Happy New Year film fans! 2018 will bring it with a whole bunch of anticipated films across all genres and for all audiences – here are 21 that you should look out for in the upcoming season, with trailers where applicable (sorted by release date).
1. The Post
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk
Released: 11 January 2018 (AU)
Spielberg’s latest The Post follows the story of Washington Post publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) and her editor Ben Bradlee’s (Tom Hanks) fight against the government with the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, in a saga that spans decades.
This film has already received incredible buzz from critics and is a hot favourite to clean up at the big award shows.
When you look at the fantastic combination of cast, crew and plot, this one is surely a must-see for film fans in 2018.
Check out the trailer above.
2. Swinging Safari
Director: Stephan Elliott
Starring: Guy Pearce, Julian McMahon, Radha Mitchell, Kylie Minogue
Released: 18 January 2018 (AU)
From the director of the hugely popular Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) comes Swinging Safari – a coming-of-age story set in a beach town in 1970’s Australia – a free spirited time in the nation’s history.
The trailer for this film (see above) suggests that this film will be a hoot, one that may potentially go down as an instant classic.
The film features an all-star Australian cast along with that quintessential humour Aussies are known for.
3. The Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg
Released: 25 January 2018 (AU)
From master filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes his latest, The Shape of Water, a film about a mute janitor that forms a special bond with a unique aquatic creature in a secret government research facility.
Another film that’s already being touted as one of the best of the year and is a big awards contender, GDT’s latest looks like it will feature every element of what makes the director’s work so special.
Check out the trailer above to see what I mean and be sure to check it out when it drops in late January.
Director: Brad Furman
Starring: Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Toby Huss
Released: 7 February 2018 (US)
LAbyrinth follows the story of the police investigation that followed the murders of rap superstars Tupac and Biggie Smalls.
While the last few years have not been the kindest to Johnny Depp as far as the quality of his movies go, LAbyrinth may very well be the film that the fan-favourite actor needs to get him back on the right track.
The subject matter of the film is one of the more intriguing to be tackled as of late, and if it’s handled well, then this could be a sleeper hit in 2018.
IMDB lists the film’s release date as early February, however there have been no trailers or any other marketing materials to speak of as yet, so I have a feeling that date isn’t the most accurate.
Director: Alex Garland
Starring: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Benedict Wong
Released: 23 February 2018 (AU)
The follow up to Alex Garland’s 2014 hit film Ex Machina follows Natalie Portman’s biologist character partake in a secret ecological expedition in search for answers, in a dangerous place where the laws of nature don’t apply.
Based on the trailer above, Annihilation looks like the lovechild of Arrival and Alien: Covenant (and more!), and looking at the great cast and directing talent on board, this is definitely one of the more anticipated films of 2018.
6. Death Wish
Director: Eli Roth
Starring: Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris
Released: 2 March 2018 (US)
The remake of the 1974 cult classic film of the same name, Death Wish follows a man out for vengeance on the group of thugs that viciously attack his wife and daughter.
Watching the trailer above, you may be wondering why this film is even on this list.
Sure, it looks cheesy as anything and B-grade at best, however director Eli Roth deserves a mention whenever he has a new film on the way.
Whether you love or hate his work, his particular style is undeniably entertaining, and Death Wish looks like it will make for some highly entertaining, gratuitously violent viewing.
7. I, Tonya
Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Released: 15 March 2018 (AU)
I, Tonya follows the story of former champion figure skater Tonya Harding’s troubled life.
Judging by the trailer above, it looks as though Australian actress Margot Robbie has put on the performance of her career, which alone makes this one stand out from the rest as a must-see in 2018.
The film also looks like it will be full of drama, humour and heartbreak, and has already received some excellent early buzz.
8. Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
Released: 29 March 2018 (AU)
Spielberg’s second film for the year is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Ernest Cline.
It’s set in a future where society plugs into a virtual world known as as the Oasis to live out their wildest dreams, however things go crazy when the Oasis’s creator dies but leaves behind an easter egg hidden in the virtual world, with promises of riches beyond belief to its finder.
The film looks like it will tackle several social issues relevant to today’s modern society, with a coat of pop-culture-heavy action/adventure/sci-fi plastered over the top – definitely one of the more intriguing entries on this list.
9. Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray
Released: 29 March 2018 (AU)
It’s always a special event when a new Wes Anderson films drops, and judging by the trailer for his new one, Isle of Dogs, the end of March 2018 looks like it will be a date you’ll need to mark in your calendars.
The stop-motion film follows a young boy’s journey to find his dog in a dystopian-future Japan.
The film looks like it will be full of classic Wes Anderson wit and charm, and the voice cast for this film is one of the most impressive assembled in a film by the popular director so far.
10. Super Troopers 2
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter, Brian Cox
Released: 20 April 2018 (US)
It’s been a long time coming, but the comedy troupe Broken Lizard are finally back with their sequel to 2001’s cult-classic Super Troopers.
The original cast is back and more of the same comedy hijinx is set to ensue, check out the trailer above to see what’s in store for you.
11. Avengers: Infinity War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, and every other actor to have featured in a Marvel film!
Released: 25 April 2018 (AU)
After 10 years and 20 films, Marvel Studios biggest event-film will finally arrive in the form of Avengers: Infinity War.
The film will see virtually every Marvel character to have graced our screens in the past, team up to battle their biggest threat in Josh Brolin’s Thanos – the universe’s big bad that’s been teased for years.
Whether or not you have superhero fatigue by now, and many of us do, this film is a must-see purely to see how big and epic Marvel can go with it.
12. Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover
Released: 24 May 2018 (AU)
Solo: A Star Wars story is this year’s film set in the Star Wars universe (there will be one new film each year as far as we know) and will follow the story of a younger Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich).
The Star Wars films most popular character’s standalone film comes highly anticipated, though it was met with some controversy when the film’s original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord left the production over creative differences.
Thankfully veteran filmmaker Ron Howard was hired to replace them and salvage the film, and a great choice at that if you ask me, because if anyone can do it he can.
13. Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan, Reynolds, Josh Brolin, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin
Released: 1 June 2018 (US)
The sequel to 2016’s smash hit film Deadpool, that follows a foul-mouthed, ultra-violent superhero known as Deadpool played by Ryan Reynolds.
We don’t know too much about this film plot-wise, however we should be getting a trailer for it soon, and in the meantime you can check out the cool promotional video for the film above.
Josh Brolin joins the cast as fan-favourite comics character Cable.
14. Incredibles 2
Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk
Released: 14 June 2018 (AU)
Another film that’s been a very long time coming is Incredibles 2, the sequel to Pixar’s 2004 animated film The Incredibles.
All the familiar faces from the first film are back, and while we only have a short teaser trailer for it at the moment, we can see that the film will feature the same types of sensibilities as the first – lots of family fun and humour.
15. The Predator
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, Thomas Jane
Released: 2 August 2018 (AU)
Director Shane Black and an outstanding cast are set to revive the Predator franchise in 2018, based on the hit 1987 film Predator which famously starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There aren’t any plot details about the film as yet, however we can be sure it’s in safe hands with Shane Black at the helm, as his past record is solid, with films that include Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and The Nice Guys (2016).
16. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Director: Simon Kinberg
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner
Released: 2 November 2018 (US)
Dark Phoenix follows on from 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse and features most of that film’s cast reprising their roles.
The story will follow the Dark Phoenix saga from the comics, which we’ve already seen before in past X-Men movies, however it will be the sole focus this time around.
Apocalypse was a bit of a mess, so the team at Fox have some making up to do, which is why this one is an intriguing choice for 2018.
17. Creed 2
Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Dolph Lundgren, Tessa Thompson
Released: 21 November 2018 (US)
The sequel to 2015’s standout film Creed arrives in 2018 and sees the return of Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone reprising their roles, in this film set in the Rocky universe.
Director Steven Caple Jr. doesn’t instil much confidence in me as he’s a relatively unknown name, but the good news is that Dolph Lundgren is reprising his role as Ivan Drago from Rocky IV (1985)!
Surely that’s got to be worth the price of admission!
Director: James Wan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe
Released: 26 December 2018 (US)
Just like Fox has some making up to do with their new X-Men film, so too does DC with their upcoming solo film for Aquaman (Jason Momoa) after the big mess that was last year’s Justice League.
This is one of the riskiest movies to look forward to in the coming year as DC has yet to find their footing in the film space for its characters, however if anyone can get them back on their feet it’s Australian director James Wan.
Wan is a Hollywood money-making machine, so we can only hope that the powers that be at DC have given him as much creative freedom as he needs to make a great film, and ultimately bring the big bucks in 2018.
19. The Irishman
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel
The Irishman tells the story of a mob hitman who recollects on his involvement in the possible murder of Jimmy Hoffa.
The film stars a whose-who of legendary actors, directed by a legendary director – what more can one ask for as far as films to look out for go?
The Irishman will be distributed on Netflix at some point this year, in what will probably be the biggest hit for the streaming network so far.
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton
A modern remake of the classic Giallo horror film Suspiria (1977) directed by Dario Argento, sees Italian director Luca Guadagnino at the helm.
The film follows a young American ballet dancer at a prestigious ballet school in Germany, as she learns all the horrific secrets that lie beneath.
Guadagnino has big shoes to fill here, as the original film was known for its unique visual style and creepy score – those parts should be easily modernised, however will he be able to capture the same sense of dread and terror as the master director Dario Argento?
We’ll find out some time this year.
21. The House that Jack Built
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Riley Keough, Uma Thurman, Matt Dillon
Rounding off the list is The House that Jack Built, a serial-killer film from famous director Lars von Trier.
The director is best known for producing disturbing, thought-provoking and not for the faint of heart films, and I’m sure Jack will fit right into that mould.
While his past films, and this one might not be for everyone, it’s definitely one to check out if you’re tired of all the glitzy popcorn films that the market is saturated with these days – a film that will surely bring us back down to earth, for better or worse.
Are there any I’ve missed that you think should be on this list?
Let us know in the comments below.