a huge hit, could be a disaster. ” - stephencoulter
 
26.
The Rum Diary (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there. (120 mins.)
Director: Bruce Robinson
“ Johnny Depp heads to the Caribean to star in another Hunter S. Thompson book, the first being Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. ” - stephencoulter
 
27.
Carnage (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos. (80 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Chrisopher Waltz star in this Roman Polanski comedy-drama that should stand out later this year. ” - stephencoulter
 
28.
On the Road (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly. (124 mins.)
Director: Walter Salles
“ One of my favorite all time books probably won't make the greatest movie, but I will for sure see it before it's out of theaters. ” - stephencoulter
 
29.
Hugo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Martin Scorsese's 2011 movie is more than just a kid flick. It should be spellbinding, wouldn't be suprised if it was a dark horse in the best picture race. ” - stephencoulter
 
30.
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl. (99 mins.)
Director: Simon Curtis
“ 1 of 2 movies that will contend for best actress award this year. Michelle Williams will deliver a marquee performance in this film. ” - stephencoulter
 
31.
The Iron Lady (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene. (105 mins.)
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
“ Meryl Streep will be Williams' contender this year for best actress as she dons the garbs as Queen of Great Britain. ” - stephencoulter
 
33.
The Hunger Games (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death. (142 mins.)
Director: Gary Ross
“ Jennifer Lawrence is bound for greatness. This will be her series and it will remembered, mark my words. ” - stephencoulter
 
34.
Trance (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting. (101 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
“ Danny Boyle's upcoming thriller is in pre-production, but he's proven himself throughout his career as one of Hollywood's best. ” - stephencoulter
 
35.
Killing Them Softly (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. (97 mins.)
Director: Andrew Dominik
“ Cast: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini and Garret Dillahunt. Speaks for itself really. ” - stephencoulter
 
36.
Hemingway & Fuentes (????)
Writer Ernest Hemingway befriends boat captain, Gregorio Fuentes, who inspires him to pen the famous tale "The Old Man and the Sea."
Director: Andy Garcia
“ An inside look at how Earnest Hemingway's classic novel "The Old Man and the Sea" came to be. Andy Garcia directs and Anthony Hopkins stars. ” - stephencoulter
 
37.
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A frustrated circus magician from Kansas is transported to a magical land called Oz, where he will have to fulfill a prophecy to become the king, and release the land from the Wicked Witches using his great (but fake) powers. (130 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ James Franco, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz star in this sure to be masterpiece of the prequel to the Wizard of Oz. ” - stephencoulter
 
38.
Under the Banner of Heaven (????)
Centers around two brothers who believe they have been chosen by God to murder an innocent women and her infant daughter
“ Ron Howard has gotten on board to direct Jon Krakauer's (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air) novel about a double-murder in Mormon country. When it comes out it should be a gripping movie. ” - stephencoulter
 
39.
Savages (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. (131 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Having an Oliver Stone movie on the list is an alarming sign to those still scrolling, but this one is intriguing with Taylor Kirsch (Friday Night Lights) and Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) as its anchors with veterans like John Travolta, Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman and Benico Del Toro. ” - stephencoulter
 
40.
360 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A dramatic thriller that weaves together the stories of an array of people from disparate social backgrounds through their intersecting relationships. (110 mins.)
“ Don't know much about it but it's got an amazing cast. ” - stephencoulter
 
41.
War Horse (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. (146 mins.)
“ Spielberg epic tale about a girl and a horse, should be a classic. ” - stephencoulter
 
42.
Young Adult (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter. (94 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
“ Jason Reitman has been on a tear recently. Same with writer Diablo Cody. With Charlize Theron as the lead actress, this should be a delight. ” - stephencoulter
 
43.
Coriolanus (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city. (123 mins.)
Director: Ralph Fiennes
“ Ralph Fiennes could be going up for an Oscar alongside Leo, Gary Oldman and Brad Pitt. Tough company. ” - stephencoulter
 
44.
Contagion (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure. (106 mins.)
“ The casting is nearly flawless and this plot sounds pretty ridiculous, definitely one to keep an eye on. ” - stephencoulter
 
45.
Natural Selection (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Having discovered that her dying husband has an illegitimate child living in Florida, a devout Christian housewife leaves her sheltered world on a mission to reunite father and son. (90 mins.)
“ Has been building up buzz around the indie circuit. Could be a dark horse in the best picture race. You heard it here first. ” - stephencoulter