Top 10 Must-See 2014 Movies: Who Is Number One?

A new year is upon us and for Movie Fanatic, our film slate is swiped clean from the previous year (check out our Top 10 Movies of 2013). We now look forward to the hundreds of new films that come at audiences in 2014. Earlier this week, Movie Fanatic asked you in our latest poll: Which 2014 movie is most anticipated? It is time for our selections from the year that will be.

Normally, the first few months of the year are a dead zone for films of any level of eagerness to see them. Not so this year, with Chris Pine tackling Jack Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and the George Clooney World War II art heist epic The Monuments Men landing in early February. So, as we look at the full 12 months ahead, what are Movie Fanatic’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014?

10. Tie: 22 Jump Street & Horrible Bosses 2
Our countdown starts with a tie as we cannot decide which comedy sequel landing this year we’re more excited for. We adored 21 Jump Street and it was one of the most welcome surprises of 2012. The year before brought us Horrible Bosses, and the comic combination of Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day was pure gold.

Channing Tatum Jonah Hill 22 Jump Street

Both films have sequels in 2014, and judging by that first 22 Jump Street trailer, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are heading to college and further into our hearts. And frankly, we’d watch the Horrible Bosses 2 trio join forces yet again, regardless of what they’re doing. And the fact that the plot involves them forming their own business, getting swindled out of it and seeking revenge… well, all the better for our funny bones.

9. The Monuments Men
The George Clooney directorial effort, judging by its stellar The Monuments Men trailer, shot to the higher levels of our expected Oscar favorites when its release date was late December 2013.

Because of special effects work that still needed to be done for the battle sequences in the true tale of a group of military men who go behind Nazi lines to recover stolen priceless artifacts that add up to a historical and cultural greatest hits, the release date was pushed to February 7, 2014. That immediately had us moving The Monuments Men to the list of 2014’s most anticipated. With Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman starring, this is going to be one war story that will be stellar.

8. Godzilla
Watch that first Godzilla trailer and admit that it doesn’t compel you in the most powerful of ways! Movie Fanatic has to admit that we’ve always appreciated the big monster, but never would consider ourselves a fan. But, given what we’ve seen so far, and heard from the cast at Comic-Con last year, this film should score with frights, thrills and a shock and awe level of destruction and heroism that will surely make it the franchise’s biggest blockbuster.

Godzilla Comic-Con Poster

7. Tie: Exodus & Noah
Yes, another tie, but Movie Fanatic cannot decide which of the biblical epics coming at us in 2014 has us more excited. It is frankly a tie! Noah tells the story of the man who built the ark and saved animal kind. It stars one of our favorite actors in Russell Crowe, chronicles our favorite Bible story and is from one of our favorite directors, Darren Aronofsky.

Exodus features our favorite actor, Christian Bale as Moses, with another one of our go-to helmers tackling the iconic story, Ridley Scott. If nothing else, 2014 will be biblical in cinematic proportions.

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprising success on many levels. Audiences who never considered themselves fans were surprised that they were drawn to a Planet of the Apes movie. Critics and fans alike lauded the movie and it became an utter smash. The sequel picks up years after the last film, and the disease in the first film that was starting to wipe out humanity has taken its toll and those apes are starting a march towards global domination.

With new cast members Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell as the human stars and Judy Greer joining Andy Serkis in the ape suit, the promise that was shown in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer gives us the impression it only scratches the surface of the awesomeness that will be this ape adventure.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
After their phenomenal chemistry in The Avengers, the fact that the Captain America sequel is re-teaming Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Cap (Chris Evans) is fantastic news. Add in a terrific Marvel character like the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and a villain like the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), and it appears that Marvel’s gold-plated success will continue with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Chris Evans Stars in Captain America The Winter Soldier

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
After literally stopping The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just as the mother of all twists had been revealed, to say anticipation for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is high probably is the biggest understatement of this young year. Those that know the books well should also be thrilled at the casting of Julianne Moore as the rebellion’s president. And knowing the all-out revolution that is coming at audiences, Mockingjay Part 1 should excite and also leave us panting in eagerness for Part 2 in 2015.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel Studios has the difficult task of introducing not one, but an entire group of new superheroes to audiences in 2014. But, given that this is Marvel and the heroes of Guardians of the Galaxy are a fan favorite, expectations are high for James Gunn’s film. With Gunn’s massive talent, the impeccable casting of Chris Pratt in the lead, and Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot plus Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, we not only can’t wait for the movie itself, we are counting the days until that first trailer lands! The first Guardians of the Galaxy still already has our pulse racing.

2. Maleficent
Angelina Jolie as the Sleeping Beauty villain in a live action origins story of her iconic evil wrath? When can we buy tickets? And after that first Maleficent trailer premiered and Jolie uttered merely few words, it sent chills down the spine. “Then you will be afraid,” she said. Afraid, yes… drooling in excitement, definitely!

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past
When it was announced that for his sequel to X-Men: First Class, director Bryan Singer was going to use time travel as a plot tool and bring the X-Men old and young together in the same movie, fans just about exploded.

X-Men Days of Future Past James McAvoy Patrick Stewart

The idea of the acting talents of Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy tackling old/young Professor X and Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender sharing the DNA of Magneto has the potential to be powerful to say the least. Toss in Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and Hugh Jackman straddling time periods as Wolverine after the success of The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past is our most anticipated movie of 2014. Want to get even more excited? Check out the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer and tell us you don’t agree!

Honorable mentions: Lone SurvivorNeed for Speed, The LEGO Movie, Interstellar, The Interview, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, 300: Rise of an Empire, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Transcendence, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Gone Girl, Muppets Most Wanted and Jersey Boys

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