The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
“In the first movie, she was a hesitant hero,” Jennifer Lawrence says of her gutsy alter ego, Katniss Everdeen, who’s back for an even deadlier Games in the sequel to last year’s blockbuster. “There are more people she has to save now.” But can she challenge the oppressive Capitol and stay alive? “It all starts to blow up in this movie,” says director Francis Lawrence.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lost star Lilly (pictured), who joins the franchise as an elf heroine, says Tinker Bell inspired her: “You don’t want to get on the wrong side of Tink!” And Bloom’s elf prince Legolas crosses over from The Lord of the Rings: “I was honored that [director Peter Jackson] thought it would be a good idea to bring Leggy back,” he says.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Idris Elba, Naomie Harris
It takes a brave actor to play one of the most revered men in the world, but Elba sets out to show Nelson Mandela the man, not just the myth. Harris gets a star turn too, as Mandela’s controversial ex-wife Winnie.
Inside Llewyn Davis
Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake
No one mixes sadness and humor like the Coen brothers, and this tale of a hard-up folk singer is getting major buzz.
Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel
Jason Statham, James Franco
Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen
Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
Move over, Siri: There’s another virtual personal assistant who offers more than weather updates. In the near future, a lonely writer (Phoenix) buys a computer-operating system named Samantha (voiced by Johansson) and develops a romantic bond with her.
Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin
Winslet falls for Brolin, a convict holding her hostage, and the pair share what may be the sexiest pie-baking scene in history. “Josh made a pie every day,” says Winslet, who suffered dessert fatigue. “It was charming until five weeks in, when he was saying, ‘I’ve baked you another pie!’ ”
American Hustle Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams
The hair! The clothes! To play a ’70s FBI agent, Cooper sports a perm while Bale gained 40 lbs. to portray an arrogant con artist in David O. Russell’s crime drama, loosely based on the Abscam political corruption sting. Lawrence ditches her Hunger Games bow and arrow to join her Silver Linings Playbook director as a manic-depressive alcoholic who is “very beautiful but toxic,” says producer Charles Roven.
Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker
Out of the Furnace
Christian Bale, Zoë Saldana
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig
August: Osage County
Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an estranged family coming together in Oklahoma, Streep stars as a pill-popping, foul-mouthed mom who makes her daughter (Roberts) miserable. “Meryl is painfully funny,” says director John Wells. “She tells the brutal truth.” The family feud reaches a high with a physical brawl between Roberts and Streep.
Saving Mr. Banks
Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell
There was no spoonful of sugar to help Walt Disney (Hanks) make 1964’s Mary Poppins. This film tells the real-life story of prickly author P.L. Travers (Thompson) butting heads with the mogul over her magical nanny.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate
Ron Burgundy is back—and he’s taking Manhattan. The narcissistic news anchor (Ferrell) from the 2004 comedy hit leaves San Diego to tackle cable news in the Big Apple, bringing his polyester suits with him. You stay classy, New York!
of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill
Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas
Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone
Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana