Spring movies often get a bad wrap. Much like the fall movie season, these are typically considered cinematic leftovers. Spring films are seen as not good enough for Oscar contention, not blockbuster enough for the summer playground, and generally pretty skip-able. However, this year there are still plenty of quality films worth a watch in every category including action, drama, and more.

A handful of our writers got together to brainstorm the films they’re excited for this spring movie season and were honestly a little surprised at the variety and depth coming to theaters soon. The “spring season” for movies abides by its own calendar, starting in the new year and spanning until the first major summer release, which seems to have been hitting earlier and earlier. I still resent the fact that Fast Five was billed as a summer movie and came out in April – there was still snow falling in the US and they were saying it was summer! So this year, the official beginning of the summer movie season is May 3 with Iron Man 3. So, without further ado, see our 30 most anticipated films of Spring 2013.

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Gangster Squad 

Release Date: January 11
Director:  Reuben Fleischer
Starring: Sean Penn. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone

Luke Burnett:I have been looking forward to Gangster Squad since last year. Originally supposed to be released in 2012, it had to be postponed and scenes re-shot after the tragic cinema shooting in June as similar climatic scenes existed in the film. I hope dearly that these last minute changes and re-shoots haven’t hurt the film, which promises to be Untouchables-esque but with added fun. Sean Penn is said to be on top, scenery chewing, form as gangster Mickey Cohen and the 50s costumes and sets look to make this one of the coolest and most stylish films of the year.


Watch the trailer.

 

 

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Broken City

Release Date: January 18
Director: Allen Hughes
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Sarah Katz: An ex-cop (Mark Wahlberg) unexpectedly stumbles upon much larger secrets when he’s tasked with trailing the allegedly unfaithful wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of New York City’s incredibly well-liked and powerful mayor (Russell Crowe). || I’ll see most movies that give me an excuse to stare at Mark Wahlberg for a couple of hours. (What? He’s hot.) The fact that this film also looks action-packed and gripping is an added bonus.

Watch the trailer.

 

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The Last Stand

Release Date: January 18
Director: Kim Ji-Woon
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, Forest Whitaker, Genesis Rodriguez, Rodrigo Santoro, Zach Gilford

Eric Ambler: In between a winking cameo in last year’s Expendables sequel and writing a damage-controlling autobiography, Arnold Schwarzenegger found time to make The Last Stand, the American debut of Korean genre auteur Kim Ji-Woon (I Saw the Devil).  When a notorious drug kingpin makes a mad dash for the Mexican border in a tricked-out supercar, a small town sheriff (Schwarzenegger) must help federal law enforcement stop the criminal from escaping.  The band of misfits premise and jerry-rigged weaponry in the trailer recalls the pleasantly brainless action of The A-Team, with Johnny KnoxvilleRodrigo Santoro (300s Xerxes), and Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights‘ Matt Saracen) as Arnie’s merry men.  It’ll be the initial test in a big year for di Bonaventura Pictures - heretofore known for producing the Transformers films – and hopes are high for the studio’s first action comedy since 2010′s RED.

Watch the trailer.

 

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Mama

Release Date: January 18
Director: Andres Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse

JC De Leon: Horror movies in January aren’t always sure-fire hits. Occasionally, a gem of a horror will slip through and this year it appears to be Mama (Sorry, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D). The lovely Jessica Chastain stars in this one and she has yet to turn in a disappointing performance in any of the dozen or so films she’s starred in during the last couple of years. This is her first turn in a horror film, and it should be a great performance.

Watch the trailer.

 

Movie 43

Movie 43

Release Date: January 25
Director: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, and Jonathan van Tulleken
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, and more…

Sarah Katz: Stumbling across Movie 43 on IMDb, you’ll find it described as: “An ensemble comedy intertwining different tales.” Watch the trailer, and a very different picture emerges. It appears to be a collection of 12 stories that try to top one another’s offensiveness and absurdity—but, truth be told, it’s all still a mystery. Nonetheless, its taglines—such as “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.” and “Big stars. Huge comedy. Enormous balls.”—suggest that it won’t take long to understand why the trailer features Kate Winslet exclaiming: “This is f*cked up!” || Given the cast and the film’s clear propensity for ridiculous and offensive humor, I think the real question is: why wouldn’t I see this movie?

Watch the trailer.

 

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Parker 

Release Date: January 25
Director:  Taylor Hackford
Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez

Luke Burnett: Jason Statham movies are somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. The man seems to take whatever roles are handed to him, which results in the films sometimes being surprisingly good (Safe, Killer Elite, Transporter 2) and sometimes woefully bad (Crank 2, Transporter 3) yet I always look forward to his particular fun and entertaining style of action. Parker is more of the usual fans would expect from Statham but with added J.Lo which could prove to be either a blessing or a curse.

Watch the trailer.
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Bullet to the Head

Release Date: February 1
Director: Walter Hill
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Mamoa, Christian Slater

JC De Leon: As much as I’d like to say I’m excited about this film because it stars Sylvester Stallone, it’s because of Jason Momoa and Walter Hill. Jason Momoa can pull off being an on-screen badass, and going toe to toe with Sly Stallone shouldn’t be a problem. The trailer’s got fun gunplay written all over, and it looks to end with an awesome axe fight between Sly and Momoa.

Watch the trailer.

 

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Stand Up Guys

Release Date: February 1
Director: Fisher Stevens
Starring: Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken

Sarah Katz: Released from prison after serving twenty-eight years, Val (Al Pacino) finds his longtime friend and co-conspirator Doc (Christopher Walken) waiting for him outside the prison gates. The only problem? Doc has agreed to kill Val before his first twenty-four hours of freedom are up. || Hmm…a film that features Pacino, Walken, and Arkin as aging con-men out for one last night on the town…I’m sorry, what was the question again? I was too busy thinking about how much I want to see this movie….

JC De Leon: With an acting lineup of Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, and Al Pacino, a movie like this has got to be good on some level. Judging from the trailer, the drama will be thick, and the laughs might be plentiful, and isn’t it great to see all of these guys in general, much less in the same movie.

Watch the trailer.

 

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Warm Bodies

Release Date: February 1
Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry

Eric Ambler: Shaun of the Dead defined the “romantic zombie comedy” subgenre pretty much perfectly eight years ago, but writer-director Jonathan Levine takes another stab at it with Warm Bodies, based on the Isaac Marion novel.  The twist: one of the undead (Nicholas Hoult) falls for a human survivor (Australian siren Teresa Palmer) after consuming the brains – and therefore, the memories – of her teenage sweetheart.  Levine, whose last project was the cancer dramedy 50/50, seems to have all the proper bona-fides.  He debuted with the much buzzed-about (and still widely unavailable) horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and proved he could handle teen romance with humor and sympathy in The Wackness.  The film appears to be finding the right balance so far in the trailer, which reveals the welcome participation of the delightful Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love) and John Malkovich as the leader of the human resistance.

Watch the trailer.

 

Identity Thief

Identity Thief 

Release Date: February 8
Director: Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy
Donovan Warren: Melissa McCarthy fills the title role in this comedy as she steals the identity of Jason Bateman for (what else?) her own financial gain. Director Seth Gordon’s Four Christmases was ghastly, butHorrible Bosses was a step in the right direction. Maybe he’s hitting comedic gold with Bateman and McCarthy in Identity Thief, and it’s not as if the two actors are new to comedy. Bateman’s been showing off comedic chops for years in the aforementioned Horrible Bosses and Juno, among others, and McCarthy showcased her comedic talents with her scene-stealing, Oscar-nominated Bridesmaids performance last year. The two actors should be comedic dynamite on the silver screen, especially since they’ve been so perfect in their previous straight man-funny man roles.

Click through to page 2 to see more of our picks.

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