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The 69 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

From Joker and Zombieland: Double Tap to Little Women and The Rise of Skywalker, we look ahead to the biggest movies coming out in 2019.

by | August 28, 2019 | Comments

2019 is already shaping up to be a solid year at the movies, but there is a whole lot more to look forward to in the coming months. With that in mind, we’ve pored over the release calendar and scoured the planet for news and details to bring you this list of the most anticipated 2019 movies. Plenty of the upcoming movies are long-anticipated sequels, prequels, and reboots – think Zombieland: Double TapDark PhoenixToy Story 4, and John Wick: Chapter 3 – and there are a ton of hotly anticipated remakes, too: The Lion King, anyone? Be sure to keep an eye out for some stellar-sounding originals, like the adaptation of The Goldfinch and Elton John biopic, Rocketman. It’s looking like another big year at the movies, and for your wallet – start marking your 2019 movie calendar now. [Updated on 8/28]

Jan-Mar | Apr-June | July-Sep | Oct-Dec

The Best Movies of 2018 | Most Anticipated Movies of 2020


(Photo by Entertainment Weekly/20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate)


January

The Upside (2019) 41%
Directed by: Neil Burger
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies
Opening on: January 11, 2019

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in this Paul Feig-scripted remake of the French hit The Intouchables, a feelgood dramedy about an ex-con who forms an unlikely bond with the paralyzed man who hires him as his caregiver.


Glass (2019) 37%
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy
Opening on: January 18, 2019

Those who left Split absolutely buzzing at the hint of a Shyamalan-iverse were thrilled when it was announced that Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson would be joined by James McAvoy for this crossover named for Jackson’s Unbreakable villain, Mr. Glass.


Serenity (2019) 20%
Directed by: Steven Knight
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane
Opening on: January 25, 2019

Interstellar co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway reunite for this thriller about fishing boat captain who is pulled into a web of deceit when his ex-wife shows up and begs him to save her from her abusive new husband. Originally scheduled for October of 2018, this was pushed back for unknown reasons, but its stellar cast should make for an interesting watch, at the very least.


February

What Men Want (2019) 43%
Directed by: Adam Shankman
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield
Opening on: February 8, 2019

This gender-swapped take on the Mel Gibson comedy What Women Want sees Taraji P. Henson playing a sports agent who can hear what the men in her industry are thinking. And, we suspect, she won’t take no s–t from any of them.


The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) 85%
Directed by: Mike Mitchell, Trisha Gum
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish
Opening on: February 8, 2019

Everything is less than awesome in Bricksburg five years after the events of the first Lego Movie, and they’re only set to get worse when some very marketable space invaders come to town.


Alita: Battle Angel (2019) 61%
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Ed Skrein, Michelle Rodriguez
Opening on: February 14, 2019

Initially scheduled for the summer of 2018, this James Cameron-produced adaptation of the Japanese manga had already been pushed back once to a December release, before Fox decided that month was already competitive enough. Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, and Michelle Rodriguez all co-star in this blend of live action and CGI about a cyborg girl who faces her past with the help of the scientist who rescued her from the scrap heap.


Happy Death Day 2U (2019) 70%
Directed by: Christopher Landon
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Suraj Sharma, Sarah Yarkin
Opening on: February 14, 2019

The director and primary cast of the surprise horror hit Happy Death Day — which utilized a Groundhog Day-like premise to tell the story of a college student who relives the day she was murdered over and over again — all return for this appropriately named sequel. We don’t know much about the premise, except that star Rothe has promised it will expand beyond being just a horror film.


How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) 90%
Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Fererra, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington, Kristen Wiig
Opening on: February 22, 2019

Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, and Gerard Butler return for the third and ostensibly final chapter of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, which finds Hiccup leading the village of Berk, now a dragon utopia. When Hiccup’s dragon Toothless encounters a potential mate and a new threat bears down on Berk, however, the two of them embark on a journey to magical hidden world (natch) in order to save their way of life.


Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios
(Photo by Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios)

March

Chaos Walking (2019)
Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo
Opening on: March 1, 2019

Just when it seemed the YA novel adaptation trend might be on its way out, Chaos Walking comes along to say, “But wait! Have you seen one with Rey from Star Wars and Spider-man?” Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, American Made) directs this big-screen version of the sci-fi novel about a young man living in a colony on another planet who believes all women have been killed by a virus until he meets a mysterious girl who may hold the key to the planet’s secrets. Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star, with Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, and Cynthia Erivo in supporting roles.


Captain Marvel (2019) 78%
Directed by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Lee Pace, Samuel L. Jackson
Opening on: March 8, 2019

However will the Avengers recover from the mass destruction wrought by Thanos in Infinity War? Some folks suggest we’ll get some answers in Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s and introduces the world to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), the Air Force pilot who receives superpowers from… Well, we won’t spoil anything here. Indie co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take the helm as Captain Marvel becomes Marvel’s first female superhero to get her own solo movie.


Us (2019) 93%
Directed by: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Opening on: March 22, 2019

Plot details are still few and far between at this point, but we know that Jordan Peele is writing and directing another thriller as a follow-up to his 2017 smash hit Get Out. It will star Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Moss, and Black Panther‘s Winston Duke among others, which already makes this sound like a really promising project.


Dumbo (2019) 47%
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito
Opening on: March 29, 2019

One of three Disney movies getting the live-action treatment in 2019 (if you count The Lion King), this remake of the 1941 animated classic marries the tale of a uniquely gifted circus elephant with the directorial stylings of Tim Burton. Sound like an odd pairing? Watch the teaser trailer and tell us if you still think so.


April

Shazam! (2019) 90%
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel
Opening on: April 5, 2019

Hot off his two horror hits Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, director David F. Sandberg picked up the reins to this DC superhero flick, about a teen who receives the power to transform into an adult hero with the powers of super-strength, flight, and more. Fourteen-year-old Billy Batson will be played by Asher Angel, while Chuck‘s Zachary Levi stars as Shazam himself.


Pet Sematary (2019) 57%
Directed by: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Starring: Amy Seimetz, Jason Clarke, John Lithgow
Opening on: April 5, 2019

Stephen King adaptations became a hot commodity after the runaway success of IT last year, and the ensuing scramble resulted in this new version of the tale about a man who discovers the pet graveyard behind his home possesses the power to bring the dead back to life… with caveats.


Hellboy (2019) 17%
Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane
Opening on: April 12, 2019

You may not have asked for a Hellboy reboot — how can they possibly improve on GDT’s original two takes on Mike Mignola’s graphic novel? – but we’re pretty sure you’ll take it when you hear who’s involved. The film, which will be distributed by Lionsgate, stars David Harbour (a.k.a. the chain-smoking, monster-smiting police chief of Hawkins), is directed by Neil Marshall (whose The Descent remains one of the scariest movies of the last two decades), and will feature Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen, a sorceress after revenge.


The Curse of La Llorona (2019) 29%
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Sean Patrick Thomas, Patricia Velasquez
Opening on: April 19, 2019

This James Wan-produced frightener stars Linda Cardellini as a widowed social worker who finds striking – and terrifying – parallels between what’s happening to a family she is investigating and the strange occurrences haunting her own.


Under the Silver Lake (2019) 58%
Directed by: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace
Opening on: April 19, 2019

Director David Robert Mitchell had a horror sleeper hit in 2015 with It Follows, and for his sophomore effort, he turns to understated mystery. Andrew Garfield stars as a man who embarks on a quest through Los Angeles to find a mysterious woman who has suddenly disappeared after the two of them shared a brief encounter. Originally slated for late 2018, it was moved back several months.


Avengers: Endgame (2019) 94%
Directed by: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Starring: Everybody
Opening on: April 26, 2019

Avengers: Endgame promises to bring resolution to the conflict between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Thanos, the Mad Titan, which began in this year’s Infinity War. We know almost nothing about what will happen in the film – save for the fact Hawkeye is back, Ant-Man joins the fight, and Tony’s lost in space, all revealed in the first trailer – but the upcoming Captain Marvel (see above) will likely provide some clues, and considering this will mark the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “phase three,” we’ll probably end up saying good-bye to a few more characters.


(Photo by Warner Bros., Marvel Studios, Summit Entertainment)

May

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) 56%
Directed by: Joe Berlinger
Starring: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Haley Joel Osment, John Malkovich, Kaya Scodelario
Opening on: May 3, 2019

Zac Efron stars in this profile of the life of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, as seen through the eyes of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins). The film premiered earlier this year at Sundance, where it garnered a fair amount of praise for Efron’s performance as the charismatic sociopath, who confessed to murdering 30 people across several states during the 1970s. Netflix has picked up the film for distribution, and it will premiere on the streaming service and in select theaters simultaneously.


UglyDolls (2019) 28%
Directed by: Kelly Asbury
Starring: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Emma Roberts, Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton
Opening on: May 3, 2019

Based on the popular line of plush toys, this animated musical film stars Kelly Clarkson as one of the titular creatures, who venture from their side of the mountain where they live to the other side, where the residents of a town called Perfection make them realize how different they are. Expect lots of lively music and colorful visuals as it goes up against Detective Pikachu the same weekend.


Long Shot (2019) 81%
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, Alexander Skarsgård, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Serkis, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Opening on: May 3, 2019

Director Jonathan Levine (50/50Warm Bodies) had a bit of a misstep with last year’s Snatched, but this comedy may earn him more accolades. Seth Rogen stars as an unemployed journalist who attempts to woo his childhood babysitter, a powerful political figure played by Charlize Theron. Alexander Skarsgård, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Serkis, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. round out the star-studded cast.


Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) 68%
Directed by: Rob Letterman
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse
Opening on: May 10, 2019

In case you hadn’t heard, Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise ever, so it’s a little surprising we’ve never gotten a proper blockbuster movie out of it. That’s all going to change next year with Detective Pikachu, a live-action/animation hybrid film based on the video game of the same name, which will feature Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. While it’s not entirely off-brand for Reynolds to sign on for a role that only requires him to scream his character’s name over and over again, Detective Pikachu actually speaks, so don’t worry about him pulling a Vin Diesel/Groot here.


John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) 90%
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston
Opening on: May 17, 2019

At the end of John Wick: Chapter 2, Keanu Reeves’ titular hitman went on the run after he broke the rules and murdered a high-level crime lord on the grounds of the Continental, the all-purpose sanctuary and day spa for assassins. This movie picks up right where that one left off, as John must survive the bounty on his head without the aid of the larger criminal underworld.


Aladdin (2019) 57%
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Nasim Pedrad, Mena Massoud
Opening on: May 24, 2019

Disney’s supremely lucrative live-action adaptations project continues unabated, with this update of the 1992 animated classic. Mena Massoud has been cast as Street Rat #1 Aladdin, with Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. Will Smith is the Genie this time, with director Guy Ritchie making his family entertainment debut.


Booksmart (2019) 97%
Directed by: Olivia Wilde
Starring: Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Lisa Kudrow
Opening on: May 24, 2019

Olivia Wilde makes her directing debut in this raunchy high school comedy that’s being described as Lady Bird meets Superbad. The movie centers on two friends who, having given their high school life to good grades, decide to play catchup on good times with one wild, party-filled night before graduation. The movie was a hit at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.


Rocketman (2019) 89%
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell
Opening on: May 31, 2019

“Someone dared besmirch Harland Williams by remaking his classic Rocketman?!” Relax, that was our first reaction too, but this is actually a biopic on the life of Elton John. Taron Egerton stars, as the film covers John’s formative years: from childhood prodigy, to where Philadelphia freedom took him knee-high to a man, and into his wondrously fruitful partnership with lyricst Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Eddie the Eagle‘s Dexter Fletcher directs.


Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) 42%
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe
Opening on: May 31, 2019

Let them fight! Big, mean, green(?), Godzilla is back in the global ring, with new challengers Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. Original Godzilla reboot director Gareth Edwards is leaving blockbuster filmmaking for a while after Rogue One, allowing Michael Dougherty (Krampus, Trick ‘r Treat) to suit up. Franchise lynchpin Ken Watanabe is back, as Vera Farmiga, Sally Hawkins, Millie Bobby Brown, and Kyle Chandler enter the fray.


(Photo by Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Dimension Films)

June

The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) 59%
Directed by: Chris Renaud
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Lake Bell
Opening on: June 7, 2019

Without breaking a sweat, Minion-peddler Illumination Entertainment created another hugely profitable animated series with 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets, a colorful look into what animals get into when you’re out, gadding about. Patton Oswalt, the Christopher Plummer of comedy, will replace Louis C.K. as the voice of Max, the Jack Russell Terrier.


Dark Phoenix (2019) 23%
Directed by: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Opening on: June 7, 2019

The X-Men franchise — not counting solo joints starring Logan and Deadpool — hit something of a speed bump with 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, but it looks to rebound with one of the most popular stories from the comics, centered on the character of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner). Producer Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut, while James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and the rest of the younger mutants return for this fourth entry in the soft-rebooted series that began with X-Men: First Class.


Late Night (2019) 80%
Directed by: Nisha Ganatra
Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Ike Barinholtz, John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy
Opening on: June 7, 2019

Emma Thompson stars in this comedy written, produced, and co-starring Minday Kaling about a longtime talk show host (Thompson) who hires her first female staff writer (Kaling) primarily to ease diversity concerns, only to discover the two of them make a great team. This one debuted at Sundance to solid reviews, before Amazon Studios snatched it up to put it in front of audiences.


Men in Black International (2019) 23%
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson
Opening on: June 14, 2019

Thor and Valkyrie reunite in the latest Marvel epic! No, we’re not talking about Avengers: Episode IV – Rise of Squirrel Girl, but the fourth Men in Black installment, which reunites Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in another ancillary Marvel comic book movie. And it’s a new day for the franchise; Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will not be involved with this one.


Shaft (2019) 32%
Directed by: Tim Story
Starring: Sam Jackson, Alexandra Shipp, Regina Hall
Opening on: June 14, 2019

Shaft’s back, can ya dig it? Like the 2000 movie, this is actually a continuation of the story with, count ’em, three generations of John Shafts filling the screen. There’s Richard Roundtree, the original Shaft from the ’70s; Samuel L. Jackson, the J.S. from 2000; and franchise newcomer Jessie Usher as the third in this line of illustrious gumshoes.


The Dead Don't Die (2019) 56%
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny
Opening on: June 14, 2019

What happens when you combine director Jim Jarmusch’s droll, deadpan sensibilities with the living dead? Audiences are about to find out. The opening night film of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival stars Jarmusch favorite Murray, along with Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, and pop star Selena Gomez.


Child's Play (2019) 63%
Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Gabriel Bateman
Opening on: June 21, 2019

The doll that terrorized a generation is back in an all-new update as Chucky makes a comeback in this reboot. Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry headline the film, which centers on a young mother who gifts her son a new doll without realizing the evil it harbors. The film will be directed by Lars Klevberg, whose horror flick Polaroid is also slated for a 2019 debut.


Toy Story 4 (2019) 97%
Directed by: Josh Cooley
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Laurie Metcalf
Opening on: June 21, 2019

Just about everyone agrees Toy Story 3 ended the trilogy on a perfect note, not to mention it maintained the franchise’s stunning 99% Tomatometer average. So Pixar must have a good reason to come back and risk poisoning the well, especially since they’ve been releasing occasional TS shorts. Toy Story 4 will focus on Bo Peep, introduce some new characters – hello, Forky – and, if our visit to Pixar was any indication, may have more Easter Eggs for animation fans than any other Pixar movie ever.


47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) 41%
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
Starring: N/A
Opening on: June 28, 2019

What’s more terrifying than being 47 meters below sea level? Being just that little bit deeper. This sequel to 47 Meters Down follows a group of adventurous backpackers who go diving to explore an underwater city and end up perfectly safe and fine. Just kidding. Things get bitey.


Annabelle Comes Home (2019) 64%
Directed by: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Iseman
Opening on: June 28, 2019

Originally a prequel to The Conjuring, the first Annabelle went on to spawn a prequel of its own, and next year we’ll get a third installment. We’ve got a release date, and we know that screenwriter Gary Dauberman, who wrote both of the previous Annabelle movies and last year’s horror hit IT, will be making his directorial debut. The new movie will feature the Warrens, and sees Annabelle breathing terrifying life into all of the scary trinkets the ghost hunters have gathered through the years.


(Photo by @ Sony Pictures, @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


July

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 90%
Directed by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton
Opening on: July 2, 2019

Just to get it out of the way, we’ll acknowledge that the existence of this movie itself is essentially a spoiler for Avengers 4 — though that didn’t make Peter Parker’s final scenes in Infinity War any less moving. In this follow-up to Sony’s 2015 reboot of the character, Tom Holland’s Spidey faces off against Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, and Jon Watts returns to direct. Oh, and thanks to a conveniently “accidental” reveal by Holland on Instagram, we now know what the title will be.


Midsommar (2019) 83%
Directed by: Ari Aster
Starring: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper, Jack Reynor
Opening on: July 3, 2019

Ari Aster hit the ground running last year with his breakout directorial debut, Hereditary, a visceral horror film couched within a somber family drama. This year he returns with his much-anticipated follow-up, and it looks like another daring genre exercise. Florence Pugh and Will Poulter star as a young couple on holiday in a Swedish village, where they discover things may not be as idyllic as they seem, and a dangerous cult rules the day.


The Farewell (2019) 99%
Directed by: Lulu Wang
Starring: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin
Opening on: July 12, 2019

Awkwafina takes her first major lead role in this personal family story from writer and director Lulu Wang. The Crazy Rich Asians star plays a New Yorker who travels to China when her grandmother falls ill, only there’s a catch: the family is not telling gran and instead pretending everyone is gathered for a wedding. The movie was a hit at Sundance, and is already getting awards buzz.


The Lion King (2019) 53%
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard
Opening on: July 19, 2019

Director Jon Favreau has already shown he is the king of live-action Disney adaptations with 2016’s The Jungle Book, which has a Tomatometer of 95%. Here he takes on another beloved Disney classic, and he’s gathered up a formidable voice cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, and James Earl Jones returning to the role of Mufasa. Those who have gotten sneak peeks at the opening scene say to set your jaws to “Dropped.”


Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) 85%
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden
Opening on: July 26, 2019

For his ninth film (if you count Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as one movie), Quentin Tarantino has recruited a killer cast to tell a story that revolves around an aspiring actor and his stunt double who attempt to establish their careers in Tinseltown in 1969 just as the Manson Family murders are taking place. So, you know, typical family-friendly Tarantino stuff.


August

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 67%
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham
Opening on: August 2, 2019

Recognizing the star power of Dwayne Johnson, Universal decided to spin his character off from the Fast and Furious franchise alongside Jason Statham for what will likely be some high-octane version of a buddy-cop action flick. Stunt coordinator-turned-director David Leitch (John WickAtomic BlondeDeadpool 2) is signed on for this one, so we expect the action will be appropriately bonkers.


The Kitchen (2019) 22%
Directed by: Andrea Berloff
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, Domhnall Gleeson, Common
Opening on: August 9, 2019

Don’t let this movie’s comic book origins fool you; a superhero story this is not. This period crime drama follows three New York women in the 1970s, all wives to Irish mobsters, who decide to take up their husbands’ business when they’re all nabbed by the FBI.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) 48%
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne
Opening on: August 16, 2019

Based on the novel of the same name, this dramedy stars Cate Blanchett as a miserable mother who suddenly goes missing, prompting her teen daughter to figure out what happened. It features a strong supporting cast and an Oscar-winning director in Richard Linklater.


The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73%
Directed by: Thurop Van Orman, John Rice
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Rachel Bloom, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Sterling K. Brown, Awkwafina
Opening on: August 16, 2019

2016’s The Angry Birds Movie did about as good a job as one could expect, to turn a mobile video game with no narrative premise into a feature-length family film. What’s this sequel about? Who knows? But with its instant brand recognizability and a voice cast that includes Peter Dinklage, Rachel Bloom, and Bill Hader, does it matter? Probably not!


(Photo by Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, MGM)

September

It Chapter Two (2019) 62%
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård
Opening on: September 6, 2019

Stephen King fans who saw 2017’s IT were quick to point out that the film only tells half of the original novel’s story, namely the half that takes place when the characters are still kids. This follow-up takes place 30 years later with a grown-up cast that includes Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, among others, and they’re out to take down Pennywise the shapeshifting clown (Bill Skarsgård) for good.


The Goldfinch (2019) 24%
Directed by: John Crowley
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard, Ashleigh Cummings, Willa Fitzgerald, Aimee Laurence, with Sarah Paulson, with Luke Wilson, with Jeffrey Wright, and Nicole Kidman, Denis O’Hare, Boyd Gaines, Peter Jacobson, Luke Kleintank, Robert Joy
Opening on: September 13, 2019

Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) stars in this adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that charts the life of a young teenager who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum and eventually enters a life of crime. Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman, and Jeffrey Wright play supporting roles, while director John Crowley is best known for his multiple Oscar-nominated drama Brooklyn.


Hustlers (2019) 88%
Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
Starring: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Lizzo
Opening on: September 13, 2019

Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez lead an ensemble cast in this based-on-a-true-story crime drama about a group of strippers in New York who took advantage of the late-2000s financial crisis to scam their wealthy Wall Street clientele. The film is the third directorial effort of Lorene Scafaria, who previously wrote and directed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Meddler.


Downton Abbey (2019) 84%
Directed by: Michael Engler
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James
Opening on: September 20, 2019

The hit UK period drama following the lives of the inhabitants of a fictional Yorkshire estate finally comes to the big screen, with several of the primary cast members reprising their roles and a handful of newcomers joining the fun. Series creator Julian Fellowes is producing the film, with seasoned TV vet Michael Engler (30 RockUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) returning to the series to direct.


Ad Astra (2019) 84%
Directed by: James Gray
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland
Opening on: September 20, 2019

If you liked Interstellar, you may want to (tele)scope this one out. (Sorry.) Director James Gray (The Lost City of Z) takes to the outer reaches of space to tell the story of an engineer (Brad Pitt) who embarks on a fantastic voyage in pursuit of his father (Tommy Lee Jones), who took a one-way trip to Neptune 20 years prior.


Rambo: Last Blood (2019) 27%
Directed by: Adrian Grunberg
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal, Sergio Peris-Mencheta
Opening on: September 20, 2019

Sly Stallone is back in the final chapter of the Rambo saga, which started all the way back in 1982 with First Blood. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe, judging from the title. This time around, Rambo squares off against what appears to be a drug cartel in South America after a close friend’s daughter — she calls him “uncle” — is kidnapped. It looks like an ultra-violent take on Home Alone.


October

Joker (2019) 69%
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro
Opening on: October 4, 2019

This origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime will star multiple Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix as the titular criminal mastermind with Todd Phillips (Old SchoolThe Hangover trilogy) set to direct. Robert De Niro and Atlanta and Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz co-star in what looks to be a cross between two Scorsese classics: Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy.


Gemini Man (2019) 26%
Directed by: Ang Lee
Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen
Opening on: October 11, 2019

Will Smith stars in this sci-fi thriller with shades of Rian Johnson’s Looper that centers on an assassin looking to exit his career as who faces his biggest obstacle: a younger clone of himself. Academy Award-winner Ang Lee directs, with the stellar supporting cast rounded out by the likes of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen.


The Addams Family (2019) 43%
Directed by: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Allison Janey
Opening on: October 11, 2019

Directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan last brought us the R-rated Sausage Party, and they look to translate some of that irreverent wit to this animated version of The Addams Family, which features the voices of Oscar Isaac as Gomez and Charlize Theron as Morticia. The art style closely resembles the original artwork by creator Charles Addams, and the supporting cast includes a nice combination of industry vets and up-and-comers.


Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) 68%
Directed by:
 Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Avan Jogia, Thomas Middleditch, Luke Wilson
Opening on: October 18, 2019

It will have taken exactly 10 years, but Sony is finally giving fans a sequel to the 2009 hit horror comedy, Zombieland. All of the original braaaaaaiiiiinnnsss are on board, including director Ruben Fleischer (who directed the upcoming Venom) and writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, and the four key leads – Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin – have all signed on, with Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutsch, and Avan Jogia playing central new roles.


Jojo Rabbit (2019) 79%
Directed by: Taika Waititi
Starring: Taika Waititi, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell
Opening on: October 18, 2019

Ever hear the WWII story about the German boy named Jojo who discovers his mom is hiding a girl in the attic and deals with it with the help of his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler? Well, you’re about to. Director Taika Waititi follows up Thor: Ragnarok with this wild tale, which the posters are calling an “anti-hate satire.” Waititi will star as the imaginary Hitler.


Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) 40%
Directed by: Joachim Ronning
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie
Opening on: October 18, 2019

Maleficent put an interesting spin on Disney’s live-action remakes, retelling the beloved story of Sleeping Beauty through the eyes of its iconic, and misunderstood, villain. The different take worked: Maleficent made almost $760 million globally during its 2014 theatrical run. The sequel should also do big business. Kon Tiki director Joachim Ronning takes over for Robert Stromberg, and Michelle Pfeiffer co-stars.


The Lighthouse (2019) 92%
Directed by: Robert Eggers
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson
Opening on: October 18, 2019

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star in this sophomore effort from Robert Eggers, who debuted as a writer-director in 2016 with the chilling, enigmatic folk horror film The Witch. The film — which centers on a pair of late-19th century lighthouse keepers who slowly lose their minds — premiered at Cannes to rave reviews, with effusive praise for the performances by Dafoe and Pattinson and for Eggers’ direction.


(Photo by @ Paramount Pictures, @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Walt Disney Studios, Gal Gadot/Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios

November

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) 71%
Directed by: Tim Miller
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Linda Hamilton, Gabriel Luna
Opening on: November 1, 2019

Deadpool director Tim Miller takes the reins of the iconic Terminator franchise with a reboot that starts where the first two films in the series left off. (Those other film efforts are dismissed as an alternate timeline.) With James Cameron on board as producer and both Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning, the effort feels legit — even if it will reportedly see Sarah Connor pass the torch to a new female lead.


Doctor Sleep (2019) 77%
Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Zah McClarnon
Opening on: November 8, 2019

Mike Flanagan has delivered one Fresh horror movie after another with AbsentiaOculusOuija: Origin of Evil and Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, which is Certified Fresh at 91%. Flanagan has form in TV, too, with his Netflix limited series, The Haunting of Hill House, scoring a Tomatometer of 100%. He returns to Stephen King for Doctor Sleep, the author’s sequel to The Shining, in which grown-up, down-and-out Danny Torrance (played by Ewan McGregor) uses his psychic power to help dying AA nursing home patients. In the process, he runs afoul of “The True Knot,” a cult of demons who feed on those with “shining” powers.


Charlie's Angels (2019) 52%
Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska
Opening on: November 15, 2019

Elizabeth Banks directs and plays Bosley in this new take on Charlie’s Angels, which reimagines the “angels” as a high-level security agency (with multiple Bosleys, by the way, including not just Banks herself, but also Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou) who picks up the slack when traditional law enforcement fails. Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and recent Aladdin graduate Naomi Scott will team up and learn to work with each other as the new Angels.


Ford v Ferrari (2019) 92%
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe
Opening on: November 15, 2019

James Mangold directs this based-on-true-events sports drama about American motor company Ford’s efforts to build a raceworthy car to rival — and hopefully defeat — the Ferrari team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.


The Lodge (2020) 81%
Directed by: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Starring: Riley Keough, Richard Armitage, Jaeden Martell, Alicia Silverstone
Opening on: November 15, 2019

The writer-director team who brought us the twisty, disturbing Goodnight Mommy in 2015 are back with a new horror entry, this time focusing on a young woman who becomes trapped in a remote cabin with the children of her husband-to-be. As they wait out the storm, the woman’s dark past is revealed, along with something decidedly more sinister. This one premiered at Sundance and earned great reviews, and the directors have proven they know their way around a scary movie.


Frozen II (2019) 77%
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad
Opening on: November 22, 2019

If it ain’t broke… Original directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, as well as original stars Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Josh Gad, return to Arendelle to try to catch a second lightning storm in a bottle and belt out a song half as catchy as “Let It Go.” The first teaser suggests a darker tone for the sequel.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) 95%
Directed by: Marielle Heller
Starring: Tom Hanks
Opening on: November 22, 2019

Buy all the Kleenex for this one. Tom Hanks will star as Fred Rogers in the story of the host and creator of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Actress and director Marielle Heller is at the helm of the pic, which comes on the heels of 2018’s popular Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?.


Dark Waters (2019) 93%
Directed by: Todd Haynes
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, Bill Pullman
Opening on: November 22, 2019

Based on a true story, this drama centers on an attorney who discovers a link between a series of deaths and the chemical company DuPont, then struggles to reveal what he’s found to the public when the corporation fights back. It comes from Oscar-nominated director Todd Haynes (Far from HeavenCarol) and features a cast full of big names.


Knives Out (2019) 97%
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Ana de Armas, Toni Collette, Katherine Langford, Christopher Plummer
Opening on: November 27, 2019

Writer-director Rian Johnson’s follow-up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a decidedly smaller-scale production, but with arguably more star power. Daniel Craig leads a huge ensemble cast in this cheeky whodunnit about a detective who arrives on scene to look into the mysterious death of a famous crime novelist whose entire family has gathered at his mansion to celebrate his 85th birthday.


Queen & Slim (2019) 83%
Directed by: Melina Matsoukas
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Chloë Sevigny, Indya Moore, Bokeem Woodbine
Opening on: November 27, 2019

Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith star in this modern twist on Bonnie and Clyde, as a retail worker and a criminal defense attorney enjoying their first date go on the lam after a routine traffic stop ends in the killing of a cop in self defense. Unbeknownst to the couple, the incident is caught on camera, and when the video goes viral, the two of them become folk heroes of a sort as they flee across the country.


December

A Hidden Life (2019) 77%
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Starring: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Tobias Moretti, Bruno Ganz, Matthias Schoenaerts
Opening on: December 13, 2019

Terrence Malick’s latest drama tells the real life story of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian peasant farmer who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II and faced execution for treason. The film premiered at Cannes this year, and critics who saw it say it’s ambitious, visually impressive, and enigmatic — in other words, par for the course for Malick.


Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Awkwafina
Opening on: December 13, 2019

The rebooted 2017 Jumanji was a bigger-than-expected hit that proved a canny bit of counterprogramming to The Last Jedi during that year’s holiday moviegoing period. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle director Jake Kasdan and writers Jeff Pinker and Scott Rosenberg are all back for the sequel, as are the four leads/key avatars: Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Dwayne Johnson. But this time they’ll be joined by Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, and Awkwafina, as each of the avatars from the first game take on new personalities.


Cats (2019)
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift
Opening on: December 20, 2019

It’s taken decades to get Andrew Lloyd Weber’s mega successful musical about the Jellicle cats to the big screen, and universal has turned to Les Miserables director Tom Hooper for the job. Smart. The cast includes some of pop’s finest voices – Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift – and the movie’s cats will be cat-sized (something which seems obvious but which has some of the stage play’s fans nervous).


Bombshell (2019) 64%
Directed by: Jay Roach
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, Alice Eve, Stephen Root, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney
Opening on: December 20, 2019

Jay Roach (Game ChangeRecount) sets his talents upon another real-life drama, specifically the sexual harassment allegations made against Fox News founder Roger Ailes by various employees, including former anchors Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly. Roach has assembled an impressive cast for the film, with Carlson and Kelly played by Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron, respectively, John Lithgow as Ailes, and other characters played by Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Alice Eve, and more (see above).


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Directed by: J. J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o
Opening on: December 20, 2019

Fanboys who felt Rian Johnson took their story far, far away from where they wanted it to go were relieved when The Force Awakens helmer J.J. Abrams entered the captain’s chair for this sequel trilogy finale.


Little Women (2019) 96%
Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlan, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep
Opening on: December 25, 2019

Expect some awards consideration to come out of this new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, courtesy of director Greta Gerwig. Here, she reteams with her Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet but also brings on board Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Meryl Streep, among others, to round out the cast, which has some folks talking Oscars already.


Just Mercy (2019) 82%
Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson
Opening on: December 25, 2019

Michael B. Jordan stars opposite Brie Larson in Just Mercy, about Civil Rights defense attorney Bryan Stephenson’s experiences in his case to free a death-row inmate. Jordan and Larson are at the top of their game, and director Cretton has gotten fantastic results working with the Captain Marvel actress – their Short Term 12 is Certified Fresh at 98% on the Tomatometer.


Clemency (2019) 98%
Directed by: Chinonye Chukwu
Starring: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Wendell Pierce, Richard Schiff
Opening on: December 27, 2019

One of the big hits out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this drama centers on a longtime prison warden played by Alfre Woodard coming to terms with the harrowing demands of her career as she prepares to oversee the execution of another death row inmate. Critics have praised Woodard’s work in the role, and the film looks to be an awards-season contender.


Jan-Mar | Apr-June | July-Sep | Oct-Dec

The Best Movies of 2018


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