I know you might still be playing catch up with the films of 2017, but another year is upon us already, and we have to be thinking about all the exciting new movies that are coming out in 2018. Sorry, movie fans, but there is no time to rest. I set the aside the big tentpoles- Black Panther, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Avengers Infinity War are clear favorites to make a bajillion dollars and we all know we will be in attendance. But what else is there? A whole lot.
Lean On Pete (March 30th, Dir. Andrew Haigh)
British director Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) sets his sights on an American road trip story, starring Charlie Plummer as a troubled boy who forms a special bond with a prize racing horse, who is about to be sold off. I teared up just watching the trailer- as a new dog owner, I guess stories of humans bonding with beloved animals are my weakness now. Also starring Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, and Steve Zahn.
You Were Never Really Here (April 6th, Dir. Lynne Ramsay)
This Cannes winner has been talked about as an “art house Taken,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man out to rescue a kidnapped girl. It seems like his favorite weapon is a hammer. From the director of We Need To Talk About Kevin, say no more; I am there.
Sicario 2: Soldado (June 29th, Dir. Stefano Sollima)
The first Sicario announced director Denis Villeneuve as a major studio player and introduced the world to the screenwriting powers of Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan is back for this sequel, though Villeneuve has his hands busy preparing a Dune movie. Benicio Del Toro and the sandal-clad Josh Brolin return as soldiers in a nefarious Drug War taking place far outside the rule of law. Yet Emily Blunt disappeared, presumedly so discouraged by the events of the last film that she’s working a desk somewhere. Nevertheless, I am really looking forward to this one.
The Predator (August 3rd, Dir. Shane Black)
Shane Black returns to the series that he started when he wrote the script for the John McTiernan action classic. Black has been on a roll in the last few years, with a great Marvel movie under his belt in Iron Man 3 and a delightfully mean neo-noir in The Nice Guys. He’s lost none of his voice, making me extra excited for this “reboot.” The other thing that makes me excited? This endless cast: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan Michael Key, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and more.
Boy Erased (September 28th, Dir. Joel Edgerton)
Joel Edgerton’s follow up to his eerily delightful thriller The Gift stars Lucas Hedges as a young man going through gay conversion therapy. Based on a memoir by American writer Garrard Conley, it also stars Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as the parents, with a score by Jonny Greenwood. Edgerton has a gift (oh!) for milking tension out of extended scenes of interpersonal drama, so he seems to be a perfect fit for this material. Hedges has garnered significant acclaim for Manchester By The Sea and Lady Bird- this will be his first chance at a leading role.
Widows (November 16th, Dir. Steve McQueen)
Steve McQueen’s long awaited follow up to 12 Years A Slave is about a group of widows in Chicago who decide to finish the heist job that their husbands planned but failed to execute, getting killed in the process. Speaking of arthouse takes on familiar action properties, this sounds a lot like Set It Off, which makes me really excited. Also, Viola Davis and Liam Neeson are a married couple in this thing, which is at the top of the list of things I need in my life. Also starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Daniel Kaluuya, Colin Farrell, Jon Bernthal, and more.
Dragged Across Concrete (Release Date TBA, Dir. S. Craig Zahler)
The Brawl In Cell Block 99 director is back already, with virtually the exact same cast (Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson, Udo Kier, and more)…plus MEL GIBSON. Oh, and the plot of the movie involves bad cops who go on the lam after a video of an act of their brutality leaks to the public. This movie already sounds like a powder keg waiting to go off. Fortunately Zahler doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pleasing anybody at all. He only wants to make the movie he wants to make. Knowing this, I hope the film will sidestep controversy and just be another grimy descent into a grindhouse Dante’s Inferno.
Hold The Dark (Release Date TBA, Dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
As much as Jeremy Saulnier had a breakout 2016 with the release of Green Room, it was marked by tragedy when the film’s star Anton Yelchin died in a tragic accident mere months after its release. It hit the director hard, but he’s back already with another thriller, this time set for Netflix. His frequent collaborator Macon Blair has the screenwriting duties this time, adapting a 2014 novel about a writer/wolf expert in Alaska who investigates the mysterious disappearance of three children from a small town. It sounds dark, brooding, ethereal and violent- a perfect match for Saulnier. Starring Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skaarsgard, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale.
The Sisters Brothers (Release Date TBA, Dir. Jacques Audiard)
Whenever foreign directors take on the American western, it produces interesting results; they offer unique perspectives to a tried and true, if not occasionally stale, genre. French director Audiard (A Prophet) makes a stab at his first English language film, but not without heavy guns; Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal. I am particularly excited to see Reilly in action- if you look at his filmography, it’s been many years since he took on a somewhat-leading role, as he is set to do here.
Suspiria (Release Date TBA, Dir. Luca Guadagnino)
A remake of this classic Italian Horror film has been in the works since 2008, originally with David Gordon green attached to direct. Now, Green is set to take on Halloween, while the reigns for Suspiria have been passed onto Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name). In interviews he has said it’s going to be more of a spiritual remake, dedicated to capturing the feelings inspired by the original, more so than following it note for note. If anyone can take on its sensuous, terrifying, red streaked beauty, it’s Guadagnino. Starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, and Chloe Grace Moretz.