The top five films to see in the New Year

Fionna McLauchlan

Fionna McLauchlan gives a rundown of some of the films to watch in 2013.

1. Django Unchained
Dealing with the controversial issues of slavery, prostitution and the KKK, Quentin Tarantino wanted the subject matter of Django Unchained to address the problems he believes “America has never dealt with.” But in true Tarantino style, Django Unchained looks to be another energised and original action-packed tale, despite the gravity of its underpinning themes. Jamie Foxx takes the leading role as a Django, a slave in a chain gang who is bought by the eccentric Dr King Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz), a German claiming to be a travelling dentist. Schultz needs the help of Django to hunt down the ruthless Brittle Brothers. Alongside Waltz and Foxx, Tarantino has assembled an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerry Washington.

2. Zero Dark Thirty
The killing of Osama Bin Laden on May 2 2011 in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan is arguably one of the most significant events of recent American political history, and for this reason Zero Dark Thirty is set to be the most controversial film of the year. From the makers of the Oscar-winning film The Hurtlocker, director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal reunite to tell the story of the 10-year manhunt to find and kill the most-wanted man in the world. The film has sparked controversy from the very beginning when the filmmakers were granted access to top secret CIA information. This led to criticism that the film religiously presents the CIA’s view of the War on Terror. Three U.S senators, including John McCain, have attacked the film claiming that it falsely portrays torture as valuable in the hunt for Bin Laden.

3. Gangster Squad
Set in 1949 Los Angeles, Gangster Squad sees Ryan Gosling as Sgt Jerry Wooters, a cop in the LAPD task force fighting to keep the East Coast mafia out of LA. Wooters is part of a small but fearless team of policeman who’re ready to wage war on the Brooklyn-born mafia boss Mikey Cohen (Sean Penn), a gangster intent on reaping all the rewards of West coast crime. Gosling’s love interest appears in the form of his Crazy, Stupid, Love co-star Emma Stone, who plays the sassy mafia mistress Grace Faraday. Josh Brolin also stars as LAPD cop Sgt John O’mara. Expect this action-packed thriller to be oozing with style and explosive entertainment.

4. Les Miserables
Two years after the success of the King’s Speech, director Tom Hooper delivers an epic adaptation of the Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil musical based on the Victor Hugo literary classic. Rather than recording the vocal tracks in post-production, the actors sing ‘live.’ Giving the film an innovative edge, the vocals were recorded during filming to try and create a more realistic atmosphere. Hugh Jackman stars as ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, with Russell Crowe as policeman Javert and Anne Hathaway as the tragic Fantine. The 30 year-old actress is already tipped for Oscar success following her gutsy performance in the role.

5. Lincoln
Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in a biopic of the 16th U.S President, Abraham Lincoln. Chronicling the last four months of Lincoln’s life, the film focuses on the famous president’s final decisive actions in fighting to abolish slavery, and his determination to unite an America torn and troubled by civil war. Spielberg’s historical drama has been hailed as a success by critics, and Day-Lewis, as you would expect from an actor of his calibre, has been acclaimed by critics for his rich and detailed performance. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Lincoln’s eldest son, Sally Field as First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Radical Republican Congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens.

Also next year…

Aside from the usual franchise prequels and sequels to be released next year, cinema fans have a great deal to be excited about in 2013, as throughout the year there will be some fantastic cinematic delights on offer. Horror fans should be looking forward to Stoker, the latest film from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, set to be released in March, and post-apocalyptic zombie horror World War Z starring Brad Pitt in June.

If you loved Nicolas Refn’s Drive (2011), or simply if you love Ryan Gosling, Refn’s latest movie Only God Forgives stars Gosling as the owner of a Thai Boxing Club fronting a drug smuggling operation. It’s set to hit the screens in the summer. A pick of 2013 will certainly be Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby due for release in May. Leonardo DiCaprio, Isla Fischer and Carey Mulligan all star in Luhrmann’s anticipated film adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary masterpiece.

Science fiction fans will also be in for a treat next year with the releases of Joseph Konsinki’s Oblivion, giant robot monster movie Pacific Rim from Guillermo del Toro and JJ Abrams’ Star Trek into Darkness. All in all 2013 looks to be an excellent year for cinema.

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  • Kevin Gallagher

    What? No mention of Cloud Atlas; probably the most ambitious science fiction film in years.

  • Beresford Du-Cille

    Tried the book – it was beyond awful – no interest in the movie.

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