The 30 Films We’re Looking Forward to in 2018

Scorsese’s back, for starters.

By The Editors
January 11, 2018 9:00 am

First, please do not see Liam Neeson’s latest thriller The Commuter this weekend.

Fighting for your life against nefarious forces on a commuter train? New Yorkers say, “You mean Tuesday?”

If we’re gonna celebrate film — real film — let’s do it right: with the 30 movies we’re most excited about this year.

Herein: An actual groundbreaking superhero film. A flick that took two decades (and a death or two) to complete. The return of Martin Scorsese to the criminal underworld.

And something described, by its own director, as “Hill Street Blues meets Doom.”

The Superhero Film: Black Panther

What do you get when you combine a hot director (Creed’s Ryan Coogler), a perfect cast (Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o) and a soundtrack overseen by Kendrick Lamar? Apparently, loads of planned viewing parties and the most-anticipated Marvel film ever. (Feb. 16)

It’s this year’s … Wonder Woman, for breaking cultural boundaries
The backup plan: Avengers: Infinity War. Because all the superheroes. (May 4)

The Sci-fi Blockbuster: Mortal Engines

In a dystopian future, cities mounted on wheels go about the land devouring small towns for resources. Expect a steampunk take on Mad Max aided by co-producer/co-writer Peter Jackson. (Dec. 14)

It’s this year’s … Mad Max: Fury Road
The backup plan: Alita: Battle Angel, the long-gestating anime adaptation (via James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez) that hopefully overcomes its uncanny valley issues. (July 20)

The Reboot: Halloween

We didn’t mind Rob Zombie’s colorful take on Michael Myers. But roping in indie helmer David Gordon Green, along with Danny McBride (as the film’s co-writer), original H’ween auteur John Carpenter and series star Jamie Lee Curtis provides the tired franchise with some fresh, uh, blood. (Oct. 19)

It’s this year’s … It Follows
The backup plan: Ocean’s 8, the female-driven, canonical take on Steven Soderbergh’s heist series (June 8)

The Nostalgic Pick: Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg takes a wild, dystopian novel packed with ’80s references and hopefully doesn’t ruin it by including car chases. Still, the film looks visually dazzling, and it’s loaded with every pop-culture remnant of your nerdy childhood. (March 30)

It’s this year’s … Tron. And/or Stranger Things.
The back-up plan: The Irishman, AKA Martin Scorsese, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro return to the criminal underworld (TBD)

The Over-the-Top Revenge Film: You Were Never Really Here

Under the direction of Scottish auteur Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Joaquin Phoenix plays a contract killer who speaks softly and carries a big hammer. A double winner at Cannes 2016, expect a grisly thriller with decidedly un-Hollywood pacing and plot development. (April 6)

It’s this year’s … Taxi Driver, with a side of Man on Fire.
The back-up plan: The Nightingale, from The Babadook director Jennifer Kent, in which a 19th-century Irish convict hunts down her husband’s murderer in the Australian Outback. (TBD)

The Sequel: M:I 6 – Mission Impossible

“Plot unknown.” (Thanks, IMDB). Still: This might be the only movie franchise that seems to get better with each film. It’s Tom Cruise’s most likeable role, a great place for mustaches, and consistently features a stellar supporting cast (Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg and new-to-series Angela Bassett). (July 27)

It’s this year’s … Mission: Impossible 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
The back-up plan: Creed II. The return of Ivan Drago! (Nov. 21)

The Love-It-or-Hate It SCI-FI: Annihilation

Alex Garland (Ex Machina) might be the only director who could turn the dreamlike and seemingly unfilmable series of dystopian books by Jeff VanderMeer into a coherent film. Apparently, the studio still finds it unfilmable … way after the fact. (Feb. 23)

It’s this year’s … Cloud Atlas
The back-up plan: Mute. David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones (Moon) directs a crime tale set in a Blade Runner-like future, centered around a mute bartender. And Paul Rudd is a surgeon named “Cactus” Bill because why not? (TBD)

The Netflix-and-Chill: Apostle

Gareth Evans — the man behind this century’s two most ludicrously awesome action films (The Raid and The Raid 2) — goes slightly more cerebral in a tale of a man (Legion’s Dan Stevens) attempting to rescue his sister from a cult leader (Michael Sheen). (Netflix, TBD)

It’s this year’s … The Path
The back-up plan: Bird Box, an adaptation of Josh Malerman’s extremely creepy tale of a blindfolded family (led by Sandra Bullock) escaping from monsters they literally cannot bear to see. (Netflix, TBD)

The ass-kicker: Red Sparrow

A ballerina turned Russian operative (Jennifer Lawrence) breaks some necks, has an existential crisis, breaks more necks. (March 2)

It’s this year’s … John Wick
The back-up plan: Proud Mary, where Taraji P. Henson breaks some necks, has an existential … you get it. (Jan. 12)

The family film: Incredibles 2

Pixar’s superhero family flick gets its long-awaited sequel, which sounds a little like Mr. Mom with powers — Mr. Incredible must care for his empowered infant Jack-Jack while Elastigirl saves the world. (June 15)

It’s this year’s … The LEGO Batman Movie
The back-up plan: Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion tale (March 23)

The comedy: Holmes and Watson

Hoping for that Step Brothers magic: Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly stars as the titular characters, as written and directed by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Idiocracy). (Nov. 9)

It’s this year’s21 Jump Street
The back-up plan: Probably not laugh-out-loud funny, but Matthew McConaughey as a stoner named Moondog in Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum (with Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Buffett and Zac Efron) is certainly a can’t-miss. (March 9)

The far more sinister comedy: Thoroughbreds

The late Anton Yelchin’s final film is a dark-as-night thriller/comedy in which a pair of blue-blooded Connecticut teenage girls (including the wonderful Anya Taylor-Joy, who starred in The Witch) hatch a murderous plot to off one of their stepfathers. (March 9)

It’s this year’s … Hard Candy
The back-up plan: The Favourite, a period piece about 19th century royals from black-comedy practitioner nonpareil Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer). (TBD)

The gritty crime drama: A Prayer Before Dawn

Shot on location in a Thai prison with actual inmates playing many of the characters, APBD tells the story of an English boxer who tries to fight his way out of incarceration — via the prison’s underground Muay Thai circuit. Based on a true story. (April 13)

It’s this year’s … The Deer Hunter
The back-up plan: The House That Jack Built, in which Lars Von Trier anatomizes the formative years of a prolific serial killer. (TBD)

The big unknown: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

It’s taken over two decades for Monty Python alum and Brazil helmer Terry Gilliam to get this loose adaptation of the classic Miguel de Cervantes novel to screen. There’s already a documentary (from 2002!) on his previous failure with the film. Hope it was worth it. (TBD)

It’s this year’s … Apocalypse Now, if only for the nightmare filming issues and difficulty with source material
The back-up plan: Freak Shift, a police procedural wherein Alicia Vikander and friends kill crab-like monsters with ruthless efficiency. Zero word on if this mysterious project has finished filming, but director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) calls it “Hill Street Blues meets Doom.” Nice. (TBD)

The history lesson: Backseat

Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman) tackles the life of Dick and Lynne Cheney … as played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Can’t wait for the method acting stories behind this one. (TBD)

It’s this year’s … The Big Short
The back-up plan: Billionaire Boys Club. Those of us who grew up on the Judd Nelson miniseries about awful, get-rich-quick post-grads in the ‘80s who get involved in murder (it’s a true story) will be thrilled by this remake. (Aside from Kevin Spacey still being in it). (TBD)

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