The 13 Most Exciting Sci-Fi Movies Coming Out in 2015
2015 is shaping up to be a great year for sci-fi cinema, between the continuation of huge franchises like Star Wars and Avengers to thought-provoking indies like Ex Machina and Chappie. Here are the movies coming out this year that we're most excited for (as well as the ones we probably shouldn't be excited for):
Chappie - March 6
We were disappointed by Neill Blomkamp's Elysium, which was mainstream fare at its most generic. But the more offbeat Chappie seems to show him getting back to his District 9 brilliance, as the early buzz makes the film look both thoughtful and adorable. Sharlto Copley stars as Chappie, an intelligent robot who has the mind of a human child, in a story that's half-robot thriller, half-coming of age story.
Ex Machina - April 10
We can hardly count the reasons we're excited for this movie. The cast, which includes Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander, is top-notch, it's written and directed by 28 Days Later's Alex Garland, and all of the promotional materials thus far indicate that this will be a high-minded, thoughtful look at the ethics of artificial intelligence. Gleeson plays a computer programmer who is invited to his boss's mountain house, only to find that he is part of a twisted type of Turing Test involving a self-aware and seductive female robot.
Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1
The first Avengers movie was a fun, well-acted, and extremely entertaining superhero movie. But it was ultimately a little trifling, especially considering that they had Joss Whedon, who is more than capable of taking on meatier material, on their side. From the promotional materials thus far, Age of Ultron looks like it will take all the best of Avengers: the cast chemistry, the witty banter, the huge action sequences, and add some gravitas and darkness to it. Darkness is really the one thing that Marvel hasn't conquered yet, so if Avengers: Age of Ultron is both dark and well-received by fans, they will have proven they can really do no wrong.
Mad Max: Fury Road - May 15
Granted, this is basically the reboot that no one asked for, as Mel Gibson's sci-fi western series has been put to bed for many years. But we were tentatively optimistic when we heard that the cast included Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult, and then became genuinely excited when the trailer was visually distinctive, bonkers fun.
Tomorrowland - May 22
Movies based on theme parks or theme park attractions are definitely hit or miss, but we can't help but be excited for Tomorrowland, especially after George Clooney's surprise visit to NYCC. The plot, and the nature of the "Tomorrowland" of which they speak, is mostly under wraps, but it has potential to be a sweet, charming, and escapist adventure film.
Fantastic Four - August 7
Victor Frankenstein - October 2
[Credit: 20th Century Fox]
The story of Frankenstein told from Igor's perspective, Victor Frankenstein stars Daniel Radcliffe as the hunchback assistant and James McAvoy as the titular scientist. Radcliffe has been making incredibly interesting and shrewd decisions in his post-Harry Potter career, and the change in perspective seems to add a refreshing new angle to the oft-told story of Frankenstein's monster.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 2 - November 20
Last year, we wouldn't have necessarily put Mockingjay pt 1 on our list, but the third installment of the series was surprisingly dark and thoughtful. Katniss will likely be as terrible in this upcoming film as she was in the last, but we're now more excited for The Hunger Games series than we've ever been, just in time for its highly anticipated finale.
The Martian - November 25
[Credit: Crown Publishing Group]
The Martian is based on Andy Weir's novel about a stranded astronaut on Mars, which has been described as "Apollo 13 meets Cast Away." (It really just makes good sense to adapt this into a film when the only comparisons anyone can think of are movies rather than books.) And everything we've heard so far about the adaptation just makes us more excited, from director Ridley Scott to writer Drew Goddard to the star-studded cast which includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, and Kate Mara.
Midnight Special - November 25
[Credit: Just Jared]
We don't know too much about this movie yet, but everything we know is good. With the extremely talented cast of Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, and Joel Edgerton, not to mention Mud writer/director Jeff Nichols at the wheel, this is shaping up to be a great, or at least interesting, "sci-fi chase film."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - December 18
We don't need to explain this one. Star Wars is the most anticipated film of 2015, and its first trailer had the biggest opening of the year, with 58.2 million views in its first five days. Even though fans have been complaining about everything from the title to the controversial crucifix lightsaber, but we all know they're going to see it anyway.
Equals - TBA
[Credit: Icon Film Distribution]
An original story from director Drake Doremus, Equals depicts a "utopian" society in which emotions have been completely eradicated, and shows a love affair developing between an artist and a writer when an infection causes their emotions to resurface. The premise could be cheesy or fascinating depending on how it's handled, but we're big fans of stars Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart (minus the whole Twilight thing), and Doremus, who helmed the wonderful Like Crazy, has proven himself capable of telling love stories without being mawkish.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - TBA
Based on the classic parody of the classic novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies combines everything good: Victorian literature, zombies, ninjas, katanas, and Doctor Who's Matt Smith. Using a zombie apocalypse to illustrate the rigid social castes of the 19th century is fairly brilliant, and we're excited to see what the film adaptation comes up with.
"Exciting" Movies that Could Easily Be Terrible
These are the "big" movies that we're excited for more out of obligation than anything else, as they could very easily be terrible (read: probably will be terrible).
Jupiter Ascending - February 6
We'll give this movie a chance out of respect for the Wachowskis, Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, and Eddie Redmayne, but the production has been notoriously troubled and the trailers haven't been promising. As much as we'd like to encourage more original sci-fi stories, the film looks needlessly complicated and a little cheesy.
Jurassic World - June 12
Chris Pratt just might be able to salvage the silliness of tamed velociraptors and genetically engineered dinosaur hybrids, but we're not counting on it.
Terminator: Genisys - July 1
Yet another sci-fi film with a great cast that could be terrible, Terminator: Genisys has Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Matt Smith going for it, which is promising. But it's also playing with the timeline of the original franchise in possibly ridiculous ways and has a stupid name, so the jury's out on this one.
Ant-Man - July 17
Paul Rudd is always great, and Marvel has proven that it can take seemingly unpalatable heroes and turn them into critically acclaimed hits, but the trailer was wholly underwhelming. We'll only be cautiously optimistic for now.