Most Anticipated Films of 2013

Only included are films with release dates

Before Midnight (2013) (dir: Richard Linklater)

My most anticipated film of 2013. Early reviews at Sundance have been mostly positive...

The Great Gatsby (2013) (dir: Baz Luhrmann)

Currently reading the book...

Frances Ha (2012) (dir: Noah Baumbach)

One of my favorite contemporary directors. Glowing festival reviews...

Stories we Tell (2012) (documentary) (dir: Sarah Polley)

From what I've read, a very personal story about Polley's own family...

The Bling Ring (2013) (dir: Sofia Coppola)

If the movie is not for me, at least I'll have another Sofia Coppola soundtrack to obsess over, hopefully...

Gravity (2013) (dir: Alfonso CuarĂ³n)

His last outing Children of Men (2006) didn't impress me to the degree it did other cinephiles. I'm still curious, though.

Night Train to Lisbon (2013) (dir: Bille August)

Loved the book, will watch despite the director of this adaptation is very hit and miss.

Only God Forgives (2013) (dir: Nicolas Winding Refn)

Drive, need I say more...

Ender's Game (2013) (dir: Gavin Hood)

If there's time, I'll read the award-winning book during the year. Considered one of the best sci-fi novels of the 80s. The movie is out this autumn. It is however labeled young adult literature, so will that be a stumbling block in my case?

12 Years A Slave (2013) (dir: Steve McQueen)

I expect another powerful film with memorable performances from the director of Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011)

The Worlds End (2013) (dir: Edgar Wright)

Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and now this film as the third part of so-called "Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy". ha-ha. Kieslowski must be rolling in his grave.

Mud (2012) (dir: Jeff Nichols)

From the up-and-coming director of Take Shelter (2011) and Shotgun Stories (2007).

The Grandmaster (2013) (dir: Wong Kar-Wei)

About time we had a new Wong Kar-Wei film, and although martial arts is not usually my thing, I'll see it for the characters.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) (dir: Peter Jackson)

I feel I ought to watch it on the big screen...not the same on TV

Other films I want to see:
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Compliance (2012)
Liberal Arts (2012)
John Dies at the End (2012)
Arbitrage (2012)
The Hunt (2012)
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Laurence Anyways (2012)
Sister (2012)
Beyond the Hills (2012)
The Comedy (2012) (dir: Rick Alverson)
What Richard Did (2012)
Bullhead (2011)
A Hijacking (2012)
Thursday Through Sunday (2012)
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
An Enemy (2013)
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

West of Memphis (2012)
The Invisible War (2012)
The Queen of Versailles (2012)
56 Up (2012)
Room 237 (2012)
This is Not a Film (2011)
Central Park Five (2012)
The Act of Killing (2012)
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)

For my complete watchlist, including those films without a release date go here

Readers, thoughts on the above selections? Did I miss anything? Which are your most anticipated films of 2013?


  1. Plenty of great choices in here. I'm really excited to see Frances Ha and The Grandmaster in particular, and a lot of the others are right up there. 2013 is shaping up to be a great year.

    1. @Dan Heaton: Noah Baumbach and Wong Kar-Wei are directors I follow, so for me, Frances Ha and The Grandmaster are must-sees. Hopefully will be a strong year for cinema!

  2. Yes you must say more than Drive...I have never made private my feelings for that overrated Eurotrash wet fart of an art film, although I didn't hate it as much as Valhalla Rising. Let me guess, it will be a movie about a strong silent hero prone to violence and self sacrifice? Even the poster screams "been there done that."

    Of coure I'm just giving you a hard time. I'm also personally recommending you keep an eye out for a little Scorsese flick called Wolf on Wall Street. I've read the script. Imagine Goodfellas on Wall Street.

    1. @Mike Lippert: I think it's a bit early to criticize Only God Forgives (2013),the movie has not been released yet. I haven't watched Valhalla Rising, so can't comment.
      Sorry Drive didn't work out for you, there are a couple of violent moments I found offensive, and maybe C Mulligan was miscast. Aside from that, I thought it was a solid 80s throwback movie, with my favorite soundtrack of 2011.

      I am aware of Wolf on Wall Street. I have to admit my favorite Scorsese films are from 70s and 80s, a lot of his recent movies I thought were decent, but not that great. I'll probably wait for the trailer before I make up my mind.

  3. I'm actually not looking forward to before Midnight. I thought Before Sunset was perfect and the sequel to that would most likely ruin it.

    I'm looking forward to The Wolf of Wall Street and The Counselor the most.

    1. @Sati: I can certainly understand why you (and others) would feel that way about perfect Before Sunset ending. It is perfect!
      For me personally, getting to hang out with the two characters again in Before Midnight is so appealing, that it outweighs that.

      I don't know if The Counselor interests me yet,I see has a great cast and director. Will wait for the trailer.

    2. Saw "Before Midnight" at Sundance... and yeah, in a way, I think it shouldn't have necessarily have been made because I too thought the ending of "Before Sunset" was perfect. For people who are in that boat, they'll get less enjoyment out of this movie for sure. The movie though was really well done.

    3. @Shala: I can totally see how Before Midnight could mess with people's memory of Before Sunset, so that might stop some from checking it out. Even if it goes in a different direction, at least the third film has got the same cast and director on board.

  4. I share your enthusiasm on a few of these, including The Great Gatsby. As I like superhero movies, I definitely include Man of Steel on my list. I second Sati on The Counselor!

    1. @Ruth: Can't wait for Gatsby-even though some say its an unfilmable novel. Hopefully Baz Luhrmann will prove the doubters wrong! Thanks for the other suggestions.

    2. I just saw the latest trailer and I'm very hopeful that Gatsby will be great. I didn't care for Australia but Moulin Rouge is amazing. Hope Baz gets his grooves back!

    3. @Ruth: I loved how the U2 cover by Jack White "Love Is Blindness" was used in the Gatsby trailer. I agree Moulin Rouge is amazing, just stunning.

  5. These are very good choices. I'm glad you picked The Bling Ring. I'm eager to see it as I'm wondering what Sofia Coppola is aiming for. As for the soundtrack, I'm sure it's going to be a mix of pop and indie. After all, it's a film set in Hollywood. Plus, I'm convinced that this film is really a second part of a trilogy about Hollywood culture.

    1. @thevoid99: Thanks, glad you like the choices. The Bling Ring, you are probably right, and the soundtrack will be a mix of pop and indie. Perhaps fairly youthful contemporary music- the characters are young adults from what I can tell.

  6. "The Great Gatsby" all the way!!! I just finished reading the book last year (never took American lit in high school) and I can't wait to see it on screen with the Luhrman treatment! Will skip 3D though.

    1. @Shala: I'm reading it right now, so far the 40 page introduction is interesting. I hope the language is accessible and not too heavy.

  7. Lot of good films on here. Looking forward to Great Gatsby, Only God Forgives, and 12 Years A Slave. Glad to see Gravity and Worlds End on here! And I still need to see Compliance.

    1. @Robert: Me too, lots of ones I need to check out this year. Probably a couple of the anticipated films I'll skip, if the reviews call the film awful.

  8. Nice picks, Chris. All of these look promising, but I'm not sure what to make of Ender's Game. Still, 2013 looks like it will be a great year for movies. Can't wait for Before Midnight!

    1. @Josh: Thanks, I don't know what to make of Ender's Game either, The book is a multi awarding-winning sci-fi classic of the 80s, but Gavin Hood's last film X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) was my least favorite X-Men film.

  9. Fantastic, interesting, diverse list! A few here I wasn't aware of; Frances Ha, Mud and Night Train to Lisbon. I'm very much looking forward to Before Midnight, Gravity and World's End too!

    1. @Pete Turner: Thanks. Yes, I haven't even noticed Night Train to Lisbon on anyone else's list. Am I the only one who's anticipating that film in the blogosphere? Or maybe the promotion of it has been weak so far.

  10. These all look interesting! There are a few here I'd never heard of which I am now excited about, including 12 Years a Slave and The World's End. I'll add Night Train to Lisbon to my reading list. :)

    1. @Quirky BookandFilmBuff: Glad you like the list. Lots of upcoming stuff to get excited about.
      Night Train to Lisbon is among my top 10 books, though the English translation has been criticized by some critics.

  11. Before Midnight, Frances Ha, The Bling Ring, Gravity, God Only Forgives, Twelve Years a Slave… I think we’re gonna have a damn fine year. Nice picks, can’t wait for most of them!

    1. @Alex Withrow: Thanks, hopefully they will live up to our expectations!

  12. Absolutely looking forward to the top two you mentioned. And Bling Ring, just to see Emma Watson in her new bad image.

  13. @Andina: Me too, it will be interesting to see which direction Before Midnight, and also Bling Ring go in.

  14. This is why I love being part of the film blogging community even if I'm a tad less prolific than most of you. Here is a great list of films to keep an eye on, some of which I had no idea about.
    I can't wait to see nearly all of them.
    How come Before Midnight is your most anticipated? You didn't really say why.

    1. @niels85: Glad to help out, probably a lot of these films have a wide appeal, although there are a few obscure ones, as you point out.
      Before Midnight is my most anticipated, because I loved the first two installments of the trilogy.

  15. Agree 100% about Before Midnight being most anticipated. Especially excited to see this after all of the glowing reviews coming out of Sundance.

    I'm also really looking forward to the new films from McQueen, Refn, Coppola, and Nichols. Should be a great year!

    1. @Eric: Looking forward to all of those films as well! Hopefully it will be a great year for cinema.

  16. Here's a few more to keep an eye out for:

    "An Enemy", by Denis Villeneuve, adapted from a Jose Saramago thriller novel, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Melanie Laurent.

    "Only Lovers Left Alive", a vampire film by Jim Jarmusch with Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton.

    "I'm So Excited", from Pedro Almodovar, with Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas

    "A Most Wanted Man", from Anton Corbijn, adaptation of a John Le Carré novel, with a stellar cast.

    "The Bastards", from Claire Denis, not really much known about this one yet, but any Denis film is worth putting on the list.

  17. @Bonjour Tristesse: Interesting list of films. Thanks for sharing.

    "An Enemy" look-a-likes have always fascinated me

    A Jim Jarmusch vampire film sounds pretty intriguing, the IMDb storyline reminds me a little of Tilda Swinton in Orlando (1992)

    I'm generally not a big of Almodovar's filmmaking, though I did love his last outing The Skin I Live In

    I like Anton Corbijn, Control (2007) is a mini-masterpiece. If you are a fan, there is a recent doc about him I haven't seen called:
    Anton Corbijn Inside Out (2012)

    I've yet to delve into the films of Claire Denis, I remember reading you are a fan. I'll probably watch Beau Travail (1999) first.

  18. I'm looking forward to so many of these! How was The Great Gatsby (the book)?

  19. @Lights Camera Reaction: The Great Gatsby is very well-written. But I'm half way through, and still waiting for something to happen. The point-of-view apparently is important. So far a book I can admire, rather than love. The characters are basically party animals.


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