2011 is shaping up to be a wonderful year for cinema, with a lot of big name and word-class directors offering up new films across a wide range of genres. Here’s the thirty I’m most looking forward to:
1. Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky’s highly acclaimed psychological ballet drama finally hits UK cinemas. This one stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel and Winona Ryder.
2. Blue Valentine
Derek Cianfrance’s juxtaposing relationship drama, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.
Richard Ayoyade’s comical coming-of-age directorial debut, starring Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine.
4. Sucker Punch
Zack Snyder’s futuristic action-fantasy film, starring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and Vanessa Hudgens as girl’s willing to do anything to survive.
5. Scream 4
Wes Craven returns to the Scream franchise, along with regular actors Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette. New recruits include Emma Roberts, Adam Brody and Hayden Panettiere.
6. Your Highness
David Gordon’s Green hilarious-looking medieval stone comedy, starring James Franco, Danny McBride, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel.
7. The Skin That I Inhabit
Pedro Almodovar re-teams with Antonio Banderas for terror film The Skin That I Inhabit.
8. Attack The Block
Directed by Joe Cornish, this south London comedy-action film pitches a gang of youths against an alien invasion. Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker and Luke Treadaway star.
9. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Johnny Depp returns as Jack Sparrow for a fourth installment in the colossal Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, this time with new faces (Penelope Cruz and a surprise Judi Dench appearance) and a new director (Rob Marshall).
Judd Apatow produces Paul Weig’s comedy about two women dueling for the perfect wedding, starring Kristen Wigg, Rose Bryne and Jon Hamm.
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg reunite for an ensemble alien road movie. Greg Mottola directs.
Lars Von Trier returns with a psychological disaster film, starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Keifer Sutherland.
13. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The final installment in the globally successful Harry Potter franchise, featuring Harry, Ron and Hermoine as they race against time to kill Voldemort.
14. X-Men: First Class
Kick-Ass director returns to the superhero genre with an X-Men prequel showing how Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magnet (Michael Fassbender) met and the first time they discovered their powers.
15. Wuthering Heights
Andrea Arnold follows-up the critical darling Fish Tank with an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, starring Kaya Scodelario, Nichola Burley and Oliver Milburn.
Steven Soderberg’s film centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease, starring Jude Law, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Marion Cotillard.
17. The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson collaborate on a 3D motion capture film based on the comic books created by Belgianartist Georges “Hergé” Remi about an adventurer, Tintin (Jamie Bell), and his white dog Snowy.
18. Fright Night
Craig Gillespie directs a remake of Tom Holland’s 1985 original horror, starring Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, David Tennant and Toni Collette.
19. A Dangerous Method
David Cronenberg’s historical biopic focusing on the turbulent relationship between Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein, the woman who comes between theme.
20. Cowboys & Aliens
Jon Favreau teams James Bond (Daniel Craig) with Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) for this genre-blurring science-fiction western film.
Producer Judd Apatow teams with Jennifer Aniston for a sexy comedy that could well reignite her struggling career. David Wain directs, with Paul Rudd, Lauren Ambrose and Malin Akerman also starring.
After the acclaimed Atonement, Joe Wright switches genres with this action-thriller starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana.
23. Route Irish
Ken Loach’s study into the consequences suffered by private security contractors after fighting in the Iraq War opened to lukewarm reviews at Cannes, but features a vigorous performances from Mark Womack.
24. We Need To Talk About Kevin
Lynne Ramsay’s long-awaited return to directing. We Need To Talk About Kevin is an adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel of the same name and stars Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller.
Marvel’s latest superhero incarnation to hit the big screen, directed by Shakespearean thesp Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston.
26. The Darkest Hour
A new science-fiction film starring Olivia Thirlby and Emile Hirsch as young people caught in an alien invasion. Chris Gorak directs, with Timur Bekmambetov producing.
27. War Horse
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s acclaimed children’s novel War Horse, starring Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, Emily Watson and Stephen Graham.
28. The Invention Of Hugo Cabret
Martin Scorcese’s first foray into 3D, featuring a cast including Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Christopher Lee and Ben Kingsley.
29. The Tree Of Life
Terrence Malick’s long-delayed film about the quest to regain the meaning of life, starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.
30. Sherlock Holmes 2
Guy Ritchie returns to direct a sequel to the 2009 box office success. Sherlock Holmes re-teams Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, with new additions including Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry.