Movies to see in 2013Loading
  • 7X13MOVIDENTITY
    Bee movie critic Carla Meyer picks nine movies to see this year, her "very picky 2013 preview, composed only of movies I really want to see."

    Read the story here.

    COMEDY

    "Identity Thief," Feb. 8, "The Heat," April 5
    Directors: Seth Gordon, "Identity Thief"; Paul Feig, "The Heat" Cast: Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, "Identity Thief"; McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, "The Heat"
    Why: Because this is the delightful comic actress McCarthy's moment as a Hollywood lead, or at least the moment the movies that were made because of her success with "Bridesmaids" are being released.
    In both films, she plays characters who do not have a hoot to give, and that is always McCarthy's best look. In "Identity," she has stolen Bateman's identity (his name is Sandy) and run up his credit-card bills. In "Heat," she is the rough-hewn cop who teams, buddy-comedy style, with Bullock's by-the-book FBI agent. Bullock and Bateman both make great straight people (see Bullock in "Two Weeks Notice" and Bateman in "Arrested Development" and … everything). The directors' bona fides impress as well if you liked "Horrible Bosses" (Gordon) or "Bridesmaids" (Feig).
    Universal Pictures
  • 7X13MOVANCHOR
    "Anchorman: The Legend Continues," Dec. 20
    Director: Adam McKay
    Cast: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate
    Why: Because quotes from this comedy about a pigheaded 1970s San Diego anchorman (Ferrell) will never leave the lexicon. When someone urges you to stay classy, that's because of a certain mustached Scotch lover from the 6 o'clock news. Ron and his news team of pervs, grotesques and idiots (Koechner, Rudd, Carell) will return. So will Christina Applegate, as Ron's co- anchor and lady love, Veronica. Look for important history lessons like the one Ron gave Veronica in the first film about how San Diego was "discovered by the Germans in 1904."
    Paramount Pictures
  • 7X13MOVMONSTER

    ANIMATION

    "Monsters University," June 21
    Director:
    Dan Scanlon
    Voice cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman
    Why: There is no more reliable brand in moviedom than Pixar, which this summer will show how Sulley (Goodman) and Mike (Crystal), the monster duo from 2001's "Monsters, Inc.," first met back in college. "Monsters, Inc." was great fun, even if it relied too much on vocal star power, as those "Ice Age" films do. But it's a small quibble, as quibbles with Pixar films tend to be. It also is worth pointing out that Pixar movies have only increased in humor, warmth and loveliness in the 12 years since "Monsters, Inc." If its website (monstersuniversity.com) is an indication, "Monsters University" will be a blast. Set up like a college website, it touts athletics and diversity and lists campus rules for students: "No pets are allowed on campus, with the exception of seeing-eye snakes."
    Pixar
  • 7X13MOVPINES
    "The Place Beyond the Pines," spring
    Director:Derek Cianfrance
    Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne
    Why: Director Cianfrance and actor Gosling made "Blue Valentine," one of the most powerful and authentic, if also occasionally excruciating, portraits of a marriage in film history. Their new collaboration looks more fun. Or at least like it contains 100 percent more motorcycle trick riding. Gosling plays a stuntman who comes off the circuit when he finds out his ex (Mendes) had his son. Needing to support his family, he uses his motorcycle skills for robberies (shades of "Drive," but that was a different director). Cooper plays a cop with his own wife (Byrne) and son and an aversion to trick-riding crooks. Other reasons "Pines" intrigues: Mendes became 10 times more interesting by appearing in the weird, tremendous French film "Holy Motors"; Cooper has been my favorite current actor for weeks, since I saw him channel his untrustworthy vibe into a highly sympathetic performance as the struggling guy in "Silver Linings Playbook."
    Atsushi Nishijima
  • 7X13MOVGATSBY
    "The Great Gatsby," May 10
    Director: Baz Luhrmann
    Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire
    Why: Director Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge") likes to go big and anachronistic, with results that are, at the very least, interesting. Luhrmann's "Gatsby" will combine F. Scott Fitzgerald's tale of big money and corrupt morals with music by Jack White and, reportedly, Jay-Z. Plus, the whole thing is in 3-D, a format not previously associated with Fitzgerald. Expect 1920s sequins to shimmer right at you, and drinks to fly toward your face. The picture's surest bet is DiCaprio as the dapper, party-throwing Gatsby. DiCaprio is a fine actor who also can hold the screen in a big-budget Hollywood film. And he already showed he can play a rich enigma in a period piece, in "The Aviator."
    Warner Bros.
  • 7X13MOVSTARTREK

    ACTION/SCI-FI

    "Star Trek Into Darkness," May 17
    Director: J.J. Abrams
    Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch
    Why: Because Abrams is such a solid action director. From "Mission Impossible: III" to the 2009 "Star Trek" to the Spielberg homage "Super 8," Abrams' films offer clean, inviting visuals, compelling story lines and good acting. Abrams does not try to be the biggest or baddest, just highly entertaining, always keeping pop-culture references and a wry sense of humor in his back pocket. "Star Trek Into Darkness," in which the crew of the Enterprise discovers a terrorist threat in its ranks, might test the humor part. That title is so serious it doesn't even have a colon.
    Paramount Pictures
  • 4W10NUPEOPLE
    "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Nov. 13
    Director: Francis Lawrence
    Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
    Why: Last year's "Hunger Games" successfully transported Suzanne Collins' young-adult novel from a story closely linked to the perspective of one character – teen archer and fight-to-the-death participant Katniss Everdeen – to a broader sci-fi and action film. Francis Lawrence ("Constantine," "Water for Elephants") directs, taking over from Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit"). That does not inspire confidence. But the cast does. Jennifer Lawrence is the best actress to also be a believable action star since Sigourney Weaver. Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks, eccentric joys to watch in the first "Games," are back, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is newly on board as heads gameskeeper. For actual young-adult followers of this young-adult franchise who don't care about middle-aged character actors, there's this: Peeta (Hutcherson) and Gale (Hemsworth) are back, and Gale likely gets more to do this time. The Adonis-like Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) also appears in the sequel.
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