Twice a year (in January and July), I prepare a list of the ten movies I’m looking forward to the most in the coming months. I insist on including only films for which we have a definitive release date and for which we have seen a trailer, otherwise the list becomes far more prospective than I would like. My record here is, uh, spotty as I have highlighted some big hits over the years as well as few total duds. The July through December batch is difficult because of the sheer number of indie and awards-y movies that haven’t been officially slated yet and/or received a real trailer. Nevertheless, I push on and present a set of films that I think measures up to the first half of 2018’s “solid if unspectacular” standard.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mary Poppins Returns (December 28)
We’ve only seen a brief glimpse of the world’s greatest nanny (I Still think “Marry Poppins Returns” sounds like a horror movie but whatever) but the idea is a good one and I’m here for any and all things Emily Blunt. Plus, my cohort, Richard, is a big proponent of this film and his excitement has proved contagious.
10. Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse (December 14)
Like many of you, I am exhausted by all the various Spider-Man-ing going around these days and I’m inclined to be wary of any non-Marvel incarnation at this point (see: the absence of Venom on this list). But, for one thing, this seems like the right way to venture out from the Disney safety net and for another, the animation here looks incredible. There’s a fun story to be told here and it can branch out into an excellent franchise very easily.
9. White Boy Rick (September 14)
For me, this stands out as the poster child for why trailers are valuable. White Boy Rick has been in various stages of development for quite a while now and I’d completely lost all interest in it. Then the trailer dropped and, wow, that is a fantastic trailer that left me wanting more and pumped for what we might get out this movie.
8. Ralph Breaks the Internet (November 21)
For me, Ralph is almost the antithesis of White Boy Rick: it’s a property I’ve been incredibly excited about for a long time but the trailer left me a little concerned. I’m not overly concerned, mind you (hence the placement on this list), but it was not quite what I expected and a little jarring in its meta-ness. Even still, I love the first Wreck-It Ralph, I think these characters are some of the best in recent Disney memory, and the idea is solid. Just hoping for equally solid execution.
7. Predator (September 14)
I’ve already run the gamut with this one. I think it’s a great idea, Predator needed to be rebooted, and I love Shane Black coming back to direct. I’m also a bit hesitant on some of the cast and I thought the first trailer was bad, as if the movie didn’t have to sell itself because everyone knows what the Predator is and will be flocking to see its return. The second trailer was a lot better and hopefully bodes well for what we’re about to see.
6. Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)
By the time this publishes, many of you will have already seen this one and of course, the…buzz (I sincerely apologize) around it has been great. I’m lower on the first Ant-Man than many seem to be but I love its possibilities and I expect this one to be a vast improvement on it’s already-good predecessor.
5. Bad Times at the El Royale (October 5)
This could go extremely badly and turn into a jumbled, Smokin’ Aces-style mess, but with this cast and this trailer, I’m completely in. I’m not a big fan of director Drew Goddard’s last film (Cabin in the Woods) but I loved its premise and I love his writing and El Royale promises to be stylistically impressive, if nothing else.
4. Mission: Impossible Fallout (July 27)
As co-president of the, “Yeah Tom Cruise is Probably a Weirdo but He Sure Makes Good Movies” fan club, there are very few things I enjoy more than Tom Cruise doing ridiculous stunts, on his own (for literally no reason other than to please his fans), in the character of Ethan Hunt. Does this look like the BEST Mission Impossible movie? No, not really, and we’re probably just going to keep chasing the success of Ghost Protocol but I’m here for it nonetheless.
3. A Star is Born (October 5)
This is another one Richard has been banging the drum for over the last few months and again, he was right. I was mildly intrigued in this remake-of-a-remake until I saw the trailer and now it’s all I can think about. I’m a sucker for a harmony and I’ve already fallen in love with this film’s music just from these brief glimpses. And Cooper and Lady Gaga look like a magnificent pairing.
2. First Man (October 12)
I am no friend of the biopic but if you’re going to do a biopic, I demand that you do that biopic with King Ryan Gosling The First of His Name and Damien Chazelle. I imagine that pairing could make a biopic about the creator of the wire hanger interesting so, of course, adding in Neil Armstrong and the Space Race doesn’t hurt First Man’s cause.
1. Creed II (November 21)
Oh my oh my oh my. I’ve been preparing for the Creed II trailer pretty much since the second I walked out of the theater for Creed (bawling my eyes out) and even still, I was unready. This trailer dropped, and I woke up in a hospital bed three days later. You guys, I mean…I’m at a loss for words. What more could I POSSIBLY want from this movie than what I’ve already seen in the trailer?! Creed is a perfect movie and this sequel looks to be following right in its footsteps. We got one, Rock!