Are you ready for 2015? That’s actually a trick question. You can’t be ready. Why? Because the movie release schedule is insane, and you'll never be able to fit all the must-sees in.
Sure, most of the big films for next year are reboots/remakes/sequels, but let’s not kid ourselves: that’s what we crave. We want big event movies, things full of explosions and superpowered people running around and demolishing buildings with their bare hands. That’s the kind of thing that puts butts in seats.
We’re still quite a distance from 2015’s first big releases, but through the magic of trailers, we’ve already got a good idea of what to expect. So take a look at some of the best previews for films coming in 2015. There won’t be much in the way of awards contenders, but there are enough blockbusters, silly comedies, and weird sci-fi flicks to keep even the most jaded cinema-goer satisfied.
Release: January 16
The thing about committing a crime is that you often follow it up by doing time. Wouldn’t life be grand if you could have your cake and then not get 25 to life?
That’s the basic premise behind Vice, a film that takes us to a resort filled with artificial humans designed to be props in twisted, violent fantasies. They’re designed to lose all memory of the atrocities committed against them, which means it’s a big problem when one of them suddenly becomes self-aware.
It looks like a pretty cool, but standard action flick, and stars Thomas Jane, Bruce Willis, and Ambyr Childers.
19 Mad Max: Fury Road
Release: May 15
The original Mad Max films, which starred Mel Gibson as a man navigating the post-apocalyptic Australian outback, are notable both for how they explore the aftermath of a global energy crisis and for the outrageous bondage gear many characters wear. Now, 30 years after the last installment in the series, Mad Max is returning.
Original trilogy director George Miller is returning to direct. Other notable films on his resume include Babe and Babe 2, as well as the Happy Feet films.
18 Taken 3
Release: January 9
Liam Neeson once claimed he would not make a third film in the Taken series. And yet here we are, talking about the third Taken film which will, presumably, make him a few million richer. So what’s the deal? Well, this time, Neeson’s Bryan Mills is on the run, accused of a murder he did not commit. The culprits are gunning for his daughter, and seemingly every government agency on Earth is gunning for him. Probably still isn’t a fair fight.
The first Taken film was great, so let’s hope this one can be a return to form after the second outing in the series.
17 The Peanuts Movie
Release: December 21, 2015
It doesn’t matter what age you are. If you’ve looked at the newspaper comics page, or else watched one of the several Peanuts holiday specials, you’re familiar with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang. Great news! They’re all coming back, and the trailer makes the prospect a promising one.
The art style is a ton of fun, and while there aren’t many plot details out yet, it’s nice to see an update of the Peanuts gang that looks as true to character as this one does.
You’re in for a long wait with this one. Expect it in cinemas on December 21, 2015.
16 Furious 7
Release: April 3
The death of Paul Walker was undoubtedly a blow to the franchise, and it took a bit of cinematic trickery to finish up this latest installment. Still, the gang is back again, ready to bring all the crazy, fast-driving stunts that audiences love.
The film had to be rewritten after Walker’s death, as he had only finished shooting about half of his scenes. His brothers Cody and Caleb were brought in as stand-ins to finish the film.
This film will also mark the first outing in the series by director James Wan, most famous for directing Saw, the Insidious films, and The Conjuring.
15 Terminator Genisys
Release: July 1
Long-time fans of the Terminator series have a lot to be frustrated with. The first two films are near perfection, and complete the story as it was conceived of by James Cameron. Then the third film was released, undoing much of the second film and obliterating the “No fate but what you make” message so important to the originals. The most recent film, 2009’s Terminator: Salvation, was a dud.
Cameron still isn’t back, but he claims to have consulted with the creative team to help them make this new film the best it can be. See the trailer, judge for yourself, and keep your fingers crossed.
14 In the Heart of the Sea
Release: March 15
Once upon a time, whales were little more than monsters that made for a nice source of cheap lantern fuel. That’s the era In the Heart of the Sea takes us to, bringing us to visit the 1820 sinking of the Essex, an American whaleship that met disaster in the Pacific Ocean.
The film is based on a retelling of true accounts of the disaster, which saw the crew shipwrecked, starving, and with little hope of survival.
13 Pitch Perfect 2
Release: May 15
If you’ve not seen the first one, the inclusion of this film might seem like a head scratcher. It’s not. The first, which starred Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Workaholics’ Adam DeVine (among many others), was hilarious. It did a legitimately great job with the competitive a cappella world it created.
The sequel brings back most of the original cast, this time sending the groups out to an international a cappella competition that has never been won by an American team. From the looks of the trailer, we’re in for more of the same humour that made the first so much fun.
12 Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release: February 13
Here’s what you need to know about Kingsman: Secret Service. It’s directed by the guy who brought the world Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and Layer Cake (starring pre-Bond Daniel Craig). Expectations are understandably high, and based on the trailer, Kingsman is going to go right ahead and meet them.
The film stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Hamill, and a bunch of others in a story about a young man brought into the world of espionage as a member of a British Secret Service organization
The action looks great, and the original comics are supposed to be a ton of fun. Expect big things.
11 The Woman in Black: Angel of Death
Release: January 2
The first Woman in Black was a bit of a surprise. It was a good, scary horror film and starred Daniel Radcliffe doing a good job as someone other than Harry Potter. It made boatloads of money, so naturally a sequel is coming to us.
The trailer brings us back to the same haunted home in the English countryside, this time during the WWII bombing raids on London. A teacher and her students move into the home to stay safe. Of course, the presence of a malicious spirit that targets children is probably not the kind of safety she had in mind.
10 Jupiter Ascending
Release: February 6
The Wachowskis brought us some great sci-fi, directing the Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas and producing V For Vendetta. Now they’re coming back with a new sci-fi property, Jupiter Ascending. And boy does it look WEIRD.
You’ve got Channing Tatum as a wolfman, Mila Kunis as the chosen heir to the Earth, Eddie Redmayne as this maniacal space tyrant, and all kinds of other weirdness going on. Space battles, fiery destruction, laser weapons, and all kinds of other floating, flying craziness.
The film has been pushed back a few times, which has led some to think it might not be the greatest thing ever made. Time will tell.
Release: March 13
Sure, we’ve seen this before. But did the last Cinderella have Robb Stark as the Prince? No, it did not.
The film ran into a little trouble early in pre-production, with the director originally attached to the project, Mark Romanek, leaving because of creative differences with Disney. Kenneth Branagh was brought on as a replacement. He previously directed the first Thor film, as well as 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Cinderella will be hitting cinemas on March 13, 2015.
8 The Boy Next Door
Release: January 22
This one is about a divorcee, Jennifer Lopez’s Claire Peterson, who has a fling with a much younger man (Ryan Guzman). The trouble starts when that younger man, Noah Sandborn, begins to act like a crazy stalker, setting out to ruin Claire’s life.
This looks like a pretty average thriller, with the exception of the RAMPANT insanity we see Noah indulging in. There’s some messed up stuff that goes on, and it’s likely that what we see in the trailer is just the tip of the iceberg.
That said, the film releases January 23, 2015, a slot generally reserved for properties the studio doesn’t have much faith in.
Release: March 6
It’s tough to know what to expect with Chappie. Director Neill Blomkamp brought us District 9, which was a fabulous, kind of out-of-nowhere sci-fi film that tackled the legacy of Apartheid on a shoestring budget – and made a ton of money in return. And then he made Elysium, which had a bigger budget, a cast of well-known faces, and was a terrible film.
6 Ex Machina
Release: April 10
Another film examining the interaction of humans and AI, Ex Machina stars Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander. Plot details are scarce for the time being, but it looks as though we’ll be watching the relationship that forms between a man brought in to test an AI and the AI itself.
With people like Elon Musk warning that we’re fast approaching the creation of the first artificial intelligences, stories that examine a human relationship with these sorts of constructs are going to become more popular and more necessary. In all seriousness, this could be an important film to see.
5 Jurassic World
Release: June 12
Thanks to the first three films in this series, we’ve already seen what happens when humans try to clone dinosaurs and stick them in a wildlife park. It’s not pretty. But now we’re getting a look at something even worse: what happens when you’ve got a prehistoric wildlife park and decide to throw in genetically modified super-dinos?
Regardless of whether or not this sequel was necessary, the thing has a lot going for it. Spielberg is back as a producer, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt is starring, and director Colin Trevorrow has demonstrated a passion for the series. This looks pretty good.
4 Inside Out
Release: June 19
It’s been a while since the last Pixar film – Monsters University was released in June, 2013 – but it looks like the wait has been worth it. The next Pixar project on the docket, Inside Out, looks really interesting.
Inside Out will take us inside the mind of a child, Riley, whose emotions struggle to deal with the conflicts posed by a move to a new city and school.
3 Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Release: December 18, 2015
People can complain about the new lightsaber all they want. It looks cool, this film looks cool, and it is going to rake in more money than Disney knows what to do with.
We’re stepping back into that galaxy far, far away roughly thirty years after Return of the Jedi saw Luke and his friends defeat the Emperor and its new Death Star. We know pretty much nothing of what is going to be happening, but judging by the title, it looks as though a few new force-sensitive characters are going to be crawling out of the woodwork and joining the battle between the dark side and the light.
2 The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release: May 1
Sure, Star Wars looks cool, but we can’t forget about the majesty that is the trailer for the next Avengers film. It’s looking like Tony Stark’s experiments with AI and drone suits are going to come back to bite him. We’ve got shots of Iron Man facing down the Hulk, Captain America’s shield lying smashed, and two new superpowered people, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
And then there’s James Spader’s Ultron, channeling the creepiest version of Pinocchio imaginable. His voice is perfect for the role, and for the first time, it looks as though the Avengers may have met their match.
Release: May 22
This one is a bit of an unknown. Where Star Wars and The Avengers are more or less known quantities, Tomorrowland is something completely new. Check out the trailer and you’ll see a girl touch a pin and wind up transported to a field, a futuristic city looming in the distance.
Bird is responsible for several standout films, including The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Here’s hoping he brings a bit of that magic to the world of Tomorrowland.