The Biggest Movies To Watch In 2019
Looking back at 2018, it was hard to think that 2019 can top it in terms of new movies. Last year contained some of the most successful films of all time, including the Marvel smash hits Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, the Pixar sequel Incredibles 2, and dinosaur thriller Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. There was some brilliant horror (Hereditary, A Quiet Place), dazzling, ambitious sci-fi (Annihilation, Sorry to Bother You), and great family movies (Paddington 2). All in all, a truly great year for cinema.
Luckily, 2019 is so far proving to be every bit as good. Superheroes remain one the biggest box office draws, with the year's three Marvel movies--Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home--all proving hugely successful. Patient DC fans, who had to wait a whole year between movies before Aquaman hit theaters, have already been rewarded with Shazam, and the intriguing Joker arrives in October.
There's no shortage of sequels of course. From Star Wars Episode IX and Terminator: Dark Fate to the first Fast & Furious spin-off, many of our favorite heroes and villains will be returning for the next instalments. There's plenty of reboots and remakes too, including the Disney classics The Lion King the return of the Addams Family.
It looks like it could be a great year for horror too. The Stephen King adaptation It was one of the most successful horror movies ever released, and September brings the much-anticipated second part of the story. There's the Guillermo Del Toro-produced Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the alligator-horror Crawl, and the another remake of the slasher classic Black Christmas. So here's the biggest movies to watch over the next 5 months...
The Angry Birds Movie 2
Release date: August 16
The first Angry Birds movie earned more than $350 million worldwide, and, unsurprisingly, the sequel is on the way. This second movie adaptation of the hugely popular game once more assembles an impressive voice cast, including Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Rachel Bloom, Peter Dinklage, and Bill Hader. The second slice of animated mayhem sees the Bad Piggies forced to form an uneasy alliance with the Angry Birds when a mysterious purple bird called Zeta threatens their land.
Angel Has Fallen
Release date: August 23
Ever since Zack Snyder's 300 made him a star, Gerard Butler has delivered a steady stream of entertainingly old-fashioned action movies. His best known is 2013's Olympus Has Fallen, which was followed by London Has Fallen in 2016, and will now be joined by this third movie. Butler plays Secret Service agent Mike Banning once more, who this time finds himself framed for an assassination attempt on the President. Despite the commercial failure of the recent Butler vehicle Hunter Killer, both of the previous movies in this series were box office successes, so expect the same from Angel Has Fallen.
It: Chapter Two
Release Date: September 6
Although Stephen King movies have been a box office draw for decades, no previous adaptation matched the huge success of 2017's It. The movie stands as one of the biggest horror movies of all time, and there's no reason to think that the sequel won't be just as huge. It: Chapter 2 completes the story of the Losers Club and their battle against the ancient shapeshifting evil being, most famously personified by the terrifying clown Pennywise. This time we follow the adult versions of the kids from the first movie, played by the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader. Director Andy Muschietti is back--as is Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise--so expect another expertly crafted commercial shocker that puts as much emphasis on character as it does on scares.
Release date: September 13
Not to be confused with the recently released--and similarly plotted--comedy flop The Hustle, Hustlers is a satirical crime thriller in which a group of strippers decide to con dozens of wealthy businessmen out of their fortunes. It's based on a true story, and is directed by acclaimed playwright Lorene Scafaria, who made her directing debut with 2012's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. The cast includes Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, and rappers Cardi B and Lizzo.
Release date: September 13
This sci-fi mystery has been picking up rave reviews from festivals over the past year and was recently screened at San Diego Comic-Con. It focuses on a 7-year-old girl who is kept prisoner in her house by her disturbed father, but she manages to escape with the help of a mysterious old man named Mr. Snowcone into a strange, futuristic world. The cast includes Emile Hirsch and Bruce Dern, but much praise has been reserved for young Lexy Kolker in the lead role. It's been said this is the sort of movie that it's best to know as little about as possible going in and it's set to be one of the must-see indie movies of the fall.
Three From Hell
Release date: September 16
It's fair to say that musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie's directing career has been a divisive one to date, with movies such as Lords of Salem, 31, and the Halloween remakes really splitting critics and fans. However, many agree that 2005's The Devil's Rejects is his strongest movie, so expectations are high for this belated follow-up. It reunites the three main characters from that earlier film--Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley), and Vera-Ellen "Baby" Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie). These murderous, degenerate lunatics are back for gory grindhouse-inspired mayhem, which will hit theaters for a limited release next month.
Rambo V: Last Blood
Release date: September 20
Sylvester Stallone has already said goodbye to one of his most iconic characters, when Rocky Balboa made his last appearance in Creed II, and he's now set to do the same with his other great action hero--John Rambo. Rambo V: Last Blood is the fifth movie in the long-running action series and it hits theaters in September. This one sees Rambo take on Mexican drug cartels in order to rescue the daughter of one of his friends. The first trailer arrived this week, and while it doesn’t look like it’ll deliver the moving drama of the Creed movies, we can at least be guaranteed a lot of action.
Release date: September 20
Director James Gray is best known for dark, intense dramas such as The Immigrant and We Own The Night, but with Ad Astra, he makes the jump into big budget sci-fi territory. Brad Pitt stars as an engineer who heads into the outer reaches of space to find out what happened to his father--who made a mysterious one-way trip to Neptune many years earlier. The cast also includes Tommy Lee Jones and Preacher star Ruth Negga. We’ve not seen any footage yet, but based on Gray’s earlier work we can expect an serious, intelligent space epic.
Release date: September 27
This latest release from Dreamworks Animation focuses on a young Yeti, who befriends a teenage girl named Yi living in Shanghai. Yi and her pals must try to reunite the Yeti with his family, while staying one step ahead of an evil zoologist who is determined to capture mythical hairy beast. Agents of SHIELD star Chloe Bennet voices Yi, with Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson in villainous roles. In typical Hollywood style, Abominable is actually the second animated Yeti movie to arrive in the space of a year, with the moderately-successful Smallfoot releasing last October, but this still looks like good fun.
Release Date: October 4
The first of numerous planned Joker movies hits theaters in October. No, this isn't the Jared Leto Joker we've seen in Suicide Squad. This will be an origin movie--of sorts--for a version of the Clown Prince of Crime played by Joaquin Phoenix and isn't set to take place within the DC cinematic universe. Production recently wrapped on the movie, and while we don't have many specific plot details, we have seen various bit of footage of Phoenix in character. It's directed by Hangover-director Todd Phillips, and is being made on a much smaller budget than previous DC epics, so expect something very different.
Release date: October 11
Although the zombie comedy Zombieland was a critical and commercial success, it's taken nearly a decade for the sequel to happen. Since then lead actors Jesse Eisenberg and in particular Oscar-winning Emma Stone have become major stars, while the movie's writers--Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese--have scored major success with the Deadpool movies. But all are returning for the sequel, as are director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) and co-stars Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin. With all the main players back on board, hopes are high that Zombieland 2 will be every bit as funny, gory, silly, and heartfelt as the original. Unfortunately, there's no word if Garfield-regretting Bill Murray is coming back too.
The Addams Family
Release date: October 11
The spooky family were last seen in a pair of live-action movies in the 1990s and will next appear in a new animated film, which hit theaters in October. An impressive voicecast includes Oscar Isaac as Gomez and Charlize Theron as Morticia, plus Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley, Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday, Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester, and Allison Janney as villainous Margaux Needler. The movie seems to be aimed at a younger audience than the '90s movies, but it should make for suitably spooky Halloween viewing for families.
Release date: October 11
Sometimes one Will Smith is not enough. The sci-fi thriller Gemini Man sees the Fresh Prince play a veteran assassin who is his hunted by a younger clone. The movie has been in development for many years, but advances in de-aging technology have now made it a possibility, as 50-year-old Smith fights a version of himself who looks just like the youthful star of '90s films such as Bad Boys and Independence Day. Gemini Man is directed by Ang Lee, who is known for dramas such as Brokeback Mountain, but also proved he can deliver the action goods with the martial arts classic Crouching TIger Hidden Dragon and the 2003 version of Hulk.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Release date: October 11
2019 really is the year of the live-action Disney fairy tale movie. We've already had Dumbo and Aladdin, and The Lion King arrives in July. Things take a slightly darker turn in October, with the release of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. This is the sequel to 2014's Maleficent, which starred Angelina Jolie as the evil fairy of the title. Jolie is back for the second film, which also sees the return of Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora, plus Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein, and Sam Riley. The first movie made more than $758 million at the worldwide box office, so expectations are high for this latest slice of dark fantasy adventure.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Release date: October 15
In more recent years, Kevin Smith has been branching out beyond the comedies that made him famous, but he returns in October to the characters for which he's best known with the sequel to 2000's Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. The plot sees the iconic stoner heroes--played by Smith and Jason Mewes--heading to Hollywood in an attempt to stop a reboot of that earlier movie happening. The movie features appearances from lots of actors who have appeared in Smith's previous films, including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Shannon Elizabeth, and Rosario Dawson, plus a cameo from Chris Hemsworth. It looks like exactly the same brand of foul-mouthed pop-culture referencing comedy that has won Smith such a fan following over the years--you can check the trailer out here.
Release date: October
If you needed proof that Netflix is one of the biggest players in cinema right now, just consider the fact they've spent a reported $175 million on the new Martin Scorsese movie. The legendary director of such classic as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas will make his streaming debut with the epic crime saga The Irishman, which stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, labor union leader and mob hitman. The cast also includes Joe Pesci and Al Pacino (remarkably, this is the first Scorsese movie Pacino has appeared in), and the film will make extensive--and expensive--use of the de-aging VFX seen most recently on Sam Jackson in Captain Marvel. No one makes crime cinema like Scorsese, and The Irishman is unquestionably one of 2019's most anticipated movies.
Release date: October 18
Thor Ragnarok director Taiki Waititi is one of the busiest filmmakers in Hollywood--he's lined up to helm the long-awaited live-action adaptation of anime classic Akira, and is also attached to a new animated Flash Gordon movie. But before we get to all that, his next movie arrives in October. Jojo Rabbit is a crazy-sounding World War II satire, in which a German boy called Jojo discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in his attic. The cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, and Rebel Wilson, but the strangest bit of casting is Waititi himself, who is playing Jojo's imaginary friend--a clownish version of Adolf Hitler. One of the fall's must-see movies.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Release date: November 1
After the commercial and critical failure of 2015's Terminator Genisys, it's a little surprising we're getting a new Terminator movie so soon after. But Terminator: Dark Fate has got a few things going for it. Most importantly, original star Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor, one of the most iconic action heroines of all time. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back once more too, as is series creator James Cameron, who produces this movie. The new additions to the series are exciting as well--director Tim Miller previously helmed Deadpool, while star Mackenzie Davis recently impressed in Blade Runner 2049. Whether or not all this adds up to a good movie or not remains to be seen, but the fact it will be direct sequel to 1991's much-loved T2: Judgement Day (ignoring the three movies in between) bodes well.
Release date: November 8
Director Paul Fieg made a brief detour from the comedies he's best known for with last year's thriller A Simple Favor, but he returns to more familiar territory in November. Last Christmas is--of course--a London-set festive romantic comedy featuring the music of George Michael. It stars Emilia Clarke, in her first post-Game of Thrones role, Crazy Rich Asians' Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson, who also co-wrote the movie. Expect lots of seasonal fuzziness and solid box office.
Ford v. Ferrari
Release date: November 15
From Amadeus to Frost/Nixon, there have been some great movies made from real-life rivalries. Ford v. Ferrari is the latest addition--as the title suggests, it focuses on the rivalry between the two famous car manufacturers for dominance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race that took place in France in 1966. Christian Bale plays British driver Ken Miles and Matt Damon is Ford's pioneering car designer Carroll Shelby, who set about building an entirely new car that might challenge the might of Ferrari. It's directed by James Mangold, who is best known for Logan and The Wolverine, as well as the western 3:1- To Yuma and Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Release date: November 22
The 2017 Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor stands as one of the most successful docs ever made, and it will soon be joined by a live-action movie about the iconic TV host and family entertainer (with a title also taken from the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood theme song). Fred Rogers is played by Tom Hanks--and frankly, it's hard to think of anyone else in the role--and the plot centers upon a cynical journalist whose life is changed when he's assigned to profile Rogers. The script for this movie sat around unmade for many years, but renewed interest in Mr Rogers has finally meant it reaches the screen in November.
Release date: November 15
The iconic female crime-fighters were last seen in a pair of movies in the early 2000s, and are back in this latest film version. It's the second directing credit for Pitch Perfect and Power Rangers star Elizabeth Banks, with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska as the Angels this time round. Interestingly, it has been reported this movie isn't a remake, but a "continuation" of the story that started with the original '70s TV show and continued with the 2000s movies. Those films' producer/star Drew Barrymore is also on board as a producer--so perhaps she'll make a cameo? Either way, expect a trailer soon.
Release date: November 24
The long-awaited sequel to Disney's 2013 blockbuster animated movie Frozen continues the icy adventures of Elsa and Anna. All of the key cast members are returning, including Kristen Bell as Anna and Idina Menzel as Elsa, plus Jonathan Groff as Kristoff and Josh Gad as Olaf. The recent first trailer didn't exactly reveal much about the plot, but it was certainly dramatic, with Elsa trying to cross a stormy sea using her icy magical powers, Anna looking concerned about a hall of weird icy diamonds, Kristoff riding his horse, and the three walking through a spooky forest. All will be revealed in November.
Release date: November 27
Rian Johnson might be best known these days for directing The Last Jedi, but prior to that Star Wars blockbuster, he was the acclaimed filmmaker behind movies such as the teen noir Brick and offbeat sci-fi Looper. Knives Out sees Johnson return to his thriller roots--it’s a ridiculous star-studded murder mystery that is "a modern take on the whodunit" genre. The amazing cast includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette. The first trailer was recently released and it looks like huge star-studded fun.
Release date: December 13
Although Halloween is widely credited for kickstarting the slasher movie craze, it was predated by 1974's terrifying seasonal horror Black Christmas. The film has already been remade once in 2006, and this December, another version arrives. Like last year's Halloween reboot, the new Black Christmas is produced by Blumhouse Films, who know exactly how to retool a horror classic for a modern audience. It'll be directed by Sophia Takal, who previously helmed the acclaimed indie horror Always Shine, and stars Imogen Poots (Green Room) and Cary Elwes (Saw).
Jumanji: The Next Level
Release Date: December 13
Director Jake Kasdan returns for sequel to 2017's smash hit Jumanji reboot, with Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Nick Jonas also back. Apart from the fact that Johnson has said Hart's character will die right away (which we suspect was a joke), we don't know anything about the plot of this latest adventure. But considering how much fun Welcome to the Jungle was, the next installment has us really excited.
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
Release Date: December 20
Unsurprisingly very little is known about the next Star Wars movie, which is set to conclude the current Saga trilogy. We do know some of the new cast members (Keri Russell, Matt Smith), we've seen a few on-set shots, and reportedly Billy Dee Williams will reprise his iconic role as Lando. But beyond that, director JJ Abrams is keeping his usual tight-lid on the production. The Last Jedi's title was revealed in January 2017, so it's possible that we might learn the title of Episode IX soon. Or maybe not. Either way, it sounds like Abrams has big plans for this one, and it is--obviously--an absolute must-see.
Release date: December 20
Avengers: Endgame might be the most watched trailer of the year (and of all time), but when it comes to provoking a reaction, the recent first promo of Cats most take first prize. Tom Hooper's big screen adaptation of classic Lloyd-Webber musical features an all-star cast as singing, dancing cats. While the original show featured the actors in cat costumes, the movie has opted for CG to transforms the likes of James Corden, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson into feline performers, with truly terrifying results. That all said, Hooper's last musical adaptation was Les Miserables and that made more than $440 million at the box office, so it's very possible Cats could do much the same.