8. Shutter Island
Release Date: October 2
After 2006's powerhouse The Departed, director Martin Scorsese returns with Shutter Island, based on a Dennis Lehane novel about two U.S. Marshals investigating the disappearance of a woman from a hospital for the criminally insane. The Marshals are played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, and while I'm not a big fan of DiCaprio, I have faith that Scorsese can draw out the same kind of taut brilliance the actor achieved in The Departed. Plus he's got help from a truly excellent supporting cast featuring the likes of Sir Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, and Jackie Earle Haley, among others. This is definitely one to watch.
7. The Lovely Bones
Release Date: December 11
I've never read Alice Sebold's bestselling novel The Lovely Bones, but it has a great premise: after being raped and murdered, a teenage girl must come to terms with her own death and watch from Heaven as her family and friends grieve. This is perfect material for director Peter Jackson, who, as the man behind The Lord of the Rings, has proven adept at tackling fantasy. He hasn't made a film since his 2005 King Kong remake, though, and I was in the minority in thinking that it didn't exactly live up to the hype. So, for me, this sounds like a fitting return to form, while most others will see it as another brilliant work in an impressive career. And let's not forget the star power of Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon, and Atonement's Saoirse Ronan.
6. Untitled Brüno Project
Release Date: May 15
Sacha Baron Cohen is at it again. The notorious comedian who broke out as Borat, the Kazakh reporter with a penchant for making everyone feel as awkward as possible, is giving another of his characters from Da Ali G Show the feature-length treatment. This time it's Brüno, the flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista. Brüno's very real antics have been making headlines for some time now: he crashed a Proposition 8 rally, shut down production on an episode of Medium, stormed the catwalk at a Milan fashion shown, and started a riot in a blue-collar Arkansas town. Cohen's obviously still got plenty of the firebrand left in him, so here's to hoping this is another painfully funny indictment of close-minded people everywhere.