1. A Good Day to Die Hard
Starring: Bruce Willis
Release Date: February 14
It’s been nearly six years since we’ve gotten a new film from Bruce Willis as Detective John McLane, but 2013 will remedy that situation with A Good Day to Die Hard. The fifth installment in the Die Hard series, the film will focus on the arrest of McLane’s son and a mysterious terrorist plot. Sounds like a badass way to spend Valentine’s Day.
2. Oz the Great and Powerful
Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz
Release Date: March 8
After a slew of fairly bland “adult” oriented fantasy films that began with Alice in Wonderland, Oz the Great and Powerful looks like it may turn that ship around. Director Sam Raimi has already wowed audiences with his extremely well-received Spider-Man trilogy, while James Franco and the crew of witches have proven to be fairly large box office draws. Also, you gotta love the black & white references to the original 1939 classic.
3. Iron Man 3
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow
Release Date: May 3
The first Marvel Cinematic Universe film since the record-breaking Avengers, Iron Man 3 looks to be taking a redemptive, Christopher Nolan Batman-type approach with a significantly darker tone. The special effects look bigger and badder than ever and I’m excited about the vulnerable places Downey, Jr. will be taking the usually suave character. Chills guys, chills.
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch
Release Date: May 17
I have always been a very unabashed, unashamed Star Wars fan that would vocally tear down Star Trek whenever I got the chance. But that all changed in 2009 when J.J. Abrams gave us the pure, epic spectacle that is Star Trek. This new sequel will plunge viewers into even darker, more intense territory. And I’ll probably wet my pants.
5. Man of Steel
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe
Release Date: June 14
It has been so, so long since a good Superman film has been produced. The Man of Steel used to be the world’s most badass and beloved superhero in existence until big-budget versions of Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, etc. came about. Superman was pushed to the back burner, and when he finally got another movie, the results were lame (Superman Returns ). However, 2013 will be the year of Superman’s (actual) return. Led by Christopher Nolan (The Batman Trilogy) and Zack Snyder (300), Man of Steel is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest and boldest blockbusters.
6. Monsters University
Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal
Release Date: June 21
Pixar never lets me down (unless we’re talking about Cars… but that’s a dark exception) and Monsters University appears to be another funny, witty, and colorful entry in the studio’s wonderful canon. It surprises me that it’s taken so long to get a second Monsters, Inc. installment, but I will embrace the film with open arms and I can’t wait to see what college life is like for Mike and Sulley.
7. Despicable Me 2
Starring: Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Al Pacino
After the unprecedented success of Despicable Me, it was inevitable that Universal would release a sequel. Not much is known about the plot as of yet, but if it’s anything like the first film, you can bet it will be a funny and engaging hit.
8. The Wolverine
Starring: Hugh Jackman
Release Date: July 26
The first Wolverine movie was a bit dull in parts, but I am more than willing to give Hugh Jackman as the famous X-Men another chance. Set after The Last Stand, The Wolverine will take Logan to Japan where he encounters a villain from his past. Sounds intriguing. If anything, it will have epic action sequences.
9. 300: Rise of an Empire
Starring: Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green
Release Date: August 2
Sure it was sorta weak storyline-wise, but everyone loves 300, even if it’s just to shout THIS IS SPARTA! at the top of their lungs. However, this new prequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, may remedy the rushed storyline and pacing of its predecessor by providing insightful back story and imagery. Expect plenty of blood.
10. Ender’s Game
Starring: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley
Release Date: November 1
I’m quite surprised that a film adaptation of this wildly popular sci-fi novel hasn’t already been attempted. Ender’s Game is a futuristic alien invasion story about a young boy who is sent to Battle School and must ultimately train to defeat the alien race. It’s a riveting adventure and I’m thrilled to see it coming to the big screen.
11. Thor: The Dark World
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard
Release Date: November 8
So many superheros, so little time! As the fourth major superhero film on this list, Thor: The Dark World is the upcoming sequel to the 2011 hit Thor. The storyline seems pretty vague at this point, but it’s safe to say that everyone is DYING to see Loki again. And, oh yeah, Thor too.
12. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Release Date: November 22
AAAAAHHHHHH! After a mammoth run at the box office (it made more than any single Harry Potter, Twilight, or Lord of the Rings film gasp), The Hunger Games trilogy will return to the silver screen in late November. For those who haven’t read the books, I won’t ruin the plot, but just be sure to start screaming and peeing your pants right about…. NOW!!!
13. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom
Release Date: December 13
I don’t care what the critics say, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of my favorite films of the year and a great prequel to The Lord of the Rings! I absolutely CANNOT wait for the second installment in the trilogy, mainly because we finally get to see Smaug in all his fiery glory! Can December be here NOW?!?!
In addition to the year’s big new releases, five classic films are being re-released in 3D to theaters. They are:
Top Gun (February 8)
Jurassic Park (April 5) TOP PICK
The Little Mermaid (September 13)
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (September 20)*
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (October 4)*
The Star Wars re-releases are preceding the original trilogy, which will be re-released in 2014, and the new Disney trilogy, which will begin 2015.