Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2018

As 2017 comes to an end and we here at Cinema 35 take a retrospective second to make our Top Ten Films of 2017 lists, I’d like to look to the future of cinema. A Blockbuster heavy 2017 looks like it’ll, thankfully, turn into a philosophical and exciting 2018 that will have some of the world’s best directors giving us their latest. I did have a little help in my decision…

Every December, the great list-making team of “The Playlist” generates their “Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2018.”  Since their lists are always so neat and concise (and I can’t stop reading them), I decided to borrow their set-up, and the synopsis from IMDb, solely for this list (and next year for “Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2019”). Wanting to do my own but not having the time nor the stamina to make such a list, I used theirs as a jumping off point. These 10 films aren’t the ones I think will be most popular, fiscally successful, or critically acclaimed, but MY Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2018:

10. The Predator

Director: Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys)
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Jacob Tremblay
Synopsis: A re-make of the 1987 sci-fi film Predator.
Why I’m excited: Shane Black is a talented filmmaker and screenwriter, regardless of your theory on how bad Iron Man 3 was. If he can focus his attention to the dialogue and wittiness of his characters instead of trying to make a successful action flick, this will be a success. It seems as though he’ll be swapping the violence and action for some potential PG-13 fun, but could still honor (and surpass in quality) the original. The stellar cast shown above and Shane Black’s touch should have many of us at least intrigued, if not enthusiastic.
Release Date: 3 August 2018

9. Mute

Director: Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code, Warcraft)
Cast: Paul Rudd, Alexander Skarsgård, Justin Theroux, Sam Rockwell
Synopsis: A mute bartender goes up against his city’s gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner.
Why I’m Excited: Without knowing any other aspects, pinning the four gentlemen listed above in a movie together sells it to me. That said, yes, Warcraft may have been a failure by all accounts, however Moon is one of the greatest sci-fi indies ever while Source Code a worthy follow up. Duncan Jones sure knows how to put a film together, and I’m on board for him to stretch his production design legs and give us his take on a Blade Runner/Looper type of adventure. Netflix produced and more than likely released, don’t plan on driving to the theatre for this one. Fun Fact: IMDb’s trivia states, “The film has been described by Jones as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to his 2009 film Moon.”
Release Date: TBD.

8. Unsane

Director: Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Contagion)
Cast: Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Jay Pharaoh, Aimee Mullins
Synopsis: A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real or is it a product of her delusion?
Why I’m Excited: A very little known fact about me: my favourite director working today, since he’s un-retired, is Steven Soderbergh. This year he gave us a familiar feel for him with the charming and fun heist film, Logan Lucky, but don’t expect to feel so comfortable next year. Unsane is the first horror film from the director (if you don’t count Contagion, which you shouldn’t) with the plot seeming more unsettlingly realistic than supernatural. Up and comers Juno Temple and Claire Foy will bring some great acting to the peculiar picture. Oh, by the way, the film will be shot on an iPhone. Hope we have some Tangerine fans here.
Release Date: 
23 March 2018

7. Kursk

Director: Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Celebration)
Cast: Léa Seydoux, Colin Firth, Matthias Schoenaerts, Max Von Sydow
Synopsis: The film follows the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster and the governmental negligence that followed. As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them.
Why I’m Excited: In 2012 he delivered a haunting and dangerously tense film with The Hunt. In 2015 he gave us the charming reimagining of the classic novel, Far from the Madding Crowd. Now in 2018, the Danish filmmaker will offer up his take on the submarine tragedy that occurred on the 12th of August, 2018. With a stellar cast, a budget of $20 million, and a heartbreaking and enticing plot, it seems like Vinterberg is looking to add more Oscar nominations to the one earned for Best Foreign Language Film. The Dane is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors; his indies have been astonishing so knowing he will get the chance to prove himself with a real budget is exciting as all hell. I’m a sucker for films dealing with the struggle of surviving against the odds, so I’ll be sure to bring extra tissue paper to this assumingly emotional flick.
Release Date:
TBD

6. First Man

Director: Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Pablo Schreiber, Lukas Haas
Synopsis: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Why I’m Excited: Wow, two Claire Foy films in a row, cannot see them being very similar in tone, though. A biopic about Neil Armstrong is many decades overdue, and Damien Chazelle is an exhilarating choice to helm it. Regardless of how you feel about La La Land and its success at the Academy Awards last year (or, lack thereof, I guess) observing it alongside his freshman effort, Whiplash, it’s irrefutable to call Chazelle anything other than an astounding filmmaker. If the 32-year-old’s track record says anything it’s that this will have style and substance; if screenwriter Josh Singer’s (The Post, The Fifth Estate, Spotlight) track record says anything it’s that this will have witty dialogue and will make the dullest of scenes invigorating. La La Land lead Ryan Gosling will play the famed astronaut along with a pretty incredible cast including Lukas Haas and Corey Stoll playing his fellow space-men.
Release Date: 
12 October 2018

5. Apostle

Director: Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption, V/H/S 2, The Raid: 2)
Cast: Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton
Synopsis: A man attempts to rescue his sister who’s been kidnapped by religious cult.
Why I’m Excited: Following two critically acclaimed, martial arts heavy, Indonesian films and one short film concluding the second in the V/H/S anthology saga, Evans will be presenting his most mainstream film to date. Seeming like a cross between Green Room, Red State, and The Sacrament only time will tell which it’s most like in tone. The cast above may be small, but sure will be powerful, especially exciting as it’s Evans first time working with renowned actors. This may be one of the biggest gambles on the list, but if executed correctly, could be one of the most successful indies of the year!
Release Date: 
TBD

4. Isle of Dogs

Director: Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums)
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Frances McDormant, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Ken Watanabe, Bob Balaban
Synopsis: Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog.
Why I’m Excited:What are the odds of the 365 days in the year, our #4 and #8 have the exact same release date; sure will be a busy weekend for this cinephile! Wes Anderson finally nabbed that Best Picture nomination with his last film, The Grand Budapest Hotel; I don’t expect this film to hit such heights, but could easily surpass many to be one of his greatest films. Arguably, Anderson’s greatest cinematic feat to date was the criminally underrated 2009, Fantastic Mr. Fox; being the same style of stop-motion animation, Isle of Dogs film seems like it’ll be closer in tone to his last animated feature. The visuals look stunning, the Japanese setting seems like a passionate choice, and Anderson’s witty humour is abundant. Be on the lookout for this to be one of the director’s most fiscally successful films. Take a quick gander at the trailer below!
Release Date: 
23 March 2018

3. Avengers: Infinity War

Director: Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War)
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Dave Boutista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Tessa Thompson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Elizabeth Olson, Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Renner, Jon Favrau, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, Paul Bettany, Vin Diesel, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Wong, Benicio Del Toro, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders
Synopsis: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
Why I’m Excited: Yes, I did type all 30 of those cast names myself for I felt it important to highlight what we’re getting into here. Many might think after a underwhelming Thanos introduction that this would be lower on my list, but I wholly believe that the film is going to be unlike anything we’ve seen before. For those like me who absolutely loved Captain America: Civil War, then it’s a no brainer that we’re debating already waiting in line to see the film. A: IW promised to be bigger than any film we’ve seen in the MCU, and also assured to leave lasting effects that may not leave our favourite heroes alive. Since Iron Man in 2008, we’ve been waiting for the phases to culminate in what we’ve casually named The Infinity Wars. This cinematic universe has been at the forefront of my adolescence and I am ecstatic to see it finally climax.
Release Date: 
4 May 2018

2. Fahrenheit 451

Director: Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes)
Cast: Sofia Boutella, Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan, Laura Harrier
Synopsis: In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society.
Why I’m Excited: I’m upset with myself for even having this on my list, but when it comes to feature films, the line between television and theatrical has become blurred with sites like Amazon and presumably Netflix being nominated for Oscars. Fahrenheit 451 may be a TV movie on HBO, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it’s also my favourite novel of all time. The Ray Bradbury sci-fi classic has been put to film embarrassingly before, but never with such high caliber stars attached nor an idealistic indie director. Pinning Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan together as Captain Beatty and Guy Montag, respectively, is better than any pairing I could have hoped for. This is the pick I expect most of you will be scratching your heads over, but I’ll say it unapologetically, I cannot contain my excitement for this intimate and philosophical timeless story.
Release Date: 
TBD

1. Hold the Dark

Director: Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room)
Cast: Riley Keough, Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Macon Blair
Synopsis: After the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.
Why I’m Excited: Jeremy Saulnier has directed three feature films; his second was my ninth favourite film of 2013 (Blue Ruin) and his third was my second favourite of 2016 (Green Room). He’s back next year to bring us another thriller that seems just up his ally. Saulnier’s films are raw; they don’t hold back nor do they hold your hand. Not only will him directing the cast above surely prove him into stardom, but the story based off bestselling novel of the same name will surely compliment his aesthetic and filmmaking style. If this film is as good as I’m expecting, Steven Soderbergh may have to take a backseat to a new favoruite director of mine.
Release Date: 
TBD

Any films we may have forgotten or should have ranked higher? Be sure to let us know and check out our Honorable Mentions below!

– The Incredibles 2Brad Bird is back 14 years later to give us the teased animated super-family flick.

– Deadpool 2Ryan Reynolds and crew come back to the screen in 2018 to introduce cable played by the new beefed up Josh Brolin.

– VenomTom Hardy is on board to play the title character in this film, directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), which reportedly will have zero to do with the the Spider-Man we have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

– Mary Magdalene: Rooney Mara will play the religious idol alongside Juaquin Phoenix who’ll be portraying the son of God.

– Boy ErasedActor and director Joel Edgerton (The Gift) will helm this film dealing with a baptist priest and church-supported gay conversion program.

Piercing: Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska star in the thriller about a man finally completing his fantasy of murdering a prostitute.

– Bad Times at the El Royale: Following his genre-bending gem, director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) follows up with a shootout at a dilapidated hotel in Lake Tahoe, California. Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth are currently signed on.

– The House That Jack Built: Lars Von Trier (Antichrist, Nymphomaniac Part 1 & 2) follows up his two part sexual drama with a look at 12 years of Matt Dillon playing Jack, a serial killer .

– Roma: Alfonso Cuarón‘s first film in five years that’ll chronicle a year for a middle-class family during 1970, Mexico City.

– The Irishman: Martin Scorsese seems to be back to his crime roots. The film details the hitman of Jimmy Hoffa and reunites mob-film veterans Robert DiNero, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel. 

– If Beale Street Could Talk: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) coming off his Best Picture win gives us a film dealing with poverty, the justice system, racial tensions, and young pregnancy.

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Mark A. Silba

Mark is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cinema 35. He currently has his BA in Film and Media studies from Arizona State University. He currently lives in Gilbert, AZ where he spends most of his time seeing the latest theatrical releases.

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