25 Must-See Films of 2018

1.The Shape of Water dir. Guillermo Del Toro (14th Feb, UK)

Having already done a handful of releases are the US, dark fantasy master Guillermo Del Toro’s next flick hits UK cinemas in February. Set in the early 60s, the film follows Sally Hawkins starring as a woman in a government facility who falls in love with a fish-man. Whilst the concept might sound crazy enough, if there’s anyone to trust with such an unusual and high production idea, its GDT. Expect gorgeous costume and set design, some pulling at the heart strings and your favourite special effects wearer Doug Jones starring as the fish-man himself.

2.Lady Bird dir. Greta Gerwig (16th Feb, UK)

Another film already out in the US, Greta Gerwig has finally taken a break from being our mumblecore indie darling to getting herself behind the camera for her directorial debut. Saoirse Ronan plays the leading lady in a coming of age comedy about growing up, rebellion and a turbulent relationship with her mother. Lady Bird is already the best reviewed film EVER on Rotten Tomatoes, production company A24’s highest grossing film and has racked up 4 Golden Globe nominations, so why on earth would you want to miss this?

3.Wildlife dir. Paul Dano (28th Jan, USA, at Sundance)

Paul Dano is one of the most hardworking and underrated guys in Hollywood, and his directorial debut is premiering at Sundance this January. Developed from the book of the same name, Wildlife is about the breakdown of a marriage through the eyes of a young boy in the 1960s. Dano has developed the script with his wife Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick, Ruby Sparks) and the pair are both producers. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan as the lead couple, and who doesn’t want to see Gyllenhaal don some nice 60s vintage?

4.The New Mutants dir. Josh Boone (11th April, UK & 13th April, USA)

Josh Boone is a director we can trust, having successfully adapted the phenomenon that was The Fault in Our Stars and currently deep into Stephen King research for his takes on Lisey’s Story and The Stand, his next outing looks to Marvel Comics for a story. The 11th installment in the X-Men franchise, The New Mutants trailer seems to be taking a darker approach to the mutant discovery storyline, focusing on a group of new mutants who are learning about their powers and wish to escape a government facility. It boasts some of the best of young Hollywood in the form of Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton. Taking the more brutal and dark approach will hopefully lean off the success of Logan and become a truly unique tale in the series.

5.Lean on Pete dir. Andrew Haigh (30th March, USA & 4th May, UK)

A simple tale of a boy and his horse. When teen Charley gets a job at a racecourse training horses for the summer, he becomes good friends with one of his animals- Lean on Pete. Upon hearing that the horse is going to be sold he decides to buy it and hikes across the country with nothing but his animal companion. From 45 Years director Andrew Haigh and production company A24, this looks like a comforting and heart-warming ride through the desert.

6.The Meg dir. Jon Turteltaub (2nd March, UK & 10th August, USA)

Monster movies are always trashy ridiculous fun, and The Meg is undoubtedly going to be 2018’s star player. Based on the pre-historic Megalodon Shark that would have the Great White in Jaws cowering in a corner, The Meg stars all-action hero Jason Statham (can you already tell how brilliantly awful and over the top this is going to be!?) as a diver who has to rescue some scientists stuck under water in a vessel while the Megalodon attacks.

7.Black Panther dir. Ryan Coogler (12th Feb, UK & 16th Feb, USA)

Usually, your average Marvel Studios film wouldn’t make a ‘must see’ list, but when its filled to the brim with black excellence and some of the most divine production and costume design to grace next year, then its sure as hell going to be included. Following on from his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is finally getting his solo movie. Set in the fictional nation of Wakanda, Black Panther returns to claim his throne but is met with opposition from a foe in the form of  Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).

8.Ocean’s 8 dir. Gary Ross (8th June, USA & 22nd June, UK)

If the on-set photos of Cate Blanchett’s unbelievable suits weren’t enough to wet your appetite, maybe a full cast lin-up will: Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham-Carter & Awkwafina. Sexism is dead and we’re all going to learn how to do heists and look sickening at the same time. That’s all.

9.The Miseducation of Cameron Post dir. Desiree Akhavan (22nd Jan, USA, at Sundance)

Her first film since 2014’s Appropriate Behavior, Desiree Akhavan’s next project takes on Emily M. Danforth’s novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post and revolves around a young girl who ends up in gay conversion therapy. Akhavan’s previous work discussed her bisexuality so I’m sure she will handle this topic with tenderness and care. The film stars American Honey’s Sasha Lane and Chloe Grace Moretz.

10.Annihilation dir. Alex Garland (23rd Feb UK & USA)

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina is undoubtedly one of the best films of the last decade, so his next go behind the camera, Annihilation, has a lot to live up to. Boasting a stellar cast of Natalie Portman, Oscar Issac, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Jennifer Jason Leigh its sci -fi horror themes are sure to have pulses racing. Set in an unusual disaster zone that took the lives of a group of soldiers, an all women team of scientists volunteer to go back to the scene to discover what happened. The trailer has trippy visuals and a sense of lurking terror and with a February release, we don’t have long to wait for this one!

11.Isle of Dogs dir. Wes Anderson (23rd March, USA & 30th March, UK)

We all adore Wes Anderson here at SQ, and its been 8 years since he last delved into stop-motion animation with Fantastic Mr. Fox. This years Isle of Dogs also takes another thing that absolutely everyone loves: DOGS. The cast list is its usual ridiculously All-Star length but dogs are all that matters so I hope you see this film just for that.

12.Solo:  A Star Wars Story dir. Ron Howard (25th May UK & USA)

Sometimes its nice to step away from the big picture of a huge movie franchise like Star Wars, and dip your toes into a little spinoff, as Rogue On proved to us last year. The latest addition to the universe focuses on a young Han Solo and his adventures with Chewy pre Luke & Leia. Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Ceaser!) is donning the leather waistcoat as Han Solo but the most exciting part of this film is definitely going to be Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Directed by trusted Academy Award winner Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) you can expect this one in mid 2018.

13. Slice dir. Austin Vesely (release t.b.a)

Chance the Rapper is starring in a movie about a pizza delivery guy who is murdered and the town he inhabits turn to supernatural forces to blame for the killing. A24’s kept everything under tight wraps at the minute but from the brief teaser trailer is seems very campy, fun with a solid retro 80s slasher vibe to it, and come on, if you’re gonna have Joe Keery (Stranger Things) in your film, it might as well be a little bit 80s to put that hair to good use.

14.Suspiria dir. Luca Guadagnino (release t.b.a)

Currently we have no official images or trailer for Call Me By Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s horror classic Suspiria- but its cast is pretty alluring in itself. Tilda Swinton heads up the German Dance Academy where the film is set, Dakota Johnson takes the lead role of Susie and Chloe Grace Moretz and Mia Goth also occupy roles. The original film is known for its brutal imagery, vivid colours and scathing score, so it will be interesting to see how Luca tackles such an iconic piece of cinema history.

15. You Were Never Really Here dir. Lynne Ramsay (9th March, UK & 6th April, USA)

It’s been 6 years since Lynne Ramsay’s last feature We Need to Talk About Kevin. The Joaquin Phoenix led outing You Were Never Really Here follows up on the themes of violence and corruption of innocence Ramsay bestowed upon us in 2011. Phoenix plays a contract killer out to rescue a bunch of young girls from a sex trafficking ring. Its trailer is brutal and unrelenting with a hypnotic and fast paced nature, and at a sweet 1 hour 25 minutes, I’m sure everyone will have time to settle down with this one.

16.The Land of Steady Habits dir. Nicole Holofcener (release t.b.a)

Nicole Holofcener is an incredibly character driven director, and makes films that see regular people doing regular things with often heart-breaking and heart-warming outcomes. The Land of Steady Habits is her next venture, adapting from the Ted Thompson novel of the same name it centres on a man named Anders who has lived a comfortable well-off life and then decides he is sick of it, leaving his wife and his home to find himself once more. There is no official images of trailer yet but it has been confirmed that Netflix will be distributing the film.

17.A Prayer Before Dawn dir. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire (wide release t.b.a)

Another A24 offering, A Prayer Before Dawn has already played to audiences at Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire it stars Joe Cole of Skins UK fame as an English prisoner in a Thai prison, who realises that his only chance at survival is to train and compete in Muay Thai matches. The trailer is gritty, brutal and violent and doesn’t look like one for the faint hearted.

18.Where’d You Go Bernadette dir. Richard Linklater (11th May, USA)

Richard Linklater doesn’t quit, he’s back again in 2018 fresh off the US release of Last Flag Flying (coming to UK cinemas Jan 26th) with Where’d You Go Bernadette, a comedy adaptation from the novel by Maria Semple about an architect/mother/wife (Cate Blanchett) who goes missing, and her 15 year old daughter who does everything she can to find her.

19.Widows dir. Steve McQueen (9th November, UK & 16th November, USA)

2018 is the year of the lady heist film. Having not seen anything from Steve McQueen since his amazing Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave, he’s back in 2018 with a screenplay he penned with Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) about 4 women whose husbands die, and leave them in a mess of criminal activity who decide to work together to sort out the problem. Widows stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriquez, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Jon Berthnal and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and is set to release in November.

20.A Quiet Place dir. John Krasinski (6th April, UK & USA)

Believe it or not but this is actually John Krasinski’s second feature film as a director, but the first one to star both him and his wife Emily Blunt. With an incredibly interesting trailer virtually appearing out of nowhere, this could be one of the most promising horrors of 2018. Filmed entirely in sign language, A Quiet Place takes place on a farm, where the couple live with their children, hiding from a supernatural entity that responds to any form of sound. The family therefore try to live in complete silence…..but I’m assuming that goes horribly wrong. It’s sure to be tense, nail-biting stuff, and there’s absolutely no way you’re going to be able to hide your gasps during a film that relies so heavily on the use of silence.

21.Thoroughbreds dir. Cory Finley (9th March, UK & USA)

Revolving round the story of two rich girls who become devious and potentially violent as their problems grow together. Painted onto a backdrop of excess and perfectly mowed lawns and pristine white houses, the film doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously and has a darkly comic essence, being described as ‘American Psycho meets Heathers’. Thoroughbreds also marks one of the final times we will see the late Anton Yelchin on screen.

22.The House with a Clock in its Walls dir. Eli Roth (21st Sept USA & 19th Oct, UK)

Our main bit of on-set information about Eli Roth’s next venture has came from late November when Jack Black challenged Chris Hemsworth to a ‘Zeppelin-off’ after hearing Immigrant Song used in Thor: Ragnarok, when he claims he had the original best use of the song in School of Rock. Roth filmed Black and co-star Cate Blanchett in a slo-mo battle for the Zeppelin champions. The film itself is a big departure for Eli Roth, as he is adapting from a novel for the first time and stepping more into a gothic fantasy realm than the torture porn we know him for. The House With a Clock in Its Walls stars Owen Vaccaro as Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan living with his Warlock uncle (Black) who finds a dark magic clock in the walls of the house that could bring about the end of the world.

23.A Wrinkle in Time dir. Ava Duvernay (9th March, USA & 23rd March, UK)

Based on the 1962 novel and directed by Ava Duvernay, A Wrinkle in Time marks the first time a woman of colour has directed a film with over a $100 million budget. With an all-star cast of Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon playing the three Mrs W’s and newcomer Storm Reid as Meg, a young girl sent to space by the 3 Mrs W’s to find her missing father. It’s bound to be a huge hit and a great opportunity for some black girl magic to shine!

24.Mary Queen of Scots dir. Josie Rourke (2nd Nov, USA)

Everyone loves a historical drama and some nice dresses to look at, everyone also likes a messy bitch who loves drama and that is Mary Queen of Scots, here played by Saoirse Ronan. The film chronicles her attempt to overthrow Elizabeth I (played by Margot Robbie donning the most horrific wig imaginable), and Mary’s following imprisonment and beheading. As the film is directed by a woman I’m sure it will be a fresh and powerful take on British history.

25.The House That Jack Built dir. Lars Von Trier (release t.b.a)

Always one for controversy and shock, Lars Von Trier is back in 2018 with his latest film since Nymphomaniac in 2013. The House That Jack Built is a 12-year spanning affair that charts a serial killers life and how he came to be so depraved. Set in the 70s and 80s in the US, this is sure to be a hit for any fans of Mindhunter.

by Chloe Leeson

Chloe Leeson is the founder of Screenqueens. She is 22 and from the north of England (the proper north). She believes Harmony Korine is the future and is pretty sure she coined the term ‘selfie central’. She doesn’t like Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain but she does like Ezra Miller a whole lot. Her favourite films are Into The Wild, The Beach and Lords of Dogtown. She rants about cinema screenings @kawaiigoff.

 

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