Over the last couple weeks our staff has been saying goodbye to 2017 with a look back at the best movies, games, and trailers, but this week is all about looking AHEAD. Our writers have recovered from their holiday celebrations and today are bringing you their picks for the Top 5 Most Anticipated Films this year.
While 2017 has been a pretty great year for movies (both big and small), 2018 is no slouch. With several major blockbusters on the way, it’s tough to narrow down what I’m most excited for. Hell, I could probably fill this list with comic book movies, but in the effort of highlighting more things, I forced myself to only list one…
Solo: A Star Wars Story: No real surprise here. The Last Jedi is still fresh on my mind, and I don’t envy the task ahead for the next standalone Star Wars film. That said, I like Ron Howard, and eager to see if they’re able to pull this one off.
Avengers: Infinity War: It was a close call between Infinity War and Black Panther on my list, but after that insane trailer I had to go with Avengers. I mean, the idea of seeing ALL these Marvel heroes together in one movie is like a dream come true, and I’m eager to see how Marvel brings together a decade’s worth of storytelling.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: Look, I get it. It’s popular to hate on Jurassic World. I know it’s not a ‘great’ movie, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Not to mention I’m all in on just about any movie with big dinosaur action taking place. As such, I’m highly interested in seeing what Bayona does with Fallen Kingdom.
The Predator: I’ve always been a sucker for the Predator movies, and am excited to see this franchise come back. I thoroughly enjoyed Predators, but can’t wait to see how this one plays out. I’m crossing my fingers it’ll kick off a more viable resurgence this time.
Incredibles II: I suppose this might technically be cheating, since this could be considered a superhero movie. That said…I’m justifying it with being a Pixar animation. It’s been a long wait for this sequel and after seeing how amazing Coco was, I’m eager to see if they can recapture the magic and outdo themselves once again.
Honorable Mentions: Annihilation, Black Panther, Early Man, The Meg, Red Sparrow
For my money, 2017 has been the best year for film since 2007, but it’s almost over and we’ll have to turn our attention to 2018 now. Aside from some indies that will unveil themselves at Sundance and other festivals this year, here’s what’s on the calendar that’s got me excited:
Annihilation: Alex Garland’s follow-up to his wonderful directorial debut Ex Machina is finally arriving, and it looks magnificent. Packed with talent, the cast includes: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, and Gina Rodriguez. Word is the studio is nervous it’s *too* intellectual for broad audiences, so I say bring it on.
Soldado: After watching Sicario in 2015 and absolutely adoring it the last thing I would think to want was a sequel. Mark this one down as a nervous excitement. Unfortunately, Denis Villeneuve is out and Stefano Sollima is replacing him as director; however, Taylor Sheridan is one of the finest screenwriters we’ve got, and I like to believe he wouldn’t revisit these characters without the proper story to go along with it. Sicario remains one of my favorite films of the 2010s, so Soldado will have a lot to live up to.
Halloween: Oh boy, the Halloween franchise means the world to me and unfortunately that means a great deal of sadness and disappointment has always been included in that. But John Carpenter is back producing (even though I’m sure that doesn’t mean a great deal creatively) but the real kicker is, Jamie Lee Curtis is BACK! Rumor has it the film will generally ignore every film since the original, and while that’s typically lazy sequel making, this franchise always deserved more than it got and I’m hoping while this is Curtis’s last dance with Michael Myers, perhaps it will kick off a new line of sequels. Also, it comes out the 40th anniversary of the original, that’s pretty cool.
Mary Queen of Scots: I’m a sucker for a period piece, and I’m a sucker for Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, both of whom are coming off fantastic performances in 2017’s I, Tonya & Lady Bird, respectively. Josie Rourke intends to make a splash to American audiences, and I’m looking forward to these two powerhouse actresses have a go at it.
Outlaw King: Director David Mackenzie is reteaming with Chris Pine and Ben Foster after finding great success with Hell or High Water, this time they’ll be telling the story of Robert the Bruce, the man who was called Braveheart before the film Braveheart retold history and gave the name to William Wallace in the public consciousness. Historical inaccuracies aside, Braveheart is one of my favorite films, and I’m looking forward to see a more historical take on such an important historical figure to Scotland’s heart.
Looks like a lot of people have chosen similar movies, I do agree with some of them (as you can tell by my list below) but also added a few others people haven’t mentioned that are sure to be better than all those dumb superhero movies coming out.
Solo: A Star Wars Story: I love Star Wars, I’m not a like a die hard fan but I’ll watch all the movies and I know the main storylines. When I was a little kid I would hide under the kitchen table and pretend to be R2D2. Han Solo was my first “crush,” well him and Macaulay Culkin, so this movie is very exciting to say the least. I didn’t really like Rogue One so I’m a little nervous about these whole “Star Wars stories” that are separate from the original movies but, I mean, it’s about Han Solo with Donald Glover as Lando so I’m pretty confident this one is going to be off the hook.
Ocean’s 8: I’m a woman, not sure if you caught that, and I’m all for female reboots. The girls Ghostbusters was stupid fun and Ocean’s 8 looks just as great. Sure it could’ve been called something else, but who cares. I love the cast because it has such A-list stunners like Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett but also Rihanna and Mindy Kaling. It looks like so much fun and it looks like everyone had fun making it, too.
Super Troopers 2: There has been rumors of a sequel to Super Troopers for years and I’m so excited it is actually coming to fruition on 4/20 nonetheless! I am all for dumb, gross humor and this one looks like it will not disappoint. I’m always worried about sequels that take too long to come out, but this one has the original cast and crew and the trailer looks so good — with callbacks to the original — it definitely won’t disappoint.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of the Grindelwald: I’m one of those Harry Potter fans that will continue spending money and watching/reading/going to anything Harry Potter related. I love the franchise. Needless to say I am more than excited about the sequel to Fantastic Beasts. Sure the first movie was just fine but this one has young Dumbledore so you know it’s going to be great.
Black Panther: I know I said I’m not a big superhero fan and I’m not but some superhero movies are more than just superhero stuff — just this past year Wonder Woman paved the way proving women can also kick ass, and overall a great female empowerment film. Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great coming of age tale and then a superhero movie. I don’t know much about Black Panther but I’m hoping it will do what Wonder Women did for women for POC. The superhero genre has definitely been white-washed and straight white male orientated, which could be why I’m constantly burnt out with it, so it’s always exciting to see a film pave the way to prove anyone — no matter where you come from, what you look like, or if you’re male or female — can be a superhero and save the world.
Black Panther: Even though this is a hero I did not read as a kid. There is just something about the visuals from the first trailer for this movie that makes it very beautiful to me.The cast in itself is more than enough to make me want to see this film.
The New Mutants: I loved the mutant comics growing up & I loved horror films growing up. Now take my favorite New Mutants comic and make it a horror film and this one has got to be a winner. The New Mutants going up against the Demon Bear who is determined to kill Mirage and anyone who gets in his way. Oh yeah, I’m all in.
Avengers: Infinity War: 10 years in the making, the epic movie that I consider the beginning of the end of the MCU Phase 3. We finally get to see Thanos in action and you just know someone’s gonna die. Who will it be? Guess we’ll find out this May.
The Purge: The Island – I’m probably one of the few people that actually likes the Purge series. This time we’re going back to the beginning (this one is a Prequel to the series) maybe back to the first purge, which should be leading us into the Purge TV series, so YAY for that.
Alita: Battle Angel – this is the one choice I honestly know NOTHING about. Well other than, this was a manga/anime series that is. After watching the trailer I instantly went searching for the anime, which I started but haven’t finished. What got me was how Alita looks. The look of this lifelike “doll” was pretty cool looking. Not to mention having Supervillain James Cameron producing and Robert Rodriguez directing doesn’t hurt either.
Honorable Mentions: Deadpool 2, Incredibles 2, Ant-Man 2, Venom, X-Men Dark Phoenix, Aquaman, Ready Player One
I couldn’t pick 5, so I picked 6:
Ready Player One: I was super excited for this one…until I saw the latest trailer, which gave me some reason for concern (why must everything become a CGI smorgasboard lately?). However, I very much enjoyed the book, am a huge fan of anything 1980’s pop-culture related, and Spielberg doing a big-budget blockbuster type film doesn’t happen all that often anymore. Also, if Rush is featured in some awesome way, I am prepared overlook many, if not all of this film’s faults.
Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson’s last film was his best, and probably could have won best picture if the Academy didn’t misinterpret whimsy for childish. Anyway, Anderson’s second animated film looks like a winner. Funny, heartfelt, creative, and impeccably made, Anderson’s films have always been good or better, and I feel like all of these CGI-reliant films lately have left a big gaping hole for something more…analog to fill.
Mission: Impossible 6 – I’m a big fan of the M:I films. The last three in particular are among my favorite action films of all time. Even with Tom Cruise getting older, they are still finding a way to raise the bar. Can’t wait to see where they go with this one.
Mortal Engines: Peter Jackson + Post-Apocalyptic Steampunk = Big Win
Avengers: Infinity War: It seems like we’ve been waiting for this movie for decades (technically that’s true). Since it is finally here, I guess I want to see it.
Annihilation: Did you see Garland’s last film, Ex Machina? More please.
Cloverfield 3: I’ve been a HUGE fan of the Cloverfield series for quite some time. The first one, while cinematically jarring, was incredibly fun to watch and built a whole new way to experience Kaiju films. The second, 10 Cloverfield Lane, was a complete surprise but ended up surpassing the first film, by creating an intriguing and inventive story that resided within the Cloverfield world, a world that portrayed the Earth at War. If imdb is right about their synopsis, i.e. “After a scientific experiment aboard the space station involving a particle accelerator has unexpected results, the astronauts find themselves isolated. Following their horrible discovery, the space station crew must fight for survival.”, we could be in for an amazing start to the 2018 year of films.
Black Panther: Words cannot describe how pumped I am for this film. Growing up, Black Panther was one of my favorite Marvel characters. He was badass, unique, and vigilant. Where other superheroes had limits, Black Panther was all about doing whatever was necessary to protect his people. Captain America: Civil War was a heck of an introduction, I can’t wait to see what is in store when he gets a full movie!
Avengers Infinity War: FINALLY! My goodness. I was a young whippersnapper when the MCU began and the time its taken to get Infinity War I feel like I’ve become a grizzled old man. This film really will be unlike anything we’ve seen before. The Russo Bros. had the lofty task of crafting an entire movie that included every single MCU character and giving them a relevant platform while still having them fight in an all-out war against Thanos. This movie will be legit, it will be insane, and it’ll be tough to beat.
Deadpool 2: But if anyone could beat Avengers, it would be Deadpool 2. The first film took the superhero genre and flipped it on its head. Now that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is established and his backstory has been brought to light, we can get into the meat of the Deadpool story and boy is it GREAT! Some of his best stuff is with Cable and Domino and wouldn’t you guess it they’re both in this film! I WISH Deadpool 2 was in February so we could see it sooner, but it should be well worth the wait.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Ant-Man is THE most underrated Marvel film in the MCU. It’s true. When you think about the movies in the MCU it’s mostly the big name characters that get all the love, but Ant-Man did something the others couldn’t. It was funny and had its own style. With that in mind, you know that Marvel will be hell-bent on recreating that magic in the sequel and I have no doubt they will.
Aquaman: I thoroughly enjoyed Justice League, but the highlight of 2017, for me, was Wonder Woman. Despite the love to bash DC films, they really haven’t been all bad. Man of Steel was mostly good, Wonder Woman was incredible, and Justice League was a lot of fun. BvS had issues, that’s well known but it’s got some good parts. That’s why I have high hopes for Aquaman. Jason Momoa with James Wan directing and I’m all on board with the next film in the DCEU!
Honorable Mention: Venom, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2, Ready Player One, Mortal Engines, Pacific Rim Uprising, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Solo: A Star Wars Story
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Miles Morales is one of the best new characters introduced in the Marvel Universe in my opinion. To think that he’s getting a standalone movie is exciting news for me. It’s based off a very good arc that happened in the comics and should it carve its own niche into this Marvel Cinematic Universe I’d be happy just knowing that Miles exists in it. The animation looks great as well and looks like it’s going give this particular wall crawler a unique look. Oh and if you liked that music it’s Vince Staples who you probably heard one of his songs on the Black Panther trailer.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix: With the recent announcement of the Fox Marvel properties going to Disney I for one am excited to see the Marvel Universe on film whole finally. But with this being the last film from Fox I hope that it ends big. Look I have griped about the separate universes but with Phoenix here there’s a chance to make this transition interesting. Maybe this universe can be destroyed and reborn where it belongs. While the filming completed in October and is set to release in November 2018 maybe there’s hope for some reshoots happening but if it doesn’t let’s at least see the end of an era and welcome some new characters into an established universe.
Alita: Battle Angel: I was shocked when I saw this was being made. It’s one of my all-time favorite anime movies and pretty much my first introduction into this genre. Seeing that Christoph Waltz is in it doesn’t hurt either. The look of Alita is right on that Uncanny Valley but she looks great. I can already tell there’s going to be some changes from the source material but a lot looks like it has been implemented. This is one I want to succeed mainly to show other properties like this can be handled in a way that translates to the big screen. Looking at that beautiful trailer I can tell this looks like a winner to me.
Pacific Rim: Uprising: GIANT ROBOT VS GIANT MONSTERS! This was enough to put my but in the seat for the first one so it’s gonna work again. Boyega has established himself as a real force in Hollywood and looks to be surrounded by a great cast. People have criticized the look of the robots as a bit cartoony but the same could be said for certain parts of the first movie. But at least the battles are taking place in the light so we can actually see the designs. Which I love the designs for these bots. I did a whole article spotlighting them individually. Yes I am a sucker for the giant robots and monsters stuff but aren’t we all just a little bit?
Super Troopers 2: It has been a long time since the guys at Broken Lizard released the instant cult classic Super Troopers. And fans have been very vocal about where is the sequel. I will admit I have given up on ever seeing the state troopers from Spurbury, Vermont ever returning. Forgive my doubt you wonderful magicians of comedy because I am not deserving! But seriously I’m hoping that 16 years isn’t too much time passed and am really excited to finally get a sequel to such a great franchise.
Creed II: How could anyone not be excited for the continuation of the Rocky franchise. Not only was Creed arguably the best film of 2015, you could make a case that it was one of the best films in the Rocky franchise! Stallone was robbed of the Oscar, and Michael B. Jordan as the offspring of Carl Weathers was inspiring casting. Add all this up and the excitement of where the story goes next is enticing. Now yes Coogler will not be returning to direct, but we get to up the ante with the return of the franchise’s most heated rival for Rocky, the man Creed’s father died fighting in the ring, Ivan Drago.
Marvel’s The Avengers: Infinity War: What can I say that hasn’t been said already. Infinity War is the culmination of 10 years of filmmaking. 6 years of anticipation since we first saw Thanos turn to the camera and smile at the end of Marvel’s The Avengers. While we got the oppertunity to finally see Spideywork with, and against, The Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, but now, its all hands on deck. Spidey, The Guardians, Strange. This is it. The beginning of the end of the MCU as we know.
Venom: Now not to spoil any upcoming episodes of It Is What It Is with The Jackass, but this one is pretty high up on my most anticipated films of 2018. I know, how do you do Venom without Spider-Man? That was my question too. But then they distracted me from it, they added Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, and Hardy isn’t one of those actor that just signs on for any project. Then you add Riz Ahmed, one of today’s most talented working actors. Still not on board? That’s ok, I was still iffy as well. I mean, It is Venom, without Spidey! But then, they said well maybe Ahmed is Carnage…. Ok, maybe you got me. But no, still doesn’t make sense to do Venom, without Spidey!
Well then they dropped the hammer. Michelle Williams. Academy Award Nominated actress. Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week With Marilyn, and Manchester By The Sea. Incredible films. Not someone who is just going to sign on to a project not worth seeing. For all these reasons, plus the added interest that Venom is one of my all time favorite characters, is why this film is in my most anticipated. It’s the question, of how is this going to work? Can something with this much talent let me down? I just don’t see how.
It’s strange talking about 2018 films since I still have some on my 2017 list to watch because life got in the way a little bit last year for various reasons. However, time marches on and so must I! There are several that I am excited to see, but I will try my best to narrow it down to the best of the best.
Halloween: I simply cannot help myself! Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, thus making me a horror film fan on top of that. When scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis hit social media about Laurie strode’s upcoming last battle with Michael Myers the functional fan-girl in me was beyond excited. Furthermore, as Collin stated it is beyond thrilling that it will be coming out on the 40th anniversary of the original. Perhaps it might follow in the footsteps of other franchises that have made the mistake of so many sequels and have a high probability of disappointment, but here’s hoping for something different. However, my money is that die-hard fans of the films will, at the very least, enjoy it simply because the legendary heroine is back on the big screen.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure: This goes on the list out of curiosity more than anything. I read the whole Maze Runner series, and could not put it down from start to finish. When viewing a film adapted from a book, I like to think of them as two different projects with hopefully the same essential atmosphere in spite of their differences. There are always going to be unavoidable changes to the film, but still anticipating that it will keep me on the edge of my seat!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: As Jordan stated before I get that Jurassic World is not a great film, but I enjoyed it for what it was. I have been a Jurassic Park, dinosaur-action loving nerd for a very long time and that is not going to change so don’t hate me for it! Not to mention that I would try to watch anything the Chris Pratt for other reasons.
Rampage: Video games adapted to film can be dangerous ground to cover, but when news came out about the 80’s retro Rampage being on the list in 2018 it seemed too fun not to at least give it a try. Not to mention the fact that they did production a solid by security Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the cast. He can add legitimacy to any action sequence not to mention humor.
Black Panther: I was so excited when news came out that this film was going to be a reality! The character had quite the introduction in Captain America: Civil War and it just left me wanting to see more. Admittedly, I’m not very well read on this character but I love how unique he is and protective of his family. Furthermore, the trailer was just so stunningly beautiful one cannot help be drawn in.
Cloverfield (2018): I don’t know if they ever gave the movie an official name, or what. I follow the universe closely with fans in the community and there hasn’t been a whole lot pumping in this campaign just yet. I think I was the one here at Cinelinx to catch it for Cloverfield Lane, and I’m super excited to get back into it with whatever releases this year. The fans are clamoring that the reveal is coming soon though, and from there it’s an excitement train to another sci-fi adventure!
Deadpool 2: Deadpool is, well, Deadpool and that’s what make him great. The first was honestly one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a long time, and now that they have a slightly bigger budget and some support by the studio I can’t wait to see where they end up. I hope it’s as crude and violent as the first one.
Ready Player One: The book is amazing so it’ll be hard to mess this one up. I know some fans are angry that it isn’t “retro” for the environment, but I think the upgrade and use of modern games is what makes the film so appealing to me. I can get excited for Overwatch and The Iron Giant, while an older audience might get excited for an older game. It seems Hollywood is horrible at making video game adaptation, but making movies set in a video game world they do pretty well at.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: It’s nice to have a franchise that’s big enough to compete with all the superheroes flying around. I’m a comic book fan, but I also enjoy other big movies. Jurassic World brings me back to when Hollywood could tell creative big stories without some alien trying to annihilate the world, or buildings being blown up.
Tomb Raider: It’s time to see if Hollywood has finally screwed their head on when it comes to video game adaptation. So far this film is looking good, but so have other video game adaptations. However since Square rebooted the video game franchise it has had a major story driven style to it that had to of assisted the movie, let’s just hope they took it properly. Very rarely would a franchise make my movie and video game most anticipated list.