As the new year starts, so does the next cycle of movies Hollywood will inundate us with. Here are some of the films to get excited about in 2019.
Us (March 15) — Following up his Oscar-winning debut feature, director Jordan Peele returns to the horror genre with this enticing story about a woman (Lupita Nyong’o) and her family during their trip to her childhood beachfront summer home. While there, they encounter terrifying dopplegangers of themselves. The film also stars Winston Duke, Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker.
Avengers: Endgame (April 26) — The direct sequel to last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” this film follows the Avengers, or at least those left standing following Thanos’ catastrophic snap, as they try to take down the Mad Titan and bring back those they have lost. The movie possibly marks the end of the current era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was established with 2008’s “Iron Man.”
John Wick: Chapter 3 (May 17) — The third installment in the series, this flick follows the titular assassin (Keanu Reeves) as he attempts to survive the $14 million bounty put on his head. The film adds Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston and Jason Mantzoukas to the series’ eclectic universe. If this movie lives up to its predecessors, “John Wick” could go down as one of the best action trilogies ever.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 26) — The first cinematic work since 2015 for both filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor, this 1969-set flick follows a struggling TV western actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) as they attempt to make a name for themselves in the Los Angeles film industry. This movie has a large, star-studded cast with names like Margot Robbie, James Marsden and Kurt Russell.
Knives Out (November 27) — Described as a modern take on a classic Agatha Christie murder mystery, this new feature from “Looper” and “The Last Jedi” filmmaker Rian Johnson has the potential to be an engaging, twisty ride. It also has one of the most stacked ensembles of the year, boasting well-known performers such as Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Lakeith Stanfield, Toni Collette and Michael Shannon.
Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20) — Picking up a year after the events of “The Last Jedi,” the as-yet untitled Episode IX will once again follow the cast of characters in a galaxy far, far away led by Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Having given the reins to Rian Johnson for Episode VIII, “The Force Awakens” writer and director J.J. Abrams returns for both duties to conclude this “sequel” trilogy.
Little Women (December 25) — After her wonderful coming-of-age film “Lady Bird,” filmmaker Greta Gerwig brings us a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s famous 1868 novel exploring the lives of the March sisters in 1860s Massachusetts. Though a well-trod story, Gerwig’s contemporary vision and a cast of talented actors like Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet are likely to make it a worthwhile watch.
The Irishman (TBA 2019) — Legendary director Martin Scorsese reunites with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in their first collaboration since 1995’s “Casino” to create what could potentially be a new gangster classic. Based on the real life of mafioso Frank Sheeran, this high-budget Netflix film will follow an older Sheeran (De Niro) as he remembers his involvements in the events surrounding the murder of Jimmy Hoffa.
The Dead Don’t Die (TBA 2019) — As one of the most eclectic filmmakers working today, Jim Jarmusch seeks to excite audiences with a new take on the zombie movie. Jarmusch puts his fascinating droll stamp on every genre, from westerns to vampire flicks, so one can conceivably expect a unique tale from this film. It stars Adam Driver, Bill Murray and Selena Gomez.
The Lighthouse (TBA 2019) — With his 2016 debut feature “The Witch,” filmmaker Robert Eggers produced one of the best horror films of the decade. Though not much is known about this second effort from Eggers, it stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, has black-and-white visuals shot on 35mm film and is a dark fantasy horror story. At the very least, it has promise to be an intensely interesting cinematic experience.
Honorable Mentions: The Lion King (July 19), Toy Story 4 (June 21), Godzilla: King of Monsters (May 31), Ad Astra (May 24), High Life (April 12), Uncut Gems (TBA 2019)