Top 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2011

By Edit Posted in Entertainment, Movies

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COED’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2010 hailed the film adaptation of “Arrested Development” as the most eagerly awaited release for this past year. Talk about your all-time c*cktease. Looking at this year’s tentative slate of box office hopefuls, you might think Hollywood is unoriginal. WHAT?!? I know. Shocking. Lots of sequels, threequels, prequels, and Squeakwels (thanks, Alvin). What makes us want to see a movie? It could be our predilection for all things sci-fi and thriller, could be our admiration for certain actors or directors, or it could be as simple as a bad-ass poster or tagline. Whatever the case may be, we’ve combed Variety’s Film Release Chart for the movies releasing in 2011 that could be on your “Best Of” list come this time next year. Without further ado, COED presents our list of the Most Anticipated Movies of 2011.

20. Source Code

Studio: The Mark Gordon Company

Director: Duncan Jones (Moon, Whistle, Mute)

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

Scheduled Release Date: 4/1/2011

Jaken Gyllenhaal plays a soldier who’s sent into the body of a civilian aboard a train in the last eight minutes of his life and forced to relive the incident over and over again until he can find out who is responsible for its bombing and how to prevent the next terrorist attack from occurring. Basically, it’s like watching someone play a video game in which the player has unlimited lives but must conquer the level before time expires. Sort of like Avatar meets Surrogates meets Super Mario Brothers.

19. Red Dawn

Studio: MGM

Director: Dan Bradley (1st feature length film)

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Adrianne Palicki, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas

Scheduled Release Date: TBD

This remake of the 1984 classic will have the Wolverines fending off a Chinese invasion instead of the Russians. Thor-to-be Chris Hemsworth should bring some much needed firepower while Friday Night Light‘s Adrianne Palicki and the hottie turned robottie in Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, Isabel Lucas, should distract you from bugging out in the theater. You’ll also see Isabel in Immortals - hopefully this a sign of things to come for the Australian lass.

18. Your Highness

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, All the Real Girls, George Washington)

Cast: Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco, Danny McBride

Scheduled Release Date: 4/8/2011

We gave you a sneak peek when a new red-band trailer released that featured glimpses of then single and NOT preggers Natalie Portman in a thong. Danny McBride and James Franco play two princes on a mission to rescue Franco’s fiancee played by the forever cute Zooey Deschanel. McBride’s the party animal prince while Franco’s character is the golden boy heir apparent. They’re joined by Natalie Portman’s character, an elusive warrior with a dangerous agenda of her own. Hopefully, this is less like Black Knight and more of better version of Pineapple Express meets A Knight’s Tale.

17. The Rum Diary

Studio: GK Films

Director: Bruce Robinson

Cast: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, and Giovanni Ribisi

Scheduled Release Date: TBD

We actually included this on our list of the Most Anticipated Movies of 2010, as it started development in late March 2009. Now that it’s in post, we can safely assume it will get a 2011 release. Based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name, this adventure follows Johnny Depp as a journalist who travels to Puerto Rico to write for The San Juan Star. He eventually gets hooked on drinking rum and becomes obsessed with a woman played by Amber Heard. Couple things here: A) Amber’s gay. B) How much of Jack Sparrow will Depp channel for this role? Jack Sparrow trying to knock booty with a hot lesbian? Sold!

16. Green Lantern

Studio: Warner Brothers

Director: Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale, Edge of Darkness)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins

Scheduled Release Date: 6/17/2011

The Green Hornet comes out in January, a month riddled with notoriously bad movies, so of the two “Green” superheroes, we’re siding with Green Lantern. Seems like every time you have movies closely mirroring each other – even on the most simplistic level (in this case, superheroes and the color green) – you confuse people. Dante’s Peak vs. Volcano in 1997, Deep Impact vs Armageddon in 1998, Aladdin vs. Prince of Persia Sands of Time. The list goes on. Yes, the dedicated hoards of fanboys expressed their allegiances, but what about the sheep? Who’s more bad-ass: a dude who wears a ring (every fist begins with ‘F’?) to give him powers or the guy with the Asian sidekick? Lantern has a more conventional superhero blockbuster aesthetic with Ryan Reynolds and his superheroic physique combined with a summer release some six months after people hopefully (for Lantern) forget Hornet. With Reynolds also starring in Deadpool, which is rumored to release in 2011, will (simpler) audiences have trouble following? Seeing as Chris Evans can be the Human Torch and Captain America, I guess studios think they won’t. Many critics feel this shouldn’t be a movie. Do you agree?

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15.Contagion

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Steven Soderbergh (Michael Clayton, Syriana)

Cast: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne

Scheduled Release Date: 10/21/2011

Contagion is “an action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak”, will come at ya in three dimensions. I can’t find anything wrong with this cast and Soderbergh always does a fantastic job of making me ask, “Is this real life?” like I’m a kid fresh out of dental surgery. My gut says this could be the next Children of Men, which has some of the most intensely real action scenes I’ve ever witnessed.

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14. The Muppets

Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Director: James Bobin (Mugged, Sally, A Good Opportunity)

Cast: Amy Adams, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Segal, Emily Blunt, Jack Black, Danny Trejo

Scheduled Release Date: 10/21/2011

This movie has a laundry list of rumored cast members including Jack Black, Katy Brand (nee Perry), The Hangover‘s Ed Helms, Billy Crystal, Lady Gaga, Machete‘s Danny Trejo, Mickey Rooney, Glee’s Jane Lynch, and JCVD himself, Jean Claude Van Damme. Confirmed cast members include Talladega Night‘s Amy Adams, Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Ricky Gervais, and Zach Galifianakis. This is very dear and personal project for screenwriter and actor Jason Segel who co-wrote the movie with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek director Nick Stoller. If FSM was any indication of Segel & Stoller’s puppet hilarity then we’re in for a good show.

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13. Immortals

Studio: Universal

Director: Tarsem Singh

Cast: Mickey Rourke, Kellan Lutz, Isabel Lucas, Henry Cavill, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff

Scheduled Release Date: 11/11/2011

Director Tarsem Singh’s last recognizable directing credit was a trippy mindf*ck about a psychotherapist called The Cell starring Jennifer Lopez. I had seizures watching the trailer and that was just from J Lo’s booty. Imagine what he can do with Mickey Rourke, Rourke’s affinity for unusual looking animals, and Greek mythology. On a side note, is Dorff vying for Comeback Actor of the Year? I might suffer from Dorfferload. Ew. I could never date Isabel Lucas. I’d be too worried our car would crash or she’d turn into a deception, which in turn would probably make our car crash. Either way, I don’t have insurance.

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12. X-Men: First Class

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Director: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake)

Cast: Aaron Johnson, James McAvoy

Scheduled Release Date: 6/3/2011

Out of all the Origins stories Marvel could tell in the X-Men franchise, I’m not too keen on Professor Wheelchair and Magnet Man. We saw a glimpse of Magneto’s origins in the first X-Men and I don’t exactly remember Sir Charles X ever getting the back story treatment. Matt Vaughn, who directed cult favorite Kick-Ass (that already has a sequel announced), will helm this project and it’s rumored his male lead in Kick-Ass Aaron Johnson will play Magneto while Wanted’s James McAvoy takes time out of his schedule to stop bending bullets with his gun and starts bending bullets with his mind. Mind control versus metal control. Mental vs. Metal. Brian vs. Bronze. Come to think of it, I’m getting more and more pumped with these opponents. I personally enjoyed seeing the evolution of Wolverine and Sabertooth from brothers to mortal enemies, but that deconstruction was muscle-backed physicality whereas this is more of high octane chess game.

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11. Moneyball

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Director: Bennett Miller (Capote, The Cruise)

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Scheduled Release Date: 9/23/11

This is the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ 2003 book. It follows the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane who assembled the team by using computer-generated analysis and overlooked statistics. Brad Pitt will play Beane and other cast members include Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as then A’s manager Art Howe. Unless PSH loses a ton of weight, grows 6 inches (not in the pants) and dyes his hair, I don’t really see how he’s a good fit as Howe. Even Pitt as Beane is a bit off. If they can duplicate The Blind Side’s formula for success, expect an Oscar nod or three.

10. Captain America: The First Avenger

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Director: Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, Jumanji, The Rocketeer)

Cast: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving

Scheduled Release Date: 7/22/2011

The jury’s still out on Chris Evans as superhero just as it is for Ryan Reynolds. These actors are known for their quirky expressions and comedic chops, so to take them seriously as saviors is, well, going to take a heroic effort. I mean, when he saves the woman I fully expect him either rip a fart or sneeze on her. In case you’re unfamiliar with the Admiral USA story, it follows a soldier who’s discharged from military service and decides to volunteer for a top-secret research project, which ultimately turns him into the red, white, and blue brute you see to the left. America’s taken a real bad rap of late, so maybe this will turn the world’s POV around. I mean, I think even America hates America at this point. Should be nice to see a little pro-USA propaganda again. Joe Johnston’s track record is suspect, but it’s hard to f up a film with Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones.

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9. Battle: Los Angeles

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Director: Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning)

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriquez, Michael Pena, Bridget Moynahan

Scheduled Release Date: 2/18/2011

This real-time war movie about a marine platoon’s defense against an alien invasion has been described as Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day. Sign. Me. Up. Tell me the soundtrack is Rage Against the Machine‘s Battle of Los Angeles and I’ll pay you for two tickets right now. The movie is based on a mysterious event that happened in Los Angeles during World War II in which the US military spotted UFOs and shot some down then blamed it on Al Qaeda or something. The event was labeled as a “false alarm” with “war nerves” used as an excuse for unleashing absolute hellfire on some weather balloons. As anyone ever seen a weather balloon? I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those suckers, you get yer ass split by military grade weaponry.

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8. Hugo Cabret

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Director: Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, The Departed, Taxi Driver… the list goes on)

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley

Scheduled Release Date: 12/9/11

Let’s face it, Martin Scorsese rarely makes a bad movie and when he does, it usually involves Leonardo DiCaprio in one way or another. And since Hugo Cabret is Marty’s first feature in 10 years Sans-Leo in a starring role, we’re banking it’s gonna be great. Based on the award winning illustrated novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it’s a story about a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in 1930 where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. It’s Scorsese’s first venture into the world of 3-D and promises to be a pretty fantastic journey.

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7. Cowboys & Aliens

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1 & 2, Elf)

Cast: Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell

Scheduled Release Date: 7/29/2011

Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, this sci-fi western focuses on what happens when seven strangers are picked to live in-house and have their lives taped, when they stop being polite and start getting real. No, actually, it’s what happens when aliens land in mid-1800s Arizona aiming to take over the world and end up dealing with Lone Rangers, Sundance Kids, Wild Bills, Roy Rogers, Fighting Illini, Braves, and the Tribe. This is like the David vs. Goliath of primitive versus advanced civilizations. This exquisite dish has all the right ingredients for blockbuster pie with a healthy chunks of James Bond (Daniel Craig), some Han Solo / Indiana Jones seasoning (Harrison Ford), and a squirt or five of hot (possibly alien) Olivia Wilde Wilde West.

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6. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Director: David Fincher (The Social Network, Se7en, The Game, Benjamin Button)

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer

Scheduled Release Date: 12/11/2011

This is the American film adaptation of the novel of the award-winning crime novel by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson, the first in his Millennium Trilogy, which became a best-selling series after his death in November 2004. It follows a middle-aged investigative journalist with the magazine Millennium who loses a Libel case against a corrupt Swedish industrialist and is sentenced to three months in jail. Unbeknownst to him, a troubled but brilliant 24-year-old hacker from a security firm keeps tabs on him while he looks into the murder of his former babysitter at the request of the rich industrialist. Murder. Intrigue. Rape. Cats. Dogs. Bulls. Bears. People from Connecticut. I haven’t met a girl yet who DOESN’T own this book. It’s a conversation starter and not a bad date movie. I know, rape in a date movie? What frat are you in?

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5. Sucker Punch

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300, Dawn of the Dead)

Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino, Jena Malone, Jon Hamm, Michael Jai White, Emily Browning

Scheduled Release Date: 3/25/2011

The producers describe this effort from Watchmen and 300 director Zack Snyder as “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns” that blends dragons, B-52 bombers, and brothels. Um, I really have to wait ’til next f’n March to see this? Story follows “Baby Doll” (Emily Browning) who is imprisoned by her evil stepfather in a mental institution where he’s planned to lobotomize her in 5 days. To escape, she enters an alternate reality where she has to collect 5 objects before getting caught by some gnarly dude. She’s joined by her inmates as her imagination helps her make way in real life only to have the lines blurred. If there’s not a massive honey-drenched nude wrestling match in this, I will take umbrage, Mr. Snyder. Vanessa Hudgens‘ casting kind of throws me off, but then I see Carla Gugino and Jena Malone and all is well. You better bring it Vanessa, and not in that cheerleader kind of way either.

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4.Red Riding Hood

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Lords of Dogtown, Thirteen)

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Shiloh Fernandez, Carmen Lavigne, Jen Halley

Scheduled Release Date: 4/22/2011

Ever seen “Thirteen”? It stars Marilyn Manson plaything Evan Rachel Wood as bad ass jailbait who likes to steal stuff, take painkillers and get punched in the face. It’s heartwarming and uplifting. Anyway, Catherine Hardwicke directed that award-winning indie and now she has her sights set on lensing another adolescent girl, only this time the chick’s generally known in Fable Land as an airhead. Will David Johnson’s script give her more of an edge like this chick? Well, for starters she falls for an orphaned woodcutter (generally known as the bad boy of medieval townsfolk) and has to avoid / conquer a werewolf that terrorizes her village. Also, how awesome is Gary Oldman? he could play ever male role in this pic and nail it. Plus, film’s produced by Leo. That dude does not get involved in things that suck (unless it’s really really really smoking hot models).

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3. Thor

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Director: Kenneth Branagh (1996′s Hamlet, 1994′s Frankenstein, 1993′s Much Ado About Nothing, 1989′s Henry V)

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo

Scheduled Release Date: 5/6/2011

I’m not comic book nerd, probably because I got ripped off on a bogus copy of Superman when I was in 6th grade, but, to me, Captain America ranks above Thor in popularity and awareness, yet this release seems to be hyped more. The movie poster alone gets the blood flowing. Kenneth Branagh as director? Interesting choice. He’s mostly helmed Shakespearean remakes, which I’d watch to skip reading the books/plays, but if he can bring that fiery acting intensity to a Hollywood blockbuster overflowing with CGI and special effects, you might be looking at the best Marvel pic of the bunch. If you’re only exposure to Thor is Adventures in Babysitting then you should probably know Thor is “a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war.” As punishment, he’s sent to Earth where he battles the most dangerous villain in the world, Spencer Pratt.

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2. Super 8

Studio: Paramount

Director: J.J. Abrams (Lost, Cloverfield)

Cast: None announced. Not even rumored! SICK!!

Scheduled Release Date: 2011

I have a confession to make. I want to have J.J. Abrams’ baby. Yes, this even comes after the clusterf*ck that was the Lost finale. I lost days, weeks, and months at a time at work trying to figure out what the HELL Cloverfield was. I never watched Alias but moving forward if you want me to watch something, throw his name out there. I’ll bite. Not convinced yet? Not a JJA fan? I have two words for you: Spiel Berg. That’s right, the man who molded my childhood will produce what is sure to give theater audiences simultaneous orgasms. In true Abrams fashion, he’s not letting cats any out of any bags. All beans will remain unspilled. The only elements confirmed are the setting (1979), the genre (sci-fi, supernatural, mystery), and this radtastic trailer:

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1. The Hangover 2

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Todd Phillips (Starsky & Hutch, Road Trip, Old School, Frat House, The Hangover)

Cast: Zach Galifinakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha

Scheduled Release Date: 5/26/2011

It doesn’t matter where I am, who I’m with, or what I’m doing, if I see “The Hangover” is on pay cable, basic cable, or a poster ad in the subway, I’m watching it all the way through to the end. I’ve been a fan of Todd Phillips ever since 2000′s “Road Trip” and it’s been a bucket list item of mine to have one unforgettable cameo in one of his movies. The entire main cast is confirmed to return and rumor is Zach Efron makes an appearance. Well, if Vanessa Hudgens can be in a Zack Snyder film, I don’t see why Zef can’t get absolutely abused in Hangover 2. I mean, he needs to be kicked, punched, spat on, vomited on, peed on, dragged through garbage, and pushed to the absolute limit of human suffering for the audience to get on board with him being in the film. Then, he saves the day (by sacrificing his life). Mel Gibson was also attached at one point, but dropped out after creeping everyone out and was replaced by Liam Neeson, who will also be in Unknown, another good one to see.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Conan The Barbarian

I Am Number Four

The Mechanic

The Darkest Hour

Unknown

Limitless

Take Me Home Tonight

Arthur

The Roommate

Just Go With It

The Thing

Piranha 3DD

Bad Teacher

Larry Crowne

Sherlock Holmes 2

The Smurfs

Twilight

Footloose

30 Minutes Or Less

Hall Pass

The Dilemma

Cabin in the Woods

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Final Destination 5

Fast Five

Scream 4

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Season of the Witch

Friends With Benefits & No Strings Attached

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