The 12 biggest movie releases coming your way

Joaquin Phoenix returns with another much-hyped performance, this time as a stoner detective in Inherent Vice. Photo: AAP

Joaquin Phoenix returns with another much-hyped performance, this time as a stoner detective in Inherent Vice. Photo: AAP

It’s less than six months until the 2015 Oscars and we’re already excited about the incredible line up of films that will be coming our way before the awards season.

October will see the release of the most hyped film of year, Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, and Fury, the WWII drama starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf.

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In November, The Dark Knight Rises director, Christopher Nolan, returns with Interstellar, which is expected to add further weight to the ‘Best Actor’ accolades for its headline actor, Matthew McConaughey.

And later in the year Steve Carrell puts in another dramatic performance for Moneyball director Bennet Miller’s sports psychodrama Foxcatcher, among many other impressive films to be released.

Here’s our list of the movies you cannot miss:

Gone Girl

Director: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Emily Ratajkowski
Awards buzz: Pike has already been picked as an early Best Actress contender
Release date: October 2, 2014

What’s it about?

From one of Hollywood’s master of dark arts Fincher (Se7en The Social Network) and a script by Gillian Flynn (based on her bestselling 2012 novel) comes the dark thriller Gone Girl. Affleck stars as Nick Dunne who heads a campaign to find his missing wife, Amy (Pike), before being implicated as the main suspect in her disappearance. As the search for Amy ramps up, disturbing details from her marriage to Nick and her past begin to emerge.

Why we’re excited?

Flynn’s novel was one of the biggest literary hits of 2012 and was eagerly snapped up by Hollywood for an adaptation. Affleck appears expertly cast as Dunne, the man eager to please everyone, yet seeming to have something to hide. The presence of Fincher (who is in his favourite thriller territory here) suggests Gone Girl will be a fast-paced, dark, mystery ride.


Director: David Ayer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman
Awards buzz: Brad Pitt will be banking on it
Release date: October 23, 2014

What’s it about?

Pitt stars as Wardaddy, a battle hardened army sergeant who, at the end of the war in 1945, leads a final push into Nazi Germany as the commander of a five man crew and a Sherman tank. Outnumbered and outgunned, the men face impossible odds as they go behind enemy lines and attempt to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany

Why we’re excited?

Fury sees the return of Pitt to WWII after 2009’s Inglorious Basterd’s, however where that film was absurd and OTT, Fury aims for a dark, gritty realism in depicting the realities of combat.


Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck
Awards buzz: Early favourite across the board
Release date: November 6, 2014

What’s it about?

Nolan’s first film since The Dark Knight Rises is a sci-fi mind bender with an all-star cast. McConaughey continues his amazing current run as Cooper, a widowed engineer who must leave behind his two children to travel into space to explore a wormhole, (theoretically connecting widely separated regions of space-time) with the goal of saving humanity.

Why we’re excited?

Nolan has a proven blockbuster track record (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception) but early reports indicate Interstellar sees him match head with heart . The cast is also an embarrassment of riches in Damon, Hathaway, Caine and Chastain, all indicating Interstellar will be 2014’s answer to Gravity.


Director: Bennet Miller
Starring: Steve Carrell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum
Awards buzz: 
Carrell could be looking at his first dramatic nomination
Release date: December 18, 2014

What’s it about?

From Moneyball director Miller, starring an unrecognisable Carell, comes this sports psychodrama based on a chilling true story from the world of Olympic wrestling. Carell stars as John Du Pont, a multi millionaire who hoped to create an Olympic wrestling dynasty on his family’s Foxcatcher estate, and his relationship with troubled brothers Mark Schultz (Tatum) and David Schultz (Ruffalo), that has unlikely, frightening consequences.

Why we’re excited?

The film has drawn rave reviews in its pre-release, with the unlikely casting of Carrell and Tatum appearing inspired. Miller won best director at Cannes earlier this year for this film, meaning Foxcatcher will definitely be a contender come Oscars time.

St Vincent

Director: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher
Awards buzz: Murray has been touted as being a shoo-in for Best Actor nominations
Release date: December 26, 2014

What’s it about:

Murray plays Vincent, a surly, hardened war veteran, who volunteers to look after his neighbour Maggie’s (Melissa McCarthy) child, Oliverto make some extra cash. As well as babysitting, Vincent takes Oliver (Lieberher) to all the wrong places, including hanging out with his Russian prostitute girlfriend, played by a poker-faced Watts.

Why we’re excited: Murray returns to a lead role in this offbeat comedy and is supposedly brilliant opposite Lieberher. We’re also looking forward to seeing a more subdued McCarthy and hearing Watts’ Russian accent. 

The Imitation Game

Director: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley, Matthew Goode
Awards buzz: Cumberbatch is the actor du jour so expect award nominations from this film
Release date: January 1, 2015

What it’s about?

A historical drama about British mathematician Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), a key figure in cracking Germany’s enigma code that helped the Allies defeat the Nazi’s in WWII before later being criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality.

Why we’re excited?

The film has drawn rave reviews for its combination of high stake thrills and a deeply moving performance from Cumberbatch.

Inherent Vice

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon
Awards buzz: This could be the perfect role for Pheonix
Release date: January 8, 2015

Joaquin-Phoenix - AAP

Joaquin Phoenix returns with another much-hyped performance, this time as a stoner detective in Inherent Vice. Photo: AAP

What’s it about?

From writer/director Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) comes this shaggy dog detective story set against 1960’s California. Phoenix stars as Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello, a stoner detective hired to investigate the disappearance of a former girlfriend, who then gets embroiled in a conspiracy involving a real estate magnate.

Why we’re excited?

The first adaptation from famed reclusive literary giant Thomas Pynchon would be a lock for sheer curiosity’s sake, but the quality of the creative team suggests the film is in safe hands. Inherent Vice sees the exciting re-teaming of Phoenix and Anderson after 2012’s The Master into more ridiculous, trippy territory, and an amazing support cast (Wilson, Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Martin Short), indicates Inherent Vice looks to be this year’s answer to The Big Lebowski.


Director: Angelina Jolie
Starring: Jack O’Connell, Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson
Awards buzz: With Jolie and the Coen brothers behind the scenes, odds are good
Release date: January 8, 2015

What’s it about?

Unbroken is a WWII film that focuses on Louie Zamperini, an Olympic track star who survives a plane crash, 47 days on a raft and then two and half years living in several Japanese prisoner of war camps. Filmed in Australia, this upcoming drama was directed by Jolie, working from a script penned by the Coen brothers.

Why we’re excited?

There has been serious buzz around the performance of newcomer O’Connell, who will be in serious contention come awards season 2015. The quality of the creative players involved and the strength of the story suggest Jolie’s directorial debut is no vanity project.


Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifankis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts
Awards buzz: Keaton’s career has been devoid of big awards, but this could be his closest shot in years
Release date: January 15, 2015

What’s it about?

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a new comedy from director Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel). This quirky story is about an actor (Keaton), famous for portraying an iconic superhero, struggling to mount a Broadway play as he attempts to overcome struggles with his ego, career, cast mates and ultimately himself.

Why we’re excited?

The sheer craziness of this idea, (I mean Michael Keaton! playing a washed up actor) and the impressive supporting cast (Galifankis, Norton and Watts) would be enough, but Birdman has already drawn plaudits from critics and seems certain to be a hit come awards season.


Director: Jean Marc Valee
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern
Awards buzz: Witherspoon is the early frontrunner for every Best Actress award
Release Date: February 5, 2015

What’s It About?

From director Jean Marc Valee (Dallas Buyers Club) working from a Nick Hornby penned script, Wild stars Reese Witherspoon as a woman who undertakes a 1,100 mile solo hike to overcome a series of personal catastrophes.

Why we’re excited?

Early reports have generated serious awards season buzz around Witherspoon, who is believed to have delivered her strongest performance since her Oscar winning turn in 2005’s Walk The Line. Similarly, director Valee (whose star continues to rise) has drawn plaudits for an ambitious approach to potentially fraught source material.

A Most Violent Year

Director: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks
Awards buzz: Already being compared to The Godfather and Donnie Brasco
Release date: TBA

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year. Photo: Supplied.

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year. Photo: Supplied

What’s it About?

From writer/director J. C. Chandor (Margin Call, All is Lost) and starring Isaac and Chastain, comes this action crime drama about an immigrant Hispanic family trying to realise the American dream in New York during the Winter of 1981, which was one of the most violent years in American history.

Why We’re Excited?

In his first few features, Chandor established himself as an exciting talent willing to take bold creative risks.


Director: Jon Stewart
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal,
Awards buzz: Early buzz has been that the film establishes Stewart as a director with serious dramatic chops.
Release date: TBA

What’s it about?

The Daily Show anchor’s directorial debut tells the true story of Maziar Bahari (Bernal), a journalist who was arrested and brutally interrogated for five months for giving an interview on the 2009 Iranian Presidential Election. Bahari was usually blindfolded during his interrogation and the distinguishing feature of his interrogator was that he smelled of Rosewater.

Why we’re excited?

Stewart took the seemingly surprising step in 2013 of taking three months off from The Daily Show to shoot his debut feature. Rosewater combines his admiration for political activism and the effects that politics and power has on the lives of everyday people.

What movies are you excited about? Tell us below.

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