If you’re not yet aware of him, Chan-wook Park is one of the finest filmmakers of the past decade. Well, so say I, and who are you to disagree? Unless you have a perfunctory level of film knowledge, in which I doff my cap to you and humbly apologise, sir/madam.
His "Vengeance trilogy " ought to be compulsory viewing, with the jaw-dropping Oldboy arguably the pick of that bunch. (It’s certainly the biggest break-out hit beyond his native South Korea, and is currently getting the remake treatment courtesy of Spike Lee.)
Stoker is his debut English-language effort, and therefore his first able to reach a broader audience. Thankfully the tension sizzles off the screen in the trailer above, and Nicole Kidman is never better than while playing someone with a sinister edge. And look at that glower of hers! Just look at it!
Mysterious and dark, and also with Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode in it and appearing to be in highly watchable form, hopefully Park can work his magic on American soil. (Release date: March 1)
Meanwhile, it’s time to play the guessing game of how many Oscars Lincoln will scoop once it gets to awards season. Can they melt all of them down and just give it a supersized one as big as Optimus Prime?
The first trailer seemed a bit gloopy – the syrupy John Williams score a grim reminder of how woeful Steven Spielberg’s last film War Horse was – but the TV spot below is a lot more like it, with enough grand theatrics and gritty battlefield action to suggest that there will be plenty of moments of great drama.
And once again, just admire how masterfully Daniel Day-Lewis sinks himself into character. It’s a shame he stars in so few movies, because otherwise he could be omitted from Best Actor nominations and placed within his own elite ‘Best Daniel Day-Lewis performance of the year’ category, allowing other male actors the chance to earn recognition despite, understandably, not being nearly as good as DDL. (Release date: January 25)
The Croods is animated, meaning that we’ll sadly be without Nicolas Cage’s gung-ho facial expressions as embodies Grug, a prehistoric caveman going on a road trip to “an uncharted and fantastical world”. (Has M&Ds really been around that long?)
With Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone included for the ride, this seems to tick all the usual Dreamworks CGI boxes, meaning enjoyable, if unspectacular, entertainment for all the family – plus that smirky expression their characters always seem to have, the smug little sods. (Release date: March 22)
Ginger & Rosa features Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, but focuses on the childhood friendship between two girls (Elle Fanning and Alice Englert) living in 1960s London. With a decent cast and a dramatic backdrop, this might well be worth checking out. (Release date: October 19)
Finally we have Ruby Sparks, which is out in cinemas on Friday and looks almost too whimsical for its own good, with Paul Dano starring as a struggling writer whose own beautiful female character comes to life. The Little Miss Sunshine directors’ Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris follow-up to their award-winning 2006 surprise hit, hopefully there’s a bit more substance than is hinted at in this first glimpse. If we're getting the literary nerd's equivalent to Mannequin, let's at least have a couple of wacky Segway chases in book stores. (Release date: October 12)