Attempting to peer into the future and trying to pick the best movies of the coming year is always an interesting challenge. I know there’s always going to be a Star Wars and a Marvel movie on my most anticipated list (no surprise there, I’m sure!), and then I inevitably pick a few films that end up being flops and/or stinkers. (Yes, I did put “Pacific Rim: Uprising” on my most anticipated list at the beginning of 2018. No, it did not make the “best of the year” list at the end.)
Then, there are always some really good smaller movies that aren’t on my most anticipated list but do pop up on my radar throughout the year — and turn out to be really wonderful surprises. In light of that, even though my most anticipated of 2019 list is weighted to the bigger franchise films, if there are some smaller, more off-the-beaten path movies that you are excited about, please let me know!
Since I ended 2018 with a list of my seven favorite films, here are my seven most anticipated of 2019. As Thanos himself would say, perfectly balanced…as all things should be!
7. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (June 7)
I don’t actually know if this movie will turn out to be good or not (it’s been delayed a number of times). But the concept intrigues me, and I love, love, LOVE James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Professor X and Magneto. I’m definitely going to give this a try.
6. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31)
I didn’t love the 2014 “Godzilla” film but the trailer for this one looks intriguing (plus, that unexpected but fantastic use of “Clair de Lune” in the trailer was a stroke of marketing genius). I’m excited to see all the big-screen monsters, and to watch Millie Bobby Brown in one of her first major roles outside of “Stranger Things.”
5. Knives Out (Nov. 27)
This is my pick for potential breakout hit. As anyone who knows me knows, I haven’t stopped talking about how much I loved “The Last Jedi” since December 2017, and I’m super excited to see more from director Rian Johnson. While I’m most intrigued by his potential spin-off Star Wars films, I’m also really looking forward to his mystery crime thriller “Knives Out.” Plus, check out that amazing cast — Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon…and that’s just a few!
4. Aladdin (May 24)
The chatter online about Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake hasn’t necessarily been positive, but I am looking forward to it because I’ve really enjoyed some of Disney’s other live action films, particularly 2015’s “Cinderella” and 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast.” “Aladdin” is one of my favorite Disney animated movies, and I hope they are able to do it justice. I’m a fan of director Guy Ritchie, but I have a feeling the portrayal of the Genie is going to be what makes or breaks this film.
3. Downton Abbey (Sept. 20)
“Downton Abbey” is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and while I loved how the series ended, I can’t resist an opportunity to revisit these characters! I am curious to see how this works as a film, since it was previously in a TV format. However, just seeing all my favorite characters again will be worth a ticket for me.
2. Avengers: Endgame (April 26) – plus Captain Marvel! (March 8)
While I have some theories about what may (or may not) happen in “Endgame,” I’m excited to see how this story wraps up after a decade of anticipation. I hope it’s surprising, challenging, and thrilling, providing a satisfying end to the character arcs we’ve been following. I’m also excited for Marvel’s first solo female superhero film, “Captain Marvel,” and to see how she will play a role in the events of “Endgame.”
1. Star Wars Episode IX (Dec. 20)
If you know me well, you probably already guessed what was going to show up at No. 1 on this list. As I mentioned before, I haven’t stopped buzzing about “The Last Jedi” since I saw it, and I can’t wait to see how the story concludes. I loved the way “The Last Jedi” both deconstructed and reaffirmed the Star Wars mythos, challenging our favorite characters in unexpected ways and forcing them to confront their past and present failures. While J.J. Abrams has a difficult task before him, I trust that he’s going to wrap up the story in a satisfying way that will make me fall in love with the franchise all over again.