With January ending today and nothing special to show for it from the film industry or box office, we take a look forward to the rest of 2011 and pick out the 20 movies we’re most excited about seeing on the big screen.

It was not an easy task, narrowing down our choices to 20 and ordering them – Just look at our complete 2011 movie guide to see the options – but we’ve done it and are left with a healthy mix of comedies, sci-fi films, comic book movies and a lot of action that will bring the hoards to the movie theaters.

So, before we look back and celebrate the best of 2010 at the Oscars, let’s look forward to Screen Rant’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2011.

20. Apollo 18

Release Date: April 22, 2011
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Studio: Bekmambetov Projects Ltd, distributed by Dimension Films

The very intriguing sci-fi thriller about the mission to the moon that no one ever heard about, Apollo 18 tells the story of NASA’s mission to space in the 1970s that everyone thought was canceled. The tagline, “There’s a Reason We’ve Never Gone Back to the Moon” says it all – and at this point we LIKE the fact we don’t know much about the film beyond that.

19. Paul

Release Date: March 18, 2011
Director: Greg Mottola
Studio: Relativity Media, distributed by Universal Pictures

Written by the lovable geek comedy pair of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the story of Paul follows two geeks who meet a unique and foul-mouthed alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) and go on an adventurous road trip together, coming across a powerful cast of comedy actors including Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver. It may have limited appeal, but we here at Screen Rant are squarely in the target demographic.

18. Conan the Barbarian

Release Date: August 19, 2011
Director: Marcus Nispel
Studio: Lionsgate

Marcus Nispel’s remake of Conan the Barbarian is based on the screenplay by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean Hood, and follows the titular hero on a quest across Hyboria to serve vengeance against the villains who slaughtered his father and village. The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Stargate: Atlantis star Jason Momoa can live up to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stature and become a Hollywood action star from this film. We think he’ll be a different version of the character, but might make it work.

17. The Muppets

Release Date: November 23, 2011
Director: James Bobin
Studio: O Entertainment, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Pulling together an all-star cast lead by Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) to bring The Muppets back to the silver screen in a new major feature live-action film, Kermit the Frog and friends must put on a show of a lifetime to rescue their classic theater. Segel proved he was the right man for this gig from his performance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and he and family friendly Muppet characters of old share the screen with Hollywood talent including Amy Adams, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Cooper and rumored appearances by Ricky Gervais, Emily Blunt, Danny Trejo, Jack Black, Katy Perry, Billy Crystal and more!

16. Fast Five

Release Date: April 29, 2011
Director: Justin Lin
Studio: Dark Side Productions, distributed by Universal Pictures

Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and their franchise familiar crew (from all four previous installments) are back again in Fast Five for another high-octane adventure and potential start to a whole new trilogy. With a heavy duty Federal agent (Dwayne Johnson) tracking them down, the crew must work together to pull another big job against a corrupt businessman who wants them dead in order to gain their “freedom.”

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