Looking ahead to 2015’s movies


Hot tickets

American Sniper (Jan. 16): Every Clint Eastwood movie is something of an event, and that goes for his latest effort, the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL known as the Legend for having over 150 confirmed kills as a sniper in Iraq. Bradley Cooper, looking as if he spent the year lifting weights and packing on muscle, plays Kyle.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Feb. 13): Based on the best-seller, it might be good, and it might be awful, but whatever it is, it’s all anybody is going to be talking about within five weeks or so.

Furious 7 (April 3): Under any circumstances, the latest in the gloriously stupid, irresistibly entertaining series would have been a hot ticket. But there’s extra interest now because it’s the last screen appearance by Paul Walker, who died in a car crash about halfway through shooting the movie. How they’ll get around Walker’s absence has been a topic of conversation for months. Come April, all will be revealed.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1): Joss Whedon directs the new installment of the saga, which features Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and Quicksilver all coming together to make a lot of money. No, not money, I mean save the world. Yeah, that’s the ticket, and apparently a hot ticket, though eventually people have to get tired of this stuff, right? Right?

San Andreas 3D (May 29): The ultimate in high concept. The title says it all. There’s a 10.0 earthquake in California. Let’s hope the epicenter isn’t the Bay Area, because I’m sick of spending three months out of every year watching the Golden Gate Bridge collapse, movie after movie.

Other cool stuff

A Most Violent Year (Jan. 16): We’re not getting this one until mid-January, but it’s one of the best movies of 2014, with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain as a married couple, whose home heating business is getting undermined by people robbing their trucks. Doesn’t sound like much, right? It’s great. It’s a succession of brilliant scenes, desperate situations and superb performances.

Maps to the Stars (Feb. 27): The latest from David Cronenberg is apparently a Hollywood satire, about child stars, an actress (Julianne Moore) and a TV psychologist (John Cusack). The advance word is good.

While We’re Young (March 27) The latest from Noah Baumbach is about a staid middle-aged couple whose lives are discombobulated by their friendship with a younger couple. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts are the older couple, and Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfriend play the younger. Could be good.

Run All Night (April 17): It doesn’t get any better than this. Not only is “Taken 3” opening Jan. 9, but in April we’re getting yet another Liam Neeson action picture, this one with the big guy playing a retired hit man who has to protect his estranged son’s family against a mobster. Yes, it sounds like a formula — a good formula. The movie is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the man behind “Nonstop” and “Unknown,” so he understands what his task is — to turn Neeson into a fretting, sweating, thoroughly sympathetic homicidal maniac within 20 minutes of screen time.

Don’t Mess With Texas (May 8): From the director of “Guilt Trip,” we get another road adventure, this one starring Reese Witherspoon as a police officer assigned to protect and transport, across the state of Texas, the widow of a drug dealer. The widow is played by Sofia Vergara. If they have any kind of script to work with, Witherspoon and Vergara should do well with this.