The Biggest Movies To Watch In 2019
By Dan Auty and Mat Elfring on
Looking back at 2018, it's 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 looks every bit as good. Superheroes remain one the biggest box office draws, and this year Marvel fans can look forward to Avengers: Endgame, the Spider-Man sequel Far From Home, and the big-screen debut of Captain Marvel. Patient DC fans, who had to wait a whole year between movies before Aquaman hit theaters, will be rewarded with two new films--Shazam! and the intriguing Joker prequel. And the X-Men franchise restarts with two movies that were actually meant to come out in 2018--Dark Phoenix and New Mutants.
There's no shortage of sequels of course. From John Wick: Chapter 2 and Kingsman 3 to Toy Story 4 and Star Wars Episode IX, many of our favorite heroes and villains will be returning for the next instalments. There's plenty of reboots and remakes too, including Hellboy and two Disney classics in the shape of Aladdin and The Lion King.
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. The hugely entertaining Happy Death Day also gets a sequel, there's a third Annabelle movie on the way, as well as a new adaptation of King's classic Pet Sematary. And perhaps most excitingly of all, Jordan Peele's second movie, titled Us, looks set to absolutely terrify us. So here's the biggest movies to watch over the next 12 months...
Release Date: March 19
Jordan Peele's follow-up to his modern horror classic Get Out was shrouded in secrecy until Christmas Day, when the first trailer arrived. It's another terrifying-looking tale that features a family beings menaced by a murderous dopplegangers, and reunites Black Panther's Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke, plus Elizabeth Moss and comedian Tim Heidecker. Peele has revealed that the movie's creepy copy family is called The Tethered, and told Entertainment Weekly that the movie will be "firmly in the horror genre." We can't wait.
Release date: March 22
If you've read the 2004 book The Dirt, an autobiographical account of '80s hair-metal band Motley Crue's rise to megastardom, you might wonder how a film version is going to do this utterly debauched rock'n'roll tale justice. All will be revealed next month, when the movie hits Netflix. It's directed by Jeff Tremaine, who is best known as one of the co-creators of Jackass, and has a cast that includes rising star Douglas Booth as bassist/leader Nikki Sixx and rapper Machine-Gun Kelly as drummer Tommy Lee. So far no footage has been released, so it remains to be seen if the film can really capture the drug-fuelled mayhem of the real story. But for anyone who found Bohemian Rhapsody a bit too safe, The Dirt should be the perfect antidote.
Release date: March 29
2019 is going to be a big year for live-action Disney fairy tale movies, with much anticipation for both The Lion King and Aladdin. Before we get to those, we have this remake of the 1941 animated classic about a big-eared elephant and his adventures in the circus. Dumbo stars Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, and Michael Keaton and is directed by Tim Burton. Burton is known for a somewhat darker take on fantasy than you’d expect for a Disney family favorite, but as his remake of Alice in Wonderland proved, he certainly knows how to make a fairy tale film that can find a massive audience.
Release Date: April 6
With Aquaman currently smashing box office records, it looks like DC is starting to turn its fortunes around. Shazam! is next out of the gate, and will be the studio's first movie that truly embraces the comedic element of its characters, as Billy Batson (Asher Angel) gets magical powers which turns him into the superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi). How awesome is it that we're getting two Captain Marvel movies in one year?
Release Date: April 6
The Stephen King adaptations keep on coming. Pet Sematary focuses on a family who move into a new house near some spooky woods. There are stories about local kids who buried their dead pets in a makeshift cemetery (with a misspelled sign), and it soon becomes clear that there are some dark forces at work. King's novel is one of his scariest and most harrowing works, and while the 1989 movie holds up pretty well, there's plenty of scope for really diving into the story's darkest themes.
Release Date: April 12
While Guillermo Del Toro's two Hellboy movies are fan favorites, they weren't financially successful enough to produce a third movie. But the wise-cracking, cigar-chomping demonic anti-hero is set to return in this reboot, with Stranger Things stars David Harbour taking over from Ron Perlman the lead role. The first trailer was pretty spectacular, and director Neil Marshall has described the movie as "more violent and more bloody" than the previous entries and will apparently return to the tone of Mike Mignola's comic books.
The Curse Of Llarona
Release date: April 19
While James Wan is best known for Aquaman and Furious 7, he remains a key part of the modern horror genre. He helped create three of the genre's biggest franchises--Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring--and continues to produce horror movies for other filmmakers. The Curse of Llarona is his latest; it's the directorial debut of Michael Chaves, who will next helm The Conjuring 3 for Wan, and stars Linda Cardellini (Mad Men, Bloodline) as a social worker who discovers her family is being targeted by a ghost from Mexican folklore, who wants to claim her children. The first trailer was released late last year, and it looks like a suitably scary ride.
Release Date: April 26, 2019
In 2018, Marvel shocked the world with the finale of Avengers: Infinity War, the third installment in the Avengers franchise. After months of speculation, we now know the final movie is titled Avengers: Endgame and the first teaser gives us a hint of what to expect when it hits theaters in April. All the main MCU stars return for this one, including Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) who were absent from the last entry. It's hard to imagine a more spectacular movie than Infinity War, but the Russo brothers have yet to disappoint.
Release Date: May 10
While there have been plenty of Pokemon movies, most only really appeal to fans of the gaming series. However, Detective Pikachu looks just weird enough to have a broader appeal, especially after seeing the highly entertaining first trailer. Ryan Reynolds plays the titular character, who befriends Tim Goodman (Justice Smith)--a human who can understand the little yellow Pokemon. Tim is looking for his father, a detective, and Pikachu wants to help. This movie looks like massive fun and should be the perfect way to get people that aren't as experienced with Pokemon to watch a movie about the pocket monsters.
John Wick 3: Parabellum
Release Date: May 17
The latest movie in the acclaimed action series arrives in May. Following the events of Chapter 2, which had Wick killing someone on the neutral ground of the Continental hotel, Chapter 3 sees the reluctant former hitman on the run with a $14 million contract on his head. Wick is trying to escape from New York, and as you've seen in this official image, he's doing it on a horse. The cast also includes Halle Berry, Ian McShane, and Larry Fishburne, and we can't wait to see what insane action sequences are planned for the next movie.
Release date: May 24
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: May 24
Disney has been revamping many of its classic animated movies into live-action remakes--of sorts. The second one of these to come out in 2019 is Aladdin--with Dumbo coming in March. This version of the classic 1992 animated movie stars Will Smith as the Genie, and is directed by Sherlock Holmes helmer Guy Ritchie. A handful of images were released before Christmas, and hopefully a trailer will be with us before too long.
Release date: May 24
Brightburn was originally set to get a big launch at San Diego Comic-Con in July last year, but the abrupt firing of the movie's producer/writer James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 meant that the event was quickly cancelled. But it's funny how quickly things can change--Gunn is not only now making the Suicide Squad reboot for DC, but he's been rehired by Marvel and sees Brightburn hit theaters in May. It's a superhero horror movie that stars Elizabeth Banks (who previously appeared in Gunn's 2006 horror fave Slither), and puts an evil spin on the superman mythos. The trailers so far make it look like absolute must for fans of both genres.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Release Date: May 31
There are few movie monsters as famous as Godzilla, and the legendary radioactive reptile returns to screens this summer. The sequel to 2014's Godzilla sees the Big G joined by a trio of other monsters taken from the original Japanese movies--Mothra, Rodan, and the three-headed King Ghidorah. The human cast includes Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Sally Hawkins, and Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown. But really, this is all about the monster action.
Release Date: June 7
There were rumours that after the relatively disappointing box office results of 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, Fox was looking reboot the entire X-franchise. And while that's proved not be the case, Dark Phoenix has been delayed several times, so fingers crossed that the movie does this classic comic book storyline justice. The franchise's long-time writer/producer Simon Kinberg makes his directing debut, with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner taking the lead role as Jean Grey. The footage we saw at New York Comic-Con in October looked promising, so we'll know soon enough if it delivers the goods.
Release date: June 14
This latest reboot of the classic '70s Blaxploitation classic features three generations of Shaft--original star Richard Roundtree and the 2000 remake's Samuel L Jackson are joined by newcomer Jessie Usher. It’s directed by Tim Story, who previously helmed Ride Along and its sequel, and it looks like the movie follows the same mix of violent action and raucous comedy, as John Shaft (Jackson) teams up with son (Usher) and dad (Roundtree). The name Shaft perhaps doesn’t have much name recognition for younger viewers--given even the last movie was released nearly 20 years ago--but the slick trailer and presence of Sam Jackson should help it find an audience.
Men in Black International
Release Date: June 14
We're getting a new Men in Black movie, and it's not a reboot. Men in Black International is a spin-off following a new team of agents in London, that reunites Thor: Ragnarok stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as new MiB agents. Emma Thompson reprises her role from the third movie, and from the recent first trailer, it looks like massive fun. F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton, The Fate of the Furious) directs.
Toy Story 4
Release Date: June 21
Although Toy Story 3 seemed to have a perfect ending, Woody, Buzz, and friends will be back for more this summer. So far, we've had a couple of teasers, which it didn't give us much, aside from briefly introducing us to new characters like Forky (Tony Hale). But Pixar's movies rarely disappoint, and all three previous Toy Story films are modern animated classics, so expectations are high.
Release date: June 21
The Child's Play franchise is now 30-years old--producing seven movies over the past few decades--and it is set to get a reboot this summer. Confusingly, series creator Don Mancini is not involved, but he will be continuing the original series about possessed killer doll Chucky on the small screen with an upcoming SyFy series titled Chucky. This film version is a complete reboot of the story and characters--it stars Aubrey Plaza (Legion) and Brian Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), plus Gabriel Bateman (Light's Out) as the kid who end up in possession of evil Chucky. With the third Annabelle movie also on the way this year, 2019 is setting itself up to be the year of the scary horror doll.
Annabelle Comes Home
Release Date: July 3
The Conjuring universe is one of the most successful horror franchises of recent years, and next up is Annabelle Comes Home, the latest in the series of scary doll spin-offs. Producer James Wan has described this one as "Night at the Museum with Annabelle," in which the titular doll activates all the other spooky artifacts owned by paranormal investigator the Warrens. Annabelle: Creation was way better than last year's The Nun, and this next entry sounds like massive fun. It's helmed by Gary Dauberman, who wrote the first Annabelle and the smash hit Stephen King adaptation It, and who makes his directorial debut here.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release Date: July 5
The final MCU movie of the year is the Spider-Man sequel. Jon Watts returns to direct, and according to Marvel boss Kevin Feige the movie takes place immediately after the events of Avengers 4. According to some reports floating around on the internet, the movie follows Peter Parker and his friends who are on a trip to Europe. Jake Gyllenhaal is playing Mysterio, but although the character is a classic Spidey villain, there is some suggestion that he might actually be on the wallcrawler's side in this one. Either way, if it's anything like the previous movie, it's going to be amazing.
The Lion King
Release Date: July 19
The last movie in Disney's line of fairy tale adaptations/remakes is directed by Jungle Book's Jon Favreau and is destined to be one of the studio's biggest hits next year. The first trailer notched up more than 200 million views on YouTube in its first 24 hours, and like The Jungle Book, this will be a mix of live-action and CGI. The incredible voice cast includes Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keegan-Michael Key, John Oliver, and Beyoncé and the movie arrives in July.
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Release Date: July 26
Quentin Tarantino's latest takes place in LA during the late-1960s, during the era of the Manson murders, and follows a TV actor and stuntman who are trying to make it big in the film industry. Once Upon a Time In Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and Brad Pitt, and while we've yet to see any footage from the movie, this is a must-watch for QT fans.
The New Mutants
Release date: August 2
The horror-themed X-Men spin-off New Mutants was originally set to hit theaters in April 2018, but a series of delays means that we won't get to see the movie until August this year. The movie has undergone extensive reshoots, but while that often doesn't bode well, in this case it sounds like it might be good news for fright fans. According to a report, in the wake of the huge success of Stephen King's It, the studio decided that The New Mutants should fully embrace horror, rather than being the more teen friendly movie it was insisting director Daniel Boone delivered. With any luck this tale of mutant teenagers undergoing some terrifying experiences in a sinister hospital is the Elm Street influenced "'rubber-reality' supernatural horror movie" that Boone promised in early interviews. We'll find out in August.
Hobbs & Shaw
Release Date: August 2
Spinning out of the Fast and the Furious franchise, this new movie follows the titular Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham), former foes who are now obviously best friends. A synopsis for the 2019 film has not been released, but it's another addition to the Fast & Furious franchise, and it's being directed by David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool 2). That's more than enough reason to be pumped for it.
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: 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.
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 6--which might be called Terminator: Dark Fate, although that's yet to be confirmed--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: 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.
Sonic: The Hedgehog
Release Dates: November 8
We've yet to see any footage from Sonic's big screen debut, but the iconic video game hedgehog is already causing controversy. Initial posters have revealed that Sonic is lot more humanoid than fans are used too--in particular his legs--something the movie's marketeers have taken full advantage of. As for the film itself, it stars James Marsden as a cop who teams up with Sonic, while Jim Carrey will appear as Robotnik. This may be just weird enough to work.
Release Date: November 8
Although the movie won't start filming until later this month, there is a third Kingsman movie coming out in late 2019. Taron Egerton isn’t reprising his role as Eggsy in this one, as it's a prequel that takes place during World War 1, following a character named Conrad. The film could be a nice change of pace for the franchise, giving viewers more insight into what the Kingsman were early in the 20th century. But Eggsy fans shouldn't worry, as Egerton has suggested that he will return to the role at some point.
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.
Star Wars: Episode IX
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 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.