The Biggest Movies To Watch In 2019
By Dan Auty | @MondoDan and Mat Elfring | @ImMatElfring on
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, and later this year Marvel fans can look forward to Spider-Man sequel Far From Home and the latest X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix. 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 John Wick: Chapter 2 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 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. There's a third Annabelle movie on the way, the Chucky reboot, while Hereditary director Ari Aster returns with the terrifying-looking Midsommer. So here's the biggest movies to watch over the next 8 months...
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
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: May 31
We're not yet halfway through the year, but low budget horror specialists Blumhouse are about to release their third movie of 2019. Following the horror sequel Happy Death 2U and the hugely successful Us, we have Ma. It marks the first horror movie from director Tate Taylor, who previously helmed the 2016 thriller hit The Girl on the Train, as well as the acclaimed drama The Help. The brilliant Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water, Hidden Figures) stars as a lonely woman who invites some teenagers into her house to party. Inevitably, things start to go very bad for them. Sounds like another creepy gem from Blumhouse.
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.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Release date: June 7
The 2016 animated animal comedy The Secret Life of Pets made an incredible $875 million at the worldwide box office, and the inevitable sequel arrives in June. All the main cast return, including Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Dana Carvey, and Jenny Slate, with new voices supplied by Patton Oswalt, Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, and Harrison Ford, who is making his animated movie debut. This one focuses upon the canine Max, who must contend with the fact that his owner Katie is now much more focused on her new baby than on him. Expect this one to do huge business amongst pet-loving younger audiences.
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.
The Dead Don't Die
Release date: June 14
Indie legend Jim Jarmusch is best known for directing low-key comedy dramas such as Night on Earth and the recent Paterson, and he is not the most obvious choice to helm a wacky zombie comedy. Jarmusch has dabbled in horror before, but while 2013's Only Lovers Left Alive was a strange, sad deconstruction of the vampire myth, The Dead Don't Die looks like he's going for a much broader approach here. But there's no arguing with the cast--which includes Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, and an undead Iggy Pop--and it does look damn funny.
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.
Release date: July 12
Dave Bautista takes his biggest lead role so far in this action-packed comedy, which teams him with Silicon Valley's Kumail Nanjiani. Bautista is a tough, grizzled cop who is forced to call an Uber in the middle of a case, which is being driven by the unlucky Nanjiani. Inevitably, the pair end up in a wild and dangerous urban adventure, as Bautista sets out to take down some bad guys. The Guardian of the Galaxy movies have shown Bautista's comic skills, and this one looks like it will deliver both hilarious buddy comedy and over-the-top action scenes.
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.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Release date: August 2
The hugely popular animated Nickelodeon show Dora the Explorer has now become a live-action movie, with Dora portrayed as an intrepid teenage adventurer by Transformers: The Last Knight's Isabela Moner. The film also features Michael Peña (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) as her parents, with voices by Benicio Del Toro (Sicario) as the evil fox Swiper and Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) as Dora's faithful monkey pal Boots. It’s directed by The Muppets' James Bobin and the first trailer suggests a teen spin on movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Tomb Raider.
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.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Release date: August 9
Guillermo Del Toro remains as busy as ever--he's got the Netflix horror anthology series 10 After Midnight, a new animated version of Pinocchio on the way, and he's also produced an adaptation of Alvin Schwartz's classic spooky kids book series Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, which arrives in August. The movie adapts four of Schwartz's stories, and the first trailer revealed that they all will be incorporated into an overall plot, rather than being standalone sections of an anthology. Director André Øvredal has proven his genre credentials with The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Trollhunter, and the film looks set to strike the perfect balance between thrilling fun and properly scary.
Release date: August 9
Ari Aster made an incredible impression with his debut film--the terrifying and disturbing Hereditary--and expectations are high for his follow-up. Midsommar stars rising star Florence Pugh (Fighting with my Family) as a woman vacationing in a Swedish village who becomes involved with a sinister cult. The first trailer gives off seriously scary Wicker Man-vibes, and the movie looks set to solidify Aster's status as one of horror's most exciting new talents.
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.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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 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 reportedly "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. While we don’t know more about the film than that, but Johnson has previously proven his skill at putting an unusual spin on genre material, making this a seriously exciting prospect.
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 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.