Published: 10:20, 08 January 2015
My Movie Year Ahead with Mike Shaw
This year is looking sharp. However, the risk of putting something on this list that looks great but winds up being toilet remains real. Nonetheless, I’m putting my hard-earned professional reputation on the line with this most-anticipated films of 2015 list.
1 The Hateful Eight
Release date: December (TBC)
Until he produces an outright dud, I’m always going to be excited about any new Quentin Tarantino film. This Western promises to be bloody, outrageous and packed with brilliant performances.
2 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release date: April 24
As I said a few weeks ago, sometimes you have to put an artist’s horrible politics aside and judge their work in isolation. Such is the case with Joss Whedon’s sequel to The Avengers sequel. It’s being billed as a darker, heavier film than the first, and jettisoning some of the unnecessary comedy – sounds great to me.
Release date: October 23
The 24th James Bond film almost didn’t make the list. Skyfall didn’t reach the heights it was capable of, while Quantum of Solace was flat-out terrible, but as a nation we have to believe that 007 can be great again. As long as Daniel Craig is around, the spirit of Casino Royale lives on. Sam Mendes is directing, and when he gets it right, he’s very, very good.
Release date: May 22
Brad Bird directed one of the greatest action films ever (The Incredibles – yes, seriously) and I can’t wait to see what he does on this huge budget Disney sci-fi-adventure. Not much is known about the film other than it involves the bending of time and reality. Track down the teaser trailer on YouTube and get excited.
5 The Martian
Release date: November 27
Ridley Scott has adapted the Andy Weir book in which an American astronaut is stranded on Mars and must find a way to survive. It stars Matt Damon and sounds like a cross between Moon and Castaway, and exactly the kind of thing that will win piles of awards.
6 Jurassic World
Release date: June 12
Set 22 years after the first film, there is now a fully-functioning dinosaur theme park called Jurassic World. However, in a bid to kickstart dwindling visitor rates, a new attraction is created and everything goes wrong. There is a rumour of human-dino hybrids, which is utterly ridiculous and makes me want to skip the film, but then I hear John Williams’ gorgeous score and turn into a 12-year-old boy again.
7 Mad Max: Fury Road
Release date: May 15
Original director George Miller is back for this new take on Mad Max, and even though his last two films were kids movies, the appearances of Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron combined with the ridiculous trailer means I have faith.
Release date: March 6
Neill Blomkamp has promised Chappie is a return to the kind of work he did in District 9, and the footage released so far bears that out. It looks like a sweary, violent, South African remake of Short Circuit.
9 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Release date: November 20
The final part of Suzanne Collins’ novels is already guaranteed to be one of the most successful films of the year, but will it be one of the best? All the instalments so far have been excellent, so chances are good.
10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Release date: December 19
You’re not going to find a single list like this anywhere that does not include this film – alright, maybe a pretentious hipster website will deliberately ignore it, but you just know the writer will have a Boba Fett tattoo. I have no idea whether The Force Awakens is going to be good or bad, but come December 19, I’m going to be as giddy as a schoolgirl who has eaten eight packs of Lovehearts.