2014 was a great year for movies, but — if anything — 2015 looks to be even better. If you’re fretting over which films to build your year around, look no further: Cult of Mac has you covered.
From sci-fi epics from the brains behind The Matrix, to the next instalment in the James Bond franchise, to, yes, the next Star Wars movie, here are the flicks you’ll want to check out this year.
Jupiter Ascending (Feb 6)
The Wachowskis return to science fiction for the first time since The Matrix trilogy wrapped up. We’ll forgive the quality of those dismal second and third part if they can get close to capturing the paradigm-shattering awesomeness of the original.
Furious 7 (April 3)
Seven movies in and still showing no sign of running out of gas, the latest Fast & Furious movie will be the last to feature actor Paul Walker, who tragically died during the time the movie was being shot. Odd number Fast & Furious movies often end up being the most fun for some reason, so we’re psyched to see this.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)
The first Avengers movie was a bit like the Ocean’s 11 of superhero flicks: taking everyone’s favorite heroes and jamming them together into a blockbuster epic that couldn’t help but bring a smile to your face. Age of Ultron doesn’t have the uniqueness of the original working in its favor, but Marvel has always been good at varying up its own formula to keep things fresh.
And with newbies Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) joining in, this movie is set to be packed with more superbeings than ever.
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)
The fourth movie in the Mad Max franchise, Fury Road has a troubled production history going back 25 years. The fact that we’re getting it at all is tremendous. The fact that it looks so great with actor Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson in the starring role is a New Year’s miracle.
Tomorrowland (May 22)
Details about Tomorrowland are pretty thin on the ground, but it’s about a teenage girl and a grizzled inventor, and was originally called 1952 before being retitled. A movie named after a theme park element normally wouldn’t be something to get excited about, but Disney has proven everyone wrong before in this area with a little franchise called Pirates of the Caribbean.
Oh, and it’s set to be directed by Brad Bird, who has an almost unimpeachable record.
Jurassic World (June 12)
Set to wipe away the best taste of Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World picks up the story years later, with everyone’s favorite dino-centered theme park having been made a reality. The trailer is suspiciously close to the original’s, and there’s no Michael Crichton around to guide the plot this time, but I have faith that this could take the idea that made the first Jurassic Park so compelling, and turn it up to eleven.
Inside Out (June 19)
It’s Pixar’s first original movie in three years. What more do you need to know?
Terminator: Genisys (July 1)
File this one under “Optimistically Cautious.” I can’t stress enough how much I love the first two Terminator movies, to the point where I forced myself to rewatch Terminator 3 until I could semi-convincingly argue it was a worthy sequel. Then it all went downhill. Terminator: Genisys is a soft reset on the franchise, as Kyle Reese is sent back through time once more — only to find that the past isn’t quite what he thought it was.
Will it be a fresh beginning, or is it the dying gasps of a series looking to compress the best bits of the franchise’s other entries into one movie? We’ll find out in six months’ time. Either way, we get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger portray his iconic screen role one more time.
Ant-Man (July 17)
It’s no longer going to be directed by Edgar Wright, but Ant-Man still has the opportunity to be this year’s leftfield superhero hit. 2015’s answer to Guardians of the Galaxy? We hope so.
The Fantastic Four (Aug 7)
The last Fantastic Four series was a major disappointment, despite what looked at the time to be some perfect casting. With 20th Century Fox rebooting the franchise from scratch, there’s another shot at finally giving Marvel’s first superhero family a movie worthy of their name.
With rumors that the movie is going to borrow elements from the more modern Ultimate Fantastic Four series, I’m hopeful that Fox can launch another series to match the success of X-Men. We’ve got until August to discover whether or not they can, but as a long-time Fantastic Four fanboy I’m hoping the answer is a resounding “yes.”
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Aug 14)
If you’re a fan of the James Bond movies, you’ll likely also be excited about Guy Ritchie’s upcoming movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a big-screen adaptation of a cult 1960s British secret agent TV series. It stars Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill pitted against The Social Network’s Armie Hammer in what should be a fun Cold War romp.
Ritchie can be hit-and-miss as a director, but his Sherlock Holmes movies were more fun than they had any right to be. Hopefully that same mix of humor and action can carry over here.
The Jungle Book (Oct 9)
Like most people, I love the 1967 Disney Jungle Book, although that doesn’t mean I’m not excited about a new interpretation almost half a century down the line. Starring Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o and Christopher Walken, this Jon Favreau-directed movie certainly has the star power to make a big impression.
If it can recapture a fraction of the fun Favreau brought to Iron Man, it really could be something quite special.
Spectre (Nov 6)
Following on from the superb Skyfall, director Sam Mendes’ second outing with Daniel Craig will reintroduce Ernst Stavro Blofeld and evil organization Spectre into the Bond universe after a legally-induced absence of four decades. This is the big one, folks!
The Martian (Nov 25)
Andy Weir’s self-published novel about a lone astronaut stranded on Mars took everyone by surprise. With the movie adaptation set to be directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, all the pieces are in place for it to become this year’s Gravity.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec 18)
Let’s be honest: you could drop every other movie from this list and 2015 would still be an exciting year for blockbuster fans. J.J. Abrams is clearly a massive Star Wars fan, and for the first time in years it feels like the franchise is in safe hands.
With appearances from old favorite characters and some intriguing new ones, The Force Awakens is guaranteed to be one of the year’s biggest earners. Seeing as how it’s supposed to kickstart the whole franchise, we’re hoping it doesn’t disappoint. The stakes are high on this one, folks!