50 Most Exciting Actors Of 2014

Hot to trot…

Carey Mulligan

The Exciting Actor: Carey Mulligan made everybody pay attention with her surprisingly mature turn in An Education.

Though her movie choices have been hit and miss in the years since then, there's no denying she's a talent to keep tabs on, especially in 2014.

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year:
The Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis has garnered much attention on the festival circuit, with Mulligan singled out for her performance, whil e Far From The Madding Crowd promises drama by the bucket-load.

Keira Knightley

The Exciting Actor: Her presence on the big screen hasn't been felt much in the past few years (with the odd exception), but Knightley's back with a vengeance in 2014 with a whopping five films.

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year : Knightley's got all of her bases covered - there's big budget action in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit , music in Can A Song Save Your Life? , Lynn Shelton/Chloe Grace Moretz drama Laggies and period thriller The Imitation Game (with Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing).

Get ready for Knightley 2.0…

Chris Pine

The Exciting Actor: Need somebody to reboot your franchise? Why, just give Chris Pine a call. Having successfully led Star Trek into exciting new intergalactic territory, he's now heading up a Jack Ryan redo…

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit isn't the only film Pine's got out this year - his slate's packed with diverse offerings, from Disney fantas y Into The Woods and Joe Carnahan actioner Stretch to gross-out comedy Horrible Bosses 2.

Imogen Poots

The Exciting Actor: Twenty-four-year-old London resident and one of our most under-rated actresses, Poots has done everything from horror reboots (Fright Night ) to Irvine Welsh adaps ( Filth ).

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year: She's got enough projects heading to the big screen, among them Nick Hornby adap A Long Way Down , plus That Awkward Moment, actioner Need For Speed and Malick flick Knight Of Cups.

Megan Fox

The Exciting Actor: One-time sex-upper of the Transformer flicks, Fox tapped a surprising vein in comedy with 2012's This Is 40 . Could she be about to pull a Wahlberg on us?

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year:
She has only one credit in 2014, but that credit is playing hardy reporter April in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

True, it could be awesome or awful, but if it's the former, prepare to see Fox's profile on the rise again.

Matt Damon

The Exciting Actor: Is there anything Matt Damon can't do? If he's not appearing in spoof break-up videos with Sarah Silverman, he's starring in a surprisingly excellent Liberace biopic. And it's looking even better in 2014…

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year:
War drama The Monuments Men teams Damon up with George Clooney again (alongside John Goodman and Bill Murray), while he also has a role in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar

Kate Winslet

The Exciting Actor: Still one of the most consistently-brilliant British actresses working today, Winslet may have been suckered into appearing in the terrible Movie 43 (groan), but she's making up for that turkey with solid gold in 2014.

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year: Labor Day , in which her character takes in Josh Brolin's drifter over the holidays, is already getting good buzz, and she's also starring in Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos.

Plus there's book adap Divergent and The Dressmaker due in 2015.

Charlize Theron

The Exciting Actor: Theron kicked 2012's behind with her witchy turn in Snow White & The Huntsman a nd her ice-cold suit in Prometheus . 2013 was a quiet one, which means 2014 is going to be busy, busy, busy.

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year : Mad Max: Fury Road is due in 2015, which means we should expect Theron to be talking it up something chronic in 2014.

Meanwhile, she's starring alongside Chloe Grace Moretz in crime thriller Dark Places and being directed by Seth McFarlane in his awesome-sounding sophomore flick A Million Ways To Die In The West.

Ben Whishaw

The Exciting Actor : Brit actor and new Q, Whishaw's been consistent in his indie choices ( I'm Not There, Bright Star, Perfume ) and looks set to continue in that vein into 2014.

Why 2014 Could Be Their Yea r: He's just landed the role of Freddie Mercury in the as-yet-untitled biopic, and he's starring in Chekhov adap Days And Nights alongside Allison Janney. Plus, of course, he's set to return as Q in Bond 24 , shooting in 2014.

Shailene Woodley

The Exciting Actor: Though she was chopped from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 , that hasn't stopped this young star-in-the-making lining up her own franchise vehicle in book adap Divergent .

Why 2014 Could Be Their Year: If she's not careful, 2014 could easily become the Year Of Woodley.

First there's Divergent , hoping to tap into the Hunger Games market, then there's Gregg Araki's awesome-looking White Bird In A Blizzard and indie drama The Fault In Our Stars . This lady's definitely going places.