The Movies You Need to Watch Before You Go to the Movies in 2019

Our annual backwards guide to the remakes, reboots, and franchise returns of the coming year.
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As usual, there are a lot of remakes, reboots, sequels, and spinoffs on the horizon. Coming soon in 2019, we’ve got everything from a culmination of two seemingly unrelated M. Night Shyamalan movies and three whole live-action reimaginings of Disney animated classics to a retconning Terminator sequel, a resurrection of the Men in Black movies, and the final episode of the Star Wars “Skywalker Saga.” If you don’t want to enter the multiplex feeling totally lost this coming year, you’ll need to do some homework. Below is a list of previous installments and incarnations to watch before the redos and returns and continuations. The due date is the release date of the new movie.

The Intouchables (2011)

This French film was a very big hit overseas, grossing more than $400 million. But since it only did $10 million in the US, and it’s not in English, obviously Hollywood had to go and produce an American translation. The remake, titled The Upside, stars Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, and Nicole Kidman, so maybe it’ll do a little better. Domestically anyway.
Due Date: January 11th

Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016)

M. Night Shyamalan delivered one of his biggest surprises ever with the revelation that Split is set in the same universe as Unbreakable. Now, the filmmaker has made a sequel to both with Glass, which reunites Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Glass and Bruce Willis as David Dunn, both of them now mixing it up with James McAvoy as The Horde/The Beast.
Due Date: January 18th

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Tim Robbins stars in this psychological thriller about a Vietnam veteran who is experiencing haunting hallucinations. The cult classic has now been remade under the same title by David M. Rosenthal (The Perfect Guy).
Due Date: February 1st

Miss Bala (2011)

Another 2011 foreign film loosely based on a true story has been remade, this one — directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Gina Rodriguez as a woman kidnapped by a cartel and forced to smuggle drugs — retaining the name of the Mexican original.
Due Date: February 1st

In Order of Disappearance (2014)

This Norwegian action movie by Hans Petter Moland stars Stellan Skarsgard as a snow plow driver who takes on local drug dealers after his son dies of an overdose. Moland also directed the Hollywood remake, loosely based on his original, that now stars Liam Neeson and is called Cold Pursuit.
Due Date: February 8th

The LEGO Movie (2014)

Everything is awesome in this surprisingly great adaptation of the popular toy brand, a sequel for which (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part) is arriving in theaters with double the Chris Pratt and presumably more awesomeness.
Due Date: February 8th

What Women Want (2000)

The trend of gender-swap remakes continues with What Men Want, a redo of this Nancy Meyers-helmed fantasy rom-com starring Mel Gibson as a chauvinist who acquires the power to read women’s minds. Taraji P. Henson leads the new version as a woman who can suddenly read men’s minds.
Due Date: February 8th

Happy Death Day (2017)

Before you spend your Valentine’s Day with the sequel Happy Death Day 2U, check out this surprise hit horror movie with a Groundhog Day scenario in which a slasher keeps on killing the protagonist (Jessica Rothe) on her birthday.
Due Date: February 14th

How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Take flight with Hiccup and his pet dragon Toothless in the first two installments of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon film series before the next and apparently final sequel, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, brings the franchise back to the big screen.
Due Date: February 22nd

Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), Madea Goes to Jail (2009), I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009), Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011), Madea’s Witness Protection (2012), A Madea Christmas (2013), Madea’s Tough Love (2015), Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), and Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017)

How many of Tyler Perry’s Madea movies have you seen already? Well, better late than never on seeing all 10 installments, including the animated feature Madea’s Tough Love but not Meet the Browns (I think the character just has a cameo). This year brings the 11th and supposedly final installment of the series, titled Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral. As far as I know, it’s not about Madea’s funeral, so that leaves the potential for Perry to change his mind.
Due Date: March 1st

Iron Man (2008) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Captain Marvel, the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a prequel set more than a decade before the events of the first release. But that franchise-starting film, Iron Man, is still worth seeing because it’s the first time we saw Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, both of whom appear in the new movie in younger form. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel is likely to end with some reference back to the ending of Avengers: Infinity War when Fury paged the title character through time and space.
Due Date: March 8th

Dumbo (1941)

Even if Tim Burton’s new live-action remake of Dumbo furthers the story of this animated classic, and even if certain elements are changed (there are no talking animals in the new movie), the original is worth seeing in order to be acquainted with what will amount to be, maybe, only the first act of the redo.
Due Date: March 29th

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Christopher Campbell: Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.