A couple of months late, but life happens. The movies don’t stop though! Luckily, no movies I was looking forward to came out in the past two months, so nothing has changed.
As usual, my goal with this list is to highlight what I’m anticipating, rather than what the population is anticipating. With that, I hope I highlight some you haven’t heard of or weren’t on your radar that might be now. As you may notice, I’m not a huge blockbuster person, but I have a couple in my honourable mention list.
30 Most Anticipated Films of 2019
Release Date: March 22
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker
Director: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Synopsis: A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorize them.
Why I’m Excited: Anybody who saw Get Out knows why I’m excited. Jordan Peele is an incredibly gifted storyteller, and combine that with a phenomenal cast means that has a high level of hype around it and I truly believe it will live up to that hype.
Under the Silver Lake
Release Date: April 19
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, Jimmi Simpson
Director: David Robert Mitchell (It Follows, The Myth of the American Sleepover)
Synopsis: Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment’s pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way, he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre.
Why I’m Excited: Honestly, it’s mostly about the trailer. This just seems like the kind of movie I love. Good cast, DRM is a well-respected director, but the tone of the trailer is so curious, like The Number 23 combined with 500 days of summer. I’m on board.
Release Date: May 17
Starring: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton, Richard Ayoade
Director: Joanna Hogg (Exhibition, Archipelago, Unrelated)
Synopsis: A young film student in the early 80s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.
Why I’m Excited: A24 knows how to pick its projects, and this is no different. Seeing Tilda act with her daughter is something that caught my attention immediately, but the trailer intrigues me so much I just have to see it.
Release Date: May 24
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland
Director: James Gray (The Lost City of Z, The Immigrant, Two Lovers, We Own The Night)
Synopsis: Astronaut Roy McBride travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet.
Why I’m Excited: The Lost City of Z, Gray’s last movie, was so unique and full of adventure that I’ll watch whatever he does next. However, the idea that his adventure sensibility is going to space with a cast of Pitt and Jones thrills me to no end.
Release Date: June 28
Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon
Director: Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, Steve Jobs, 28 Days Later)
Synopsis: A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles.
Why I’m Excited: If this was any creative mind other than Danny Boyle, I’d be highly skeptical. However, what he was able to do with his last musical-drama in Slumdog Millionaire leaves me with no qualms. It’s an extremely unique concept, and one worth exploring with a soundtrack everyone will be singing along to.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino
Director: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, Kill Bill)
Synopsis: A faded TV actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
Why I’m Excited: Is there honestly that much to say? Tarantino, Leo, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, all in the late 60s Hollywood. I can’t wait.
Release Date: August 9
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson
Director: Andrea Berloff (Directorial Debut, Writer of Straight Outta Compton, Blood Father, World Trade Center)
Synopsis: The wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison.
Why I’m Excited: Though this sounds like 2018’s Widows set in New York, I’m excited for the comedic moments this might allow for. Both Haddish and McCarthy do well when surrounded with other equally strong cast members, so their working together seems like a match made in heaven.
Release Date: Summer
Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper
Director: Ari Aster (Hereditary, The Strange Thing About The Johnsons, Munchausen)
Synopsis: A young woman reluctantly joins her boyfriend on a summer trip where things quickly go awry.
Why I’m Excited: Hereditary was the surprise hit of the summer for me. The artistic merit, the depth in storytelling and the effective filmmaking made that movie head and shoulders above all other horror movies last year. I’m trusting Aster will have the same care and sensibility when it comes to this film, set in a Swedish summer… the perfect backdrop for a hellish nightmare.
The Woman In The Window
Release Date: October 4
Starring: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Wyatt Russell
Director: Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Hanna)
Synopsis: An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbours only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
Why I’m Excited: Joe Wright does drama so well, and when joined by Oldman, who just won an Oscar in Wright’s last project, and Amy Adams, one of the best actresses working today, it’s a recipe for success. The synopsis is intriguing to say the least, so I’m highly anticipating some edge-of-my-seat drama.
Release Date: Fall
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel
Director: Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Shutter Island)
Synopsis: A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.
Why I’m Excited: I can’t decide if this or Tarantino’s new movie is more of a no-brainer, but they both sit in that category. De Niro, Pacino, Pesci and Keitel, all some of the best mobsters ever to grace the screen, directed by one of the best mobster directors in Scorsese. This can’t lose.
Ford v. Ferrari
Release Date: November 15
Starring: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal, Tracy Letts
Director: James Mangold (Logan, The Wolverine, Girl Interrupted)
Synopsis: The true story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari to win Le Mans in 1966.
Why I’m Excited: Mangold’s work on the Wolverine trilogy is incredible, and the progression over the three movies shows how good he’s getting. Being joined by Oscar winners Bale and Damon mean this will be incredible.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood
Release Date: November 22
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson
Director: Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Synopsis: The story of Fred Rogers, the honoured host and creator of the popular children’s television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968).
Why I’m Excited: Tom Hanks can do no wrong, and I love his work in everything he’s in. Heller was underappreciated for her work on Can You Ever Forgive Me? as it was a well-directed movie. All of this with the story of Mr. Rogers, played by Hanks, and it’s an automatic shoe-in for any and all Oscars and walking into the world’s hearts, barring some incredible disaster.
Release Date: November 27
Starring: Daniel Craig, Lakeith Stanfield, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon
Director: Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper, Brick)
Synopsis: Modern-day murder mystery in the classic Agatha Christie whodunit style.
Why I’m Excited: After being attacked online for a year for Episode 8, Rian Johnson is returning to his roots in directing an original action mystery. Joined by the phenomenal cast in Stanfield, Evans, Shannon, and Craig (who reminded everyone what a great actor he is in Logan Lucky last year), this movie is poised to be a darkhorse favourite for me, as it hits on everything I love.
Queen & Slim
Release Date: November 27
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Calvin Williams
Director: Melina Matsoukas (Beyonce’s Lemonade)
Synopsis: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.
Why I’m Excited: My excitement mostly stems from how well-directed Lemonade was and how great Kaluuya continues to be. Outside of those few reasons and the little bit of knowledge we have of the film, this movie is largely unknown. But with the touch Matsoukas had on Lemonade, there’s no question her skill will translate well to the silver screen.
Release Date: December 25
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Timothee Chalamet
Director: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Writer of Francis Ha, Mistress America)
Synopsis: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Why I’m Excited: Probably the only remake on my list exists purely because of the talent involved. Gerwig is coming off her Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, features a cast that will be winning awards for a loooong time. It’s unprecedented the level of talent in the cast, and with a release date of Christmas, there’s no question this is being pushed for awards season. Colour me excited.
Release Date: December 25
Starring: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman
Director: Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall, Spectre, Road to Perdition)
Synopsis: The film will be set in 1917 during World War I.
Why I’m Excited: After a long stint helming the new wave of 007, Mendes finally returns to film outside James Bond with 1917. This film is on my list purely because of how much I enjoyed American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road, and I’ve been anticipating his return to “normal” films for a long time. His style is unique and engaging, and I think he’ll do incredibly well with a period piece.
No Release Date (Yet)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Alex Wolff
Director: Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds)
Synopsis: The unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in history.
Why I’m Excited: Thoroughbreds was the surprise of the year last year, and if that was any hint at what he’s capable of, we’re in for a wild ride for this movie. Boasting a post-Wolverine Jackman and Oscar-winning Janney, there’s a ton of talent to go around in what is sure to be an engaging embezzlement scandal film.
The Day Shall Come
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Pej Vahdat, Danielle Brooks, Calah Lane
Director: Christopher Morris (Four Lions, My Wrongs #8245-8249 & 117)
Synopsis: An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams.
Why I’m Excited: Morris’s Four Lions was such a hilarious, sharp commentary on the world post-9/11, and his silence after that well-received film was painful for far too long. His return to filmmaking is long overdue and highly anticipated, especially when joined by a cast and story as juicy as this.
The Dead Don’t Die
Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Selena Gomez
Director: Jim Jarmusch (Paterson, Only Lovers Left Alive, Dead Man, Down By Law)
Synopsis: Unknown zombie comedy.
Why I’m Excited: Jarmusch has continued to prove his ability to tell emotionally warm, humanizing films that few can match. To pair this filmmaking style with Murray and a zombie comedy is such a weird twist that I just have to see it.
Starring: Donald Glover, Rihanna, Letitia Wright, Nonso Anozie
Director: Hiro Murai (Atlanta TV Show, Sea Oak TV Show, This Is America Music Video)
Synopsis: A tropical thriller that casts Donald Glover as a musician with designs on pulling off a scheme to rob his way into the good life, which quickly gets him in over his head.
Why I’m Excited: Okay, I’m sorry about the crappy trailer, but I wanted to feature it rather than not because I think it looks beautiful. Murai is so gifted, which is showcased in his viral “This Is America” video this year. A cast of acting musicians in a story about musicians is perfect, and I can’t wait to see if Murai has what it takes for Hollywood.
Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Taika Waititi (Thor Ragnarok, What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Synopsis: A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish boy in their home.
Why I’m Excited: Taika’s Ragnarok had me rolling in my seat, and it’s still to this date the most fun I’ve had at a superhero movie. So I truly believe only Taika could tackle such a wild and edgy topic with grace and comedy that will make it so worthwhile.
Starring: Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas, Gary Oldman, David Schwimmer
Director: Steven Soderberg (Ocean’s Eleven, Logan Lucky, Unsane, Magic Mike)
Synopsis: Follows a group of journalists who take part in unearthing 11.5 million files, linking the world’s most powerful political figures to secret banking accounts to avoid taxes.
Why I’m Excited: Soderberg is one of my favourite directors, easily in my top five. In a return to a more “big-budget” filmmaking style, this film will pair him with a phenomenal cast in a timely and important story about the Panama Papers.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson
Director: Robert Eggers (The VVitch, Brothers)
Synopsis: The story of an ageing lighthouse keeper named Old who lives in early 20th-century Maine.
Why I’m Excited: Outside of the actual story (which was incredible), The VVitch is one of the best stylistically made films I have seen this decade. The colour grading, the lighting, the sets, the dialogue, all worked in tandem to take a good story and make it great. I’m hoping this wasn’t a one-time thing and it carries over to The Lighthouse which sees Eggers paired with two actors currently at the top of their collective games.
Lucy In The Sky
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens
Director: Noah Hawley (Fargo TV Show, Legion TV Show)
Synopsis: The story of a female astronaut who, upon returning to Earth from a life-changing mission in space, begins to slowly unravel and lose touch with reality.
Why I’m Excited: I will go on record and say that Fargo is one of the best television shows on TV right now. Hawley is a creative genius, and I will watch anything he touches. Joined by the always-impressive Portman as an astronaut means this will be a unique film no one should miss.
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Jo Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik
Director: Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, Okja, Memories of Murder, The Host)
Synopsis: All unemployed, Ki-taek’s family takes a peculiar interest in the Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.
Why I’m Excited: Bong Joon-ho is such a talented director, as Okja proved, and a return to an entire Korean cast and movie could prove to be the move to make a good movie into a great movie. What stood out the most about Okja was the clunky dialogue and this move would remove that piece altogether. Some mystery and hijinks seems to be perfect in the hands of Bong, so this has me all kinds of excited.
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Starring: Dev Patel, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Tilda Swinton
Director: Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin, Veep TV Show, In The Loop)
Synopsis: A modern take on Charles Dickens’s classic tale of a young orphan who is able to triumph over many obstacles.
Why I’m Excited: Iannucci is one of the most gifted comedy/satire writer-directors out there, as The Death of Stalin proved, so him tackling and remaking a Dickens’s classic makes perfect sense, and I can’t wait.
Starring: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Ted Levine
Director: Scott Z. Burns (Pu-239, Writer of The Bourne Ultimatum, Side Effects and Contagion)
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, CIA agents begin using extreme interrogation tactics on those they think were behind it.
Why I’m Excited: Burns has been an incredible writer for years, nearly cornering the suspense-filled drama corner of the market. With this cast, and this topic, his skill of suspense serve this film perfectly.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Pom Klementieff
Director: The Safdie Brothers (Good Time, Heaven Knows What, Go Get Some Rosemary)
Synopsis: Set in the diamond district of New York City, Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner and dealer to the rich and famous, must find a way to pay his debts when his merchandise is taken from one of his top sellers and girlfriend.
Why I’m Excited: The Safdie Brothers put out one of the coolest films of the year two years ago in Good Time (go watch it if you haven’t), and demanded attention immediately. Though having Adam Sandler attached to the project makes me skeptical, I still believe in the Safdie Brothers that this will be an incredible movie.
Untitled Noah Baumbach Project
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Greta Gerwig
Director: Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories, Mistress America, While We’re Young)
Synopsis: The story follows an unfolding divorce that spans from New York City to Los Angeles.
Why I’m Excited: Baumbach is incredibly gifted at writing stories that feel real, and a Driver-Johansson divorce is perfect for his talent in writing. All the films listed after his name above are worth everyone’s time, so I think he’ll knock it out of the park with this one.
Starring: Sterling K. Brown, Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Director: Trey Edward Shults (It Comes At Night, Krisha)
Synopsis: Two young couples navigate through the emotional minefield of growing up and falling in love.
Why I’m Excited: Apparently this might be a musical?? Which would be ridiculous, but even if it’s not, Trey Edward Shults is one of the biggest up-and-coming directors right now. It Comes At Night floored me, and I’ve only heard good things about Krisha, plus this cast is ridiculous. Regardless, I’m excited.
The Modern Ocean
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
Release Date: March 13
A crazy-bonkers action film with a phenomenal cast? Count me in.
Release Date: March 15
I want more original films so badly, so I’ll be supporting this one, even if it doesn’t knock it out of the park. Anything involving aliens, a dystopian future, and John Goodman has my attention.
The Beach Bum
Release Date: March 29
Harmony Korine is always original, no matter what. Hate him or love him, you have to respect his passion to be himself. After the McConaugh-ssance, Matthew is in a weird in-between time where his projects are hit-and-miss. Let’s hope this one is more hit than miss.
Release Date: May 3
I’m a sucker for a good romcom, and Rogen and Theron are a killer match. Let’s hope this is good.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Release Date: May 17
The king of action is back for chapter 3. This series is the best action films to come out in the last decade. Watch them.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Release Date: May 31
Every year, there is one trailer that rises above the rest. in 2017, it was It. Last year, it was this one. It’s the most hype-inducing, well-cut trailer of the year, and for that reason alone, I’m interested. However, the visuals look stunning, so I’m highly anticipating a big, semi-original spectacle on the big screen.
Release Date: June 7
One of the most hyped upcoming movies, Late Night was bought for a record-breaking $13 million by Amazon Studios after it’s debut at Sundance. This movie, written by Mindy Kaling, has her in the cast alongside Emma Thompson and John Lithgow. About a talk show host who hires a female show writer to help save the show, this movie proves to be very timely.
Release Date: July 12
This is an action-comedy about an uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani) who picks up a detective on a case (Dave Bautista). The driver wants a good rating, so he drives the detective around on his case. A hilarious premise with a killer cast.
Release Date: October 4
I know, a third Joker actor in a decade, but this is Joaquin Phoenix, with Todd Phillips directing. With Robert De Niro and Zazee Beets filling out the cast, this is extremely promising. Plus, with the above footage being a tease, it’s looking extremely interesting.
Release Date: October 11
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch boasts an impressive cast and John Crowley, the director of Brooklyn. With a fascinating premise and plenty of hype surrounding the film already, this is one to keep an eye on.
And there it is! Please give me your thoughts and tell me what you’re looking forward to in the comments below!