I get asked sometimes: What good films are coming out soon that I should go see? Well for all of you who’d like to know, here’s my take on the best of 2011 and a bit of an icebreaker for all the hype buzzing around your ears. 10 films, 10 dates (9 actually, but let’s not get technical) that you should write in your diary. Now there’s a new-years resolution! Enjoy!

All links take you to IMDb.

10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Release Date: 18th November (USA)

TwilightThis of course, depends highly on whether you’re a fan or not. However a phenomenon “Twilight” has become and with “Eclipse” garnering praise from many corners, it’s only fair that this gets a place on the list. Following in the footsteps of “Harry Potter” and “The Hobbit”, the as of yet final chapter of Stephenie Meyers’ vampire phenomenon has been broken into two parts. It seems Bella has chosen Necrophilia over Bestiality and is expecting a vampire child (it all sounds so charming when put that way…). But it’s all to go pear-shaped if the Quileute or Volturi have anything to say about it. Expect queues of hysterical and screaming teenage girls.

9. Thor

Release Date: 6th May (USA)

ThorIf ye seek a hammer-wielding superhero, attend this motion picture which cometh your way in May! Also known as “The Mighty Thor”, this promises to be among the best of a rake of superhero movies descending upon 2011. And it’s directed by Kenneth Branagh, a man known more usually known for his adaptations of the Bard’s plays, this could be an absolute blast. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is cast out of Asgard and has to make do with living on Earth amongst us humans, and ultimately becomes its defender. Also starring Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman, Marvel Comics might just be delivering next year’s “Iron Man” – let’s hope so. But “Thor” is only one of many. Also being released in 2011 in the same genre: Captain America: The First Avenger (22nd Jul), The Green Hornet (14th Jan), Green Lantern (17th Jun) and X-Men: First Class (3rd Jun).

8. Super 8

Release Date: 10th June (USA)

Super 8At number eight we have an appropriate title. But really nobody knows what the heck this one is about apart from the fact it’s being produced by Steven Spielberg and written and directed by JJ Abrams (the man behind LOST, the Star Trek reboot and Cloverfield ) and the tagline “Next Summer, It Arrives”. We could call this pulling an Inception. It’s also sci-fi and a bit of horror, with aliens and Area 51 and what not, starring Elle Fanning (Dakota’s younger sister). And if it’s in any way as good as Nolan’s we sure ain’t complaining! Think you might like this? Also look forward to Beastly (8th Mar), Final Destination 5 (26th Aug), Scream 4 (15th Apr).

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Release Date: 20th May (USA)

On Stranger TidesAfter their last escapade “At World’s End” in 2007 Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his motley crew of pirates set sail into theatres once again. This time around they’re on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth, a giver of eternal life. New director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) should give the series a bit of fresh life. Geoffrey Rush returns as Captain Barbossa while Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz join the cast as notorious pirate Blackbeard and his daughter respectively. Will and Elizabeth will not be back but that’s not really a bad thing, their romance was getting tiresome anyway. We’re also looking forward to another cracking score by Hans Zimmer. More action and adventure releases include Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (27th May), Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (16th Dec), Sherlock Holmes 2 (16th Dec), Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage (1st Jan).

6. Jane Eyre

Release Date: 11th March (USA)

Jane EyreOne of the greatest novels of all time gets yet another adaption for the big screen. It’s a star-studded affair and looks to be one of the bigger hitters of the year in the drama department. Finding employment at Thornfield Hall, the young Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska – Alice in Wonderland) finds herself falling in love the with the house’s master the stern Mr. Rochester played by Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, Centurion) only to discover the terrible secret that lurks in his attic. Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell, Jayne Wiesner and Dame Judy Dench (who stars in virtually every period film) make this a must see if you’re in any way interested in the genre. But you (probably) shouldn’t expect a light and schmaltzy rom-com. More possibilities for lightening your wallet may include Even the Rain (Feb TBA), Never Let Me Go (21st Jan, UK), Restless (28th Jan), Straw Dogs (16th Sep).

5. 127 Hours

Release Date: 7th January (UK)

127 HoursTwo years ago, Danny Boyle made a small film in India which went on to win a few Oscars. Now he’s trying to pull the “Slumdog Millionaire” trick again with the true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco). Mountaineering in Utah, he gets his arm trapped under a rock. Over the following five days, he examines his life through video recordings on his camera and eventually decides to amputate his arm with his penknife. The ending isn’t exactly secret but it’s an extremely fascinating premise: With only one main character which is on screen basically all the time. And the actual amputation? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. As far as we know, the film won’t actually be 127 hours long.

4. True Grit

Release Date: 14th January (UK)

True GritNow that the Coen Brothers have achieved cult status any picture they release will generate a certain amount of buzz. When they decide to remake a 1969 John Wayne classic of the same name we all have something to write home about. A 14 year-old girl (Hailee Steinfeld) hires a U.S. Marshall (badass Jeff Bridges) to track down her father’s murderer. Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper also star. The trailer looks fantastic and an altogether darker affair than the original. It’s going to be a tale of bloody revenge. Not easy but essential viewing.

3. War Horse

Release Date: 28th December

War HorseSteven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Morpurogo’s novel is highly anticipated to say the least and could very well be one of the big Christmas films vying for Oscar attention. Because when Spielberg does serious, he means business. It concerns a young man (Jeremy Irvine) and a horse named Joey. When Joey is sent to the front of World War I, Albert enlists in the army to save him. Like with Morpurgo’s other acclaimed novel “Private Peaceful” it’s a tear-jerker but in a very good way. Prepare to cry rivers. Apart from some British veterans like David Thewlis, Emily Watson and Peter Mullan, there’s no huge names in the cast but we know that’s not a problem.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Release Date: 15th July

Deathly Hallows Part 2We come to it at last: The end of the end. A franchise that began almost a decade ago with wide-eyed Daniel Radcliffe as the bespectacled wizard which fate has chosen to do great things, comes to a close this summer with the awesomely epic looking “Deathly Hallows Part 2”. As has been the case since “Order of the Phoenix” director David Yates keeps expanding on the immense world of J.K. Rowling’s novels. If you need any incentive whatever to go and see this, just take a look at that teaser poster with Hogwarts in flames! We know how it’s going to end of course (unless you’ve lived on Mars – although even then you would have heard by now…) but we’re still salivating over the possibilities: The Gringotts break-in (dragon!), the final battle for the wizard-school, Dumbledore and of course the epilogue. In an interview Radcliffe himself speculated on using some of the ageing technology utilised on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” for the main trio of actors. After all, it wouldn’t be good if after seven films, we couldn’t finish with the same actors. Better keep reading the Daily Prophet for updates.

1. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Release Date: 28th December (USA)

TintinYou can have all the vampires, pirates and wizards in the world, but the No1 film to look forward to in 2011 is undoubtedly Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the beloved comic book series by Hérge. The first official images have just been released and boy does that CGI look great. Furthering some of the great advancement’s of James Cameron’s “Avatar”, the film will use a sort of motion capture and will then be created completely in the computer. Jamie Bell (Billy Eliot) takes centre stage as our hero with his trusty dog, motion capture pro (he did both Gollum and King Kong) Andy Serkis is the creative-insults machine Captain Haddock while comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost don the bowlers of Thomson and Thompson. While the title is officially “The Secret of the Unicorn”, it seems that the film will take elements from different books and meld them together for a great Tintin adventure. Spielberg directs and Jackson produces – they will switch roles for the sequel in 2012. Note that the release date is the same as “War Horse” which means Spielberg has a double whammy when taking on theatres next Christmas. Anyway – we can’t wait! Also in the animation or CG genre we can expect films like Cars 2 (24th Jun), Happy Feet 2 (18th Nov), Puss in Boots (4th Nov) and The Smurfs 3D (3rd Aug).

Awesome roundup! Whatever your taste, there’s plenty of movies to keep you entertained coming along next year. But as always there’s not just good movies, there’s always a few crappy ones as well. Here’s our predictions:

Five movies you (probably) don’t need to see in 2011:

5. Piranha 3DD (Aug TBA)

4. Transformers: The Dark of the Moon (1st Jul)

3. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas (23rd Dec)

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D (16th Dec)

1. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (18th Feb)

So that’s it! What films are you looking forward to in 2011? Leave us a comment!

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