This is the first part to your guide of what movies to look out for in 2014. To start, I have included a look into the thrillers and crime dramas of 2014. Click on the photo on the left start the slideshow featuring descriptions of the upcoming thrillers and crime dramas of note, in order of their release dates.
'The Bag Man' (February 28)
"The Bag Man" is a crime drama starring John Cusack, Rebecca Da Costa, and Robert De Niro. It is from a new director named David Grovic and it is written by a couple of people who have mostly acting credits rather than writing. This is a bit of an underdog that could be a failure, but that I want to believe will be some fun. The posters for this movie are humorous and don't really build much confidence in it, but the trailer shows some promise. "The Bag Man" is an iffy choice, but it has potential. Click here to watch the trailer!
Enemy is a thriller/mystery about a man who sees an exact look-alike of himself and what happens afterwards. It looks pretty intense from the trailer which is no surprise given that it is from director Denis Villeneuve who made last years "Prisoners". Like "Prisoners", this film stars Jake Gyllenhaal. It also features Mélanie Laurent who was so good in "Inglorious Basterds". "Enemy" looks original, intense, and well acted. This could be really good. Click here to watch the trailer!
'Blood Ties' (March 21)
Okay, so this one is technically a remake which isn't usually good, but there is definitely potential here. The film is directed by the star of the original French film which is interesting. One of the film's writers is James Gray, who is a master of the crime drama genre. The cast is great and includes people such as Billy Crudup, Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, and Griffin Dunne to name a few. Plus, it's set in the '70s so everyone has a cool '70s look to them. Did crime ever look cooler than in the '70s? Click here to watch the trailer!
'Joe' (April 11)
This is basically the "Out of the Furnace" of 2014. It's an intense, slow-burn movie with escalating violence as a man is out for revenge. It's a tried and true formula that can work with the right cast and crew. Nicolas Cage certainly seems to be the right casting and David Gordon Green, who alternates between comedy and drama, seems to be a solid choice for director. I don't think this movie will be anything revolutionary, but it could be a solid bit of intensity on screen. Click here to watch the trailer!
'Blue Ruin' (April 25)
I've only seen one film from the director of "Blue Ruin" though it was one I enjoyed. It was a horror comedy called "Murder Party". I forgot about this director and that film until I came across the trailer for "Blue Ruin". This looks to be another violent and intense drama along the lines of things like the previously mentioned "Joe" and last year's "Out of the Furnace". The visuals and general atmosphere are already very strong in the trailer so I have high hopes for this movie. Click here to watch the trailer!
'Locke' (April 25)
This intense thriller is written and directed by the creator of the original British television show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?". This isn't his first foray into intense thrillers though as he also wrote "Eastern Promises" which was a good intense thriller itself. "Locke" stars Tom Hardy, who seems to be a perfect fit for this kind of intense movie. Click here to watch the trailer!
'Whitewash' (May 2)
"Whitewash" is a movie about a man who accidentally kills someone with a snow plow and tries to cover it up. That never ends well, does it? Paranoia and guilt ensue as well as revelations about the person he killed. It stars Thomas Haden Church, who I think could handle this role quite well. Click here to watch the trailer!
'The Rover' (Summer)
"The Rover" is a thriller about a man who is out for revenge after a car is stolen from him by a gang. It is also set in the near future which is interesting. It stars Guy Pearce and is based on a story co-written by actor and writer Joel Edgerton, who wrote the very good crime thriller "The Square". Click here to watch the trailer!
'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' (August 22)
"Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" is the long awaited sequel to 2005's "Sin City". It is once again co-directed by Frank Miller, the creator of the original "Sin City" comic books, and Robert Rodriguez. The first movie was great and there is no reason to believe this one won't be too. It, like the first one, is an anthology of different noir-type crime stories. This time, two stories are based on published "Sin City" comics and two are stories never before seen.
'A Walk Among The Tombstones' (September 19)
"A Walk Among The Tombstones" is the new film from writer/director Scott Frank, who made the excellent crime noir "The Lookout". This one is based on a novel and is about a private investigator who is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who murdered his wife. The P.I. is played by Liam Neeson. Everything seems to be lining up here for this to be an excellent noir mystery with plenty of crime.
'Gone Girl' (October 3)
'Gone Girl' is a rare adaptation of a novel in that its screenplay is written by the author of the novel. Reports have been made that Gillian Flynn has re-written the ending of her novel which will offer something new for people who have read the novel and may end up pleasing the people who were not satisfied with the original ending. The story of "Gone Girl" is that a man's wife goes missing and he is pretty much the only suspect. What ensues is not just a mystery, but an examination of a couple and their marriage. The novel is full of insight and interesting characters so the movie could be good. Ben Affleck, who stars in this movie adaptation, is often criticized for his acting, but here he plays a character who is supposed to come off as unlikeable. Perhaps this will work in his favor.
'Inherent Vice' (December 12)
"Inherent Vice" is an adaptation of a novel by Thomas Pynchon about a drug-addicted detective investigating the case of a missing former girlfriend in the '70s. It is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and stars Joaquin Pheonix. I did not like their last collaboration "The Master", but this sounds so much better. I really want to see what Paul Thomas Anderson will do with a story like this. He has the right balance of serious and funny to pull something like this off. Add in other cast members like Owen Wilson and Benicio Del Toro and this is, without question, one of the movies I am most excited to see in 2014.
Cold In July (Release Date Unannounced)
"Cold In July" is a thriller set in the '80s starring Michael C. Hall and Don Johnson. It is based on a novel written by Joe R. Landsdale, writer of the short story that the great movie "Bubba Ho-Tep" was based on. Count me in.