The Raid 2: Berandal
Gareth Evans’ The Raid took the world by storm in 2011 with its no-holds-barred action and relentless tension cranking. If the trailer for sequel The Raid 2: Berandal is anything to go by, he’s set to take everything up another notch, injecting Sundance with a little Indonesian chaos.
Iko Uwais is back as Rama, who this time goes undercover to take down a Jakarta crime syndicate. Hold onto your seats…
If you cast Michael Fassbender in your movie, you sort of want to be able to show his face. Not so with Frank , in which the never-hotter actor wears a ceramic mask for the entire film.
Sound bonkers? Not as bonkers as the film, which follows real-life musical personality Frank Sidebottom (Fassy) in a fictional story that also features Maggie Gyllenhaal as Frank’s crazy sidekick and Domhnall Gleeson as a wannabe rocker.
The One I Love
Mark Duplass is nothing if not a Sundance darling, and considering the awesome flicks he’s taken to snowy Utah previously ( Baghead, Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister’s Sister ) it’s not hard to see why.
Expect him to work his magic again this year with The One I Love , in which he co-stars with Mad Men ’s Elisabeth Moss as an issues-beset married couple. Solution? Go see Ted Danson’s therapist. We’re already sold.
Promo pics from William H. Macy’s directorial debut have shown off a grizzled Billy Crudup looking slightly worse for wear, probably because he’s playing an ad exec who’s grieving the death of his son.
Described as a “musical drama about the power of a parent’s love”, Macy’s film also stars Selena Gomez, Laurence Fishburne and wifey Felicity Huffman for what looks like a hard-hitting drama to rival the likes of Crazy Heart.
Life After Beth
The rom-zom-com genre has pretty much laid dormant since Shaun Of The Dead had the audacity to bloodily birth it, but Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan and John C. Reilly are giving it a shot in the arm with this new entry in the micro-genre. The plot follows Zach (DeHaan), whose girlfriend Beth (Plaza) inexplicably returns from the dead.
They Came Together
Paul Rudd reunites with his Role Models and Wanderlust director David Wain for a star-studded comedy that follows his evil exec, who goes up against Amy Poehler’s knick-knack store owner. Also attempting to tickle your funny bones are Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Melanie Lynskey and Zod himself, Michael Shannon (wielding a sword, no less).
If that plot sounds sort of like You’ve Got Mail , that’s intentional – this time, Wain’s setting out to lampoon rom-coms.
If you’ve ever thought there should be more films like Dr Dolittle, The Voices has come to answer all of your motion picture prayers. It stars Ryan Reynolds as a man who can talk to his pet cat and dog.
Don’t expect too many dog poo jokes, though – Mr Whiskers is a scheming swear-machine who should keep Reynolds on his toes. Could this be responsible for rejuvenating Reynolds’ post- RIPD career? Paws crossed.
Michael Shannon’s second film at Sundance this year (after comedy They Came Together ) drops him into a near-barren Earth where water is in seriously short supply.
Yep, we’re in apocalyptic terrain for Boardwalk Empire director Jake Paltrow’s first film since 2007’s The Good Night. Expect a Greek tragedy on a massive scale.
White Bird In A Blizzard
Shailene Woodley may have been excised from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 , but she’s up front and centre in Gregg Araki’s adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s book about a young woman whose mother inexplicably disappears.
Eva Green plays the aforementioned matriarch, and given Araki’s track record for addictively oddball cinematic firecrackers, we can’t wait to see what he’s concocted this time around.
Wish I Was Here
It’s been two years since Joel Edgerton’s Wish You Were Here opened the Sundance Film Festival, and while we still wait for it to get a UK release date, Zach Braff’s come along with the similarly-titled Wish I Was Here .
2014 marks the 10 year anniversary of Garden State ’s debut at Sundance, and WIWH looks like a similarly nostalgia-tinged drama with Braff playing a 35-year-old dad struggling to find meaning in his life.
A spiritual sequel to The Guard , again courtesy of director John Michael McDonagh and star Brendan Gleeson, this comedy drama follows Gleeson’s priest, who’s affronted on a daily basis by the behaviour of his clergy.
Don’t expect an easy ride – The Guard came equipped with a scabrous wit and some really dark ideas, and we fully expect more of that from this twisted-looking drama.
Unlikely comedy duo alert – this dark chuckler from Lynn Shelton pairs Chloe Grace Moretz with none other than our Keira Knightley for what is surely one of the oddest two-handers of recent years.
Knightley plays Megan, who fakes a business trip to escape her boyfriend and hang out with Moretz’s 16-year-old Annika. The last time Shelton came to Sundance, she delivered Your Sister’s Sister , so audience expectations of another strong female-led flick will be high.
Kristen Stewart does the GI Jane thing in Peter Sattler’s drama, in which her soldier befriends a Guantanamo Bay detainee who’s been incarcerated for eight years.
After an almost entirely K-Stew-free 2013, this looks set to rocket Stewart back into the spotlight with style to spare. Could there really be life after Twilight ? It’s looking good…
Cold In July
Jim Mickle’s been on our radar ever since Mulberry Street , and Stake Land and We Are What We Are saw him deliver on his early promise.
The writer-director’s sticking to moody terrain with this crime drama, adapted from Joe R. Lansdale’s novel and following Michael C Hall’s everyguy, who becomes the target of a career criminal after a break-in at his home. This should be dark, twisted and riveting.
Yet more Sundance returnees abound in this brainy sci-fi, as Another Earth director Mike Cahill and star Brit Marling re-team for their second slick-looking genre-bender.
Marling co-stars as the lab partner of Michael Pitt’s molecular biologist, who discovers something that could change society forever. What is it? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Love Is Strange
“This is a sweet film,” says director Ira Sachs of his sixth feature, which continues the filmmaker’s preoccupation with relationships.
The Memphis-born director’s last film at Sundance was hard-hitting gay period drama Keep The Lights On , and Love Is Strange takes a look at gay marriage in modern day New York. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are the couple whose lives are turned upside when they tie the knot.
The Trip To Italy
After Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and the BAFTA-nominated Philomena , Steve Coogan’s surfing something of a renewed popularity wave, and that looks set to continue with this sequel to 2010’s The Trip .
Like the original film, Michael Winterbottom’s directing what will be a six-episode series that will then be edited down and released as a movie. This time, Coogan and Rob Brydon will follow the route of English romantic poets who traveled through Italy.
Could this be this year’s The Imposter ? It certainly looks that way, Jeremiah Zagar’s feature-style documentary taking a thriller approach to fact-flicks.
His film takes a look at the first ever fully-televised court case – that of Pamela Smart, whose story provided the basis for Nicole Kidman’s To Die For back in 1995.
The OTHER Arrested Development reunion (after the ACTUAL Arrested Development reunion), this comedy re-teams AD co-stars Michael Cera and David Cross for the latter’s directorial debut.
Cera plays a pot dealer in a film that sets out to examine the concept of celebrity in 21st century America. Should we expect cameos from Cross’ A-list buddies? Fingers crossed.
A Most Wanted Man
Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of the same-named John le Carré thriller stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Günther Bachmann, a half-Russian immigrant who attempts to claim his dead father’s fortune. Also on board: Daniel Brühl, Willem Dafoe, Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright.
Is music capable of helping to unlock long-buried memories? That’s the theory Michael Rossato-Bennett puts to the test in this doc as he follows social worker Dan Cohen over three years as he tries to prove his theory, even playing the Beach Boys to an Alzheimer’s patient that seems to provide proof perfect that music is intimately tied to memory.
Based on Peter Dexter’s 1983 book, God’s Pocket is a drama that sees a man called Mickey (Philip Seymour Hoffman) attempt to cover up the accidental death of his stepson.
As if the allure of more quality Seymour Hoffman-ning isn't enough to lure in, it's also the big screen directorial debut of actor turned director John Slattery (he of the Mad Men Silver Fox-ing). And it's no surprise to see he's roped in some of his actorly chums, with Christina Hendricks and Eddie Marsan also set to star.
Happy Christmas reunites prolific indie director Joe Swanberg with Twilight actress (and all-round Hollywood hot ticket) Anna Kendrick, and throws just-as-proflific-pop-culturer Lena Dunham into the acting mix, too.
The plot follows a young woman who breaks up with her boyfriend and spends Christmas with her brother and his family - unsurprisingly, all does not go entirely according to plan in this comedy drama.
Infinitely Polar Bear
The Larry Sanders Show writer and producer Maya Forbes directs her first film in this American comedy about a manic-depressive father (Mark Ruffalo) trying to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) by looking after their two young, free spirited daughters, who don’t make life any easier for him.
The Skeleton Twins
Take some of SNL's brightest graduates (Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader), throw in a spattering of indie and mainstream darlings (Mark Duplass, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell), and mix in an intriguing, off-the-wall plot (a pair of estranged twins - Wiig and Hader - cheat death on the same day, and reunite to attempt to mend old wounds), and you've got a comedy drama guaranteed to pop up on your radar over the coming months.
Anne Hathaway stars in what's set to be the anti- One Day, in a heart-wrenching and raw drama about a young woman who returns home to visit her injured and comatose brother only to find romance along the way in the shape of her brother’s favourite musician.
Hathaway, who also produced the project, is set to sing as well as star in director Barker-Froyland’s first feature film.
The Green Prince
Another of the festival's hotly tipped documentaries promises a tale so crazy it's hard to believe it's true.
Israeli director's tense, atmospheric doc follows the tale of a young man whose entire world is flipped upside down when he agrees to work for the government, and spy on a dangerous terrorist organisation he once supported, and even went to prison for.
To Be Takei
George Takei's had an incredible personal and professional journey both on and off-screen. While many will know him solely as Star Trek 's original Hikaru Sulu, he's also become a passionate advocate for gay rights, and in recent years has become somewhat of an internet darling thanks to his prolifically LOLCATZ-friendly Facebook presence.
This documentary peeks behind the showbiz curtain to explore the man behind the warp drive.
When Roger Ebert passed away in 2013, the movie world mourned one of its most iconic and revered crtiics.
Life Itself is the documentary based on Ebert’s 2011 memoir 'Life Itself: A Memoir', and follows the story and struggles of the American film critic.
Arguably the most intriguing movie at the festival, Whiplash is the feature length adaptation of a short director Damien Chazelle already brought to Sundance - and won award for - in 2013.
Not only that, but he's had two movies on Hollywood's infamous Black Lists (including Whiplash), and features a story purpose built for tension, about a young man ( Project X 's Miles Teller) who will stop at nothing to perfect his drum playing ability under the watchful eye of an eccentric tutor played by J.K. Simmons.