Are you ready for a year full of movies that celebrate the magic of buttered popcorn and fizzy soft drinks? Are you waiting with bated breath for that superhero movie to hit the silver screen? Are you counting down the days to once again laugh wholeheartedly at the heroes' and heroines' antics on screens?

If your answer to any of these questions is a resounding 'YES', then dear reader, this list is just for you. Here are the Top 10 movies – most of them guaranteed blockbusters – you just cannot afford to miss this year (in chronological order according to their release dates).

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Release date: May 20

Why we can't wait: Captain Jack Sparrow is back. And travelling with him on his new adventures are Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, two of the other most recognizable faces of the franchise have been given the boot. The fourth film based on the 'Disney Land' adventure ride will see Jack and his crew in the search for the Fountain of Eternal Youth. There are old villains and new adversaries to be met. Buckle up for the ride of a lifetime.

The Hangover 2

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Release Date: May 26

Why we can't wait: The first movie detailed what things one shouldn't do if you're set to get married the next day. Along the way, its makers laughed all the way to the bank. The awesome foursome is back with yet another rip-roaring comedy. This time it's set in Bangkok. If the second edition can even hold a candle to the original, the makers have a hit on their hands already.

X-Men: First Class

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Zoe Kravitz
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Release date: June 3

Why we can't wait: Comic book nerds cannot expect superhero movies to get any bigger or better. The fifth film of the X-Men series goes back to the very beginning, about how and when the later X Men came into existence. The film, set in 1963, explores the friendship and enmity between Professor X and Magneto and the start of their respective groups: X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The movie can very well become the start of another successful franchise involving young stars.

Super 8

Starring: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler
Directed by: JJ Abrams
Release date: June 10

Why we can't wait: In the early 70's, a group of teenagers shoot footage of aliens in Area 51 on their Super 8 camera. This is an absolute must-watch not because of the actors involved, or the plot (which we don't know much about anyway), but simply because directing credits goes to someone who answers by the name of JJ Abrams. The one line plot is enough for Abrams to weave a compelling tale. Watch this space.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part II

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes
Directed by: David Yates
Release date: July 15

Why we can't wait: At over $5.4 billion already grossed at the box office, this is the biggest movie franchise in history. And when it comes to its climatic end after almost 10 years (in 3D) people tend to sit up and take notice. The last screen installment of the last Harry Potter book will leave hardcore fans with mixed emotions — happiness, that Harry's quest has finally finished, and sadness, that an era of their growing-up years has just ended. Accio, movie ticket!

Captain America

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Release date: July 22

Why we can't wait: He is Captain America, what could possibly go wrong? Chris Evans, who played the 'human torch' in the Fantastic Four, will don the American colors and use his shield to thwart the enemies. The movie makes good use of the ambience of the World War II era. Nazi villain Johann Schmidt, known as Red Skull and commander of HYDRA, is his arch nemesis. The scene is set for cinematic awesomeness.

Final Destination 5

Starring: Nicholas D'Agosto, Emma Bell, Tony Todd
Directed by: Steven Quale
Release date: August 12

Why we can't wait: Twelve years after cheating death (in earlier Final Destination movies), Sam Lawton sees a vision of the suspension bridge he is on collapsing, killing him and others. When it happens, Sam escapes and pulls a few others to safety. And when that happens, can death be far behind? It will indeed try to get back at its victims, in full, 3D spectacularity!

11-11-11

Starring: Timothy Gibbs, Michael Landes, Wendy Glenn, Lluis Soler
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Release date: November 11

Why we can't wait: On the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year, the 11th gate of heaven will open and something sinister will enter Earth's realms. American author Joseph Crone travels to Spain to meet his brother and father and keeps seeing the number 11. Ever curious, he starts researching about it and finally learns the dreaded truth. Be in theatres when the film releases, on 11-11-11.

Mission Impossible IV

Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway
Directed by: Brad Bird
Release date: December 16

Why we can't wait: Tom Cruise is back at doing what he does best — be the super spy you wouldn't want working against you. Although this is the first time Brad Bird is directing one of the MI movies, legions of fans are sure to dash to the movie theatre nearest them to see Ethan Hawke defy gravity, outrun death and battle whole armies singlehandedly.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Daniel Craig
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: December 23

Why we can't wait: Its director is Steven Spielberg and its producer is Peter 'King Kong' Jackson. That alone makes it the cinematic event of the year. The film adds together three Tintin stories — The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure — to make one mammoth movie. Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, Detectives Thompson and Thompson are all there in live animation which will push the frontiers of the genre. This will be Spielberg's first foray into digital film-making.

–    Taita TS

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