From superhero blockbusters to quirky comedies and moving dramas, these are the 46 movies to look out for this year in cinemas and on Netflix.
There are ghostbusters, maverick pilots, Russian-trained assassins and men going crazy on an isolated island. There’s sure to be something for you.
(Ranked by date of release.)
1917 (January 9): Sam Mendes’ immersive World War I film is a cinematic marvel, a real-time journey of two soldiers who must cross through enemy territory with a vital message that will save lives. It’s crafted to look and feel like one continuous shot with great effect. A truly remarkable feat.
BOMBSHELL (January 16): Starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson and Margot Robbie as a young producer, Bombshell unravels the events that brought down media boss Roger Ailes after decades of sexual misconduct and abuse of power.
JUST MERCY (January 23): The true story of an idealistic young Harvard law graduate (Michael B. Jordan) who sets up down south to work for those on death row and meets Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx), a man convicted of the murder of a young woman despite evidence of his innocence.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD (January 23): For Americans, Mr Rogers is a childhood icon, so who better to play him than Tom Hanks? This emotional drama follows a journalist (Matthew Rhys) who is assigned to profile Mr Rogers and, in the process, must confront his own past.
BIRDS OF PREY (February 6): Margot Robbie’s riotous Harley Quinn fronts her own movie in this DC Comics blockbuster co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Messina, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Ewan McGregor as the villain.
THE LIGHTHOUSE (February 6): Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star in this drama from Robert Eggers, the director of The Witch. Pattinson and Dafoe play two lighthouse keepers who slowly start to lose their minds when they’re stranded on a remote island.
EMMA (February 13): Jane Austen’s classic story about the matchmaker Emma Woodhouse gets another makeover, this time with scream queen Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead role. The directorial debut from Autumn de Wilde co-stars Bill Nighy, Josh O’Connor, Gemma Whelan and Johnny Flynn.
THE RHYTHM SECTION (February 20): A spy thriller that spans continents, Blake Lively plays a woman who wants to unravel the mystery behind the deaths of her family in a plane crash that turns out to be deliberate. The Rhythm Section co-stars Jude Law, Raza Jaffrey and Sterling K. Brown.
MISS FISHER AND CRYPT OF TEARS (February 27): The sassy Miss Fisher is back and for a big-screen adventure. The resourceful detective wades into a decades-old mystery involving priceless jewels and old curses and the disappearance of a forgotten tribe.
THE INVISIBLE MAN (February 27): Australian director Leigh Whannell is best known for writing movies such as Saw and Insidious, but he’s sitting in the director’s chair on The Invisible Man, tapped after the well-received Upgrade. The Invisible Man is a loose adaptation of the H.G. Wells story, starring Elisabeth Moss and Storm Reid, and was shot in Sydney.
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN (February 27): Edward Norton has spent 20 years trying to mount Motherless Brooklyn, a story about a private detective with Tourette’s trying to solve the death of his mentor.
QUEEN AND SLIM (March 12): Directed by Melina Matsoukas and written by Lena Waithe, Queen and Slim stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a young couple who kill a police officer in self-defence and end up on the run.
A QUIET PLACE PART II (March 19): John Krasinski returns as writer and director for this follow-up to his successful 2018 film, A Quiet Place. The surviving Abbotts must make a move outside of their home where they find the aliens with the super-sharp hearing aren’t the only monsters.
PETER RABBIT 2 (March 19): When Bea and Thomas go on their honeymoon, Peter runs away from home and meets a rabbit who was an old friend of his father’s. James Corden, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki and Daisy Ridley return as the voices of Peter and his friends.
MULAN (March 26): Disney’s live-action retelling of the Mulan story moves away from the 1990s animated version (for one thing, there’s no talking dragon) and towards a more faithful adaptation of the Chinese legend of the female warrior who fights in the army disguised as a man.
THE LOVEBIRDS (April 2): From the director of The Big Sick, Michael Showalter, Lovebirds is a rom-com about a couple on the verge of breaking up when they become entangled in a murder mystery. It stars Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae.
NO TIME TO DIE (April 8): Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond picks up five years after he captured arch-nemesis Blofeld. Old CIA chum Felix Leiter asks for his help to find a missing scientist. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the film also stars Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux and Lashana Lynch.
BLACK WIDOW (April 30): Before we bid Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow goodbye from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we finally get the solo movie we have been waiting for, directed by Aussie Cate Shortlant. Taking place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Natasha must reconcile her past to defeat a present threat. Our bet is that this will set up Florence Pugh as the next Black Widow.
GREYHOUND (May 7): Tom Hanks leads this war film based on C.S. Forester’s The Good Shepherd. Hanks plays a navy commander on his first assignment during WWI’s Battle of the Atlantic. It co-stars Elisabeth Shue, Rob Morgan and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.
WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (May 14): Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement), The Woman in the Window stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic woman who witnesses a crime in a building across the road. But did she really? Or is she more than a bit mad?
FAST & FURIOUS 9 (May 21): Fast cars. More fast cars. Lots and lots of gravity-defying, logic-defying stunts. A speech about family. Do you really need to know more? And do you care? Fast & Furious movies promise one thing and it always delivers on that promise. You know what you’re in for.
I AM WOMAN (May 21): The Helen Reddy biopic had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was well received. Starring Adelaide native Tilda Cobham-Hervey, the uplifting movie tracks Reddy’s journey to releasing the song that would become a feminist anthem.
WONDER WOMAN 1984 (June 4): We don’t know how Chris Pine survived that certain death in the first movie, but somehow he must’ve because he’s here for the sequel. The year is now 1984 and amid the fluoro, washed denim and teased hair, Diana must take on Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).
RADIOACTIVE (June 11): Rosamund Pike stars as Marie Curie in this biopic about the famed physicist and chemist who pioneered science on radioactivity and became the first woman to win a Nobel prize. Radioactive is directed by Marjane Satrapi, a filmmaker who first came to renown for her acclaimed graphic novel Persepolis about growing up in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
SOUL (June 18): Pixar’s next movie is directed by Pete Docter, the man behind the likes of Inside Out, Toy Story and Up. Aschoolteacher’s soul becomes detached from his body and is transported to a seminar centre where it acquires new passions before it’s transported to a newborn child.
IN THE HEIGHTS (June 25): The film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Broadway musical, In The Heights promises to be a vibrant all-singing, all-dancing spectacle set in a largely Hispanic neighbourhood in New York City.
TOP GUN: MAVERICK (June 25): Do you feel the need for speed? Maverick (Tom Cruise) is still behind the controls after 30 years of service as a test pilot. When he trains a group of new rookie pilots, he finds himself face-to-face with Rooster (Miles Teller), the son of the ill-fated Goose.
FREE GUY (July 2): Ryan Reynolds stars as a non-playable character in an open world video game (a cross between Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite) when thanks to some rogue code, he becomes aware of his reality (or non-reality, as it were) and sets out to be the hero. This odd comedy also stars Joe Keery, Jodie Comer and Taika Waititi and is directed by Shawn Levy.
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE (July 2): This Ghostbusters sequel brings back the original cast (except for the late Harold Ramis) for a ghoulish adventure set 30 years later. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver are joined by Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace. Original director Ivan Reitman’s filmmaker son Jason Reitman helms this instalment.
TENET (July 16): Christopher Nolan wants to blow your mind again and Tenet is how he’s going to do it. The director behind Memento, The Dark Knight and Inception presents this new twisty movie starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, and it involves using time travel to prevent World War III.
JUNGLE CRUISE (July 23): Since Pirates of the Caribbean worked a real treat for Disney, they’ve decided to turn another one of its theme park rides into a movie. Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne Johnson as a riverboat captain who takes a scientist (Emily Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) on a treacherous journey to find the Tree of Life.
MORBIUS (July 30): The next chapter in the Sony corner of the Marvel movie world (i.e. not the MCU), Morbius stars Jared Leto as Michael Morbius, a scientist suffering from a rare blood disease when an attempt to cure it makes him a kind-of vampire instead. It co-stars Adria Arjona, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.
THE WITCHES (August 8): Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock. A young boy is transformed into a mouse and stumbles across some witches.
THE KING’S MAN (September 17): Matthew Vaughn directed and co-wrote this prequel to his Kingsman series, set in World War I, well before Eggsy ever puts on a suit. Against the backdrop of the Great War, Ralph Fiennes’ Duke of Oxford must stop the tyrants and criminals from destroying the world. Also stars Gemma Arterton, Harris Dickinson, Rhys Ifans and Matthew Goode.
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (September 17): Edgar Wright’s psychological horror is mostly set in 1960s London but involves a character not from that era. It stars Thomasin McKenzie as the out-of-time character and also features Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp.
THE ETERNALS (October 29): The 25th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe features a story that spans seven millennia and a race of immortal aliens who protect humanity from the evil Deviants. Angelina Jolie headlines the cast alongside Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Salma Hayek and Brian Tyree Henry, with Chloe Zhao directing.
DUNE (December 26): Frank Herbert’s sprawling sci-fi novel has been adapted in a two-part epic, the first half of which is out this year. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival), it stars Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem and Charlotte Rampling.
WEST SIDE STORY (December 26): If someone had to remake West Side Story, it may as well be Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Tony Kushner. The Sharks and the Jets are doomed to face off again in this musical spin on Romeo and Juliet starring Ansel Elgort, Corey Stoll, Rachel Ziegler and Rita Moreno.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON (December 31): An original Disney animation, Raya and the Last Dragon features Cassie Steele as the voice of Raya, a warrior searching for the last dragon in the world in a mysterious realm called Kumandra. Awkwafina voices Sisu, the dragon.
LEGALLY BLONDE 3 (Undated): Reese Witherspoon is set to reprise her role as the eternally positive and whipsmart Elle Woods. Not much is known about the plot besides Witherspoon wanting Elle to “go on a hero’s journey”, and some of the original characters may also return.
BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC (Undated): Bill and Ted are once again called upon to save the world through their bodacious tunes, even though both are now middle-aged. Joining Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter on their quest will be William Sadler as the Grim Reaper, Samara Weaving, Anthony Carrigan and Brigette Lundy-Paine.
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (Undated): Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the film tells the true story of a group of seven people charged by the government with conspiracy to riot during the counterculture movement against the Vietnam War. It stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul Mateen II and Frank Langella.
HILLBILLY ELEGY (Undated): Ron Howard’s adaptation of J.D. Vance’s novel will explore the stories of three generations of a family from the Appalachian mountains. It stars Amy Adams, Glenn Close and Gabriel Basso.
REBECCA (Undated): British director Ben Wheatley will follow Alfred Hitchcock’s footsteps in taking on this adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller. A newly married young woman (Lily James) moves into her husband’s (Armie Hammer) house, a place still haunted by the memory of his dead wife.
DA 5 BLOODS (Undated): Spike Lee is the latest big name director to join Netflix’s slate of filmmakers. His new flick follows four African-American Vietnam vets who return to Asia in search of the promise of buried treasure. The movie stars Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo and Paul Walter Hauser.
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (Undated): Visionary storyteller Charlie Kaufman returns with a twisted road trip movie starring Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette and David Thewlis.
Which movie are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below