28 films to look forward to in 2012

Happy new year and welcome to 2012! At last, we’ve gotten rid of that pesky little ‘two thousand’ which will inevitably save days of our lives, we’re able to put the events of the last twelve months behind us and and we can now look forward to everything that this new year has to offer. So, let’s take a quick glance at what 2012 has to showcase in the world of cinema:


28. A Place Beyond The Pines

  • Cast: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta
  • Director: Derek Cianfrance
  • Release: TBC

Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling take their People Magazine battle for Sexiest Man Alive to the big screen in A Place Beyond The Pines. The story of a motorcycle stunt rider who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, it’s going to be the ultimate sex god showdown, melting the hearts of males and females alike as they go head to head. Oh, and its directed by that bloke who made Blue Valentine. That’s a reason to see it too.


27. Great Expectations

  • Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane and Sally Hawkins
  • Director: Mike Newell
  • Release: TBC
Charles Dickins’ classic novel is being adapted to screen once again, this time from the excellent One Day novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls, the used-to-be-excellent-in-the-90s director Mike Newell and a plethora of Harry Potter alumni. With such big names attached to the project this should be one of the better versions of this story and a film for which you should have… wait for it… great expectations. *ducks from tomatoes*

26. Gambit

  • Cast: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman and Stanley Tucci
  • Director: Michael Hoffman
  • Release: 14th September 2012

Before you even think it, no, Gambit is not another X-Men spinoff, it is instead a crime-caper written by the Coen Brothers, hallowed be thy names. Bizarrely, it’s one of the few movies that the Coens aren’t also directing as they hand the duties over to The Last Station filmmaker Michael Hoffman. Regardless, if their names are attached to the project in even the slightest way, I’ll be in my cinema seat faster than you can say “You know Cameron Diaz is in this, right?”


25. World War Z

  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse and James Badge Dale
  • Director: Mark Forster
  • Release: 21st December 2012

The novel by Max Brooks on which this film is based provided a look at a zombie apocalypse in an inventive fashion. It was written in the style of a non-fiction compilation of people’s recollections of the event as opposed to a linear narrative. If the movie can pull this off – think Waltz With Bashir with zombies – it’s bound to be an interesting piece of cinema. Lets just have a few less machine gun toting priests this time, eh, Forster?


24. Seven Psychopaths

  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Gabourey Sibide, Abi Cornish and… Tom fuckin’ Waits!
  • Director: Martin McDonagh
  • Release: TBC
The director of In Bruges is back and, once again, he’s unleashing a provocatively dark comedy upon us. The story of a screenwriter who gets swept into his friend’s dog kidnapping plot, Seven Psychopaths already sounds like a mini slice of awesome. Plus, if Tom Waits is to be one of the said psychopaths, it’s guaranteed to kick some ass.

23. Nero Fiddled

  • Cast: Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig and Roberto Benigni
  • Director: Woody Allen
  • Release: October 2012

Having returned to form for what feels like the 18374th time with Midnight in Paris this year it’ll be interesting to see if Woody Allen can actually maintain his spree. But while he may be the most unreliable filmmaker in the world, the promise of Allen acting for the first time in many years gives any fan like myself the hope of greatness. Just, please God, don’t let us have a disappointment of this magnitude again.


22. Brave

  • Cast: Emma Thompson, Kelly MacDonald, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly and Julie Walters
  • Director: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
  • Release: 17th August 2012

After several months spent in a bitter state of disbelief following that car related sequel that shall not be named here, I have made my peace with Pixar. So, I’m looking ahead to their newest release hoping they’ll pull something inventive, creative and beautiful out of the bag once again for this mythical adventure, much like they have done almost consistently for the last 25 years.


21. The Great Gatsby

  • Cast: Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton
  • Director: Baz Luhrmaan
  • Release: 26th December 2012

In attempt to regain any and all credibility after the shockingly bad Australia, Baz Luhrmaan takes on The Great Gatsby in 2012. He’s a man who always manages to put a creative spin on an adaptation, so it should be interesting to see what he does with F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.


20. Lincoln

  • Cast: Everyone. No, I’m serious. Look.
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Release: December

Daniel Day Lewis. Enough said, right? But while he’s bound to be the highlight here – and a good early tip for the 2012 Best Actor winner at the Oscars – its $100 million budget, Steven Spielberg direction and massive ensemble surrounding Day Lewis make this Abraham Lincoln biopic an event picture not to miss.


19. Gangster Squad

  • Cast: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie and Giovanni Ribisi
  • Director: Ruben Fleischer
  • Release: 9th November 2012

There’s a tug of war going on with The Gangster Squad. On one side is my belief that its going to be a terrific piece of cinema, backed up by its 1930s crime noir story and the incredible cast. On the other is my doubt that stems from its bizarre choice of director – the man behind 30 Minutes Or Less and Zombieland – and writer of the trashy ABC drama Castle. If the former turns out to be true, however, The Gangster Squad will surely be a movie worth your hard earned cash.


18. Looper

  • Cast: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt and Jeff Daniels
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Release: 28th September 2012

A time travelling organised crime film about a hit man who must kill his future self? And what’s that? It reunites the director of Brick with actor Joseph Gordon Levitt? Yep, see you there.


17. Argo

  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin
  • Director: Ben Affleck
  • Release: 5th October 2012

Based on an incredible true story, Ben Affleck’s third effort behind the camera sees him adapt the story of the CIA’s attempts to rescue 6 US hostages by staging the filming of a science fiction movie. He’s found his true calling behind the camera with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, but Argo promises to add a new layer of dark comedy to Affleck’s gritty crime drama style. If he can pull it off, who knows, it might just be his best film yet.


16. Cosmopolis

  • Cast: Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Juliette Binoche, Mathew Amalric and Jay Baruchel
  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Release: TBC

David Cronenberg’s adaptation of this Don DeLillo novel is almost guaranteed to be excellent. The director rarely takes a misstep (let’s just not talk about A Dangerous Method, mmmkay?) and it sounds like a concept that’s right up his street. Cosmopolis would be one to see opening night if it weren’t for the fact that Robert Pattinson stars, so you’ll probably want to go during school hours to avoid his legions of teenage leeches.


15. Untitled Bin Ladin Mission Movie

  • Cast: Unknown
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Release: Late December

Timely with a capital T, the Oscar winning pair behind The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, unite once again to tell the story of Bin Laden’s killing. There’s little known about the project at this time – the last we heard Jason Clarke was rumoured to star with Idris Elba and Tom Hardy also being eyed for roles – but it’s guaranteed to be another nail-bitting thriller from the team. Even if we all know the ending.


14. Skyfall

  • Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw
  • Director: Sam Mendes
  • Release: 26th October 2012

For the first time ever, when the prospect of a new James Bond movie was announced I didn’t meet the news with a long groan of disgust. After all, Skyfall is gearing up to be far more than just another slice of the 007 franchise. With Sam Mendes behind the camera alongside his acclaimed crew – ROGER DEAKINS AS CINEMATOGRAPHER *implodes* – there’s a strong chance that the British secret agent will be at the front and centre of the year’s most exciting action flick. Plus, it’s got Voldemort and Anton Chigurh as villains. Good luck with that, Bond.


13. Life Of Pi

  • Cast: Tobey Maguire
  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Release: 21st December 2012
Pretending that The Hulk never existed, Ang Lee is one of the finest directors in the world. Brokeback Mountain and Lust Caution are both, to my mind, some of the best films of the last decade. It’s with excitement, therefore, that I await his adaptation of this lovely novel about a boy who is shipwrecked on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

12. The Grandmasters

  • Cast: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang and Chen Chang
  • Director: Wong Kar Wai
  • Release: TBC

There are few things that interest me less than kung-fu movies. Sure, there are a few notable exceptions – holla at your boy, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – but generally I find it to be one of the dullest genres of cinema. However, The Grandmasters is a project I have been following closely for one reason: Wong Kar Wai. If there’s anyone in the world with the ability to turn an otherwise tiresome genre on its head, it’s the Chungking Express and In The Mood For Love director.


11. Prometheus

  • Cast: Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Noomi Rapace
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Release: June 1st 2012

I’d make a strong argument that Ridley Scott is the single most overrated living filmmaker in the world. The last time he made a good film was back in the 1980s with Blade Runner – and yes that is counting the stunningly dull Gladiator. However, Scott might actually turn things around with Prometheus, a sort-of-prequel, sort-of-spin-off, no-one-really-knows-what-to-call-it extension of his 1979 masterpiece Alien. Oh, and it’s got Michael Fassbender with bleached blonde hair. That’s always a win.


10. Only God Forgives

  • Cast: Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas
  • Director: Nicholas Winding Refn
  • Release: TBC
That one with the face of God and that one with the face of a thumb collaborate for the second time after their success this year with Drive. Only God Forgives takes them to Thailand for a crime drama about two brothers on the run from the police who manage a drug smuggling trade out of a boxing club. It’s going to be fast, violent and stylish, but what excites me most is what Kristen Scott Thomas has in store for us. It’s hinted she will play a ruthless crime boss and I for one can’t wait to see what such a talented actress does in such unfamiliar territory.

09. The Dark Knight Rises

  • Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cottilard and Anne Hathaway.
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Release: 144 days. Not that I’m counting or anything.

It’s The Dark Knight Rises. I don’t need to say any more, right?


08. The Master

  • Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Laura Dern
  • Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Release: Late 2012

There are few directors in the world with a flawless catalogue of films that span over two decades. Even the greatest filmmakers have had their bad days from Alfred Hitchcock to Quentin Tarantino. But not only is Paul Thomas Anderson’s filmography entirely free of stains, every single effort is worthy of being called a masterpiece. It’s with confidence, therefore, that I say his 50s set drama about a religious leader, The Master, will be one of the finest films of 2012.


07. On The Road

  • Cast: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortenson, Steve Buschemi and Amy Adams
  • Director: Walter Salles
  • Release: VERY SOON, PLEASE

The words of Jack Keroac’s classic beat generation novel, the direction of Mexican auteur Walter Salles and a cast of this caliber are all a match made in heaven. Those of us who have waited eagerly for this adaptation of On The Road are sure to be in for a real treat when it finally reaches the big screen.


06. Moonrise Kingdom

  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Harvey Keitel
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Release:  Summer 2012

It’s Wes Anderson. Wes fucking Anderson. And if he can recreate a moment as equally beautiful as this, we’ll be looking at a masterpiece right here.


05. Django Unchained

  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Samuel L Jackson, Sacha Baron Cohen and Chrisoph Waltz
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Release: 26th December 2012

Apparently the director is a bit good.


04. Gravity

  • Cast: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
  • Director: Alfonso Cuaron
  • Release: Late 2012

Early buzz surrounding this Alfonso Cuaron project has already seen words like ‘revolutionary’ and ‘bravura’ thrown about while drawing comparisons to Stanley Kubrick. All we know at the moment is that it’s a 3D science fiction story set in space focussing solely on Bullock and Clooney, but it sounds like the Children Of Men director really has something wonderful up his sleeve.


03. The Wettest County

  • Cast: Shia LaBoeuf, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman
  • Director: John Hillcoat
  • Release: May 4th 2012

Take the writing of musician Nick Cave. Add the direction of John Hillcoat, a long-time friend of Cave’s and partner on the excellent The Proposition. Sprinkle it with a score written by the acclaimed songwriter and his bandmate Warren Ellis. Then, season it with a cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. What you have just made is my wet dream.


02. Untitled Terrence Malick Movie

  • Cast: Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Jessica Chastain and Rachel Weisz
  • Director: Terrence Malick
  • Release: God only knows. It could be anything between 5 months and 5 years knowing T-Mal.

Get ready for some more philosophical whispering, sunset tinted scenery and nature fondling. The greatest living filmmaker in the world, Terrence Malick, breaks his rule of waiting half a decade to begin working on a new film and apparently is going to have this as of yet untitled project out in 2012! Note the word “apparently” there, guys. After all, I had The Tree Of Life on this same list back in 2011, 2010 and 2009. But if it does reach the big screen, his flawless track record suggests another masterpiece is on our hands.


01. Cogan’s Trade

  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, Richard Jenkins and Garrett Dilahunt
  • Director: Andrew Dominik
  • Release: TBC

In case you didn’t know, The Assassination Of Jesse James is the greatest film in the history of cinema. Some pesky conspiract theorists have speculated otherwise, saying The Godfather, Citizen Kane and Casablanca, but let it be known that they’re entirely incorrect. 4 years after the coming of said divinity, Andrew Dominik has finally been able to get his next effort, Cogan’s Trade,
off the ground. If the crime drama, the story of a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game, recreates even a fraction of Jesse James’ greatness, well, my head might just explode.



P.S. Yes, I do remember that The Hobbit, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Hunger Games are all out next year too. But they’re probably going to be shit.

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Daniel Sarath

Daniel Sarath

Daniel is a 23 year old award nominated journalism graduate who has been writing film news and reviews online for the last four years. His work can be seen at Yahoo, Screen Invasion and HeyUGuys.