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Thirteen good reasons to head out and eat popcorn

NEVER mind the end of the Harry Potter stories, arch villains or the economic downturn.

What is giving the film industry the heebie-jeebies as 2013 arrives are all those tablet computers and new televisions that Santa brought. With so many movies now available on download, why should you leave your own cave to see what's happening in the Batcave? In recognition of the year ahead, here is The Herald's baker's dozen of reasons why you might want to venture out and be moved by the movies once more.

Django Unchained

It has been three years since Quentin Jerome Tarantino served up his particular blend of guns, cool guys and general hipness, but now the director of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs is back with Django Unchained. In this tale of a slave who turns bounty hunter, he's got plenty of star power in Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz.

Do expect: Waltz to waltz away with the movie.

Don't expect: Restraint.

Release date: January 18

Lincoln

Steven Spielberg's biopic of the 16th president has already had a private screening at the White House, no less. With Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, and the likes of Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tommy Lee Jones in supporting roles, this is one period drama tipped to figure in the Oscar nominations announced on January 15.

Do expect: Method acting.

Don't expect: An endorsement from the Tea Party.

Release date: January 25

Flight

It's a drama about a plane crash, but not just any old drama about a plane crash. This one is directed by Robert Zemeckis, director of Back To The Future and Forrest Gump, and marks his return to live action after more than a decade making animated films (The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol). Oh, and it's got Denzel Washington in the lead. Tempted yet?

Do expect: Plenty of Denzel admirers in the audience.

Don't expect: Nervous flyers.

Release date: February 1

A Good Day To Die Hard

Exactly how old do you think vest-wearer and vigilante John McLane (aka Bruce Willis) is these days? Well, he's old enough to have a grown-up son capable of getting himself in a heap of trouble, that's how old. In this reboot of the mega-popular franchise, Bruce W and Jai Courtney do a Harrison Ford/Sean Connery in Russia.

Do expect: Torn semmits.

Don't expect: Philosophy.

Release date: February 14

This Is 40

Remember the unhappily married Pete and Debbie from Knocked Up? Every wonder what had happened to them? What do you mean, no? Too bad because Judd Apatow supplies some answers in this sort-of sequel to the hit unplanned pregnancy comedy. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, now oodles more famous, are back in the title roles.

Do expect: Age-appropriate humour.

Don't expect: A 90-minute running time.

Release date: February 14

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell's toweringly ambitious novel should have been another of those films with "only the bravest directors enter here", stamped on the cover, but the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer have taken up the dare. Performances from Tom Hanks and Halle Berry (and some scenes shot in Glasgow) are among the delights that await.

Do expect: Mild confusion.

Don't expect: Berry swigging Irn-Bru.

Release date: February 22

The Great Gatsby

We hoped it would have been out by now, but Baz Luhrmann's take on F Scott Fitzgerald's character is still having the finishing razzle-dazzle added to it. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby with Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, his first and greatest love. The heat is on the Australian director of Moulin Rouge to deliver.

Do expect: Fabulous music.

Don't expect: Anyone to be wearing Primark's finest.

Release date: May 17

Man Of Steel

You might have thought the legend of Superman had been done beyond resurrecting, but here we go again with a new man of steel movie, directed by Zack Snyder, who cut his comic book and action teeth on Watchmen and 300. Henry Cavill dons bookish specs and an unassuming manner as Clark Kent, with Amy Adams as Lois Lane.

Do expect: Tights.

Don't expect: Ladders.

Release date: June 14

World War Z

Glasgow has a special interest in this zombie horror, as the city was home to its filming for a while. Transport yourself back to those heady days when George Square was transformed into Zombie Central with Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox and our own John Gordon Sinclair. Marc Forster (Finding Neverland and Quantum of Solace) directs the mayhem as a pandemic breaks out.

Do expect: City councillors straying into shot.

Don't expect: A drool-free time.

Release date: June 21

The Lone Ranger

The stills have been circulating for what seems like aeons and, now, finally, we get to see what Johnny Depp has been so excited about. The Pirates Of The Caribbean star trades pantomime slap for war paint as he plays Tonto, fellow Wild West justice seeker to John Reid, not the former defence secretary but The Lone Ranger (played by Armie Hammer).

Do expect: Horses.

Don't expect: Pirates.

Release date: August 9

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Even those who thought the books were successful were astonished at how much the first film in Suzanne Collins's trilogy made at the box office: $686 million (£424m). Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are back as Katniss and Peeta in the second film of a four-parter (Mockingjay, the last, will be two films released in 2014 and 2015).

Do expect: Thrills.

Don't expect: Katniss to swap fighting for knitting.

Release date: November 22

Anchorman: The Legend Continues

He's back, the moustachioed monarch of local news, the Kissinger of kipper ties, the burgundy-suited suitor of ladeez everywhere – his name is Ron Burgundy, and this is the long-awaited follow-up to the 2004 film that put the fun back into spoofs. Will Ferrell returns as the Huw Edwards of San Diego, but with snazzier dress sense.

Do expect: Facial hair.

Don't expect: Political correctness.

Release date: December 20 (TBC)

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Everyone's favourite fantasist, as created by James Thurber, comes to the big screen in the form of Ben Stiller, who stars in the title role as well as directs. All very hush-hush at the moment but Kirsten Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Shirley MacLaine are among the cast, and the screenplay is by Steve Conrad (The Weather Man).

Do expect: Three cheers for Ordinary Joes.

Don't expect: The truth and nothing but.

Release date: Boxing Day

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