New Year, New Movies

2018 means new movies, some which many people have been looking forward to for a long time (like Avengers Infinity War), and some that absolutely nobody asked for (Gnomeo & Juliet 2). Looking back on my 2017 list, there are quite a few that I had high hopes for that ended up being terrible. Movies like The Snowman, The Circle and The Dark Tower all ended up being so bad, and I think that’s what’s so fun about these lists. We get to look back on them with one year’s hindsight and see just how wrong we were. I’m confident I’ll have a few duds on this list as well, but that’s the way she goes sometimes.

One thing I’m sure you’ll notice is my lack of franchise, tentpole movies a la the Star Wars/Marvel/DC/insert-franchise-here movies coming out this year. This is largely due to my desire for fresh, new stories, and the impressive ability to tell a full story over the course of two hours, instead of splitting it into a trilogy or a decathlon. I think a look at my favourite movies of 2017 reflects this, as only one of them is part of a franchise. If you love those kind of movies, I have nothing against you, but they aren’t for me (at least in terms of my favouritism. I still watch them, I’m not a savage).

Again, 30 movies, because that generally reflects how many movies I can get to that come out in that specific year. Trailers, posters and release dates are attached to the movies if they’re available. If there’s no poster, I put a picture from the set, and some behind-the-scenes footage if it’s available. This list is in release date order. Please enjoy!

30 Most Anticipated Films of 2018

Psychokinesis

Psychokinesis-Poster

Release Date: January 31, 2018

Starring: Ryu Seung-ryong, Shim Eun-kyung, Jung Yu-mi, Park Jung-Min, Kim Min-jae

Director: Yeon Sang-Ho (Train To Busan, Seoul Station, The King of Pigs)

Synopsis: An ordinary guy suddenly finds he has superpowers he can use to help his spirited daughter and the people around them, but he also runs into trouble in the process.

Why I’m Excited: This is my wildly out-there pick, and it is purely based on the director. Possibly my only foreign-language film on my list (it’s unclear whether Roma will be in Spanish or English), this South Korean film take on a superhero has me buzzing with interest. His previous film, Train to Busan, is one of the best zombie movies I have seen, and I’m not a big horror guy. It was charming, thrilling, and engaging in all the right ways, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be entertained. His follow-up sounds even more ambitious, a dad with random superpowers who is stuck between doing good and evil. Sang-Ho is quickly rising up the ranks to join other Korean powerhouse directors like Bong Joon-Ho and Park Chan-Wook. The trailer for Psychokinesis is super cheesy, and I’m curious if that’s the way the studio put it together, because Train to Busan did not feel campy or cheesy like that at all. Truth is, I have no idea what this will be like, but I’m looking forward to this film.

The Cloverfield Paradox

cloverfield-paradox

Release Date: February 4, 2018

Starring: Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl, David Oyelowo, Chris O’Dowd, Zhang Ziyi, Aksel Hennie, John Ortiz

Director: Julius Onah (The Girl Is In Trouble)

Synopsis: An American space station crew is left abandoned after a problem with a Hadron accelerator causes Earth to vanish entirely.

Why I’m Excited: Though I’m tempering my expectations due to continual pushbacks, I can’t leave this one off my list. 10 Cloverfield Lane was one of the best movies of 2016, and any new entry into the Cloverfield Cinematic Universe has my attention. I also love that they aren’t sequels, or a direct trilogy line, but rather events possibly happening at the same time or at completely different times, but are definitely in the same universe. Like I said, continual pushbacks has me worried about this film (in December of 2016, the film was pushed from Feb. 24, 2017 to Oct. 27, then pushed from Oct. 27 to Feb. 2, and just last week it was pushed from a February 2 to April 19, which is almost 14 months after its originally advertised release date). But if that means I have a dud on my list, so be it. I had quite a few last year. However, I love the cast, as Oyelowo and O’Dowd have been in consistently great things, and Abrams always tries to push the envelope, especially in terms of mystery. The concept itself is a wild thing to think about, and the possibilities are endless.

 

Annihilation

Annihilation-movie-poster

Release Date: February 23, 2018

Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Benedict Wong

Director: Alex Garland (Ex Machina, writer for 28 Days Later, 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: Alex Garland’s work on Ex Machina was brilliant and captivating, and I fully expect this movie to deliver on the same level. The cast is great, and from what I’ve heard, the book it’s based on is amazing. The trailer completely draws you in, and the fantastical nature combined with the thrilling and terrifying monsters out there has me anticipating this highly. It’s so great that we’re seeing groups of females just kick-butt and not be overly sexualized. This is the first movie on my list that will be released this year, and I think it’s a great way to kick it off. Portman completely disappeared into her role in Jackie, JJL has had a great few years with The Hateful 8 and Good Time, and Oscar Isaac is so magnetizing on screen. If all of these components come together like I’m hoping, this will be an incredible film.

 

Mute

muteposternetflix

Release Date: February 23, 2018

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Justin Theroux, Paul Rudd, Sam Rockwell, Florence Kasumba

Director: Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code, Warcraft)

Synopsis: 40 years from today, Berlin is a roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West in a science-fiction Casablanca. Leo Beiler, a mute bartender, has one reason and one reason only for living there, and she’s disappeared. But when Leo’s search takes him deeper into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can’t tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.

Why I’m Excited: We finally got news that this movie was moving forward last week, and I’m finally justified in having it on my list last year and this year. The cast is amazing, and the synopsis is so different. A mute witness is a very intriguing idea, and I can’t wait. Also, a Netflix film (one of four on my list) which boasts the possibility of real success (unlike Bright). Though the director is hit-or-miss (Moon=hit, Warcraft=miss), I’ve really enjoyed his sci-fi side of things rather than his fantasy side, and this movie seems firmly rooted in sci-fi. And clearly, based on the picture above, this takes a lot of inspiration from Blade Runner, and a neon-noir landscape is always an incredible backdrop. I love both Rudd and Rockwell, and it’s nice to see Rockwell getting good work instead of little indies that fly under the radar.

 

Isle of Dogs

unnamed6

Release Date: March 23, 2018

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel

Director: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums)

Synopsis: In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that’s a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.

Why I’m Excited: Arguably the most unique director today, it’ll be great to see how Anderson follows up his most successful movie in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Also, we’ll finally see Anderson return to animation after the incredible Fantastic Mr. Fox, and is joined by one of the best voice casts I’ve seen in a long time. The trailer makes me excited, as it feels fresh and also so Wes. His unique approach alone will get me a theatre’s seat.

 

Unsane

unsane-poster

Release Date: March 23, 2018

Starring: Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, Amy Irving, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah

Director: Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Logan Lucky, Side Effects)

Synopsis: A woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution amid uncertainty as to whether her greatest fear is real or delusional.

Why I’m Excited: Steven Soderbergh holds a special place in my heart because of the Oceans trilogy and Side Effects (highly recommend, Tatum at his finest). After he quit movies because Magic Mike did better than Side Effects, I was sad that we wouldn’t get anymore Soderbergh movies. Then, he came out of retirement, and now we’ll get two Soderbergh movies in two years (Logan Lucky and this one). Crazy the way life can flip on you. This film carries an incredible cast of women and a vague yet intriguing plot line. Just the way I like my Soderbergh movies. I’m willing to bet this will end up on my top 10 list.

 

Fahrenheit 451

DTSnRX-UMAAQOSW

Release Date: May

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, Laura Harrier, Lilly Singh

Director: Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Chop Shop, At Any Price)

Synopsis: In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society.

Why I’m Excited: Ray Bradbury is an author I take a lot of inspiration from. His dystopian looks into the future and his ease with world-building causes me to wonder what I’m doing with my life. Though this book has been made into a movie a few times already, this time is special because of the cast. Michael B. Jordan has been a favourite of mine since I saw him in Fruitvale Station and Parenthood. Michael Shannon has never looked better, truly coming into his own in Midnight Special and Nocturnal Animals. Sofia Boutella stole every scene she was in in both Atomic Blonde and Star Trek Beyond. Fahrenheit 451 as a story seems more relevant now than ever with the rise of whatever you want to call “Fake News” and the President’s renouncement of journalism and reading. Provided they treat the story well, this will be a great movie.

 

Ocean’s 8

oceans-8-poster

Release Date: June 8, 2018

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Dakota Fanning

Director: Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Pleasantville, Free State of Jones)

Synopsis: Debbie Ocean gathers a crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.

Why I’m Excited: CONTROVERSY. Yes I’m one of the few who is actually anticipating this one. The original trilogy had such a unique style and feel to them, and while Soderbergh isn’t back to direct this one, he is producing, and the trailer really captures the feel of the originals to me. The cast is incredible, and if Blanchett and Carter carry this movie completely, it’ll still be worth watching to me. I’m a huge sucker for heist films (Fast Five is the best Fast & Furious movie because of this reason alone) and that’s exactly what this is. I like that this is in the same universe rather than a reboot (Bullock is Clooney’s sister) and I’m sure we’ll get some crossover (Damon will make a cameo in this one, I’m sure we’ll see other characters in the inevitable trilogy). The biggest critique people have is the whole “why do we need an all female reboot” to which I say why not. Why was it exclusively male in the first instance, and why is it now a big deal. I have faith in this film that it doesn’t just re-hash the same content from Ocean’s 11 like Ghostbusters did, and will hold its own with a great cast. The trailer has me hooked. And if this ends up being my inevitable dud on this list, so be it. But for the time-being, I am hyped.

 

Incredibles 2

incredibles-2-poster-2

Release Date: June 15, 2018

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk, John Ratzenberger

Director: Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant)

Synopsis: Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

Why I’m Excited: I mean c’mon. This is one of only two sequel/existing intellectual property films on my list, and there’s no way I was leaving it off. I grew up in the golden age of Pixar, and sat through sequels nobody asked for (Finding Dory, Cars 2/3, Monsters University), waiting for them to announce the only movie that deserved a sequel. I’m ready to watch the molenator destroy. I’m ready for the Incredifamily to grace the silver screen again. I’m ready to finally see what jack-jack is capable of. I’m assuming most of you are in agreement with me and didn’t even read this section, because you know exactly why I’m excited for this movie.

 

Sicario 2: Soldado

sicario-2-soldado-poster

Release Date: June 29, 2018

Starring: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Catherine Keener, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jeffrey Donovan, Isabela Moner, Matthew Modine

Director: Stefano Sollima (Suburra, All Cops Are Bastards, Zippo)

Synopsis: A follow-up to the 2015 film, ‘Sicario’, which centers around the escalating war against drugs along the border of the United States and Mexico.

Why I’m Excited: Taylor Sheridan is the best writer working today in my opinion. His very first script was Sicario, and it was such an amazing film. He followed it up with Hell or High Water, an Oscar-nominated screenplay, and Wind River, a film that ended up on my top 10 list for 2017. Though Villeneuve is not returning to direct this one, the fact that Sheridan wrote it has me looking forward to this all the same. I’m also looking forward to the return of del Toro and Brolin, both who were absolutely riveting in the the first film. This looks like it might have more of an action-star element to it, and while I’ll miss the gritty rawness the Denis brought to the script, I’m looking forward to being in this drug-cartel land again. I just wish they had called it Soldado, and not Sicario 2: Soldado. You’re not a blockbuster franchise, just call it one name. Oh well, I’ll still watch the snot out of this film.

 

Eighth Grade

EG_final-online

Release Date: July 13, 2018

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Daniel Zolghadri, Greg Crowe

Director: Bo Burnham (Feature Directorial Debut, Stand-up Comedian)

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school.

Why I’m Excited: Bo Burnham is, in my opinion, the best current stand-up comic in terms of his artistic approach. So when I heard he was writing and directing a movie, and A24 has picked it up, I couldn’t wait to see it. A24 is currently the best distribution company for indies, and they’ve had a great track record as of late. This year alone they released The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, and Lady Bird, all of which have Oscar buzz. Last year, they released Moonlight, the eventual Best Picture winner, and the year before that, Room, Amy and Ex Machina all won an Oscar. Needless to say, A24 knows what’s up, and they’re backing this project. In the late 90s and early 2000s, high school movies were all the rage, and that’s what I grew up on. Seeing a movie like this, and a few others, take place around middle and high school gives me hope that we’ll see this genre come back with a new and fresh twist. The suburban, coming-of-age story that we can all relate to somehow.

 

The Happytime Murders

Release Date: August 17, 2018

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Leslie David Baker

Director: Brian Henson (The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars)

Synopsis: In a world where puppets co-exist with humans as second class citizens, puppet private eye and disgraced ex-cop, Phil Phillips, is hot on the trail of the serial killer who murdered his brother and is now targeting the cast members of the famous 80s television show, “The Happytime Gang.”

Why I’m Excited: Just go back and read that synopsis again, and you’ll understand why I’m excited. I mean, it’s just the most absurd concept, helmed by Henson himself, the mastermind behind The Muppets. That alone would pique my interest, but the amazing comedic cast truly draws me in. SNL, Community and The Office alumni shine on this cast list. A neo-noir black comedy involving puppets seems like something even an SNL writer would think is too far out there. Apparently, Henson has been trying to get this made since the 2008, and after seemingly being lost to development hell, it’s back in time to distract us from the wild world we live in.

 

Apostle

first-look-apostle-still

Release Date: September 28, 2018

Starring: Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth

Director: Gareth Edwards (The Raid, The Raid 2, V/H/S/2 segment)

Synopsis: The year is 1905. Thomas Richardson travels to a remote island to rescue his sister after she’s kidnapped by a mysterious religious cult demanding a ransom for her safe return. It soon becomes clear that the cult will regret the day it baited this man, as he digs deeper and deeper into the secrets and lies upon which the commune is built.

Why I’m Excited: Gareth Edwards is the king of action directing, along side the princes Stahelski and Leitch (the duo who brought us John Wick). The Raid series is so much fun to watch. So the idea of him tackling a period piece about a man on a revenge mission through a cult is exhilarating. There are so many possibilities! The combination mythology and exploration combined with Edwards sensibilities will be something we haven’t seen in a long time. Dan Stevens deserves a role that showcases his abilities, and this sounds as good an opportunity as any. I’m looking forward to him destroying people through the brilliant direction of Edwards.

 

The Kid Who Would Be King

Release Date: September 28, 2018

Starring: Louis Serkis, Tom Taylor, Angus Imrie, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson, Denise Gough, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Joey Ansah

Director: Joe Cornish (Attack The Block, writer of Ant-Man and The Adventures of Tintin)

Synopsis: A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace.

Why I’m Excited: If you haven’t seen Attack The Block, do it right now. Go. It’s so worth your time, and the great direction and script of Joe Cornish is what places this film on my list. I love old quest movies like The Goonies and the sort, and this sounds like a return to that storytelling. Fantasy without the YA Novel approach. From a relatively unknown cast (and some guy named Patrick Stewart), the story must stand on its own, and I have complete faith in Cornish to deliver.

 

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

DWjN4DjX0AAvfmg

Release Date: September

Starring: Michael Palin, Adam Driver, Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgard, Joana Ribeiro, Jonathan Pryce, Rossy de Palma, Jordi Molla

Director: Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys, Brazil)

Synopsis: An advertising executive jumps back and forth in time between 21st century London and 17th century La Mancha, where Don Quixote mistakes him for Sancho Panza.

Why I’m Excited: Pre-production for this movie started in 1998, and twenty years later it will finally see the silver screen. Gilliam tried to get the film made a total of eight times over those twenty years, having shot, scrapped and quit multiple times. That story alone intrigues me, and if I know anything about Terry Gilliam, it’s that he has something special with this if he was willing to fight 20 years for it. It has been cast numerous times, with multitudes of people attached to the project. The fact that is even exists is a miracle. Based loosely on the book Don Quixote, one of the oldest novels of all time, this story will twist, turn and jump between centuries. I like what Adam Driver has been doing lately, and really I just want to see if this film is worth 20 years of waiting.

 

First Man

MV5BYTVjOTBiMjUtMzNmNi00MTA4LWE0YmYtZTk3NjA4MTJkODM2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjkxNTI1NzE@._V1_

Release Date: October 12, 2018

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Jason Clarke, Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Pablo Schreiber, Patrick Fugit

Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench)

Synopsis: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Why I’m Excited: Damien Chazelle has proven he knows what he’s doing with back-to-back (Oscar-winning) successes in Whiplash and La La Land. This new movie sees him reuniting with La La Land star Gosling, joined by an amazing cast to retell the story of the First Man on the moon. Chazelle has a true gift in directing, and I’m highly anticipating how he creatively deals with the weightlessness of space in his film. It honestly amazes me that this hasn’t been made into a true theatrical movie yet (there’s been a TV Film made), and Chazelle is capitalizing on this at the right time, with SpaceX truly taking off and those who lived through Apollo 11 are retired and ready to reminisce.

 

Holmes & Watson

will-ferrell-and-john-c-reilly-film-holmes-and-wa-2-31872-1483618307-10_dblbig

Release Date: November 9, 2018

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes, Kelly Macdonald, Rob Brydon, Lauren Lapkus, Rebecca Hall, Noah Jupe, Hugh Laurie

Director: Etan Cohen (Get Hard, writer of Tropic Thunder and MIB3)

Synopsis: A humorous take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Why I’m Excited: When these two are on screen together, it’s absolute magic. I think Reilly is once of the most gifted and nuanced comedic actors working today. His work in last years Kong: Skull Island was perfect. He matches the tone of the film and brings believable comedy, and he’s so loveable. And because of that, I think he’s the perfect comedic version of Watson, while Ferrell’s consistent over-the-top acting will play perfectly to a funny Sherlock. Fiennes would make the perfect Moriarty in any movie about Sherlock ever, but to do it in this one makes it so funny because he’s such a great dramatic actor. Hugh Laurie as Mycroft is also inspired casting. I don’t think you’d be able to tell from this list, but comedy is my favourite genre of movie. There’s just so few good ones lately. But I put my faith in Etan Cohen, writer/director for this movie, who wrote one of the best comedic movies of all time in Tropic Thunder. And if you question anything I’ve said here, just go watch Step Brothers again and realize that these two have undeniable chemistry together.

 

Widows

Release Date: November 16, 2018

Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall, Jacki Weaver, Daniel Kaluuya

Director: Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Shame, Hunger)

Synopsis: Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities take fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Why I’m Excited: The man himself, Steve McQueen, back again directing incredible casts. Following his Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, McQueen took a bit of a break from film. But now he’s back with a great story and an incredible cast, and a script penned by none other than Gillian Flynn. Allow me to remind you who Flynn is, the author books like Sharp Things and Dark Places, and the author and screenwriter of Gone Girl, that wild journey of a film with Affleck, directed by David Fincher. I’d be cautious about an author writing a script except she already killed it with Gone Girl. I have no doubts about this being an incredible film. Look at that cast. Oscar winners, Globe winners, Emmy winners all around. Both sides of the coin, the female leads and male supporters, are all incredible. Bernthal might be my favourite performance of 2017 in his small role in Wind River. 4 widows taking fate into their own hands. I can’t wait.

 

No Release Date (Yet)

Chris Morris Project (Untitled)

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Pej Vahdat, Danielle Brooks, Denis O’Hare, Jim Gaffigan

Director: Chris Morris (Four Lions, Veep Episodes, writer of Black Mirror episode The Waldo Moment)

Synopsis: Unknown

Why I’m Excited: Similar to The Black Hand, this movie has almost as little information. We know it’s a Chris Morris project, who wrote and directed the hilarious Four Lions about four incompetent jihadist/suicide bombers. 100% original, creative, edgy, and hilarious. This is his follow-up to that 2010 movie (it’s been eight years since his last movie, part of why I’m looking forward to this). Anna Kendrick stars, and though there are no plot details available, she did post this photo and this boomerang of her in FBI gear on set, and we know the movie was shot in the Caribbean. Everyone involved in the project has said it was fun to be part of, and will blow away everyone who watches it. I’m waiting with bated breath.

 

 

The Favourite

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Olivia Colman, Joe Alwyn

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Dogtooth)

Synopsis: A bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England.

Why I’m Excited: Yorgos Lanthimos is the most original director working today. The Lobster was absolutely jaw-dropping, and I’ve heard great things about The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The idea of him tackling a British period piece gives me chills. It’s like if Tarantino directed a biographical movie about someone. It would be terrifying, just imagining what he would be capable of. Emma Stone, a better actress than ever, proved she can do the biopic last year by portraying Billie Jean King with grace and presence. I have no idea what Yorgos will do with this story, but I’m thrilled to find out how he’ll handle this subject matter. Backstabbing, politics and love will combine in a way I don’t think I’ve seen before.

 

Freak Shift

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer, Sasha Lane

Director: Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, High-Rise, Kill List)

Synopsis: In a city where dangerous monsters emerge from underground every night, a monster-fighting patrol team is tasked with finding and exterminating them before they can kill the city’s inhabitants.

Why I’m Excited: Ben Wheatley has shown he knows how to make a visually stunning and creative film following Free Fire & High-Rise, and he has a sensibility that will lend itself well to a supernatural/fantasy-type movie. The concept is extremely cool and original, and the team of Alicia Vikander and Armie Hammer promises some great acting. Both of them are at the top of their game right now, ready to explode into full-on A-list status. They’re joined by American Honey breakout Sasha Lane who captivates the screen with her presence. These three alone would cause me to watch the movie, but the concept is amazing. Though there’s no exact story set out from the synopsis, but rather a setting in which it can take place them, there’s so many directions Wheatley can take this concept, and High-Life proved he’s great at coming up with amazing concepts, although the execution left something to be desired. Although the buzz around this movie has died down, with many assuming it has been pushed back to 2019 or 2020, I’m still including it because I’m really excited for it, and it’s still listed under 2018 release, even if they haven’t moved forward with it.

 

High Life

MV5BYTc0NGM1YzktYmE3YS00NjYyLTljZDYtMTVmMjlmYjllMzA1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTU5Mzk0NjE@._V1_

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth, Juliette Binoche, Andre Benjamin, Lars Eidinger

Director: Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 35 Shots of Rum, Nenette and Boni)

Synopsis: A group of skilled criminals, in a bid to escape their long sentences or capital punishment, accept a likely-fatal government space mission to find alternative energy sources.

Why I’m Excited: Claire Denis will finally make her English film debut, and tapped Pattinson to be the lead. If you’ve kept an eye on Pattison’s work lately, you’ll know why I’m excited. He’s one of the most gifted actors of my generation, and he 100% disappeared into his role in Good Time. He was awesome in Lost City of Z as well. Claire has a gift in storytelling, and the concept sounds like a sci-fi version of Suicide Squad, but with a good writer and director. I love movies where the characters are on a mission, and utilizing space can go really well. While many thought we’d never see a Claire Denis english film, the day has finally come, and I’ll be there to watch it opening week.

 

Hold The Dark

MV5BNjI4ZmRlMGItOGMyYi00ODlkLWE2ZGMtNzI4NTFhOGU3YTBjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTY3NDU0NzQ@._V1_

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale, Macon Blair, Jonathan Whitesell, James Bloor

Director: Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Blue Ruin, Murder Party)

Synopsis: When a child is taken from his village by a pack of wolves, an expert hunter is called in to track them down and kill them. He finds himself confronting not only the cruelty of Mother Nature but also his own failings, and as the child’s grief-crazed father follows behind him, it becomes unclear who is really being hunted.

Why I’m Excited: Jeremy Saulnier. That’s it. Saulnier has a way with film that is so unlike anything else. He doesn’t have exposition. He doesn’t have glorified violence. He just tosses the viewer into a story already happening and lets you figure it out on your own. Green Room was one of the most refreshing movies I’ve ever seen, treating violence like it should be treated, and based on the synopsis, we can look forward to more of the same. His work with the German Shepherds in Green Room also excite me for him to work with dogs again. They never felt exploited, and I believed every second of their screen time. I can’t wait for my palms to sweat for 90-120 minutes straight. That’s what Saulnier is capable of.

 

Hotel Artemis

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, Sterling K. Brown, Kenneth Choi, Evan Jones, Zachary Quinto

Director: Drew Pearce (Marvel Short All Hail the King, writer for Iron Man 3, Mission Impossible Rogue Nation)

Synopsis: A near-future thriller, set in its own distinctive crime universe, follows a nurse working at a hospital for dangerous criminals.

Why I’m Excited: Drew Pearce, a proven and gifted writer, will make his feature directorial debut with this film, boasting an incredible cast and a creative premise. Pearce has written some great action movies that also contained heart in Mission Impossible 5 and Iron man 3 writer, and he wrote this script as well, so it’s safe to say we can expect more of the same. Though he’s only directed the Marvel Short All Hail The King featuring Ben Kingsley, it’s safe to say he knows how to put a movie together, as the short was, and featured some cool cuts and creative moments. The premise itself is captivating. Any time we get to take a deep dive into a world with its own rules and way of life, I’m excited. A hospital for dangerous criminals is so creative, and in that one phrase a million scenarios run through my head. I hope Pearce is able to capture what he’s setting up here. The cast is star-studded, as you can see, and having these people all work together is a dream come true.

 

The Irishman

gallery-1513855308-robert-de-niro-wears-platforms-the-irishman

Release Date: Pushed back to 2019.

Starring: Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin, Jack Huston, Stephen Graham

Director: Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, Taxi Driver)

Synopsis: A mob hit man recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.

Why I’m Excited: Martin Scorsese is one of my favourite directors, and Goodfellas is one of my favourite movies of all time, so Marty returning to the gangster genre is enough to get me excited. But the idea of DeNiro, Pacino, Keitel, and Pesci all in a gangster movie together is what dreams are made of. That’s it. Those are the reasons.

 

Mid-90s

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterston, Lucas Hedges, Alexa Demie, Jax Malcom, Jerrod Carmichael

Director: Jonah Hill (Directorial Debut, writer for 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Sausage Party)

Synopsis: One boy’s coming-of-age in Los Angeles during the tail end of the 20th century, as he struggles with the responsibilities of adulthood and ambles around with his skate rat buddies.

Why I’m Excited: I’m looking forward to what Jonah Hill is able to do as director. His work as a writer has been great thus far, with the Jump Street franchise being hilarious.  Lucas Hedges seems to be in everything I enjoy lately, so that’s a great sign. Many are comparing this movie to Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird in that they are both reflective of how they grew up, and are both set in the mid-90s/early 2000s (my childhood). Coming-of-age films hold a special place in my heart, and I’ve enjoyed Hill since Accepted and Superbad.

 

Roma

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf, Yalitza Aparicio, Daniela Demesa

Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Synopsis: A story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

Why I’m Excited: Alfonso Cuaron cleaned up at the Oscars in 2014 with Gravity (nominated for 10, won 7), a film which also ended up on the top 10 grossing films of 2013. That’s a feat rarely seen, where an Oscar-caliber film also makes a lot of money. Roma will be his follow-up, 5 years after the release of Gravity. This film sees Cuaron returning to his roots, both in filmmaking (his first film Y Tu Mama Tambien was shot in Mexico) and personally (he’s from Mexico). I can’t wait to watch this master work again, this time without all the green screens. While Gravity was amazing and breathtaking, there’s nothing like using the real world as the backdrop for your film. From the sneak peek alone, you see the different shots he has and the type of story he’s telling, and I expect it to be at the Oscars a year from now.

 

The Sisters Brothers

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Riz Ahmed, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Rutger Hauer, Carol Kane

Director: Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, A Prophet, Dheepan)

Synopsis: The Sisters Brothers revolves around the colourfully named gold prospector Hermann Kermit Warm, who’s being pursued across 1000 miles of 1850s Oregon desert to San Francisco by the notorious assassins Eli and Charlie Sisters. Except Eli is having a personal crisis and beginning to doubt the longevity of his chosen career. And Hermann might have a better offer.

Why I’m Excited: Excuse me one second while I grab all of the acting oscars and give them to this cast. I mean, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, John C Reilly, Riz Ahmed… it’s star-studded with talent. Phoenix and Reilly will play the Sisters Brothers (their last name is “Sisters,” like the Coen Brothers) chasing after Gyllenhaal. I truly think this will be Gyllenhaal’s chance at an Oscar, with an incredible story, cast and director by his side. Audiard, touted as the next big director for years, might finally live up to that claim with this film. I don’t think this will be a comedy, so it’ll be interesting to see Reilly hold his own beside some of the best actors of this generation, with a director who is not known for comedy at all. I love the story, love the cast, and I can’t wait to eat this up.

 

Slice

slice-director-interview-chance-the-rapper-werewolf

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Chance The Rapper, Joe Keery, Zazie Beetz, Katherine Cunningham, Will Brill, Paul Scheer, Rebecca Spence

Director: Austin Vesely (Feature Directorial Debut, directed Chance’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: I’ve been waiting on this one. It’s one of four movies on this list that were also on my list last year. Chance is one of those creatives who makes me want to create more. Everything he’s involved in is adventurous and fun. Him collaborating with his long-time friend and music video director Austin Vesely gives me high anticipation that this will be a sleeper hit similar to Get Out was last year. Vesely’s direction on the Chance music videos is adventurous and original, and is visually captivating. Also, America’s new sweetheart Joe Keery (Stranger Things’ Steve Harrington) will draw audiences in, and has been great in everything I’ve seen him in. The concept is pretty cool and original, and I just want this to come out already so I know if it’s garbage or not.

 

The Son

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal

Director: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, Sicario)

Synopsis: 15-year-old Sonny Lofthus is a gifted and promising wrestler, but when his cop father commits suicide he enters a downward spiral that culminates in imprisonment. Over twelve years, Sonny’s time in prison has been nurtured by an uninterrupted supply of heroin from a seedy chaplain on the inside. When Sonny learns long-hidden truths about his father’s unexpected death, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his wrongful sentence.

Why I’m Excited: Denis Villeneuve. That should be all I need to say for you to know why this makes my list. He’s the best director working right now, no question. It’s a shame The Snowman was so bad, and Jo Nesbo deserves better. He’s an incredibly successful author, and at least one of his books needs a good film adaption. I put my hope and faith in Denis. Jake Gyllenhaal will kill it as always, and I fully expect this movie to be snubbed of any and all awards. The story is a great revenge-type arch that will be stylized with Denis and Jake in the drivers seats.

 

Honourable Mention

The Modern Ocean

f4a9078bda14791e117e73f94362d3f2--the-modern-movie-posters

Release Date: Unknown

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jeff Goldblum, Keanu Reeves, Tom Holland, Anne Hathaway, Asa Butterfield

Director: Shane Carruth (Upstream Color, Primer)

Synopsis: Conflicts along a shipping route culminate in an epic battle.

Why I’m Excited: This film is in development hell, and has been since 2014. So my hope is slim-to-none that this will see the light of day in 2018, but it still deserves mentioning. Carruth is a powerhouse, and both of his films are so captivating, and are so different from one another. If you like sci-fi/time travel, Primer is the best of the best. The cast attached to this film is unbelievable, and Shane is a master storyteller and filmmaker.

Other Honourable Mentions

Black Panther

The feel of the trailer is great, I love Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, and it’ll be amazing to see an African-American superhero cast destroy. (February 16, 2018)

Game Over Man

Workaholics meets Die Hard, a Netflix buddy comedy that I won’t have to put on pants to see? I’m in. I love their style of comedy, and the trailer shows it. (March 23, 2018)

You Were Never Really Here

Joaquin just brining it this year. He’s in three big movies in 2018, and this one looks like a John Wick meets Taken with an actual artful director, and all of those things have me interested to say the least. (April 6, 2018)

A Prayer Before Dawn

A24 bringing it again. The trailer had me on the edge of my seat. This is my kind of movie, about someone just grinding it out from the bottom. I love it. (April 13, 2018)

Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot

Gus Van Sant’s new film with Joaquin Phoenix about a guy who’s paralyzed and turns to drawing. I don’t know much, but I like the cast, so I’m interested. Also, Jonah Hill is nearly unrecognizable in the photo above. (May 11, 2018)

Deadpool 2

First one was entertaining, though it doesn’t hold up to repeated viewings. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do with a bigger cast and budget. I might honestly enjoy the marketing more than the actual movie (see above). (May 18, 2018)

White Boy Rick

MV5BZmIyM2U0YWUtN2QxNS00NzFkLWJhYzQtMGFmMjZkZDY0ZTBlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzkzMjE5MjU@._V1_

Alright alright alright. Matthew McConaughey is back becoming a dirty informant for the cops in the 80s. We’ll see if this is good on not, as his track record has been hit-or-miss lately. (August 17, 2018)

Ralph Break the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2

Wreck-it Ralph was my favourite animated movie of that year, and I’ve probably seen it close to 10 times. Animated sequels rarely go well, so I’ll say I’m hoping the best but preparing for the worst. (November 21, 2018)

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

Two black superheroes in one year! Miles Morales graces the screen in a little different way than we all thought it would happen, but I’ll take it. What I like the most about this is the original style of animation. So unique! The trailer makes me cautiously optimistic. (December 21, 2018)

 

And there you have it. 30 movies, plus 10 bonus, all which I’m looking forward to with varying degrees. I know I left off your favourites (yes I have Marvel fatigue, minus Black Panther), so let me know.

Follow along with my updates and reviews of these films here:
https://letterboxd.com/epicarson/list/most-anticipated-2018/