In 2018, the film industry treated us to a few cinema favorites, with the blockbuster-that-is-more-than-a-blockbuster Black Panther or the Amelie-like production of The Shape of Water. That is just two: 2018’s highlights include the memorable Three Billboards, an enthralling new Avengers, and an all-women Ocean’s 8. Needless to say, this has set the bar pretty high for 2019.
From the looks of it, 2019 will be a good one for cinema-goers. It is packed with highly-anticipated films – not the least of which is the very first Pokémon film Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, a thrilling prospect for fans who have been left feeling underwhelmed since the Pokémon Go hype died out. The X-Men franchise will release no less than two new films and, after being widely acclaimed on ITV, Downton Abbey will be taking on the big screen.
Those are only a few out of what’s in store for 2019, and here is our round-up of the most exciting films that are hitting cinemas next year. And if you can’t wait that long, make sure you take a look at the best films streaming on Netflix and the best movies on Amazon Prime.
Starring Vera Farmiga and John Goodman, Captive State is the kind of ambitious and original sci-fi we always find exciting. The dramatic trailer sets the scene in Chicago, ten years after the beginning of an alien occupation where the human population is split between the resistance and collaborators. It’s a low budget affair, but one we can’t wait to see.
Captive State release date: March 28
Tim Burton’s skilful remastering of animated films into dreamy fantasy adventure productions has already proven its worth in the box-office with Alice in Wonderland; and the director is back at it with a retelling of the classic childhood must-watch Dumbo. The tale of the unlucky elephant that was born with ears too big and was endlessly mocked by its peers will be enacted by a high-profile cast including Eva Green and Colin Farrell. Tears are much-anticipated from viewers of all ages of course, and especially when it is revealed that Dumbo’s ears let him fly.
Dumbo release date: 29 March 2019
The ghostly atmosphere of Stephen King’s thrillers once again prove that they translate incredibly on a screen – just watching the trailer for Pet Sematary, based on the author’s horror novel of the same name, will suffice to give you the creeps. In a classic King plot, a normal family moves to remote area and gets in all sorts of hair-raising troubles. This time, the drama happens after the family cat gets run over by a truck, and the father, Louis, decides to bury it in the nearby “pet sematary” that neighbors have been telling him about. And as it turns out, spelling is not the only thing that is wrong with the place.
Pet Sematary release date: 5 April 2019
Cult series Hellboy is getting a long overdue reboot. Based on the Dark Horse comics, David Harbour (Stranger Things) is stepping into the role of Hellboy, the creature stuck between the supernatural and human worlds. Its pitched as an R-rated superhero film in a similar fashion to Deadpool.
Hellboy release date: April 12
A decade on, the Marvel industrial complex shows no signs of slowing down, and the cliffhanger ending to last year’s Infinity Warmakes Endgame one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2019. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up as the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe draws to a close, not least the challenge of undoing the events of the end of the last film, which left the fate of several characters (and half of all life on earth) in doubt.
Avengers: Endgame release date: April 26, 2019
A film about sex experiments in space from French auteur Claire Denis, starring Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson and Andre 3000, High Life looks like a deliciously, deliriously strange slice of sci-fi for 2019. The premise – that a group of death row inmates have been sent into orbit to harvest energy from black holes – might well be the least interesting thing about it. With early film festival reviews noting Denis’ signature abstract style and nods to Tarkovsky’s philosophical tendencies, this is set to be about as far away from Marvel as you can get – in an erotically charged, self-sustaining space station.
High Life release date: May 10 2019
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
It may seem unbelievable that we should have waited until 2019 to get a Pokémon film. But in any case, it is coming. Ryan Reynolds gets the privilege of Pikachu’s voice in a mystery comedy film that follows the famous yellow creature, now equipped with a Sherlock Holmes-style hat, as it goes around the Pokémon world resolving mysteries. The American-Japanese production is the result of a 2016 deal between Legendary Pictures and The Pokemon Company – and the outcome, based on the game of the same name, has potential to hit the spot for ex-Game Boy players.
Detective Pikachu release date: 10 May 2019
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
There is no such thing as too much Marvel, and nothing says it better than a twelfth instalment to the X-Men franchise. It is a direct sequel to the 2016 X-Men: Apocalypse, in which the X-Men stood as united as ever against the world-destroyer Apocalypse. This time, it is one of their own members that threatens to dismantle the gang, as Jean Grey develops superior powers and begins to turn into a corrupt Dark Phoenix. Thus bringing about the ultimate dilemma: save the friend, or save the whole world?
X-Men: Dark Phoenix release date: 7 June 2019
Toy Story 4
Buzz Lightyear first appeared in Andy’s toy collection in 1995. Now, almost 25 years later the fourth instalment of Toy Story is due to be released. Buzz, Woody, Mr Potato Head and the rest of the toys are now in the possession of new owner Bonnie. And Woody has a problem with a new toy. “When Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy,” Disney says. At the moment this is about all we know about Toy Story 4.
Toy Story 4 release date: June 21, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Peter Parker is back (well almost). Slated for release in July, the superhero film is a sequel to 2017’s Homecoming movie. Far From Home is set after Avengers: Endgame, so we don’t really know what’s set to happen. What we do know is Parker (played by Tom Holland) goes on a school trip to Europe with his friends. When he’s abroad though, he has to battle four extradimensional humanoids called the Elementals.
Spider-Man: Far From Home release date: July 5, 2019
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
For his next film, Tarantino went big – although arguably, he usually does. His cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as two aspiring TV stars hoping to succeed in the film industry in 1969 Los Angeles. The film is set in the context of an America rocked by the Manson Family murders – the killings perpetrated by a cult formed in California and led by Charles Manson. By the end of the 60s, Manson was predicting an apocalyptic war based on racial tensions. Apology of violence and cult of deranged leaders: it is not hard to see how it all makes well for a classic Tarantino.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood release date: 26 July 2019
X-Men: The New Mutants
One year and two X-Mens? That’s right. 20th Century Fox is outdoing itself next year. Directed by Josh Boone (who was behind The Fault in Our Stars), it sets forward a cast that is largely new to the X-Men franchise, playing five new young mutants discovering their abnormal abilities as they are being kept against their will in a secret facility. Dark, tense, and laden with furious screams: it is a classic Marvel story of escape and redemption. Featuring Netflix favorite Charlie Heaton, who plays the role of Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things.
X-Men: The New Mutants release date: 2 August 2019
It: Chapter Two
A sequel to the 2017 film that left many a viewer terrified of looking into street gutters, and justified many more’s aversion of creepy clowns, the second chapter of It is yet another long-awaited, Stephen King-based, creeps-inducing production. The first film followed the disappearance of seven-year old Georgie and the ensuing persecution by an unknown force, called “It”, of his teenage brother and his gang, who call themselves “The Losers Club”. In chapter two, the gang is 27 years older, and determined to put an end to It. Literally.
It: Chapter Two release date: 6 September 2019
Joaquin Phoenix plays a failed stand-up comedian turned psychotic anarchist in this comic-book inspired caper helmed by Todd Phillips, the director of the Hangover trilogy. Plot details are sparse, but it’s expected to be a dark tale inspired by Alan Moore’s graphic novel The Killing Joke that will delve into the origins of the iconic character. Bewilderingly, this is the first in a brand new series of standalone films based on DC Comics characters, but one that is separate from the existing DC Universe of Justice League, Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad (which also features the Joker character, played to mixed reviews by Jared Leto). Why so complicated?
Joker release date: October 4, 2019
Based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, The Goldfinch is a coming-of-age film that follows the life of young Theodore Decker from the moment that he survives a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in which his mother dies. In the confusion of the attack, he steals a Dutch painting called “The Goldfinch” which becomes his very personal source of inspiration. Theodore is then taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family and descends into a life of crime – ultimately leading to him dealing in art forgery from Las Vegas. Starring Nicole Kidman and Luke Kleintank.
The Goldfinch release date: 11 October 2019
Star Wars: Episode IX
J.J. Abrams returns to his director’s chair for the final instalment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, after Colin Trevorrow stepped down, but with the same promise of an “emotionally resonant finale”. A critical issue in producing the last film was to find a way to handle the disappearance of Carrie Fisher in 2016 and her irreplaceable performance of Princess Leia. The team doesn’t wish to recast or use a computer-generated character, meaning that Leia is likely to make a small appearance based on footage that was previously shot. A better way to honour her 40 year-long career with the Star Wars franchise.
Star Wars: Episode IX release date: 20 December 2019