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50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

From a solo Black Panther to a young Han Solo, Spielberg going retro to Barry Jenkins doing James Baldwin – the films we can’t wait to see this year

Another year, another batch of superhero blockbusters, brand-name sequels and big-name movie stars/directors vying for your attention. When you look over the lineup of what’s hitting theaters near you over the next year, however, it’s hard not to get excited. We’re finally getting to feast our eyes on Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther movie and Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time! And witness the all-star Marvel Team-Up that is Avengers: Infinity War! And see how this Muppet-baby chronicle of Han Solo and friends plays out! And being gifted new projects from no less than Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Steve McQueen, Wes Anderson, Barry Jenkins and Spike Lee! Do you notice how many exclamation points are in the introduction?!? We’re pumped!

We’ve managed to whittle down the massive list of upcoming films to the 50 we’re most anxious to check out – from an all-ladies version of the Oceans movies to Lady Gaga’s country-flavored A Star Is Born, a long-awaited Freddie Mercury biopic to some classic horror remakes and a documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man. Start marking your calendar now (dates are, of course, subject to change). Welcome to what looks like a bang-up year at the movies.

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘A Fantastic Woman’ (Feb. 2)

You may have heard about this Chilean/German movie courtesy of the festival-circuit buzz, or possibly seen the title show up on a lot of 2017 year-end lists (it received a week-long qualifying Oscar run) and in the Golden Globes’ Best Foreign-Language Film category. Believe us when we say that the hype behind director Sebástian Lelio’s transcendent melodrama about a transgender singer (Daniela Vega – remember that name) is more than justified. The longer you watch the movie’s heroine mourn her late lover – even as the dead man’s relatives try to rewrite her out of the narrative – the more you feel like you’ve stumbled across a phoenix in the middle of rising from the ashes. “Fantastic” doesn’t even scratch the surface of how good this is. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘The 15:17 to Paris’ (Feb. 9)

Director Clint Eastwood follows up American Sniper and Sully with yet another movie about modern manhood in times of crisis, looking back at a famed 2015 incident where heroic train passengers subdued an active shooter. The three Americans who helped save the day are starring as themselves, and it’ll be interesting to see how Eastwood works with a cast of non-pros – as well as how he’s going to turn a split-second moment of heroism into a full-length action movie. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Black Panther’ (Feb. 16)

Based on how much every morsel of information has been scrutinized, meme-ed, and breathlessly rallied around, the month of February belongs to the solo debut of Marvel’s herb-enhanced African superhero. Though T’Challa/Black Panther was formally introduced in Captain America: Civil War, which established him as king of the isolationist country of Wakanda, he stands alone in confronting a threat to his kingdom – and a possible world war. There’s an abundance of African-American talent, both next-gen (Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya) and last (Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker). As for director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B. Jordan, who plays the movie’s villain, the duo continue a Scorsese/De Niro-style collaboration that began with Fruitvale Station and Creed. ST 

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Early Man’ (Feb. 16)

Animation freaks and British comedy connoisseurs both perk up whenever there’s a new Aardman production arriving in theaters – and its latest has drawn more attention than usual, because it’s the first film in over a decade directed by Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park. Working with many of his longtime collaborators, the droll animation auteur will be dropping his latest collection of big-toothed claymation characters into some prehistoric steampunk whimsy, set at the moment when the Stone Age turned Bronze. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Annihilation’ (Feb. 23)

It says something about Ex Machina and its writer-director, Alex Garland, that its most heavily circulated clip was of Oscar Isaac “tear[ing] up the fucking dance floor” with a humanoid robot. He’s returning to the genre again with Annihilation, which turns an environmental mutation into its a crossbreed of sci-fi and action/horror. Natalie Portman stars as a biologist who leads a quintet of women – including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny – into “the Shimmer,” a nebulous disaster area that seems like “the Zone” in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker reimagined as a Predator movie. ST 

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Game Night’ (Feb. 23)

So let’s say you go to one of those suburban game nights – you know, where your friends and neighbors regularly guzzle chardonnay and play Monopoly. Now imagine your host has decided to do one of those immersive solve-a-murder-mystery shindigs, except it involves an abduction. And some gangsters. And guns with live rounds. And a creepy Jesse Plemons. And also it is real. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams lead a TV-star heavy cast (Friday Night Lights‘ Kyle Chandler! New Girl‘s Lamorne Morris! Catastrophe‘s Sharon Horgan!!!) in what may be the only  raunchcom this year to feature both karaoke and a guy getting sucked into a jet engine. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Red Sparrow’ (Mar. 2)

How does Jennifer Lawrence follow up one of her gutsiest performances in a movie nobody saw? The Oscar-winner reteams with director Francis Lawrence, who helmed the final three Hunger Games films, for a sultry spy thriller in which she plays a seductive Russian agent who starts working with Joel Edgerton’s dashing American operative. This adaptation of the Jason Matthews novel is stacked with a killer ensemble of supporting players – including Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling and Matthias Schoenaerts – who add style and substance to a film that ought to tide us over until we get a proper Black Widow standalone movie. TG

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘The Death of Stalin’ (Mar. 9)

It’s 1953, the Soviet Union is under the thumb of Josef Stalin, and the secret police and Party toadies keep everything in check. Then Russia’s leader dies unexpectedly, and suddenly, a power-grabbing politburo game of musical-chairs is in full swing. It takes a certain kind of director to turn this adaptation of a French graphic novel into a comedy of (t)errors; it takes a satirist of In the Loop director/Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s talents to transform this into the sort of farce that makes you lose bladder control. Any comparison to current political corruption and chaos is, of course, completely coincidental. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (Mar. 9)

One of the most popular young adult fantasy novels of all time gets a more racially and ethnically diverse adaptation, helmed by Selma director Ava DuVernay and written by Frozen writer Jennifer Lee. Given the talent involved – and the timelessness of Madeline L’Engle’s story about kids traveling the galaxy in search of their dad – this Wrinkle should unfold spectacularly. But even if the movie’s just okay, Disney will probably need to bend the fabric of reality just to find a place to stash all the money it’s going to make. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Tomb Raider’ (Mar. 16)

Move over Angelina Jolie, there’s a new puzzle-solving, rope-swinging, arrow-shooting archeologist in town. Alicia Vikander puts on the telltale tank top for this reboot of the franchise based on the gajillion-selling adventures of Lara Croft, who gets caught up in some serious jungle boogie-ing while following a trail left by her missing father. Don’t expect Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug (The Wave) to switch the formula up; do expect Vikander to offer the latest, sleekest model of an iconic video-game heroine. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Isle of Dogs’ (Mar. 23)

Wes Anderson is no stranger to animation – see his dazzling 2009 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. But his newest venture finds him working from an original (and pretty bleak) concept: a dystopian future in which dogs live on a quarantined island. Their unhappy existence is interrupted by the arrival of a boy (voiced by Koyu Rankin) in search for his own wayward mutt. Utilizing the same stop-motion style that gave Fox its handmade charm, this new project has a more epic feel, aided by voice work from Bryan Cranston and Anderson veterans Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum. It may be too dark for kids, but Anderson’s fans are already wagging their tail with anticipation. TG

Steven Soderbergh

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

‘Unsane’ (Mar. 23)

Just when you think he’s left the game entirely, along comes the formerly retired Steven Soderbergh with a scrappy NASCAR heist flick, a new HBO series that’s also an app – and a “secret” new horror movie, made on the D.L and shot on his iPhone. The Crown‘s Claire Foy is a young woman who finds her sanity in peril when she’s institutionalized; June Temple and former SNL-er Jay Pharoah costar. The particulars of the plot are apparently on a need-to-know basis past that synopsis; Pharoah has described the movie as “reality-type horror – almost Get Out-ish, but different,” which sounds promising. Frankly, you had us at “Soderbergh.” DF 

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Ready Player One’ (Mar. 30)

Ernest Cline’s 2011 science-fiction novel floated a tantalizing fantasy: What if all the useless information you’ve accumulated through a lifetime of immersion of Eighties movies, music, video games and other cultural flotsam and jetsam could, in fact, make you the most important person on Earth? Having Steven Spielberg adapt this cult sci-fi book to the screen may count as a shameless act of self-homage for a director who ruled the decade, but he also legitimizes the fanboy enthusiasm that fuels Cline’s story. It may be set in a future dystopia of widespread poverty and overpopulation, but the film will largely take place in the virtual realm of OASIS, where players like Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) search for a $240 billion Easter Egg left by its late creator. Let the games, and the shameless Back to the Future references, begin! ST 

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘You Were Never Really Here’ (Apr. 6)

“I hear you’re brutal,” a man says to Joe (a more-bearded-than-usual Joaquin Phoenix), a gentleman who can unleash violence and enact vengeance for the right price. Given that we’ve just seen wirled use the business end of a hammer for maximum damage in the above trailer, we’re apt to think those rumors aren’t unfounded. This psycho-for-hire’s latest gig, however, requires more steeliness than usual: Rescue a senator’s young daughter who’s been kidnapped by white traffickers by any means necessary. He takes the job. Then things go very wrong. We’ve been waiting to see what Lynne Ramsay was going to do to follow-up 2011’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, and the answer is apparently a revenge thriller that won her lead actor an award at last year’s Cannes and takes exactly zero prisoners. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘The Rider’ (Apr. 13)

After having been injured in a fall and stuck with a plate in his head, a Native American rodeo star (Brady Jandeau) is forced to put his ridin’ and ropin’ days behind him. As to what lays in his future, the young man knows he doesn’t want to end a drunk like his dad – or permanently injured like his best friend, a former bronco-busting hotshot confined to a wheelchair. Past that, it all seems to be an open-ended question. Part semi-documentary, part semi-fictional storytelling and an all-American chronicle of hardship and transcendental bliss, filmmaker Chloé Zhao has real-life circuit riders recreating scenes from their own life – the scene in which Jandeau actually horse-whispers an untamed animal is incredible – and reclaiming Western iconography. It’s a winner. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘The New Mutants’ (Apr. 13)

Last year’s superb superhero pic Logan used the X-Men movie universe as a jumping-off point for a futuristic western. Now The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone digs into his stack of Eighties New Mutants comics to make a film that he insists is just as inspired by Stephen King and John Hughes as by Marvel legends Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. An ace young cast led by The Witch‘s Anya Taylor-Joy and Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams anchors this tale of powerful youngsters haunted by both supernatural evils and their own raging hormones. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Overboard’ (Apr. 20)

In the 30 years since its release, the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell comedy Overboard has gone from an indifferently received amnesiac comedy to a beloved screwball classic. Suffice to say, ahem, there’s room for improvement in the gender-reversed remake, which now casts Hawn’s heir apparent, Anna Faris, as a blue-collar worker and Mexican star Eugenio Derbez in the role of a rich snob humbled by an accident that wipes his memory clean. Derbez’s comedy How to Be a Latin Lover was a quiet hit last year, and Faris has spent a career spinning gold from dross. And let’s face it: This material is drossy as hell. ST 

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Super Troopers 2’ (Apr. 20)

In the 17 years since the sketch comedy troupe Broken Lizard wrote and starred in the riotous cop movie parody Super Troopers, fans though have waited for the gang to return to the world of Vermont crimefighting and bros-in-blue shenanigans. Finally, that dream of a sequel to the cult movie’s saga of radar-gun-slinging yahoos – who spend more time annoying each other than going after bad guys – is about to become a reality. Director and Lizard co-founder Jay Chandrasekhar is once again behind the camera; in addition to the rest of the group, Rob Lowe is on-hand as a Canadian named Guy Le Franc. You may begin filling your bongs now, folks. NM

American director and producer Stanley Kubrick on the set of his film, The Shining.

Murray Close/Getty Images

‘Filmworker’ (Spring 2018)

You may not know the name Leon Vitali. You probably know who Stanley Kubrick is, however, who gave the young, aspiring actor a key role in Barry Lyndon. Later, the director hired him as a sort of his-guy-Friday during the production of The Shining – a function that Vitali continued to perform for his boss regarding his professional obligations and personal obsessions until Kubrick’s death in 1999. Tony Zierra’s docu-portrait is said to be a must-see for those who love arcane Kubrickiana and stories of the private filmmaker’s creative process. But it also sounds like an intriguing character study of a man who can arguably claim to be the auteur’s single biggest fan of them all. DF

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (May 4)

The conventional wisdom is that Marvel movies are more lighthearted than their gloomy DC/Warner Bros. peers. But that impression might change after battle royale pitting Stan Lee’s titans against Thanos (Josh Brolin), the intergalactic baddie in search of the all-powerful Infinity Stones. Last fall’s trailer promised a darker, more despairing superhero film – you can tell this movie is serious because Chris Evans’ Captain America is sporting a beard. Plus it features not just the core heroes but everyone from Black Panther to Doctor Strange to the Guardians of the Galaxy. The Avengers invented the idea of the supersized comic-book film. Infinity War is going to be even bigger. TG

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

Untitled ‘Deadpool’ Sequel (May 18)

The wicked delight of 2016’s Deadpool was its R-rated, middle-fingers-raised takedown of superhero movies, positioning itself as the snot-nosed class clown shooting spitballs at the rest of the MCU. The movie was an unexpected smash, but from what we can tell about the sequel, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) hasn’t lost an ounce of piss and vinegar. Still not officially titled – part of us would love it if Fox just stuck with The Untitled Deadpool Sequel as the name – the follow-up is keeping its plotline mysterious. (The film’s website jokingly describes the story as Deadpool’s journey “to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender.”) What we do know is John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch has come on board, and that Reynolds is probably going to continue having a ball with the smartass role of his dreams. TG

solo han star wars

Jonathan Olley

‘Solo: A Star Wars Movie’ (May 25)

It makes sense that a movie about a seat-of-the-pants flyboy like Han Solo would take a bumpy trip to the screen. After The Lego Movie team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced with director Ron Howard, rumors spread that the latest standalone Star Wars project was in trouble. But with The Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan providing the script and charismatic young actor Alden Ehrenreich as Han (with Donald Glover his old frenemy Lando Calrissian), Solo’s fundamentals remain strong … or at least as shipshape as the Millennium Falcon. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Oceans 8’ (Jun. 8)

The gender-reversed remake trend looks to hit paydirt with this play on Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven movies – and just as those Rat-Pack throwback heist flicks doubled as tributes to contemporary movie-star glamour, this spin-off offers up three of Hollywood’s biggest actresses (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway) in place of the Clooney/Pitt/Damon trifecta. It also gets quirky with a supporting cast (Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Awkwafina) that will likely never appear together in any other context. Setting the caper at the Met Gala only adds to the glittering spectacle, as well as presenting a moving target with possible hiccups and variables. The film should have no trouble picking a few pockets. ST 

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

Fotos International/Getty Images

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ (Jun. 8)

If you’re the sort of person who wells up watching old clips of PBS host Mr. Rogers delivering lessons about kindness, then you’ll probably want to bring a whole box of Kleenex to this new bio-doc. Oscar-winner Morgan Neville already proved he can tug on heartstrings with his rousing 2013 film 20 Feet from Stardom, and in recounting the life, carer and philosophies of Presbyterian minister-turned-Pittsburgh puppeteer Fred Rogers, the director could have viewers singing “It’s Such a Good Feeling” through convulsive sobs. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ (Jun. 22)

Fire up the ‘ol hamster wheel, because the gang is returning to Jurassic World, despite the theme park collapsing and Isla Nublar being totally overrun by dinosaurs. Their motivation is a little thin: Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), now the founder of an organization designed to protect the dinosaurs, convinces dashing trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to join her on a rescue mission when a volcano threatens to make those giant beasts extinct once more. What, besides everything, could possibly go wrong? To be fair, the base appeal of combining rampaging monsters with potential tsunamis of hot lava would probably bring us back to the island, too. ST

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Sicario 2: Soldado’ (Jun. 29)

Here’s the bad news: Sicario director Denis Villeneuve, star Emily Blunt, and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins aren’t returning for this sequel to 2015’s surprise hit, about drug-trafficking along the Mexican border. But Benecio del Toro, Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Donovan are all back, playing the same shady characters and using their governmental authority to exact modern frontier justice. Plus Hell or High Water scribe Taylor Sheridan – who’s fast becoming the movies’ best crime writer – is also still on-board, for another deep dive into the violent lives of morally compromised men and women fighting cartels one black-ops bullet at a time. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

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‘The First Purge’ (Jul. 4)

Did you ever find yourself wondering, three melees into the dystopian sci-fi/action/horror series The Purge, how America underwrote a 12-hour period every year where all crimes are legal, especially the most gruesome murders possible? This latest entry finally has all the answers. Creator James DeMonaco’s prequel accounts for how the country embraced the cathartic kill-’em-all concept – or perhaps had it foisted upon them by a fascist, totalitarian regime – and flashes back to the very first Purge Night, which was limited to the island of Staten. Think Escape From New York or Battle Royale, but with broader bloody–free-for-all demographics. ST 

ant man


‘Ant Man and the Wasp’ (Jul. 6)

Given the behind-the-scenes drama (directorial musical-chairs games, tight deadlines, script rewrites), the first Ant-Man turned out better than expected. Now that filmmaker Peyton Reed is firmly in place, it stands to reason that this sequel should feel even more like a fully realized adventure, with Paul Rudd settling into his third turn as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly stepping up as his romantic/crimefighting partner in a wasp suit. On the heels of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, an Ant-Man sequel should also fit well with an MCU that’s opening itself up to more lightness and wackiness. ST

'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot' (May 11)

Scott Patrick Green/Courtesy of Sundance Institute

‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ (July 13)

The last time Gus Van Sant adapted an off-the-wall book with a quirky title, the result was [gulpEven Cowgirls Get the Blues. But there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the veteran indie filmmaker’s take on John Callahan’s memoir, starting with Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the provocative cartoonist who reexamines his priorities after an all-night bender leads to permanent paralysis. Van Sant is the ideal director to explore the life and art of a fellow Portland-based artist – and the terrific cast is filled out by Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Kim Gordon, Carrie Brownstein and cult favorite Udo Kier. ST 


‘The Incredibles 2’ (Jul. 13)

When the first Incredibles movie arrived way back in 2004, our multiplexes weren’t yet overpopulated with superheroes – which made writer-director Brad Bird’s brightly colored, whiz-bang approach to costumed adventuring seem fresh. In 2018, Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack will be returning to a very blockbuster market. But given Pixar’s eye-popping animation and the director’s own track record, there’s plenty of reason to expect that these champions will still swoop in to save the summer. NM

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’ (Jul. 20)

Both a sequel and a prequel to the hit movie version of a smash jukebox musical, this return to Abba’s mind-boggling pop-musical catalog reunites the original’s cast for a story that will flash back to the early days of the Dynamos (and will bring Cher into the fold, playing the grandmother of Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie). Rising British star Lily James plays the young Donna, and faces the unenviable task of standing in for a young Meryl Streep. Expect lots of singing along to many of the Swedish band’s greatest hits and deepest album cuts. NM

tom cruise mission impossible 6

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‘M:I 6 – Mission: Impossible’ (Jul. 27)

“Cruise is the fucking king … I love watching those Mission: Impossible films.” Take it from Paul Thomas Anderson: The Jack Reacher movies and last year’s The Mummy may have been misfires, but Tom Cruise’s long-running spy series is him at his absolute running-jumping-not-standing-still best. We know that several of the key players from 2015’s fabulous Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation have returned – most importantly filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie and costar Rebecca Ferguson, whose secret agent Ilsa Faust has become the series’ most beguiling and complex foil. Cruise will turn 56 a few weeks before M:I 6‘s release, but as the unstoppable Ethan Hunt, he remains an ageless blur of bravado and breakneck sprinting. TG

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018


‘The Predator’ (Aug. 3)

Back when Predator was released in 1987, Shane Black was a wunderkind screenwriter whose first produced script, for a buddy action-comedy called Lethal Weapon, had just before released three months earlier. (He was also cast as monster fodder in the original.) But the most in-demand writer of the 1980s has since become a reliably sharp director (see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and the fourth film in the series puts Black in charge of the humans v. killer alien action. He’s also loaded the cast with highly regarded discoveries like Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Jacob Tremblay (Room), and Sterling K. Brown (American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson). Remember, if it bleeds, you can kill it. ST 

constance wu rich asians

Todd Heisler/The New York Times/Redux

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (Aug. 17)

Rachel is a Chinese-American college professor who decides to travel to Singapore for a lavish wedding. She’s also going to meet her boyfriend Henry’s parents and relatives for the first time – a family who happens to be filthy rich and, if this comedy’s title is to believed, batshit nuts as well. Readers who made Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel a bestseller knows what happens next in terms of culture clashes and comic business; the rest of you should simply note that Fresh Off the Boat MVP Constance Wu plays the heroine, the ridiculously handsome Henry Golding plays her beau and wuxia legend Michelle Yeoh plays Henry’s mom. Consider this a RSVP. DF

black klansmen

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‘Black Klansman’ (Fall 2018)

Never afraid to throw the proverbial trash can through the window, director Spike Lee address the current rise of white supremacy through the true story of a Colorado Springs police detective who went undercover to investigate the Ku Klux Klan. The twist is that the detective, Ron Stallworth, was black – which not only prevented barriers to infiltrating the KKK, but institutional problems within a racist police department. Get Out‘s Jordan Peele has signed on as a producer; John David Washington, son of Denzel, plays Stallworth; and Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace and Corey Hawkins round out the cast, with the latter as Civil Rights leader Stokely Carmichael. (Asked about whether he sympathized with any of the KKK members, Stallworth told Vice, “No, they were all assholes.”) ST

a star is born

Neal Preston/Warner Bros. Pictures

‘A Star Is Born’ (Oct. 5)

Tale as old as time: Successful older man courts beautiful protégé, propelling her to fame as they fall in love. Now Bradley Cooper tackles this iconic material for its fourth iteration, playing past-his-prime singer Jackson Maine who becomes enraptured by Lady Gaga’s prodigiously talented Ally. This Star Is Born is notable for several firsts: Cooper makes his directorial debut on the film; it’s also Gaga’s first big-screen starring role. But Warner Bros. is no doubt hoping for some déjà vu: The earlier versions all received multiple Oscar nominations, and Cooper’s remake opens during the rush of awards season. TG

Tom Hardy venom

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‘Venom’ (Oct. 5)

We’ve had plenty of films starring Marvel superheroes, but never any focused on the villains. That changes with this feature-length backstory of one of Spider-Man’s greatest nemeses. Tom Hardy portrays Eddie Brock, a reporter who comes in contact with an alien symbiote that gives him terrifying powers. Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Venom supposedly won’t be featuring the Webslinger but will be sporting a horror-movie tone far different than the more playful Spider-Man: Homecoming. As for Hardy, he’s already played monsters both real (1970s U.K. criminal Michael Peterson in Bronson) and fictional (Bane in The Dark Knight Rises) – so portraying a dark counterpart to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man should be a breeze for such a badass. TG

First Man

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‘First Man’ (Oct. 12)

Because who else are you going to cast to play Neil Armstrong in a biopic about the legendary astronaut besides Ryan Gosling? The gent saved jazz, people – surely he can take one small step for man, etc.! The actor and director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to their glorious musical throwback La La Land goes from the City of Star to the actual home of stars, following the aeronautics engineer as he prepares to leave our orbit and make history. The cast bench on this one is deep: Claire Foy is Armstrong’s wife; Corey Stoll shows up as Buzz Aldrin; and Kyle Chandler, Jon Bernthal, Brian d’Arcy James, Jason Clarke and Pablo Schreiber all play Armstrong’s fellow men with the right stuff. DF

'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' (Oct. 19)

Mary Cybulski/20th Century Fox

‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ (Oct. 19)

Director Marielle Heller follows up her coming-of-age hit The Diary of a Teenage Girl with this stranger-and-much-more-fucked-up-than-fiction story about Lee Israel, a biographer who found that her books weren’t quite the bestselling page-turners they once were. So she does what any author would do, i.e. begins forging letters from famous people and selling them to the highest bidders. And we all know that’s just a gateway crime, right? Melissa McCarthy plays Israel; Withnail himself, Richard E. Grant, plays her accomplice. This bio-comedy looks crazy lit, by which we mean “literary.” DF



‘Halloween’ (Oct. 19)

The Halloween franchise has been rebooted so often that many hardcore horror fans would rather jab butcher knives through their skulls than watch another. But what if we told you that John Carpenter is back as a producer, and is bringing back original star Jamie Lee Curtis? And what would you say if you heard that Eastside & Down collaborators Danny McBride and David Gordon Green are writing and directing the new one? Story details are under wraps, but McBride has said that this is a direct sequel to the first film, so you won’t even have to sit through H20 or Resurrection again. NM


Jason LaVeris/Getty

‘Suspiria’ (Fall 2018)

Dario Argento’s 1977 Italian horror classic – about an American ballerina attending a prestigious German academy – has devotees from David Lynch to Nicolas Winding Refn to Edgar Wright. The latest acolyte is Call Me By Your Name filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, who’s crafted an English-language remake that stars Dakota Johnson as the American who uncovers the dance troupe’s dangerous secrets. This new Suspiria not only features Johnson, who was a summery temptress in Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, but also Chloe Grace Moretz and longtime Guadagnino collaborator Tilda Swinton. And take note, fans: Jessica Harper, the star of the original, is part of this remake in a new role. TG

if beale street could talk

Bobby Bank/Getty Images

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (Fall 2018)

For his follow-up to Moonlight, Barry Jenkins turns to a James Baldwin novel about a love that persists through oppression and racial injustice. For the lead roles of Fonny and Tish, he’s cast Stephan James – who’s already played John Lewis (Selma) and Jesse Owens (Race) in his young career – and newcomer Kiki Layne, who won the part over 300 other women who auditioned. After the couple fall in love, get engaged and expect their first child, Fonny is framed for rape, leading Tish and her dysfunctional family to take up the cause of liberating him from a corrupt system. It may sound like a change of pace for Jenkins, but the romantic spirit that illuminates Baldwin’s book isn’t far removed from the world of his Oscar-winning breakthrough. ST 

x men dark phoenix

Doane Gregory/Twentieth Century Fox

‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ (Nov. 2)

Logan rousingly ended Wolverine’s saga, but his fellow X-Men still have plenty of life left in them. Dark Phoenix reunites the crew that was last seen in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, focusing on Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey – who’s now been exposed to dark powers while in outer space that make her a danger to the rest of the team. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence are all back, but it’s the new names that are the most intriguing: Jessica Chastain will be playing a mysterious alien, while Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut. A producer and screenwriter on many of the X-Men films, starting with co-writing 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, he’s been almost as integral to the franchise as Hugh Jackman himself. TG

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ (Nov. 16)

The Potterverse prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them set the stage for a new chapter in J.K. Rowling’s saga of magic and muggles, and this follow-up hopes to build on that promise, pitting the timid Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne) against the fearsome wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). For those that carped that the first Fantastic Beasts was too slow, remember: The original Harry Potter cinematic universe didn’t get cooking until the second installment, either. And for those thirsting for a little more Hogwarts-ian connection to this new franchise, Jude Law is on board to play a much-younger Dumbledore – a role made iconic by the late Richard Harris and Michael Gambon in the Potter films. TG


James Veysey/Camera Press/Redux

‘Widows’ (Nov. 19)

You may not have seen the 1980s British TV series Widows, in which a group of professional criminals are murdered during an armed robbery and their wives step in to complete the job. Oscar-winner Steve McQueen has, however, and along with his co-writer/Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, the 12 Years a Slave director is turning the drama into the starriest heist movies this side of Ocean’s 8. Seriously, this is a to-die-for cast: Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya, Carrie Coon, Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall, Moonlight‘s André Holland, Elizabeth Debicki, Jacki Weaver. All this, and the notion that one of the single best filmmakers working today is tackling a pulpy crime drama. We’re so there. DF

the irishman Martin Scorsese

Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

‘The Irishman’ (Fall 2018)

Now 75, Martin Scorsese has devoted the past several years to moving forward on long-gestating projects – and now he’s back with a film that’s taken about 10 years to get off the ground. Based on the life of Frank Sheeran, a mob hitman who may have been involved in Jimmy Hoffa’s death, The Irishman has a dream cast filled with plenty of Scorsese regulars: Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro as Sheeran. But, remarkably, the movie also features the first pairing of Scorsese with Al Pacino, leading to hopes that the legendary actor will find the comeback role he’s been missing for years. Netflix is bankrolling The Irishman, which would be the streaming service’s most prestigious project to date – so fingers crossed the movie will be ready in time for an awards run late this year. TG

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

‘Mortal Engines’ (Dec. 14)

Those jonesing for their next hit of Fury Road-style post-apocalyptic action spectacle have been mainlining the teaser for this stunning-looking piece of steampunk in which large, motorized cities attack one another for domination of a resource-scarce Earth. Presented by Peter Jackson, who adapted Philip Reeve’s novel with his frequent screenwriting collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the movie stars Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan. And although the Lord of the Rings helmer didn’t direct it, the movie is in good hands: Christian Rivers, who won an Oscar for King Kong‘s visual effects, makes his feature debut. TG


Warner Bros. Pictures

‘Aquaman’ (Dec. 21)

After the debacle of Justice League, maybe it’s better if our superfriends spend some quality time apart. That’s one of the reasons to be optimistic about Aquaman, which gives Jason Momoa’s underwater hero a chance to be his own fishman away from the rest of his DC cohorts. Also exciting is that this standalone adventure is directed by James Wan, one of Hollywood’s most inventive genre filmmakers (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, Furious 7). He’s assembled a murderers’ row of character actors, Oscar-winners and inspired oddities for this ensemble: Everyone from Willem Dafoe to Nicole Kidman to Dolph Lundgren will be joining in on the fun. TG

mary poppins

Jay Maidment/Disney

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ (Dec. 21)

Never got tickets to Hamilton during its original Broadway run? Well, this Christmas you’ll have another opportunity to see Lin-Manuel Miranda sing and dance, thanks to Walt Disney’s sequel to the 1964 live-action musical classic. Set decades after the original – with the Banks kids now adults – the movie has Miranda playing an apprentice to Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep from the first film, while Emily Blunt grabs an umbrella and slips into Julie Andrews’ hat as the super-nanny who’s practically perfect in every way. NM

bohemian rhapsody

Nick Delaney/Twentieth Century Fox

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Dec. 25)

The saga of making a movie about Freddie Mercury and Queen has been nearly as dramatic and electric as the music the group recorded during their heyday. For years, Sacha Baron Cohen was slated to play the late singer, who died in 1991, eventually leaving the project over creative differences with the band and being replaced by Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek. Then late last year, director Bryan Singer was fired partway through production, with Eddie the Eagle filmmaker Dexter Fletcher brought in to complete the movie. Reportedly spanning Queen’s early years to their triumphant performance at 1985’s Live Aid, this biopic was always destined to be a salute to a flamboyant, excessive, brilliant group who never did things the easy or conventional way. Why should Queen’s journey to the screen be any less high-wire? TG

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