22 Most Anticipated 2015 Films

By @waytooindie
22 Most Anticipated 2015 Films

So 2014 gave us over a 1,000 movies and 2015 may have just as many if not more. That’s a lot of options. Dwindling box office numbers last year lead us to believe you, oh moviegoer, are of a discerning nature. So for those of you looking for a little direction, here are 22 films hot on our radar here at Way Too Indie.

The lineup for 2015 looks too good to be true so far, and who knows what other surprises could be coming down the line! (Seriously…who saw Selma coming last year?) On the way this year are new potential masterpieces from some of the most beloved auteurs of our generation (Tarantino, Herzog, del Toro, Malick), the latest entries in the flourishing careers of today’s indie kings (Baumbach, Wheatley, Nichols, Saulnier), two planet-sized studio blockbusters that’ll have geeks soiling their pants (you know what they are…), and the returns of two powerhouses trying to reclaim their former glory (the Wachowski siblings, Pixar).

Oh yeah…and MAD F*CKING MAX.

We can’t vouch for any of these films yet, but they’re buzzing in our ears and on our lists of must-sees. What movies are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to Way Too Indie throughout the year to see whether these films live up to our expectations or make us howl in disappointment (*cough* Mockingjay *cough* Big Eyes *cough*).

Most Anticipated 2015 Films

Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd 2015 movie

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Based on Thomas Hardy’s book, Thomas Vinterberg’s (The Hunt) latest film doesn’t exactly look like something we’d expect from him, but because of the novel’s fame as a great love story it certainly seems as if he’s trying his hand at a grander scope. From the film’s first trailer it’s quite lovely to look at, and if there are more like myself, suckers for period pieces focused on a forward-thinking woman taking love into her own hands, then the film’s already got a built-in crowd. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman suited by three very different men who offer her three very different futures. Everyone loves a good love triangle, er quadrangle, and it’s been a while since we’ve had a good film version of the novel. The film releases in May, just in time for spring fever, wink wink. [Ananda]


High-Rise 2015 movie

Director Ben Wheatley proved that he is more than adept at making audiences distinctly, yet subtly, uncomfortable with his 2012 film Sightseers, and this is a talent entirely necessary when tackling a novel by J. G. Ballard. Though the author’s most famous work might be Crash, High-Rise is undoubtedly a masterpiece that is eerily relevant even now, 40-years after its publication. As a fan of Ballard’s writing, Wheatley has stated that his plan is to stay true to the author, who is well-known for his dystopian visions of modern life. The plot of the novel revolves around the residents of a luxury high-rise building, and the way the highly developed technology available to them not only isolates them, but does strange things to their psychological states. With a strong cast including Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss, the film is bound to not only be interesting, but perhaps also one of the most unsettling things we shall see this year. Set in England, High-Rise doesn’t have a release date yet but is expected to be seen in British theaters first. [Pavi]

The Walk

The Walk 2015 movie

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James Marsh’s Man on Wire is my favorite documentary of all time, and its subject’s story is one of the most amazing I’ve ever heard. The film chronicles the events leading up to French tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s awe-inspiring, death-defying high wire act of a lifetime, when he danced in the sky on a wire stretched between the twin towers in 1974. Petit is the most mesmerizing documentary subject I’ve ever seen, and the film plays out like a heist movie as he and his team describe their intricate plans to break into the heavily guarded buildings and set up the daring spectacle (which was, of course, totally illegal). Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming dramatization of Petit’s story, The Walk, is exciting to me for obvious reasons, but what I’m really hoping for is a return to form for the director, who used to make excellent films but has fallen off in the past decade. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Petit, an actor in whom I have all the confidence in the world. Hopefully Zemeckis can capture the thrill of the artistic caper as well as Marsh did. [Bernard]

The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight movie

I love Quentin Tarantino’s love of film. I love how every second of his films are soaked in that love and I love how palpable it is to his fans. Whenever he announces a new film I get excited, and even though I think Django Unchained is the weakest film he’s made as of yet, and I’m not over the moon that he’s doing another Western, that’s not stopping me from being excited for The Hateful Eight. What I’m most anticipating about ensemble piece is the cast Tarantino has lined up. Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, and Damien Bichir. Some of the cast have worked with Tarantino before, but how long has it been since Tim Roth or Michael Madsen graced a Tarantino flick? Way too long. Not much is known about the film plot-wise, but when has Tarantino really disappointed in that department? We all know what’s coming our way; lots of cussing, lots of violence, and lots of blood. [Blake]

Mistress America

Mistress America 2015 movie

Noah Baumbach’s already got one comedy coming out this year in While We’re Young (which I caught at Toronto and then again as the Surprise Screening during the New York Film Festival), and while that film’s comedic look into age and identity merits its own selection on a Most Anticipated of 2015 list, we’re intrigued by the prospect of Baumbach’s newer project Mistress America. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the movie features Baumbach re-teaming with his Frances Ha collaborator (and girlfriend) Greta Gerwig, who once again co-writes and stars. The story follows Tracy (Lola Kirke), a lonely college freshman in New York whose university experience is failing to match her expectations. When Lola is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke (Gerwig), described on Sundance’s website as, “a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town,” Lola gets swept up in Brooke’s adventures around New York City. If Mistress America ultimately resembles a companion piece to Frances Ha we won’t mind (Frances Ha was WTI’s 2nd favorite flick of 2013), but what’s exciting is to see Baumbach return to a street-level look at NYC, where he and Gerwig previously created an enticing, exhilarating perspective on being young amid the overwhelming offerings of big city life. [Zachary]

Ex Machina

Ex Machina 2015

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Alex Garland’s career achievements so far have been penning novels and screenplays such as The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd, but now he’s stepping behind the camera with his directorial début, Ex Machina. Set in the near future when artificial intelligence is beginning to make major breakthroughs, a young programmer named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is assigned to evaluate the humanistic qualities of a female A.I. robot. Caleb ends up falling in love with the beautiful robot girl, and she urges him to second guess his boss (played by Oscar Isaac) and question the motives behind the experiment. By the sounds of it, the film would make an interesting double feature with Spike Jonze’s metaphysical romance film Her. Given Garland’s previous writing efforts, there’s a good chance Ex Machina will be an imaginative and trippy thrill ride—exactly the type of sci-fi we like to watch. Those lucky enough to attend this year’s SXSW Film Festival in March will be able to catch the North American premiere. [Dustin]


Sisters 2015 Amy Poehler Tina Fey

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I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have solidly established themselves as the queens of the comedy realm. People want to see (or read) whatever they do. Though their first attempt as a duo in a feature film, Baby Mama, didn’t make a big splash at the box office, with 7 years and (almost) 3 Golden Globes under their belts, they have been perfecting their chemistry since then. What’s really exciting is that adding to their biting wit and snarky banter, they will be directed by Jason Moore, whose job on Pitch Perfect took everyone by surprise and the comedic world by storm. SNL veteran Paula Pell will be handling the script, so we can rest assured that this super basic plot will be taken advantage of in every which way to give us a hilarious trip. I’m really looking forward to seeing the likes of Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Kate McKinnon, and Bobby Moynihan make this perhaps the comedy of the year. Though SNL movies in the past have been mainly hit or miss, I’m banking on this one being a home run. [Scarlet]

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending 2015 movie

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Like many indie cinephiles, I am an unabashed fan of the Wachowskis. After the groundbreaking success of The Matrix and their downfall throughout its sequels, the directing duo have seemed to reset themselves with a series of films that felt more pure while maintaining their incredible bold vision. There are many people that wouldn’t get behind Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas, but these are films I absolutely love for their visual and narrative uniqueness. Jupiter Ascending seems like it could be a slight return to a more mainstream genre exercise, but the Wachowskis are simply too interesting for me to ignore. The film’s delay from late 2014 to February should be a worrisome sign, but it almost feels like a badge of honor—perhaps it isn’t what the studio was looking for and won’t be what they expect as a sci-fi showcase for a mass audience. Even Channing Tatum’s (an actor I very much enjoy) weird blonde goatee isn’t enough to turn me off. Could it be a total garbage fire? Certainly. Then again, as the Wachowski’s have showed more than once, one man’s garbage fire could be another man’s masterpiece. [Aaron]

Queen of the Desert

Queen of the Desert Herzog

Oh, the plagues of film production. Werner Herzog’s next feature-length fiction film was all but set and ready to go for last year’s fall festival circuit, until the official announcement came through that the film had met with technical difficulties in post. My heart, along with many others, sunk. Time heals, however, and now that we’re in 2015 I’m hopeful once again. It’s Werner Herzog, someone whom I have a bottomless admiration for (check out WTI’s 20 Herzog Film Retrospective we did last year to mark the man’s birthday). This time around, he’s tackling the biopic genre again (something he’s mastered in the past), and what’s most curious is that it’s a biopic of a woman (fresh!). It recounts the life of British archaeologist and explorer Gertrude Bell, who became instrumental to British imperial policy-making at the turn of the century. Joining Nicole Kidman in the title role (which Herzog reportedly says she nails), are James Franco, Robert Pattinson (both men having proven great with the right material), and Damian Lewis of Homeland fame. But, in truth, all you had to tell me is that it’s a Herzog film set in a desert and I’d be sold. Which I am. No official release yet, but since it’s reportedly overcame its post-production hurdles, expect Queen of the Desert to make an appearance at Cannes. [Nik]


Evolution 2015 movie

Last summer it was announced that French director Lucile Hadžihalilović was starting production on her newest film, and ever since then I’ve been anxiously looking for any news related to Evolution. For those unfamiliar with Hadžihalilović, I insist you go check out her 2004 film Innocence. It’s a little-known film about an all-girl boarding school that feels like an ominous fairy tale come to life. It’s a gorgeous, moody, atmospheric and undervalued work, one that would have established Hadžihalilović as one to watch if she made anything since then. Little is known about Evolution, except that it deals with young boys being the subjects of genetic experiments meant to reverse the stages of evolution. Hadžihalilović has cited The Island of Dr. Moreau as an influence on this film, so it’ll be interesting to see how she handles something more in the realm of horror and sci-fi. Will Evolution be worth the 11 year wait? Based on the strength of Innocence, I won’t be surprised if the answer to that question turns out to be a resounding yes. [C.J.]

Inside Out

Inside Out 2015 movie

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At this point, there is little anyone could say to deter me from being genuinely excited about every little piece of news we discover about the latest Pixar project. Inside Out, the animation that is quickly drawing more and more interest for its characterisation of human emotions—all inside the mind of a young girl—promises not only to uplift our spirits in the way most of Pixar’s original creations do, but also to be one of the most challenging adventures they have taken on to date. With little but the human mind as a backdrop, the film will no doubt be one of Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen’s most incisive deconstructions of human emotion and behaviour. Not to mention: is there anything more joyful than Amy Poehler being the voice of Joy? What could be more appropriate than Bill Hader voicing Fear? And Mindy Kaling is bound to bring unprecedented levels of sass to the role of Disgust. Announcing Inside Out, Pixar promised an exploration inside the world of the human mind, and with over a year having passed since their last film, it’s safe to say we can expect them to deliver on their promises. [Pavi]

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak 2015 movie

My interest in the latest film from Guillermo del Toro was piqued (no pun intended) while at Comic-Con last July. Those in attendance were invited to a sneak preview of del Toro’s highly atmospheric film, and from what I could tell it appears to harbor all the creepiness of Pan’s Labyrinth combined with the ambiance of The Devil’s Backbone (my personal favorite of del Toro’s films). Emphasizing the horror elements was the blood-streaked logo of Legendary Pictures opening the teaser. Tom Hiddelston (master of dark macabre moods) plays the owner of an elaborate and gothic old house to which he has just brought his young bride Edith (Mia Wasikowska). Del Toro says he wanted a film led by a woman who gets the man and then has to deal with life beyond that, though of course it’s not likely most newlyweds’ experience to find themselves in a house alive with secrets and ill intentions. Jessica Chastain and Charlie Hunnam round out the cast for what looks to be a truly frightening and beautifully crafted gothic horror. The film is set for an October release (duh). [Ananda]

Midnight Special

Jeff Nichols Midnight Special 2015 movie

Writer/director Jeff Nichols garnered a significant amount of attention for attaching himself to the McConaissance, just prior to Dallas Buyers Club‘s rise to Oscars prominence, with the filmmaker’s 3rd feature Mud. That intriguing drama about two young Southern boys who cross paths with a fugitive and help him reunite with a mysterious ex-girlfriend illustrated Nichols’ ability to craft personable characters shrouded in secrecy. For my money, it’s his previous film Take Shelter that’s his best, an eerie, low-key thriller about a possibly psychotic man haunted by a series of apocalyptic visions debating how to best protect his family. His upcoming project, a supernatural sci-fi thriller titled Midnight Special, seems to take aim somewhere between those last two movies. The story concerns a man (played by Jeff Nichols’ muse Michael Shannon) and his son Alton (St. Vincent newcomer Jaeden Lieberher) on the run after the father discovers his son’s unique abilities. Also starring Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst in the group trying to keep Alton safe, as well as Sam Shepard and Adam Driver among the villains hunting the child down, Jeff Nichols has described the project as an ’80s style genre flick in the vein of John Carpenter’s Starman. If that brew of ideas sounds enticing, look out for Midnight Special in theaters November 25th of this year. [Zachary]

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Jupiter Ascending 2015 movie

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I know, I know. Avengers: Age of Ultron is about as far away from independent filmmaking as it can get, but there are reasons to be excited for it. It gets people to the movies, which is always a good thing. It gives its stars freedom and clout to make smaller films and get smaller films made. It’s also the best at what it is—there’s always room for popcorn as long as it’s good popcorn, and Marvel makes the best popcorn. Most importantly, The Avengers franchise is an unprecedented achievement in storytelling and moviemaking. Until the MCU, film series have mostly been vertical—film one begets film two, then three, and so on. Quentin Tarantino has dabbled in the horizontal, making tangential references among his films, but nothing has been as ambitious in scope as the MCU. Characters routinely crossover from film to film. The events of one film impact others on both axes and everyone assembles for the climax. This ambitious design takes great creativity and vision, but to have the skill to turn that vision into ten (and counting) successful films over the last seven years is a creative feat that gets lost in both the fanfare and the hate. [Michael]

The Lobster

The Lobster 2015 movie

If you’ve seen Dogtooth (if you haven’t, make it your top priority), it will be easy to understand why we’re anxiously awaiting Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest project. Lanthimos, who helped birth the “Greek Weird Wave” movement, will be making his English language début with The Lobster, and he’s lined up a killer cast: Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Colin Farrell, Olivia Colman and Léa Seydoux, just to name a few. The only other things we’ve seen from this film are the amazing photo shown above and a completely bonkers plot-description. And what is that crazy plot-description? Well, the film takes place in a dystopian future where single people are captured, locked in a hotel and given two options: find a partner within 45 days, or turn into an animal and get released in the woods. How can you read that and not want this movie in front of your eyeballs right this second? [C.J.]

Green Room

Green Room 2015 movie

Jeremy Saulnier’s last film, Blue Ruin, was an out-of-the-blue masterpiece—its success even surprised Sundance, who initially passed on the film. Whenever a début is released that hits such a confident and stylish cord, there will always be pressure on the follow-up. Green Room seems to double-down on the dark and moody tone set by its predecessor. The basic plot has two separately, yet equally awesome, parts: a young punk band who somehow get wrapped up in a horrible act of violence at one of their gigs and a group of neo-Nazis who have some sort of relationship to said band. These groups coming together certainly has a great potential for dark humor and bone-chilling violence, which Saulnier has already wonderfully showcased the ability to meld and morph. But perhaps the most intriguing part of Green Room is the casting of Patrick Stewart, the grandfatherly actor and surprisingly wacky twitter persona, as the head of the neo-Nazi group. Green Room currently doesn’t have a theatrical release date set, but expect it to pop up at Cannes and top film festivals throughout 2015. [Aaron]

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road

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I’m going to be that guy for a second: sorry, but I will never say that Die Hard is the greatest action movie of all time. I firmly believe that the honor belongs solely to The Road Warrior, George Miller’s rough and tough Australian film from the early ’80s. So when I heard that the series was finally getting a fourth film, I naturally started fist pumping until my arms went numb. The film has been in production for seemingly a decade now, long enough for me to pull the ol’, “I’ll believe it’s being made when I see a trailer.” Well, that trailer premiered at Comic-Con last summer and has had fanboys (including yours truly) singing from the rafters ever since. Miller returns to helm the film which is now being led by everybody’s favorite actor of late Tom Hardy, who seems like an excellent choice to play Max, the ever tortured soul of Australia’s barren and wasted Outback. What’s immediately admirable is that Miller has decided to stick with mostly practical effects (crashing cars for real with stuntmen) over digital effects. Because who doesn’t love cars smashing into each other at a 100mph for 2 hours? [Blake]


Joy 2015 Jennifer Lawrence

David O. Russell’s first collaboration with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper was 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook. That film went on to great success, earning back six times its budget and collecting Oscar nominations for Russell for writing and directing, Lawrence and Cooper for acting (Lawrence won), and for Best Picture, among others. That turned out to be more than luck. One year later the dynamic trio joined forces for American Hustle to similar results. The film made back four times its budget and earned them another round of Oscar noms (as well as Best Picture, among others). After taking 2014 off (collaboratively, at least), Russell, Lawrence, and Cooper are at it again in Joy. The film is the real-life rags-to-riches tale of Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop. Lawrence is playing the title role. Russell, Lawrence, and Cooper are on a hot streak. I can’t wait to see it roll on. [Michael]


Tomorrowland 2015 movie

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Brad Bird is one of my favorite directors currently working (I’m forever grateful for The Incredibles and The Iron Giant), and the fact that he’s helming Disney’s Tomorrowland instills a lot of confidence where, in a lesser director’s hands, I would probably write it off as a throwaway blockbuster with an arbitrary, shoehorned Disney trademark slapped on to inflate profits. I believe in Bird’s skills as a live-action filmmaker (I thought Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was very good), and from what I saw in the inventive teaser trailer released last year (its highlight is one of the most fun, startling visual effects I’ve seen in a while), he seems to have a clear, fresh vision of the world of tomorrow. According to Disney, the film follows “a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment as they embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as ‘Tomorrowland.’” With George Clooney, newcomer Britt Robertson, Judy Greer, Hugh Laurie, and Kathryn Hahn, the film boasts a strong cast to boot. [Bernard]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things. I, on the other hand, really want this to be full of both of those. I can’t help but struggle, however, with a deep-seated fear…and we all know where that leads. Though our old heroes will be returning in the flesh—the real Han and Luke and Leia—will they bring back that original magic (Disney magic notwithstanding)? Or will they desecrate everything we hold dear? So, when I say this movie is anticipated, it’s an anxious anticipation. I want to love it. I dread the possibility that I will hate it. Some might find my lack of faith disturbing, but I tend to be a Star Wars traditionalist and still have a bitter taste in my mouth from the “special editions” of Episodes 4, 5, and 6 and consider Episodes 1, 2, and 3 to be nothing short of farcical. Though if you enjoyed those films, you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy The Force Awakens, so I won’t spoil it. For those in my boat? Well, it’s difficult to see. Always in motion is the future. Nevertheless, we have to know. This movie must be seen. [Scarlet]

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups 2015

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For our money, Terrence Malick is one of the greatest auteurs working today, so it’s not a surprise to find his latest experiment (because that’s what his films are) on our most anticipated list. Knight of Cups has run laps in the rumor mill for a couple of years now, so when the trailer finally arrived last month we could breathe a sigh of relief. And judging solely from the trailer, it appears we’re in for another ambiguous story filled with gorgeous cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki somewhat like The Tree of Life—and if it’s half as good we’ll be thrilled! Knight of Cups sounds as cryptic as it looks, loosely structured as a modern-day fable with Christian Bale as a “young prince” who gets caught up in the celebrity lifestyle of Hollywood, possibly pissing off his father (aka the king) in the process. The film has a huge cast of stars: Cate Blanchett, Imogen Poots, Natalie Portman, Teresa Palmer, Ben Kingsley, and Nick Offerman. Though we know little about the film (typical Malick), all that really matters is that Malick is behind the camera, which is enough for us to eagerly wait in line for tickets. [Dustin]


Macbeth 2015 movie

This is going to be a great year. Part of the reason I believe that is because I’ve had such a hard time trying to decide which two films to write about (after my top choices Knight of Cups and The Lobster were already shot-gunned). It wasn’t long before I remembered Macbeth and got all jittery with excitement. Where to begin? As a student of literature, watching any Shakespeare adaptation (especially when the original text is retained) is like eating homemade apple pie; there’s an intimacy there that’s unrivaled by anything else. And his tragedy about a soldier too ambitious for his own good, succumbing to his own twisted sense of righteousness (twisted, mostly, by his cunning wife), is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve been aching to see what director Justin Kurzel does next ever since he blew me away with his haunting feature début Snowtown, and once I heard that it was Macbeth, with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, I was hooked in an instant. Working again with his brother Jed Kurzel (who composed the hell out of Snowtown) and True Detective’s cinematographer Adam Arkapaw is like a scoop of delicious vanilla ice-cream next to the pie I would’ve gobbled up regardless. No official release date yet, but it’s been in post for a while so no reason not to think it won’t be ready in time for Cannes. [Nik]

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