Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22) - Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones
Despite the fact that it doesn't quite crack the Top Ten, I'll definitely be in line at midnight for the "Captain" and I'm digging the visuals in the trailer. Not sure I trust Evans, though.
10. Apollo 18 (September 2)
A fauxumentary (don't like calling these films mockumentaries as they're not funny and therefore not mocking) in the vein of "Blair Witch Project" that focuses on the Apollo 18 mission to the moon that didn't happen but for the sake of this movie did happen and the crew was attacked by aliens. I'm really enjoying this run of low budget, high concept sci-fi films that we're getting these days as a result of the success of films like "District 9." Totally in for this.
9. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (December 16) - Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner
8. Contagion (September 9) - Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law
This is the part of the column where I get excited about a drama no one knows much about and by the time it actually opens, I don't care anymore. I just can't change my ways. "Contagion" is about (duh) the outbreak of a terrible disease and the team of doctors that are brought in to fight it. Aside from the Damon connection (who ALWAYS gets me to the theater no matter what), this film has a dynamic director (Steven Soderbergh) and a killer cast (John Hawkes, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bryan Cranston in addition to those listed above) and I'm really intrigued.
7. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (July 29) - Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone
After his wife leaves him, a middle age man (Carrell) seeks the counsel of a womanizing dating expert (Gosling) who has problems of his own. This has a great cast and seems to bring a healthy amount of dark humor to a tough narrative. I also really like that Carrell apparently insisted upon bringing in Gosling despite his relative lack of experience in the comedic realm. Could be an awesome combo.
6. Cowboys and Aliens (July 29) - Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
It's an action movie that features...um...cowboys and aliens. Do you need another reason to enjoy this movie? Yes? How about a director (Jon Favreau) who is on the cusp of earning my unending trust? I'm sure this will be insanely over the top but I'm really, really excited about it.
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (December 16) - Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris
I know nothing of the plot and I don't want that to change. I looovvvvvveeee the first "Holmes" film. The chemistry between RDJ and director Guy Ritchie is exquisite and the mix of action, caper, and action movie fun is absolutely brilliant in my mind. ("Biggest Celebrity Crush of my Life" Rachel McAdams doesn't hurt, either.) I'm a little worried that this was rushed considering a sequel wasn't definite until after the original became a smash hit and I'm slightly disappointed that the villain, Moriarty, isn't being played by a bigger name (Jared Harris) but that won't keep me away.
4. We Bought a Zoo (December 23) - Matt Damon, Scarlette Johansson, Elle Fanning
The first film (excluding the Pearl Jam doc that's also due later this year) from Cameron Crowe in six years, "Zoo" focuses on a family that purchases and reopens a shoddy zoo. I've already spoke of my love for Damon so let me now say that Crowe is an immediate draw for me. Aside from "Vanilla Sky" (horrible and overambitious) I like every single thing the guy has ever done. If there was no such thing as "The Shawshank Redemption" or "Star Wars," there's a chance that "Almost Famous" would be my favorite film of all time. I also may be the only person besides Cameron himself who actually likes "Elizabethtown." In a year that (so far) finds itself lacking in Academy Award level films, this screams "Awards!" and I'm extremely excited about it.
3. The Muppets (November 23) - Jason Segal, Amy Adams
Even without the AWESOME fake-trailer marketing campaign "Muppets" has undergone, I would be chomping at the bit to see this. If you don't like muppets you're not human. Period.
2. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (November 18) - Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong