Speculative fiction based movies are on deck to make a strong showing in 2013. This gives me hope for the genre, but of course that could all be dashed on the shore of despair if all the non-comic book movies (except one) listed below are shiny turds at the box office, and with the critics.
Why do I have only one comic/superhero movie on the list? I’m a bit tired of superhero movies. I’m over it. The Man of Steel is the only one that is offering a new interpretation of an existing character. All the other superhero movies are just rehashed characters driven by new plot devices.
Also, be sure to check out my Top 10 Must Avoid Movies of 2013.
So, in order of release date here are the movies I will be paying to see in the theater. Here are The Top 10 Must See Movies of 2013!
April 19, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: Oblivion centers on Jack Harper, one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on a devastated Earth. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.
Why you should see it: Original science fiction! That’s right, this isn’t a sequel, or reboot, or based on decades old IP. It’s a new story by Joseph Kosinski the director of Tron: Legacy. New science fiction in the theater is hard to come by. Don’t let it pass you by!
When you can see it: April 19, 2013 (US)
Star Trek Into Darkness
May 17, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: Details are a bit sketchy, but the internet is rife with rumors…including Infinispace. Earth, Starfleet, and indeed Kirk himself are under siege from a baddie within their own ranks. Is it Khan? Is it Gary Mitchell? Is it some neo-baddie unheard of in the Trek universe? We’ll find out this summer.
Why you should see it: Star Trek Into Darkness is sure to be a box office and critical hit, as was the first in this newly rebooted timeline. But that’s no reason to see it in and of itself. This one appear to be darker and more personal than the 2009 movie. Sacrifices will have to be made. Enterprise goes swimming! And finally…will Spock die, paralleling The Wrath of Khan ending, or is that a red herring planted by the studio?
When you can see it: May 17, 2013 (US)
June 7, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: A father and son crash land on an Earth that was abandoned by humanity 1000 years ago. The son must traverse the hostile, transformed, and alien homeworld of humanity to find the rescue beacon and save his dying father.
Why you should see it: After Earth is more original science fiction. Are you seeing a trend here? As with the trend, this one has the potential to be a dud as the much maligned M. Night Shyamalan is behind it. But the premise sounds interesting and Will Smith always gives a strong performance.
When you can see it: May 31, 2013 (US)
Man of Steel
June 14, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: General Zod is back to confront Kal-El/Clark Kent, but Clark struggles with his powers and destiny during humanity’s most critical time of need.
Why you should see it: Superman. Reboot. A darker, more mature, and more story driven Man of Steel is sure to be a hit with fans and critic, washing away the recent Superman Returns reboot, and the campy versions from the 70s and 80s. This is the only superhero movie to make my list, as it’s the only one that appears to offer anything new to the genre (even though it’s a reboot). Yes, I know everyone will be flocking to Iron Man 3 to hear Tony Stark toss out one liners, but I believe Man of Steel has more potential.
When you can see it: June 14, 2013 (US)
June 21, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: The prequel to Monsters Inc. takes us back about 10 years when Mike and Sulley were in the same fraternity at Monsters University while studying to become “scarers.” They were also rivals.
Why you should see it: Because Mike and Sulley are…so awesome! Some people say that grownups shouldn’t love animated movies. To that I say…pffffffffffffffft! Wall-E is one of my all time favorites, and Monsters Inc. is a Pixar classic. Other than Cars and Cars 2, Pixar can do almost no wrong. I doubt they are going to drop the ball on this one.
When you can see it: June 21, 2013 (US)
July 12, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: Pacific Rim harkens back to the Japanese monster movies of the 1970s…but it pulls the genre in to the new century. When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, start rising from the sea, a war begins that will take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the monsters, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers. Let the destruction begin!
Why you should see it: Action. Action. Action. This is sure to be one of the best pure popcorn flicks of the summer. A nostalgic special effects bonanza from Guillermo del Toro. On the down side this could be another Battleship, but I highly doubt it.
When you can see it: July 12, 2013 (US)
August 9, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: In the year 2154 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.
Why you should see it: Original science fiction! That’s two in a row! Oh, and Neill Blomkamp, the director who brought us the awesomeness of District 9 on a shoestring budget is directing his first movie since that box office hit. Let’s see what he does with $120 million this time.
When you can see it: August 9, 2013 (US)
September 6, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: Betrayed and abandoned by his own race, the Furyans, Riddick is left for dead on a desolate planet and must battle alien predators and descending bounty hunters to save his own hide. But was Riddick really betrayed by Furya, or is he a pawn in a greater game of deception?
Why you should see it: Pitch Black introduced us to Richard Riddick. The Chronicles of Riddick gave him a background. Riddick fills in more of his Furyan background while giving us more ass kicking action. The character of Riddick is one of the more interesting characters introduced to us in quite awhile. Rumor is that the first part of the movie will attempt to tie up the loose ends of the Underverse storyline started in the previous film…which I really liked.
When you can see it: September 6, 2013 (US)
November 1, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: This is really hard to say without giving away the twist, but I’ll give it a shot. Decades after an alien war, humanity trains gifted children at a military academy to fight for them in future battles. The academy uses various games as training. Ender Wiggins is one of the most gifted children. But what exactly is he being trained for? Harrison Ford stars as Colonel Graff.
Why you should see it: Ender’s Game could be a bomb. And this is one reason to see it. The book has been placed upon an unjustified and unreachable pedestal for decades, and no movie will ever meet the expectations of Ender’s Game fans. Ever. Mark my words. That being said, if done right it could be a very good movie. But based on set reports I’ve read the script is nothing like the book. You need to see this movie just to witness the ensuing train wreck that’s bound to happen.
When you can see it: November 1, 2013 (US)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
December 13, 2013 (US)
What it’s about: Wiley Mr. Bilbo Baggins continues his adventure and march towards Lonely Mountain and his confrontation with Smaug (which to me is Bilbo’s denouement of the entire book) where he puts his new found ring of invisibility to good use.
Why you should see it: I was torn after viewing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but the next installment is a must see. Most of us know the plot of the book to the Nth degree, but we really need to see how Peter Jackson continues to weave in all the Lord of the Rings elements in to the films. And who doesn’t want to see Smaug lay wasted to Laketown?!
When you can see it: December 13, 2013 (US)