As most of the movie world takes a look back at the 2011 year in film, I look ahead at my most anticipated movies of 2012!

First I’ll start with the honorable mentions, ten films I’m highly excited to see but weren’t quite able to crack my list:

  • Argo
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Chronicle
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Gangster Squad
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Lincoln
  • Skyfall
  • Wettest County
  • World War Z
  • And now for the top ten:

    #10 Moonrise Kingdom

    In my opinion, Wes Anderson is one of the most accomplished directors of the past 15 years. So when news comes around of him making a movie featuring the likes of Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Harvey Keitel, all as supporting characters, I can’t help but be ecstatic. Following a young couple who flee their small 1960’s New England town and go on the run, this film has all the ingredients to be one of the best of 2012.

    #9 Only God Forgives

    Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling. Enough said. The Drive duo reunites only a year later to tell the story of a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match. Sounds pretty badass to me. Not only was Drive one of my favorites of 2011, but Nicolas Winding Refn has a pretty incredible track record of his own, with films like Bronson and Valhalla Rising under his belt, Only God Forgives is extremely intriguing in its own right.

    #8 The Hunger Games

    The much-awaited adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ wildly successful novel is nearing release, and I couldn’t be more excited. Lionsgate went with a very unconventional director in Gary Ross, whose past few films Seabiscuit and Pleasantville are both unique and pretty fantastic films in their own right, and I’m very curious to see what he’s done with this material. Jennifer Lawrence is a perfect choice to play Katniss, as she’s demonstrated with her Oscar-nominated performance in Winter’s Bone, she’s more than up for the job. Additionally, Ross has surrounded Lawrence with some fantastic supporting actors, as I expect The Hunger Games won’t disappoint.

    #7 Django Unchained

    Quentin Tarantino making a spaghetti western? Yes please! With each film that Tarantino releases, the buzz surrounding it seems to increase tenfold, beginning with his masterful Pulp Fiction all the way up to this current release. Featuring a cast that includes Jaime Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Sasha Baron Cohen, Michael K. Williams, and more, the story of Django on a journey to rescue his slave-wife Broomhilda sounds too good to be true. Here’s to hoping Django doesn’t disappoint!

    #6 The Dark Knight Rises

    Christopher Nolan, who has taken the superhero movie to heights not thought possible, is back for his final go at Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. With an intriguing new villain in Bane (Tom Hardy), and the usual outstanding supporting cast, and another hefty budget provided by Warner Bros., this latest film from Nolan should be the highlight of the summer box-office season. Let’s hope it’s well earned!

    #5 Anna Karenina

    Joe Wright is among my favorite directors working today. When given great material to work with (Atonement), he has made some of the greatest films I’ve seen. Even with less-than-stellar material (The Soloist), his skills have been able to salvage what could be a bad film into something of value. Now Wright sets his sights on Tolstoy and one of his crowning works, Anna Karenina. Reuniting with Keira Knightley, star of his Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, the film also stars the likes of Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson, Dohmnall Gleeson, the film should be spectacular. Look out for Wright’s signature long, single-take shot to appear in this one!

    #4 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth, and this writer could not be more excited! As fantastic and cinematic as The Lord of the Rings is, the story at the center of The Hobbit is equally incredible, and I am truly thankful that Peter Jackson finally agreed to helm its adaptation, as he alone is master of this universe. From the trailer we’ve seen, Martin Freeman looks to be perfect for the role of Bilbo, and Jackson has amassed a ridiculously talented cast to support him.

    #3 Looper

    As anyone who read the article on my top 10 movies of all-time will know, I was a huge fan of Rian Johnson’s debut, Brick. It should therefore come as little shock just how excited I am to see his latest feature, Looper, which has been described as a time travel thriller. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt, the film follows the maddeningly complex synopsis of a mob hitman who recognizes his next target to be his future self. Just try to wrap your mind around that one…So far reviews from test screenings have been overwhelmingly positive, and I’ll be sure to be lining up for this one.

    #2 Seven Psychopaths

    Again, this pick can be harkened back to my top 10 movies of all-time post, as Martin McDonagh’s previous feature film, In Bruges, also made my list. His next project, Seven Psychopaths, reunites this Oscar and Tony winner with Colin Farrell, who plays a screenwriter wrapped up in a dognapping scheme gone horribly awry. With a fantastic supporting cast including Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Gabourey Sidibe, Tom Waits, and Olga Kurylenko, Seven Psychopaths has the potential to be the best of the year.

    #1 Gravity

    Alfonso Cuaron’s latest is finally in production amidst much anticipation and after a lot of casting difficulties. Cycling through 3 different leads, including Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, and Blake Lively, as well as having Robert Downey Jr. signed on for a supporting character, Gravity has its two main characters cast in Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Following the lone survivor of a failed space mission attempting to return to Earth, Gravity reportedly features minimal dialogue and characters. With Cuaron reunited with his Children of Men cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, this space thriller should feature some stunning visuals!

    Now I’ve chimed in, give us you’re list of what you can’t wait to see at the movies come 2012. Another fantastic year for film is just right around the corner!

    After all that talk of inclusivity, Star Trek Beyond falls into the Hollywood trap of implied sexuality.

    Mild spoilers for Star Trek Beyond.

    Star Trek Beyond, already a wildly anticipated movie, made headlines ahead of its release because of the franchise’s decision to introduce the first openly LGBT character: Mr Sulu, played by John Cho.

    While this decision was certainly met with excitement, there was disappointment, too. The original Mr Sulu, George Takei, openly voiced his opinion that they should have introduced a new LGBT character rather than expand on original canon (as they have been the whole trilogy), while Simon Pegg beautifully argued that there was power in using an established character who wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality.

    Then came the movie itself, and while the introduction of gay Sulu is still a great thing, we’re left sorely disappointed by Beyond‘s decision to depict the LGBT relationship — or rather, hardly depict it at all.

    As reported by our friends at The Mary Sue, the scene featuring Sulu and his husband Ben depicts a “lukewarm” relationship, although Sulu is very affectionate with the pair’s daughter.

    This is, unfortunately, a common problem in Hollywood when an LGBT couple — almost impossibly — makes it into a big franchise film. They’re allowed to be there, but having any kind of physical interaction even remotely resembling what a heterosexual couple might have still seems to be off-limits.

    Related: Hollywood is failing the LGBT community: GLAAD slams Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros.

    And, according to John Cho, there was actually a kiss filmed. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” he told Collider. “It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”

    Cho points out that Ben was played by a non-actor, writer Doug Jung, and says, “Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”

    And we wish we could have seen it. Introducing a major LGBT character in the Star Trek franchise is a fantastic first step, and depicting two POC actors raising a child together is a great statement — but, unfortunately, the decision to cut out their kiss (which was already chaste, by the sounds of it) is emblematic of Hollywood’s continuous phobia of depicting LGBT relationships and intimacy on the big screen.

    As Screen Crush also points out, this exact same scenario played out in Independence Day: Resurgence, too. In Finding Dory, the lesbian couple are only implied, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence.

    LGBT representation (when present at all) is always so subtle, evidently in fear of offending straight audiences while not totally erasing non-straight sexualities. And, sadly, even that is considered a big step forward — but maybe it’s time we start depicting humanity as it is, and not what society wished it was 100 years ago.

    Here’s looking at you, Star Wars.

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

    With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

    They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

    The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

    If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

    This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

    For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

    If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

    The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

    Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

    The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

    The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

    This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

    As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

    The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

    “This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”