The 11 most anticipated movies of 2011

It seems like 2011 is just something audiences have to get through until 2012 and the anticipated release of the next Batman film. However, there are still some big movies to be released this year and since the biggest trend right now in movies is superheroes, there are quite a few of those on this list. These are some of the biggest releases to mark on your calendar.

1. “Captain America: The First Avenger”

Chris Evans was a controversial choice to play the superhero who represents America. I wanted Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio but my vote didn’t count. Still, it may turn out that Evans was the perfect choice. This movie has the potential, if the story is as good as the action probably will be, to be the biggest superhero franchise of all. I mean, he’s Captain America.

2. “Thor”

Another superhero movie — this one started off with negative opinions — that was until a trailer leaked online and blew fans away. The action sequences look amazing, Chris Helmsworth looks like he was born to play Thor, and the rest of the cast is nothing short of stellar — including the beautiful Natalie Portman who may be polishing an Oscar soon for “Black Swan.” You won’t want to miss this one.

3. “X-Men: First Class”

When the Batman franchise began to flop, Chris Nolan saved it. Can “Kick-Ass” director Matthew Vaughn do the same for the beloved X-Men franchise? He’s certainly got some superpowers to do it. His superb cast includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones, Rose Byrne and Kevin Bacon. This sequel takes audiences all the way back to the origins of the famous superheroes and their leader Professor X.

4. “Green Lantern”

The Green Lantern is not as much of a household name as, say, Superman or Batman, but Ryan Reynolds is, especially after being named the hottest man alive and most recently the hottest, single, man alive. Reynolds had huge success in 2010 and he’s probably hoping he can keep this momentum going in 2011 as Hal Jordan, the test pilot given a mystical green ring, which empowers him and gives him a cool green suit.

5. “Super 8”

J.J. Abrams. That’s all you need to tell me to get me to see this film. In fact, don’t expect to know much more than this. Much like like “Cloverfield,” Abrams likes to keep his projects tightly under wrap, so I can’t tell you much about the plot. I can tell you, however, that Abrams has a next-to-immaculate record so far as a director and producer, and if he keeps this up, he’ll be considered the next Spielberg before long.

6. “Cowboys & Aliens”

It’s the 1800s in Arizona and all that stands in the way of an imminent alien invasion is a few cowboys and their horses. But who doesn’t like the cowboys chances when they are led by superstar Daniel Craig? Now that he’s stepped away from the Ironman franchise, director Jon Favreau will hope that this film matches the success of “Ironman,” and why shouldn’t it? It looks like a really fun movie.

7. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”

Horror is not my favorite genre. There aren’t many horror films that get me excited. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is a different story, though. First of all, it’s produced and co-written by Guillermo Del Toro, who does monsters like no one else. Director, Troy Nixey, is a Del Toro protégé and from what was revealed in the first teaser, this looks fantastic.

8. “Sherlock Holmes 2”

One of the most entertaining films of 2009 was Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes.” Not only was it smart and funny, it had great acting, which resulted in wonderful chemistry between its two stars, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. In 2011, they will bring all of these ingredients together again for a sequel and it should be, again, quite entertaining.

9. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

Now that the first half has been released, and after a decade of box-office domination, the beloved franchise comes to an end. This is certainly one of the most anticipated films of the year. Harry and his friends will put up their final attack against Voldemort as audiences are escorted back to Hogwarts for one grandiose final chapter.

10. “Battle: Los Angeles”

“Battle: Los Angeles” is “Saving Private Ryan” meets “Independence Day.” Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez star in this war movie in which humans must defend themselves against an alien attack. However, what makes this film unique, is the feel it has of an actual documented battle rather than an unbelievable orgy of special effects and tricks. This could actually surprise everyone
and be the best film of the year.

11. “The Muppets”

The Muppets are beloved. Their comedy has been of the purest and most innocent kind and we love them for how good they are. This year they make a comeback in a film written by Jason Segel, which features an array of talent lending their voices. This film may not win an Oscar next year and it may not change cinema as we know it, but it will put smiles on kid’s faces, and adults as well.

These are just some of the great movies that are coming out this year. It should be another profitable year for the popcorn industry. Keep an eye out for other movies that didn’t make this list. It’s a long year and there are always hidden cinema treasures out there to be found.

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