15 Movies to Watch in 2015
Cheers to the year of 2015 and all the fantastic movies it's primed to bring our way! To be sure you don't miss out on the must-see films of 2015, we've compiled a list of the most promising pics. In their ranks, they boast hunky leading men, fearless heroines and action of every variety. Plus: princesses, vampires, dinosaurs and androids. Oh my!
The erotic novel born of 'Twilight' fan fiction blossomed into a worldwide sensation, just as its heroine blossomed under the strong hands of her dominant lover. Now this scintillating story of romance and kinky sex -- and its already iconic characters -- are coming to the big screen in time for Valentine's Day 2015! Dakota Johnson stars as naïve college student Anastasia Steele. Jamie Dornan plays billionaire bachelor Christian Grey. And we'll play the part of squealing audience members.
If romance isn't your cup of tea, check out this clever bit of comedic counter-programming out of New Zealand. After winning rave reviews out of last year's Sundance Film Festival, this vampire mockumentary will finally hit theaters in the U.S. in February 2015! 'Flight of the Conchords'' Jemaine Clement directs, writes and stars alongside long-time collaborator Taika Waititi, playing a pair of undead roommates who allow a film crew to capture the chaos that emerges from letting a new and rowdy bloodsucker under their roof.
In this sharp teen comedy, Mae Whitman stars as the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). With the help from a hot guy with no filter (Robbie Amell), she aims to shake up her social status while taking down the school's resident mean girl (Bella Thorne). The plotline is promising, but the real reason we're pumped for this movie is pure Whitman. She's long been a standout supporting player. It's about time she got bumped to leading lady!
Following on the heels of such dazzling live-action re-imaginings as 'Mirror Mirror' and 'Maleficent' comes 'Cinderella' -- with all the glamor we (frankly) demand of a fairytale about a girl getting a life-changing magical makeover. Kenneth Branagh directs an all-star cast that includes the lovely Lily James as the eponymous heroine, Helena Bonham Carter as her fairy godmother, Cate Blanchett as the evil (but fabulous) stepmother and 'Game of Thrones' actor Richard Madden as Prince Charming.
As follow-up to his darling and daring coming-of-age comedy 'Frances Ha,' writer-director Noah Baumbach offers a seemingly charming dramedy that stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple who chases down their lost youth by hanging out with a hipster pair of twenty-somethings, played by Amanda Seyfried and the inescapably charismatic Adam Driver. To be honest, Adam Driver alone is enough for us to be on board. But Baumbach's track record for touching and tender comedy is a big perk.
One of the most enticing trailers of the past year came from this sci-fi drama that focuses on a mind-bending artificial intelligence experiment. A groundbreaking engineer (Oscar Isaac) creates an android (Alicia Vikander) so lifelike that he brings in a volunteer (Domhnall Gleeson) to test its interactions. But when this test subject begins falling for the female bot, things get complicated. Beyond a stunning trailer and compelling concept, 'Ex Machina' also offers a killer cast, two of whom (Isaac and Gleeson) will soon be megastars thanks to a certain space-set blockbuster…
Written and directed by Joss Whedon, 'The Avengers' sequel is poised to be one of the most exhilarating movie releases of 2015. On top of a kick-ass Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, we'll also get a smorgasbord of hot heroes like Chris Evans' Captain America, Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Mark Ruffalo's Hulk and Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye. Not to mention the return of everyone's favorite bad boy, Tom Hiddleston's Loki! Is wrong to admit we don't care what the plot is?
The Barden Bells are back and ready to bring it! This sequel to the 2012 comedy that had us all humming 'Cups' reunites Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee and Adam DeVine in an adventure that takes the collegiate a cappella group to a cutthroat international competition where an American team has never won. Elizabeth Banks' (aka 'The Hunger Games'' Effie Trinket) makes her feature directorial debut with this sequel stacked with shenanigans and stellar singing. Get it, girl!
Fourteen years after the forgettable mess that was 'Jurassic Park III,' director Colin Trevorrow has given us fresh reasons to thrill over this franchise. There's a whole park of tourists threatened by a hybrid dino experiment gone bad, shockingly realistic dinos and pelvic sorcerer Chris Pratt. We suspect this hunky hero will be the sexual awakening for a new generation of girls in 2015 just as 'Jurassic Park's' Jeff Goldblum was for a generation before him.
In 2012, Channing Tatum brought his stripper past into the spotlight with the steamy dramedy 'Magic Mike.' For this super-sized sequel we anticipate the return of not only Tatum's sensational hip swivels, but also his sexy co-stars Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez. Little is known about the plotline penned by Tatum and his producing partner Reid Carolin, but with a title like 'Magic Mike XXL,' we expect something bigger, bolder and bawdier in 2015!
On television, 'Inside Amy Schumer' (pictured above) has been delivering hysterical and subversive sketches about modern day womanhood, be it ridiculous dieting methods, gaming as a girl, or the art of taking a compliment. Now this fearless funny lady is taking her unique brand of humor to theaters with a rom-com that features a long list of noteworthy stars including Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Daniel Radcliffe, Ezra Miller, Bill Hader, Jon Cena, Method Man and LeBron James. Directed by Judd Apatow and fronted by Schumer, we predict this will be the funniest film of the year.
The truly, truly, truly outrageous rock star of the 1980s cartoon series 'Jem' is getting a live-action feature film. And the team behind the scenes gives us high hopes. Master micro-budget producer Jason Blum, 'Step Up 3D' helmer Jon M. Chu and Justin Bieber's music producer Scooter Braun have cast up-and-coming actresses and pulled from fan art inspirations to give Jem a fresh spin and a new audience, while pleasing her longtime fans. In Jem we trust.
The fourth and final installment of this groundbreaking and breathtaking franchise will finally hit this fall, providing the finale we've all been craving. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has survived the horrific Hunger Games, the nightmarish Quarter Quell and the traumatic mind games of the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Reunited with a deeply damaged Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), she will take on her most difficult challenge yet in this sure-to-be thrilling final chapter. May the odds be ever in her favor!
'50/50' director Jonathan Levine reunites co-stars Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (pictured above) for a holiday comedy that's sure to be warm-hearted and R-rated ridiculous. Alongside Anthony Mackie, Rogen and Gordon-Levitt play life-long friends setting out on Christmas Eve to find their way into New York City's Holy Grail of Christmas parties. The always-hilarious Rogen plus two of the most charismatic ingendudes in Hollywood? This will definitely be on our wish list for 2015.
After three sci-fi classics and three polarizing prequels, Disney is resurrecting the 'Star Wars' franchise with a fresh adventure that promises plenty of action, beloved characters and a stunning slew of stars. Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew and Mark Hamill will reprise their iconic roles, while Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie and Daisy Ridley give us new reason to look forward to this sequel. Make no mistake: This will be a serious contender for the year's biggest movie... possibly the decade's.