Let’s be honest, 2010 was filled with mediocre blockbusters and lackluster remakes. For the most part the summer was dull with the exception of Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending Inception, while the fall was filled with critical favorites like Black Swan and The Fighter. Next year people will be hungrier than ever for good, pure entertainment therefore we’ve put together a list of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2011. Check and see if your upcoming favorite made the cut…
10. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
At first glance Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol evokes a nonchalant “meh” response but once Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, and Paula Patton joined the cast the film quickly hit our radar. Not only will Ghost Protocol be Holloway’s first feature gig since the cancellation of “Lost” but it also marks the introduction of Renner’s character, who’ll be Cruise’s successor to the franchise. MI:4 will be the actor’s swan song and if anything we’ve gotta to tune in to see how it all ends.
9. Scream 4
We haven’t seen Ghostface slice and dice anyone since 2000′s Scream 3, and after an 11 year hiatus he’s baaack! Scream 4 will reintroduce the three survivors from the original trilogy and have them join forces with Jill, Sidney’s cousin and Ghostface’s newest target. Like Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, it will be a passing of the torch from the originator to the new kid on the block. After 15 years Sidney’s luck may have finally run out. Will she meet her demise? Inquiring minds want to know.
- Release Date: April 15, 2011
- Director: Wes Craven
- Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts
8. Transformers Dark of the Moon
Transformers Dark of the Moon has a lot of weight on its shoulders. Not because it’s the final installment in Michael Bay’s trilogy, but because it has to make up for the travesty that was Revenge of the Fallen. The first teaser trailer was recently released and it looks like the sequel will tackle one of the most important events of the last century — the moon landing. When you take that into consideration along with the addition of model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (can she really act?), and Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey, you’ve got our attention.
7. Cars 2
After the success of Toy Story 3, the next Pixar sequel headed our way is Cars 2. This time instead of centering on a race in a small town Lightning McQueen and his best bud Mater are going international! The follow up has the duo traveling all over the world where they find themselves mixed up in spy intrigue James Bond style. With new characters named Finn McMissle and Holly Shiftwell what’s not to love?
- Release Date: June 24, 2011
- Directors: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
- Stars: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine
6. Super 8
Super 8 is to 2011 what Inception was to 2010. JJ Abrams has been extremely secretive about the project and thanks to an allusive trailer that showed us absolutely nothing we’re ready to see what all the hype’s about. Super 8 is supposed to center on the transportation of a “package” from Area 51 to another top secret location, but unfortunately it never makes it to its destination. Instead it arrives in a small town called Lillian, which puts the locals in a whole heap of danger. We have no idea what the package is or what it looks like. So in the words of Brad Pitt from David Fincher’s Seven we want to know, “What’s in the box?!”
- Release Date: June 10, 2011
- Director: JJ Abrams
- Stars: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Noah Emmerich
5. The Green Lantern
The Green Lantern is a hot and cold issue with us. On one hand, we’re exited to see the origin story of Hal Jordan told on the big screen but on another we’re worried about some of the casting choices (Blake Lively) and the special effects (did you see the suit in the trailer?). We’re really interested to see how Martin Campbell will pull off the intergalactic elements from the comic. If he can make this introduction nearly as entertaining as Casino Royale he might have another successful franchise on his hands.
- Release Date: June 17, 2011
- Director: Martin Campbell
- Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard, Blake Lively
4. Captain America: The First Avenger
You might be wondering why Captain America made this list but Thor didn’t. First off, it will be the final Marvel film that’s released before the The Avengers, and secondly it will feature Chris Evans trying to shake his Johnny Storm (from the Fantastic Four) persona to become Steve Rogers. Not only is Rogers the first member of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Avengers team, he’s also their leader and we really want to see if Evans has what it takes to play the character. If he bombs, The Avengers will be screwed.
3. The Hangover Part II
How will Todd Phillips top The Hangover? The premise of the first film was simple but had enough hijinks and random cameos to keep it interesting. In order to step things up for the sequel, they’ve gone from Vegas to Thailand, added Liam Neeson and even Bill Clinton. There’s a lot of pressure on the cast and crew for the film to do well and to be just as, if not funnier than the original. People are anxious to see what trouble these guys can get into that will top its predecessor.
- Release Date: May 26, 2011
- Director: Todd Phillips
- Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha
2. Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides
Jack’s back and he’s brought some new friends. Disney is trying to milk the Pirates franchise for everything its worth, therefore they’ve produced On Stranger Tides which centers on the legend of the Fountain of Youth. The sequel drops Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and picks up Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz. Will these two be Jack’s new swashbuckling buddies for the foreseeable future? We’ll have to watch and find out.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II will mark the end of an era. We’ve spent over 10 years watching Harry, Hermione, and Ron grow from precocious kids to capable young adults and now it’s time to say goodbye. Not only will the film conclude with the ultimate battle of good versus evil but we’ll finally get a serious relationship out of Ron and Hermione! Talk about a slow build. Potter is one of the longest running, and most successful franchises in film history therefore, did you really think anyone else would make the top of this list? What did you expect? The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn?
- Release Date: July 15, 2011
- Director: David Yates
- Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
- Contagion – Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble about the outbreak of a deadly virus that stars a slew of Oscar winners including Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Marion Cotillard.
- The Muppets - The Muppets return to the big screen with new faces (Jason Segel, Amy Adams) and a new puppet named Walter.
- Cowboys and Aliens - Jon Favreau’s sci-fi comic adventure with Daniel Craig as a gunslinger who leads a small town to revolt against alien invaders.
- Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn: Part I – This is the beginning of the end of the franchise that starts off with Edward and Bella getting married, hitting the sheets, and having a kid.
- Source Code - The sophomore film from acclaimed director Duncan Jones that centers on Jake Gyllenhaal as a pilot stuck in a time travel loop from hell.
What do you think of our top 10 picks for the new year? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments!