Every year is a good year for movies but every year there are always those few you are really looking forward to. Here is my list of those movies.
Will these end up being my favourite movies of the year? Who knows! Probably not! The only movies that we know anything about as far away as December are the big-budget blockbusters with marketing pockets so deep we can start hearing about them now. There are hundreds of movies per year that don’t have that.
This list should probably be re-titled “most anticipated big-budget films”, really.
In any event, here is the list. See if you can guess the first entry.
Let’s just nip these in the bud quickly. Here are a few things that I want to see that didn’t quite make this list.
- F9: the Fast Saga (22 May)
- In the Heights (26 June)
- Tenet (17 Jul)
- The King’s Man (18 Sept)
- West Side Story (18 Dec)
Why didn’t these make the list? Well, because I am having a hard time getting super excited about them. I’m not not excited, but I’m just not brimming with excitement, you know? I love the Fast & Furious Franchise but even with the return of Han Seoul-oh, it’s missing this list.
In the Heights and West Side Story, a screen adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first major broadway production and a Steven Spielberg directed remake of one of the best musicals of all time? There’s nothing to not be excited about there either.
Like most film nerds I love a good Christopher Nolan film and a period set Kingsman prequel starring Ralph Fiennes? Sign me up. But these following ten are the ones I am really excited about.
Birds of Prey (7 February)
This list is so late that this movie comes out tomorrow (and I, as yet, am not sure when I’ll get to see it) but it looks big, colourful, and fun and DC is really on to something with letting their filmmakers do their own thing with the material. Does it always work? No. But when it works? It really works, and if this can follow the likes of Shazam! and Aquaman down the “let’s have a ton of fun making a movie” road then what is there not to be excited about?
The Invisible Man (28 February)
Re-contextualizing The Invisible Man as a story of an abusive controlling man seems like a slam dunk and also very on point for the #MeToo era. Leigh Whannell is a good writer and director and leaning into the horror elements of this seems like a good choice to me, plus getting Elizabeth Moss to star in it is never a bad thing.
No Time to Die (10 April)
I didn’t really like Spectre and I don’t know if I really care about the other returning characters from that film, but I do like Daniel Craig’s Bond, Cary Joji Fukunaga is a great director, and the Craig run of Bond is batting .750, so I am still excited about it.
Spoiler alert I think Craig might have the single best run of Bond films. That’s something for another article though.
Wonder Woman 1984 (5 June)
Yup, another DC film. This time because I think Gal Gadot is great, and the supporting lineup includes Kristin Wiig, Pedro Pascal doing his best over the top Donal Trump impression, and Chris Pine somehow being back all sounds like good choices to me.
This one has an extra something though in that I am super curious to see what director Patty Jenkins does when she’s not confined to the aesthetic that Zack Snyder established for the DCEU, and how much it is going to pay attention to the continuity of those films. So far, it looks bright and colourful and fun, things you may have already noticed I respond to in marketing materials, and I hope it proves to be those things (especially the last one).
Top Gun: Maverick (26 June)
Go ahead, make fun of me all you want, but I love Top Gun. I have loved it since I was 6 years old, and I will love it to the day I die.
This sequel is 34 years later, features an aged and potentially jaded Pete Mitchell, the son of Goose, and Christopher McQuarrie writing and directing. These are each reason enough to get my butt in a seat, but they also actually put Tom Cruise into a bunch of planes and filmed it and what little footage we have seen looks spectacular.
Death on the Nile (9 October)
Yeah, you read that right. I really liked the 2017 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and I am really excited to see Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot return to solve another mystery, over the top accent and moustache and all.
The first movie is exactly what it should be: a large ensemble of stars are various stages of their stardom doing their thing. It’s the kind of movie that when someone asks “why don’t they make movies for adults anymore?” you can point them at it and say “you’re just not paying attention.” It’s endlessly rewatchable, and I can’t wait for another entry in the series.
The Eternals (6 November)
The lone Marvel film on the list, The Eternals is set to be big and weird and cosmic and strange. Cosmic Marvel is pretty out there and I can’t wait to see how more of it translates to screen. Plus, a cast of thousands including Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, Brian Tyee Henry, and Salma Hayek, as well as potentially setting up the whole next phase of Marvel films, what isn’t there to be excited about?
Godzilla vs. Kong (20 November)
I don’t know why people didn’t love Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I get the feeling that everyone loves the idea of a Godzilla movie but then doesn’t actually know what they want from them. Maybe that’s something for another time, but the point is that I loved it and the idea of Godzilla facing off against King Kong from Kong: Skull Island sounds really fun to me. Godzilla movies are at their best when they lean either really heavily into metaphor or really heavily into the bonkersness of giant monsters punching each other, or both, and this could be both. But if it’s not it will still be giant monster punching each other and that sounds awesome to me.
Dune (18 December)
Dune is one of the most influential science fiction books of all time, maybe the most influential science fiction book of all time. Don’t believe me? Go look up why Star Wars is set on a desert planet.
It’s also a dense read with the background of an entire galaxy within it, and that is hard to adapt. Each time it has been tried it hasn’t quite 100% worked, but this time it has Denis Villeneuve at the helm, the promise of being adapted in two parts, and an all-star cast. As with other entries on this list, I can’t not be excited about it.
So that is my list. Am I looking forward to anything you are looking forward to? Did I tell you about anything you didn’t know about? Let me know in the comments or on social media.