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5 Must See Films for 2014

12 Years A Slave

Released in January this may already be a contender for film of the year. It’s based upon the true memoirs of Solomon Northup, a black musician and family man, kidnapped and sold into slavery in 19th Century America. The film is unlikely to be an easy watch as it depicts the horrors of slavery but with a stellar cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor (nominated for Best Actor Oscar), Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt whilst helmed by artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen this has all the makings of a modern day classic.

The Monuments Men

Based upon a somewhat strange true event from World War 2, comes the extraordinary story of a platoon of museum curators and academics (yes, you read that correct) sent into wartime Germany to retrieve classic works of art from the Nazis. With an all-star cast led by George Clooney (who also directs) including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Cate Blanchett this has the makings of an epic comedy-drama with a true moral core.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The latest visit to the world of the X-Men promises an intriguing mash-up of past instalments with possibly a dollop of Terminator and Star Trek Generations thrown into the bargain. Opening with the X-Men and their fellow mutants struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic version of 2023, it falls to uber-mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to try to save his people by transferring his consciousness into the 1973 version of himself. And, as batty as that sounds, there’s just something utterly appealing at the thought of old Wolverine locking his grizzled claws into the younger versions of his X-Men compadres. Original director Bryan Singer is back in the chair, with a cast including (the very busy) Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence supporting the always watchable Jackman.

Gone Girl

Ben Affleck teams up with director David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) for this potentially unsettling thriller. Based upon the best-selling novel from Gillian Flynn the story centres around a missing woman (played by Rosamund Pike) with Affleck the husband thrust into the spotlight, as her disappearance sparks a whirlwind of speculation, innuendo and accusation amid the ensuing media frenzy. With Fincher at the helm, expect twists, turns and more than a smidgen of tension.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Having re-booted the old franchise with the mightily impressive Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the equally long-titled Dawn moves the story on with this interesting sounding sequel. Picking the story up a decade after the events of Rise, we are promised a world that has changed dramatically with the growth of the hyper intelligent apes aligned to the slow demise of the human race. Led by super-chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis) Dawn pits the apes against a group of human survivors (including Gary Oldman) in a battle for dominance and the bid for a new civilisation.