Get On Up (2014) - Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Octavia Spencer
This is the biopic of James Brown and his journey from childhood poverty to becoming one of biggest musicians of his time. Boseman's performance is especially noteworthy and, much like with Jamie Foxx in "Ray," may net him some nominations come award season.
The Longest Week (2013) - Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman, Billy Crudup
Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent's prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and ... in love (IMDb).
Boyhood (2014) - Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater
The life of a boy, Mason, from age 5-18 (IMDb). Richard Linklater, best known for his "Before Sunrise" trilogy and "Dazed and Confused," started making this film in 2002 when Ellar Coltrane was 7 years old. They finished when he was 18, filming a handful of scenes every summer for 12 years. Seeing him actually grow up on screen and watching the other actors age around him is incredible and perhaps one of the most unique film experiences I've ever witnessed. The film is one of only 11 films ever to receive a perfect Metascore from professional critics and should rake in plenty of recognition this year.
Left Behind (2014) - Nicholas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Lea Thompson
A small group of survivors are left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction (IMDb). Decent book, but this film adaptation on the rapture was a box-office bomb and almost universally condemned by critics.
The Houses October Built (2014) - Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mikey Roe
Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them (IMDb).
The Third Target - Joel C. Rosenberg (448 pages)
When "New York Times" foreign correspondent J.B. Collins hears rumors that an al-Qaeda splinter cell - ISIS - has captured a cache of chemical weapons inside Syria, Collins knows this is a story he must pursue at all costs (Goodreads.com).
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert (319 pages)
A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes (Goodreads.com). Kolbert, a staff writer for "The New Yorker," is garnering praise for her presentation of evidence that we humans are creating the next mass extinction on Earth.
Early reviews applaud her breakdown of the science behind this claim into a digestible narrative that most people can comprehend, as well as how she keeps most of her arguments free of the politics that pollute the polarizing theory of human-caused climate change.
Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, #2) - Pierce Brown (464 pages)
Brown's "Red Rising" trilogy is his author debut, and has been described as a mix between "Ender's Game," "The Hunger Games," and "Game of Thrones." The series follows Darrow, a miner in the interior of Mars, who climbs the social ranks to try to take out the Gold ruling class. Brown's young adult audience is growing with this series and may be an interesting take on the survival, teen-against-the-world genre.