Spring’s most anticipated movies

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk

The sun is peeking out, the flowers are starting to bloom and so is our appetite for Springtime movies.

This season look for magical themes -- whether it be in the comedy "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," starring Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi as magicians, or the magical world of Sam Raimi's "Oz the Great and Powerful." More serious fare includes "Stoker," in which Mia Wasikowska does psychological battle with Nicole Kidman, and the crime thriller "The Place Beyond the Pines" wherein real-life couple Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes depict some baby mama drama, amongst other, darker happenings. And, oh yeah, best actor Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper also stars in "Pines."

The following is our list of this spring season's most anticipated movies.

Jack the Giant Slayer (March 1)

Oh Jack, why'd ya have to let in the giants? Nicholas Hoult is the lead in this retelling of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk. But in this version, there's an entire race of giants that put the citizens behind the medieval city walls in danger. Will Jack climb the beanstalk and fight off the giants in time to save his people?

Oz the Great and Powerful (March 8)

Someone turns into the Wicked Witch of the West -- but I can't tell you who. And boy, does she nail that famous evil cackle. Directed by Sam Raimi, this is an ultimate Oz origins story, sure to satisfy and surprise those of us who treasure the classic with Judy Garland. But this time, Oz is in 3D and the experience is perhaps the most immersive in this format yet. Keep an eye out for China Girl -- her fragile cuteness sort of steals the show.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (March 15)

The game has changed in Vegas and old-school magician Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) finds he needs to catch up with the times. When Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) breezes into town with his tattoos, bleached, long hair and crowd-drawing modernized illusions, Wonderstone has to get creative, and mine the mind of his childhood idol, to compete with his rival.

[Related: 2013 Spring Movies]

Spring Breakers (March 22)

James Franco modeled his character after Britney Spears ex-hubby Kevin Federline a/k/a K-Fed. What, you need us to sell you further on this one? Okay, then add to that a bunch of corrupt, bikini clad college girls led by former Disney darlings Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez; sex, drugs, hip-hop and Franco's braids and you have a slightly more grown up version of "Kids" (1995) -- which was written by "Breakers" director Harmony Korine.

The Croods (March 22)

If "Spring Breakers" is to risqué to bring the family to, "The Croods" is your safest bet out there. Early life on earth is made fantastical in this animated adventure wherein the world's first prehistoric family goes on a road trip. "The Flintstones" this is not; these cavemen and women must deal with nature's disasters in their quest for their new home.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (March 28)

These great American heroes, played by Channing Tatum (and who else?)... Bruce Willis, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and more, are out to get Cobra and then some. This time some bad guys are hiding within the good guys -- the government.

The Host
Saoirse Ronan ("The Lovely Bones," 2009; "Hanna," 2011) is growing up and... kissing boys! But this intense, sci-fi thriller is no Judy Blume book, or a Twilight book for that matter. "The Host" is based on a book (of the same name) by "Twilight" writer Stephenie Meyer. And filmmaker Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca," 1997) helped her adapt it to the big screen, creating a visually fantastic futuristic world wherein parasitic aliens threaten humans on earth.

Evil Dead (April 12)

Sam Raimi first burst onto the film scene when he made "The Evil Dead" in 1981 -- now considered a horror classic. His colleagues Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell have helped him produce the remake, with a script from Oscar-winner Diablo Cody. This version also centers around a group of friends who go to a cabin in the woods (wink wink) and unleash some super scary demons.

Oblivion (April 19)

Tom Cruise finds himself back in the future -- and this time he has to travel to a distant planet (Earth) to destroy an alien race. Once he gets there, he starts to question the motivation behind the mission -- which has been assigned to him by a court marshal, played by Morgan Freeman.

jOBS (April 19)

This Steve Jobs biopic, starring Ashton Kutcher, is designed to make you THINK about the life of the man who created the multinational corporation Apple while he was creating it. His partner in personal computing crime was Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) and the film focuses on those early years when the two were tinkering with their inventions in a Silicon Valley garage.

Pain and Gain (April 26)

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stretches his comedy chops in "Pain & Gain," a Michael Bay flick also starring Mark Wahlberg. Johnson and Wahlberg are Floridian bodybuilders who become embroiled in various crimes that all come crashing down around them.

[Related: Spring 2013 Stars to Watch]

Stoker (March 1)

We know Nicole Kidman can be evil ("To Die For," 1995), but did we know she could be this bad? Mia Wasikowska plays a young woman named India whose own person hell only begins after her father dies. She suffers psychological cruelties at the hands of her mother Evelyn (Kidman). And things just get weird when India discovers she has an uncle Charlie whose motivations seem more than devious.

The Place Beyond the Pines (March 29)

Ryan Gosling re-teams with his "Blue Valentine" (2010) director Derek Cianfrance for this crime drama that has the actor popping wheelies. He plays a motorcycle stunt guy named Luke who is looking to provide for a child he has just discovered. Luke grapples over the decision to involve himself in a crime in order to make life a little easier on his kid. Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Dane DeHaan round out the rest of the film's stellar cast.

Jurassic Park 3D (April 5)

It's the same "Jurassic Park" we knew and loved, made by Steven Spielberg back in 1993 -- but now it's in 3D. Watch out for those island-dwelling dinos: This time they may actually eat you!

42 (April 12)

Most of us know Jackie Robinson as the first African American major league baseball player who enjoyed a history-making career in the sport. But what you may not know are the struggles he endured to get there. This biopic, starring relative newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, tells the story of the great baseball player's rise.