My last 2014 Highlights update posted on 1.3. This morning I reviewed Hitfix’s “Most Anticipated Prestige Films of 2014” piece (which I avoided because it’s one of those photo cavalcade page-view pieces) and have added 9 of their picks along with 4 wait-and-see maybes. So my previous total of 46 is now 55 or 59 with the maybes. I wasn’t sure about 2014 before — now I’m thinking it might be another banner year.

The Hitfix additions in order of presumed quality: Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, Noah Baumbach‘s Untitled Public School Project, Jeff NicholsMidnight Special, Craig Johnson‘s The Skeleton Twins (a 2014 Sundance selection), Hossein Amini‘s The Two Faces of January, Justin Kurzel‘s Macbeth, Jon Stewart‘s Rosewater, Mike Leigh‘s Mr. Turner, Todd HaynesCarol.

Probationary/Concerned/Lack of Trust/Wait-and-See: David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups (IF it even comes out this year — you know Malick). Ryan Gosling‘s How To Catch A Monster (judgment in question after The Place Beyond The Pines, Only God Forgives), Thomas Vinterberg‘s Far From The Madding Crowd.

Previous 2014 HE Projection posting:

As I noted a couple of days ago, there are seven 2014 releases with a high-profile pedigree: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher, Ridley Scott‘s Exodus, Tim Burton‘s Big Eyes, David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. I guess I should add Jean Marc Vallee‘s Wild (i.e., the Reese Witherspoon hiking drama), Matt ReevesDawn of the Planet of the Apes and Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel for an even ten.

I’m going to re-scramble the Next Tier of Promising Films in order of highest quality (presumed or expected): George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men, Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, Richard Shephard‘s Dom Hemingway, Ted Melfi‘s St. Vincent, Craig Gillespie‘s Million Dollar Arm, Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow, Clint Eastwood‘s Jersey Boys, Andy and Lana Wachowski‘s Jupiter Ascending, Phillip Noyce‘s The Giver, Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken (adapted by Joel and Ethan Coen), Jason Bateman‘s Bad Words. (11)

The Third Tier (i.e., looking good or at least decent) are Joe Carnahan‘s Stretch, Diego Luna‘s Cesar Chávez, Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day (beware-of-Reitman factor), Luc Besson‘s Lucy (probable crap), Shawn Levy‘s This Is Where I Leave You, David Ayer‘s Fury (probable crap) and Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s 22 Jump Street, Antoine Fuqua‘s The Equalizer, Jose Padilla‘s RoboCop, Seth McFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West, Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence, Nick CassavetesThe Other Woman, and Spike Lee‘s Sweet Blood of Jesus. (13)

That’s 34 so far — 10 rock-solid, 11 very promising, 13 that should be fairly engaging or at least not too troublesome.

I don’t trust the vibe coming off Suzanne Bier‘s Serena, a Depression-era drama with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper — wait and see. I’m very much looking forward to Tracks, the Mia Wasikowska-Adam Driver Australian trek film that played in Toronto. Anyway, add these two and you’ve got 36.

Add the nine or ten high-intrigues or must-sees (possibly Calvary, The Voices Inside, White Bird In A Blizzard, A Most Wanted Man, They Came Together, The One I Love) that always emerge from the Sundance and Berlin film festivals, and your total is 46. And I’m sure there are titles that I just haven’t picked up on.

Bumped Into 2015: Michael Mann‘s Cyber.