2013 Film Preview: Tarantino Tackles Slavery and Star Trek Goes Into Darkness

Zachary Quinto - Star Trek

Django Unchained

(Director Quentin Tarantino)

Tarantino is back on top form with this delirious revenge western set in 1858, with Jamie Foxx as Django, a freed slave on a mission to release his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from the clutches of evil slavemaster Calvin Candie. Not only is Candie lipsmackingly played by Leonardo DiCaprio, he also has a sinister servant called Stephen – a superb performance by Samuel L Jackson. Outrageously enjoyable. 18 January.

What Richard Did

(Director Lenny Abrahamson)

The gifted Irish director who gave us Adam & Paul and Garage returns with a film about Ireland's young and rich. Richard (Jack Reynor) is a schoolboy rugby star who has grown accustomed to being wealthy and successful. He sets his sights on a young woman, wins her away from her boyfriend, then becomes irked by her continuing friendship with the ex. Much praised for its emotional complexity. 11 January.


(Director Steven Spielberg)

Released in the US to an awestruck critical reception, Spielberg's film centres on a constitutional and personal crisis in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Towards the end of the civil war, the 16th president is trying to guide through an amendment banning slavery. Yet an end to fighting could see in a settlement that scuppers this law. Lincoln needs to fight on, but perpetuating the bloodshed and bitterness is a torment to him. Daniel Day-Lewis's central performance has been widely championed. 25 January.

Zero Dark Thirty

(Director Kathryn Bigelow)

Kathryn Bigelow, director of Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker, returns with this true-life thriller about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in his death last May. There is some controversy about torture and triumphalism, but audiences have been emerging with nails bitten to the quick. Jessica Chastain has been acclaimed for her performance. 25 January.

I'm So Excited

(Director Pedro Almodóvar)

The original Spanish title of Almodóvar's new film is Los Amantes Pasajeros, or Travellers in Love. A group of people on board a plane bound for Mexico City fear it will crash and begin to confess their spiciest personal secrets. The action is restricted to the plane, making this a trapped-ensemble film that the director has whimsically compared to Luis Buñuel's The Exterminating Angel and Rodrigo Cortés's Buried. Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas have cameos. 3 May.

Star Trek Into Darkness

(Director JJ Abrams)

The greatest bromance in screen history is back. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto return as Kirk and Spock, thrown into turmoil when they discover that a sinister agency from within their own organisation has destroyed the fleet. Kirk has to journey into a war zone to neutralise a terrible weapon. The first of these revitalised Star Treks was wildly entertaining. This bodes well. 17 May.


(Director Neill Blomkamp)

South African director Neill Blomkamp was widely praised for his futurist political satire District 9. Now he returns with a big-budget sci-fi thriller, set in a future in which the wealthy live on a luxurious space station called Elysium and the poor live on a ruined Earth. Jodie Foster plays the imperious Secretary, determined to keep the underclass out of the gated planetary community; and Matt Damon is Max, a former cop caught up in this titanic intergalactic class battle. 20 September.

Twelve Years a Slave

(Director Steve McQueen)

There can hardly be a film-maker whose next project is more keenly awaited than Steve McQueen, who directed Hunger and Shame. This is a version of the remarkable true story of Solomon Northup, a black man who was born free in New York, kidnapped in Washington DC in 1841 and made to work as a slave in a Louisiana cotton plantation for 12 years. Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup. Autumn.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Peter Bradshaw, for The Guardian on Sunday 30th December 2012 19.00 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


Have something to tell us about this article?