2019 has been a fantastic year for film, whether it be from legendary and acclaimed filmmakers or very promising up and comers, there have been a lot of great movies and I’m now here to acknowledge my 30 favourites of last year.
Now to preface this list, I haven’t gotten around to watching every film single movie from 2019, however I think I watched the movies that would likely end up in my top 30 favourites of the year. As of right now, I’ve seen 94 movies from 2019, and I’m satisfied with the movies that I chose to watch.
Also, if I have made a very positive review of a particular movie from 2019 and it’s not here, it didn’t make the cut, whether it was never in that position to begin with or if my opinion on it significantly dropped between then and now.
While I’m not going to go into too much depth with them, there are some movies that missed out on being in the top 30 which I think deserve being mentioned at least.
Dolemite is My Name
Light of My Life
Without further ado, here’s my full list.
30. Pain and Glory
Pain and Glory is an emotional, and intimate movie that has been growing on me the more I’ve thought about it, and I actually want to watch it again sometime in the future. The first half was decent, with the first act in particular being a little too slow for my liking, and I didn’t really know what the movie was really moving towards. However by the time it gets to the second half, it really picked up and comes together, becoming something great. The story is very self reflective and melancholic, it felt really personal and special. The cast are all good but it’s of course Antonio Banderas who shines the most, a truly emotional performance, played absolutely perfectly. Pedro Almodovar also directed this really well, and he’s definitely a filmmaker whose other work I definitely want to check out now. Pain and Glory is well worth seeing if you haven’t watched it already.
Avengers: Endgame is one of only two comic book movies which will be making an appearance on this list. Even though I was absolutely loving it when I first saw it, it’s pretty clear now that a lot of my hype played a huge part in my enjoyment. No it’s not a 10/10, no I’m not quite sure I’d still go so far as to say it’s one of the best comic book movies of all time, and yes there’s a bunch of issues that I could list. But even after re-watching it, it’s still quite impressive how well they ended this 11 year-long movie arc, I think they mostly pulled it off. Giving this movie a 3 hour long runtime really helped it quite a lot, particularly for the main characters, and it really does feel like an epic conclusion to this storyline. It does get very fan servicey, but with this essentially being a giant conclusion, it’s expected, so that didn’t bother me too much. Endgame is entertaining, and most of the handling of the characters was good. There are some issues I had with the story for sure, from some plot decisions I wasn’t quite a fan of, and moments that could’ve been handled better. However I just can’t deny that I still think this movie is quite good, flaws and all.
High Life is… a very weird movie, it’s still strange even just thinking back on it, and that makes it a very hard movie to recommend. However it does so many things that I just admire, that I can’t help but put it on this list. There’re so many weird and interesting ideas that this movie has, I didn’t fully grasp a lot of what the movie was trying to say, but I was more than willing to be on this bizarre ride. You really felt the runtime with the slow burn pacing throughout, but didn’t take away from my immersion of the movie too much. Claire Denis’s direction is amazing, it’s such a stunning movie, and effectively eerie and full of dread throughout. The cast also all perform well, with Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, and more. While I’m not confident that I can say that I loved High Life, there’s a lot of great things in there, and it made me curious to see Denis’s other movies.
As this is a Best Films of the year list, I’ll get this out of the way quickly: yes my love for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have decreased immensely, and to get an idea of how much, it went from my third favourite to my second least favourite film of Quentin Tarantino. Even though I didn’t feel the magic that I experienced when I first saw it though, that doesn’t mean there’s a lot here that isn’t still great. Tarantino’s love for cinema is on display from to start to finish, and he really put everything together well. His direction is excellent, bringing late 60s Hollywood bacl onto the big screen. His writing is strong, the characters memorable, and the dialogue great as usual. The tribute to Sharon Tate was beautiful, and gave her the happy ending in the movies that she sadly didn’t get in real life. Topping that off is a stellar cast, led by two great leads in Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Even though I couldn’t really get into the movie on the second viewing, there’s at least a lot in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that I really admire and worth praising.
One of the most surprising movies to come from 2019, darkly hilarious, disturbing, and entertaining all at once. The satire and commentary on the likes of toxic and hyper masculinity is for sure ham fisted and over the top, but it works for its intentionally ridiculous style and story. Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots are great in their roles, but it’s Alessandro Nivola who steals the whole movie in one of the best supporting performances of the year. Not many people have seen The Art of Self-Defense yet, so definitely get around to it, particularly if you’re a fan of dark comedy.
After Bohemian Rhapsody, one could be excused for not expecting much from Rocketman as far as music biopics go, but it actually turned out to be the anthesis of the former. It was basically as perfect as an Elton John biopic as you could possibly get. Sidestepping the typical biopic tropes, it’s unconventional, uncensored and unsensitized, and it really was a fantastical musical, with Elton’s music used excellently throughout the film. At the centre of it all is Taron Egerton, who completely embodies Elton John, not just with the singing and performing, but also with the spirit and character of the music icon. Rocketman was visually stunning and entertaining throughout, one of the stand out cinematic experiences I had from the past year.
Before watching Motherless Brooklyn, I wasn’t expecting to like it so much despite the talent involved (mostly due to the initial reactions), but I was actually surprised by it. The script may be a bit bloated and messy in parts, and it could get a little side-tracked at points, but on the whole, I was really into this movie. It’s a very solid neo-noir, with an intriguing central mystery that I was invested in throughout. Edward Norton’s direction embraced all the noire elements, and while for some that might be a little overbearing and trying way too hard, it personally got me more into the atmosphere and the overall story. Making the movie even better was the great cast with the likes of Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe and more, all performing excellently in their roles. I’d say that Motherless Brooklyn it’s worth giving a watch whenever you get the chance to see it.
One of the more controversial movies on this list, S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete is a dark and gritty crime drama that I rather admired. The script creates an effectively unpleasant and bleak world, with deliberately flawed and unlikable characters, and while that will turn plenty of people off, I still liked it for that. It was such a well-crafted and put together movie, with a very effective final act to cap it all off. It’s directed excellently, and the lead performers in Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn play their roles very well. Dragged Across Concrete does have its issues, it is a little too long, and while I think most of the slow burn works for this film, the pacing at certain points is a little too slow for its own good. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s really good.
Terrence Malick’s latest film is amongst his best work in his filmography. Although like with many of his other movies, it felt drawn out at points and indeed it’s a very long film, it didn’t take away too much from how incredibly well made it is. It’s an incredibly breathtaking and stunning film, so amazing to watch. However it’s not just great because Malick directed the movie well, that’s to be expected, the story itself was also good. The more straightforward narrative worked, with an emotional backbone that I don’t even remember seeing in Malick’s other movies, not for a while at least. Add on top of that two very great performances in August Diehl and Valerie Pachner, and you have an all around incredible film.
Mister Rogers (Tom Hanks) meets journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
What could’ve been just a standard Fred Rogers biopic turned out to be a genuinely heartfelt and touching movie. A story about love and forgiveness that deals with its topics with maturity (much like a Mr Rogers episode), it’s actually quite compelling and can speak to everyone, whether or not you’re familiar with Rogers. Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys deliver on some great performances, with Hanks completely embodying the character and spirit of Fred Rogers and Rhys also giving a believable and emotional lead performance. Marielle Heller also directs it quite well, with some particular creative choices that help this movie stand out as being more than just a run of the mill biopic. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a lot more than it initially appears to be, definitely a movie that everyone should see.
It’s a real credit to James Mangold that he managed to make a movie about racing to be entertaining and endearing to all, even those who weren’t interested in the subject matter. It may at first seem like a conventional sporting biopic, but it managed to have you engaged in the story and characters, and isn’t only just built on the racing scenes, even though those are great too. The cast all work together, with Christian Bale giving particularly fantastic performance. It’s directed by Mangold immensely well, with the racing scenes being particularly tense, gripping and really well filmed. If you haven’t seen Ford v Ferrari because you don’t think you’d be into it, don’t let that stop you from checking it out, give it a chance.
John Wick Chapter 3 is at least on the level of its predecessor, a fast paced action flick that’s entertaining from start to finish. The world and lore of the John Wick series is expanded further, and there’s a sense of urgency throughout as Wick is constantly on the run, not giving him or the audience too much time to breathe. The action is as usual filmed fantastically, with multiple exciting and entertaining setups and scenarios. Keanu Reeves as usual shines in the best role of his career, great on an action level as well as a performance level. As far as criticisms go, I guess at times the action can get overwhelming and borderline tiresome at points, however I see that not becoming too much of a problem on repeat viewings. I can’t wait to see the John Wick series progress even further, these three movies are already one of the best action trilogies of all time.
Much has already been said about Sam Mendes’s war movie, and I’d say that it generally deserves a lot of its wide praise. On a technical level it is masterful, the method of shooting the movie to look like it was filmed in one shot paid off and wasn’t used as just a gimmick, it immerses you and puts you through the horrors of war that its main characters are experiencing too. Even though its lacking on a story and characterisation front, George MacKay’s lead performance manages to make up for a lot of that, and the payoff at the end is genuinely fantastic. While time will tell whether the movie will hold up past this year, it’s still a technical achievement on a massive level.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco unfortunately didn’t get quite the amount of attention that it deserved. It’s a personal, affecting and melancholic story, that’s greatly written and felt very real. While its plot wasn’t driven by anything and it meanders a little, I was invested throughout it’s runtime. The two main performances from Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors were great, some of the most believable on screen friend chemistry I’ve seen in a while in a movie. On top of all that it was directed incredibly (in an amazing debut from Joe Talbot), particularly featuring some of the best cinematography and music in a 2019 film. Definitely watch this whenever you get the chance to, it needs a lot more love and attention.
Joker has caused quite the stir upon its release, not only from people believing that it would spark real life violence (it really just made some people dress up as clowns and dance down some stairs), but also from people who really hated on the movie itself. While I don’t love it as much as when I first saw it in cinemas, I still think it’s great. Joker is very different for a comic book movie, a dark and grounded character study that’s reminiscent of movies from the 80s from the likes of filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese. It seems like this movie was a bit of an experiment to try something new within this genre, and it seemed to have paid off quite well. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of movies that handle its topics and themes in more depth, however for a comic book movie to go there and actually try to say something, that’s still a step forward for the genre. Writer and director Todd Phillips has done a lot better with this than I thought he would, not that I disliked the couple of movies I’ve seen from him already, but he really impressed here with his work on Joker. It completely sets you in this dark and grimy version of 80s Gotham City, with stunning cinematography and an eerie and excellent score throughout. However at the centre of it all is Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker, who’s excellent, thankfully so since this movie relies on him so much. Phoenix really show’s Arthur’s descent into becoming the Joker, and it’s really a performance like you haven’t seen him give before. While I’m not quite sure I’d say that it’s his best performance, at the very least it’s one of his best. One could say that this movie could’ve done without being associated with a comic book character such as Joker, and that’s true, I still like what they did here. While the similarities between this movie and classics like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy don’t bother me too much, it would’ve been better if it was able to be a little more different. On the whole though, I still think that Joker is a very solid movie.
Mark Ruffalo stars as “Robert Bilott” in director Todd Haynes’ DARK WATERS, a Focus Features release. Credit : Mary Cybulski / Focus Features
Dark Waters wasn’t a movie I was expecting much from, but it actually turned out to be pretty great. While it is a pretty familiar and conventional legal drama, it’s nonetheless very good for what it is. Once the lead character is engaged with the lawsuit at the centre of the movie, you’re locked in too, all the way through to the end. This story and topic are very important and relevant, making it worth seeing, but it’s also handled very well as a movie in itself. The acting was also great, with Mark Ruffalo being particularly strong in the lead role. Engaging, important, and well made all round, Dark Waters is definitely worth your time.
Despite Unbreakable’s now cult following and Split’s generally positive reception, people seem a little divided about Glass. I was one of the few people who loved the movie from when I first saw it, and I still really like it today. Sure it has its typical M. Night Shyamalan-isms, mainly with the writing and especially some of the dialogue where it just feels very unnatural. However, I thought the movie was handled well on the whole, and I was generally fine with the direction it went in with the story. Some people were expecting a much larger scale movie with a big conclusion to this story, but I loved that Shyamalan still kept it as a smaller movie at its core. The performances are all great, from Bruce Willis, Samuel. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, to Anya Taylor-Joy and more. However it is James McAvoy who shined the most, managing to top his performance in Split, he’s truly spectacular. Glass ranks among M. Night Shyamalan’s best films.
The Safdie Brothers have created another effective thriller with Uncut Gems. It’s full of energy from start to finish, and the tension escalates further as the lead character Howard Ratner just keeps making bad decisions, landing him into more threatening situations. On a technical level it’s also great, with the Safdies managing to top their work on Good Time on a directing level. The acting from everyone is really good but it’s of course Adam Sandler who really stands out in a career best performance, as a character that only an actor like him would be able to make him bearable and somewhat likable. I think I’ll have to watch this movie again, and it has a second act that slows its pace down a little too much, but on the whole Uncut Gems is great.
Honey Boy is an incredibly raw and personal film, and really a standout from 2019. Shia LaBeouf’s very vulnerable and therapeutic script just worked perfectly, and it’s an intimate and affecting story. Alma Har’el’s debut immediately shows her as a director to pay attention to, beautifully dreamlike, even in contrast with many of the harrowing scenes. It also features 3 excellent performances in Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, and Shia LaBeouf, with Jupe and LaBeouf’s particularly delivering some of the most emotionally performed scenes from 2019. I do think that it really needed to be a little longer to flesh out certain aspects, especially for the present day storyline, that’s the only thing that I really had a problem with. Outside of that, Honey Boy is fantastically made, heartfelt, and emotional and by the end, cathartic.
A movie based off the sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining doesn’t sound all that great, in fact it sounds like it could be a disaster. But Mike Flanagan and co. have managed to handle this movie significantly well, way better than I thought they would. The recently released 3 hour long director’s cut is even a little better than the theatrical, with some additional scenes fleshing out the movie just a little more. The cast are great, from Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, to Kyleigh Curran who holds her own as Abra Stone. But it’s of course Rebecca Ferguson who steals the movie as Rose the Hat, who’ll no doubt go down as one of the most iconic horror movie villains. While Doctor Sleep is a follow up to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and indeed references it many times (mostly in the last act), it manages to stand on its own. Flanagan adds his own unique voice and style to the story, and has delivered on something truly great. It’s captivating, character driven, and really works at bridging the gap between the book and the movie. I think in some years it’ll be regarded as one of the best movies based on Stephen King’s books.
Waves turned out to be quite the polarising movie amongst audiences. The two part structure (one part chaotic and intense, and the other much more calm and slower), and aspects of the direction which could be sensory overload at times, were things that you either loved or hated, thankfully I gravitated more to the former. It’s an incredibly emotionally powerful movie, featuring some of the most affecting scenes of the year. The performances were excellent too, with the likes of Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown and more delivering on some incredibly acting. Trey Edward Shults’s writing and directing didn’t work for everyone, but I thought that he crafted an impactful, gorgeous and ultimately great film with Waves, and I’m glad to count myself as one of the people who loved it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect Portrait of a Lady on Fire to be, and it was a beautiful and intimate film so excellently put together. The acting from the two leads Noemie Merlant and Adele Haenel were great, their interactions drive the movie and their chemistry was completely believable. Portrait is also one of the best directed movies of 2019, it’s a gorgeous looking movie and handled with such care, perfect on a technical level. It’s a movie I definitely want to revisit in the future, I get the feeling that I haven’t had quite the full experience with that some others had. However, I can tell that it was something really special.
Noah Baumbach’s empathetic movie about divorce has cemented itself firmly as the best movie about the topic. So much of the film’s success is due to its writing, which was fantastic. While the movie at first looks like another typical movie about divorce, there’s some real honesty behind it all. It’s not just an emotional slog and just people arguing for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Instead we are following the main characters as they go through this process of divorce, filled with light hearted moments, sad moments, painful conflict, and a satisfying yet bittersweet conclusion at the end of it all. There are some parts that aren’t so perfect, it very strongly feels like Charlie’s (Adam Driver) film a lot more than Nicole’s (Scarlett Johansson), and I wasn’t emotionally invested in these story and characters as much as I thought I would be, even though I was engaged with what was going on, but even then the complaints aren’t so huge. The cast are all around great but of course the highlights were Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, who give incredibly performances. They felt so believable and natural, some of the best performances of the year for sure. Definitely check out Marriage Story when you can, it is well worth your attention.
Knives Out proved to be one of the most entertaining and surprising movies of the year. Rian Johnson’s shown once again that he’s one of the most exciting talents working today. While his direction is superb, it’s his script that particularly shines, smart, subversive, hilarious, and with many twists and turns that keep you entertained throughout. There’s also an ensemble all star cast who perform their roles excellently, with Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, and Chris Evans really excelling in particular. This is an original whodunit that we don’t get nowadays (at least not one that’s not based on source material), and I hope we get a resurgence of these types of movies. I’m glad to be hearing that there’s plans for sequels following Craig’s Benoit Blanc, because I’m looking forward to seeing what Johnson does next with this genre.
I really wasn’t expecting much from Little Women, but I ended up really loving it. A heartfelt and genuine movie about growing up, Greta Gerwig has crafted a modern version of the classic story for today’s audiences to love. What could’ve just been a stale and by the numbers movie, she gave so much heart, personality, life and energy that makes it delightful to watch from start to finish. While I’m aware that some people are mixed on this aspect, I loved the use of the non-linear structure with two different storylines, and the way it cut between the two was fantastic. The ensemble cast were all great as their characters, with Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh particularly standing out. Many people have already started calling this a future classic, and I don’t really disagree with that. I can honestly see myself revisiting this multiple times in the future. The more I think about it, the more I love it.
While this movie isn’t really for everyone, certainly a lot slower than most people were expecting, I really loved Ad Astra. Despite being on a such a large scale, it feels incredibly intimate, absolutely a character driven movie throughout. It is indeed a slow movie, but I found myself incredibly wrapped up with the plot over the 2 hour runtime. With themes about masculinity, fathers and sons, and moving on, the story is written and told beautifully by James Gray. His direction is outstanding and presents an immensely stunning and immersive movie, with sequences ranging from absolute beauty and wonder to tense fear and horror. Outside of the direction, this movie is really Brad Pitt’s show, giving one of the best performances of his career, subtle yet beyond emotional and powerful. Haunting and very personal, Ad Astra was truly transcendent, and one of the highlight cinema experiences I’ve had this past year.
One of the most controversial and divisive movies of the year is also one of my favourites. Jennifer Kent had already impressed me with The Babadook, which I consider one of the best horror movies in recent years, but she is somehow on a whole other level with The Nightingale. Brutal, harrowing, and uncompromising, it is so well put together. Its widely criticised on screen acts of violence are painful to watch, but necessary. Starting off seemingly as a rape revenge movie, this film could’ve easily fallen over to being exploitive or a revenge fantasy. But Kent keeps the focus steady, never glorifying any action taken, while adding the right level of depth and empathy to the story and characters. The acting was fantastic too, with Aisling Franciosi, Baykali Ganabarr, and Sam Claflin giving some of the best performances of the year. Franciosi is particularly outstanding, and if this movie had any awards attention, she would be deservedly one of the frontrunners for Best Actress (she’s my personal pick for that category anyways). The Nightingale isn’t for everyone, and I can’t blame you if you can’t sit through it, it’s personally not one that I’d watch again. However, I can’t deny how much of a powerful impact it had on me, and has still stuck with me ever since I saw it.
Robert Eggers’s sophomore film is just as fantastic as his debut film The Witch. With a dark atmosphere throughout, it starts off relatively tame, and slowly becomes more unhinged over time, culminating in a effectively unforgettable third act. It’s hard to pin down this movie to being a single genre, it’s original, bizarre, creepy, funny, horrifying, and one of the most memorable movies of the year. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe gives some of the best performances of their careers (career best in Pattinson’s case), both as two people slowly growing insane together. There’s also glimpses of some interesting depth to this movie, that I’m looking forward to exploring upon some rewatches. With his two movies, Eggers has made himself known as one of the most unique and exciting up and coming filmmakers to really pay attention to, and he’s easily becoming one of my favourites.
Bong Joon-ho’s latest has been receiving acclaim from audiences everywhere and for very good reason. A perfect mix of comedy, thriller, and horror elements, Parasite is one of those movies that’s ‘overwhelming well made’. A Hitchcockian thriller about class divide, capitalism, and the like, Bong has written and directed this so incredibly, and it’s got to be one of the best crafted movies I’ve seen all year. I was already loving it for the first half, but the second half cemented it as not only one of my favourite films of the year, but of the decade. The ensemble cast should also receive plenty of praise for their great performances too, each of them played their roles perfectly. Parasite is one of those movies where not only is the movie itself entertaining, but witnessing the excellent filmmaking was also entertainment. Bong is a master of his craft, and has made something special. If you haven’t seen it yet, go into it knowing as little as possible. To talk in further depth about how great it is would be to ruin the surprise for those who haven’t seen it. I can say that Parasite is truly an extraordinary piece of filmmaking.
Martin Scorsese is very likely my favourite director, and with the cast, the premise, and this film being over a decade in the making, I couldn’t wait to see what he had in store. Even with extremely high expectations, I was truly blown away by what he’s delivered. While Scorsese has made mob movies before, he’s never made one like this. Gone are the excess, thrills, and luxury, and instead we are seeing this storying from the perspective of a dying man with many regrets that he can’t make right. While it starts off like a typical gangster movie, after the first act it turns into something else entirely. It’s written excellently, ranging from being genuinely entertaining and even funny, to sombre, reflective, and melancholic. Scorsese’s skill as a filmmaker are on full display here, over 5 decades of experience have led up to this movie. Don’t let the runtime scare you, this is likely the most invested you’ll be watching a 3.5 hour long movie. Even the daunting task of de-aging the main actors was pulled off mostly successfully (outside of one particular scene with questionable directing choices). The acting is effective too, from the quiet but powerful and dangerous Joe Pesci, to the explosive and wild yet emotional Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, to then of course Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran the titular character, the latter of whom gives a stoic and subtle, yet greatly heartbreaking performance. The Irishman is one of the best from Martin Scorsese’s career, and it’s potentially his best film yet.
It’s been 11 years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created with the release of 2008’s Iron Man, and altogether there has been 3 phases with 23 movies. Since 2016 I’ve been meaning to write a list ranking all the movies (as you can probably tell it’s taken a while to write all of this up). The MCU is still very much alive, with Phase 4 starting from next year. With Phase 3 now at an end however, I couldn’t think of a better time to post my rankings than right now.
So I will be ranking all the MCU movies from Iron Man to the latest film in the MCU, Spider-Man Far From Home. I think I should clarify that I do like all the movies on this list. Many of them have flaws, some of them have major flaws, but I do enjoy all of them quite a bit nonetheless.
Also, I will be mentioning spoilers of some of the movies, so basically just assume that all of these movies will be heavily spoiled.
23. Thor: The Dark World
I actually didn’t mind this movie when I first saw it, in fact I originally liked it more than the original Thor. However, upon repeat viewings, I’ve been liking it less and less, now I consider it to be among the worst in the MCU, if not the worst. With that said, while it’s the worst movie in the series, it’s still a passable and enjoyable movie, if quite flawed and generic.
There are a lot of significant flaws in The Dark World. Malekith was such a generic and poor villain, he was another take over the world villain with no depth given to him (poor Christopher Eccleston’s given basically nothing to work with outside of delivering some typical cliché villain lines), I barely remember him, even after a few viewings of the movie. He wasn’t even memorably bad. For the most part, the comedy is really bad, especially when it involved Kat Dennings and the other human characters. While the movie didn’t spend as much time on Earth, every scene on Earth felt infinitely worse than the Earth scenes in the first Thor. However the worst part of this movie is that it just felt rather generic. It feels way too familiar, it’s difficult to care about what is going on, and it doesn’t really have a memorable style or direction. This movie is set more in Asgard than in the previous Thor, but since it’s not under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, it doesn’t have quite the same effect as when he directed Thor. With that said, there are aspects of Thor 2 which are legitimately good, Hemsworth, Hopkins, and Hiddleston were great as their respective characters of Thor, Odin and Loki, and the action scenes were entertaining, especially the final fight with all the portals. There are even some really good standout scenes, such as the funeral scene. Overall, Thor: The Dark World isn’t that good and is the worst in the series (in fact it’s commonly considered one of, if not the worst), but it is still somewhat enjoyable, I don’t dislike it by any means.
Even though I didn’t rank it at the bottom of the list (though this and The Dark World are interchangeable), I’d probably consider The Incredible Hulk to be the most forgettable MCU movie, and so far it seems the rest of the cinematic universe have forgotten about this one (with the exception of William Hurt and his character of Ross). It’s such a strange movie that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the series. It does have some pretty good parts to it, but not enough to elevate it above being a somewhat decent and entertaining superhero flick.
There are parts of The Incredible Hulk that I do really appreciate. Hulk in this movie has some flawed visual effects but they really sold the whole horror and monstrous side to the character really well that the following versions of the character sadly didn’t explore or return to. The action scenes were also pretty good, from the human based chase/action scenes, to the larger scale fight scenes with The Hulk. The cast do well, from Edward Norton as a darker and conflicted Bruce Banner/Hulk than what we got with Mark Ruffalo’s version, to Tim Roth as a one off but still effective villain. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lot bad about the movie (outside of some dated effects) but it is a little weak. The story is very familiar, and not enough depth is given to that or the characters. While many of the movies in the MCU all need to be seen to get the full experience of the series, for the time being you really don’t really need to watch The Incredible Hulk. On its own, it’s okay but forgettable, and doesn’t do enough to make it worth rewatching.
For many people, Iron Man 2 is the worst movie in the MCU. While I can understand why some people really dislike it, I’m one of the few people who actually liked it a fair bit. It has its faults, some of them are quite major but I still enjoy it whenever it’s on TV.
Robert Downey Jr was great as Iron Man (unsurprisingly), I liked Don Cheadle in the role of Rhodes (I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion but I prefer him as the character over Terrence Howard), Sam Rockwell stole the show and it also introduced Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. The action scenes were also fun enough, even though there weren’t quite enough of them. The worst part of the movie is that it just felt like an expansion pack of Iron Man and in a sense it really just exists to help set up The Avengers. There were so many plotlines in the movie, it really could’ve cut a couple out and focussed on the rest, it would’ve improved the movie immensely. With that said, the plotlines were generally decent, and I liked watching them unfold. So overall, Iron Man 2 is not a great film by any means and is a bit of a mixed bag, but is still enjoyable nonetheless.
Captain Marvel is among the more ‘divisive’ (if that’s even possible) movies in the MCU, and while I’m not on the giant hate train for it, it really isn’t as good as it could’ve and should’ve been. Captain Marvel doesn’t do a ton of things wrong, it’s mostly that it almost just does the bare minimum. The characters and world aren’t interesting, and they failed to make Captain Marvel a character to really like outside of her doing powerful things. Overall fine but lacklustre.
Captain Marvel’s main goal is to establish the titular character, and in a way they did that. However, it unfortunately doesn’t do much more than that. Compared to other origin stories for comic book movies, I feel like I didn’t really get to know Captain Marvel by the end of the movie. Even the action wasn’t as impressive as it could’ve been, with only the scenes where Captain Marvel reaches her fullest power in the third act really standing out. With all that being said, I still partially liked the movie, though I feel like it wouldn’t hold up well if I saw it again. The cast mostly did a good job, Samuel L. Jackson entertaining as a young Nick Fury, and Ben Mendelsohn stealing every scene that he’s in (though Jude Law was easily the most forgettable villain in Phase 3). As for Brie Larson as the titular character, she certainly elevated the role from how it was written and directed. However she can only do so much, the character doesn’t go on a particularly interesting journey and I wasn’t interested in her outside of how powerful she was. Hopefully Captain Marvel’s next on-screen appearance will be much better than what we got here.
The Ant Man movies I’ve noticed got a bit of a mixed reception from some people. While they aren’t among the best movies in the MCU, they are entertaining and decent for what they are. As the light hearted final entry of Phase 2, Ant Man is a considerably smaller scale comic book movie that works very well in its simplicity.
Ant Man is a straight forward comic book movie, full of plenty of entertaining scenes and humour that makes it a fun time. The cast all work, from Evangeline Lilly, to Michael Douglas and Michael Pena, and even Corey Stoll made for a simple yet suitable and fun villain. However, it’s Paul Rudd who stands out as Scott Lang/Ant Man, very likable character and perfectly cast in the lead role. The movie also gets pretty creative with a lot of its scenes with the shrinking and enlarging visual effects, and they do take advantage of that aspect. Some people refer to the Ant Man movies as ‘flavour of the week’ and I can sort of see why. It’s a typical comic book movie that’s a fun time but you don’t remember much from it afterwards. Still if you haven’t seen at least the first Ant Man, it is worth giving a watch.
It may be surprising to many that this movie sits so low on this list. I was greatly anticipating this movie, and I thought that it would end up being one of the greatest comic book movies ever. But it ended up being one of the more disappointing comic book movies that I’ve seen in recent years, even though it does some great things on its own. It’s a shame because it certainly has potential, some there are parts that I legitimately loved.
If you want to have my full explanation and thoughts on this movie, I recommend having a look at my retrospective review on Civil War as it sets out all my thoughts really clearly. I’ll do my best to summarise some of my thoughts here though. The whole ideas of the conflict had potential but the setups were a little iffy. Deciding that the ultimate conflict would be over Bucky instead of the Sovakia Accords (which were set up but play little to no part in the second and third acts) pretty much made the whole Accords plotline pointless for the movie. Sure, the Accords may have partially affected some of the other movies but not by much, and you don’t really feel those consequences at the end of Civil War. It almost makes the movie feel a little meaningless at times. It’s not the only criticism I have but it’s one of my major criticisms.
However, there are some truly great parts in this movie. Robert Downey Jr gives one of his best performances as Iron Man, Chadwick Boseman stole the show as Black Panther and the final fight between Captain America and Iron Man is one of the best scenes in the entire MCU. I even like Zemo, who was one of the better villains of the MCU (even though I have some issues with how he was handled). Also most the action was generally good, all of them are really solid, with the exception of the airport scene, which I’m really not a fan of. The third act in particular is one of the highlights of the MCU in general. Also while the execution was a bit of a mixed bag, I do like how they really tried to end the movie as being much more of a personal and smaller conflict than a large scale one. Overall, I still say that this movie is pretty good, albeit with a lot of wasted potential. Not great, nor bad, just decent.
What you think about Ant Man and the Wasp will probably be similar to how you’ll feel about the first Ant Man, people who don’t like the first movie will probably hate the second. However, as I liked the first movie, I enjoyed the second quite a bit, even though it’s not even close to being one of the best MCU movies.
Whether you like or dislike the two movies, they aren’t that far apart in terms of quality. The sequel is at least a little more creative with the shrinking/enlarging ability, and it feels like they really had a lot of fun with it. Generally the comedy works a lot better, the MCU has been known to have some humour that deflated a lot of the dramatic moments. However AMATW was a pretty light movie so all the comedy never had a moment where it ruined something. The first movie feels like it was going off of Edgar Wright’s involvement (before he dropped out), whereas here it feels clearly like Peyton Reed’s movie. It’s also a light hearted comedy and a familiar superhero movie, but still a step above the first movie. The cast as usual was really good, and Evangeline Lilly got a lot more to do as The Wasp. Outside of the credit scenes it seemed to be mainly meant as a much lighter movie to end the year on after Infinity War, however it was fun for what it was.
Thor is a movie that some people are a little split on. People generally don’t like The Dark World, and people generally like Ragnarok, but with the first Thor I’ve seen mixed reactions. While it’s not one of the best movies in the MCU by any means, I liked it quite a bit, and has some elements to it that I wish was retained for the following Thor appearances.
Unlike Thor: The Dark World, Thor had a unique look and feel to it, that’s because of Kenneth Branagh’s direction. It feels a lot larger, and with the Shakespearian feel and dialogue, gives it this really grand and epic feel to it (dutch angles and all), which made it really stand out from other comic book movies in general. Like with Thor 2 though, there was the problem of too much time on Earth. While in the first movie it wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t a bad idea having Thor having to prove himself as worthy for his first appearance, the non-Earth parts are just way more interesting. Chris Hemsworth was great as Thor, even if the takes on his character changed with every single movie he was in, he brought it to each of his appearances. Although he was made iconic in The Avengers, Loki was an underrated villain in this first movie. He was quite well established, his motives believable, and the whole Shakespearian take worked perfectly for his character. The scene between him and Anthony Hopkins’s Odin after Loki realises who he really is really is one of the more underrated scenes in the MCU. I’m not really sure I can call any of the Marvel movies underrated, but the first Thor did some really good things that it really deserved more credit for, still a really solid movie overall.
Not many people knew that this movie would actually work in the lead up to its release. Captain America was a well known comic book character but considering how silly he appeared on the surface level, it didn’t look good. Previous live action attempts to bring him to the big screen have been absolutely disastrous, so it was quite ambitious trying to make him actually work this time. With that said, the film somehow managed to introduce the mainstream audience to Captain America in a very credible way.
As I said above, the movie really could’ve been incredibly goofy and cheesy considering some of the concepts and the title character that would be leading the whole story. However, they really managed to find a way for us to take it seriously (enough). Chris Evans was about as perfect a Captain America as you could get, managing to elevate the character above just being a goody two shoes super soldier with a shield and really gave him humanity. Even Hugo Weaving worked really well as a perfect pick for Red Skull. The First Avenger is like an alternative World War 2 movie, and the setting (and especially with them sticking to that setting for almost all of the movie) was probably the best way to handle his first appearance. The First Avenger on the whole wasn’t great and not one of the best of the MCU but it does work well for what it is, and it’s at least worth praising highly for making Captain America successfully work for the big screen.
Spider-Man Homecoming is a topic of debate, especially when it comes to comparing it to the comics and the Raimi trilogy, generally the MCU version of Spider-Man is a hot topic. I don’t consider Homecoming to be on par with some of the other Spider-Man movies, but it’s still good, much better than I thought it would be at the time.
Homecoming worked much better as a coming of age movie than the prior Spider-Man movies, with it actually being set in high school from beginning to end. I also like how the stakes are a lot more grounded and personal than large scale (even if that came at the expense of some rather lacklustre action scenes). Tom Holland impresses as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, I wasn’t sold on him in Civil War, but his performance in Homecoming got me on board with him as the character. And Michael Keaton worked greatly as the villain Vulture, making a rather ridiculous character in the comics work on the big screen, one of the best MCU villains. I also really liked Peter’s arc in the story, and the brief but significant appearances by Downey’s Tony Stark helped with it. Homecoming is neither top tier Marvel, nor lower tier, it’s somewhere in the middle overall.
Thor Ragnarok is one of the most offbeat, unique and entertaining movies in the MCU. It’s got some issues that prevent it from being much better than it could’ve been, but I still had quite a lot of fun with it, and it’s one that I’d really like to watch again.
Thor Ragnarok is one the funniest movies in the MCU, however it’s a specific type of humour, very similar to the humour seen in writer/director Taika Waititi’s other movies. Chris Hemsworth is given the freedom to let loose and play full comedy as Thor. Returns of characters like Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and additions of the likes of Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie made it even better. The movie is just so different compared to the other movies in the series. Some of the action scenes were pretty standout too, particularly Thor finally awakening his full power without his hammer. Now there are parts that don’t work as well. While the plotline with Hela (Cate Blanchett) in Asgard had genuine potential, it was clear that most of the focus was on Thor’s story, and every time it cut to her it felt out of obligation more than anything else. So they really didn’t explore the plotline of Asgard’s secret past as much as they could’ve, even though they could’ve potentially done a lot with it. Also while some of the visuals could look absolutely stunning at point, in others it looks surprisingly bland, and I just wished that it looked a lot more consistently great throughout. I’m not really confident in saying that it’s the best Thor movie, as it didn’t feel like a Thor movie. The earliest version of Thor wasn’t perfect but I kind of missed some of the more epic and Shakespearian aspects that his movies started with. I almost would’ve preferred if this movie was done with a different character but then again it also did some things with Thor’s character I also liked. Nonetheless I did enjoy the movie quite a bit, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.
Nobody knew that this movie would actually work, getting a single comic book character to the big screen was in itself a big task. However, combining multiple comic book characters in the same universe in the same movie was not easy. While today I wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be one of the best comic book movies, it definitely did a lot for its time.
The Avengers one of those movies that is just endlessly fun to watch, I’ve rewatched it plenty of times and every time I’ve had fun with what I’ve seen. With that said as a movie, there isn’t a whole lot to it, and looking at clips of it again, it looks quite dated and almost looks like a CW superhero show at points. However, it succeeds in its simplicity and is mainly good for what it is. Aside from the third act with everyone fighting together, what makes the movie work so well is that the dynamic between the characters are fantastic. Really the weakest link of the group is Hawkeye, who spends 2 third of the movie being brainwashed (but thankfully they made up for it in his following film appearances). It’s been a while since I’ve watched it, so I admit I’m just basing this off of memory, but it did a lot for comic book movies at the very least.
When I first watched Doctor Strange, I’m pretty sure it was close to being one of my favourite movies of the MCU, and I may have liked the movie more at that point than I do now. Still, there’s a lot of things I like about the movie and I think it still held up pretty well.
Although I feel like he was utilised better in the Avengers movies, Benedict Cumberbatch really does well at bringing Doctor Strange to life. Strange’s character arc particularly was a standout among the MCU considering how far he changes. Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One also added quite a bit to the movie. Not all of the cast is utilised really well, Rachel McAdams made for a generic love interest, and Mads Mikkelsen wasn’t even close to being utilised to his fullest potential. One of the parts that I loved so much was the visuals used for magic and the like. I really like how the magic was utilised here, from the dark magic that Mikkelsen’s character uses, to the time travel infinity stone used prominently in the third act. The story may be pretty familiar, but the visuals alone make the movie stand out among the MCU. I’m looking forward to seeing more movies with Doctor Strange, with his appearances in the last Avengers movies proving to be even better, as well as Baron Mordo’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) already set up as a future antagonist in the credit scenes.
I had some mixed feelings after watching Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 for the first time, it’s generally a movie that although having a generally good reception (as most Marvel movies do), some of the reactions were a little split. I’m so glad I re-watched this movie because I like and appreciate it a lot more now for what it is.
You really feel that James Gunn doubled down with some aspects of the movie, it’s visually stunning, the action scenes are good (although limited), and the music choices were even better than the first movie’s. As a movie about family, it was really fitting, whether it between Peter and Ego, Gamora and Nebula, and the like. Although in the third act it turns into a large scale save the universe climax, I really do like how small scale and personal they made the general movie feel, also it was separated from the MCU movies in general, it’s really its own movie and wasn’t forced to be another movie setting up things for Infinity War and Endgame. It’s also a lot more emotional with most of the characters, the Yondu death scene even worked on a first viewing, among the best scenes in the MCU. I still prefer the first movie quite a bit, some of the jokes in Volume 2 deflated the tension, but it’s very close. I’m going to need to watch it more, I feel like I’m going to like Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 the more I watch it.
The most recent movie from the MCU, Far From Home was a lot better than I expected it to be. Not that I expected it to be bad or anything, but I just thought that Homecoming was pretty good. However not even the addition of Jake Gyllenhaal could make me super excited to see the movie, especially after Endgame feeling like a proper conclusion, Far From Home felt tact on at the end of Phase 3. It is probably the best live action Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.
Far From Home is overall an upgrade over Homecoming, it at least worked much better as a coming of age movie. Additionally, it seems like director Jon Watts is a lot more confident with his work, with his action scenes in this movie being a vast improvement over its predecessor (despite the occasionally iffy visual effects towards the end). A certain sequence involving illusions remains one of my favourite scenes in the MCU. Tom Holland once again proves himself a great Peter Parker and Spider-Man, he’s already played him 4 times before and he’s definitely got a handle on this role now. Jake Gyllenhaal made Mysterio, another over the top Spider-Man villain, work for the big screen. It was an almost perfect translation of the comic character, while changing some aspects so that we can actually take him seriously here, I hope we get to see him again. The first half of the movie is a pretty decent Spider-Man movie. However, after some revelations halfway through the movie, that’s when the movie really picks up. Not to say that I don’t have some issues. While I’m not as against it, the reliance on Tony Stark is definitely a little overbearing, especially seeing as how even Mysterio has some obligatory ties to him. Additionally, although I don’t have a massive problem with him not being constantly mentioned, the constant avoidance of even acknowledging Uncle Ben’s existence is bordering on embarrassing. However it’s just a minor annoyance to me even though some others take even greater issue with it. As long as the future movies don’t keep trying to bring in Tony Stark in the lives of Spider-Man and his supporting characters, I’ll be fine with it. With the point that the movie ends on, I’m definitely interested to see which direction they’ll take Spider-Man in next.
Guardians of the Galaxy was one of Marvel’s biggest risks, in their second phase they introduced 5 new characters, which sounded really random in concept (including a talking racoon and a tree who’s only line consists of him saying his name), and most people haven’t even heard of them. Considering the amount of money being put towards it, it could’ve ended up a disaster or a flop. Yet James Gunn and the cast and co. really came together to deliver on a very entertaining movie, and now the titular characters are now household names.
Guardians of the Galaxy is very loosely connected to the other movies, with the idea of the Infinity Stones seeming the only explicit connection made in the movie. Yet with Nicole Perlman’s writing and James Gunn’s direction, they do such a good job at introducing these new and different characters and worlds to the general audience. From beginning to end, it’s an entertaining sci-fi flick with quite a lot of effective comedy, with a few effective emotional scenes too. The cast were also great, with the highlights being Chris Pratt as Star Lord and the voice of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon. One of the only weaker elements of the film again was the villain of Ronan the Accuser, but even he had a couple of good moments as well. I can’t wait to see where they will take these movies next.
This is the movie that started off the MCU, and no one expected it to be as great as it was, let alone start off one of the largest cinematic universes. Director Jon Favreau and co. managed to pull together such a good movie that successfully brought the iconic Marvel comics superhero to the big screen.
Iron Man is very well known in Marvel comics but for the mainstream people at the time was very unknown. Now he’s known as one of the most iconic live action superheroes. It’s especially amazing considering that it had no script throughout, with it relying on a lot of improvising. When you look at Iron Man again after watching the movies following it, you’ll notice that there’s quite a unique tone to it compared to the other MCU movies. It’s got this level of grittiness and style that a lot of the other movies don’t have. Even if you treat the movie as its own thing and ignoring the following films, it’s already good. If anything, the credits scene with Nick Fury was tact on at the end, suggesting something they could pursue if the movie was successful enough. Even if the series didn’t take off like it did, they really did make itself quite a good origin superhero movie. Iron Man/Tony Stark was such a different character from the traditional superhero movies that he had seen on the big screen up to that point Robert Downey Jr was perfect as Stark/Iron Man, he basically made the movie. No one thought that he would work (especially considering him years before he accepted the role), but he really made the biggest comeback and surprised everyone. The rest of the cast were also effective, even Jeff Bridges does a pretty good job as the villain. 11 years later, Iron Man is still among the best movies in the MCU.
Black Panther was a massive hit last year, even getting to the point where it became the first comic book movie nominated for Best Picture. While I wouldn’t even consider it to be among the best comic book movies ever made or anything like that, I still consider it to be very good, and definitely deserving of a lot of the praise.
While I don’t love it as much as I did when I first saw it, Black Panther is undeniably one of the best of the MCU. Director Ryan Coogler has done a great job at differentiating it from the rest of the movies in the series, both in story and the overall direction. With the themes and different directions they took the plot and characters, it’s for sure a breath of fresh air for comic book movies. The cast were all really great, with Chiwetel Ejiofor once again solid as the titular character and Michael B. Jordan made for an effective villain, one of the best of the MCU. Yes, some of the visual effects in the third act wasn’t perfect but none of that could negatively impact the movie all that much. There isn’t that much that Black Panther doesn’t do wrong honestly, sure some of the story is familiar but it doesn’t downgrade the movie that much. I’m interested to see a Black Panther sequel and I wonder where they’ll take it next.
Iron Man 3 is quite a divisive movie for some people. Some people really like it, others really hated it for certain reasons. I liked it when I saw it, but it grew on me the more I watched it, to the point where it’s one of my favourite movies in the MCU now.
Writer and director Shane Black really made this movie his own, it’s the funniest, yet darkest of the Iron Man trilogy. It’s also rather standalone from the rest of the MCU movies (even though it’s clearly connected), outside of a mention to The Avengers. Robert Downey Jr as usual is Iron Man but you really see him more as Tony Stark, and this is really more of a Stark movie than an Iron Man movie, personally I really liked that about this movie. Many of the action scenes were also memorable and good, from the plane scene to the climax with all the Iron Man suits. Honestly aside from the twist with The Mandarin, I don’t really get why this movie gets hate. This twist is something I have mixed feelings on, not because of it not being comic accurate but because the build up with him was fantastic, only for it to turn out to be completely fake. Now I thought the actual villain that we got was alright, but kind of a bait and switch at the same time. If I had to come up with one other flaw, it’s the fact that even though Tony’s PTSD plays a part in the movie for quite a bit, it doesn’t have an ending for it, it’s very prevalent in the first two acts and in the last act it was just forgotten. It was mostly handled very well so it was a shame it wasn’t really resolved. On the whole though, I really liked Iron Man 3 and I think it’s rather underappreciated.
I liked The Avengers, it was a very entertaining movie and as I said earlier, it did the impossible and successfully pulled off the first superhero team up movie. However, Age of Ultron to me is a much superior film, from the direction, to where they were taking the plot. It just generally felt like a significant improvement.
Age of Ultron balanced the fun, and the dark elements quite well, I really liked where they took the story and characters. You can also tell that Joss Whedon got a lot more of a budget to work with, feeling less like a higher budget TV show and more like a big budget superhero movie. The addition of characters like Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) were also very welcome. Obviously this movie has some faults. Ultron could’ve been a far more effective villain and maybe toned down the jokes just a little bit (I still liked him though, and James Spader was absolutely perfect in the role). While I get that some people didn’t like how similar it was to the first movie, I do feel like it does enough to make itself stand out from that. Age of Ultron is one of the more divisive of the MCU movies but I actually consider it to be one of its best entries.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier took a different direction than what was expected. It took a much more serious tone that most of the MCU movies didn’t have. It is highly regarded as one of the best of the MCU for very good reason.
The First Avenger made Captain America work in a World War 2 setting. However, the question was whether how Captain America would work in a modern setting, ignoring his appearance in The Avengers. The solution was having a much more serious tone and opted for a spy and espionage movie. The action scenes were all really memorable and impactful, from the opening scene to the final confrontation between Captain America and The Winter Soldier. This is probably one of Scarlett Johansson’s best outings as Black Widow (for the time being), same with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, and Robert Redford was effective as one of the MCU’s more underrated villains (and yes the titular Winter Soldier was also very threatening). From beginning to end, the movie doesn’t have a weak link at any point. From the cast, to the story and the direction, it was great, and also had a lasting impact on some of the other movies set in the universe. For a while The Winter Soldier was for me the best movie in the MCU.
Infinity War is an event movie has been anticipated for many years, it did not seem like it would live up to it. Despite my scepticism (especially following Captain America: Civil War), the Russo Brothers delivered on the promise.
The way the MCU characters were brought together in one movie and cut between them, yet not making it feel too overstuffed was great. It may not have the same effect if you’ve missed out some of the movies but if you’ve been watching the entire MCU you definite got a lot out of it. Thanos had been built on for 6 years, ever since he was teased in the post credits of The Avengers. With mostly passable villains in the MCU in the movies leading up to Infinity War, he didn’t seem like he would live up to the hype but they met and surpassed expectations. Josh Brolin’s Thanos remains one of the best motion capture performances in a movie, not only is the visual effects on him fantastic, but they make him very memorable and give him well defined motives, making him probably the best villain of the MCU thus far. It’s no exaggeration saying that Infinity War really is Thanos’s movie, he is present throughout, he ends up winning, and the movie even ends on him. And then there’s the ending, with the infamous snap wiping out half of the population, including half of the Marvel characters that we know. Although I knew that more than likely everyone was going to come back in some action to reverse it (save for Loki and Gamora), the fact that they actually went there was really effective, and I can’t believe that they did it. However, whether the movie still held up on the whole all depended on how they would handle the follow up. Speaking of…
Avengers: Endgame is one long epic conclusion to the culmination of 22 movies before, one of the most anticipated blockbusters ever. Even though Infinity War delivered on its promise, it still seemed like Endgame had a lot that it had to live up to. It worked as the final outings of many of the major Avengers, as well as bringing to an end the Infinity Saga that audiences have been invested in for 11 years.
While some people complained about the long runtime, on my one viewing I felt that it worked perfectly well and I’m definitely glad that they took as much time as possible so they could get it right. The first hour took its time really showing the aftermath of the snap for each of the main characters. Surprisingly Endgame works much better as a character based movie compared to the other MCU movies. Infinity War was Thanos’s movie, Endgame was the surviving Avengers’. The second hour was the Avengers going back in time to certain events that longtime MCU fans are more than familiar with. I’m glad that they even brought back familiar characters like The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford, making this his last film appearance). I mean it even manages to retroactively make Thor: The Dark World better. The last hour is the conclusion, with the final battle being one of the best sequences in a comic book movie. Yes. there is plenty of fanservice throughout the movie, but it feels very fitting (especially considering it’s the last time we’ll be seeing some of these characters). Seeing certain things happen like Captain America finally using the hammer was quite the sight to see. Even most of the divisive character decisions like the takes on Hulk and Thor I was on board with. I’ll admit that I get the feeling that this movie won’t hold up as well on a rewatch, with some elements of time travel not exactly making sense (not to mention I’m not exactly sure that what Captain America does at the end didn’t break the rules the movie tried so hard to emphasise and define). However, my viewing in the cinema was amongst the best experiences I’ve had watching a movie in the cinema. While the MCU is far from over, this is where a lot of people will be dropping off the series, it concluded the main 11 year long story arc, and it did it fantastically.
Once again I’m at a stage where I’ve watched most of the movies I wanted to watch but are waiting on a number of them to come out before I can really do a best of the year list. In the meantime I decided to release my Top Anticipated Movies list for the following year.
2018 was a fantastic year for film, with me giving more 10/10s than I’ve ever given in any other year. With that said, with 2019, I’ve never seen a more packed year for film. When it comes to blockbusters you have movies like Avengers 4, Shazam and of course Star Wars Episode 9. But there’s also some very interesting movies coming from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Rian Johnson, Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee and others. 2019 is one of the most exciting years for film, and if all goes well, it is potentially going to be one of the best years for film.
Honourable Mention: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
I should probably mention that I am not familiar with Pokémon. I don’t have a dislike for it or anything but I never grew up with it, I don’t really have an opinion on it. I heard about the Pokémon live action movie and how that was somehow going to be a thing, and I didn’t really pay it any mind. No one is more surprised than me that I’m actually looking forward to the movie, mostly coming from the trailer.
The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim (Justice Smith) to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds): a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City–a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world–they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
Ultimately it was the trailer that got me interested in the movie. A live action Pokémon movie sounds really silly but from the trailer, it looks like it’s doing it well. The look of the Pokémon creatures in live action actually looks pretty great, especially Pikachu. Ryan Reynolds was an interesting voice choice for Pikachu, I like Reynolds but when I was watching the trailer I was just hearing Deadpool. I’m not sure if this movie will be any good but it is one that I’m oddly enough interested in.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is set for release on May 10, 2019.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen my review for the 1998 Spawn movie but long story short it is currently the worst comic book movie I’ve ever seen. With that said, there were glimpses of potential, and I always thought that it would’ve been done better in today’s era, when it comes to comic book movies and the technology. 2 decades on, we are getting a new big screen adaptation of the character and while I’m not sure how good it’ll actually be, I am curious about it.
There’s only a couple of actors that we know are attached to the movie. Jamie Foxx is playing Spawn and he seems to be a good pick, Foxx is a good actor. On top of that we also have Jeremy Renner playing a character from the comics named Twitch, I don’t know anything about his character from the comics but apparently he’s quite prominent in the Spawn comics. According to Spawn creator (and the 2018 film’s writer and director) Todd MacFarlane, the film would be more of a horror and thriller movie, not a superhero one. While that’s the kind of things a lot of people say about their superhero movies (that their superhero movies aren’t really superhero movies, but more of a genre movie), McFarlane is partnering with Blumhouse Productions which is interesting and might mean this movie might genuinely end up being a horror superhero movie. There is a concern to be had with the movie and that is McFarlane himself, he hasn’t directed anything before, so I’m not sure how well he’ll do with directing this movie. One thing is for sure though, it’ll definitely be better than the 90s Spawn, no matter how the 2018 film turns out.
39. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Extremely Wicked is the movie about Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer, and is also known because he will be played by Zac Efron. With all the people involved with the movie (especially the cast), it at least has my curiosity and interest.
The story of Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) is shown from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins), who struggled to accept the reality of her boyfriend’s nature.
One of the most stand out things about this movie is that Zac Efron is going to play Ted Bundy. Some screenshots and teaser images have been released already with Efron somewhat resembling Ted Bundy. Efron has shown himself recently to actually have some unexplored talent, and I have a feeling that there is even more there that we haven’t seen yet. He’s clearly trying to change his image as an actor, I’m not sure how he’ll actually do as Ted Bundy but I’m willing to give it a chance at least. We also have Lily Collins, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Kaya Scodelario, Haley Joel Osment, James Hetfield and others involved. Good cast overall. I’m not familiar with director Joe Berlinger’s work, so I’m not sure how he’ll do with this movie. Admittedly it’s the cast involved that has me interested the most. I’m also not sure how this movie will tell its story, because it does involve a trial so it may be a court case kind of movie with multiple flashbacks to Ted Bundy earlier on. However it turns out, Extremely Wicked is a movie I’m going to be paying attention to.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019.
I really liked the first two Hellboy movies, Guillermo del Toro did a great job directing them and Ron Perlman was a perfect Hellboy. It’s a real shame that the two won’t return to make a third film and instead we are getting a reboot. With that said, some bits about the reboot sounds like it still could be really good.
Hellboy (David Harbour) prepares to destroy an ancient medieval sorceress (Milla Jovovich) who seeks to destroy all of mankind.
There are some things about the Hellboy reboot that have a lot of potential. I initially thought Ron Perlman would be irreplaceable as Hellboy. However, the casting of David Harbour is also pretty perfect as well, he’s a great actor and easily fits right into the role. The rest of the cast is also good with Ian McShane and Brian Gleeson involved, as well as Milla Jovovich playing the main villain of the movie. While he’s not Guillermo del Toro, Neil Marshall is a pretty solid director, having made The Descent. In terms of style and tone, apparently it was said that this film will also have an R rating, and will be a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy. While obviously an R rating doesn’t mean absolutely that it’ll be better than if it was PG-13, it could’ve meant that it is making itself different from the previous 2 movies and was being its own thing, which is good. However the recent trailer made Hellboy look incredibly generic and with little style of it’s own. I’m still hoping that it’s good but it’s not looking that great despite the people involved.
Hellboy is set for release on April 12, 2019.
37. Captain Marvel
For a comic book movie and a Marvel movie, I’m actually not that hyped for Captain Marvel (its honestly mostly to do with the trailer). However, it still has some aspects to it that I’m looking forward to seeing, most notably the talented cast involved and the connection to the upcoming Avengers 4.
Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
One of the biggest highlights of the Captain Marvel movie is the cast involved. First of all we have Oscar Winner Brie Larson as the titular character. I know nothing about the character but I do know that Larson is very talented. On top of that, Captain Marvel is going to play a big part in Avengers 4, so it’ll be interesting finding out what this character is before that. We also have returning Marvel characters, with Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg returning as 90s Nick Fury (pre eyepatch) and Phil Coulson respectively, as well as Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser and Djimon Hounsou as Korath, the latter two being villains in the Guardians of the Galaxy, which will no doubt make their characters even better as we get to learn about them before that movie. We also have new cast members, most notably Jude Law as Mar-Vell (Captain Marvel’s mentor) and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, the villain of the film, both of which are very talented actors and I’m looking forward to seeing them. The villains of the film are the Skrulls, and while I don’t know really much about the Skrulls outside of the fact that they are shapeshifting aliens, I am curious about them and how they could potentially come to play in the rest of the MCU. I’ve not seen many films by directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck but I have seen Mississippi Grind and it was pretty good. Despite all that, both trailers unfortunately were a little lacklustre and generic, even when it comes to comic book movies, and it just really didn’t interest me. However there’s still enough interesting aspects about the film and I know I’m going to watch the movie when it comes out anyway. I get the feeling that it’s going to end up being a mid tier MCU movie but I’m nonetheless slightly interested in seeing it.
Captain Marvel is set for release on March 8, 2019.
36. Ford v. Ferrari
James Mangold is a pretty good director, with Walk the Line, Logan, 3:10 to Yuma, Cop Land, Identity and other films under his belt, I’m always interested to see whatever he’d do next. His next film is a biopic and while the story concept doesn’t really interest me that much, because he (and some of the cast) are involved, I’m reasonably interested in the movie.
The true story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari to win Le Mans in 1966.
Ford v. Ferrari has actually been in the works for a long time, with many actors and directors joining and dropping out before finally Mangold got the directing gig. James Mangold is quite skilled as a filmmaker and his direction will no doubt be really good and be one of the highlights of the film. On top of that we also have Christian Bale, Matt Damon and Jon Bernthal making up some of the cast, all really talented actors who will no doubt be quite good in their roles. As I said, the whole plot doesn’t really sound interesting to me but the cast and the director is enough for me to at least keep an eye out when it comes out.
Ford v. Ferrari is set for release on June 28, 2019.
35. Annabelle 3
The quality of the Annabelle movies have been a bit confused and uneven. The first movie was a prequel to the successful horror film The Conjuring that was apparently not good and the second movie set even further back was actually pretty good. The next Annabelle movie however takes place after the opening of The Conjuring, and with the leads of the Conjuring movies returning, I’m actually somewhat looking forward to it.
As I said, Annabelle 3 is actually set during The Conjuring, which is an interesting place of having the next film with the character, but since Annabelle: Creation tied into the first Annabelle movie, which tied into The Conjuring, I guess there really wasn’t any other time to set it but the somewhat present day. That has me somewhat interested in the movie on its own but not enough for me to be super hyped. What gets me quite interested in it however is the fact that Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson will be reprising their roles as Lorraine and Ed Warren. The two were really great in The Conjuring movies, and seeing them once again is something that I’m really looking forward to. The opening scene of The Conjuring introduced the Annabelle doll and Annabelle 3 will take place soon after that opening scene and before the events of the rest of the movie. As for the director Gary Dauberman, this will be the first film that he’s directed, although he was involved with writing Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, IT and The Nun, so he is familiar with horror at the very least. I’m not sure what the whole plot of this movie will be about outside of when it takes place, but I am looking forward to seeing more of Ed and Lorraine Warren deal with yet another demonic spirit.
Annabelle 3 is set for release on July 3, 2019.
34. Triple Frontier
Although the concept its pretty straightforward and nothing all that special, I’m quite interested in the action adventure Netflix thriller Triple Frontier because of the talented cast and director involved. I’m not expecting anything groundbreaking but it could be really entertaining.
Five former Special Forces operatives (Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal) reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.
First of all the main cast is made up of Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal, all really talented actors who will no doubt all work really well together and give good performances. I’ve seen 2 of the director’s (J.C. Chandor) films, All is Lost which was pretty decent for what it was, and also A Most Violent Year (also with Oscar Isaac) which was really good. This time he’s taking on an action thriller which should hopefully be good. The trailer itself looks pretty good, showcasing the talented cast and the action scenes. The film had a surprisingly long development history, with people being cast and dropping out since 2010, hopefully all the cast and crew changes will be worth it in the end. While not all of their movies have been great, Netflix has been releasing quality films like Roma, Annihilation and Hold the Dark in 2018. So while there’s a bit of a negative stigma around Netflix movies, I’m looking forward to this one (it’s also not the first Netflix movie that’ll be on this list).
Triple Frontier is set for release in 2019.
33. Kingsman: The Great Game
I liked Kingsman: The Secret Service, it was a fun spoof on the spy genre with some entertaining action and director Matthew Vaughn overall did a really good job with it. Despite the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle being disliked by some people I personally liked it and had fun with it, though I had many problems with it. The next Kingsman movie is coming in 2019 and I am cautiously optimistic about it.
So there’s some confusion as to which Kingsman movie is coming out, they are filming Kingsman 3 and the Kingsman prequel (The Great Game) back to back, recent news came out indicating that the first of the two films to be released won’t necessarily be Kingsman 3. It would make sense that Kingsman: The Great Game might actually be the next Kingsman movie, considering that we have a title and casting for it already, seeming to be in more development than Kingsman 3. Confirmed for the movie is Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Bruhl, Charles Dance, Rhys Ifans and Matthew Goode, all who will definitely will be great additions to the series. With actors like that, and the potential to see something different for the Kingsman Cinematic Universe (I guess this is what we’ll be calling it now), I might be looking forward to this movie more than Kingsman 3. I’m pretty much looking forward to this movie because I liked the previous 2, though since the second movie was a slight disappointment, I’m not as anticipating the next film as I was The Golden Circle in 2017. Hopefully this movie will turn out a lot better though.
Kingsman: The Great Game is set for release on November 8, 2019.
32. Hobbs and Shaw
The Fast and Furious franchise is an entertaining but not very unique action franchise. So I’m mildly interested in the movies but not really enthusiastic about them, they’re fun, but that’s it. One of the best parts of the last film (The Fate of the Furious) however was the dynamic between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, so much so that even they knew it, during filming they flat out decided to have some scenes hinting at a possible team up. While I was somewhat looking forward to the team up, the additional people being involved started to increase my interest.
A spinoff of The Fate of the Furious, focusing on US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) forming an unlikely alliance with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham at the moment are the best parts of the Fast and Furious franchise. In the last film they really played off each other really well and so I can see them in their own movie working really well. In addition to those two leading the movie and playing off each other, there are some other actors that have joined the cast. We have Vanessa Kirby (fresh off her scene stealing performance in Mission Impossible Fallout) and Eddie Marsan, with Idris Elba playing the main villain. Making this even better is the fact that David Leitch is directing, Leitch did great with John Wick and Atomic Blonde, so I have a feeling that his direction of the action here will stand apart from the series’ familiar car action and could be something distinct and special. Hobbs and Shaw has potential to be something special for the series and I hope they pull it off.
Hobbs and Shaw is set for release on August 2, 2019.
31. The Tax Collector
David Ayer hasn’t really had the best movies recently. Sabotage was heavily plagued with a bad script (mostly from more Skip Woods than Ayer it seems), Suicide Squad had a mix of bad decisions, studio interference and a script written within 6 weeks, and Bright was written by Max Landis (although is definitely better than the other 2). However Ayer is still a solid filmmaker, Fury and End of Watch are great films and I even liked Street Kings. So although we don’t know too much about his next movie The Tax Collector, its definitely something I’m curious about.
Really the only actor I recognise in the movie is Shia LaBeouf, who seemed to have taken this role incredibly seriously given the only image released for the film at this point in time. Shia had previously worked with David Ayer on Fury and it resulted in both a great film and a great performance, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing LaBeouf’s performance. Looking at his filmography, Ayer seems to really excel when doing purely gritty crime movies, and with him both writing and directing The Tax Collector, this could be a return to form for him. However we don’t know anything about the plot yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the end product is like.
30. Pet Semetary
There always seems to be a lot of Stephen King adaptations recently (it’s not the only Stephen King movie on this list), not that I’m complaining but I’ve been really noticing that there’s a lot of movies and shows based on his stories recently. However, I’m all for the recent Stephen King resurgence that has been happening. Pet Sematary however is one of the stand outs among recent adaptations of King’s books, at least from the trailers, it looks like it could be a surprise hit.
Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and his wife, Rachel (Amy Seimetz), relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbor Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.
I’ve not read the book or watched the first adaptation of the book, I’m not actually too familiar with the story, I’ve only heard about it recently. With that said, the trailer looks great and creepy. Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow are also good actors, and they and the rest of the cast will no doubt contribute to the movie a lot. I don’t know anything that the directors, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, have done in the past, but from what’s on display in the trailer, it looks really great and I’m looking forward to it.
Pet Semetary is set for release on April 5, 2019.
29. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Despite my scepticism about it, Spider-Man Homecoming was a rather solid movie, not one of my favourites from the MCU but actually pretty good. Now we are getting the sequel to it taking place after Avengers 4, so the plot details until that film’s release for Far From Home will probably be limited. The movie itself should be something somewhat decent, I’m not quite sure what to expect from it at this point though.
After the events of the untitled Avengers film Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his friends go on summer vacation to Europe and there Peter finds himself trying to save his friends against a villain known as Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
The idea to move Spider-Man to Europe was certainly an odd choice (he’s no longer the Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man and instead more the Friendly International Spider-Man now), but it does potentially mean they could do some different and interesting things in this different setting, so I’m fine with it. Tom Holland showed in the previous movies that he’s a great Spider-Man/Peter Parker and he’s returning to reprise his role. A lot of the returning cast is returning, with Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, and others, including actors who weren’t in the previous Spider-Man movie, Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson as Maria Hill and Nick Fury. The addition of Jake Gyllenhaal as the villain Mysterio adds an intriguing element to the movie, considering that Gyllenhaal is one of the best actors working today. I am a little worried at how Mysterio will be, because from what little I know about the character from the comics he seems way to goofy to be taken seriously. It seems like Gyllenhaal may actually be too overqualified for this cartoonish character. Hopefully they’ll do what they did with the Vulture in Homecoming and reinvent the character and his appearance to make him something great in live action. Jon Watts returns to direct the sequel, while I liked what he did with most of Homecoming, some aspects like the action was a little lacking, and hopefully Spider-Man gets to have more memorable and exciting action sequences and moments. Spider-Man: Far From Home isn’t one of my most anticipated comic book movies of 2019 but I’m interested in it.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is set for release on July 5, 2019.
28. Men in Black: International
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the Men in Black movies but from what I remember they were fun sci-fi comedy action movies, with the trilogy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. 7 years after the 3rd Men of Black movie, we are getting a spin off movie, and while initially it may sound like the studio is trying to make a vain attempt at squeezing some money out of a pretty much dead franchise, it’s got a lot going for it, mainly the cast, so I’m definitely interested in it.
A London-based team of Men in Black (MIB) secret agents become involved in a murder mystery that sends them traveling the globe.
One of the biggest stand outs about Men in Black: International is that we’ve got a pretty great cast involved. Along with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson leading the movie, we also have Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall and Rebecca Fergusson. All are fantastic and I can’t wait to see how they do in the movie. The director of the film, F. Gary Gray has made some pretty solid movies, with The Italian Job remake, Law Abiding Citizen, Straight Outta Compton and The Fate of the Furious. He’s a decent enough director and should pull off a Men in Black movie quite well. Now it’s been a while since I’ve seen the original Men in Black movies but I remember them being quite fun. International however is a spinoff movie, thankfully its not a reboot at this point in time. Hopefully it’ll succeed in being its own thing, while still being a Men in Black movie.
Men in Black: International is set for released on June 14, 2019.
27. Dark Phoenix
Dark Phoenix was on my Most Anticipated Films of 2018 list before it was pushed back. Dark Phoenix now seems to be the last of the X-Men movies as done by Fox (if you don’t count the Deadpool/X-Force movies). This movie was pushed back numerous times because of reshoots (and particularly the scheduling of those reshoots). While I am still looking forward to seeing it, I am a little worried about it.
Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.
We get the returning surviving cast from Apocalypse with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and more, and we also have Jessica Chastain as apparently the main antagonist of the film. I do have some concerns, one of them is Simon Kinberg as the director. He has written and produced a lot of movies (including most of the X-Men movies) but this is his directional debut, so I have no idea how he’ll do at it. However, Kinberg himself has discussed some of the things that didn’t work in Apocalypse. He said that it became more about visual effects than emotion and character, and that with Dark Phoenix he wanted to focus more on the characters. This give me some hope for Dark Phoenix. Another concern is that its adapting the Dark Phoenix storyline, which X-Men: The Last Stand already did and while I don’t dislike that movie, it did a less than stellar version of the story. From the trailer it looks like it could follow similar beats with that movie as well as familiar beats from other X-Men movies (such as Magneto becoming an opposing force to the X-Men characters). However I can’t help but still anticipate this movie, I’m interested to see how they end the series. I fully admit though that it’s a movie I’m rather concerned about.
Dark Phoenix is set for release on June 7, 2019.
26. The Lighthouse
The Witch is a great horror movie, and if you like horror movies I strongly recommend you check it out sometime. I bring that up because the director of that film, Robert Eggers, has his next film coming out next year titled The Lighthouse. Not much is known about the movie but having seeing The Witch, I’m really looking forward to seeing it, whatever kind of movie and story it turns out to be.
The story of an aging lighthouse keeper named Old (Willem Dafoe) who lives in early 20th-century Maine.
Robert Eggers’s work on The Witch was fantastic, it wasn’t conventionally scary like most horror movies but it is really creepy and unsettling, and all of it was handled very well. At the moment, in terms of the cast of The Lighthouse, we just know that Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are involved and they are both great actors and will no doubt add a lot to this movie. We are given a very minimalist amount of plot information, basically just the setting, we don’t know the slightest bit of detail of what is supposed to happen during the story. We do know that it’s a dark fantasy horror film and that the film will be shot on black and white 35mm film, which is quite intriguing and I’m interested to see what Eggers does with this. Not much about The Lighthouse is known at the moment but from what little we do know, I’m really looking forward to it.
25. The Woman in the Window
I’m always open for a good mystery movie based on a book (usually one that I’ve never read). It’s even better when you have a great cast and a pretty good director behind it. I don’t really know much about the movie outside the cast, the director and the initial plot summary, but it sounds like it could be something really good, it definitely has potential.
An agoraphobic woman (Amy Adams) living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
The cast is really the main reason why I’m really interested in The Woman in the Window. Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman are in this movie and those three are enough to get me interested, particularly Amy Adams. Adams is always fantastic in everything she’s in, and so I’m sure that this’ll be yet another great performance from her. Joe Wright can be a pretty good director but I know that he can be a little hit or miss at times. Let’s just hope its more Atonement levels of quality and less Pan or Darkest Hour level. If The Woman in the Window ends up being sort of a forgettable thriller, I’m hoping that we’ll at least get some great performances from its talented cast.
The Woman in the Window is set for release on October 4, 2019.
24. Gemini Man
I had been hearing about this movie for a while, and with this concept along with Ang Lee and the cast’s involvement, I’m really quite interested in how it turns out.
Henry Brogen (Will Smith), an aging assassin (Clive Owen) seeking to exit his career finds himself going against a younger clone of himself, who can predict his every move.
There are two main reasons that I’m looking forward to Gemini Man. First of all, the cast here is really great. Along with Will Smith in the lead role, we have Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong as part of the cast, all really talented actors. The other reason I’m looking forward to it is the director, Ang Lee. I’ve only seen a few movies from him, I wasn’t a fan of his Hulk movie, but Life of Pi was a visual experience and Brokeback Mountain was an excellent film. All in all I’m interested in seeing Ang Lee take on this science fiction film and this concept with this very talented cast.
Gemini Man is set for release on October 4, 2019.
23. Zombieland Too
The original Zombieland was quite the hit when it came out, it was a really fun and entertaining zombie movie that people loved. People for the longest time wanted to see a Zombieland 2, and it had been in development for an incredibly long time. A decade after the original’s release however, we are finally getting the much awaited sequel, with the original cast and director returning, and things are looking up for it.
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahasse (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) move from the White House to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies and fellow survivors.
The main cast from the original, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin are returning and I’m glad they are, they all worked together so well in the first movie. Director Ruben Fleischer also returns, so it really feels like a big Zombieland reunion. I’m just wondering whether this movie actually takes place 10 years later or not long after the original movie. Also, I’m wondering whether it will just be more of the same or will they do something very different for the second instalment. Either way, I’m definitely checking out Zombieland Too when it releases.
Zombieland Too is set for release on October 11, 2019.
22. Uncut Gems
Good Time was one of the biggest surprises of 2017, with a great direction, a gritty but simple story and led by an incredible performance by Robert Pattinson. The writers/directors of that film, The Safdie Brothers, have a new movie coming out, Uncut Gems, so naturally I’m interested in it. With Adam Sandler on board as the lead, it’s only increased my curiosity of the movie.
The movie will be set in the diamond district of New York City and follow Howard (Sandler), a jewelry store owner and dealer to the rich and famous who must find a way to pay his debts when his merchandise is taken from one of his top sellers and girlfriend.
Adam Sandler is the lead in the movie, which for a lot of people is a very confusing casting choice but this just makes me more interested in the movie. Sandler is known for his comedies but he’s also done some good dramatic work with Punch Drunk Love and more recently The Meyerowitz Stories. When he’s in dramas, he nails his parts, and I can tell that he’ll be great here. And seeing how Robert Pattinson and The Safdie Brothers collaborated so well on Good Time, I think it’s very likely that Uncut Gems will be among Sandler’s best work. In addition to that, the movie also has Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel, Judd Hirsch and Pom Klementieff as the supporting cast. Like with Good Time, Uncut Gems sounds like it involves its protagonist having to find some money, I’m just wondering how the plot and characters differ from the Safdies’ previous movie outside of it involving jewellery. Uncut Gems from what I can tell from some set photos looks good and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have planned with it.
21. The New Mutants
Originally I had this on my most anticipated movies of 2018 list, until it was pushed back (same with Dark Phoenix). While I’m excited for it, I still have some concerns.
Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.
Here’s the things I’m looking forward to (pretty much copied and pasted from last year’s list). First of all, it has some very talented actors with Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams and Charlie Heaton being a few notable stars. The director and writer is Josh Boone, who directed and wrote The Fault in Our Stars (I’ve never seen it but I heard its good). With a smaller (but talented) cast and most of the film seeming to taking place in one location, it seems to be a much smaller film which is definitely welcome given some of the more larger than life comic book movies recently. The main point of interest however is that it will be the first horror based comic book movie. Even if it just ends up being a teen horror movie with mutants, it’s something that hasn’t happened in the comic book movie genre, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Here’s the big thing, despite the trailer being heavily horror based, the actual movie itself was originally filmed to be less so, despite director Josh Boone wanting to go there, the studio refused. After the trailer (which was edited to look like a horror movie) did so well however, Fox wanted Boone to go back and reshoot it more like a horror movie. On top of that, it’s adding a completely new character, reshooting like half the movie and adjusting the antagonist aspect of it. Let’s just hope that these reshoots improve the movie and aren’t just a reactionary decision by the studio (because we all know too well how that can turn out). At least Josh Boone actually is allowed to write and direct these reshoots, unlike other superhero movies where they just get other directors to fill in for the original directors. Still hoping that this movie turns out great but we’ll just have to see.
The New Mutants is set for release on August 2, 2019.
20. Terminator 6
The Terminator movie series has been running for many years, with really only the first two being held up as classics (or just generally liked). While I don’t dislike the sequels following the second film, they really weren’t anywhere close to the level of the first two movies. I’m sceptical about yet another Terminator movie but some interesting things are being done this time. The 6th instalment is going to pull a Halloween 2018 and disregards all Terminator movies aside from the first 2. Terminator 6 is also going to be a direct sequel to Terminator 2 and along with bringing Arnold Schwarzenegger back to play the Terminator (obviously), we also have Linda Hamilton returning to play Sarah Connor. It actually does have me interested in what they have in mind for this movie.
We don’t really know any plot details at this point in time but I am excited. The cast is pretty good, as mentioned earlier, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton are returning to play The Terminator and Sarah Connor respectably, and we also have additions to the cast including Gabriel Luna and Mackenzie David, which are also exciting. We’ve also got Deadpool director Tim Miller, who’s an interesting and odd choice for a Terminator movie but I guess we’ll just have to see how he goes with it. While the last Terminator movies haven’t exactly been satisfying, there’s still a lot of potential with this one to be something really good.
Terminator 6 is set for release on November 1, 2019.
A movie about Elton John is definitely going to have my curiosity, as it could be a really wild and interesting experience. Add on top of that a lot of talented people, and you have my attention and interest.
The story of Elton John’s (Taron Egerton) life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell).
Taron Egerton plays Elton John and from the trailers he’s looking like he’s embodying him really well. Taron has proven his talent in Eddie the Eagle and the Kingsman movies, so he definitely has the talent. Egerton is also singing the songs himself, and apparently he’s a legitimately great singer already. His performance is definitely something I’m looking forward to seeing. We also have Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard as part of the cast, all great actors as well. The director Dexter Fletcher has had experience working on biopics, with him directing Eddie the Eagle as well as the reshoots for Bohemian Rhapsody. The trailer is also quite unique and interesting, one of the best trailers of 2018. As indicated in both the trailer and said by Taron Egerton, the film would play off as more of a fantasy musical as opposed to a straightforward biopic. I’m glad to hear this because this will probably prevent the movie from being just another conventional music biopics which some movies can fall into disappointingly. I’m not entirely sure what to expect from Rocketman but I’m looking forward to whatever it is.
Rocketman is set for release on May 31, 2019.
18. Jojo Rabbit
Taika Waititi has proven himself to be a very unique director, recently getting mainstream recognition for Thor Ragnarok. He’s back again making an original movie that sounds really weird and rather hard to pull off. However, knowing how Taika does really well with bizarre and odd plots, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with this movie.
A World War II satire about a ten-year-old boy (Roman Griffin) who, ridiculed by his peers and misunderstood by his mother (Scarlett Johansson), can’t quite figure out how to fit in. As the naïve young German struggles to understand his place in an increasingly Fascist regime, he resorts to an imaginary friend resembling Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi) who can offer advice and help him cope.
Taika Waititi’s writing (especially when he’s making an independent movie) is great and unique, and really can’t be compared to any other directors/writers. Along with Taika Waititi as the imaginary Hitler (wild concept I know), we have Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen and Stephen Merchant in the movie, great cast altogether. All in all with Taika Waititi and the cast, I’m on board with whatever this movie is.
17. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Admittedly, I actually wasn’t super hyped for this movie at first. Yes, I liked the 2014 Godzilla and the 2017 Kong: Skull Island and I had Godzilla: King of the Monsters on my watchlist. However, I was a tad indifferent to it. Then I saw the trailers and all that changed, it looks like a truly entertaining and visual experience.
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters looks like its leaning even more heavily into the Godzilla and Kaiju monsters and embracing it completely. It really does seem to be Godzilla vs other large scale monsters, and while the first Godzilla seemed to be that, it looks like it’s going even further with that. We’ve also got a good cast as well, with Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Mille Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, and others (with the last two returning from the first Godzilla). I’m only familiar with Krampus in terms of Michael Dougherty’s work (which was okay enough), but the two trailers look like it’ll be something amazing, visually at least. I just hope the movie lives up to the trailer and potential.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is set for release on May 31, 2019.
Shazam is introducing a character that most people don’t know. While people may have heard of Aquaman and The Flash (even if they don’t necessarily know a lot about them), they might not have heard about the character of Shazam. However I think that judging by the reactions of the comic con trailer, its going to be a hit with general audiences and die hard comic book fans alike.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Ashley Angel) case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi).
From the trailer that we got, Shazam is looking to be a really fun movie. It very much is on the lighter side of the DC universe and appropriately so. I make it no secret that I prefer much darker comic book movies (and really movies in general) but it’s a good idea for a cinematic universe to have a diverse range of tones and styles. Not to mention, I think it would be straight up impossible to make a Shazam movie dark. Most importantly though, it’s being its own thing, its light and funny but its not too much like an MCU movie (no disrespect to the MCU). Zachary Levi seems to make for a perfect Shazam, a kid in the body of a superhero, and Levi seems to be embodying that excellently. We also have Mark Strong as the villain (who is always great, and its always nice seeing him in the villain role) as well as Jack Dylan Grace, Djimon Hounsou and others making up the cast. Horror director David F. Sandberg was an interesting choice for Shazam but I am loving the vibe that the trailer is giving off and he seems to be doing the character justice. I also love the whole look of the movie, the dynamic colours and lighting looks fantastic and somehow makes it stand apart from other comic book movies. Now I don’t exactly know what the plot is really about in regards to the stakes, but I feel like its going to be a more grounded and personal comic book movie (I could be wrong). From everything we know and have already seen, Shazam looks like its going to be one of the biggest surprise hits of 2019.
Shazam! is set for release on April 5, 2019.
15. Lucy in the Sky
I only learnt about Lucy in the Sky very recently, however from what little I’ve heard about it, it seems like it could be something really great. With the talented cast and director involved, it definitely has my attention and I hope it turns out as great as it sounds.
The film tells the story of a female astronaut (Natalie Portman) who, upon returning to Earth from a life-changing mission in space, begins to slowly unravel and lose touch with reality. Her psychological decline culminates in a fevered cross-country trip with violent intentions in this complex, thrilling and darkly comedic character study.
The story sounds interesting and has a lot of potential to be something special. I’ve not familiar with Noah Hawley’s work but I know that he created and wrote Fargo and Legion, both apparently great tv shows that I have yet to watch. Then there’s also the cast. We have Natalie Portman, one of the best actresses working today (and probably one of the best actresses of all time) leading the movie and the whole film is basically surrounding her character, and usually when we have movies surrounding a character played by Natalie Portman (like Jackie and Black Swan), we get a phenomenal performance from her. And with it apparently being about the protagonist losing touch with reality, it’s definitely going to be an impressive performance and one of the highlights of the film. That’s not all, we also have Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens and Ellen Burstyn. Great cast overall. Lucy in the Sky actually sounds pretty interesting, and that is definitely a movie I will be keeping my eye on as its release date (whenever it is) draws nearer.
14. It Chapter Two
IT was a surprise hit of a horror movie, and it was a huge hit upon its release. I thought it was a really good Stephen King horror movie, with the direction, cast and coming of age aspects being the highlights. However, we only saw the first half of the story with the kids, we still have yet to see the adult half of the story, which is what we are now getting with Chapter Two. With a good cast playing the adult versions of the main characters and a different sort of story compared to the first half (with it focussing on adults instead of children), it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.
27 years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
Director Andy Muschietti did a great job with the first IT and I know he’s going to also deliver just as well with part 2 of the story. Bill Skarsgard reprises his role as Pennywise, he was a fantastic screen presence whenever he was on screen and I can’t wait to see what he does in this movie. As for the main cast we have James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Jay Ryan as Ben, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, James Ransone as Eddie and Andy Bean as Stanley. Admittedly I don’t know all of these actors but I really like the ones I know (McAvoy, Chastain and Hader), so I can tell that they are all going to be great. We also have the younger actors who played the characters in the first movie returning to reprise their roles in flashbacks. If there’s any concern I have, it’s that the mini series IT’s adult half of the story was very boring and underwhelming and so I feel like Chapter 1 going to be lesser in comparison to Chapter 1. Granted we have better people working on the movie than with the mini series but even people who read the book have found the first half considerably better than the second half. Also, there is a story aspect at the end of the story that I’m worried about, because it is so ridiculous in the book (I haven’t read the book but I’ve heard about it). If they decide to go with it, they are going to have to find a way to execute it well because on paper it sounds absolutely wild and goofy. Aside from those aspects however, I’m really excited to see IT Chapter Two.
IT Chapter 2 is set for release on September 6, 2019.
Jordan Peele made a massive impact with Get Out, his horror movie did well with awards and the box office, receiving critical acclaim from critics and audiences alike. It was exciting hearing that Peele wasn’t done with horror, in fact he would be doing more horror movies that were in the ‘social horror’ genre (like with Get Out). Very little is known about his next film but from what little we know, it sounds like it could be exciting.
A mother (Lupita Nyong’o) and a father (Winston Duke) take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends (Elizabeth Moss). But as night descends, their serenity turns into tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.
Not much is known about Peele’s next film, with only a vague plot summary being given. What we do know is that its a horror thriller and will star Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen III and Tom Pelphrey, which is all around a pretty talented cast. Jordan Peele showed himself to be a great director with Get Out, and so I’m looking forward to him doing another horror film. Honestly there’s not much more that can be said about Us, but all the talent involved indicates that it is probably going to be a great movie.
Us is set for release on March 15, 2019.
Hereditary was one of the best horror movies of 2018 and also one of the best horror movies in recent years. It was such a well made and disturbing movie that really stayed with me. The writer/director of that film, Ari Aster, has already got another horror movie planned for 2019 and after seeing his last film, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does here. There’s not much about the plot that I know but knowing the people involved is enough.
A couple travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Director and writer Ari Aster is one of the main reasons I’m interested, as I said the reason I’m interested in this movie is because of his work on Hereditary. I do also know that Jack Reynor and Will Poulter will be in it, and I’ve liked them in the movies I’ve seen of them, so they’ll be good as well. I’m not quite sure what to expect from Midsommar plotwise, but knowing the person behind the movie, I have a lot of faith that this movie will be really good.
Midsommar is set for release on August 9, 2019.
11. High Life
High Life was a movie I heard about but was hesitant to put on this list, because it wasn’t that clear whether it was a 2018 or a 2019 release. With it being given a 2019 release date, I decided to add it in. From everything I’ve heard about the movie, I feel like it’s going to be trippy and strange but I’m really intrigued by the concept and trailer.
Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer reaches of the solar system.The crew death-row inmates led by a doctor (Juliette Binoche) with sinister motives has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward the oblivion of a black hole. A staggering and primal film about love and intimacy, suffused with anguished memories of a lost Earth, High Life is a haunting, thrilling achievement from visionary director Claire Denis.
Claire Denis is the director of this film, and apparently she’s quite the impactful filmmaker, however I haven’t watched a movie of hers myself yet. The cast is also great, with Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth all being real talents that are involved. The response to this movie has been good but it’s been described being odd and bizarre. The trailer certainly seems to be backing that up, and that as well as the concept really intrigue me. High Life is probably not going to hit with everyone but I’m really looking forward to it.
High Life is set for release on April 12, 2019.
10. Velvet Buzzsaw
Nightcrawler was one of the best films of 2014, it was such a fantastic debut for writer/director Dan Gilroy. I hadn’t seen his follow up film Roman J. Israel but apparently it was a mixed bag outside of Denzel Washington’s lead performance. His next film however looked interesting and something that I’m not board for. Add on a very talented cast, and Velvet Buzzsaw is one of the most anticipated films of 2019.
Big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce. After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.
Dan Gilroy at the very least with Nightcrawler has shown that he’s more than capable of writing and directing a film very well. The cast all around for Velvet Buzzsaw is fantastic. Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo were both in Nightcrawler and they reteam with Gilroy for this next film. We also have John Malkovich, Billy Magnussen, Natalia Dyer and Toni Collette making up the cast. Although we don’t know too much about the movie, it’s apparently a psychological thriller, and seeing Gilroy and the cast take on this story is really interesting to me, something I’m very looking forward to seeing.
Velvet Buzzsaw is set for release on February 1, 2019.
9. Ad Astra
People had been hyping Ad Astra up for a little while now, I’ve only recently looked into it and it looks quite interesting. There’s a lot of things here which has a lot of potential to be something great, even though much of the details of the movie haven’t been revealed yet.
Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
Not much has been released for Ad Astra, whether that be images or crucial plot details. However there’s something about what little we already know that sounds really intriguing to me. I did hear that director James Gray compared the story of Ad Astra to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (which would later be turned into Apocalypse Now), and he also mentioned that he intends for the film to feature (in his words) “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie and to basically say, ‘Space is awfully hostile to us’”. This certainly sounds like it could be a very interesting movie and I’m on board with seeing that. Ad Astra also has a great cast, with Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland all involved. I’ve not seen James Gray’s other movies like The Immigrant and Lost City of Z but apparently they are quite good as well. Although we don’t know a ton of information about it yet, Ad Astra certainly seems like could be something special.
Ad Astra is set for release on May 24, 2019.
8. John Wick 3: Parabellum
John Wick was a really surprisingly great action movie, with some entertaining action, an interesting criminal world and gave Keanu Reeves his best role. John Wick Chapter 2 was even better, expanding the world even further and leaving it on a cliffhanger for the titular character. However I have a feeling that John Wick 3 is going to be somehow even better.
Legendary hit man John Wick (Keanu Reeves) must fight his way out of New York when a $14 million contract on his life makes him the target of the world’s top assassins.
John Wick Chapter 3 picks up right where Chapter 2 ended, with Wick on the run from everyone, which is a far cry from the plots of the previous two movies. Chad Stahelski (who directed the other John Wick movies) is again returning to direct, so all the exciting, entertaining and stunning action scenes that we got we can expect to return in the third film as well. Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, in his best role. Not only is he great in the action scenes, he’s also really good delivering the emotional aspects of the character and I can’t wait to see how this character progresses. Along with Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common, Lance Reddick and Laurence Fishburne returning to reprise their roles from the previous movies, we have the addition of more actors, notably Halle Berry and Hiroyuki Sanada, the latter of whom is in the role of the main villain. I can’t wait to see more of this world, the new action sequences happens, and how John Wick’s story (potentially) ends.
John Wick 3: Parabellum is set for release on May 17, 2019.
7. Knives Out
Rian Johnson is a great director, I haven’t seen a whole lot of his movies but I loved the movies of his that I’ve seen. I’m always interested in what he has to direct, and although we don’t know much about his next project, I’m really looking forward to it. With his involvement as writer and director, as well as featuring one of the best casts of the year, and you have a really exciting film.
Very little is known about the plot of Knives Out but there’s already many factors that have me interested in it. First of all, I loved what he did with Looper and Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, he’s proved himself a really talented writer and director. His next film is a murder mystery and that’s something I’m excited to see him do. There’s also the cast. Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer and Jaeden Lieberher are all involved with this movie, such a ridiculously talented cast, and by the time this list is up they’ll probably be even more talented actors attached to this movie. I don’t know really much about what Knives Out is about but I’m really looking forward to it.
Knives Out is set for release on November 27, 2019.
6. Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Infinity War defied all expectations and absolutely delivered the seemingly impossible to reach level of hype. However, the Infinity War story is not over yet, what we got last year was just Part 1 of the story. The ending of Infinity War set up so many things with such a cliffhanger, seemingly killing off at least half of the main characters. Much of that film’s quality will depend on how Avengers: Endgame turns out, so hopefully it delivers really well.
Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sends a message to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers – Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) — must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos (Josh Brolin) — the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe.
While I loved Infinity War, I am a little worried that it won’t live up to the hype. Once again like Infinity War, it has to deliver on a lot of the things it was setting up for the past movies. Most of all though, we know characters that were killed off like Spider-Man and Black Panther will return, which will no doubt mean that there’s going to be some retconning and undoing a lot of the damage done in Infinity War. I hope that by the end of Endgame it could be said that there was still a massive impact from both this film and Infinity War. However, the Russo Brothers have proven with Infinity War that they have the talent and the ability to deliver on this, and they also proven that they could handle multiple different characters in multiple different locations at once. So I have more confidence in them for Avengers 4 than I did with Infinity War. I hope it turns out great, it certainly has the potential to.
Avengers: Endgame is set for release on May 3, 2019.
This is a really odd movie. From its announcement, the idea of not only a Joker movie but one set outside of the DCEU, written and directed by Todd Phillips has been met with criticism by pretty much everyone. Even I who generally likes comic book movies and the DCEU took some issue with this. But over time as this movie has been developing and set pics and reveals have come out, it has been gaining my interest, and the same with everyone else. With an excellent cast, a strong departure from the comics or cinematic universes, and a very different and potentially fascinating take on a very popular character, Joker looks like it could be something truly special.
As I said, Joker is not tied down to be a comic book movie (its ironic that my most anticipated comic book movie of 2019 is one that’s very loosely a comic book movie), it’s pretty much just a movie with the character of The Joker as the main character, which means that they a lot of freedom to do whatever with this movie that other comic book movies wouldn’t have. Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best actors working today and he will absolutely work wonders with the role of The Joker. The pictures and footage released of him look fascinating. The makeup design is a bit different from the live action versions of Joker that we’re used to but it surprisingly works really well. According to reports, Joker will be a character study like The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver. The idea of a character study of The Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix is extremely exciting, and I’m completely on board for that concept. Add on top of that Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and you have a really talented cast. I guess the main concern in all of this is director Todd Phillips, who is mostly known for The Hangover trilogy and comedies seems to be the out of place person involved. To be fair to him, he can be a solid director, War Dogs was a pretty good movie and that was slightly less comedic than the comedies he’s most known for. I have a feeling he’s going to really surprise us and show us a side of him that we haven’t seen before. On top of that, I’m curious about the world that this movie exists in, and I’m not talking about the Elseworld universe. Along with The Joker being in this movie, it’ll also have Thomas Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth and Bruce Wayne as characters as well. I don’t know what their roles will be in this movie (outside of Thomas Wayne potentially being mayor and there being a movement against him), but whatever the case, I’m just hoping that it utilises them well to improve the movie. Outside of those parts that I’m not quite sure about yet, Joker really looks like is could be something fantastic and really something different for the comic book movie genre.
Joker is set for release on October 4, 2019
With Split, M. Night Shyamalan showed that he was back at the top of his game, with a smaller scale thriller with lots of twists. The biggest of all the twists in Split was revealed at the end, which was that Split and Unbreakable were in the same universe, and the characters would likely crossover in a future follow up. 2 years later, Shyamalan is bringing the characters in both movies together, to create the oddest ‘superhero’ trilogy in film. With a great cast and M. Night Shyamalan still keeping this a smaller scale movie (which is where he excels at), I am really excited at what he has planned.
Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds David Dunn (Bruce Willis) pursuing Kevin Wendall Crumb’s (James McAvoy) superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.
On top of it being a sequel to Unbreakable and Split (both great films from Shyamalan), there is a lot of talent involved. The movie has Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy reprising their roles from Unbreakable and Split, with all of them gave some of their all time best performances in those movies. From the trailers they all look fantastic as their characters once again, even Willis who hasn’t really given a great performance in some time looks like he’s back at the top of his game. We also have Sarah Paulson and some returning characters from Unbreakable. The two trailers were very intriguing, with it still looking clearly like a grounded movie and not trying to be a large scale superhero movie or anything like that. Everything about Glass looks great, it’s one of my most anticipated films of all time, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
Glass is set for release on January 18, 2019
3. Star Wars Episode 9
Star Wars: The Last Jedi proved to be more polarising than I thought it would be, dividing fans and audiences to such an unbelievable degree. I personally thought that The Last Jedi was great and in the top 2 best Star Wars movies to date but that’s just me. We are finally coming to an end to the sequel trilogy, and with director JJ Abrams returning to direct and Argo and Batman v Superman writer Chris Terrio signing on to write, this is definitely going to be an interesting movie and I just hope that it can deliver a satisfying conclusion.
The cast we all know and love from the previous two movies (Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran and Mark Hamill) are all returning to their roles and I can’t wait for them. On top of that we will have Billy Dee Williams returning to the role of Lando Calrissian, who will no doubt be good once again. New actors include Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell and Matt Smith, all great actors who will no doubt be great additions to this movie and the series. The one concern I have in terms of the cast is how they’ll handle the appearance of the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa, who will appear in the movie through the use of deleted footage from The Force Awakens. This will technically be the last movie that we’ll be seeing Carrie Fisher in so I hope that this is done well enough. There’s not much plot details available for Episode 9 so there’s not much details to speculate on. One of the most interesting parts to Episode 9 is the fact that you have director JJ Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens which was accused by some as being to nostalgic and being to similar to A New Hope, paired with Chris Terrio, who wrote the most divisive comic book movie of all time (Batman v Superman). The pairing of nostalgia and subversion (for lack of a better word) will be a fascinating thing to see, especially after the mixed reactions towards The Last Jedi because of how different and unexpected it was. After watching and loving The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, I can’t help but be absolutely excited for this.
Star Wars Episode 9 is set for release on December 20, 2019
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Any film by Quentin Tarantino is going to get some attention. While it was originally seemed to be known as the Tarantino Charles Manson movie, it should be known by now that it seems like its going to be something much more. With his writing and direction, the absurdly talented cast and the unique setting and story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood looks to be a truly fantastic film.
A faded TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in the late 60s in Hollywood among the Manson killings. From some reports, it’s a little reminiscent of Pulp Fiction with multiple characters and plotlines. Knowing Quentin Tarantino’s love for cinema, this time period and setting will be something fascinating to see him take on. Not to mention Tarantino’s excellent writing and direction will be top notch for sure. I haven’t even gotten to the cast yet, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has a massive and talented cast, truly the largest and prestigious cast that Tarantino has worked with, and that’s saying a lot. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Tim Roth, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, Damian Lewis, Michael Madsen, Scoot McNairy, Bruce Dern (playing the part that Burt Reynolds was going to play before his death) and more make up the cast of the movie. It’s absolutely astounding how many talented people are involved with this, and they will no doubt be utilised to their fullest potential. If there is one concern I have it’s how they’ll handle the Manson killing parts, especially as it involves Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie) who’s death was particularly brutal and graphic. Quentin Tarantino have covered time periods before with World War 2 in Inglorious Basterds and slavery with Django Unchained, but this is something different, a much more specific event. Handling that aspect tastefully will be really important. Outside of that one concern, everything about this film looks fantastic and will no doubt will be one of 2019’s biggest and most controversial movies.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set for release on July 26, 2019
1. The Irishman
It’s impossible not to be excited for a Martin Scorsese movie. Not only is he one of the best filmmakers of all time with films like Casino, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and The Departed, he’s also still one of the best filmmakers working today, with him in the 2010s creating Shutter Island, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street and Silence, all truly remarkable. Now he teams up with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino (starring in now two of the biggest movies of the year each with critically acclaimed directors), Harvey Keitel and much more for yet another gangster movie, but it seems like Scorsese is going to give us something truly special.
A mob hitman (Robert De Niro) recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).
Along with Martin Scorsese directing The Irishman, the cast are an absolute highlight for the movie. Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel and Ray Romano are all involved, such a massive and talented cast. Writer Steven Zaillian (writer of Schindler’s List, Mission Impossible, American Gangster, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and more) wrote the script to The Irishman. The story that The Irishman is based on is a true story and from what I can tell about the story, it’s not going to be just another Goodfellas or Casino. Scorsese has made really 4 gangster movies in his entire career and all of them are different from each other. The Irishman on the whole seems to be about older men (specifically de Niro’s character of Frank Sheeran) looking back at his life and reflecting, particularly on his regrets. If there is one concern I have, it’s the fact that the film will be using a lot of visual effects to make De Niro, Pesci and Pacino appear decades younger at various points throughout the film. A few films like Blade Runner 2049 and the Ant Man movies utilised the de-aging effects rather well but both used them in one scene each, and The Irishman will likely have the de-aging effects throughout at least half of the movie. In fact, there is so much that the budget had increased to $175 million because of all the effects (making it Scorsese’s most expensive film yet). Aside from the de-aging CGI, I think everything else about The Irishman looks incredible, and will no doubt be one of the highlights of 2019.
What are your most anticipated films of 2018? Comment below and let me know.