We Can’t Wait50 Must-See Movies of 201301.02.13We Can’t Wait50 Must-See Movies of 2013Sandra Bullock gets lost in space, Robert Downey Jr. suits up as Iron Man again, Gatsby finally rolls into town, and much more. Marlow Stern previews next year’s most promising films.01.02.13 9:45 AM ET By Marlow Stern 2012 was a record-breaking year at the movie box office, with cash-cow blockbusters (The Avengers and The Hunger Games) and critics’ darlings (Zero Dark Thirty and Beasts of the Southern Wild) alike. And by the looks of things, 2013 is poised to be a helluva year, too. From superhero epics like Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 to period films The Great Gatsby and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, here are The Daily Beast’s picks for the most anticipated films of the year. Wilson Webb/Warner Bros. ‘Gangster Squad’ (Jan. 11)Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), this crime saga stars Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as the leaders of an elite gang of LAPD detectives tasked with putting an end to organized crime in 1940s and 1950s Los Angeles—in particular, real-life notorious gangster Mickey Cohen, played by Sean Penn. The film also stars Nick Nolte as a police chief and Emma Stone as Gosling’s love interest, reuniting the two stars of Crazy, Stupid, Love. The film was supposed to be released in fall ’12 but was forced to delay and reshoot scenes due to the Aurora movie theater massacre: The Gangster Squad contained an eerily reminiscent scene in which people were shot up in a cinema. Side Effects (Feb. 8)Bringing the team behind Contagion together again, director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns follow the descent of a troubled young woman (Rooney Mara) into prescription drugs as she awaits the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison. The film also stars Jude Law as Mara’s possibly culpable physician and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a rival doctor. It’s Mara’s first onscreen turn since her Oscar-nominated performance as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Cannes Film Festival 2012‘Like Someone in Love’ (Feb. 13)Named after the song by Ella Fitzgerald, Like Someone in Love is an experiment of sorts from acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami—the man behind acclaimed films Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us, and 2010’s Certified Copy. It’s a Japanese-language drama about a young Japanese woman, played by Rin Takanashi, who finances her education via prostitution. The film competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it opened to critical acclaim. Bea Kallos/MTI, via AP‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ (Feb. 14)Directed by John Moore, who helmed the underwhelming 2008 video game adaptation Max Payne, A Good Day to Die Hard is the fifth film in the Die Hard franchise. This time, John McClane (Bruce Willis) must travel to Moscow to help his estranged son, who’s run afoul of the law. Things are more complicated than that, however, as McClane finds himself pitted against a terrorist plot. The film’s tagline, in case you’re wondering, is: “Yippee-Ki-Yay Mother Russia.” Yep. Warner Bros.‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ (March 1)This fantasy epic is directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men) and based on the fairytale “Jack the Giant Killer”—similar to “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a young farmhand who goes off on a mission to retrieve Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), who’s been kidnapped by giants. In order to do so, he climbs a gigantic stalk and ends up opening a portal between Earth and a race of bloodthirsty giants. The Arthurian tale also stars Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, and Ewan McGregor. ‘Stoker’ (March 1)The first English-language film from Korean master Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), and written by actor-cum-screenwriter Wentworth Miller, Stoker follows a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) and her emotionally volatile mother (Nicole Kidman), who are forced to deal with an enigmatic relative (Matthew Goode) when the patriarch dies. The screenplay made the 2010 “Black List” of the best unproduced screenplays, is produced by Tony and Ridley Scott, and also stars Jacki Weaver. Walt Disney Pictures‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ (March 8)This mega-blockbuster from acclaimed filmmaker Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) is based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—a prequel of sorts to The Wizard of Oz. The film, made on a mammoth $200 million budget, stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, a struggling magician who’s swept away from Kansas to the magical Land of Oz. When he encounters three skeptical witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams, he soon realizes that this wonderland perhaps isn’t all he’s bargained for, and must convince the people of Oz that he is indeed the great wizard they need—before it’s too late. Michael Gibson‘Carrie’ (March 15)She’s back! This remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma cult classic is directed by Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) and stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie, a teenage outcast born with telekinetic powers—much to the chagrin of her uber-religious, abusive mother (Julianne Moore). She is tormented by a clique of popular high-school girls known as “The Ultras,” but exacts her bloody revenge on prom night. Thelonius/Splash News‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ (March 29) This multigenerational crime saga, featuring three different storylines, reunites star Ryan Gosling with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance. Gosling stars as a tattooed, peroxide-headed motorcycle stuntman who ponders committing a crime in order to provide for his newborn child with girlfriend Romina (Eva Mendes). Along the way, he crosses paths with a cop-turned-politician played by Bradley Cooper. Gosling’s female admirers perhaps best know the film, which also stars Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta, as the movie where he met his current off-screen flame (Mendes). Alan Markfield/Open Road Films‘The Host’ (March 29)Written and directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca), The Host involves parasitic aliens—or “Souls”—who have begun to take over Earth and possess people’s minds. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is a teenager whose soul is possessed by an alien but she has the power to resist its pull. She then goes off in search of her family. The film is based on Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s novel of the same name. Will it cause a similar stir? ‘The Heat’ (April 5)The Heat is director Paul Feig’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2011 comedy smash Bridesmaids, and stars Sandra Bullock as a tight-assed FBI agent who teams with a crazy, loose-cannon detective, played by Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy, to foil a Russian mobster’s nefarious plot. There’s never really been a female buddy-cop comedy, and the combination of Bullock and McCarthy could spell a new action-comedy franchise a la Lethal Weapon. D. Stevens/Warner Bros.‘42’ (April 12)Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, the Oscar-winning scribe of neo-noir classic L.A. Confidential, this film is a biopic of baseball player Jackie Robinson—the man credited with breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, Harrison Ford as baseball executive Branch Rickey, who signed Robinson, and Christopher Meloni as Leo Durocher, Robinson’s manager on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Redbud Pictures‘To the Wonder’ (April 12)This largely dialogue-less film is the latest from visionary filmmaker Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The Tree of Life), and follows an American man, played by Ben Affleck, who attempts to reconnect with a woman he once loved from his hometown (Rachel McAdams) after his marriage to a fiery, beautiful European woman (Olga Kurylenko) falls to pieces. The film, which drew a mixed reception when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, also stars Javier Bardem as a priest, and features the work of acclaimed five-time Oscar nominated cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life, Children of Men). Paramount Pictures‘Pain and Gain’ (April 26)“I’m extremely excited to simplify my film career this spring with a great character piece,” said director Michael Bay—he of the bombastic Transformers films. Pain and Gain, while a modestly budgeted film at $22 million, still looks like vintage Bay from the insane, bullet-riddled trailer. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie as a trio of bodybuilders who hatch a plot to kidnap dirty businessman—and gym regular—Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) and extort him. The film, which is based on a true story, stems from a series of 1999 articles in the Miami New Times. ‘Iron Man 3’ (May 3)I’ve had many discussions about how craptastic I thought Iron Man 2 was, with its muddled plot and shoddy villains (Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke), but am still holding out hope the third installment will return the Marvel superhero franchise to its former glory. This time around, Jon Favreau has relinquished the director’s chair to Shane Black—the man responsible for jump-starting star Robert Downey Jr.’s career with the underrated 2005 action-comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Industrialist-cum-superhero Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) squares off against the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), the leader of an international terrorist organization. Iron Man’s once again joined by his trusty assistant-lover Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and pal Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), as well as newcomers Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). Warner Bros. Pictures‘The Great Gatsby’ (May 10)Moved from Christmas ’12 to the summer of ‘13 due to production conflicts, Baz Luhrmann’s grandiose adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, a millionaire tycoon who is trailed by his neighbor, Nick Carraway, played by DiCaprio pal Tobey Maguire, at the height of the Roaring Twenties. The film also stars Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s coveted prize, Daisy Buchanan, as well as Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, and last but not least, Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim. The film marks the reunion of DiCaprio and Luhrmann, who last collaborated together on the 1996 cult classic Romeo + Juliet. Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal‘Star Trek into Darkness’ (May 17)Filmmaker J.J. Abrams’s highly anticipated sequel to his spectacular reimagining, 2009’s Star Trek, will finally hit theaters in ’13. Star Trek Into Darkness does, by most accounts, bear some striking similarities to the most celebrated film in the Trek canon: The Wrath of Khan. The crew of the starship Enterprise, including Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), has returned to square off against John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, a mysterious villain from their past. Vivien Killilea/WireImage‘Frances Ha’ (May 17)Many critics have drawn comparisons between Noah Baumbach’s coming-of-age dramedy Frances Ha, co-written by and starring indie “it girl” Greta Gerwig, and the HBO series Girls, since both focus on a Brooklyn hipster chick (Gerwig) struggling in life and love—and both feature actor Adam Driver. But Baumbach’s film, shot in gorgeous black-and-white—borrowing a page from Woody Allen’s Manhattan—is a horse of a different color, offering a complex character study about a young woman in flux and a career-defining performance by Gerwig, who just so happens to be Baumbach’s girlfriend. The film earned critical raves when it made the film festival rounds in ’12, and should earn Gerwig a Best Actress Independent Spirit Award nod at the very least. FilmDistrict‘Only God Forgives’ (May 23)Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling, the team behind 2011’s Drive, have joined forces once more for this brutal crime-thriller set in Bangkok, Thailand. The film centers on Julian (Gosling), an Englishman who operates a Thai kickboxing club as a front for his family’s drug-smuggling operation, led by his terrifying mother, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. When Julian’s brother is killed, his mother orders him to find the person responsible. There will be blood, and plenty of it.