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[The Film Issue]

Ten films to see in 2014

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Maleficent arrives May 30.

Veronica Mars (March 14) As a huge fan of the cult TV series starring Kristen Bell as a teen detective (and a backer of the movie’s Kickstarter campaign), I’m eager to see if creator Rob Thomas can recapture the show’s magic.

Noah (March 28) Paramount Pictures and director Darren Aronofsky have reportedly been battling over this Biblical adaptation starring Russell Crowe as the ark guy. Assuming Aronofsky gets his way, I wouldn’t expect the director of movies like Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream to deliver anything resembling a reverent religious parable.

Godzilla (May 16) I’m no Godzilla connoisseur, but I was a big fan of the 2010 low-budget horror movie Monsters, so I’m curious to see what its director, Gareth Edwards, can do with the latest reimagining of the giant reptilian monster.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23) Director Bryan Singer returns to the superhero franchise, along with nearly every actor who’s ever appeared in one of its movies, for a time-spanning mashup of characters from the original X-Men movies and the prequel First Class.

Maleficent (May 30) It’s nice to see Angelina Jolie embracing a full-on movie-star role, playing the title character in this retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s perspective.

Jupiter Ascending (July 18) Andy and Lana Wachowski return to their sci-fi roots with this space epic starring Mila Kunis as the potential savior of the universe.

Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1) The latest Marvel superhero movie promises something a little different, with its outer-space setting, cast of mostly alien characters and direction from genre-bending filmmaker James Gunn (Slither, Super).

The Boxtrolls (September 26) Stop-motion animation studio Laika has produced two of the best animated movies in recent years (Coraline and ParaNorman), so I have high hopes for this animated feature about an orphaned boy raised by a clan of urban-dwelling trolls.

Gone Girl (October 3) Gillian Flynn’s acclaimed novel about a husband who ends up as the main suspect in his wife’s disappearance seems like perfect source material for director David Fincher, and Flynn herself has apparently written a new ending, giving the movie its own unique story.

Interstellar (November 7) What is Christopher Nolan’s new movie about? Who knows? But the last time Nolan made an original sci-fi movie with a plot shrouded in mystery, the result was Inception, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

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  • An astonishingly tone-deaf portrait of smug, patronizing privilege—a film that, despite being thoroughly English, exemplifies the concept of the ugly American.

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