19. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I (November 21 US & UK)
I’ll be honest: the reason this isn’t higher on the list is because I hate when film franchises based on books split the final book into two movies. But the bottom line is money, and they all know book-to-film geeks will pay an extra $15 to see Voldemort and Harry make an erroneous leap of faith off a building and fly around for a bit before taking all the gravitas out of the book’s ending.
But I digress. Mockingjay is getting the same treatment, even though I’m sure it could’ve been effectively told in one movie (coughcoughPeterJacksoncoughcough). I love the books, and I enjoy that Francis Lawrence’s vision of Panem includes lots of Alexander McQueen haute couture, but I don’t want the movie to be filled with a full hour of longing soap opera glances and empty exposition just to fill unnecessary screen time. Still, I’m excited for this so that Natalie Dormer’s half-shaved head will not have been in vain. –GW