The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

The most anticipated movies of 2019 include new films from Jordan Peele, Kelly Reichardt, Rian Johnson, Dee Rees, Stephen King, Lena Waithe, Martin Scorsese, and many more.

Most Anticipated Movies

Detective Pikachu

12. Detective Pikachu (5/10)

After decades of popularity, a big-budget live-action Pokemon movie seems like a no-brainer. But a live action universe that starts with a noir-comedy featuring sardonic talking Pikachu voiced by the same guy who does Deadpool? That’s less expected, but somehow the high concept isn’t entirely unwelcome. Like GPS game Pokemon Go before it, the Detective Pikachu trailer was all anyone was talking about for a few days last year. We can’t know whether or not the movie will deliver on that momentum, but with impressive art direction, a spirited comedic angle, and a cast that also includes Justice Smith, Bill Nighy, Suki Waterhouse, and Ken Watanabe, it’s got a good chance. – Val

11. Captain Marvel (3/8)

We’ve already begun receiving reports from ticket sales companies that Captain Marvel is selling very well compared to other big Marvel movies at this point. And not just other solo Marvel movies — all of them. Marvel Studios is prepping their big Endgame, but before we get there we have one more hero to pick up along the way. And she’s the first female Marvel hero to lead her own film. And she’s played by an Academy Award winner in Brie Larson. This will very likely be both the best and most successful Marvel movie of 2019. And it might not be close.  – Neil Miller

10. Midsommar (8/19)

Ari Aster‘s debut film made quite the splash in 2018, and we’re betting that Hereditary was no fluke. It’s an incredibly intense, frequently frightening slow-burn of a horror film that sears its way into your brain even on repeat viewings, and his follow-up looks to be staying in the same genre. The story suggests a young couple running afoul of a mysterious cult, and honestly, that’s already enough to hook me as cults are already creepy as hell. Now just imagine what Aster can do with the premise. – Rob

9. It: Chapter Two (9/6)

The Stephen King resurgence continues with part two of the big screen adaptation of the author’s biggest horror novel. The first film already surpassed all expectations in capturing the terror, friendships, and period feel of the story, and the sequel’s shift to the kids’ adult incarnations promises to capture that same magic. There are legit scares left to experience, and as long as the filmmakers chose to avoid the giant space turtle bullshit we should be in for another terrifying slice of entertainment. The adult cast doesn’t hurt either with James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and others bringing the heat. – Rob

8. Velvet Buzzsaw (2/1)

I think about Dan Gilroy‘s directorial debut Nightcrawler far too often for having seen it for the first and only time in 2014. I keep meaning to re-watch it, but the film got so deeply under my skin that it still freaks me out. To hear that Gilroy is re-teaming with Jake Gyllenhaal for a horror-thriller definitely serves as the right kind of a throwback to that eerieness. So, even though Gilroy’s paint-by-numbers legal drama Roman J. Israel, Esq. is considerably less impressive, Velvet Buzzsaw should get the director back to his deliciously confronting directorial roots. – Sheryl

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (7/26)

As Hollywood’s most celebrated autodidact, it seemed only a matter of time before Quentin Tarantino turned his lens towards one of the more lurid eras in studio history. Even if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not explicitly a movie about the Charles Manson murders, there are – as film historians like Karina Longworth have explained – a myriad of ways in which the entertainment industry and Manson intersect. Throw in seemingly ever great actor Tarantino has ever worked with – and a few actors like Al Pacino we always wished he’d cast – and this seems destined to be the movie of the year for many moviegoers. Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1969. – Matthew

6. Knives Out (TBA)

Despite the ire that Rian Johnson brought the world with his Star Wars installment (and for the record, I love The Last Jedi), his return to the crime thriller genre ought to be celebrated. Johnson creates crisply shot and wonderfully engaging mystery stories, as evidenced through Brick. Yet, he isn’t opposed to the sheer fun of a good eccentric caper (The Brothers Bloom, anyone?). Couple that with a stellar mix of relative up-and-comers and seasoned actors in the cast and Knives Out already sounds like an amalgam of Johnson’s most unique talents. – Sheryl

5. The Lighthouse (TBA)

Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, and Robert Eggers (The Witch). Dafoe is a cinematic treasure. Pattinson is at the height of his career. And Eggers gets both of them for his sophomore horror picture. What a gift. If Eggers’ control over tone, style, theme, pacing, and character is even half as great as it was in The Witch, this will be one of the year’s best films. Of course, that’s impossible to tell from here. But, the potential is intoxicating. – Luke

Star Wars Episode

4. Star Wars: Episode IX (12/20)

2019 will be a defining year for Lucasfilm with Star Wars: Episode IX supposedly ending the Skywalker saga as we know it. We already know both Carrie Fisher (in previously shot footage) and Mark Hamill (as force ghost we presume) are returning, but we’re hopeful that Rey can sever their family bloodline, aka Kylo Ren, who has apparently super-glued his mask back together. Joining anew are Keri Russell, Dominic Monaghan, Naomi Ackle, and Richard E. Grant, along with the return of Billy Dee Williams‘ Lando Calrissian. Lucasfilm and Disney have turned keeping secrets into an art form so nobody has any idea just how J.J. Abrams will bring the trilogy to a climax, but given how he rejuvenated the franchise after the prequels, you wouldn’t bet against him doing it satisfyingly. – Charlie

3. Jojo Rabbit (TBA)

A comedy about a boy in Hitler’s youth army who discovers his own mother is hiding a Jewish child in their home? And it’s from the director of Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do In the Shadows, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople? And it stars Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, and Stephen Merchant? And Taika Waititi also co-wrote it and plays Adolph Hitler? Yeah, we’re 100% in for this one. – Rob

2. John Wick: Chapter 3 (5/17)

Do I really need to explain why this is among our most anticipated films of 2019? I mean, have you seen the first two John Wick movies? They’re fucking brilliant pieces of action cinema, and we have every reason to believe this will continue that trend. – Rob

1. Us (3/15)

In the entry above, Rob made a cogent argument in favor of John Wick 3. Past excellence gives us reason to believe that the future is bright, as well. Jordan Peele has that working in his favor with Us — recently announced as the opening night film of South by Southwest in March — not only is the trailer electric and creepy, but Peele is coming off of the success of Get Out and he knows it. If he’s ready for the moment — and we in this house believe that he is — this is where he’s going to make a next-level statement. It’s a high bar to clear, but Peele feels like the kind of filmmaker who can clear it. – Neil

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