The guy who was so powerfully menacing as Stringer Bell on "The Wire" and brooding as a detective on "Luther" once again taps into his dark side in "No Good Deed." Elba plays a stranger who kidnaps a former district attorney (Taraji P. Henson) and her two young children.
In this exclusive clip, Elba shows how far he's willing to go to evade the law when Henson's car is pulled over by the police. He grabs her baby out of the back seat, growling, "It's just a little motivation to keep your mouth shut." But can she do that when the policeman asks her to step out of the car?
Find out, when "No Good Deed" hits theaters September 12.
Gallery | Fall Movie Preview 2014
- 'The Guest' (September 17th)
One of our favorite films of this year's South by Southwest film festival (and, honestly, still one of our favorite films of the year) was this kicky, action-packed thriller that stars Dan Stevens as a military vet whose brother-in-arms is killed in duty. He returns to his fallen comrade's family and says that he's going to look after them. Then things get weird. It's a genuine rollercoaster; one too good to give away here. Just make it a priority to let "The Guest" in.
- 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' (September 19th)
Liam Neeson is a tortured private detective who takes on the case of a drug dealer (played by Dan Stevens, far removed from his "Downton Abbey" persona) whose wife goes missing. That's about all you should know about this twisty turny thriller from Scott Frank (who wrote and directed the under-seen Joseph Gordon Levitt gem "The Lookout") that is full of surprises. We're not sure if we're even allowed to talk about this movie yet, but we can't help but acknowledge that it's easily one of the best, most entertaining films of 2014.
- 'This Is Where I Leave You' (September 19th)
After their father dies, four siblings (played by Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll) sit shiva and, presumably, squabble a lot. Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper (who also wrote the screenplay), the cast also includes Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Jane Fonda and Abigail Spencer. Need we say anything more?
- 'The Maze Runner' (September 19th)
The latest in a long line of son (or is it daughter?)-of-"Hunger Games" young adult adaptations, "The Maze Runner" is based on the novel by James Dashner (the first in a trilogy) and stars "Teen Wolf" star Dylan O'Brien as a teenager whose mind is wiped and who is forced into a monster-filled labyrinth (that old story). When the cast and crew were trotted out at Comic Con this year we were wowed by their seeming commitment to making the story as naturalistic (and harsh) as they could. Katniss needs a worthy opponent, after all.
- 'Tusk' (September 19th)
Kevin Smith's latest is also his weirdest -- in this twisted tale, a young podcast host (played by Justin Long) runs afoul of a twisted sea captain (Michael Parks), who tells him a scary story and then starts to transform him into something else altogether. The first in a proposed trilogy of Canada-set genre films, it co-stars Johnny Depp as a legendary detective (and Depp and Smith's young daughters as a pair of convenience store clerks). The last time Smith deviated this wildly from his proven formula, he gave us the brilliant "Red State" -- so we're ready to be transformed!
- 'The Boxtrolls' (September 26th)
The third film from the brilliant Portland, Oregon-based stop motion animation studio Laika (they were also responsible for "Coraline" and "ParaNorman") concerns the quaint English village of Cheesebridge that's plagued by boxtrolls -- small subterranean goblins that come above ground and rifle through the humans' trash. One day they accidentally take a human boy down to their caverns (played by Isaac Hempstead Wright), name him Eggs, and raise him as one of their own. When an overzealous exterminator (Ben Kingsley) threatens the boxtrolls existence, Eggs has to spring into action and save his adopted family. We visited the studio earlier this year and saw some of the sets and costumes that make up this movie and it is going to be dazzling.
- 'The Equalizer' (September 26th)
This big-screen adaptation of the Edward Woodward-led television series (which ran for four seasons on CBS between 1985 and 1989) stars Denzel Washington as a retired special forces guy who gets drawn back into a world of mayhem and revenge after his streetwalker friend (played by Chloe Grace Moretz) is attacked by Russian mobsters. This big, R-rated action movie, which kicks off the Toronto International Film Festival, is terrifically entertaining (if kind of dumb). Audiences, however, will eat it up, and a sequel is already in development. Denzel will equalize again very soon.
- 'Gone Girl' (October 3rd)
Leave it to David Fincher, the director of "Seven" and "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," to adapt the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay) -- a book so dark that just thinking about it makes our skin crawl. Ben Affleck plays a man whose wife (played by Rosamund Pike) goes missing and makes him the prime suspect. While controversy has swirled around the supposed alteration to the book's ending, we couldn't be more excited about this movie if we tried, especially with the oddly ingenious supporting cast (including Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Sela Ward, and Emily Ratajkowski, one of the girls from the "Blurred Lines" video). With the film opening on the same weekend as "Gravity" did last year (and opening the New York Film Festival), this could be the rare prestige blockbuster.
- 'Annabelle' (October 3rd)
If you were scared silly by last summer's sublime "The Conjuring," then you'll probably be just as eager to watch "Annabelle," a prequel to that film that traces the origins of the demonically possessed doll. The movie was directed by "The Conjuring" cinematographer John R. Leonetti and produced by original filmmaker James Wan. Based on the goosebumps-inducing trailer, this might not be as masterful as "The Conjuring" but it could be just as creepy.
- 'The Judge' (October 10th)
An old fashioned melodrama, "The Judge" concerns an attorney (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) who goes back to his hometown after his mother has died, only to discover that his father, the town's respected judge (Robert Duvall) is being accused of the crime. That means a lot of bad blood has to be jumped over for the distrustful son to defend his estranged father. (You think it'll happen?) It will be nice to see Downey, Jr. playing something other than Iron Man or Sherlock Holmes, and we'd probably watch Duvall eat a bowl of cereal for two hours. Order in the court!
- 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' (October 10th)
Based on the beloved 1972 children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" follows the titular 11-year-old (played by Ed Oxenbould) who is having a totally crummy day. But in the Disney feature film, which co-stars Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Megan Mullally, Jennifer Coolidge, Donald Glover, and Bella Thorne, it's the whole family who is having a lousy time. And that can lead to a lot of wackiness and, of course, some shared understanding. (Can you say awwww?) But maybe the most enticing aspect of "Alexander..." is the fact that it runs a svelte 81-minutes long; compared to the lengthy Oscar-grabbing epics this fall, this should be a welcome relief.
- 'Whiplash' (October 10th)
The undisputed breakout of this year's Sundance Film Festival (where it won both the grand jury and audience awards in the dramatic competition), "Whiplash" stars Miles Teller as a young drummer who is instructed by a maniacal band conductor (J.K. Simmons). Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who wrote another music-themed 2014 film (the Elijah Wood-led "Grand Piano"), the film looks to be a crowd pleaser that could also grab Oscar gold.
- 'Birdman' (October 17th)
Talk about meta! In "Birdman," Michael Keaton plays an actor who achieved celebrity by playing a superhero (sound familiar?) who tries to reinvent himself by mounting an ambitious Broadway play. This loose adaptation of Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" (which co-stars Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan and Emma Stone) was directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and, according to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, is put together as if the movie is composed of a single, lengthy take. Um, yes please.
- 'Book of Life' (October 17th)
A lot of the computer-animated movies released into theaters look awfully similar -- shiny, brightly colored, somewhat uniformed. So it's with great anticipation that we greet "Book of Life," which is inspired by the folklore and mythology of the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. The visuals toggle between sophisticated 3D animation and rickety stop-motion animation and it looks like a blast. That anticipation level skyrockets when you factor in the cast (Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum), the fact that Guillermo del Toro oversaw the production, and that the legendary Paul Williams contributed new songs. This could be a seasonal treat that's brought out every Halloween.
- 'Dracula Untold' (October 17th)
The legendary bloodsucker is back -- and this time it's an origin story. In "Dracula Untold" Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans) makes a deal with the devil to save his wife (Sarah Gadon) and defend his people. Based on the trailers, this movie looks to combine elements of the original Bram Stoker novel with elements of the historical drama, all wrapped up in cutting-edge visual effects that make the legend spring to life like never before and as the first part in the ambitious new Universal plan for their beloved monsters, all eyes will be on the Prince of Darkness.
- 'Fury' (October 17th)
The last time Brad Pitt fought in World War II it was for Quentin Tarantino as one of the wacky "Inglourious Basterds." But "Fury" takes a much more earnest approach to the conflict, with Pitt playing the leader of a small tank unit in the waning days of the war. Shia LeBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal play the other members of his unit, who, of course, run afoul of Nazi forces. Hell hath no fury like Brad Pitt in a tank.
- 'St. Vincent' (October 24th)
In writer/director Theodore Melfi's debut film Bill Murray plays a grouchy, alcoholic war veteran who is tasked with watching over his neighbor's young son (Jaeden Lieberher). It sounds like all sorts of wacky. But the kind of wacky Murray can pull off effortlessly. And with a terrific supporting cast that includes Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, and Scott Adsit, we're ready to sit back and watch Murray do what he does best.
- 'Laggies' (October 24th)
The latest film from the great Lynn Shelton ("Touchy Feely," "Your Sister's Sister") stars Kiera Knightley as a woman who still lives with her high school boyfriend (Mark Webber) and has something of a crisis, leaving her life behind to spend a couple of weeks with a teenager girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and starts to fall for her charming father (Sam Rockwell). Shelton has a knack for bringing naturalism and warmth to even the wackier romantic comedy conceits, and this film, which made its debut at Sundance, looks like an absolute joy.
- 'Ouija' (October 24th)
It actually seems kind of odd that a movie has yet to be based around "Ouija" -- the supernaturally themed Hasbro board game thingee that always freaks people out at slumber parties. After some failed attempts at a bigger budget version of the story, it was rebooted on a smaller scale, under the watchful eye of "Paranormal Activity" producer Jason Blum and master of mayhem Michael Bay. It looks like a fairly standard teen horror movie, with demonic spirits and cute young girls (including Olivia Cooke from "Bates Motel"), but the inclusion of a Ouija board, something that every living American has interacted with, could give it an identifiable edge.
- 'Horns' (October 31st)
Finally. After debuting at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, "Horns" is finally coming out to make Halloween infinitely spookier. The film is based on the novel by Joe Hill (who happens to be Stephen King's son) and concerns a young man (played by Daniel Radcliffe) who wakes up one day to find horns growing out of his head and along with those horns has a whole host of cool new supernatural abilities. He uses his newfound powers to discover who was actually responsible for the rape and murder of his girlfriend the year before (a crime he was blamed for). As handled by "Piranha 3D" and "Haute Tension" director Alexandre Aja and featuring a very un-Harry Potter-like role for Radcliffe, this could be a cult favorite in the making.
- 'Interstellar' (November 7th)
Christopher Nolan, who took us to Gotham with the "Dark Knight" trilogy and into the world of dreams with "Inception," aims for the stars in his latest adventure. Matthew McConaughey stars as an engineer who gets drawn back into service for a mission that tests the limits of time and space, in part to save a dying world. (The shots in the trailer of a world ravaged by vicious sandstorms are particularly eerie.) This being a Christopher Nolan movie, plot details are pretty scarce, but the cast (which includes Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Ellen Burstyn, among others) and those gorgeous, heart-stopping trailers have us thinking that this could be Nolan's best, most emotionally resonant work yet.
- 'Big Hero 6' (November 7th)
For the first Disney Animated film based on a Marvel property, filmmakers Don Hall and Chris Williams have decided to adapt an obscure, little-read book called "Big Hero 6." They've changed it substantially, setting the film in the made-up world of San Fransokyo and softening some of the book's harsher themes. In the Disney "Big Hero 6," teen inventor Hiro (Ryan Potter) decides to turn his robot Baymax (Scott Adsit) into a battle-ready warrior and teams with some buddies (including Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans, Jr., Genesis Rodriguez and T.J. Miller) to track down a baddie who is using Hiro's technology for evil. Based on what we've seen from the film, this is going to be a totally awesome adventure on par with the live action Marvel joints.
- 'Dumb and Dumber To' (November 14th)
Twenty years after the original "Dumb and Dumber," a property sequel has finally been launched with original dummies Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels), who go on a road trip to track down Harry's long lost daughter. Thankfully, original filmmakers Bobby and Peter Farrelly have also returned, along with a whole bunch of unchained silliness. Hopefully there will be no mention of the doomed "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd," the lame prequel from 2000. Hopefully not too much time has passed between then and now. And that Jim Carrey with a chipped tooth still holds as much perverse joy as it once did.
- 'Foxcatcher' (November 14th)
One of the breakout films from this year's Cannes Film Festival was "Foxcatcher," the true crime tale of John du Pont (played by an unrecognizable Steve Carell), who murdered Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), a Olympic champion wrestler and brother of Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), another wrestling champion and friend of du Pont's. At the festival, Miller won the Best Director Award, and we've heard from several people that the movie is absolutely terrific (it will play several notable film festivals, including New York Film Festival, before its awards-qualifying release). Considering Bennett's first two films, "Capote" and "Moneyball," were big Oscar contenders, it's safe to say that "Foxcatcher" will follow suit.
- 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' (November 21st)
Is there anyone in the world who isn't dying to see the latest chapter in the "Hunger Games" saga? Not only was the last film, 2013's "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" really, really ridiculously good but it also ended on a cliffhanger that basically made us jump out of our theater seat. In this newest entry, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has moved from being a participant in the Hunger Games to being an all-out revolutionary (including on her to-do list: save her sort-of romantic interest Josh Hutcherson). The impressively starry cast adds new faces like Julianne Moore (playing President Coin) and serves as a showcase for one of the last performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Sad emoticon.
- 'The Imitation Game' (November 21st)
Initially the real life story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), a troubled mathematician who helped the Allies break the Nazi's unsolvable Enigma code and was later criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality, created a lot of heat, with the script (by novelist Graham Moore) instigating a bidding war and a number of high-profile directors taking a shot at directing the project. But its road to the big screen proved more rocky than initially thought, although the film they ended up with (co-starring Matthew Goode, Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Charles Dance and directed by "Headhunters" filmmaker Morten Tyldum) seems like it should provide audiences with some genuine, thought-provoking thrills. At the very least it will be less boring than "Monuments Men."
- 'Horrible Bosses 2' (November 26th)
Well, there were a lot of unanswered questions left over from the first "Horrible Bosses." No. Wait. I'm thinking of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Regardless, "Horrible Bosses 2" is upon us, with original stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey, this time joined by Chris Pine and Christopher Waltz (and also Jonathan Banks from "Breaking Bad" as a hard-nosed detective). Take this information and do with it what you will. Maybe this particular sequel will make the unnecessary seem absolutely essential. Or maybe not.
- 'Penguins of Madagascar' (November 26th)
Anyone who has seen the "Madagascar" animated movies knows that the penguins, who fancy themselves secret agents, are a highlight of the franchise. They already have their own half-hour cartoon series and now (finally!) they're starring in their own movie. The original penguins are back (Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private) and this time team with a wolf named Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), a seal named Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), a polar bear named Corporal (Peter Stormare), and a snowy owl named Eva (Annet Mahendru), to take down an evil octopus (played, naturally, by John Malkovich). If this doesn't all sound totally amazing, please factor in that Werner Herzog is the movie's narrator. Pumped now? We thought so.
- 'Wild' (December 5th)
Based on the best-selling memoir "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," Reese Witherspoon stars as the book's writer, Cheryl Strayed, who went on a 1,000 mile+ trek to find herself. (Me? I just circle the block.) This prestige pic was written by Nick Hornby, who wrote the book "About a Boy" was based on, and directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, whose last film was the Oscar-winning "Dallas Buyers Club." Hopefully this movie will mix heart-tugging melodrama with rugged naturalism in a way that will feel fresh and never too sweet.
- 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' (December 12th)
After going relatively low budget with last year's "The Counselor," director Ridley Scott, who has helmed everything from "Alien" to "Gladiator," returns to epic terrain with "Exodus: Gods and Kings." It's the story of Moses (this time played by Christian Bale) and the exodus of the Jews from Egypt (and away from the evil pharaoh, played by Joel Edgerton, under pounds of make-up). Look for the visual effects to be far grander than what was accomplished in "The Ten Commandments" (or, for that matter, DreamWorks Animation's "Prince of Egypt"). Knowing Scott, this will be downright jaw-dropping.
- 'Inherent Vice' (December 12th)
Just two years after "The Master," director Paul Thomas Anderson returns to direct Joaquin Phoenix in an adaptation of a funky detective novel by literary oddball Thomas Pynchon. The setting might be the seventies, like PTA's breakthrough "Boogie Nights," but this promises to be a much weirder affair – comparisons have been made to everything from Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" to the work of the ZAZ team (they were responsible for "Naked Gun," among many others). The cast is truly impressive (including Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro and Martin Short, oh okay Martin Short) and with a prestigious debut at the New York Film Festival, this secrecy-shrouded film is about to have a splashy premiere.
- 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' (December 17th)
Peter Jackson's second J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy finally comes to a close with "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," which promises to be a truly explosive conclusion to the prequel trilogy (even if we kind of know how things turn out). Expect the final showdown between the noble hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the evil dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), among other things. We're also pretty sure there will be some unnecessarily wrap-around moments with the cat of the original trilogy. Hopefully Jackson will conclude things in grand fashion, wrapping up not just this trilogy but the one that came before it.
- 'Annie' (December 19th)
It's time for a new "Annie," kids! This version of the 1977 musical (itself based on the 1924 comic strip) sees pint-sized Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis take over the role of a ridiculously cute orphan, while Jamie Foxx essays the role of Will Sacks (the contemporary, Donald Trump-esque Daddy Warbucks analogue) and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan. While many of the songs will remain from the original musical, expect some additional fireworks in the form of producer Jay-Z, who is said to be contributing new material (Jay famously adapted "Hard Knocks Life" once before). It'll be interesting to see if the Will Gluck-directed update will resonate with modern audiences.
- 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' (December 19th)
One of Robin Williams's last performances was in this, the third (and, with Williams's absence, presumably final) "Night at the Museum" film. This time around, Ben Stiller's dopey security guard travels to London to unlock the mysteries of the Egyptian tablet that allows the figures in the museum to come to life. While the movie features a bunch of returning characters (including those played by Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, and Steve Coogan), there are also a ton of new characters, including Ben Kingsley as a pharaoh and Dan Stevens (again!) as Lancelot. Based on the goofy first trailer, this could actually be a hoot. If it is the last one, it at least looks like they're going out on top.
- 'Big Eyes' (December 25th)
For the past few years, director Tim Burton has tackled big budget properties like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Dark Shadows," but now he's returning to the world of low budget filmmaking with this true life drama based on the lives of Walter and Margaret Keane (played by Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams), two artists who in the '50s and '60s popularized kitschy paintings featuring waifish figures with giant eyes. After the couple divorced, Walter tried to take responsibility for the paintings (and their success); Margaret sued, saying she had been the one who had done the painting and the judge concluded the trial by forcing the pair to have a "paint off" (one that Walter lost). You can't make this stuff up. The last time Burton did a film this small it was "Ed Wood," which might be his best film ever.
- 'Hot Tub Time Machine 2' (December 25th)
OK, sure. Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke return from the original "Hot Tub Time Machine" (Adam Scott takes over for John Cusack, for reasons that have yet to become properly illuminated), in a story that sees the goofballs traveling into the future when attempting to get further into the past (after Corddry's character gets shot). The trailer seems like fun. And the movie is opening on Christmas day, in the middle of a deluge of Oscar-qualifying flicks. So this could just be the bubbly Jacuzzi break we desperately need.
- 'The Interview' (December 25th)
This is the movie with maybe the greatest premise of the entire season: two celebrity journalists (played by James Franco and Seth Rogen, who also produced and co-directed) are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate the prime minister of North Korea, Kim Jong-un (Randall Park). When we ran into producer/co-director Evan Goldberg at South by Southwest, he described it as "'Three Days of the Condor' with idiots." Do you really need to know anything more? This is going to be so bonkers. We cannot wait.
- 'Into the Woods' (December 25th)
Amazingly, the 1987 Broadway musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim that has become a staple of musical theater in the years since has never been adapted for the big screen. Until now. In Disney's lavish adaptation helmed by "Chicago" filmmaker Rob Marshall (the studio's first Broadway adaptation, if you can imagine that), a bunch of big movie stars get to play a fun fairy tale characters. Meryl Streep plays The Witch, James Corden is The Baker, Emily Blunt is the Baker's Wife, Johnny Depp is the Wolf, Anna Kendrick is Cinderella, and Chris Pine is Cinderella's Prince. Yes, this is going to be a total hoot, even if you weren't a theater kid in high school.
- 'Selma' (December 25th)
Producer Brad Pitt returns to the civil rights issue a year after taking home the Best Picture Oscar for "12 Years a Slave." This time the subject is the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights, which was led by Martin Luther King, Jr. (played in the film by the great David Oyelowo, who also pops up in "Interstellar"). The film co-stars and was produced by Oprah Winfrey, who stars alongside Tom Wilkinson, Common, Tim Roth, and Carmen Ejogo. (This could end up being the heavyweight "big issue" Oscar contender Oprah thought she was getting with "The Butler" last year.) Hopefully this will be as tough and rewarding as "12 Years a Slave." Brad Pitt certainly hopes so.
- 'Unbroken' (December 25th)
2014 is quite the year for Angelina Jolie. First she starred in Disney's revisionist fairy tale "Maleficent," which ended up being the biggest hit in the star's career and one of the biggest movies of the year, period (nearly $800 million worldwide). And now she's closing out the year with her second directorial effort, based on the best-selling novel by "Seabiscuit" author Laura Hillenbrand (the script was written by Joel and Ethan Coen) that looks like it could end up being an Oscar juggernaut. It's the true story of Olympic athlete Louie Zamperini, who wound up fighting in World War II, was shot down in the Pacific, spent 47 drifting in the ocean, and then more than two and a half years in various Japanese POW camps. So just think about that next time you send out a bitter tweet about not being able to find a parking space at the mall. The movie looks gorgeous and life-affirming; the kind of feel good triumph that makes you cry and cheer at the same time.