With releases such as Get Out, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dunkirk, Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Baby Driver – 2017 was a pretty damn big year in cinema. Alas, that year has finally come to a close. Time to move on to the next one.
Surprisingly, despite all of last years big-ticket releases, movie attendance has seen a major dip. That does not, however, appear to be a major concern of the studios, as 2018 is shaping up to be another epic year at the theater. From galactic-level action-adventure a decade in the making to some of the more promising forays into the horror and thriller genres, every month looks to be packed to the gills with worthwhile entertainment. With the hopes of distilling all the options into a more digestible format, we’ve wrangled up 30 of the films slated for release this year we are the most excited about in the following list. So sit back and enjoy the show.
A Quiet Place
Release Date: April 6th
Written, directed by, and starring John Krasinski (along side his wife, Emily Blunt), A Quiet Place boasts an abundantly interesting concept: a family must live in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that hunts via sound. Creating a film with little to no dialogue is an impressive feat in and of itself, but to use that same concept as the driving force behind a thriller-horror promises to make for a shockingly tense watch. We can’t say for sure, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this one keeps us on the edge of our seats from start to finish.
Release Date: February 23rd
Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, this cross-genre science fantasy action horror stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Issac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tessa Thompson. It centers around the discovery and exploration of an environmental anomaly, called the Shimmer, in which the laws of nature and evolution seemingly do not apply. Appearing to capitalize on a combination of the success of films like Arrival and Jurassic World, this is a unique mashup of concepts that could result in a frantic and terrifying action-adventure.
Ant-Man And The Wasp
Release Date: July 6th
The original Ant-Man, which came out in 2015, went largely unnoticed – despite its direct connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And we think that’s a crime, as it was one of the most surprisingly fun movies both that year and in the genre at-large. Hopefully, they can resurrect much of the same charm in the upcoming sequel – though the lack of Edgar Wright at the writer’s table certainly hurts their chances. Still, Disney doesn’t deal in flops, so we can assume they know what they’re doing.
Avengers Infinity War
Release Date: May 4th
Inarguably the biggest blockbuster on the slate this year, Infinity War is a movie that’s more than a decade in the making. Literally all of the Marvel Studios movies since Iron Man have been driving toward this point – and that’s no small burden for this flick to carry. Lucky for them, the richness of the universe, the versatility and diverseness of the cast and crew, and a viciously loyal fanbase all point toward record-shattering success on all fronts. If there’s one movie people are going to see this year, its this one.
Release Date: February 16th
There has been a severe lack of racial diversity in superhero movies throughout the course of film history. But, things finally look like they’re going to be headed in the right direction, thanks in no small part to the upcoming Black Panther movie. Set in the fictional nation of Wakanda, the flick follows T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) – the land’s king-turned-superhero – as he must return to his kingdom to fend off enemies promising to send Wakanda and the world careening into all-out war.
Release Date: December 25th
Freddie Mercury, of the perennial rock band Queen, was one of the greatest frontmen in all of music history. Unfortunately, disease cut his life tragically short in 1991. This biographical film, which stars Rami Malek in what we can only refer to as a stroke of casting genius, follows the rise of Mercury and his band – as well as all of their trials along the way. If you find that you have an interest in rock and roll history, this movie is not to be missed.
Release Date: TBA
With the shockingly pervasive success of the R-rated Ryan Reynolds-fronted original, Deadpool 2 was pretty much a given. But the brilliant casting of Josh Brolin as long-time comic book fan favorite Cable has us chomping at the bit for more information about the next entry in the series. Sadly, there’s little to be said at this point; there isn’t even a confirmed release date. In any case, we’re pretty confident that this is shaping up to be one of the most popular movies of the year.
Release Date: March 2nd
A reboot of the ’70s film series of the same name, the jury is still out on whether or not Death Wish will be a worthy successor to its ultra-violent Charles Bronson-fronted predecessors. But it doesn’t hurt that this remake is helmed by master of horror Eli Roth and stars Bruce Willis. There are, however, ripples amongst the media that the timing couldn’t be worse for this white-guy-with-a-gun action-thriller. And while we can certainly see their point, we’re not yet ready to vilify this potentially very entertaining tale of revenge.
Release Date: February 16th
From director Nick Park and Aardman Animation – the folks behind the Wallace and Gromit franchise – this stop-motion animated feature film tells the story of a plucky caveman and his trusty sidekick, a wild boar called Hognob, as they try to protect their tribe from the advancement of the Bronze Age. If you find yourself, at any point, a little bit overwhelmed by the world around you and you just need something feel-good to keep your mind off things for a while, this animated movie looks like it will be the perfect remedy – simple, cute, fun.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald
Release Date: November 16th
Thanks in part to the limited nature of the source material, we weren’t entirely sure whether or not Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was going to be a worthy successor to the titan that is the Harry Potter franchise. As it turns out, however, the flick was wildly popular and quite well received. Now, it’s been revealed that the studio will be shooting for another 7-film stretch with this property, so there are a lot more Fantastic Beasts to be had, which we are quite excited for – especially now that we’ve seen Jude Law in his young Dumbledore getup.
The God Particle
Release Date: April 20th
We’re not sure if it was what he originally intended, but J.J. Abrams has apparently turned the Cloverfield franchise into an anthology series of films. And if 10 Cloverfield Lane is any indication of what to expect from the continuation of that anthology, we’ve got plenty to look forward to. The lid has been kept on pretty tight about The God Particle, but what we do know is this: it centers around a group of astronauts who are trapped aboard the ISS after the Earth mysteriously vanishes.
Release Date: March 9th
Actor Joel Edgerton (Warrior, It Comes At Night) has a brother named Nash. That brother wrote and directed this comedic film, which – alongside his brother – stars David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, and Thandie Newton. The action-comedy tells the tale of Harold Soyinka, an unwitting businessman who is sent to Mexico to deliver a “weed pill” – a revolution in the field of medical marijuana. As you might expect, everything goes ass-up and he is forced to navigate an unforgiving criminal landscape. Should be a pretty fun ride.
Release Date: October 19th
It’s been roughly 16 years since Jamie Lee Curtis played the character of Laurie Strode in what was supposed to be her final appearance in a Halloween film. In fact, in that film (spoiler alert) her character was killed off. We’re not entirely sure how the writers are going to get around that one, but we love a good slasher flick, and Michael Meyers is about as good a horror villain as they come. Whether they do an adequate job of sidestepping the Jamie Lee Curtis situation or not, this one promises to be fun and perhaps elicit a few screams.
Release Date: TBA
A lot of people decried the lack of both Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman when this film was announced – that is, until they saw the first picture of David Harbour (Stranger Things) in his Hellboy costume. Pair that with the attachment of Ian McShane, Mila Jovovich, Brian Gleeson, and more and we’re very eager to see what this new take has to offer. If nothing else, it looks like this one might be even darker than the fan-favorite originals. We wouldn’t be surprised, however, to see this one get pushed back to 2019, so we’ll try not to get too excited.
The Incredibles 2
Release Date: June 15th
The original Incredibles made 633 million USD at the box office. That’s an insane amount of money. And still, Pixar made no plans for a sequel. Then, 13 years went by. Finally, much to the joy of fans everywhere, the greatly-desired sequel is in the works. Even better, pretty much the entire original cast is returning – including Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sarah Vowell. Even John Ratzenberger (Cheers, Toy Story) is back to reprise his role as The Underminer. There are a lot of superhero movies to be excited about this year, but this one definitely ranks near the top.
Isle Of Dogs
Release Date: March 23rd
It has been 4 years since Wes Anderson’s last film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, was released. And it’s been nearly a decade since his last animated film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. If the cast list and previews of Isle of Dogs are any indication, the lauded director’s upcoming project may very well be one of his best ever. And that’s saying a lot, considering that even his most middling films are still a good deal better than much of the movies out there.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Release Date: June 22nd
Only recently has Colin Trevorrow – director of the first Jurassic World and co-writer of this second installment – announced that this is actually the second entry in a trilogy, much like the original Jurassic Park movies. That, in and of itself, isn’t enough to get us excited, however. Dinosaurs are. And this movie is going to be chock-full of them. Even if its an embarrassing disaster, which we don’t think it will be, it should be worth at least one watch.
Release Date: December 14th
While it isn’t being directed by him, the fact that Peter Jackson has backed this film as a producer and co-writer instills faith enough in us that it will be a gargantuan work of over-the-top adventure. And that’s compounded by the premise: a dystopian future in which cities are mobile – as opposed to stationary – and larger cities prey upon smaller townships to replenish their natural resources. Yes, that is an absurd twist on apocalyptic sci-fi, but we think its in good hands. At the very least, its unique.
The New Mutants
Release Date: April 13th
This is an X-Men movie. Yes, you read that right. And if you’re not quite sure what makes that so noteworthy, it’s this: this is also a horror movie. The superhero movie genre has been stilted in, well, heroics. And that made sense when the genre was first being built up. But, now that it’s firmly established, we’re glad to see some filmmakers are taking liberties with the genre. Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), and Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), this flick has all the makings of something truly special – or at least something abundantly entertaining.
Pacific Rim Uprising
Release Date: March 23rd
While certainly not one of his more emotionally moving films, Pacific Rim delivered exactly what Guillermo Del Toro intended – a whole lot of fun in which big robots beat on giant monsters. No, it wasn’t one of the best-written stories in the world, but it was no less a cinematic gem for what it was. The upcoming sequel gives us pause, both for the fact that Del Toro isn’t at the helm and because so few of the original cast is returning. Then again, we’re not exactly expecting this to be The Godfather Part II – we just want to see more big robots beat on giant monsters.
Release Date: August 3rd
Although it has seen some severely lackluster series entries, the Predator has remained one of the greatest movie monsters of all time. Some of that can be credited the surprisingly good 2010 movie Predators – which starred an odd cast including Adrian Brody, Alice Braga, and Topher Grace. This next foray – featuring the likes of Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Jacob Tremblay, and Edward James Olmos – has an equally eclectic cast. We just hope it also shares the same dedication to good storytelling. Fun fact: Shane Black, who played Hawkins in the original Predator, is actually helming this film as both the writer and director.
Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Release Date: November 21st
It’s hard to call anything by Pixar a “sleeper hit,” but the first Wreck-It Ralph is probably the closest anything is going to get. Still, despite its success and widespread popularity, we weren’t sure we’d ever get to see a follow-up. Thankfully, the sequel was announced a this past year’s D23 Expo. With a fitting title – and hopefully a storyline that matches – we can’t wait to delve into this rich video game-inspired world once more.
Ready Player One
Release Date: March 30th
Helmed by one of the most prolific and successful directors of all time, Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One (based on an Ernest Cline bestseller of the same name) is equal parts dystopian and utopian science-fiction – taking place in a financially devastated future United States, where people disconnect from the troubles of the real world by immersing themselves in a virtual one known as the Oasis. Dripping with pop culture references both old and new, this action-adventure is kind of like every gamer geek’s wildest dream come true. And we plan to be there on opening night.
Release Date: March 2nd
We love a good femme fatale flick – and this Jennifer Lawrence movie about a ballerina-turned-assassin appears to hit the nail right on the head. Based on a book of the same name by Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow also stars Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons, to name a few. If you find yourself itching for a good Cold War-era spy thriller, this one should do just fine.
Sicario 2: Soldado
Release Date: June 29th
The original Sicario was arguably the biggest sleeper hit of 2015. It certainly surprised us with its rich storyline, character-driven plot, and thrilling twists and turns. And while it would have certainly been excellent as a stand-alone, writer Taylor Sheridan appears to have more story to tell – at least in regards to the characters played by Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. We just hope this is a well-thought-out sequel and not a quick cash-grab, though we are wont to believe it’s the latter.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Release Date: May 25th
For the first time on film, Han Solo will not be portrayed by Harrison Ford. That’s a big deal no matter on which side of the aisle you stand. And now that it’s become abundantly clear that Disney has seamlessly integrated the Star Wars universe into their own without suffocating it, there’s a lot of hope that this one will be great. Of course, it’s also a tremendous risk to take such a hugely popular character and focus an entire film solely on him. We’ll reserve our judgement until we know more, but we’re definitely in the right mindset for this one.
Release Date: March 16th
There’s reason for trepidation regarding this video game movie reboot. The Angeline Jolie-starred originals weren’t terrible, per se, but they certainly weren’t masterful works of cinema, either. Still, this Indiana Jones-esque franchise has some real potential if done right. We just hope whomever made this movie took cues from the more recent entries in the game series, imbuing the action-adventure flick with more story-driven content and less focus on the heroine aimlessly blowing stuff up in clingy skin-tight clothing.
Release Date: October 5th
Tom Hardy as Venom, Spiderman’s long-time nemesis, seems like a match made in comic book heaven. Unfortunately, apart from some very limited information – like that the story appears not to focus on high school bully Eddie Brock, but rather on some amalgamation of the Agent Venom series – there’s little to say what we can expect from this film. Still, the tidbits that we’ve been privy to seem promising at the very least.
Release Date: February 2nd
If you’ve never heard of it, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA is a labyrinthian building which, by all accounts, makes very little logical sense in regards to architectural layout. So the story goes, the Winchester widow believed that she had to continuously build her home, lest she be haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. This drama-horror flick tells the story of the later days of her life – and with Hellen Mirren heading the cast, there’s some real potential value here.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Date: November 2nd
While the original films from the early 2000s put the X-Men franchise on pretty rocky ground, the reboot – which started with First Class – appears to have righted the ship somewhat. Or at least it looks poised to start delivering what the fans have been asking for, evidenced by the recent announcement of Dark Phoenix. Undoubtedly, this flick will center around telekinetic-psychic Jean Grey as she loses her power and gives into her darkest most violent urges. It promises to be a wild ride one way or another.
The 50 Best Adventure Books Of All Time
Feeling a bit of screen fatigue, but still looking for entertainment? Well, we’ve rounded up the 50 greatest adventure books – both fact and fiction – in this handy roundup.