22. 300: Rise of an Empire
Director: Noam Murro
Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Rodrigo Santoro, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Jack O'Connell, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson
Release Date: August 2
Now that cable television has given blood-and-sandals fans a string of brutally violent Spartacus TV shows, does the world really need another 300 movie? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that Israeli director Noam Murro's follow-up to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit isn't without its charms.
For one, 300: Rise of an Empire was co-produced by Snyder and, like the original film, is based on one of Frank Miller's graphic novels (here, it's Xerxes). Even more promising is the film's emphasis on an ass-kicking woman this time around: Artemisia, played the always scene-stealing Eva Green. (Watch Dark Shadows to see how well she can upgrade dreary pictures.)
Sounds good, right? The coast isn't totally clear, unfortunately: Murro's only major pre-300 credit is the easily forgettable 2008 dramedy Smart People, which, as far as we can recall, features no scenes in which Ellen Page and/or Dennis Quaid engage in any action whatsoever. Keep those red flags handy.