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50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

From superhero movies and sequels to Broadway-musical adaptation and Martin Scorsese reteaming with De Niro — your must-see movie preview guide for the year

50 most anticipated movies

Superheroes, sequels and Martin Scorsese reteaming with Robert De Niro. Live-action Disney redos, Stephen King adaptations, franchise kick-offs and the end of a galaxy-far-far-away trilogy. Horror movies, heist flicks and an imaginary Hitler. Contemporary literary dramas butt up against legendary Broadway musicals getting the big-screen treatment. Tarantino goes old Hollywood, Joaquin goes full Joker, Greta Gerwig goes Alcott and Godzilla goes to town on his fellow giant monsters. Celebrities solve murder mysteries and Pikachu investigates crimes. At a glance, the next 12 months of movies looks like it’s going to be a wild, wild ride.

There are a lot more than just 50 titles hitting theaters near you — and if we’re being honest here, your streaming-service queues, because it’s 2019, folks — but these are the ones that we’re looking forward to seeing the most.

(L to R) SAMUEL L. JACKSON, JAMES MCAVOY, BRUCE WILLIS and SARAH PAULSON in "Glass." Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000's "Unbreakable," from Touchstone, and 2016's "Split," from Universal—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller.

Jessica Kourkounis/Universal Pictures

‘Glass’ (Jan. 18)

Or: You’ve got your Unbreakable peanut butter in my Split chocolate! M. Night Shyamalan makes good on that final revelation from his 2016 hit about a serial killer with dissociative identity disorder, in which it turns out that Mr. Personality(s) shares the same world as the superhero from the director’s 2000 thriller. It’s an M. Nightiverse, y’all! Bruce Willis reprises his role as David Dunn, the really strong, bulletproof guy in the hood; James McAvoy returns as Chris Wendell Holmes, a.k.a. the Beast, a.k.a many, many others; Samuel L. Jackson is back as the brittle-boned supervillain Mr. Glass. DF

Gina Rodriguez stars in MISS BALA.

Gregory Smith

‘Miss Bala’ (Feb. 1)

The 2011 Mexican thriller from Gerardo Naranjo — about a beauty queen abducted by a Tijuana cartel — gets an American remake, which tinkers with a few details: The heroine (Gina Rodriguez) is now a makeup artist from Los Angeles, visiting her best friend across the border. But its Sicario-meets-Patty-Hearst scenario seems perfect for the Jane the Virgin star, who has the right mix of glamour, toughness and savvy for the title role. Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) directs. ST

lego movie 2

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ (Feb. 8)

Everything is not awesome in Emmet’s (Chris Pratt) world after Brickland turns into a Mad Max: Fury Road-style hellscape, but life only get worse once Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) is kidnapped by alien invaders. Looks like Emmet will have to save the day — which provides this sequel to Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s 2014 animated hit with the perfect opportunity to roast Pratt’s recent movie-star ascension. Expect lots of Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy zingers to go along with the requisite fizzy fun, post-apocalyptic thriller parodying and top-flight action sequences. TG

climax

‘Climax’ (Mar. 1)

Gaspar Noé, the anything-worth-doing-is-worth-overdoing madman behind Irreversible and Enter the Void, lets fly with his latest provocation: What happens when a group of French dancers decide to blow off some steam, only to discover that someone’s spiked their drinks? (The French filmmaker claims it’s based on a true story.) The Mummy‘s Sofia Boutella leads a cast of real-life street dancers into a long, dark night of the soul that segues from feverish dance scenes to trippy-as-fuck freak-outs. Prepare to enter the void, again. TG

GRETA_05276_CMaika Monroe stars as Erica and Chloë Grace Moretz as Frances in GRETA, a Focus Features release.Credit:  Shane Mahood / Focus Features

Shane Mahood/Focus Features

‘Greta’ (Mar. 1)

A young woman (Chloë Grace Moretz) finds a lost purse on a subway seat; the bag belongs to a widow named Greta (Isabelle Huppert). She returns it to the grateful, a friendship of sorts blossoms, and then things seem to get a little … Single White Female-y regarding this mysterious older figure. Director Neil Jordan — he of Mona Lisa and The Crying Game — seems intent on filling the psychological-thriller void left by Roman Polanski. And judging from the trailer, this looks like the perfect vehicle for a Huppert-goes-batshit performance. DF

Marvel Studios' CAPTAIN MARVEL..Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2019

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

‘Captain Marvel’ (Mar. 8)

Rewind back to the 1990s, long before any Avengers had been assembled, and meet a former Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) — now a member of an alien military commando team who goes by the name Captain Marvel. Did we mention she’s also palling around with a two-eyed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)? The first female-led Marvel Cinematic Universe movie seems like it will let indie filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson, Mississippi Grind) flex both their cosmic-epic and buddy-comedy muscles. And we assume there will be loads of clues about how the Captain fits in to the upcoming Avengers movie, given that it’s her symbol that shows up on the pager in the post-credits sequence. DF

Matthias Schoenaerts stars as Roman in Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s THE MUSTANG, a Focus Features release. Credit : Tara Violet Niami / Focus Features

Tara Violet Niami/Focus Features

‘The Mustang’ (Mar. 15)

This story of a prisoner who starts training wild horses as a means of rehabilitation — and bonds with one particularly ornery mustang — looks like more than just another convict-makes-good drama. This gritty-looking character study could very well give Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) his big break-into-the-A-list role; everything about this film seems like the perfect showcase for his moody masculinity and serious chops. Connie Britton, Bruce Dern, the always reliable Jason Mitchell and one soulful-looking steed co-star. DF

TRIPLE FRONTIER

Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix

‘Triple Frontier’ (Mar. 15)

It’s a heist movie about ex-Special Forces commandos pulling off a huge go-big-or-go-home robbery that will anger a major drug cartel (specifically, a kingpin who, to be fair, really does not like to have his money stolen). It’s directed by J.C. Chandor, who did All Is Lost and Margin Call. In terms of stars, Charlie Hunnam was in Sons of Anarchy, Oscar Isaac was in The Force Awakens, Pedro Pascal was in Game of Thrones, Garrett Hedlund was in Tron: Legacy and Ben Affleck once got a huge tattoo of a dragon on his back. This has all the men-on-a-mission making for a future Father’s Day viewing classic. DF

beach bum

Atsushi Nishijima/Neon

‘The Beach Bum’ (Mar. 22)

You can practically smell Matthew McConaughey’s rum-marinated funk emanating from the redband teaser for the Oscar-winner’s collaboration with filmmaker Harmony Korine — seriously, how have these two not worked together before now? This cracked character study follows the actor’s Key West beachcomber poet, who appears to have been a permanent spring breaker for a while, from one stoned misadventure to the next; his personal motto is “Life’s a fuckin’ rodeo … I’m gonna suck the nectar out of it and fuck it raw-dog until the wheels come off.” And the Trash Humpers director has also stocked the supporting cast with folks like Jimmy Buffett, Snoop Dogg and George Clinton, so expect maximum use of the word “party” as a verb. DF

us lupita

Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures

‘Us’ (Mar. 22)

There may not be a 2019 movie we’re anticipating more than writer-director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out, in which a family — led by Black Panther‘s Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o — go on vacation and find themselves staring down a quartet of stalkers. Or rather, some close-to-home invaders, given that the fearsome foursome are all doubles of the family themselves. A sharp pair of scissors comes into play. So do some truly creepy masks, a Shining-like hotel hallway and Elisabeth Moss. This can’t come soon enough. DF

WYGB_03529_RC2Cate Blanchett stars as Bernadette Fox in Richard Linklater’s WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, an Annapurna Pictures release.Credit: Wilson Webb / Annapurna Pictures

Wilson Webb/Annapurna Pictures

‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ (Mar. 22)

Cate Blanchett has made a career playing distinctive, sometimes eccentric women — and this adaptation of the hit 2012 Maria Semple novel finds her portraying a seemingly ordinary wife and mother. At least, that’s how it looks from the outside as her character, Bernadette Fox, navigates a happy life with a perfect husband (Billy Crudup) and perfect daughter (Emma Nelson). Then one day, she simply decides to disappear. Director Richard Linklater has hopscotched from generational statements (Boyhood) to prickly character dramas (Last Flag Flying). Both actor and director work best when they go their own way, which prompts our own question: What Took You So Long to Collaborate? TG

EARS TO YOU – In Disney’s all-new, live-action feature film “Dumbo,” a newborn elephant with oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But Dumbo takes everyone by surprise when they discover he can fly. Directed by Tim Burton, “Dumbo” flies into theaters on March 29, 2019. ©2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Walt Disney Pictures

‘Dumbo’ (Mar. 29)

Disney’s live-action remake of an animated classic revisits the story of everyone’s favorite airborne pachyderm, who overcomes bullying to become a circus star. Director Tim Burton — a man who knows a thing or two about misunderstood misfits —  will be undoubtedly adding more backstory and character depth to the original, as well as adding a patina of his signature weirdness. Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Eva Green all play big top employees, whose lives are changed by this oddball, big-eared creature with a knack for achieving lift-off. You’ll believe an elephant can fly. NM

PET SEMATARY, from Paramount Pictures.

Kerry Hayes/Paramount Pictures

‘Pet Sematary’ (Apr. 5)

It’s possible that Stephen King has written better books than his classic 1983 horror novel about a cursed cemetery — but the bestselling author has arguably never given us one as relentlessly terrifying. And in light of the recent wave of King-related movies and TV shows, this story of a family man (Jason Clarke) who discovers that maybe the dead are best left six feet underground is ripe for another screen adaptation. If their 2014 indie shocker Starry Eyes is any indication, director Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer are going to play this skewed take on The Monkey’s Paw to the hilt. ST

shazam

Steve Wilkie/Warner Bros. Pictures

‘Shazam!’ (Apr. 5)

“Shazam!” — it’s what underprivileged teen Billy Batson has shouted in comic books and Saturday-morning TV shows in order to transform into a beefy, adult-sized demigod in a cape. Now the D.C. character joins the company’s extended cinematic universe, albeit in a way that more accurately reflects the whiz-bang goofiness of a character who for decades has fought the likes of mad scientists, ancient immortals and super-intelligent worms. (Think Tom Hanks in Big, only bulletproof.) Former Chuck star and current Broadway musical sensation Zachary Levi plays the eternally cheerful caped crimefighter. NM

hellboy

Mark Rogers

‘Hellboy’ (Apr. 12)

Stranger Things‘ David Harbour straps on the sawed-off horns and the oversized smashin’ hand in this reboot of the warped, weirdo superhero franchise about a demonic do-gooder taking on supernatural forces. (Personally, if we had to see a Hellboy movie without Ron Perlman, we’d want it to star Sheriff Jim Hopper.) Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, American Honey‘s Sasha Lane and Lost‘s Daniel Dae Kim are along for the ride. The fact that director Neil Marshall, the man behind The Descent and Game of Thrones‘ legendary “Blackwater” episode, is calling the shots makes us think the action set pieces will be on point, the monsters will be terrifying and the Caro syrup will be abundant. DF

high life

‘High Life’ (Apr. 12)

The fact that French director Claire Denis (Beau Travail) is tackling a cerebral sci-fi movie — about a group of death-row prisoners sent into deep space in search of a black hole — should be enough to get you salivating. But wait, there’s more! Robert Pattinson is a criminal suddenly forced to take care of a baby; Juliet Binoche straps herself into something aptly named a “Fuckbox”; and OutKast’s André 3000 joins the crew as a philosophical fellow traveler. It’s even weirder, and more insanely, thought-provokingly wonderful, than it sounds. DF

avengers endgame

Marvel Studios

‘Avengers: Endgame’ (Apr. 26)

So you remember that Thanos guy, the one with all the Infinity Stones and who wiped out half of the galaxy’s population in a single snap? This all-star blockbuster battle royale is where the remaining members of the MCU’s resident superhero team assemble in order to defeat the celestial psychopath or die tryin’, possibly literally. It feels like the past [checks notes] 122 Marvel movies have all been leading up to this one massive epic; given that it’s also the last contractual obligation for a number of the franchise’s OGs (Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth), this should double as a tearful farewell for fans in addition to wrapping up a long and windy storyline. We just hope Josh Brolin’s scrotum-chinned purple majesty gets a good Richard III-style villain monologue out of it. DF

(L-R) Detective Pikachu (RYAN REYNOLDS) and JUSTICE SMITH as Tim Goodman in Legendary Pictures’, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and The Pokémon Company’s comedy adventure “POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Picture

‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ (May 10)

Pikachu, we choose you! In a world where Pokemon investigate homicide cases alongside human cops, a young, former Pokemon trainer (The Get Down‘s Justice Smith) searches for answers regarding his missing policeman pops. His quest results in him teaming up with Dad’s old partner-in-crimesolving, a furry little Pickachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds in ultrasarcastic mode. The internet blew a collective gasket over the trailer last year. Thrills, spills, Deadpool-lite wisecracks — gotta collect ’em all. DF

john wick 3

Niko Tavernise

‘John Wick: Chapter 3’ (May 17)

Keanu Reeves returns to the world of super assassins and the service industries that cater to them! The third time’s the charm as the title character is on the run from the global syndicate that made him and, now that he’s crossed some uncrossable lines, is dead set on breaking him. Former kickboxer/stuntman-turned-action-movie-auteur Chad Stahelski has promised that we’ll get a bit more of dear John’s origin story for this chapter; Angelica Huston also joins the cast as someone ominously named The Director. Bring on the monotone line readings and glorious mayhem. DF

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

David Appleby/Paramount Pictures

‘Rocketman’ (May 17)

No doubt Paramount is hoping Dexter Fletcher (who came onboard to finish Bohemian Rhapsody after director Bryan Singer got the boot) will strike pay dirt again with this look at another iconic 1970s musical force: Sir Elton John. Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Taron Egerton plays the onetime Reginald Dwight, who’s discovering his muse while forging a fruitful creative partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Considering that the 71-year-old John recently announced his retirement from touring, this biopic will be as close as you’ll be able to get to his bespectacled magnificence anytime soon — and the soundtrack is sure to be killer. TG

Brad PittWar Machine movie premiere event in Tokyo, Japan - 23 May 2017US actor/cast member Brad Pitt attends the Japanese premiere event of the movie 'War Machine' in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2017. The movie will be broadcasted on Netflix from 26 May 2017.

Franck Robichon/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

‘Ad Astra’ (May 24)

It means “to the stars,” which is exactly where director James Gray (The Lost World of Z) is sending a handsome movie star named Brad Pitt. He plays an Army engineer who, as a kid, watched his astronaut dad (Tommy Lee Jones) journey to the far reaches of the solar system and never return. Now the grown son straps on the space suit and heads into the cosmos to see what happened. We’re getting a distinct Solaris-meets-2001-then-has-drinks-with-Interstellar vibe here. DF

Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin in Disney’s live-action adaptation of ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie.

Daniel Smith/Walt Disney Pictures

‘Aladdin’ (May 24)

Never mind the photos that sparked a thousand online rants; we still think this live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated feature scored a casting coup by getting Will Smith to play the wish-granting genie. Seriously, it takes someone with a strong personality to walk in the late Robin William’s toe-curled shoes and make your mark on this role. Who else could do but Mr. Big Willie Style himself? Guy Ritchie directs, which does make us wish this was called Princess, Parrot and Two Smoking Lamps. DF

Elizabeth Banks stars in Sony PIctures' BRIGHTBURN.

Sony Pictures

‘Brightburn’ (May 24)

Remember when that baby fell to earth from a dying planet — let’s call it “Krypton,” because why not? — and was found by a kindly couple in the heartland? Then it turned out he was an alien who had incredible strength, heat vision and could fly, which he employed in the name of truth, justice and the American Way™? James Gunn, the man responsible for Guardians of the Galaxy, asks a simple question: What if, instead, the kid grew up to be a sociopath? And decided that his extraordinary powers didn’t necessarily needed to be used for good? Why someone has not redone the Superman origin story as a horror flick until now is a mystery — except for, y’know, a few pesky copyright issues. But thankfully Gunn (in producer mode), his screenwriting brothers Brian and Mark, and director David Yarovesky seem to have found a way around that obstacle. DF

Godzilla

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘Godzilla King of the Monsters’ (May 31)

Fans of the old Godzilla movies may remember that Ol’ Fire Breath usually had a host of other kaiju either battling him for Tokyo-destroying supremacy or backing him up when he took on the bad guys. Now the sequel to the 2014 reboot introduces new versions of ‘Zilla’s old friends and foes. Specifically, we’re getting updated takes on Mothra, Rodan and [deep breath] the three-headed dragon known as King Ghidorah. All this, plus Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Thomas Middleditch, Sally Hawkins, Ziyi Zhang and Ken Watanabe, each of them looking very worried. Destroy all monsters, indeed! DF

DF-10689_R2_CROP – Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain in Twentieth Century Fox’s DARK PHOENIX. Photo Credit: Doane Gregory.

Doane Gregory/Twentieth Century Fox

‘Dark Phoenix’ (Jun. 7)

Devoted X-Men fans may see this title and ask, “Wait, haven’t we already watched this movie?” The answer is … sort of! Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) took plot elements from the fan-favorite “Dark Phoenix” comic book storyline, all about how the all-powerful telekinetic mutant Jean Grey became a seemingly unstoppable super-villain. This new version though features the cast of the more recent X-films, including Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner as one of the Marvel universe’s most tragic characters. NM

Em (Tessa Thompson) and H (Chris Hemsworth) in Columbia Pictures' MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL.

Giles Keyte/Columbia Pictures

‘Men in Black International’ (Jun. 14)

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson were such cheeky fun in Thor: Ragnarok that it seems a pity to make audiences wait for another MCU film to see them together. Thankfully, Hollywood has heard your cries: The costars reunite this summer for a Men in Black spinoff, which finds a new recruit (Thompson) donning the suit and sunglasses to work with the famous Agent H (Hemsworth) to kick extra-terrestrial ass in London. No word if Will Smith will make a cameo, but who cares when you have this dynamic duo — they make this look gooood. TG