/Film’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

captain marvel trailer breakdown

10. Captain Marvel

There’s no overstating how important Captain Marvel is. The first solo female superhero film from Marvel Studios, Captain Marvel is being positioned to not just be a turning point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe but a watershed moment for female representation. Brie Larson stars as the titular superhero who proudly fights as one of the members of a cosmic military team until she crashes to Earth and unearths clues about her past and identity — all while a galactic war between two alien races begins to escalate. Larson’s Carol Danvers is looking to be wholly unlike the female superheroes we’ve seen before: stoic and guarded, she’s gotten a lot of online flack for her unfriendly countenance. It’s a good thing she’s the most powerful hero in the MCU and couldn’t care less about smiling for you. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

It: Chapter 2 begins filming

9. It: Chapter 2

Despite some behind-the-scenes issues, Andy Muschietti’s 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s It ended up being rather wonderful. Even if you’re not a fan of King and horror as a genre, It worked primarily due to the performances of the young cast, and the surprisingly emotional moments that bonded them together. Now, with the box office success of that film in tow, Muschietti returns with It: Chapter 2, a movie that promises to be much bigger than the first. While the young cast – Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff – are all returning for flashbacks, the bulk of the movie will feature The Losers Club as adults, now played by James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, and Andy Bean. That’s one impressive cast, especially for a horror movie. I’m very curious to see how the film handles them. And I’m also curious to see what Muschietti does with the material, in which the Losers return to Derry, Maine as adults, in order to battle Pennywise the Clown once again. The first film was true to the spirit of King’s book while changing a lot, and I have no doubt this sequel will as well. But if it can capture the emotional beats of the first film, and ramp up the fear-factor, I think we’re in for a treat. At the very least, it’ll be fun to spend more time with Bill Skarsgård’s off-the-wall Pennywise the Clown. (Chris Evangelista)

john wick chapter 3 trailer

8. John Wick: Chapter 3

The best modern American action franchise returns in just a few months and if the previous films are any indication, you better invest in some kind of headgear to keep your brain from exploding from whatever director Chad Stahelski has planned. The end of part two saw John Wick (Keanu Reeves in a role tailor-made for everything he does best) on the run with giant bounty on his head, so part three will see him headshot his way through the legions of assassins who want him on a platter. Expect ferocious action, but also expect more of the series’ trademark world-building – the only thing more exciting than watching John take down his enemies is watching him navigate the strange and colorful universe he calls home. (Jacob Hall)

Jojo Rabbit

7. Jojo Rabbit

Even before he made the hilarious and slyly subversive Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi was one of the most thrilling directors on the planet. The genius behind What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople is back in 2019 with another ambitious comedy, this one about a young boy living in Nazi Germany whose imaginary friend is an inaccurate and idolized version of Adolph Hitler. Naturally, his worldview is forever changed when he learns that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl from the S.S. That’s one hell of a subversive premise and one that feels built to explore how we’re indoctrinated by charismatic men and convince ourselves to believe in evil messages. Plus, the cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, and Waititi himself as the young lead’s imaginary version of Hitler. Sign us up. (Jacob Hall)

most anticipated movie of 2019

6. Avengers: Endgame

The anticipation surrounding this movie is the only thing that even comes close to Star Wars Episode 9, and after the events of Avengers: Infinity War that’s not surprising at all. Half of the Avengers are gone, half of all living beings in the universe have been wiped out. What the hell does Captain America think he and the rest of the survivors of The Snappening think they’re going to do? Honestly, we have no idea, and that’s a big part of what makes Avengers: Endgame that much more exciting. How will this movie leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe so it can continue with a whole new era of movies? We can’t wait to see what happens. (Ethan Anderton)

us release date

5. Us

After his breakout directorial debut with the pop culture behemoth Get Out, all eyes were trained on Jordan Peele. And it looks like he’s delivered another stunner with Us. A horror film starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as the parents of a family that go on a beachside vacation, only to be attacked by their evil doppelgangers, Us looks brutal, bloody, and creepy as hell. There are scissors! Masks! Eerie bunnies! It’s a supernatural twist on the classic home invasion movie that could turn into yet another potent social thriller — despite Peele’s protests that Us is not about race. Any movie that explores “our duality and the duality of the characters” sounds like it could be powerful indeed. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

the irishman has 300 scenes

4. The Irishman

Let’s try this again, shall we? The Irishman was on our 2018 most anticipated list, because we all had our fingers crossed that it would arrive then. But no, that didn’t happen. Instead, the Martin Scorsese crime epic is slated to drop sometime this year (no release date is set yet, but I’m going to guess it’ll show up near the end of the year to coincide with awards season). Simply put, The Irishman is a big deal. Not only is it Scorsese’s first movie with Netflix, it also reunites him with frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, while also marking the first time the director has ever worked with Al Pacino. Based on the story of alleged hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a man who claimed he killed Jimmy Hoffa, The Irishman will be Scorsese’s first return to the world of old school gangsters since 1995’s Casino (The Departed had a gangland story, too, but was far more modern). The acclaimed filmmaker is employing groundbreaking computer to effects to de-age several of the actors as we follow them over the years, and I really hope that doesn’t end up looking weird. All this work has resulted in The Irishman being the most expensive movie of Scorsese’s career, topping out at around $200 million. That’s wild, and I’m just glad Netflix was willing to throw that much money his way. And for now, I’m really just incredibly excited at the prospect of Scorsese and De Niro working together again. Hopefully Netflix will get around to giving us some more info about the long-awaited film soon. (Chris Evangelista)

Knives Out slate

3. Knives Out

Watching Kenneth Branagh’s disappointing Murder on the Orient Express remake had me thinking that Hollywood is long overdue for an original Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, and Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) is here to deliver. The combination of a spectacular cast, the contained premise, and Johnson’s pitch-perfect ability to write genre films means we’re in for something stylish, surprising, and delicious. I already want to see this movie twice, because I have a feeling the ending might contain a Prestige-level reveal designed to blow our minds. Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, and Michael Shannon in the same movie? Hell yes – we cannot wait to see this. (Ben Pearson)

once upon a time in hollywood first look

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie lead a murderer’s row of talent in the newest film from writer/director Quentin Tarantino. This is Tarantino’s chance to recreate Los Angeles as it was in the 1960s and tell a story set in an era that he’s been curious about and drawn to for years. In many ways this movie is the culmination of everything he’s made thus far, touching on his fascination with the city and its history and depicting the dichotomy of entertainment industry glamor with one of the nation’s most notorious murder cases. (Ben Pearson)

Star Wars Episode 9

1. Star Wars: Episode IX

J.J. Abrams returns to direct the epic final installment of the Skywalker saga and hopefully restore balance to the force of Star Wars fandom (because I’d love to be able to geek out about Star Wars again without it somehow turning into a hate-filled argument). At the center of this story is Rey and Kylo Ren, their stories intertwined, and it will have to come to a head in this final film. If The Last Jedi is any indication, there may be no redemption for Kylo, and many of the more mysteries were seemingly answered already. So we aren’t sure how Abrams will bring this story full circle, but we’re excited to find out. (Peter Sciretta)

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