It's Christmas time, so you're likely reading this buried beneath a mountain of freshly-unwrapped DVD boxsets. You're grateful and stuff but, truth be told, you've probably seen half of them a hundred times before. There's no shame in popping 'em on eBay -- you know it's time to look forward towards what fresh silver screen delights 2014 has in store instead.
And it's looking pretty good so far. From big budget sequels to slick indie treasures, revamps and remakes to all new adventures, 2014 is lining itself up as a year during which you can lose many an hour down your local multiplex.
Now, this being Gizmodo and not The Culture Show, I've leaned towards blockbusters with more kick-assery in my picks collected here rather than twee indie films or sombre dramas. But there are a few exceptions to that rule, with historical drama 12 Years a Slave for instance promising to be so majestic and powerful as to be impossible to overlook on any 2014 movie list, and Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street looking similarly promising. So dig in! Feel free to throw out anything I've missed in the comments section below.
One of the comic book world's most well-loved storylines is brought to life in next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Mutant-vs-Mutant-vs-giant-robot-things action mixes with the sort of time-travelling lunacy that'd make the brain of Back to the Future's Doc Brown explode. With a lucrative early summer release date lined up, I'd say this is a fairly safe bet for next year's highest grossing movie.
Release Date: 22nd May 2014
Christopher Nolan does worm-hole space travel. Excited? You should be -- the Inception maestro has been quietly beavering away at this since completing The Dark Knight Rises, and while its plot points are still shrouded in secrecy, we've finally got a sneak-peak in the teaser trailer above. Starring Matthew McConaughey (riding high on a run of films that have seen him turn in the best performances of his career), the stars are aligning for this one.
Release Date: 7th November 2014
Now this is a contentious one. There's no need for a new RoboCop film, with the original so perfectly of its time as to render a remake inappropriate. Though we're worried that this will be watered down compared to the uber-gory original, and lacking the '80s versions satirical bite, the effects and production design look surprisingly good, and the cast (including Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman) surprisingly robust.
Release Date: 7th February 2014
We've looked at Spike Jonze's tech-fuelled love story before, and remain quietly confident about this tale of a man who falls in love with a Siri-like operating system. It may be a little gooey, and I'm worried that it looks a little too serious for its own good, but Jonze always has a unique view of the world, and star Joaquin Phoenix never disappoints.
Release Date: 14th February 2014
Another one that I've gushed over recently, Godzilla will be this year's Pacific Rim (or should that be "Pacific Rim was last year's Godzilla"?) It looks to take the storied monster movie franchise in an exciting new direction -- something that was thought impossible after the disastrous '90s 'Zilla flick from Roland Emmerich.
Release Date: 16th May 2014
This one's expected to clean up at next year's Oscars, and you can see why: a remarkable historical tale, an all star cast and one of this generation's finest directors in Britain's own Steve McQueen come together for 12 Years a Slave. Don't expect it to be cheery, but (going by early screening reviews) do expect one of the most powerful films of the decade thus far.
Release Date: 10th January 2014
OK, so it's nutcase Scientologist Tom Cruise starring, but visually this looks like the science fiction film of any Halo-obsessed gamer's dreams. Check out the trailer above -- as our pals at Kotaku point out, it basically plays out like a video game cutscene.
Release Date: 30th of May 2014
Caesar's back! Despite approaching it with some trepidation, the recent Rise of the Planet of the Apes turned out amazingly well, thanks in no small part to the continuously excellent motion capture work of Andy "Gollum" Serkis. With this sequel kicking off with humanity on the back foot straight away, the stakes are much higher in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the scenery far more wild and crumbly.
Release Date: 17th July 2014
DiCaprio stars in this Scorsese-directed true story of the rise and fall of a high-rolling stockbroker. Another one tipped for Oscar-greatness, it's being compared to the classic Goodfellas by some critics.
Release Date: 17th January 2014
OK, OK -- so the first one was bloated and a bit boring, and the critical reception to the second instalment in the trilogy has see-sawed between loving and loathing, but, man it's the conclusion of The Hobbit! It's Gandalf! It's dwarves! It's Benedict Cumberbatch as a massive bloody dragon! It's too early yet for a trailer for the final instalment in Peter Jackson's trilogy, so instead find one for The Desolation of Smaug embedded above, which has just hit cinemas.
Release Date: 19th December 2014
If you're looking for the movies to avoid in 2014, click over here...