STV Trailer Park: the 26 films to look forward to in 2013

Let’s be honest up front: I wrote that title as a top ten before I actually looked at the films this year, and melted in excitement at the delights on offer.

I am sure that in past years this sort of annual list would involve slim pickings. As such, I am now convinced that 2013 could be the best year at the cinema since Young Einstein came out.

What follows are 26 of those that I simply cannot wait to see, in some sort of order – although I’m in too much of a fluster to really know what I’m talking about. (It was supposed to be 25 but then I remembered a film that just had to be in the top ten and couldn't bear to kick any more out of the overall list.)

To warn you, I can’t be blamed if David Bowie suddenly releases Labyrinth 2 tomorrow and I didn’t realise to include it beforehand. Anyway, strap yourselves in:

26) Anchorman: The Legend Continues: Since Anchorman is one of my all-time favourite comedies this ought to be higher up the list, but I’m slightly wary as Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay haven’t been in the best run of form. But with the fantastic original cast back – “NEWS TEAM, ASSEMBLE!” etc – even if it’s disappointing, this sequel will still likely be one of the funniest films of the year. (Release date: December 20 in US)

25) Zero Dark Thirty: Wasn’t as much of a fan of The Hurt Locker as others, but this film – also directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal – about the real-life search for Osama Bin Laden looks absolutely thrilling. Also: JESSICA CHASTAIN. (Release date: January 25)

24) The Wolf of Wall Street: Martin Scorsese re-teaming with Leonardo DiCaprio as they take on the excess of the corporate banking world. Need any more be said? I hope not. (Release date: TBC)

23) Evil Dead: This remake was a cause for concern until the fantastic teaser trailer came out, which made even horror fans dead set against the production actually look forward to it. Its emphasis sensibly seems to be on the horror of Sam Raimi’s original. I’m still crossing all my fingers and toes for a cameo by Bruce Campbell’s truly awesome chainsaw-wielding character Ash. (Release date: April 19)

22) Mama: Check out the short film that this full-length film is based on, as it’s brilliant and absolutely terrifying. Backed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Jessica Chastain, what better way to shock yourselves fully into the new year? (Release date: February 22)

21) Django Unchained:: This would be higher up the list if it wasn’t, thankfully, coming out so soon. Quentin Tarantino again appears to have proved that he is all mouth and all trousers, thereby confusing everyone in the process. (Release date: January 18)

20) Twelve Years a Slave: Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender teaming up again after their efforts on Shame and Hunger was already enough, and that was before Michael Kenneth Williams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt were cast in this tale of slavery in the US. This should be an experience and a half. (Release date: TBC)

19) Riddick: I feel like I need to justify myself for this choice, except I won’t because I love Vin Diesel without a trace of irony, and still think The Chronicles of Riddick was ridiculous fun. This new film is said to more closely evoke the spirit of Pitch Black, which is excellent news. Even if it’s rubbish, it could still be one of the most enjoyable movies of 2013. (Release date: TBC)

18) Iron Man 3: The second one wasn’t great, but newly picked writer-director Shane Black has been consistently brilliant since his script for Lethal Weapon. It’s great to imagine what he can do with a sizeable budget, plus his natural sparring partner Robert Downey Jr in the lead role. (Release date: April 26)

17) Oblivion: Okay, Joseph Kosinski didn’t pull off TRON: Legacy, but as that was his first film – and Oblivion is a passion project – then hopes should be high for this blockbuster sci-fi follow-up. Thankfully, the first trailer was very promising, and Tom Cruise can be great in this kind of thing. (Release date: April 12)

16) The World’s End: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up for the third and final part of their “Cornetto trilogy” after the great Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. A group of friends reunite at a pub after 20 years, then goodness knows what subsequently ensues. (Release date: August 14)

15) Kick-Ass 2: It feels like an age since the first one came out and revitalised the superhero genre, but hopefully this sequel – also based on Scottish writer Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s hugely popular comic – will be just as much of a no-holds-barred thrill ride. (Release date: July 19)

14) John Dies at the End: There’s not nearly enough weirdness in cinema nowadays, but this – coming from the screenwriter-director of cult classic Bubba Ho-Tep – should rectify matters marvellously, if the brain-pickling trailer is anything to go by. (Release date: March 22)

13) Monsters University: Disney-Pixar are back in the sequel business, but since Monsters, Inc. was one of my favourites of theirs then I am in no way complaining. A warm welcome back to Mike and Sulley. (Release date: March 22)

12) The Place Beyond The Pines: Ryan Gosling reunites with Blue Valentine writer-director Derek Cianfrance, with the addition of Bradley Cooper and one of my favourite ever musicians Mike Patton doing the score. Yes, this drama, pitting stunt motorcyclist-turned-robber against cop, has the potential to be something quite special. (Release date: April 12)

11) Stoker: South Korean writer-director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy/Lady Vengeance/I'm a Cyborg) has proved himself one of the best around over this past decade, so his English-language debut should be much anticipated. Glimpses of this horror-tinged drama, starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, are just as dark and brooding as you’d hope for. (Release date: March 1)

10) Alan Partridge: The Movie: It’s taken a while for Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Co to nail down the script for this. That level of due care and diligence leads to hopes that one of the all-time great TV comedy characters can make the leap to the big screen. Rumours are that Glenn Ponder is to provide the score. (Release date: April 12)

9) Star Trek Into Darkness: As the risk of creating controversy, I think the revamped Star Trek that JJ Abrams came up with was the best-ever film incarnation of the franchise. His sequel seems to ramp up the stakes, which is saying something given that he destroyed planet Vulcan and almost all its inhabitants in the first film. Sheesh! (Release date: May 17)

8) Before Midnight: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are two films I love so much that thinking of a third in the series makes me rather anxious, especially given the brilliant ending of the second. But Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have taken superb care over the two characters at the centre of this extended romantic drama, and it will be hugely intriguing to find where they are almost 18 years since the release of the first movie. (Release date: TBC)

7) Her: Directors are too often talked of as “visionary” nowadays, but from the fantastic Being John Malkovich to the heart-breaking Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze has the CV to back up his forward-thinking reputation. With a great cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, and the premise of a lonely writer who strikes up a romantic relationship with a computer operating system, this again seems to be anything but the ordinary. (Release date: TBC)

6) Man of Steel: Superman! That’s about as much as many will need to know to get them into cinemas, but there is a prize pedigree with Christopher Nolan executive producing and Zack Snyder in the director’s chair. The trailer (which is above) amazingly evokes Terrence Malick as much as any previous film featuring Clark Kent, and with any luck this superhero blockbuster will be anything but run of the mill. (Release date: June 14)

5) Pacific Rim: A master of movie monsters on a smaller scale up until now, Guillermo del Toro turning his attention to giant robots tackling an alien attack – with a blockbuster budget – is almost too good to be true. There are shades of James Cameron in the military might on display in the trailer, and given how little most people who aren’t film geeks knew about Pacific Rim until recently, this could be this year’s surprise hit, just as Avatar was. EXCEPT ON EARTH. WITH GIANT ROBOTS. (Release date: July 12)

4) Upstream Colour: A far smaller film that pretty much every other one on this list, but this is directed by, written by and stars Shane Carruth, who has only previously done 2004’s jaw-dropping, head-spinning time-travel drama Primer. If even half as much thought has been put into this mysterious follow-up, then it will be an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. (Release date: TBC)

3) Only God Forgives: 2011’s Drive was one of those movies that I pretty much knew would be an all-time favourite by the time the opening credits had rolled, even before I had watched it ten gazillion times and thought pretty much every single shot perfect. This sees Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling team up again, and seems to be every bit as visually stunning and shockingly visceral from the evidence presented so far. (Release date: TBC)

2) Elysium: It’s been a long wait since 2009’s amazing debut District 9 to see what else writer-director Neill Blomkamp can come up with. His talk for TED showed a sizeable intelligence and a fierce interest in world-building, something he seems to have explored with this action film set in the year 2159 and starring Matt Damon. No trailer has been released yet, but preview footage shown has apparently been stunning. (Release date: September 20)

1) Gravity: Another movie that it’s taken a stupendously talented director a long time to get off the ground. Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men/Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Y Tu Mamá También) eventually attracted Sandra Bullock and George Clooney for the lead roles in this tale of astronauts attempting to return to earth after debris damages their space shuttle. It has been rumoured that Cuarón is pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in the cinema, with some reports that the one-shot opening sequence could stretch up to 20 minutes. Whether or not that’s true, it’s gratifying to see someone working at such a level on an original project that doesn’t seem intended to dumb itself down to the audience in any way. (Release date: October 18 in the US)

And finally, others that I am curious about and/or looking forward to:

  • Inside Llewyn Davis (the Coen brothers!), Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (the first was great fun!), To The Wonder (Terrence Malick!), The Wolverine (character that deserves a great solo film) Thor: The Dark World (another fun character), Cloud Atlas (Wachowskis back with adaptation of acclaimed novel), Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis, you acting beast), R.I.P.D. (Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, potentially loads of fun), The Grandmaster (Kar Wai Wong takes on martial arts), World War Z (for the bits of Glasgow if nothing else), Oldboy (can’t be as good as original but bring it on Spike Lee), The Great Gatsby (swoon swoon swoon), Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz perfect for lead role in remake), A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (looks bizarre fun with Charlie Sheen and Bill Murray), Jack Ryan (the franchise hero might finally be back on track with Chris Pine in the lead role and Kenneth Branagh as villain and in director’s chair) and Scottish-set Filth (James McAvoy and Jamie Bell sink themselves into Irvine Welsh, hopefully not literally).