With 2018 behind us, we can already begin looking towards the future. The great thing about being a cinefile is that there’s always something to look forward to and by the looks of it, 2019 is going to be one heck of a year for movies. Like 2018, it’ll be a year of familiar properties, but there’s also a slew of original and fresh material from great filmmakers coming our way this year. In fact, it was a little hard narrowing this list down. Originally, I was going to do a traditional top 10, but then I saw just how much I was excited for and I couldn’t just do ten when there’s all this happening this year! There’ll be some familiar names on here and some titles everyone is excited for, but I also made sure to include some titles I’ve yet to see on other anticipated lists. As such, some of the material on this list has no promotional material and I’m excited purely for the premise, and cast /or crew involved with the production. Let us know what you’re most looking forward to this year!
Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw: Now, I like me some Fast and Furious films and this one is directed by one of the directors of the first John Wick film. But if you’re like me, you still haven’t forgiven Shaw for killing Han and aren’t too happy that the narrative has made him into one of the good guys. For that, I’m not as jazzed as I should be about this film, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Idris Elba.
Us: Likewise, I really enjoyed Get Out, but in Jordan Peele’s sophomore offer, I can’t help but get a bit of deja vu? The whole idea of changing and/or replacing people is a concept that was explored heavily in Get Out. I hope I’m proven wrong, but for the time being, I’m uncertain about it. Peele is a solid director and he’s brought a great cast for Us so perhaps there is more than meets the eye on this one. Time will tell!
This may come to a surprise to many, but what can I say. I’m a pretty big fan of the show and will jump at the chance to see more of it. Then, the production reveals that I get to see Maggie Smith mouthing off on the big screen for one final hoorah instantly means I’m on board. Will I be sneaking tea and crumpets into the theatre? Damn right, I am. I, of course, recognize that this likely will be a so-so movie that’s totally just fan service, but as a fan, I can’t be helped.
19-Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
If done right, children’s horror movies can be a blast. But too many times, the scares are watered down when it comes to kids horror. Just look at the Goosebumps movie compared to the 90s TV show. Both are campy, but on definitely embraces the scares more than the other. Which is why I’m so curious about Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which is co-written by the great Guillermo Del Toro, a man who definitely understands fantasy and horror. The plot involves a group of kids trying to solve a mystery that’s tied to a string of horrible deaths in their town. I hope this movie goes for the scares instead of treading over them. But when you look at the illustrations from the original books, which were deemed the most “challenging” books in the 90s due to their violence and fear factor, and one can’t help but wonder if they’ll fully commit.
[Credit: Harper & Row]
18-Kingsman: The Great Game
I really enjoyed the first Kingsman film but loathed the second one. So when they announced more Kingsman movies, I sort of just shrugged it off. Until I started looking into the movie. Kingsman: The Great Game is actually a prequel, set during the First World War and will be about the formation of the Kingsman service and tailors. Even more interesting is that director Matthew Vaughn has said this film will be more of a drama than an action film. Interesting. The cast is also extremely good, with Ralph Fiennes, Charles Dance, Daniel Brühl, Rhys Ifans, and Harris Dickenson will take on the suits of this early 20th-century spy film, with Matthew Goode being eyed for a role as well. Production has yet to start on this one though, scheduled for January 2019, so there is a chance that we may see this one delayed. But for now, it’s scheduled for Fall 2019.
When Detective Pikachu was formally announced, I did the biggest eye roll humanly imaginable. Seriously, I was not down for this movie. Then I saw the trailer that was released at the tail end of 2018 and suddenly, I found I was changing my tune. This looks way better than I imagined. It is a little hard to not hear Deadpool coming from Pikachu’s mouth however so time will tell if casting Ryan Reynolds as the iconic Pokemon was a smart move or if it detracts from the movie.
Not much is known about The King but what we do know makes me very interested. Directed by David Michôd, the man behind the excellent Australian film Animal Kingdom, comes a film co-written by him and Joel Edgerton and starring Edgerton, Timothée Chalamet. Robert Pattison and Ben Mendelsohn. The film is about King Henry V of England and is an adaptation of a few of Shakespeare’s plays, including Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V. There’s a lot of fine talent in front and behind the camera and that combined with a historical epic and a Shakespearean twist should make this one a worthy watch. The King will hit Netflix later this year.
15-Where’d You Go, Bernadette
I have one name for you: Richard Linklater. And suddenly, film geeks are excited. Linklater, in case you didn’t know, was the mastermind behind such films as School of Rock, Boyhood and the Before trilogy, all of which you should add to your “to watch” list if you haven’t seen them already. And if you have, watch them again! Linklater’s greatest talent is taking the coming of age story and humanizing it in such a way that it feels like real life. Some of his best movies are dialogue-heavy character pieces, where you could be forgiven if you couldn’t even name the plot of the film. This one involves Cate Blanchette’s Bernadette, a mother who seemingly hates everything. But then one day, she just up and disappears, causing her family to start looking for her and figuring out why she’s vanished. Of course, Bernadette is on a journey of self-discovery and with Linklater writing and directing this one, colour me intrigued. Even if the trailer takes away from the Linklater style.
The DCEU has been a roller coaster of wins and losses, but it looks like we may be in for another win after the wackiness that was Aquaman at the end of 2018. Shazam! is a comic book movie that definitely is embracing the sillier side of comic book stories and that is shaping up to be a win based on the trailer. Billy Batson is an orphan who’s moved around various foster homes in his young life. One day, he ends up transported to another realm where a wizard named Shazam grants him his superpowers. All Billy has to do is yell the name “Shazam” out loud and he’ll turn from a scrawny kid to a full-blown, overpowered superhero, played here by Zachery Levi. But despite being nearly invincible, having the ability of flight and other zany powers, Billy is still a kid at heart and that combination of overpowered superhero antics coming from the mind of a kid makes this one feel fresh and fun already. Colour me interested!
Rian Johnson essentially wasted no time moving to his next project. His last? The divisive eight Star Wars episode. But he’s not letting the hate he’s received hold him back. Rather, he’s made a new movie exceptionally fast. The film is said to be a modern take on the classic “Who dun it” genre made famous by Agatha Christie and will star Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Toni Collette. Considering Johnson’s talent, from Looper, Brick and the best episode of Breaking Bad ever, “Ozymandias”, I think we can expect a good one here! Catch this one on November 27th.
Martin Scorsese is without a doubt, one of the best directors who ever lived and he’s coming back in 2019 for The Irishman. I think movie geeks will agree when I say that it feels like this movie has been in production for ages and that it was starting to become some sort of urban legend. But it’s finally a done deal and will hit Netflix later this year. The gangster flick stars Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa and co-stars Robert DeNiro, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Ray Romano and an out of retirement, just for this one time, Joe Pecsi. It also marks the first time Pacino has been directed by Scorsese, while this will be DeNiro’s ninth. Look for it on Netflix later this year.
I’m very cautious but oh-so-interested about this film. It’s an origin story about the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker, which is certainly an origin story I don’t want to see. I like the Joker’s past being ambiguous and uncertain. But the movie is definitely coming and there are some big names attached to it. Even more interesting is that it’s separate from the DCEU. Joaquin Phoenix stars as the Joker and Robert DeNiro in an undisclosed role in a film directed by Todd Phillips (War Dogs, The Hangover) and is produced by Bradley Cooper. Set in the 80s, it follows a failed comedian as he takes on a life of crime in Gotham City.
2018 was a good year for musical films, with Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born receiving praise and awards. But the genre doesn’t take a break because it’s a new year. This year, we’re also getting a biopic about Elton John himself, with Taron Edgerton taking up the mantle of the Rocketman. Unlike most biopics though, this one seems to be tapping into the style and mind of Elton John, so despite it being a biopic about his life, it also looks like a fantasy film of sorts, creating a unique and original look for the genre. Plus, Edgerton is doing his own vocal work instead of lip syncing to Elton’s original tracks. Check it out this summer!
8-How to Train Your Dragon 3
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is one of those animated films that surpasses the original in every possible way. A rare feat for any film but especially harder when targeted towards children I find. Bearing in mind the quality of the last movie, I can’t help but be extremely excited to see what Dreamworks has conjured up over the last four years making this film. Hopefully, the wait is worth it and we get another rousing tale of Vikings, dragons and a heartful and emotional journey with Hiccup and Toothless. Instead of a traditional teaser, I opted to share the faux-casting video with Kit Harrington, which is actually really entertaining to watch. Enjoy! How to Train Your Dragon 3 is out in Australia already and will come out in February with a wide release.
7-Ford v. Ferarri
I’ve not seen this one on too many, if any, most anticipated lists and that alone surprises me. The film stars Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe and The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal. and is directed by Logan’s James Mangold. Do I have your attention now? The film is set in 1966 and follows the engineers and drivers who were tasked by Henry Ford II to build a car that could finally beat Ferarri at the Le Mans endurance race in France. I often enjoy biopics and those involving obsessive and intelligent figures are usually right up my alley. Combine that with motorsport and Mangold’s direction and no wonder this is in my top 10. Ford v. Ferrari is set to hit the big screen on June 28th.
6-Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The ninth film by Quentin Tarantino. That should already pique one’s interest. I must admit, I wasn’t a big fan of his previous film, The Hateful Eight, so I’m a bit wary of this one going in. But on paper, so much looks good, especially that cast. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life TV actor Rick Dalton, who appeared on the show Bounty Law in the late 50s and 60s. Brad Pitt co-stars as Dalton’s stunt double Cliff Booth. Unlike Tarantino’s other films, this one is more of a biopic, which is unlike anything the filmmaker has ever done before. What is the story you may be wondering? Well, Dalton’s next door neighbour is Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie) and is murdered by the Manson family in 1969. The film also co-stars Damien Lewis as Steve McQueen, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino, with Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen and many, many more in supporting roles. Oh, and the actor playing Charles Manson is the same guy playing Manson in the acclaimed Netflix series Mindhunter, so there’s’ that.
[Credit: Columbia Pictures]
5-IT: Chapter 2
Now, anyone who knows me knows I have an unexplained fear of clowns. They’re creepy! So I was in no way prepared to see the IT remake. But I ended up seeing it anyway as I heard nothing but good things. And boy did I ever enjoy it. I think that movie came out at the right time, as we seem to be in something of an 80s/90s nostalgia appreciation mode as of late and seeing the kids bike through their town investigating the disturbing events that Pennywise has orchestrated was quite a thrill. Now, the kids are all grown up and will come together once again to face off with the demon one more time.
[Credit: Warner Bros]
4-John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum
The John Wick series is *the* name of the game in Western/Hollywood action this decade. Wide shots, amazing choreography and long-takes seemingly defy the laws of modern convention. But then you give us Keanu Reeves doing “gun-fu” in his best role since Neo in The Matrix and one of the best roles of his career. Then you add a world with its own rules, lore, history and currency and it’s easy to become heavily invested in the world of The Continental Hotels. After assassinating a member of the Hight Table on Continental grounds, a huge no-no on this universe, John Wick is on the run with a bounty of $14 million on his head. His mission? Escape from New York, without any of the resources he can normally make use of. In case you were wondering, Parabellum is Latin for “prepare for war” and that couldn’t be a more appropriate title. Cue the action, and my participation.
3-Godzilla: King of the Monsters
I’m one of those people who actually enjoyed 2014’s Godzilla film but I’ll agree, that film had an irritating lack of Godzilla. The sequel, King of the Monsters, looks to be fixing that problem by not only putting more Godzilla in it but other classic Toho monsters like Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah! The trailer, embedded below, is also one of the best trailers of last year so naturally, anticipation is high for some awesome monster movie action. You can bet I want to see this on the biggest IMAX screen possible. Oh-and it stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Mille Bobbie Brown, so even better.
Now before you read the final two entries, you should know that I deliberated hard on which one would be number one and which would be number two. Realistically, they’re both tied and I’m so excited for both. As this is a list, I have to put one above the other and to get there, I felt like I was having a philosophical debate with myself figuring out which one comes first. But in the end, one edged out the other, but only barely.
Avengers: Endgame is going to be the movie of the year, without a doubt. With the way Infinity War ended, fans really, really want to know what happens next and how the surviving Avengers will be able to take Thano’s win away from him. Most of the plot details are kept under wraps, heck the teaser embedded below doesn’t really tell us much either, but that’s just the way you should see a movie like this, knowing as little as possible. I can’t help but wonder if this film will be more predictable this time around though however, with the whole point likely being to resurrect their fallen friends and half the universe’s population. But I can also assume that whenever it is I think will happen, certainly won’t.
1-Star Wars Episode IX
At the time of this writing, Episode IX is still untitled, but watch it get a title any day now. Now, as I mentioned, I debated for days as to which film would be my number one choice and I can’t help but put this as my top choice. Most of the plot points I thought would happen in this film happened in the last film, such as the death of Snoke, so I’m not too sure what to expect in this one. Will Kylo Ren be redeemed? Will he die? What will happen to the First Order and what will Rey be doing in this film? Thanks to the way The Force Awakens ended, we knew that Rey would spend the movie training and that did happen, albeit not quite how we imagined it. This time though, blank slate and for that, I can’t wait to see what goes down in this entry which will be directed once again by J.J. Abrams.
That’s our top 20 anticipated films of the year. It looks like there’s a lot of potentials this year and I can’t wait to see what these films have to offer. What’s your most anticipated film of the year? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out our work on whether Tom Cruise deserves an Oscar in 2019 and three films that contain inspirational wisdom for any parent.
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