*I’ve been updating this with posters, trailers, and release date details as they come available.
I’m fully aware this list is coming 3 months later than when it should have. However, I’ve had this list ready since mid-January, but wanted to tweak it a whole lot (and allow for more details to come out). Also, the first movie won’t be released til late April, so it doesn’t matter. And that’s not because I made this list late. I legit didn’t care about any of the movies that came out in the first 3 months of this year. So there’s the excuses I tell myself to justify it, maybe you’ll believe them too.
I chose 30 movies because that’s typically around the amount of movies I actually watch during the year anyway, so why not shoot for a realistic goal instead of 50 or 100 films. You may notice less ‘blockbuster’ and ‘franchise’ movies. That’s because, for the most part, I really don’t enjoy them. However, there are some on my list. The reasons for why they’re on my list are written with that film, and it is almost always because of the people attached to the project instead of the content.
Movie posters and trailers/teasers are provided where available. A couple movies only have Red-Band (Rated R) trailers out, so I’ve noted them for those who want to avoid that content.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy! Let me know how wrong I am in the comments or on twitter or anywhere else you want to slam me.
Alastair’s Most Anticipated Films
Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane
Director: James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, Smashed, Off the Black)
Synopsis: A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover a nefarious agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and that of humanity.
Why I’m Excited: I absolutely adored Ponsoldt’s previous film, The Spectacular Now. Emma Watson is captivating in anything she’s in, because she can truly act, and Tom Hanks is…well, Tom Hands. The very appropriate concept for the film where a tech company has an alternate agenda, and has far too much access to everything than they should seems like it should be a response to what just happened today rather than something that’s been in production for years. Also, it’s coming out on Netflix, which proves that they’re stepping up their feature game major amounts this year. Both Tom Hanks and Emma Watson are at the top of their game right now, and therefore cost some serious coin to put in a movie. Clearly they got it to throw it around. Also John Boyega got that Star Wars money coming in, and he’s a great actor.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterson, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir
Director: Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, The Martian)
Synopsis: The crew of a colony ship discover an uncharted paradise, with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.
Why I’m Excited: I am cautiously optimistic about this movie. Ridley Scott is one of the most prolific sci-fi writer/directors of all time, recently returning to the top of his sci-fi game with The Martian. Prometheus was a pile of hot garbage, and so as this is the sequel, I’m so worried that it will be terrible too. But, Ridley Scott made the movie that started this whole franchise, Alien, and followed that up with Blade Runner. So maybe his good movies run in two’s, and this would be the immediate follow-up to The Martian. All this to say, I love the Alien franchise, I really want this one to be good, and there’s still some great potential. The poster, and the tagline, are also a true return to the good old Alien days. One thing that makes me excited for this outside of the whole Alien/Scott thing is that Danny freakin’ McBride is in this movie. I love that dude, and really hope he has moments where his comedic genius can shine as well. The concept is a cool twist on an old concept, with a bunch of couples going to a new planet to populate it. I’m sure we’ll have all the great classics from Alien along with this new spin.
Starring: Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun
Director: Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, Mother, The Host)
Synopsis: A young girl named Mija risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja.
Why I’m Excited: Bong Joon-ho made one of the best horror movies of all time in The Host (the 2006 south korean horror movie, not the horrible 2013 movie by that Twilight girl), followed by the criminally underrated Snowpiercer movie. His teaming up with Tilda Swinton again is exciting, and Jake Gyllenhaal is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, with many of his recent films receiving oscar buzz. I love Paul Dano, and casting a lesser known asian actor as the lead is always a good look, especially when the director is from South Korea as well. Again, the concept of this movie is amazing, and if anyone can makes this happen, it’s Joon-ho. While both the trailer and the synopsis of this movie are fairly abstract, it’s enough to make me extremely excited. This is also a movie that is coming out on Netflix, further proving my belief that this is the year of Netflix.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx
Director: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
Synopsis: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Why I’m Excited: Everything about this movie makes me happy. Edgar Wright is my favourite type of comedy, directing the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy as well as the cult favourite Scott Pilgrim film. I’ve heard this movie is like Drive mixed with a musical, and I’ll take it. The cast is ridiculous, as well as Ansel getting a big lead chance. While I don’t rank my movies, this would definitely be my most anticipated of the year. While the idea of the film isn’t incredibly original (a getaway driver doing one last job), the style Edgar Wright brings to his film will make it original, and I’m excited to see his version of a Fast & Furious film.
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr., Jacob Batalon
Director: Jon Watts (Clown, Cop Car, The Onion News Network TV Show)
Synopsis: Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Peter Parker attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man.
Why I’m Excited: Please be good Please be good Please be good. Growing up, Spider-man was my favourite marvel superhero (batman took the cake on the DC side of things), and watching this franchise reboot like it’s an old cell phone in my pocket is heartbreaking. However, I truly believe this movie has the nuts and bolts to make a good, successful, true-to-comic spider-man. I’m not a huge superhero film fan. I’m not an MCU fanboy. I think the last MCU film I saw was Guardians of the Galaxy. That being said, I will see this one. A true teenager, in high school, with quick wit and snarky comments is the Spider-man I grew up reading and watching. I know they tried to make that happen with the Garfield Spider-man, but the studio didn’t believe in it enough. If Deadpool has taught us anything, it’s that the studio needs to 100% back the filmmakers to make a successful superhero movie. Similarly, if Fant4stic has taught us anything, it’s that the studio should never meddle with a superhero film. Tapping an unknown director for this movie is an interesting choice, but I think he’ll bring a fresh eye to an almost stagnant genre in superhero movies. I’m excited for a passing of the torch from Tony Stark to my boy Peter Parker, and the fact that the eyes work with his emotions alone makes me want this movie to come soon. All of this, combined with the beautiful irony that Birdman himself is playing the Vulture… man, this movie seems too good to be true. But, I’ll return to the refrain: pleasebegoodpleasebegoodpleasebegood. I don’t think I can live through another spider-man reboot in my lifetime.
The Big Sick
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Aidy Bryant
Director: Michael Showalter (Hello My Name Is Doris, The Baxter, Wet Hot American Summer writer)
Synopsis: A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
Why I’m Excited: Kumail is probably my favourite part of my favourite TV show, Silicon Valley, so when I heard he was writing and starring in a movie based on his own life, I was in. It stars him and his wife playing him and his wife in a fictionalized version of the clash of two diverse cultures, and what that looks like. I love Kumail’s style of comedy, and the idea that the writer behind the Wet Hot American Summer movie and tv show is directing further confirms my excitement for a great, smart comedy.
War for the Planet
of the Apes
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval
Director: Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield, Felicity TV Show)
Synopsis: A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar becomes embroiled in a battle with an army of humans.
Why I’m Excited: The conclusion of the most underrated trilogy of the decade. I’m continually blown away by the quality of these movies, and I really enjoy the storyline. Andy Serkis is incredible as Caeser as always, and I think the addition of Woody Harrelson will bring a nice balance of comedy to this third instalment. Matt Reeves returns as director, which is good news because the last one was beautifully shot. I’m excited to see if they bring it all to a close, or lead into the old Planet of the Apes movies, and I’m way more excited to see war with the apes. Incredible special effects, great animation, and unreal acting means this is the perfect time for a true war movie. I think I’ll go back and revisit the other two before watching them, because I just really enjoyed them.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles
Director: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar)
Synopsis: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Why I’m Excited: Okay, so I’m a Nolan fanboy. I own everything he’s ever made, and I think he’s a genius. That being said, I didn’t think Interstellar was flawless, it had its problems. It will be very interesting to see him do a historical movie without any magical or sci-fi aspects (that we know of) in it. Re-teaming with the likes of Tom Hardy as lead and Cillian Murphy in a supporting role, and adding heavyweights like Mark Rylance (who was breathtaking in Bridge of Spies) and Kenneth Branaugh, I’m looking forward to a beautifully shot and brilliantly acted movie from Nolan and co. I’m also looking forward to watching a bunch of 1D fans sit through a long Nolan movie in order to see the precious Harry Styles on screen for maybe 10 minutes. No disrespect to him, I just think it will be funny. I’m highly anticipating this, and hoping I can catch it in 70mm.
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan
Director: David Leitch (John Wick, Jurassic World (2nd Unit Director), Captain America: Civil War (2nd Unit Director))
Synopsis: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Why I’m Excited: Charlize Theron is experiencing a bit of a re-emergence as an incredibly strong action lead following her amazing acting in Mad Max, and that performance alone has me very excited to watch her perform many action sequences. Rumour has it she trained with Keanu Reeves while he was working on John Wick 2 for this film, and the martial arts in that film was bonkers, so high hopes for this one. Similarly, Leitch directed the first John Wick, and has worked as 2nd Unit on big blockbuster action movies to great success, so here’s hoping the action is amazing. John Goodman is one of my favourite actors, so I’m excited to see him again. I enjoy spy movies, especially set during WWII or the Cold War, and this fits right in there. Consider me excited to watch Theron beat some dudes up.
The Dark Tower
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Katheryn Winnick, Jackie Earle Haley
Director: Nicolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair, Truth About Men, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Writer)
Synopsis: The Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, roams an Old West-like landscape where “the world has moved on” in pursuit of the man in black. Also searching for the fabled Dark Tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.
Why I’m Excited: This movie will either be really good or really bad. There is no in between. In an adaption of one of Stephen King’s most ambitious novels, two heavy weight actors in Elba and McConaughey will attempt to portray one of the most complex books in under two hours. Good luck, and I’m excited. The synopsis really says everything and nothing about what the movie will be about, which is how I feel about it. Again, a relatively unestablished director is helming this project, which could be either great or terrible. Apart from all of these things I’ve said, I know nothing about the project. I just know that it’s one of King’s most celebrated novels, and the studios are really pushing for this to be a big film, so here’s hoping it actually lives up to the hype.
Starring: John Boyega, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, John Krasinski.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Point Break)
Synopsis: A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States’ history.
Why I’m Excited: It’s John Boyega’s year, as he’s in The Circle along side Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, the new Star Wars, and this one. Being part of a Kathryn Bigelow project is huge, as this is bound to get award buzz. Both of her last films were huge (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker), the later of which won best picture. We haven’t seen her work since 2012, and I’m very excited with what she’ll do in a racially charged event occurring on American soil. As I said, Boyega is amazing, I’ve been a fan of him since watching Attack the Block, an amazing indie sci-fi british film. Will Poulter is also a great actor, coming off of The Revenant, and Anthony Mackie is severely underrated, not to mention JACKED JIM HALPERT. Bigelow is a smart, conscious film maker, and her taking on the largest citizen uprising in history is extremely exciting.
The Glass Castle
Starring: Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson, Max Greenfield, Sarah Snook
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, I Am Not A Hipster)
Synopsis: A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Why I’m Excited: Brie Larson has proven she’s more than just a pretty face, acting her butt off and winning many awards for Room. But anybody who saw Short Term 12 could have told you that was coming years earlier. Well, she is teaming back up with that same director in a coming of age drama, and I couldn’t be more excited, or more ready to feel heartbreak (it’s inevitable). Watts, Harrelson and Greenfield round out a cast of actors who are capable of both drama and comedy, which I’m sure both elements will be touched on in this film.
Starring: Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes
Director: Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven (and 12, 13), Traffic, Erin Brockovich)
Synopsis: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.
Why I’m Excited: This marks Steven Soderbergh’s return to film after ‘retiring’ from film directing in 2013 following the success of Magic Mike and the non-success of Side Effects, which baffled him and made him want to give up on film. But it obviously didn’t last long, and four years later he’s making a new film. Soderbergh has made some of my favourite movies, from the Ocean’s trilogy to Side Effects to Traffic. The cast in this movie is bonkers, and it’s awesome that Soderbergh keeps coming back to Tatum, because I find that his best performances are when he’s working with Soderbergh. The synopsis is original, and Soderbergh’s return to heist movies is what’s most exciting here. He absolutely owned heist movies for close to a decade with the ocean’s trilogy, and so his masterful abilities and experience will translate to this well.
Battle of the Sexes
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming
Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks)
Synopsis: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
Why I’m Excited: Steve Carrell. Emma Stone. Teaming up again, for the first time since Crazy. Stupid. Love. Both of these actors are incredible, and I expect some genuine comedy out of this film. Also, Dayton created one of the best, most original comedies of the last decade in Little Miss Sunshine, and it will be awesome to see his brand combining with such talent, portraying a great event of two tennis stars. There’s not a ton known about this movie, but the cast and director will make a great story, and the concept is awesome. I’m honestly most excited to see Emma Stone play Billie Jean King.
Blade Runner 2049
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright
Director: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners)
Synopsis: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Why I’m Excited: Two words. Denis Villeneuve. There is no other reason I’m excited for this movie other than he’s directing it. Sure Gosling is great, and Harrison has seen some serious success in revisiting his 80’s roles with Star Wars, and Robin Wright is awesome, but I don’t care to see Blade Runner revisited. And when Ridley Scott was attached to direct this, I was actually dreading it, feeling like he may do with this movie what he did to the Alien franchise with Prometheus. But Villeneuve directing this makes it a whole new ball game. Coming off an oscar nominated film in Arrival, and the criminally underrated cartel film Sicario, Denis continues to prove why he will be the next big time director, and this just may be his ticket to the big boy table. Denis’ attention to detail in every frame of his movies is so crucial to the success of his products, and so him tackling the Blade Runner world truly is fascinating. That’s it. There’s nothing else I’m excited for, other than the director.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Toby Jones, J.K. Simmons, Jakob Oftebro
Director: Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Let The Right One In, Four Shades of Brown)
Synopsis: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Why I’m Excited: Tomas Alfredson is a director who understands nuance and pacing, two things that can make a good detective movie great. His work on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was brilliant, though dividing as many people ‘got bored.’ But that’s my point, that this isn’t for everyone. But if you get it, you get it. As usual, an adaption of a successful book comes with its challenges, but I think a team like the one put together here can tackle it. I don’t know what the book is about apart from the synopsis written here, but I like the concept. Watching Fassbender take on a noir-style role is something I’ve been waiting to see, as I think he’ll do an amazing job. And anything J.K. Simmons is in, I’m ready to watch. He’s seen a resurgence like no other in the past couple of years, and his acting game is on top.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage
Director: Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths)
Synopsis: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon, an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.
Why I’m Excited: Martin McDonagh has blown me away every time I watch his movies. It all started in grade 11, when a buddy and I rented In Bruges on a whim, and we both fell in love with it. While Seven Psychopaths didn’t quite live up to that, it was still really good. So, his third movie comes forward, and I’m hooked purely from the synopsis. What a great concept, and something that is so relevant and meaningful to today. The cast is incredible, starring Frances McDormand as a foul mouthed, angry mother. I can’t wait. Harrelson and Rockwell again grace my list, and Dinklage (of Games of Thrones fame) will round out an already star-studded cast. McDonagh’s unmistakable blend of dark humour with real situations is why I’m so excited for this. I’m ready to laugh, and I’m ready to be enthralled in a story from start to finish, only to want to watch it again right after.
Caution: Red Band Trailer for Violence & Language
The Death of Stalin
Starring: Adrian McLoughin, Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Rupert Friend
Director: Armando Iannucci (Veep creator/writer, I am Alan Partridge, The Thick of It)
Synopsis: Follows the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.
Why I’m Excited: Armando Iannucci left Veep to make this movie, and if Veep is any indication of what kind of political comedy he is capable of, this movie will be brilliant and hilarious. Jeffrey Tambor and Steve Buscemi both are great actors who specialize in comedies with death, and them taking on the fall of a dictator will be amazing.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idres Elba, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum
Director: Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Eagle vs. Shark)
Synopsis: Thor must face the Hulk in a gladiator match and save his people from the ruthless Hela.
Why I’m Excited: Similar to Blade Runner, there is only one reason I’m excited for this movie, and that is director Taika Waititi. I think Thor is the most boring superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has had the most boring two films out of any of the characters. So why in the world would I be excited about this? Well, it’s the director. Look at what he’s done before. Quirky comedy, quirky comedy, and quirky comedy. I loved all three of those movies, and they had such a presence of mind when it came to the laughs. They were smart. They were unexpected, and always original. So, if the studio allows Waititi to be himself, we may just get a quirky comedy superhero movie that I’ve always wanted. Taika is also from New Zealand, while Chris Hemsworth is from Australia, so they have the Oceania connection. There are two other things I like about this. I like about this is that it’s the return of Loki, arguably the best character, both acted and scripted, in the MCU, and one who has the most depth and intrigue. And I like that Hulk will finally be a major player in an MCU movie. From the little I’ve heard about this movie, it’s been described as a buddy road trip movie between Thor and Hulk. If that doesn’t make you at least a little excited, I don’t know what will.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Raffey Cassidy, Bill Camp, Alicia Silverstone
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Dogtooth, Alps)
Synopsis: A teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family takes an unexpected turn.
Why I’m Excited: The quirky, absurdist filmmaker Lanthimos is back after a well received and widely praised film in The Lobster. It only makes sense that he would team back up with Colin Farrell, and introduce a great cast around him for his follow-up. This synopsis explains exactly what will happen. We will understand the first premise, and then it will take an unexpected turn, and we won’t understand it. Because that’s what Lanthimos does, but he does it in such a masterful way that I’ll forever be along for the ride.
Starring: Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn, John Hurt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James
Director: Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Hanna, Anna Karenina)
Synopsis: Within days of becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must face his most turbulent and defining trial: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation.
Why I’m Excited: Winston Churchill is one of the most intriguing characters of history, playing a crucial role in England during WWII. While Joe Wright isn’t an extremely established director, one thing that’s clear from his filmography is that he understands how to do a period piece. And for that reason, I think he’ll be able to helm this project quite well. However, the cast is truly where this movie will shine. Gary Oldman is my personal version of everybody’s Leonardo – he 100% deserves an oscar, but has never won one. I’m really hoping a great portrayal of Churchill will be enough to do it, though he will most likely be going up against none other than Daniel Day-Lewis… That aside, I think Oldman will do a great job as Churchill, and am excited to see this cast shine in a great moment of history with many great people to play.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Brian D’Arcy James, Chris O’Dowd, Michael Cera
Director: Aaron Sorkin (Directoral Debut, Writer for The West Wing, The Social Network, A Few Good Men)
Synopsis: Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful becomes a successful entrepreneur (and a target of an FBI investigation) when she establishes a high-stakes, international poker game.
Why I’m Excited: Aaron Sorkin is the most well-recognized and successful screenwriter in the business, having won both film and television screenwriting awards. However, he’s never directed before. So I’m excited to see what kind of film a mind like his is able to make when his scripts are so intricate and nuanced. It’s a great story to take on as well, because it’s such an interesting moment in history. Even if his directing isn’t amazing, this cast will put out a great movie no matter what. Chastain, Elba, and Costner? Ridiculous. I love everybody attached to this project, and like the story they’re choosing to tell. It will be so interesting to see Sorkin behind the camera, and I will be there day one.
The Shape of Water
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Doug Jones, Laren Lee Smith
Director: Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim)
Synopsis: An other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963.
Why I’m Excited: Guillermo del Toro is one of the most ambitious directors alive today, and him taking on an “other-worldly story” makes me excited for him to do some world building like he did in Pan’s Labyrinth. Other than del Toro, I’m excited to see Michael Shannon team up with him in this film. Shannon continues to impress me with the roles he takes, varying from superhero to indie sci-fi to psychological thrillers. He garnered an oscar nom for his limited screen time last year, and so I think he’s on the top of his game, ready to really dive into a role. There’s very little known about this, but Shannon and del Toro combined with an alternate world cold war hypes me up.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
Director: Rian Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom, Brick)
Synopsis: Having taken her first steps into a larger world in The Force Awakens, Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.
Why I’m Excited: Of course this is here. BUT, it’s not just because it’s the new Star Wars. Look at who’s the director. Successful indie director Rian Johnson has been given this world from the masterful JJ Abrams. He proved with Looper that he knows how to work in the sci-fi realm, but that doesn’t mean this will be a success. I’ll continue to hold out hope though. At least it won’t be a big league director who has no auteurism. From a story standpoint, the last movie was able to lay the groundwork for an incredible film. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are amazing in this universe, Adam Driver is an amazing villain as an unstable, daddy-complex guy struggling between two opposites. But I’m most excited to see some more of Poe, Oscar Isaac’s character. He’s one of my favourite actors right now, as everything he’s in I seem to love. His character calls back to Han Solo in the original trilogy, but carries a different weight as a true captain who knows people look to him and he has to carry the team on his back. So yeah, I’m excited. In Rian we trust.
Starring: Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Chrisoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Sudeikis
Director: Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska)
Synopsis: A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.
Why I’m Excited: Alexander Payne has this way with tragic comedy that is unmatched. He portrays such brokenness with laughter, and that’s a gift few have. Joined by a star-studded cast, releasing during oscar season, and a brilliant concept, this may truly be Payne’s big break. Matt Damon alone would have sold me on this movie, but Wiig, Waltz, Baldwin, NPH, and Sudeikis, all who are known for their own special brands of comedy, will really push this into amazing territory. I just hope they don’t all try to outshine each other, which can often be the case when a cast is this strong. The concept for this film, using social satire and self-shrinkage, is a recipe for a hilarious comedy. I just hope it lives up to the hype.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Richard Graham, Vicky Krieps, Sarah Lamesch
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, The Master)
Synopsis: Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, a dressmaker is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family.
Why I’m Excited: How can you not be excited for the return of the team who brought us There Will Be Blood? Daniel Day-Lewis is the best actor in the business right now, bar none. PTA is an amazing director. Combining these two (again) will produce magic in the best ways. I feel bad for anybody who had oscar hopes for their films this year, because this one already takes all the awards. Very little is known about this film, but the only things you really need to know about it are PTA and Daniel Day.
No Release Date:
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Seyneb Saleh, Sam Rockwell
Director: Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code, Warcraft)
Synopsis: A mute bartender goes up against his city’s gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner.
Why I’m Excited: Moon was amazing, Source Code was okay, and Warcraft was…Warcraft. So I’m really hoping this movie leans towards what Jones was doing with Moon. He’s re-teaming with Rockwell for this movie, which is a good sign. Additionally, Skarsgard and Rudd are incredible. The concept of this movie is brilliant, and hopefully will bring a new twist to an old genre. I love gangster/mafia movies, and the idea of a mute bartender fighting them is so creative and awesome that even if this movie is average, I’ll watch just because of the concept. Jones can do amazing work, and I hope that we see that here in this film.
Starring: Chance (The Rapper) Bennett, Katherine Cunningham, Zazie Beetz, Paul Scheer, Joe Keery
Director: Austin Vesely (Chance The Rapper’s music videos)
Synopsis: When a pizza delivery driver is murdered on the job, the city searches for someone to blame: ghosts? drug dealers? a disgraced werewolf?
Why I’m Excited: Chance is a true artist, giving away all his music for free, and winning a grammy for that music he gave away for free. It’s not supposed to work, but with Chance, it just does. This will be his first attempt at film acting, and the director is his own music video director. I’ve loved all of chance’s music videos, especially the stuff he did with Donnie Trumpet. The concept is cool, and Chance is great, but we’ve seen musicians try to break into the movie industry with cool concepts before, and they rarely work out. Why I believe this one will stand out above the rest is the studio they have behind them. A24 put out Best Picture winner Moonlight, as well as 20th Century Women, American Honey, Swiss Army Man, The Lobster, Green Room, and The VVitch all last year. Every one of those movies graced many critics top films of 2016 lists. They also put out Room, a 2015 best picture nominee and best actress winner. This studio knows how to make a good film, and knows which projects to get behind. The fact that they’re backing this one from day one is a really good sign. Let’s hope Chance and Vesely make a great film.
Pushed Back to 2018:
God Particle/Cloverfield 3
(February 2, 2018)
Starring: Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris O’Dowd, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo
Director: Julius Onah (The Girl is in Trouble)
Synopsis: A shocking discovery forces a team of astronauts aboard a space station to fight for survival while their reality has been altered.
Why I’m Excited: Cloverfield was okay. 10 Cloverfield Lane was masterful. The third instalment of this “trilogy” will land somewhere on that spectrum. From the mind of J.J. Abrams, the Cloverfield universe is about to become the universe, and that concept alone makes me excited. They have a great, mostly underrated actors for the cast, and have tapped an unknown to direct. However, that served them very well with 10 Cloverfield Lane, as it was Dan Trachtenberg’s debut film as well. With the guiding hand of Abrams along side a green, ambitious director, and a cast that is ready to prove themselves, this film is set to be great. I’m very excited to see where we go from here, and if the previous two films will tie into this one or not. But I absolutely love the concept of it, and I think this could have notes of Alien in it as well as Gravity or Moon. Consider me excited.
(February 28, 2018)
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac
Director: Alex Garland (Ex Machina, writer of 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go)
Synopsis: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.
Why I’m Excited: No set release date yet, but it will be released some time in September. I’m excited for this movie because it’s Alex Garland’s follow-up to one of the best, low budget and low impact sci-fi movies of all time, Ex Machina. His masterful portrayal was captivating the whole time with only three characters. He’s teaming up with Oscar Isaac again, albeit in a more minor role, and has all the rest of the high-billed actors as women, which is a huge step forward in gender equality in film. It seems that Garland will be dealing in the sci-fi realm again, with a stellar cast. If he’s able to capture our attention even just half the amount he did with his last project, sign me up. Garland is the next big thing in sci-fi, and I can’t wait to see where he goes with it. By the sounds of the synopsis, this won’t be a run-of-the-mill sci-fi movie either, instead going in a direction that we haven’t seen before. Portman’s coming off an oscar nominated performance in Jackie and Leigh also had an oscar nominated performance in Tarantino’s Hateful Eight two years ago. Two stellar actors coming together under an amazing director is something I will always look forward to.
There’s my 30. Hope you liked them, and maybe found some new movies to look forward to.