Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

Still from Us Trailer — Copyright: Universal Pictures

There is a lot to be excited about in the new year. Specifically, there are a lot of movies to be excited about in the new year. I’ve compiled a list of the ten movies I am most excited for in 2019. This is subject to change as the year progresses, but as of right now, these are the ones that have me excited.

Happy Death Day is one of my favorite modern slasher films. I’m a sucker for horror that leans into comedy, and Happy Death Day is full of laughs. Christopher Landon’s work has always resonated with me, and while it’s not particularly deep or meaningful, I always have a good time with a movie he’s had a hand in. I actually went and saw the new Halloween three times, and part of that was to see the trailer to Happy Death Day 2U, which didn’t go online until around a month later. The trailer showed that Landon and company were not content with doing the same thing twice, and while the film looks firmly planted in the horror comedy stylings of the first one, there were some sci-fi elements hinted at. Happy Death Day 2U hits theaters February 14th.

The trailer to Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out went online yesterday, and what a Christmas gift that was! Much like the trailer to his first feature film, it’s making waves. I loved Get Out, and enjoyed Peele’s work in comedy. The trailer is chock-full of terrifying imagery, with all the flourishes of Peele’s Oscar-winning debut effort. The thing that grabs me about Peele’s horror is that it is inherently human. He focuses on the emotions of his characters, eliciting fantastic performances from his entire cast. With a cast lead by Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o, this horror film about a family confronted by their doppelgangers looks to win Peele another round of much-deserved acclaim. Us hits theaters March 15th.

This may be the first time a DCEU film has gotten me super excited. Zachary Levi of Chuck fame bulked up and is playing one of my favorite DC characters in a movie that looks like a fun adventure true to the spirit of the comics. Everything about this trailer is spot on, from the special effects, to the costumes, to the humor. The premise of a kid being gifted with the ability to transform into a fully grown superhero is promising in its own right, and it looks like David F. Sandberg, making his first film outside of the horror genre, undoubtedly nails the tone. Shazam! hits theaters April 5th.

One of the first Stephen King books I read, Pet Sematary genuinely terrified me. It still does. It’s a deeply personal book that deals with grief and loss in a beautifully bone-chilling way. The 1989 film directed by Mary Lambert is a classic in its own right, with some iconic imagery. That being said, it didn’t explore the themes the book as much as it could have. The jury is out on whether this one will or not, but the first trailer looks promising. With a stellar cast and some striking new imagery (such as children in animal masks marching through the woods), this remake could very well be a winner. Pet Sematary hits theaters April 5th.

What is there to say about this one? Both of the earlier John Wick films have boasted some of the best action sequences of all time. They play out like a violent ballet, and Keanu Reeves is the prima ballerina. These movies live and die on his performance, and Reeves rises to the occasion. There may be talk that his acting is wooden at best, but you can’t deny that the man transforms his body language for every role he takes on. John Wick and John Wick: Chapter Two have built a glorious world for the titular hitman to play in, and I can’t wait to see what the filmmakers of this franchise have in store for the third (and final?) installment. Oh, and Halle Berry is in it, in case you weren’t sold already. John Wick 3: Parabellum hits theaters May 17th.

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy duology is my favorite thing the MCU has put out. They are fun, action-packed, and emotional blockbusters, the kind we don’t see as much of anymore. I could lament that his vision for the third installment of a trilogy will never come to fruition, but why would I when he’s gifting us with Brightburn, a horror film that seems to ask the question “What if Superman were evil?” The trailer, which dropped earlier this month, promises some genuine scares, and a “Man of Steel meets Halloween” tone. Gunn’s films, good or bad, always promise to be unique, and this one looks like a very different beast. Brightburn hits theaters May 24th.

Michael Dougherty made two of my favorite holiday horror films, Trick-r-Treat and Krampus. Both of those films were made on a relatively small budget, but now, Legendary Pictures has given him a larger canvas to paint on. And this particular painting looks gorgeous. Both trailers had very different tones, but both had some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen in a blockbuster, and we’re still months out from the actual release. The talented Millie Bobbie Brown of Stranger Things stars alongside an all-star cast. Godzilla (2014) didn’t strike a chord with me, but Kong: Skull Island was a fun adventure movie that wasn’t afraid to go big. I get the feeling Dougherty’s film is going to be closer to the latter, and if that’s the case, we’re in for a treat. Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters May 31st.

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson had great chemistry together in Thor: Ragnarok, one of the most enjoyable Marvel films to date. Now, they’re teaming up with F. Gary Gray, the man behind The Fate of the Furious, one of the most enjoyable films in the Fast and Furious franchise. The cherry on top? It’s a Men in Black reboot. If it were any other team behind this film, I don’t know if it would be on my most anticipated list. Yet, the trailer proved to be what I expected, a fun sci-fi romp reminiscent of the original (one of my childhood favorites), with tremendous chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson. The effects are a bit cheesy, but that’s what I’ve come to expect with a Men in Black film. Besides, there are still many months to go before release for the VFX artists to tighten that up. Men in Black: International hits theaters June 14th.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham team up with director David Leitch for a Fast and Furious spin-off. Enough said. Two of today’s biggest action stars are teaming up with one of the biggest action directors in a spin off of one of the biggest action franchises on the planet; it’s a must see in my book. Let’s not forget that these movies didn’t get really good until Johnson came aboard. Statham was a welcome villain turned ally in recent films, and his chemistry with Johnson was evident from the get-go. To see these two characters team up for a side adventure sounds like a real treat, depending on your tolerance for this particular franchise. Hobbs and Shaw hits theaters August 2nd.

It: Chapter One was not only my favorite horror film of 2017, it was my favorite film of 2017 period. Director Andy Muschietti created a faithful yet streamlined adaptation of (part of) King’s dense novel, crafting a film that was creepy and surprisingly emotional and empathetic toward its young characters. It wasn’t afraid to go full on horror, killing off a young boy in brutal fashion right away. However, the end product was basically Stand By Me with a killer demon chasing our group of youngsters. The next installment of the duology boasts an all-star cast including Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain, playing our beloved Losers Club as adults returning to Derry for round two, and Muschietti is back in the director’s chair. I’m excited to see what he does to finish out the duology. It: Chapter Two hits theaters September 6th.

2019 should prove to be another good year for films. There are many I’m anticipating that didn’t quite make the cut for my top ten, because 2019’s cinema slate is chock-full of heavy hitters. That being said, what are your most anticipated films coming in 2019?

A film critic with a taste for genre fare, living in Sioux Falls, SD. If you love movies, we’ll get along just fine.

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