2012 Sundance Film Festival: 38 Films We Can’t Wait to See

The annual Sundance Film Festival returns Jan. 19th, bringing with it the promise of filmmakers we've never heard of, as well as some old favorites. Here's a quick look at some of the films we're most excited to see.

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The annual Sundance Film Festival returns to Park City, Utah on Jan. 19th, bringing with it the promise of filmmakers we've never heard of, as well as some old favorites. Here's a quick look at some of the films we're most excited to see.
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Red Lights
nRobert De Niro stars as a blind psychic who becomes the object of obsession for a man whose life's work is debunking the paranormal in this thriller from Rodrigo Cortes ("Buried"). Co-stars Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Olsen.
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Red Hook Summer
nDirector Spike Lee returns with a new film about a young boy from Atlanta who is sent to spend the summer with his grandfather, Enoch (Clarke Peters of "The Wire"), an old-school preacher living among the projects of one of Brooklyn's diciest neighborhoods.
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Lay the Favorite
nRebecca Hall and Bruce Willis star in this adaptation of Beth Raymer's memoir which tracks her ascent from Florida stripper to Vegas cocktail waitress to bookmaker. Co-stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson and Laura Prepon
6/40
Bachelorette
nKirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher star as three grown-up "Heathers" who reunite to throw a wild bachelor party for a girl whom they used to torment and call Pig Face (Rebel Wilson, best known as Kristen Wiig's "Bridesmaids" roommate) in high school.
7/40
The Words
nBradley Cooper stars as a struggling writer (just like in "Limitless"!) who comes upon a lost and brilliant manuscript that he decides to pass off as his own, an ethical breach that will come to haunt him. Co-stars Jeremy Irons, Halle Berry, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and Zoe Saldana.
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Myles Aronowitz
Arbitrage
nRichard Gere stars as a titan of industry desperate to sell off his empire before its true worth is realized by the outside world, in this feature-film debut from Nicholas Jarecki. Co-starring Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, and Tim Roth.
9/40
2 Days in New York
nJuly Delpy follows up on her directorial debut, "2 Days in Paris," with this film that finds her playing opposite Chris Rock as a couple living with their two kids who must endure a weekend visit from her dad, horn-dog sister and her sister's boyfriend.
10/40
Your Sister's Sister
nFrom writer-director Lynn Shelton ("Humpday") comes this tragi-comedy that finds a man grieving the death of his brother, a woman mourning a seven-year romance and her sister alone in an isolated cabin. Stars Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass.
11/40
Shut Up and Play the Hits
nThis documentary follows James Murphy for his final two days as bandleader of LCD Soundsystem, culminating in an epic farewell show at Madison Square Garden.
12/40
Safety Not Guaranteed
nThree magazine employees are sent to stake out the home of a guy who placed a personal ad seeking a partner for time travel. Stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson.
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Smashed
nMary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul star as a hard-partying married couple whose love is tested when she decides to get sober. Co-stars Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.
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Celeste and Jesse Forever
nRashida Jones wrote this film in which she and Andy Samberg play a couple who met in high school and married young, but now find themselves heading for divorce.
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Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
nThe creators of the Adult Swim series "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim) bring their twisted, fragmented, nonsensical comedy stylings to a feature length film that does, somewhere, have a plot. And co-stars like Will Ferrell, Robert Loggia, John C. Reilly, and William Atherton.
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Filly Brown
nThe story of an up-and-coming rapper with an incarcerated mother who must choose between selling out for stardom or staying true to her art.
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Save the Date
nA romcom about a young woman who goes from the end of a long-term relationship to a passionate rebound while she tries to help her sister plan her wedding. Stars Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend and Mark Webber.
18/40
Me at the Zoo
nFrom executive producer Michael Stipe comes this film that looks back at Chris Crocker, who made the infamous YouTube rant "Leave Britney Alone," and the way in which people responded to it, as well as how it changed Crocker's life.
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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
nA documentary about Ai Weiwei, one of modern-day China's most talented, political and uncompromising artists, who finds himself visited by government authorities with greater and greater frequency.
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The Queen of Versailles
nThis already controversial documentary looks at billionaires Jackie and David Siegel, as their time-share empire takes a hit as a result of the economic downturn, at the same time they were trying to finish work on their 90,000 sq. ft. mansion.
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Wrong
nFrom writer-director Quentin Dupieux (the genius behind the killer-tire thriller "Rubber") comes the story of a man who awakens to find his dog missing, and goes on a quest that brings him in contact with a pizza-delivery driver, a jogging addict, a gardener and a pet detective.
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Price Check
nIndie Queen Parker Posey stars as a high-energy exec at a supermarket chain whose enthusiasm starts to make some of her employees reconsider their career tracks.
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Robot and Frank
nSet in the near-ish future, the film stars Frank Langella as a retired crook whose grown kids buy him a caretaker robot with whom he becomes friends. But his friendship with the robot reignites not just his passion for life, but crime, as well. Co-stars Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Peter Saarsgard.
24/40
Black Rock
nWritten by Mark Duplass, directed by wife Katie Astelton, who stars alongside Kate Bosworth and Lake Bell, the film starts out like a tired chick-flick weekend getaway before turning into a stone-cold thriller.
25/40
Liberal Arts
nJosh Radnor of "How I Met Your Mother" fame returns to Park City as writer, director and star of a new film about a young man whose passion for life is reignited when he goes back to his alma mater and meets Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), a gorgeous sophomore. Yeah, we don't like him either, but we love her.
26/40
The Surrogate
nIt ain't Sundance without a John Hawkes film—here he stars in a film based on the life of journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, a man confined to an iron lung, who hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help him cross one of the final rites of passage into manhood.
27/40
Wish You Were Here
nWritten and directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith, this thriller follows two Australian couples who go on a vacation in Cambodia, from which only three of them return. Stars Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer.
28/40
Wuthering Heights
nFrom writer-director Andrea Arnold ("Fish Tank") comes a new take on Emily Bronte's novel about a young orphan taken in by a wealthy family, and the relationship that develops between him and their daughter.
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Sleepwalk With Me
nComedian Mike Birbiglia wrote, directed and stars in this fictionalization of his own one-man show that tells the story of his early career struggles, a dying relationship and his problematic bouts of sleepwalking. Co-stars Lauren Ambrose and Carol Kane.
30/40
Goats
nDavid Duchovny stars as Goat Man, a mysterious wanderer who serves as mentor to a brilliant stoner teen who leaves behind his New Age-y parents for the stuffy life of East Coast private schools. Co-stars Graham Phillips,Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Justin Kirk and Keri Russell.
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About Face
nPhotographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders presents this documentary look at the super models whose faces generations past. Features Paulina Porzikova, Isabella Rossellini, Jerry Hall and more.
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The Raid
nThe film that caused a ruckus at Toronto last year and is already in the process of being remade, tells the story of a SWAT team sent into a Jakarta high rise to sweep out a drug cartel that has taken the building over as its HQ.
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Ethel
nDocumentarian Rory Kennedy, youngest daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, offers a portrait of her mother that follows the woman's transformation from Republican to Democrat to single mother of 11 kids.
34/40
The End of Love
nMark Webber wrote, directed and stars in this story of a widower struggling to make it as an actor in LA while raising his 2-year-old son. Co-stars Michael Cera, Jason Ritter and Amanda Seyfried.
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Nobody WalksnWritten by Lena Dunham ("Tiny Furniture"), is the story of a young New York City artist who moves in with a hip LA family that has agreed to help her finish her art film, but her NYC vibe throws their Southern California chill for a loop. Stars John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, Justin Kirk, India Ennenga and Dylan McDermott.
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Hello, I Must Be GoingnIndie stalwart Melanie Lynskey stars as a 35-year-old woman forced to move back in with her parents. Just as she's about to throw in the towel completely, a 19-year-old boy comes along…
37/40
For EllennPaul Dano stars as a going-nowhere rock star wannabe who makes an overnight drive to meet with his ex-wife and her lawyers in a final bid for shared custody of his daughter. Co-stars Jon Heder and Jena Malone.
38/40
Shadow DancernDocumentarian James Marsh ("Man on Wire," "Project Nim") directed this feature starring Andrea Riseborough as a single mother and IRA member who is captured during a failed bombing and forced to return to Belfast as an informant. Co-stars Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson and Aidan Gillen.
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The ComedynFrom writer-director Rick Alverson turns his focus on a group of hipster wallowing in ennui and indifference in a Williamsburg-ian neighborhood. Stars Tim Heidecker, and James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem).
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The House I Live InnDocumentarian Eugene Jarecki examines the folly of America's war on drugs, one that has raged on for more than 40 years and earned our nation little more than the title of World's Largest Jailer.
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