What lands a film a spot on our "most anticipated" list?

That was a question we discussed internally as we started voting on the films on this list, and 2015 is a particularly dense year for releases. So many movies, so many big movies, and so many reasons to be excited.

We ended up using a hard-to-quantify mix of our own personal interests, the buzz that we've sensed from you, our readers, as we've been covering these films so far, and a sense based on other things we've seen and heard that add up to a movie we believe will be part of the larger conversation in some significant way.

Is it any surprise that "Star Wars" is on top of this list? From the morning the news broke that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm, there has been an amazing amount of scrutiny placed on every single tidbit of information about the plan for how to bring "Star Wars" back to life. And even so, JJ Abrams has done an exceptional job at controlling how much information is out there, so there's plenty of room for discovery ahead for audiences as the next year unfolds.

That's a big part of anticipation. There are plenty of movies that arrive in theaters already fully digested by pop culture, so the release of the film feels almost like an anti-climax. For the films on this list, we're counting on there being plenty that you don't know, plenty of surprises still to be had, and plenty of pleasures ahead. It's such an exciting year that we pushed our original 25 spots on the list to a full 40, and we still feel like there's plenty we missed.

Here it is. Dig in. Let us know which ones of these you're excited about, and which ones we've convinced you about, and what you feel like we should have included. And then buckle up because 2015's going to be a big one, end to end.

Vote for your most anticipated movie of 2015 in the poll below.

HitFix Poll

What is your most anticipated movie for 2015?

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.