It was an excellent year for theatergoers in 2010, and by all accounts, 2011 is shaping up to be just as exciting. From high octane action thrillers and comic-book adaptations to gut-busting comedies and family fare, there’s no shortage of highly anticipated films coming our way in the New Year.
Over the next three days, we’re offering a detailed look at 30 of the most exciting movies that 2011 has to offer. Check out the first 10 movies (listed in chronological order by release date), as well as a gallery of photos from the films, after the jump!
“THE GREEN HORNET”
Release Date: January 14, 2011
What It’s About: Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the slacker son of a wealthy newspaper publisher who dies under mysterious circumstances. In light of his father’s death, Britt teams up with martial arts expert Kato (Jay Chou) to fight crime and make a name for himself as the Green Hornet.
Why We’re Excited: Many people balked at the initial idea of Seth Rogen as a masked vigilante, but everything we’ve seen — from trailers to posters — indicates that this movie is going to be great. Throw in an excellent ensemble of actors like Christoph Waltz and Edward James Olmos, all under the guidance of visionary director Michel Gondry, and “Green Hornet” is practically locked and loaded for success.
Release Date: January 28, 2011
What It’s About: Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is an elite assassin, also known as a mechanic, who eliminates his targets cleanly and efficiently. But when his mentor (Donald Sutherland) is killed, Bishop takes it upon himself to seek vengeance, all while training his late friend’s son (Ben Foster) in the ways of the mechanic.
Why We’re Excited: As if two action-packed hours of Statham running around as a highly trained assassin wasn’t enough of a draw, “The Mechanic” also brings the tragically underrated Ben Foster in on the ass-kicking fun. Whether or not this remake can live up to the Charles Bronson original is up for debate, but it’s certain to make an explosive splash nonetheless.
“I AM NUMBER FOUR”
Release Date: February 18, 2011
What It’s About: Nine infant aliens are sent to live on Earth after their homeworld is destroyed by the murderous Mogadorians. Each child is assigned a number, and they can only be killed in the proper sequence. Years later, the Mogadorians have successfully killed Numbers One through Three — and Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) is next on the list.
Why We’re Excited: When you have an excellent cast that includes the likes of Timothy Olyphant and Kevin Durand, a talented filmmaker in D.J. Caruso and an intriguing science fiction premise that’s grounded in teenage angst, chances are high that your recipe is a winning one. Keep an eye out for “I Am Number Four,” kids, because it’s sure to be a blast.
Release Date: February 25, 2011
What It’s About: Nicholas Cage stars as Milton, a fugitive from Hell who’s returned to Earth to stop the murderous cult that killed his daughter from sacrificing her baby girl.
Why We’re Excited: “Drive Angry” is Nicolas Cage doing what Nicolas Cage does best: going absolutely bonkers and taking everybody in his general vicinity with him. Director Patrick Lussier’s 3-D revenge thriller is sure to be equal parts eye-poppingly bad-ass and jaw-droppingly hilarious.
Release Date: March 4, 2011
What It’s About: Mild-mannered chameleon Rango (Johnny Depp) is in for a shock when he’s removed from his natural habitat and thrust into Dirt, a desolate Southwestern town filled with all manners of deadly creatures. True to form, Rango sets out to straighten out Dirt’s shadiest dealings, but the town isn’t as interested in reformation as our hero seems to be.
Why We’re Excited: Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp already proved their collaborative might on the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, and we can’t wait to see what they’re capable of in the animated arena.
“BATTLE: LOS ANGELES”
Release Date: March 11, 2011
What It’s About: “Battle: Los Angeles” focuses on a global alien invasion taking place in modern times. Aaron Eckhart plays a marine staff sergeant charged with destroying the enemy and keeping his platoon alive as alien invaders storm down upon the City of Angels.
Why We’re Excited: Alien invasions are practically par for the course when it comes to sci-fi blockbusters, but “Battle: Los Angeles” is unique in that its focus is on such a specific space during a global catastrophe. With actors like Eckhart, Bridget Moynahan and Michelle Rodriguez in the thick of the action, “Battle: Los Angeles” is bound to be a great time at the movies.
Release Date: March 25, 2011
What It’s About: Baby Doll (Emily Browning), a patient inside of a psychiatric ward, is a few short days away from a surgical lobotomy. In an effort to avoid her fate, she escapes to an alternate universe filled with massive samurai warriors, fire-breathing dragons and gun-toting babes willing to combat them all.
Why We’re Excited: Zack Snyder’s abilities as a forward-thinking visual filmmaker aren’t in question, but the director has yet to create his very own wholly original movie — until “Sucker Punch,” that is. As his very first cinematic story built entirely from his own imagination, Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” is easily among our most anticipated movies of 2011.
Release Date: April 1, 2011
What It’s About: Captain Coulter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is reliving the last eight minutes in the life of Sean Fentress over and over again until he can identify the person responsible for a terrorist train bombing.
Why We’re Excited: To say much more on the topic of “Source Code” would potentially ruin the surprises that Duncan Jones has in store for his second feature film. But if “Moon” is any indication, Jones’ latest sci-fi thriller is going to fry our brains like few other films in 2011 — and we mean that in the nicest way possible.
Release Date: April 15, 2011
What It’s About: Several years have passed since the various murderers assuming the Ghostface Killer persona attempted to do their worst against Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). But when Ghostface returns to Woodsboro after a decade of inactivity, Sidney learns that some threats are too deadly to stay buried in the past.
Why We’re Excited: Assembling the core cast of the original “Scream” trilogy together under director Wes Craven’s guidance was the only way we would ever be on board for a fourth “Scream,” but we have to admit that we’re just as excited about the incoming new characters and stories. With all of the right ingredients in place, it’s entirely possible that “Scream 4” could launch yet another successful horror trilogy.
Release Date: April 29, 2011
What It’s About: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is back on the road with old friend Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) at his side. This time, the gang heads to South America with an elite crew of drivers at their disposal, all in an attempt to take down a ruthless businessman. But there’s another threat lurking on the streets: federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), a fugitive hunter who always hits his target.
Why We’re Excited: It’s another round in the “Fast and the Furious” series, which is more than enough reason to get excited for “Fast Five.” But throwing The Rock into the mix? That’s just icing on the cake, baby!
Check back tomorrow as our list of the most exciting movies of 2011 continues, and tell us which movies your most psyched for in the comments section!