Every year, I get excited about upcoming films. This year feels a little different than past ones, though. Maybe that’s the impending doom of Avengers: Endgame, or maybe it’s because I’m pumped to see what A24 is going to unleash after a solid lineup in 2018, or maybe it’s the number of exciting horror movies that are being released this year.
No matter the reason, here are five of the films I am most excited to see in 2019.
7. STAR WARS: EPISODE IX
Releasing on 20 DECEMBER 2019
written by J.J. ABRAMS & CHRIS TERRIO || directed by J.J. ABRAMS
Almost nothing is known about the final film of the new Star Wars trilogy thanks to how tight security has been on the film (and understandably so). While I’m hoping that J.J. doesn’t pull too much from the original trilogy with this film (as Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi espouses, we need to kill the past when it comes to this saga), I am excited to see how it all ends.
6. AVENGERS: ENDGAME
Releasing on 26 APRIL 2019
written by CHRISTOPHER MARKUS & STEPHEN McFEELY || directed by ANTHONY RUSSO & JOE RUSSO
Aside from Star Wars: Episode IX, this is easily the most widely anticipated film of the year. While I was not as blown away with Infinity War was some other folks, I am still very excited to see how this first section of the MCU ends. I’m fully prepared to experience the emotional fallout of watching some of my favorite characters bite the bullet.
Releasing on 9 AUGUST 2019
written & directed by ARI ASTER
While I did not totally fall in love with Hereditary upon its release, it has since grown on me. There’s a lot to love about Aster’s direction, particularly in his visual style and the performances he manages to pull from his cast. Midsommar looks to be directly contrasted to his debut film, utilizing bright sunlight to elevate his horror as opposed to inky darkness. This trailer looks unique, dynamic, and eerie — exactly what I want from modern horror. Don’t expect it to be full of jump scares, and don’t expect it to go the way you expect. I fully trust Aster, though, and that’s part of the reason I will be one of the first people in the theater upon its release.
4. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM
Releasing on 17 May 2019
written by DEREK KOLSTAD || directed by CHAD STAHELSKI
I am astonished that the John Wick films work. Operating on the usual cliches one would expect from this genre, and this type of storyline, Derek Kolstand and Chad Stahelski managed to create a character and a story that feels wholly unique. Part of that stems from the way the films are shot, with an emphasis on choreography instead of fast editing. The other of it stems from Keanu Reeves’s performance (he hasn’t been this perfect for a role since The Matrix).
All in all, I am pumped to see how this fantastic trilogy ends.
3. THE IRISHMAN
Releasing Fall 2019
written by STEVE ZAILLAN || directed by MARTIN SCORSESE
A crime epic directed by Martin Scorsese, written by the guy who penned Schindler’s List and Gangs of New York, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, and Ray Ramano? Enough said.
2. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Releasing 26 July 2019
written & directed by QUENTIN TARANTINO
Another film where we know virtually nothing beyond the cast and a rough outline of the plot. Still, considering the number of Hollywood A-listers that are participating in this film (Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, and MANY more) there is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be an incredible film. My only concern is how Tarantino handles the death of Sharon Tate (which is still a painful subject, understandably, for her family).
Releasing 22 March 2019
written and directed by JORDAN PEELE
Jordan Peele proved himself to be a masterful director right out of the gate with Get Out. While I did have some reservations about that film, I cannot express how excited I am for his sophomore film — a haunting, mind-bending horror film that injects some narrative creativity into a genre in desperate need of it. Plus, how can you go wrong with this cast? Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, and Winston Duke look incredible in this film, and I am pumped to be in the theater when this one releases later this month.