And just like that, we’re officially into 2018. I’m sure you’ve made at least one or two new years resolutions, and probably already broken them by this point. For me, I’m resoluting (which is definitely a word) to see more movies. Luckily, this coming year is stacked with fantastic films, and I’m confident we’re going to have a wonderful time in the theater. So, if you’ve decided you only want to see exactly ten films in the coming year, I’ve assembled a little list to guide you through what I believe will be the most deserving movies of your time. But before I get to my recommendations…
No, Solo: A Star Wars Story isn’t on this list.
I love The Last Jedi, I enjoy The Force Awakens, and Rogue One is a fine film. So even though I’m excited to get another addition to Star Wars canon, I’m terrified off this film. First, I don’t need a Han Solo prequel. Never once has going back in time to tell how our favorite characters got their cool car worked out, and I’m confident they’ll take one of cinema’s great scoundrels and ruin him with needless backstory and forced references to the grander universe. Oh, and did you know this film fired it’s directors three weeks before they finished shooting? Because they did. I wrote an article a while back about how this made me nervous, and my feelings haven’t changed one bit. So while I’m going to see Solo: A Star Wars Story on opening night, I don’t expect much from it at all.
Release Date: May 25th
With that out of the way, lets begin with the appropriately titled…
10. Ready Player One
Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One tells the story of teenager Wade Watts and his epic easter egg hunt through The Oasis, a VR video game that has taken over the world. The story is a treasure trove of pop culture references, and while the book is ripe for a movie adaptation, the most exciting part is Steven Spielberg. For some reason, people have been taking Spielberg for granted in recent years. Bridge of Spies, The BFG, The Post, these are all solid movies from one of the greatest filmmakers in history, yet, they’ve all been overlooked. I hope this not only stands with the rest of his filmography, but garners the man the credit he deserves.
Release Date: March 30th
9. Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson is quite likely the most unique director working today. Every frame he’s put to screen is dripping with his signature style. I’m not in love with everything in his filmography, but he always presents something like nothing ever before. This film is about a pack of dogs, living on an island made of garbage, who befriend a young boy trying to find his lost four-legged friend. And it’s stop-motion animated. If you’re not at least intrigued, I politely encourage you to stop smoking crack.
Release Date: March 23rd
8. Mission Impossible 6
This might be the last honest to goodness action franchise we have left. The Fast & Furious films are fun, but there’s something special about a smartly crafted action-adventure. These films are globe trotting, death defying, and genuinely well produced thrill rides. Ghost Protocol director Christopher McQuarrie returns in what I expect to be another brilliant addition to a spectacular series. Oh, and I’m also genuinely terrified that Tom Cruise will actually kill himself on one of these shoots.
Release Date: July 27th
7. Incredibles 2
Pixar has a less than stelar reputation with their sequels. Excluding the Toy Story franchise, each sequel/prequel they’ve produced has been ok at best. But if ever there were a Pixar film begging to be turned into a franchise, it’s The Incredibles. It may have taken over a decade, but thankfully the superhero craze has extended to the world of animation, and we finally get a return to my favorite superhero family. Jack Jack seems to be taking center stage for this chapter, and I can’t wait to see a superpower toddler wreck havoc on screen.
Release Date: June 15th
6. A Wrinkle in Time
This is maybe the single most important film of the year. With this release, Ava DuVernay becomes the first woman of color to direct a film with a budget over 100 million dollars. All eyes will be on this film, and regardless of quality, it will make history. Luckily, DuVernay is an incredibly talented filmmaker, who I believe to be more than capable of knocking it out of the park. Hopefully, should Wrinkle be a success, studios will get over whatever sexist/racist bullshit they’re dealing with now, and more people will be given the opportunity they’re due.
Release Date: March 9th (Damn, March is staked…)
5. Black Panther
In the same way A Wrinkle in Time sets records behind the camera, Black Panther makes history in front of it. This is the first superhero film to feature a predominantly black cast. But don’t think this makes the list simply because it’s an important film. Ryan Coogler, director of the spectacular Creed, takes the reigns for this newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel has proven to be pretty generous with it’s directors, letting them execute their vision and not bogging them down with studio notes. If that’s the case, then Black Panther is going to be a staggering experience.
Release Date: February 16th
4. First Man
I honestly forgot this movie was coming out, so I was delighted to find it in my google search of “2018 movies.” It was announced last year, and there hasn’t been much word on it since. Here’s what we know so far: Oscar winning writer/director Damien Chazelle, hot off the buzz from La La Land, re-teams with Ryan Gosling for a biopic about Neil Armstrong. La La Land was one of my favorites from last year, and his 2014 film Whiplash is one of my favorite’s of all time. It’s exciting to see Chazelle finally step out of the “musician” genre, and a stellar supporting cast ensures that First Man will be apart of the discussion come award season.
Release Date: October 12th
3. Sicario 2 Soldado
My favorite film of 2017 was Wind River. My favorite film of 2016 (not named Sing Street) was Hell or High Water. My favorite film of 2015 (not named Ex Machina, Creed or The Martian) was Sicario. So of course I’m excited to hear that the scribe behind all three, Taylor Sheridan, is returning to deliver a sequel to Sicario. I’m bummed that Denis Villeneuve isn’t returning to the directors chair, but I’m confident that Stefano Sollima will take what’s sure to be a brilliant script and deliver something as thought provoking and compelling as we got before. Benicio Del Toro also comes back to his most intimidating role, and I can’t wait to hate him all over again.
Release Date: June 29th
2. Avengers Infinity War
Do I even need to say anything about this film? The meta-narrative Marvel has been weaving through 18 films over the course of ten years is finally coming to a conclusion. The Russo Brothers have delivered undeniably the best MCU films in the latter two Captain America entries, and they’ve been tapped to tell what’s guaranteed to be the biggest story Marvel’s ever put to film. Marvel’s biggest problem has long been it’s under developed villains. However, Thanos, portrayed by Josh Brolin, seems to be a catalyst of change for this issue. Don’t believe me? Just listen to this line from the trailer: “Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this, *chuckles ominously* does put a smile on my face.” Yes I recited that from memory. If you’re not convinced, just watch the damn trailer, again.
Release Date: May 4th
Here it is, my most anticipated movie of 2018. While it would have been easy to give this slot to a big budget action movie, I honestly cannot wait to see Annihilation. It’s directed by Alex Garland, who absolutely blew me way with 2015’s Ex Machina, and judging by the trailer, he hasn’t lost an ounce of his dark sci-fi style. Natalie Portman looks incredible, and I’m just honestly giddy about the idea of another original, well crafted science-fiction thriller. I know very little about the details of Annihilation, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t wait to go in blind and simply be dazzled by whatever Alex Garland has to offer.
Release Date: February 23rd