10 Most-Anticipated Movies of the First Half of 2013 (Jan – June)

Ok, Day 3 of 2013 hasn’t left yet where I live, but I’m already anticipating a slew of movies coming out later this year. To make the list more manageable though, I’m breaking it down to two parts. Here’s 10 that’s scheduled to be released (except for one that’s TBD) between January to June.



Zero Dark Thirty (Jan 13)

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong

Granted I wasn’t in love with The Hurt Locker like a lot of people did, but one thing I do appreciate is Kathryn Bigelow’s skills as a filmmaker. She’s one of the best directors out there that can direct dynamic action sequences and she’s got the cojones to tackle a controversial topic. This film reunites her with The Hurt Locker‘s screenwriter Mark Boal and boasts a great cast! I’m a fan of Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton, so yeah, I’m super curious to see this. Granted we likely won’t get a balanced viewpoint on this ripped-from-the-headlines story, but should be an intriguing piece nonetheless.


Dead Man Down (March 8)

In New York City, a crime lord’s right-hand man is seduced by one of his boss’s victims, a woman seeking retribution.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Starring: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard, Isabelle Huppert

Oplev is the director of the original Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now, even though that film is not my cup of tea, I’m quite intrigued by this story. The trailer looks pretty intense, albeit a bit too revelatory. We’ll see how violent it is though, I might just rent it if it’s too much for my nerves. I do like the cast, Rapace was impressive in Prometheus and Farrell and Cooper are two of the coolest Brit and Irish exports working today.

Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8)

A stage magician is hurled into a fantasy world, and must use his wits to stay ahead of three enchantresses who have plans for him.

Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Bruce Campbell

You’re probably surprised I put this here since I actually have not seen The Wizard of Oz (yep, that’s true). But I like Sam Raimi and the female cast looks pretty darn good. The trailer promises a visual spectacle, and the story reminds me a bit of Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, though probably less surreal than the Terry Gilliam’s movie. Anyway, it would’ve been awesome to see Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp who were at one time linked to this project though. But Raimi and Franco did work together before in the Spider-Man movies.


Oblivion (April 26)

One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

Director: Joseph Kosinki
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Another Tom Cruise movie in which he’s playing another character named Jack?? That’s what I thought when I saw the trailer but when it’s over, I actually found it intriguing. Visually it has an epic feel to it and everything with Morgan Freeman should be good, no? 🙂 It’s interesting to note that this was based on Radical Comics graphic novel that the TRON: Legacy director Kosinski himself wrote with Arvid Nelson. MTV had an interview with Kosinski on how the story came about for the graphic novel:

“I started writing this small character-driven science fiction story that was in the vein of those science fiction films of the 1970s that involved this lone survivor among the ruins of civilization, like ‘Mega Man’ or ‘Silent Running’ — it was kind of in that vein. I thought if it was going to be my first movie it would have to be something very small and contained in order to even get a chance at pulling it off. So it’s the story of a drill repair man, Jack Harper, who is one of the last human beings left on earth after a massive war, which was the result of an alien invasion. Even though humankind won the war, Earth was left in such a state that we had to look for another place to settle, and Jack is left behind to monitor and secure the resource gathering operation that’s happening where we’re gathering the last bit of energy out of the earth’s seawater in order to move onto the next step.”

Well, let’s hope it won’t disappoint like TRON: Legacy did!


The Great Gatsby (May 10)

Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby’s circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carrey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton

I’ve covered this one extensively exactly year ago, but the release was delayed significantly. I never got around to reading the book but I’m still excited for this. It’s been a while since I’m excited for a Leo DiCaprio movie, but he looks pretty good as the mad billionaire Jay Gatsby. He seems to have a believable chemistry with the lovely Carey Mulligan, and Tobey seems perfectly cast as the Midwesterner Nick Caraway who’s inexplicably drawn into the world of glitz, glamor and madness! I’m optimistic this would be more like Moulin Rouge! than Australia.

Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17)

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

Director: JJ Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana

It’s Sherlock terrorizing a whole star fleet, perhaps he can actually outwit Mr. Spock? 😉 Kidding aside, I think this looks awesome! Well I love the original and the charismatic cast is set to be on board again, yay! I know all the lads are all pining for the pretty blue-eyed Capt. Kirk but for me it’s all about Dr. McCoy (the gorgeous Karl Urban, natch!).



Much Ado About Nothing (June 7)

A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz

No trailer available that I could find (which is odd since the film has premiered at TIFF), but here’s a Toronto interview of Whedon with two of the major cast Nathan Fillion and Clark Gregg:

From a band of superheroes to Shakespeare? That Josh is one versatile dude! Apparently the movie adaptation took place at Joss Whedon’s residence, in Santa Monica, and was filmed entirely in black-and-white over 12 days. It currently has a pretty high Rotten Tomatoes rating so far. Curious to hear what fellow Marvel director Kenneth Branagh (Thor) thinks of this? 😉

Man of Steel (June 14)

An alien infant is raised on Earth, and grows up with superhuman abilities. He sets out to use these abilities to guard his adopted world.

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne

If there is ONLY one movie I could see in 2013, let it be this one! When I saw this full trailer during my vacation I literally went berserk! My undying love for the Kryptonian hero dated all the way back to when I was only 3 years old. I even had the Superman suit and everything. Yes, Superman Returns was rather disappointing, but that was a different era. It’s now Superman Begins, ehm, a collaboration between the DC-savior Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder. Of course I’ve got to mention one of my Brit crushes Henry Cavill, a man so gorgeous it’s out of this world 😉 I’m glad Snyder doesn’t make him look like some pretty boy though, he sure looks pretty darn rugged in and out of that bad ass new suit.

Nolan had a lot of positive things to say about Snyder. As quoted by THR, ““Zack was the perfect man to take this on,” Nolan says. “He is unbelievably skilled at creating a coherent, cohesive world — whether it’s a very stylized world, like 300, or something that’s more challenging, more varied, like he did with Watchmen.” He also praised how Snyder handled Man of Steel itself:

“In my honest appraisal, taking on Superman and creating that world is far more difficult than creating the world of the Dark Knight. He has a lot of finishing to do on the movie — it has a very long post-production schedule because, unlike Batman, Superman flies… I try to be as supportive as I can, and I’m just amazed by what he is doing. It’s not something I would know how to do.”

Of course Mr. Nolan is being modest. I think he very well could tackle Superman but hey, having him as the consultant on the project is a very good thing. I can hardly wait for this!!

Monsters University (June 21)

A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at the University of Fear — when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.

Director: Dan Scanlon
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

Mike Wazowski is one of my all time favorite Pixar characters so surely I’m excited for this! The latest promo clip is such a hoot, man I’d go to MU for sure if I could hang out with Mike and Sully! 🙂 Normally I’m not fond of sequels but I love the first movie so much and I trust that Pixar would come up with a pretty clever and fun story this time around.

Ok, this one hopefully would come out in the first half of the year, though kinda unlikely given how Terrence Malick likes to tinker with editing his movies 😀 Before I get to Knight of Cups, the one Malick movie that would sure hit theaters in April 12 in To The Wonder, starring Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko (who turns out to be the real lead). It premiered at TIFF and Ryan at The Matinee has the review here.

I might check that one out but I REALLY want to see this one:

Knight of Cups (TBD)

A story of a man, temptations, celebrity, and excess.

Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Imogen Poots, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas

The first time I heard about this one in 2011 when I posted about it along with another Malick’s project in the works. I read several reports recently and it sounds like this film is set against the backdrop of the movie business. I’m guessing Bale plays some sort of celebrity surrounded by beautiful women as his life spins out of control?? Of course that’s a wild guess without a real synopsis, trailer, nor even a poster! There are a boat load of on-set pics on Google though.

Check out some behind-the-scenes pics I found of Bale with a bunch of his female co-stars:


Man, that cast is just awesome isn’t it? I’m most excited to see Bale co-starring with Blanchett. It’s been far too long since I saw her on screen besides her brief appearance in The Hobbit. The plethora of actors sounds like a Woody Allen ensemble-cast movie, the movie also stars Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Teresa Palmer, Ryan O’Neal, Jason Clarke, Joel Kinnaman and Shea Whigham. I hope this one gets a release date real soon, come on Mr. Malick, get crackin’ 😀

Honorable Mentions:

  • Welcome to The Punch
  • Gangster Squad
  • Broken City
  • Stoker
  • Olympus Has Fallen
  • Trance
  • Iron Man 3

Well, that’s just what I’m looking forward to in the next six months. Which one(s) are you most excited about?

59 thoughts on “10 Most-Anticipated Movies of the First Half of 2013 (Jan – June)

  1. Great list Ruth – I still have a boatload of 2012 films to catch up on also!!!
    As for 2013, “Man of Steel” is a bubble flick for me, as is “Oz.” I am curious about them though. I am trying to catch “Zero Dark Thirty” tomorrow on my way home from work.

      1. It did not ultimately make my must see for 2013. I thought about adding them to my list, but they didn’t make the cut :(.

        RE: ZDT – I already bought my ticket. Catching it the 6:00 show!

  2. Ted S.

    I wasn’t that interest in seeing Zero Dark Thirty since we pretty much know the ending but after seeing the trailers and of course the excellent reviews, I’ll give it a rent.

    That Dead Man Down trailer was probably the worst trailer I’ve seen in a long time, awful editing, music and yes gave away too much of the plot. The plot of the movie sounds very interesting but wow that trailer was atrocious.

    I’ll be seeing Oblivion for sure since it will be shown on IMAX, it still reminds me too much of Wall-E mix in with Solaris and Enemy Mine. Hopefully the actual film won’t be anything like those films I mentioned. Man of Steel and Star Trek 2 are also will be on IMAX so of course I’m there too.

    1. Ahah, yeah it was too busy and too much going on in that trailer, but I quite like the premise, so I guess I’ll file that under ‘promising.’ Usually a European director makes for an intriguing action film, like Headhunters, which you really should check out Ted.

      I don’t know if I’ll see Oblivion in IMAX but Man of Steel for sure. Man, the idea of seeing Henry, er I mean Superman fly in those giant screen… [sigh] 😀

      1. Ted S.

        I want to see Headhunters since the American remake is coming out soon, but I can’t seem to find it on BD to rent, might just watch on DVD. I always want to see the original first before the remake since most remakes aren’t as good as the original.

        I like this director’s first version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but I prefer David Fincher’s version. This one looks promising but I just can’t stand that trailer, it tried too hard to look edgy and cool. Hopefully the actual film will be good.

        1. Headhunters is available on iTunes I think. Yeah, I doubt the remake would be as good.

          Well bad trailers could mean good movie 😀 I’ll be posting your trailer post next week btw.

  3. Been waiting in Zero Dark Thirty for a long time. Since its considered a 2012 movie, its the last one I need to see to wrap up the year. Several other goodies on your list as well!!!

    1. Yeah, lots of people who live in NY or LA probably have seen Zero Dark Thirty but it hasn’t opened yet in MN so I consider that a 2013 movie. Which other one are you anticipating most Keith?

      1. There are alot more than I expected. I’m putting together a top 10 and realized that I had a several more movies I’m anxious for than I expected. Man of Steel, Oblivion, Iron Man 3…so much good stuff on the way. Well, potentially good stuff!

        1. Cool, curious to see your list. Nice to see Man of Steel and Oblivion would make your list. I like Iron Man but not super excited to see yet another sequel of it.

          1. Oh but Guy Pearce enters the picture! Cant wait to see what he adds. There are several really intriguing smaller films that are hitting screens in 2013 as well. Could be a really good year. Fingers are crossed.

  4. Nada for February? haha.
    Tron: Legacy, disappointing? No way! 😀
    I love the fact that if there is only 1 movie you could see in 2013, it’d be a superhero movie!
    Man, anything with the name “Malick” attached to it really makes me hesitate after the dreadfully slow and artsy “Tree of Life.”

    I haven’t finished considering all that I am looking forward to in 2013 yet, but you present some solid choices!

    1. I know! And it’s my birthday month 😦 I’ve searched and searched and there was really nothing I’m excited about for that month. Well Superman is the ULTIMATE superhero movie and the fact that it stars Henry Cavill pushes that to the top, naturally 😀

      Ahah, I sure hope with Bale + Blanchett it wouldn’t be as boring. I kind of like the premise of the film industry.

  5. Excellent list. Share your excitement for The Great Gatsby, Trek and Much Ado. Trek’s one of my most anticipated films of the year I think. Really looking forward to Much Ado. Looking at what Joss did with Dr. Horrible in such a small amount of time and the cast of Much Ado – Alexis Denisof is one of my favourites! Can’t wait.

    1. Yeah, Dr. Horrible was such a hoot! I don’t know the tone of Much Ado as there’s no trailer around, but I expect some dry wit in there somewhere. Nice to see some of the cast of Firefly in it, too bad no Alan Tudyk!!

    1. Sounds good Mark! As you can see, I didn’t put GB’s next movie on here even though he’s got one out in April. I did put it in Honorable Mentions though.

        1. Yep. But who knows he might wow me again in the future, we shall see Mark. But I do still have a soft spot for the Scots and Scotland 😀

          1. That’s good to hear. 🙂
            By the way, I just heard from a friend yesterday that Bobby Carlyle has packed his bags. He’s moved to Canada, presumably to finish filming Once Upon A Time. Apparently he coming back though, just to do an interview with me 😉

            1. Oooh so you actually did ask him for an interview and he said yes?? If so congrats, that is massively awesome!! Can’t wait to read that interview!! I suppose that makes sense he’s moving near the filming locations, he really is the best thing about that show, who knows that might lead to him getting his own show!

              1. Haha! No I didn’t ask him. Just kidding. I will ask him though at some point.

                Yeah, I think it was too difficult for him to keep on the show when he was away from his family so often. They have all moved out there.

                1. Man I really fell for that didn’t I? 😀 You really should ask him, Mark!

                  I think British Columbia is a lovely place anyway, I’m sure he’d love it there.

    1. Not enthused with 2013 offerings? Hmmm, that’s interesting Terry. Well maybe as time goes on you find at least a few you can’t wait for. I do still have a lot of 2012 stuff to catch up on as well.

    1. Hello Jeff! I agree some trailers these days just don’t know how to give us suspense! Glad there are some here you like.

      Thanks for the award, I’ve put a comment on your post. You’re so kind!

  6. Pingback: Anticipating the Top 12 Most-Disappointing Movies of 2013 -Part 1 « The Focused Filmographer

  7. Much Ado About Nothing! Woo! I keep forgetting about that movie, but I’m so excited to see Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof together again. I’m also so ready to see Star Trek Into Darkness after seeing the first teaser. This looks to be another great year. I’m also hoping that Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity gets released in 2013 after being pushed back this year.

    1. Lots of Whedon faves on Much Ado, I’m sure his fans are thrilled! Oh yeah, I’m curious about Gravity as well but I think that’ll be out in the latter half of the year. I think my list would be double for July-December!

  8. The one with the Farrel and Rapace looks pretty cool, that’s kinda intense pairing I bet this will have wild chemistry 😛 I’m looking forward to The Wolf of Wall Street (Jean!), Twelve Years a Slave (Fassy!) and Pacific Rim (Idris!) the most 😛

    1. Yeah, even from the trailer it looked like the two have a nice chemistry, gotta be better than Farrell with Jessica Biel, ahah. What?? Jean Dujardin is in Wolf of Wall Street??? Awesome! Those three you mention might end up in my Part II, there are tons more to anticipate in the latter half of 2013!

      1. Yeah, he was on the set for few days shooting his scenes, he was wearing a suit and everything 😀 Jonah Hill tweeted that he was awesome, they had scenes together + Dicaprio was there too, I bet this will be fun 🙂

        1. I think I saw some of those pics, I think having Jean there made me anticipate the film more. That Jonah Hill sure has moved up the ladder fast, now he’s working with Scorsese!

  9. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Looking forward to Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing . Just to see how it compares to Brannagh’s masterpiece. Also for Amy Acker, who does “crazy” so well. Though does drama quite nicely, too. Looking forward to her Beatrice. Plus Nathan Fillion as Dogberry ought to be a hoot! Jilllian Morgese as Hero looks interesting. As does Topher from Dollhouse as Claudio.

    Still would rather watch a marathon of the old CBS, Mamet influenced The Unit than Zero Dark Thirty .

    1. Hello Jack! Yeah, I’m curious to see how Whedon’s interpretation of Shakespeare. Since he and Branagh are both Marvel directors now, I wonder if he’d invite Branagh to see it, ahah. I’m not familiar with Amy Acker nor Jilliam Morgese, but then again I didn’t watch Buffy or all of Firefly episodes.

      I didn’t know The Unit was influenced by Mamet, very interesting!

  10. I posted a writeup of Zero Dark Thirty recently as Jennifer Ehle of P&P just had a birthday recently is in this film I think I would rent it only because I find it hard to concentrate on the story in theatres and I can rewind. I have so many to catch up with and with the holidays and new year I have been busy and will be for some time with the 200th Anniversary of Sense and Sensibility for the Jane Austen Centre. BTW a belated Happy Holidays and New Year if you didn’t catch my well wishes on twitter 🙂

    1. Oooh it’s the 200th Anniversary of Sense and Sensibility for the Jane Austen Centre? Man what I would give to be able to transport myself over there! You’re right some films are better to be watched at home as you can rewind if you miss something.

  11. You know which one really grabbed my attention is March’s “Place Beyond the Pines”. Just saw the full trailer on the big screen for the first time, and wow. It was really pretty intriguing. I have high hopes for that one.

    On these, I hope Gatsby pulls it off, and… as you well know, I have my reservations about Superman. I hope its awesome. I really do. But… I havent seen a glimpse of it yet.

    1. Awww, I really hope Man of Steel proves you wrong Fogs! Sorry but ‘Place Beyond the Pines’ didn’t even really enter my radar but hopefully that one lives up to your expectations! 😀

  12. I’m excited to finally see Zero Dark Thirty, but I haven’t put much thought into anything beyond that. The next couple months look rough. Hopefully there are a couple decent films in there, a la The Grey and Haywire from last year.

    1. So you’ve seen ZDT already? I suppose that one has opened in limited released, though never in MN 😦 I actually haven’t seen The Grey but Haywire was pretty good.

      1. ZDT hasn’t made it to Michigan yet either, I’m a little bummed out about that. That is probably the top of my most-anticipated list, then Superman, Great Gatsby, and Star Trek. Thanks for the heads-up on Knight of Cups, I knew nothing about it and it does look interesting.

        1. I think us in the Upper Midwest are always left out aren’t we? 😦 Hey, glad to be the one letting you know about Knight of Cups Paula, the cast alone is enough to entice me! 😀

      2. Nope, I haven’t seen ZDT yet. Don’t think it has opened anywhere around here except for maybe an advanced screening or two. It’s one of the last remaining 2012 films I need to see.

  13. Dead Man Down looked like a copy of the girl with the dragon tatoo to me, but that may be due to how the trailer was put together. Hopefully the film itself is more unique than that. And considering Amy is one of the leads for Much Ado about nothing, obviously i will have to check it out 😉

    Not really excited for Knight of Cups, mainly due to my generally lukewarm feelings towards Malicks work. Speaking of Bale, one of my younger nieces is now obsessed with him after seeing the Nolans batman trilogy at my house.

    1. I think it was just the case of a bad trailer. I’m still excited about Malick’s work mainly because of the premise and cast, I mean Bale and Blanchett are two of my all time faves.

      Ahah, interesting how the Batman trilogy still win over new fans, I’m sure Bale has a lot more younger fans now.

  14. Interesting picks, Ruth. Not sure how some of these will turn out, but I want to see every one of them. And I can’t believe I left Malick’s films off my list!

    1. Did I miss your most-anticipated list? Yeah that Malick’s film sounds good isn’t it? He’s also working on another one with Bale as well.

  15. I need Cate Blanchett to be back on the screens more often so I’m all in for that. I hope she has a significant role, though. I feel like I’ve not seen her forever (The Hobbit aside).

    1. I desperately want to see Blanchett back on screen! I was ecstatic to see her in The Hobbit but far too brief. I think she’s going to be in Monumental Men with Clooney too, hopefully it’ll get released this year as well.

  16. Hadn’t heard of Dead Man Down, sounds interesting! Glad to see Trance and Welcome to the Punch get a mention. Looking forward to those a lot!

  17. Pingback: Trailer Spotlight: Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight of Cups’ starring Christian Bale |

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