2018 Most Anticipated Movies

For me 2017 was one of the worst years for cinema this side of 2000, with none of the films I saw scoring above an 8.5 for me. Hopefully, 2018 is shaping up to be a better year with the return of many great directors from Steve McQueen, Damien Chazelle, Scorcese and Alfonso Cuaron.


 

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25.  THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Release Date: 29th Nov

(Dir. Lars Von Trier)

SA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and are introduced to the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. Along the way we experience Jack’s descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge – a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations.

How could a Lars Von Trier movie not be an anticipated film on everyones list. Typically there was hate coming from the themes of violences at its Cannes premiere. But how could this be a Von Trier film without the conterversy. Im interested to see his take on this film after the brutal Nymphomaniac was only released a few years ago. Von Trier has fallen on style over substance recently 


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24.  THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN

(Dir. David Lowery)

 Release Date: 7th Dec

Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

I wasn’t a big fan of Lowery’s previous film A Ghost Story  but through his entire filmography there is a poetic expression through its narrative. Now i’m excited to see how this project turns up especially with Robert Redford in the lead after his awards run on All is Lost. 


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23.  CLIMAX

(Dir. Gasper Noe)

Release Date: 21st Sept

In the mid 90’s, 20 urban dancers join together for a three-day rehearsal in a closed-down boarding school located at the heart of a forest to share one last dance. They then make one last party around a large sangria bowl. Quickly, the atmosphere becomes charged and a strange madness will seize them the whole night. If it seems obvious to them that they have been drugged, they neither know by who nor why. And it’s soon impossible for them to resist to their neurosises and psychoses, numbed by the hypnotic and the increasing electric rhythm of the music. While some feel in paradise, most of them plunge into hell.

Ive been intrigued by the bizarre films of Gasper Noe since the controversial Irreversible and since then I’ve been on his bizarre acid trip of a filmography, especially with films such as Enter the Void. There aren’t any film makers making experimental films like these nowadays and now Gasper Noe tries his hand at the musical genre but we all know this won’t be the musical everyone is expecting. 


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22.  THE FAVOURITE 

(Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)

Release Date: TBC 2018

In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

My views on this film are very conflicted, the trailer for me was underwhelming. However, Lanthimos is one of the most unique directors who creates his own Lynchian world through his films and now I can’t wait to see his take on a true historical genre. Last year he came through and impressed with the very dark and under rated Killing of the Sacred Deer and this time he’s upped his game casting one of the freshest faces in the Awards scene, Emma Stone as his leading lady. 

 


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21.  BLACKKKLANSMAN

(Dir. Spike Lee) 

Release Date: 24th August

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white surrogate, who eventually becomes head of the local branch.

During these dark times in America’s race war, Spike Lee has added some dark comedy into the topic of race. Following the true story of a police officer he infiltrated the KKK, Lee takes this story and turns it into a blaxploitation film that I hope has more substance than style. 


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20  THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND 

(Dir. Orson Welles)

Release Date: 2018 TBC

The story of a legendary director named J.J. “Jake” Hannaford, who returns to Hollywood from years of semi-exile in Europe, with plans to complete work on his own innovative comeback movie, also titled “The Other Side of the Wind”.

I hope this film is finally released this year after being unfinished for so many decades. The film film from legendary director/actor Orson Welles in a story that plays almost like Welles’ real life as he makes a come back to cinema with this film. 


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19. BAD TIMES AT EL ROYALE

(Dir. Drew Goddard) 

Release Date:  2018 TBC

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption – before everything goes to hell.

I loved his last film Cabin in the Woods as it breathed fresh air into the stale horror genre at the time. Now Drew Goddard returns with this bizarre black comedy that I can’t seem to work out. The trailer didn’t give much away for me apart from its dark pulpy attitude, however, like Goddard’s last film the surprises of the story may be left out of the trailer. There’s also an all star cast behind this such as Chris Hemsworth, John Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Jeff Bridges etc. So I’m hoping this becomes one of 2018’s original concepts and maybe another cult classic. 


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18.  UNDER THE SILVER LAKE

(Dir. David Robert Mitchell)

 Release Date: 2018 TBC

Centers on a man named Sam (Garfield) who becomes obsessed with the strange circumstances of a billionaire mogul’s murder and the kidnapping of a girl. Riley Keough as Sarah, Sam’s new neighbour. Topher Grace as Sam’s friend who helps him with an investigation surrounding a missing woman.

After breathing originality into the horror movie ‘It Follows’ David Mitchell returns with a modern-day noir thriller. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of It Follows I could still appreciate the aesthetic of Mitchell’s filmmaking and its iconic score. His style quite reminded me of Nicholas Winding Refn and Under the Silver Lake could end up being Mitchell’s ‘Drive’. Disasterpiece also return to compose the score for this film after creating such a unique electronic score for It Follows. All the pieces seem to fall perfectly for this film and the first release trailer extended my expectations by giving me Inherent Vice vibes throughout. 


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17.  SHADOW

(Dir. Yimou Zhang) 

Release Date: TBC 2018

Set during China’s Three Kingdom’s era (AD 220-280). The story of a great king and his people, who will be expelled from their homeland and will aspire to claim it.

Zhangs films such as House of Flying Daggers and Hero have become some of my favourite martial arts film but his break into Hollywood with The Great Wall didn’t fare well. Heres his return to his Chinese roots with an epic historical martial arts film filled with beautiful black and white cinematography; looking like it will be one of the years most beautiful films.


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16.  THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN

(Dir. Xavier Dolan)

Release Date: 2018 TBC

A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives.

Xavier Dolan returns to cinema with his first English language film and his first film since the backlash Its Only the End of the World received at Cannes a few years ago. The shots released and the minimalistic trailer show high asthetic film making but lets hope his script can follow better than his previous film. The cast is also huge with Kit Harrington making his first legitimate performance outside of Game of Thrones, Natalie Portman, Bella Thorne and the latest news states that Jessica Chastain has been cut from the final edit. Hopefully, this big editorial decision won’t damage the final product. 


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15. WILDLIFE

(Dir. Paul Dano)

Release Date: 9th Nov

A boy witnesses his parents’ marriage falling apart after his mother finds another man.

Paul Dano’s directional debut channeling two great actors Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal in a relationship drama that could see both these actors reaching for the acting awards this Oscar season. 

 


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14. INCREDIBLES 2

(Dir. Brad Bird) 

Release Date: 13th July

Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

Pixar gave us an original idea with Coco last year but now they are returning to their sequels and finally after many unwanted and un-needed Car’s sequels we are finally given a sequel to The Incredibles after 14 years! However, everyone from the voice cast to Brad Bird is back on bird with this sequel and his first Pixar film since the classic Ratatouille. 


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13.  BEAUTIFUL BOY

(Dir. Felix Van Groeningen)

Release Date: TBC 2018

Chronicles meth addiction and recovery through the eyes of a father who watches his son as he struggles with the disease.

Back in 2012 I saw a practically unknown european film called The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix Van Groeningen. I was taken back by how he handled suffering and mourning through the medium of cinema and now he has returned for his first English Language film. Chronicling a meth addict played by Timothee Chalamet fresh off his Best Actor Oscar nomination for Call me By Your Name and Steve Carrell again tackling a serious role; much welcome after The Big Short & Foxcatcher. This could be a powerful film with many performances that could be cited as the best of the year come Fall. 


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12. MANDY

(Dir. Panos Cosmatos)

Release Date:  TBC 2018

Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.

Personally I havent seen Panos Cosmatos’ previous film Beyond the Black Rainbow but from what ive heard, its a bizzare trip of cinema. Loving previous surrealistic films such as Holy Mountain, Mandy looks like a definitive Cosmatos vision and also its the second film on my list about cults, a underappreciated genre I love. Nicholas Cage takes the lead as a man seeking vengeance for his dead wife and the screens and scenes ive seen/ heard of have looked absolutely crazy. From the bizzare video game like chainsaw duel to the red hue colour time reminding me of Valhalla Rising, this looks to be a visual treat. It’s also the second film out of sundance on my list scoring a 81 Metascore which is quite rare for a film of this standard. 


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11. RADEGUND

(Dir. Terrance Malick)

Release Date: TBC 2018

 

The Austrian Franz Jagerstatter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.

Will this film make it out in 2018? Terrance Malick has been teasing his return to linear storytelling for years but as usual his editing process is delaying the films release as it has appeared in my most anticipated films of last year too. 

 


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10. WIDOWS

(Dir. Steve McQueen)

Release Date: 9th Nov

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Steve McQueen as never faulted me in his filmography, I enjoyed Hunger and 12 Years a Slave and Shame were in my opinion; masterpieces. Now he returns with a feminine powered action film based on the famous BBC series Widows. The trailer in my opinion seemed fun but it didn’t seem to capture the tone I am used to seeing in a McQueen film. It lacked that certain touch but I hope this is just for marketings sake and we still get the arthouse experience his films offer. 


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9.  ROMA

(Dir. Alfonso Cuaron) 

Release Date: TBC 2018

A story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

Another big league director returning to the cinema with Alfonso Cuaron making his first film since his critically acclaimed Gravity. Now Cuaron is ditching his Sci-Fi traits and returning to his roots with a film based in his hometown of Mexico City. Filmed in black and white with Cuaron as the films cinematographer this could be a hugely ambitious project to portray the life of the middle class in Mexico. 

 


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8.  IF BEALE STREET COULD SPEAK 

(Dir. Barry Jenkins) 

Release Date: 2018 TBC

Baldwin’s novel “follows Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first born child. It’s a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families, and their lives.”

After his critically acclaimed masterpiece Moonlight, Barry Jenkins returns to cinema with a film not so focused on masculinity. Based on James Baldwin’s famous novel, this film will look at the power in femininity and how the power of a woman can overcome the worst odds. Releasing in the midst of the Me Too era this could be a film that doesn’t show the stereotypical view of a damsel in distress and instead have the woman protecting the man she loves. 

 


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7. THE IRISHMAN 

(Dir. Martin Scorcese)

Release Date: TBC 2018

A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.

Returning to cinema after his passion project Silence, Martin Scorsese returns to the gangster genre that made him famous. Teaming up with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and many other actors he has famously worked with in the past. I hope The Irishman gets its release in 2018 because everything about the Netflix project has been kept under wraps. 


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6.  HIGH LIFE

(Dir. Claire Denis)

Release Date: TBC 2018

Takes place beyond the solar system in a future that seems like the present. About a group of criminals who accept a mission in space to become the subjects of a human reproduction experiment. They find themselves in the most unimaginable situation after a storm of cosmic rays hit the ship.

In a fall with various Sci-fi offerings, acclaimed director Claire Denis returns with her take on the science fiction genre working with Robert Pattinson in a film that is meant to break the barriers of cinema. 

 


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5. APOSTLE

(Dir. Gareth Evans)

Release Date: TBC 2018

The year is 1905. Thomas Richardson travels to a remote island to rescue his sister after she’s kidnapped by a mysterious religious cult demanding a ransom for her safe return. It soon becomes clear that the cult will regret the day it baited this man, as he digs deeper and deeper into the secrets and lies upon which the commune is built.

I love cults and there aren’t enough films based on cults that exist so I always welcome and look forward to a new idea. Another factor that got this film so high on my list is the director, Gareth Evans, known for his work on Raid 1 & 2 which became some of my favourite films of the decade. There isn’t much news about the film or announcements of its release but I hope it makes it into 2018 and doesn’t disappoint.


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4.  FIRST MAN

Release Date: 2nd Nov

(Dir. Damien Chazelle)

A Biopic on the life of the legendary American Astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969, on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon. Exploring the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Neil himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel.

The story has been done before and apart from the fact that this was the visionary director behind Whiplash and La la Land the story held no interest for me. That was until the trailer was released, never did i think that this would end up becoming a horror film but the trailer portrayed a different mood. The ambience of this film looks like it will be based upon psychological fear, the fear of travelling into the unknown in a claustrophobic metal container, not knowing if you would ever return alive. The atmosphere is what sold me and this could be a career defining performance from Ryan Gosling and time for him to tackled a more disturbed character.


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3. SUSPIRIA 

(Dir. Luca Guadagnino)

Release Date: 2018 TBC

A young American ballerina comes to train at a prestigious German dance academy and uncovers the school’s dark and menacing secrets.

Remakes never usually attract my attention but Suspiria was one remake I just couldn’t fault or not welcome. The original film is a iconic horror film that in my opinion is not without its many flaws. However, traits of the cult classic shine after all these years and hopefully Luca Guadagnino can fix these faults and create a new original version of the horror masterpiece. The trailer was better than i expected and coming fresh off his oscar run for Call me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino is implementing himself into cinema as one of the most exciting directors to look out for.


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2. AD ASTRA 

(Dir. James Gray) 

Release Date: TBC 2018

An Army Corps engineer searches across the galaxy for his father, who disappeared on a mission to find alien life 20 years prior.

For the first year in quite a while I didn’t know what my most anticipated film was. So many titles screamed out and 2018 looks to be a busy year for cinema which I hope will make up for a disappointing 2017. However, one film that stood out for me was Ad Astra, especially after I saw the directors previous work The Lost City of Z, which made it into my Top 10 films of 2017. James Gary is an under rated directed who has also made films such as Two Lovers and The Immigrant. He is consistently making these interesting character pieces and as each of his projects goes by his ambition and scale gets larger and larger with Lost City of Z being his biggest film to date. Gray now handles a Science Fiction epic and probably the biggest challenge in his career, he is constantly a consistent director stuck in the shadows but I think this is the film that will make him recognised. He also has Hoyte Van Hoytema as his cinematography who is fresh off the boat with his technical achievement Dunkirk and another Sci-Fi epic Interstellar. Throw in Brad Pitt as your leading man and you should have a certain hit on your hands.  


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1.  ZIMNA WOJNA (COLD WAR)

(Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski)

Release Date: TBC 2018

The tale of two star crossed lovers, spanning several years and countries of the Cold War.

In 2014 I had compiled my Top ten list of the year when i finally watched Pawlikowski’s last film, the beautiful Ida. I was blown away by his minimalistic film making style and the use of crisp black and white cinematography. Finally four years later he has returned with a love story that crosses decades but its tightly wound into a 90 minute run time. This could be a clean streak for the polish director as he can reduce any filler and create a beautiful focused story. Premiering at Cannes 2018, Cold War missed out on the Palme D’or award but it was still one of the best reviewed films out the festivals and my most anticipated film for 2018.

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