It’s that time of year again. 2017 recedes in the rearview mirror and the promise of 2018 comes at us in the form of questionable January fare, continuing Awards season rollouts, and movies the studios botched and have no idea what else to do with but push into the theaters and hope to recoup as much of their investment as possible. (I, for one, am super into a bunch of the trash coming in the next few weeks.)
We can, and many will, argue about it forever, but 2017 was a fantastic year for film. I’m of the opinion that every year is a great year for movies, you just need to actually look. No matter how many piles of crap there are, I’ve never gone a single year in my life without coming across a large number of movies that blow me away. Sure, we got a Transformers dog this year, but we also got The Florida Project, Okja, It, Colossal, and so many others.
2017 was rough for a lot of people, but as we put up new calendars, this is the natural time to peer forward. So let’s look ahead to what’s in store for us in theaters in 2018.
Some of these are destined to be great, others are sure to underwhelm, and there’s bound to be some straight up poo poo on this list. But right now, these are the movies I’m most excited for in 2018. As the year progresses, some of these titles will hold their allure, others won’t; and even more names will show up, titles I’ve never even heard about, but that will inevitably wind up among my favorites of the year.
That said, here are the 50 movies (51 actually, I’m a cheater) I’m most looking forward to in the 2018. It’s gonna be a good year.
Proud Mary—January 12
A revenge actioner starring Taraji P. Henson and directed by the guy who delivered London Has Fallen, Proud Mary promises to be a nasty, mean-spirited piece of work indeed. And I’m here for it.
Nicolas Cage hunting an “unhinged” cult through the backwoods wilderness in 1983, all from the director of Beyond the Black Rainbow? Oh, hell fucking yes.
Mom and Dad—January 19
In Mom and Dad, Nic Cage screams the Hokey Pokey and smashes a pool table with a sledgehammer while trying to kill his kids. What else is there to say?
Den of Thieves—January 19
Den of Thieves looks like a shittier, more testosterone-addled Heat, only with the added bonus of Gerard Butler crazy eyes.
God Particle—February 2
A story about astronauts on the ISS fighting for survival is intriguing on its own, but as one of those weird Bad Robot stealth pseudo-Cloverfield spinoffs, the intrigue for God Particle cranks up a few notches.
Scorched Earth—February 2
Gina Carano plays a Django-inspired bounty hunter in a post-apocalyptic frontier western. It’s like Scorched Earth asked me what I want in a movie and made it. Thanks.
Accident Man—February 6
I will watch anything Scott Adkins does, and when he plays comic book assassin and teams up with director Jesse V. Johnson and fight choreographer Tim Man, we’re in for a wild DTV banger with Accident Man.
Black Panther—February 16
I’ve loved Black Panther for years and can’t wait to see him get his own solo big screen joint. The fact that it looks rad and marks Marvel’s first not pasty white dude hero only sweetens the deal.
The trailers have been up and down, but Jeff VanDermeer’s book reads like a sci-fi Heart of Darkness. And with a great cast and Ex-Machina’s Alex Garland behind the camera, there’s a lot to get excited about with Annihilation. (FYI: This was also on my most-anticipated list last year.)
After Train to Busan I’ll ride anywhere with Korean director Yeon Sang-ho. His latest, Psychokinesis, follows a father who tries to save his daughter only to discover he has superpowers. Netflix picked up the streaming rights recently, though neglected to set a concrete date.
Red Sparrow—March 2
I don’t know that I fully buy Jennifer Lawrence as an international spy, but people love the Red Sparrow books, and I’m always down for a tense tale of espionage.
Death Wish—March 2
A Death Wish remake from Eli Roth and Bruce Willis in 2018 is probably a bad idea. But I’m still going to watch it.
A Wrinkle in Time—March 9
Ava Duvernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time looks like candy-coated sci-fi spectacle of the highest order, and I can’t wait to see Oprah as some kind of space wizard.
Pacific Rim: Uprising—March 28
Giant robots punching giant monsters. That’s all that matters, and as long as Pacific Rim: Uprising deliver that one thing, I’ll be happy.
Ready Player One—March 30
I read and enjoyed Ready Player One, but the further I get from it, the less fondly I remember the book. That said, I’m beyond curious to see how Steven Spielberg and company translate the pop culture-saturated tale to the big screen.
You Were Never Really Here—April 6 (in theory)
Lynne Ramsay screened an in-progress cut of You Were Never Really Here at Cannes last year, so hopefully the saga of a hammer-wielding Joaquin Phoenix rescuing a young girl from sex traffickers hits theaters soon. It’s going to get grim.
The New Mutants—April 13
People accuse superhero movies of being overly formulaic, but Josh Boone’s The New Mutants looks like straight up trapped-in-an-evil-hospital horror. And it opens on Friday the 13th.
Based on a plotless 1980s arcade game, Rampage promises to be dumb as shit, but it’s also the Rock fighting giant monsters. I’m a man of simple tastes, and that’s most of them in one place.
Avengers: Infinity War—May 4
All the superheroes, all of them. I won’t even be surprised if the Justice League shows up in Avengers: Infinity War.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties—May 11 (UK)
A punk rock, sci-fi romance based on a Neil Gaiman story, with a fantastic cast, the mastermind behind Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and an awkward, earnest style. I’m 100% in.
Solo: A Star Wars Story—May 25
I think a Han Solo movie is a terrible idea, the production has been a disaster, and I’m not actually excited for this at all (except to see Donald Glover as Lando, that’s going to rule). But Solo is still a Star Wars movie, and that fact alone will always get me to a theater.
Deadpool 2—June 1
Deadpool was fun enough. The charm has worn off quite a bit, and I have zero interest in a sequel. But with director David Leitch (John Wick) at the helm, I’m game for another go round.
Ocean’s 8—June 8
I’m always up for a slick, stylized heist film, and with a cast this stacked, there’s plenty worth getting excited for.
Sicario 2: Soldado—June 28
Focusing on Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin’s characters from the first film, Sicario 2: Soldado promises to deliver grim, morally questionable violence and tension without any of the ethical hand-wringing of its predecessor. We’ll see how that goes.
The Purge: The Island—July 4
The Purge movies have a very specific gimmick, and in The Purge: The Island, we see what lead to this world. Not sure I need a prequel, but after The Purge: Anarchy, I’m down to give these movies a shot.
Mission: Impossible 6—July 27
Tom Cruise doing insane stunts (I firmly believe, if he’s capable of dying, he’s destined to die doing something crazy on the set of an M:I movie) and Henry Cavill with a dope mustache. I’ve watched movies for far less.
The Equalizer 2—August 3
No one loves The Equalizer quite like I do, but it’s got more going on than most people assume. (Seriously, Denzel fights the Devil, no joke.) And I’m down to watch grim Denzel Washington pummel dudes.
The Predator—August 3
I’m always up for a Predator movie, and with Shane Black directing and writing with Fred Dekker, just try to keep me away from this macho sci-fi actioner.
The Meg—August 10
Jason Statham and a giant shark. I’m less enthused that The Meg is from the director of National Treasure, but…Jason Statham and a giant shark.
The Kid Who Would Be King—September 28
It’s been far too long since Attack the Block, but Joe Cornish is finally back with a tale about a bunch of school kids who discover the legendary sword Excalibur and go on an epic quest to save the world from total destruction.
Do we need another Halloween reboot? Probably not. But the unlikely duo of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride keep saying all the right things, and they’re bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, so consider my interest piqued.
Creed 2—November 21
I’m a sucker for all things Rocky, and when you bring back Ivan Drago and his kids, and hand the whole thing over to The Land director Steven Caple Jr., there’s the potential for bonkers awesomeness to ensue.
Mortal Engines—December 14
I’m not familiar with the Mortal Engines books, but Peter Jackson playing around in what appears to be post-apocalyptic steam-punk universe where cities drive around and devour one another has too much probable insanity to pass up.
I don’t know if I need a full movie of Jason Momoa’s James Hetfield-inspired Aquaman (or is he channeling Lemmy?), but I’ll give it a shot. The same goes for any movie helmed by James Wan at this point.
A Prayer Before Dawn—TBD
A real-life story of drug addiction, prison, and Muay Thai, A Prayer Before Dawn has my immediate attention. Shot on location in actual notorious Thai prisons, using real inmates, and coming from A24, and I start vibrating I’m so hyped up.
In a futuristic Berlin, a mute bartender searches for his missing partner and runs up against gangsters in Duncan Jones’ latest endeavor. It’s good to see him working on smaller projects again after Warcraft, and there’s the added bonus that Mute stars Paul Rudd.
Another A24 horror project, Slice stars Chance the Rapper and Zazie Beetz and somehow involves a murdered pizza delivery driver, ghosts, drug dealers, and werewolves. Color me intrigued.
Combine The Raid’s Gareth Evans and The Guest’s Dan Stevens and I’ll watch your movie. Make it about a mysterious dude rescuing his sister from the cult that kidnapped her in 1905 and I will camp out to watch your movie. Apostle is near the top of my 2018 must list.
Following The Invitation, Karyn Kusama returns with the crime thriller Destroyer, and she’s bringing along Nicole Kidman, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Scoot McNairy, and Bradley Whitford.
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade—TBD
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade has a cool concept—an alternate, sci-fi history of Japan full of terrorism and intrigue—but the anime, manga, and previous live-action films never really hooked me. But a live-action adaptation from Kim Jee-woon, taking his first stab at science fiction and working with a great cast, has me paying attention and maybe salivating.
Under the Silver Lake—TBD
Another title that was on my most-anticipated list last year, we’ll see if Under the Silver Lake makes the 2018 cut or not. Still, It Follows director David Robert Mitchell’s modern L.A. noir sounds like a film worth waiting for.
Hold the Dark—TBD
With Green Room and Blue Ruin, Jeremy Saulnier announced himself as one of the most exciting young American filmmakers out there. And his new tale about wolves killing children sounds like it fits in his particularly grim wheelhouse.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote—TBD
I firmly believe Terry Gilliam will either die before this movie is released or that, through some act of the vengeful god the Monty Python member has obviously angered, every single print will be wiped from existence. This is a definite “I need to see it before I believe it’s real” situation.
I have mixed feelings about a remake of Dario Argento’s greatest film, but director Luca Guadagnino keeps saying things that get me excited.
Scott Adkins, Iko Uwais, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Celina Jade, Michael Bisping, JeeJa Yanin, and Tiger Chen, working with DTV maestro Jesse V. Johnson. If you’re not excited for Triple Threat, you don’t like action movies.
The Debt Collector—TBD
Another Scott Adkins/Jesse V. Johnson team up. What can I say, I’m on the hook for this duo.
Anna and the Apocalypse—TBD
Hopefully, Anna and the Apocalypse finds distribution, because I need this zombie, high school, musical in my life.
Joseph Kahn’s festival favorite Bodied is another title currently in limbo without a distributor. From all reports, this rap battle comedy drama is an incendiary masterpiece and needs to get in my eyeballs.
Turkish director Can Evrenol (the nightmare that is Baskin) returns with Housewife, a story of a traumatized girl, horrific dreams, murder, and cults. I want to mainline everything about this movie.
Five Fingers for Marseilles—TBD
The spare, gritty modern South African western Five Fingers for Marseilles looks to fuse revenge, socio-political leanings, and tension for days.
A mind-bender about two brothers returning to the cult they both fled years before is certainly a premise I can support. And thanks to Well Go USA, we’ll have the chance in 2018.
This list could, of course go on and on and on for days. There are tons of other movies that I’ll see and be excited for, but these are the ones I’m most jazzed about. And this doesn’t even include films I have no idea even exist. As usual, throughout the year, as fests happen and productions wrap, I’ll start drooling over movies that aren’t even on my radar yet. Along the way, I’m sure I’ll randomly watch some movies with little to no idea what they’re all about and be floored. And that’s why I love movies like I do.
What are you most excited to see in 2018? Sound off in the comments below.