The Scene & Heard Guide to the Most Anticipated Movies of 2011

Another year is coming to a close, which means cramming for final exams and standing in long lines for Christmas presents. Take a breather from this semester’s crunch-time and look ahead at what is sure to be an exciting new year for moviegoers.

To make it easier, Scene & Heard has compiled a comprehensive guide to the films in 2011’s Hollywood lineup that are already getting the most buzz around our office.

Source Code

Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: April 15, 2011

Duncan Jones’ superb film “Moon” was adored by critics and fans of intelligent Sci-Fi, but few others took the time to see it. “Source Code,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan, comes equipped with a bigger budget than “Moon” and has already built a fair amount of hype.

Following a soldier, played by Gyllenhaal, who finds himself in the body of a passenger on a doomed train, “Source Code” revolves around the soldier’s mission to find who is responsible for bringing the train and its passengers to their end.

X-Men: First Class

Damon Lord, Correspondent

Release Date: June 3, 2011

Taking place nearly 40 years before the original X-Men trilogy, this prequel reveals the origins of Professor X and Magneto and explores how they went from the closest of friends to the deadliest of rivals.

Matthew Vaughn, who helmed the recent comic smash “Kick-Ass,” has taken the director’s chair and could possibly breathe fresh air into the franchise after the lackluster “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender will play Professor X and Magneto respectively.

Super 8

Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: June 10, 2011

JJ Abrams, creator of shows like “Lost” and the director of “Star Trek,” has made it no secret that his latest foray into directing pays homage to his filmmaking idol, Steven Spielberg. In fact, Spielberg serves as executive producer of the film, which is said to hue closely to the likes of “E.T.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Though very little is known about the film, it has been reported that it will follow an alien life form’s escape to a small Midwestern town. It may sound a little too close to “E.T.” for some, but Abrams has made a conscious effort to keep every aspect of the film’s production under wraps.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Damon Lord, Correspondent

Release Date: July 15, 2011

As the final chapter in the Harry Potter saga, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is sure to be a huge cinematic event with a whole generation of Potter fans eagerly anticipating the series’ cinematic conclusion.

The final battle between Harry and Voldemort promises to bring in plenty of action to keep fans and casual moviegoers satisfied. Hopefully the movie will be a fitting swan song to the much loved series.

Cowboys & Aliens

Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: July 29, 2011

Everyone involved with “Cowboys & Aliens” is no stranger to big Hollywood blockbusters. Directed by Jon Favreau (From the “Iron Man” series), written by the team behind the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot, and starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, “Cowboys & Aliens” is littered with well-respected talent.

With all that prestige, the film should make the story of an extraterrestrial attack on a western town quite the spectacle. The trailer has already given us a taste of the films tone: it is a true western at its heart, but once the aliens come in it is a wild Sci-Fi adventure flick.


Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: Fall of 2011

If you have yet to see “Bronson,” “Valhalla Rising,” or any of the “Pusher” trilogy, you have not been introduced to the talents of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. Chances are, with the star-studded action thriller “Drive,” you will be much more familiar with his name by this time next year.

Following the story of a Hollywood stunt driver by day, bank robber by night, the plot centers around the hit out on his head. With a cast that includes names like Ryan Gosling, “An Education” star Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” as well as Refn’s penchant for high energy, character-driven films, we are all in for a treat.

The Innkeepers

Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: Fall of 2011

Director Ti West, who received a good amount of acclaim for his 2009 film “House of the Devil,” is returning to the screen with another horror spook fest.

Set around the last days of an old haunted hotel and its remaining two employees, “The Innkeepers” promises to bring moody scares in the vein of the Stanley Kubrick classic “The Shining.”

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Damon Lord, Correspondent

Release Date: December 21, 2011

Stieg Larsson’s literary phenomenon is getting the Hollywood treatment for Christmas 2011. Based on the first book in a trilogy, the plot involves a disgraced journalist and a young computer hacker as they attempt to solve the decades-old disappearance of a young heiress.

The book trilogy has already been made into 3 films in its native Swedish and has achieved huge success internationally. The film will be directed by “The Social Network” director David Fincher and will star Daniel Craig and virtual newcomer Rooney Mara in the coveted title role.

The Muppets

Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: December 25, 2011

If you thought Jason Segel’s character in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” had a tremendous love for talking puppets, apparently the creative minds at Jim Henson Studios agree with you. Based on a script treatment Segel says he wrote his freshmen year of college, “The Muppets” is sure to be unlike any adventure the crew has had yet.

According to, Segel is set to play Gary, a human who is roommates with a Muppet by the name of Walter (voiced by Paul Rudd). Walter has never met another Muppet, and plans on meeting Kermit and the rest of the crew because he has never seen another like himself.

A Dangerous Method

Damon Lord, Correspondent

Release Date: Unknown

This biopic will explore the birth of modern psychology through the relationship of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung at the beginning of the 20th century. David Cronenberg, director of “Eastern Promises” and cult classics such as “Videodrome,” is helming the project and is sure to keep things interesting. Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender will play Freud and Jung while Keira Knightley will play the young patient who creates a rift between the two men.

Young Adult

Benjamin Wright, Correspondent

Release Date: Unknown

Director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody truly are a creative force to be reckoned with. Since 2007 they have made the critical and commercial hit that was “Juno,” and Reitman even produced the grossly underappreciated “Jennifer’s Body,” which Cody wrote.

Their third collaboration together, “Young Adult” is said to be a departure for both Reitman and Cody. The film follows a writer, played by Charlize Theron, who begins to stalk a former flame that is married with children after she moves back to her hometown. Though no release date has been set for the film, it is currently shooting and will undoubtedly be released in time to compete in the Oscars.