Coming soon... 50 films to look out for in 2019

From Ad Adstra to Frozen 2 and Martin Scorsese's latest, there's plenty to look forward to in the new year

The first trailer for Mary Queen of Scots has been released, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Video: Focus Features


 Ad Astra
Ruth Negga joins Brad Pitt (lucky him, lucky her) on a mission to Neptune. Pointy-headed James Gray, the man behind The Lost City of Z, directs. So don’t expect rubber-faced aliens or attacks by laser blasters. 
Opens May 24th

The Addams Family
Nobody can much complain about the casting. Oscar Isaac is Gomez, Charlize Theron is Morticia, Chloë Grace Moretz is Wednesday. We will reserve judgement on whether there is still water to be drawn from this murky well. 
Opens October 25th

No, you didn’t dream that. Guy Ritchie really is directing Disney’s live-action version of their 1992 smash. Rumours that Will Smith is playing the Genie in the style of Jason Statham are surely wide of the mark. Leave it out, old son. 
Opens May 24th

Artemis Fowl 
Kenneth Branagh directs the long-awaited adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s fantasy adventure for Disney. Ferdia Shaw plays the title role. Young Dubliner Lara McDonnell is already receiving buzz for her turn as Holly Short.
Opens August 9th

At Eternity's Gate
Willem Dafoe has been hugely praised for his turn as Vincent Van Gogh in the latest film from Julian Schnabel. But hang on? Didn’t Van Gogh die in his 30s? We’re sure Will can pull it off.
Expected early 2019

Avengers: Endgame 
The Avengers are trapped in a single room. Hawkeye and Black Widow, now without legs, live in dustbins. Iron Man, now blind, barks orders from a dusty throne. Ha ha! That was a Beckett joke. You know what this is. They’re all dead.  
Opens April 26th

Timothée Chalamet who stars opposite Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy
Timothée Chalamet who stars opposite Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy 
Beautifully shot study of a young man’s fight with drug addiction starring Timothée Chalamet as the user and Steve Carell as his long-suffering father. Felix Van Groeningen directs. 
Opens January 18th

Birds of Paradise
Now directing with his wife Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra follows up the splendid Embrace of the Serpent with a modern classic concerning the drugs trade in his native Colombia. Part ghost story. Part family saga. All extraordinary. 
Expected early 2019

Magnificently weird Swedish film that blends social satire with a strain of the darkly fantastic. Adapted from a story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In, Ali Abbasi’s picture will fight to avoid a US remake. 
Opens March 8th

By one measure the most positively reviewed film at Cannes in 20 years, Lee Chang-dong’s South Korean drama vastly expands a Haruki Murakami story concerning a young man who burns barns for kicks. 
Opens February 1st

Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Can You Ever Forgive Me? 
Melissa McCarthy excels as a Lee Israel, a struggling New York writer who took to forging literary correspondence to pay the bills. Both she and Richard E Grant, as her Withnailishly drunk pal, can expect Oscar nominations. 
Opens February 1st

They were carrying weeping critics down the aisle when Nadine Labaki’s ruthlessly touching, social-realist drama played at Cannes. Young Zain Al Rafeea is magnificent as a brave Lebanese kid who has to do everything for his useless family.
Opens February 1st

Captain Marvel
Films with woman at their centre make more money than ever before. Brie Larson plays the eponymous hero. The picture trades on 1990s nostalgia. There’s no limit to how well it could do. 
Opens March 8th

Musicals are back in. So we should express little surprise that they’ve finally gotten round to adapting Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1980s smash. Idris Elba is Macavity. Taylor Swift and James Corden are also in it. Hmm? You never know.
Opens December 20th

Charlie's Angels
You’ll want to know who’s in it. It’s the always-welcome Kristen Stewart alongside promising up-and-comers Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. Elizabeth Banks directs. Colour us cautiously optimistic.
Opens October 25th

Downtown Abbey
The proposed film version of Upstairs, Downstairs almost brought that vintage series to a disputatious halt (ask your mum). No such problems for the money people at Downton. Yes, m’laud. 
Opens September 13th

The Disney live-action translation project continues with Colin Farrell and Michael Keaton in a film by Tim Burton. The Walt House owes Burton after he delivered the massive Alice in Wonderland, but will he be allowed to make his own film?
Opens March 29th

Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as the eponymous hero
Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as the eponymous hero

Extra Ordinary 
Chatter from the set is very positive on this Irish comedy. The excellent Maeve Higgins stars as a driving instructor struggling with supernatural abilities. Barry Ward is by her side in Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman’s feature debut. 
Expected early to mid 2019

Float Life a Butterfly
Carmel Winters’s film won the FIPRESCI Discovery Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival and spread warmth throughout all Ontario. The terrific Hazel Doupe stars as a traveller in the late 1960s who models herself on Muhammad Ali.
Expected early 2019

Frozen 2
The cold never bothered me anyway! Can you remember a time before Frozen? Why would you want to? Disney’s follow-up to the highest-grossing animated film has some big snow boots to fill.  
Opens November 22nd

Neil Jordan’s latest divided the audience at Toronto. Some people felt his off-the-dial thriller, featuring a totally crackers Isabelle Huppert, was the most entertaining thing he’d done in a decade. Some idiots didn’t.
Expected summer 2019

The Goldfinch
A lot of directors were mentioned in relation to the take on Donna Tartt’s bullet-stopping novel. Our own John Crowley ended up with the tricky, tricky gig. Ansel Elgort is the orphaned kid saddled with the eponymous painting. 
Opens October 11th

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
The trailer is smashing for the latest film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse franchise (that’s what it’s called, apparently). Mind you, the trailer for the last Godzilla film was a cracker and the film was pretty dull. 
Opens May 31st

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Green Book
Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen play, respectively, a serious African-American pianist and the New York Goodfella who drives him around southern states in the 1960s. What they used to call a “crowd-pleaser”.
Opens February 1st

High Life
“I left about halfway through … and threw up in the loos and saw about 20 people walking out – one crying, many shaking.” A tweet from Toronto about Claire Denis’s space drama with Rob Pattinson. Can’t wait.
Expected spring 

The Hole in the Ground
Lee Cronin’s debut feature – an Irish horror starring Seána Kerslake – will premiere at the prestigious Sundance film festival in February. It has already sold to the UK and multiple territories.  
Expected late spring

If Beale Street Could Talk
If you see a more beautiful film this year then you will have seen a very beautiful film indeed. Barry Jenkins’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning Moonlight adapts a James Baldwin novel concerning a couple trying to get by in late 1960s New York city. 
Opens February 8th

The Irishman
Look, we have our fingers crossed on this one. Martin Scorsese’s latest – a crime drama starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino – is a Netflix production, but we expect them to unleash it in a few Irish cinemas. We’ll see.
Expected late 2019 

IT: Chapter 2
The first film didn’t exactly work any new tricks, but it still scored massive box office figures. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy are among those inheriting roles from juvenile actors. 
Opens September 6th

Okay, so the Joaquin Phoenix flick is (obviously) a DC production, but it’s not officially part of the “DC Extended Universe”. Whatever you say. Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover trilogy, is the unlikely creative force behind the chucklefest. 
Opens October 4th

The Lion King
Look, we’ve been through this twice already in this list (if you’re reading alphabetically). It’s a pseudo live-action version of a hit Disney animation. Don’t ask us about this again. Okay?
Opens July 19th

Mary, Queen of Scots
Saoirse Ronan gets blue armour to match her blue eyes in this retelling of the remote squabbles between the Catholic Queen Mary and Proddy Queen Margot I (of Robbie). Have I got this right?
Opens January 18th

Men in Black International
We like the idea of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the People in Black, but this franchise ran out of steam after its first episode. Did it not? F Gary Gray is the director on revitalisation duties.  
Opens June 14th

The Mule
The trailer for Clint Eastwood’s 143rd film as director – starring the Great Man as a nonagenarian transporting cocaine for the cartels – was among the best of the year. We wish him well. 
Opens January 25th

The Nightingale
Irish actor Aisling Franciosi stars in this highly acclaimed Aus-Western from the director of The Babadook. Our Aisling is out for bloody revenge in 19th century Tasmania. Sounds awesome. 
Early 2019           

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Will Cannes get hold of Quentin Tarantino’s already controversial drama concerning Hollywood at the time of the Charles Manson murders? Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio look suave in the stills. 
Opens July 26th

On the Basis of Sex
Felicity Jones stars as influential US jurist Ruth Bader Ginsburg – also subject of a current documentary – in a film from Mimi Leder.
Opens February 8th   

Papi Chulo
John Butler takes an unexpected swerve after Handsome Devil with this serious comedy concerning a weatherman in LA (Matt Bomer) who turns a bit peculiar after finding himself single again.
Expected mid 2019 

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in Green Book
Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in Green Book

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
Nothing dates a person more than hearing a convincing adult describe how they “grew up” with Pokémon. Really? Anyway, Rob Letterman’s flick looks to be aimed at both twentysomethings and their kids.  
Opens May 10th

There’s a lot riding on Dexter Fletcher’s film concerning the rise of Elton John. If Taron Egerton clicks as Sir Elt (and he should) then, following the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, we’re going to get a lot more of these things. 
Opens May 24th

Zachary Levi stars as the kid who, on saying that word, turns into one of DC’s more comical superheroes. A welcome addition to the set of films with exclamation points in their titles! 
Opens April 5th

The Sisters Brothers
Jacques Audiard casts Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly (when do those two sleep?) as the titular brothers in a well-reviewed take on Patrick deWitt’s western novel. 
Opens April 5th

Spider-Man: Far From Home
The web-spinner has been delivering recently. Spider-Man Homecoming was a hoot and Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a bit of a masterpiece. Tom Holland returns in a sequel to the former. 
Opens July 5th

Star Wars: Episode IX
[Fanfare! Title crawl!] The empire is in turmoil after the relative commercial failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Can J J Abrams save our heroes from aggrieved morons on the Planet Internet? Don’t worry. It’ll be grand. 
Opens December 19th

Toy Story 4
Everyone is back for the fourth film in the cycle. Tricky operation this. All the episodes have been good, but the last one seemed to stamp a bold fullstop at the close of a trilogy. Features a sentient spork called Forkie.
Opens June 21st

We’re calling this our most eagerly anticipated 2019 release. Jordan Peele moves on from Get Out with an “unexpected arrival” thriller starring Lupito Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss. Take our money now! Take all of it!
Opens March 15th

Adam McKay did a good job of explaining the property crash in The Big Short. He now sets out to tell the world how vice-president Dick Cheney destroyed everything else. A fattened-up Christian Bale stars.
January 25th

Vox Lux
Natalie Portman is terrific as a pop star – survivor of a school shooting – returning to New York for a major gig. Director Brady Corbet confirms the promise of Childhood of a Leader. Scott Walker’s score surges. 
Early 2019

What Men Want
Yes, you’ve worked it out. It’s a distaff version of that Mel Gibson hit from a few years back. Taraji P Henson knows what the chaps are thinking.
Opens March 22nd

Cathy Brady, director of acclaimed short films, makes her much-anticipated feature debut with this drama set in her home territory around the Border. Nika McGuigan and Nora-Jane Noone star.
Expected late 2019 

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