10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

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Next year is rapidly approaching, and the movie future is looking bright for film buffs, movie geeks, and indie flick lovers alike. Although some announcements, like Batfleck and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, may cast doubt in the minds of some (including us), the return of directors like Wes Anderson and Lars von Trier are likely to make 2014 a great year for the big screen. Whether you're looking to tie up loose ends or see your favorite book transformed (and possibly mutilated) into moving pictures, there are 10 movies we know you won't want to miss next year.

See also: Podcast: Our Film Critics Count Down Their Favorite Movies of 2013

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Release Date: August 22 It seems like we've been waiting forever for the next installment of Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's Sin City movie. Based on the noir comic series, this intensely beautiful alternate reality story of a city gone to hell will feature some favorite actors from the original movie including Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, and Jessica Alba. New faces include Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lady Gaga, which are equally exciting casting decisions but for completely different reasons. Hopefully this will be a movie worth waiting for, considering it's been nine years.

Jodorowsky's DUNE Release Date: March 7 So David Lynch's Dune came out 30 years ago, but before then a possibly even weirder Spanish director named Alejandro Jodorowsky took on the task of turning the fantasy epic into a film. Although it was never released, this documentary by Frank Pavich explores Jodorowsky's ill-fated attempt at making the movie. It's already garnered a lot of buzz at film festivals, including some wins for best documentary film at Austin Fantastic Fest and the Stiges-Catalonian International Film Festival.

Gone Girl Release Date: October 3 Based on the book by Gillian Flynn that everyone's been reading the past year or so, this book-to-movie adaptation by Fight Club director David Fincher features Ben Affleck in a much less controversial role. After his on-screen wife, played by Rosamund Pike, disappears on their wedding anniversary shrouded in mystery, it's unclear if he killed her or didn't. We don't want to spoil anything here, and if it's anything like Fight Club the ending might be changed anyway, so just check it out when it's released next fall.

Nymphomaniac: Volumes 1 and 2 Release Date: March 21, April 18 Danish director Lars von Trier has become known for his ability to sweep movie-goers away to almost realistic worlds centered around different psychoses. Melancholia brought us depression, Antichrist brought us sheer paranoid insanity, and then there's Nymphomaniac, which is about exactly what it sounds like. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a sex-obsessed woman, it's been billed as one of the most sexually explicit films in the history of cinema. However, if it's anything like his other films, it will artfully delve you into mindsets and emotions you probably didn't know you could feel from movies.

The Grand Budapest Hotel Release Date: March 7 To steal a line from SNL's parody trailer of a Wes Anderson-made horror flick: "You had me at Wes Anderson." Seriously, this dude just knows how to make quirky, indie comedies with heart and fantastic set design like no one else. This one takes place in a hotel and features Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldbum -- etc, etc. Need we go on? Just fight your urge to be a cynical, pretentious film hipster and give in.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again Release Date: December 17 If Peter Jackson wants to make 10 movies out of The Silmarillion, we'll see all 10. Happily. In a row. Extended edition. That's why we don't care that he embellished The Hobbit quite a bit to transform the 19-chapter book into three movies. After the Desolation of Smaug's almost comically cliff-hanger ending, we can't wait to see what Bard does with that black arrow to wrap up this adventure. Truthfully, we could do without anymore Tauriel-Legolas super-brooding elf scenes. Sorry, Evangeline Lilly and Orlando Bloom.

Godzilla Release Date: May 16 After 1998's butchery of the classic Japanese monster movie featuring Matthew Broderick, we figure this movie could use a little love and a little less of The Wallflowers covering David Bowie. Breaking Bad folk should be pleased that they can catch Bryan Cranston in this iteration of Godzilla, along with French movie darling Juliette Binoche. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, of Kick-Ass fame, plays the lead in the film, although you wouldn't know it from the mostly enigmatic trailers released thus far. That's all right, leave a little mystery. It's probably better that way anyway.

Everest Release Date: TBA, March (ish) 2014 We have two weird words (well, names) for you: Benedict Cumberbatch. If you're like us, you're a card-carrying member of the Cumberbabe society and will see him in anything he chooses to do, even if it's a not-so-great depiction of Julian Assange. This time he's portraying George Mallory on his historic climb attempts of the mountain of mountains, Mount Everest. While he's only rumored to have gotten the role as of now after Tom Hardy dropped out, it's hard to imagine him not snagging it with all of the buzz around him right now. We've really been resisting every urge to make a objectifying remark here. Oh wait, we can't. We'd climb that mountain.

Jupiter Ascending Release Date: July 18 Andy and Lana Wachowski return to the director's chairs with this sci-fi flick where humans have basically become the evolutionary ants of society. Indie favorite bad girl BFF Mila Kunis plays the lead as Jupiter Jones. Based on all of the trailers, the Wachowskis are back in action with beautiful, futuristic CGI landscapes and thought-provoking, albeit sometimes complicated, plot lines.

Bukowski Release Date: TBA When we heard James Franco was directing a movie about the early years of Charles Bukowski, we knew it really could go only one of two ways. There's the likely path that the ego-centric artist makes a self-indulgent, pretentious film that may or may not be based on "Ham on Rye" but is definitely about an author that every dude ever lists as their favorite author, because sex. Or it could actually be good, which is a possibility, too. Either way, it'll be worth a watch to see what Franco does with the iconic L.A. author's acne-addled adolescence.

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