2018 movie preview: 50 films to watch out for

A Famine drama, another ‘Jurassic World’ and any number of Marvel blockbusters are on the way

The official trailer for Ocean's 8.

 

We are in the midst of Oscar season. Films such as Darkest Hour, Coco and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will be with you in a week or two. We felt it unnecessary to mention films you can see advertised on buses. Our list of 50 movies to consider in 2018 begins, therefore, from the end of the month. The majority have release dates. One or two of those that don’t may get kicked into 2019. We are dealing here only with films that get theatrical releases. So, as we suspect Duncan Jones’s Mute and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman will be only on Netflix in Ireland, we make no further mention of them. Let’s hope we’re wrong about that.

ANNIHILATION

Following up the much-loved Ex Machina, Alex Garland directs Natalie Portman in an adaptation of the first part of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.

Due: February 23rd.  

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

There are a lot of Marvel flicks about this year. This one drags Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly back for more tiny action.

Due: August 3rd

Thanos (Josh Brolin) in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Thanos (Josh Brolin) in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

What more do you need? Almost every Marvel superhero is here. The team behind the last two Captain America films direct.

Due: April 27th

BLACK 47

After Life’s a Breeze, Lance Daly makes a tonal shift with a drama set in Ireland during the Famine. Barry Keoghan is among the cast.

Due: No firm date.  

BLACK PANTHER

Marvel films have got a lot more fun recently, and director Ryan Coogler is on a roll after Creed. Expectations are high for the African superhero’s first outing.

Due: February 16th

BPM

Powerful, sweeping saga concerning Aids activists in Paris during the worst days of the crisis.

Due: April 6th

THE BREADWINNER

Nora Twomey of Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon directs the story of a young Afghan woman who must pose as a boy to support her family. Oscar beckons.

Due: May 25th

UNTITLED CLOVERFIELD THING

JJ Abrams’s team continues to tantalise with stories set around the Cloverfield universe. The new film is said to concern astronauts who make a terrifying discovery.

Due: February 9th

Margot Robbie in ‘I, Tonya’
Margot Robbie in ‘I, Tonya’

DEADPOOL SEQUEL

I couldn’t be doing with the childish, sweary first film. Millions of sensible people loved it, though. The sequel will do well.

Due: June 1st

THE DELINQUENT SEASON

Gifted playwright Mark O’Rowe makes his directorial debut with a taught marital drama starring Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott and Catherine Walker.

Due: Unconfirmed 

DUBLIN OLDSCHOOL

After several fine shorts, Dave Tynan directs a feature concerning a Dublin DJ reconnecting with his addict brother. Emmet Kirwan and Seána Kerslake star.

Due: Unconfirmed, but definitely 2018

EARLY MAN

Have you seen the trailer? The Bronze Age claymation comedy from Aardman looks simply adorable.

Due: January 26th

Hognob and Dug (Eddie Redmayne) in ‘Early Man’
Hognob and Dug (Eddie Redmayne) in ‘Early Man’

A FANTASTIC WOMAN

Sebastián Lelio’s well-titled study of a trans woman recovering from bereavement in Santiago is a wonder.

Due: March 2nd

THE FAVOURITE

Yorgos Lanthimos’s third collaboration with Dublin’s Element Pictures stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in a drama set at the court of Queen Anne.

Due: Unconfirmed. Cannes again?

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY

The debut feature from Stephen Merchant stars Florence Pugh as wrestler Saraya-Jade “Paige” Bevis. The Rock plays himself.

Due: Unconfirmed. But in the can

FIRST MAN

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle directs Ryan Gosling, star of his La La Land, as Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.

Due: November 2nd

HALLOWEEN

Stay with me. The latest take on John Carpenter’s classic is by the versatile David Gordon Green and welcomes back Jamie Lee Curtis.

Due: October 19th

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Lars Von Trier returns with a drama concerning a serial killer in Washington State during the 1970s. Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman star.

Due: No date yet. 

Clint Eastwood with Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, stars of ‘The 15:17 To Paris’
Clint Eastwood with Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, stars of ‘The 15:17 To Paris’

THE 15:17 TO PARIS

Clint Eastwood’s study of the two Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on a French train in 2015 features the real heroes in the lead roles.

Due: February 9th 

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F DONOVAN

Kit Harington, Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon swell the star-studded cast of the latest from boy wonder Xavier Dolan.

Due: No date yet. Shot last summer

THE INCREDIBLES 2

Pixar go back into sequel mode. Let’s hope it’s livelier than the ho-hum Finding Dory and the poor Monsters University.

Due: July 13th

ISLE OF DOGS

Wes Anderson’s first animation since Fantastic Mr Fox really does look too cool for school. Actually about an island packed with dogs.

Due: March 30th

I, TONYA

Biff! Margot Robbie’s turn as notorious skater Tonya Harding will rattle your brain. Alison Janney’s performance as her mother will terrify you.

Due: February 20th

THE JUNGLE BOOK

Andy Serkis’s version of the Kipling tale was kicked back after the Disney film proved such a smash. Is there room for two?

Due: October 19th

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’
‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

The last film in the dinosaur saga may not have been great, but it did still, for a few months, become the third highest-grossing movie of all time.

Due: June 8th

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING

Joe Cornish, director of Attack the Block, moves on to a contemporary Arthurian yarn.

Due: September 29th

LOVELESS

An awful couple half-heartedly search for their missing son. Grim, powerful stuff from Russian master Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Due: February 9th

LADY BIRD

Saoirse Ronan is transcendent as a difficult teen in Greta Gerwig’s autobiographical comedy-drama. Oscar nominations are certain.

Due: February 23rd

Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in ‘Lady Bird’
Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in ‘Lady Bird’

LAST FLAG FLYING

Richard Linklater’s film – following three men as they accompany a body across the States – is nearly a sequel to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail.

Due: January 26th  

THE LITTLE STRANGER

Lenny Abrahamson’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to Room stars Domhnall Gleeson in an adaptation of Sarah Waters’s brilliant, musty ghost story.

Due: Talk of an August US release. Could move

THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE

Terry Gilliam’s famously troubled, much-delayed variation on Cervantes really is nearing completion. Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce star.

Due: Allegedly aiming for Cannes

MARY MAGDALENE

Garth Davis directs Rooney Mara as the misunderstood Biblical character. Joaquin Phoenix is Jesus.

Due: March 16th

THE NEW MUTANTS

A spin-off from The X-Men, Josh Boone’s flick is a horror concerning a group of mutants detained in a secret facility.

Due: April 11th

OCEAN’S 8

Okay, let’s pretend that the right-wing snowflakes who whinged about the female Ghostbusters won’t be blubbing about the distaff Ocean’s flick. Bullock, Blanchett and Rihanna star.

Due: June 22nd

Jessica Chastain on the set of ‘The Death and Life of John F Donovan’. Photograph: Shayne Laverdière
Jessica Chastain on the set of ‘The Death and Life of John F Donovan’. Photograph: Shayne Laverdière

ON CHESIL BEACH

Saoirse Ronan appears as one half of a sexually undereducated couple in an adaptation of a much-admired Ian McEwan novel.

Due: June 15th 

PETERLOO

Mike Leigh brings his famous improvisatory method to the 19th-century massacre in Manchester. Maxine Peake stars.

Due: Cannes debut seems likely

PETER RABBIT

James Corden is the voice of Beatrix Potter’s beloved bunny. Domhnall Gleeson is the young Mr McGregor. Remember, we once weren’t so sure about Paddington.

Due: March 16th

PHANTOM THREAD

The latest, wintery film from Paul Thomas Anderson stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a 1950s fashion designer in pursuit of a younger woman. It is allegedly DDL’s swansong.

Due: February 2nd

READY PLAYER ONE

Steven Spielberg adapts Ernest Cline’s novel concerning a gamer immersed in virtually real 1980s culture. No better director, one supposes.

Due: March 30th

RED SPARROW

Francis Lawrence directs Jennifer Lawrence in a thriller about a ballerina who gets recruited by Russian intelligence. What about this don’t you like?

Due: March 2nd

THE SHAPE OF WATER

Guillermo del Toro returns to form with the story of a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls for a sea monster. Spooky.

Due: February 14th

SWEET COUNTRY

Warwick Thornton, who made the lovely Samson and Delilah, directs an Australian western starring Sam Neill and Bryan Brown.

Due: March 9th

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Ron Howard ended up directing the Han Solo origin tale. Alden Ehrenreich is Han. Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag is among the support.

Due: May 25th

THE SQUARE

Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner finally makes it into cinemas. Claes Bang and Elisabeth Moss star in a satire of the Stockholm art scene.

Due: March 16th

A STAR IS BORN

The fourth version of the story features Bradley Cooper as the creaky star and Lady Gaga as the ingénue. Cooper also directs.

Due: May 18th

‘Isle of Dogs’
‘Isle of Dogs’

SUNSET

László Nemes’s Son of Saul is among the most acclaimed films of the current decade. The Hungarian’s latest is set in Budapest before the first World War.

Due: Unconfirmed. Should be ready for Cannes

TOMB RAIDER

Ah, give it a chance now. The upcoming adaptation of the antediluvian video game hands Alicia Vikander the Lara Croft torch.

Due: March 16th

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE

David Robert Mitchell, director of the brilliant It Follows, moves on to a neo-noir starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough.

Due: No date yet

WIDOWS

Wotcher! Steve McQueen is directing a US version of Lynda La Plante’s crime drama starring Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya and Colin Farrell. Sounds geezer.

Due: November 9th

WONDER WHEEL

Is Woody Allen now tainted goods? His latest stars Kate Winslet as the wife of a carousel operator in Coney Island.

Due: March 9th

WONDERSTRUCK

The brilliant Todd Haynes is reunited with Julianne Moore for a saga concerning movies, deafness and New York.

Due: April 6th

A WRINKLE IN TIME

Ava DuVernay makes her first fiction film after the success of Selma. An adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s adored novel, the big budget flick stars Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.

Due: March 23rd

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX

Might this be the last X-Men film before, following Disney’s purchase of Fox, they get sucked into the wider Marvel Universe?

Due: November 2nd

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Inexplicably kicked out of awards season following raves at Cannes, Lynne Ramsay’s latest stars Joaquin Phoenix as a tough who rescues children from prostitution. Essential.

Due: March 9th

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