Heading into a new year at the movies, there are a few things we can be sure about. We can be sure that Avengers: Endgame is going to earn a box-office haul worth more than all six Infinity Stones combined. We can be sure that Disneyphiles are going to swim in a sea of nostalgia with remakes of three Mouse House classics: Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King, all due before the height of summer.
But while those films aren’t entirely known quantities, what really makes the new movie releases due in 2019 exciting are the deeper unknowns: how will Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig follow up the sensations that were Get Out and Lady Bird ? What can we expect from directorial debuts like Queen & Slim from Emmy winner Lena Waithe? And how will gripping reads like The Goldfinch and The Woman in the Window play out onscreen?
There’s much to look forward to at the movies in 2019. Here is TIME’s list of the best new movies coming out in 2019.
Glass (Jan. 18)
M. Night Shyamalan creates the beginnings of his own cinematic universe, weaving together the threads of two of his previous hits — Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2017) — into a shared sequel. Glass finds Bruce Willis, James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson entangled in a superhuman game of cat and mouse.
Velvet Buzzsaw (Feb. 1)
Writer-director Dan Gilroy reunites with Jake Gyllenhaal, who starred in his eerie 2014 thriller Nightcrawler, for another thriller. Where that movie was set in the underbelly of local TV news, this one, which hits Netflix a few days after its Sundance premiere and costars Rene Russo, John Malkovich and Toni Collette, explores the L.A. art scene.
Miss Bala (Feb. 1)
This action thriller inspired by a 2011 Mexican film finds Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) in a dire situation: kidnapped in Tijuana and beholden to the whims of a dangerous cartel.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Feb. 8)
The little plastic bricks continue to provide fodder for sequels: so far we’ve had a Lego Batman and a Lego Ninjago, and the possibilities are as limitless as the toy itself. This one takes its “everything is awesome” mentality into outer space, after a not-so-awesome space invasion leaves Bricksburg in shambles.
Fighting With My Family (Feb. 14)
This is the first of several Dwayne Johnson movie appearances in 2019, but at least in this one he’s not the main event. The Rock, who also produced the movie, plays a supporting role in this adaptation of a 2012 documentary about WWE star Paige’s ascent in the wrestling world. Florence Pugh stars, in a movie that could hardly be more different from the period films (Lady Macbeth, Outlaw King, the forthcoming Little Women) that have thus far dominated her career.
Captain Marvel (March 8)
In a brisk five years, Brie Larson has reinvented herself repeatedly, from indie darling (Short Term 12) to Oscar-certified Serious Actress (Room) to director (Unicorn Store). Now, she adds superhero to her growing resume. Set in the mid-1990s, the movie follows Captain Marvel (street name: Carol Danvers) on her journey from fighter pilot to intergalactic hero.
Gloria Bell (March 8)
Julianne Moore may not look like a Plain Jane even in goofy glasses, but we can suspend our disbelief in Sebastián Lelio’s English-language adaptation of his own 2013 Chilean drama Gloria. In it, Moore plays a divorced mother of adult children and an office drone looking for someone to dance with (and locating him, possibly, in John Turturro) and finding the joy in dancing alone.
Us (March 15)
The plot details of Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out have been kept under wraps, though Slashfilm reports that the horror/thriller has something to do with a couple (Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) relaxing at a beach house with their kids until some visitors make their stay…not relaxing, if we are to judge from the movie poster.
Dumbo (March 29)
Nearly 80 years after Disney debuted the high-flying, big-eared elephant, Tim Burton directs a live-action remake starring Colin Farrell, Eva Green and not a real elephant.
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
The 22nd film — yes, as in two times ten plus another two — in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which features a truly staggering roster of superheroes, effectively ends the current Marvel narrative. Judging by the box office returns of Infinity War ($2 billion) and the trailer’s record-breaking first 24 hours (289 million views), it’s not an exaggeration to predict that this could be the biggest movie of all time.
Detective Pikachu (May 10)
Ryan Reynolds makes a deft transition from Deadpool‘s potty-mouthed hero to…cutie-mouthed Pokémon cutie? He provides the voice and face (for facial motion capture purposes) of the adorably brilliant Pikachu, a detective working to solve the disappearance of his former partner with the help of his partner’s son (Justice Smith).
John Wick: Chapter 3 (May 17)
The third, but reportedly not final, film in the John Wick franchise sees Keanu Reeves’ vengeful hitman on the run after he kills a member of the international assassins’ guild. Halle Berry and Laurence Fishburne costar.
Aladdin (May 24)
The stakes are high for Disney’s live-action remake of its 1992 animated classic loosely based on Arabian folktales. Casting was closely scrutinized, and when Entertainment Weekly released a first look, many on social media offered thoughts about Jafar (dreamier than Aladdin?) and Will Smith’s genie (not blue! At least not yet). Whatever the outcome of Guy Ritchie’s effort, it’s guaranteed to generate a Twitterstorm of opinions once the film finally drops.
Ad Astra (May 24)
In recent years, filmmaker James Gray has made beautiful movies set in 1920s New York (The Immigrant) and the depths of the Amazon rainforest (The Lost City of Z). Here, he turns to outer space, where Brad Pitt plays an astronaut searching for his lost father and, while he’s at it, contemplating the role of humankind in the cosmos.
Rocketman (May 31)
It’s relatively unusual that a megastar gets a biopic while they’re still walking the earth. Distributor Paramount has described this Elton John movie as an “epic musical fantasy” focused on the early years of the singer-songwriter’s career. Taron Edgerton stars as Sir Elton.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (June 7)
The 12th installment in the X-Men film series focuses on Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), as the mercurial mutant grapples with newfound power. The film comes out just a couple of months before The New Mutants introduces a new crop of specially gifted students. It remains to be seen whether this is the last we’ll see of the crew (Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, et al.) that has comprised the universe for years.
Men In Black: International (June 14)
The fourth movie in the franchise based on the early-’90s comic book series swaps out Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for Thor: Ragnarok costars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. Their mission? As Hemsworth put it in an Instagram post: “ripping aliens a new one.”
Toy Story 4 (June 21)
The kids who fell in love with Buzz and Woody in 1995 are old enough now to have kids of their own. But the fourth outing for the duo that built Pixar looks like more than just a nostalgia play. Styled as a road trip adventure, Toy Story 4 welcomes to the franchise new toys voiced by Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Keanu Reeves.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5)
It’s been a busy year for Spider-Man, who showed up in Avengers: Infinity War and in a new PlayStation video game. His nemesis, Venom, got his own movie, and his other alter ego, Miles Morales, featured in the well-reviewed animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is set to return next summer, which finds him leaving Queens, where 2017’s Homecoming was set, and venturing overseas to Europe.
The Lion King (July 19)
Perhaps the most hotly anticipated of Disney’s reboots of its animated classics — though this one, like director Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, is more CGI than live-action, technically speaking — The Lion King brings together an A-list cast of voice actors. Donald Glover and Beyoncé voice Simba and Nala; Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen are Timon and Pumba; Chiwetel Ejiofor voices the villainous Scar and James Earl Jones reprises his role as the wise patriarch Mufasa.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 26)
Once upon a time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino said he would retire after he made his tenth film, 2015’s The Hateful Eight. Four years later, audiences will watch his eleventh, a crime drama about the Manson Family murders starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate.
Hobbs and Shaw (Aug. 2)
Eight movies into the franchise, the Fast and Furious universe is getting a spin-off featuring once rivals, now buddies, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham). Idris Elba joins the cast as a new villain, with Deadpool 2 director David Leitch steering the ship…err, the Navistar MXT?
It: Chapter 2 (Sept. 6)
The 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel broke all sorts of box-office records and ended with a teaser for a sequel. That next installment, due almost exactly two years after the first movie, will jump forward 27 years — exactly one cycle in the town of Derry’s recurring dance with an evil visitor — when the kids from the first film are all grown up.
The Kitchen (Sept. 20)
With a plot reminiscent of this year’s Widows, The Kitchen, based on a comic of the same name, stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as 1970s mob wives who get into the family business when their husbands go to prison.
Downton Abbey (Sept. 20)
Great TV series don’t end; they just set up the movie spin-off. This extension of the British period drama, which aired for six seasons before wrapping up (or so we thought) in 2015, sees the main cast returning for a story whose setting is familiar but whose plot is still the subject of secrecy.
The Woman in the Window (Oct. 4)
Tracy Letts (August Osage County) writes and Joe Wright (Darkest Hour) directs this adaptation of A.J. Finn’s bestselling debut novel about a reclusive New York City woman who watches as the lives of the family across the street unravel. Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman star.
Gemini Man (Oct. 4)
The concept for Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee’s upcoming sci-fi action thriller — a hitman faces off against a clone of his younger self — first surfaced in the late 1990s. Now that the technology needed to produce such a spectacle exists, the movie is finally on, starring Will Smith as the assassin and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the operative keeping an eye on him.
Joker (Oct. 4)
It takes a courageous performer to embody a character who’s become almost so thoroughly intertwined with the vision of Heath Ledger’s bug-eyed, maniacally grinning mug. But Joaquin Phoenix will do just that, in this standalone character study of the Batman villain, helmed by The Hangover director Todd Phillips.
The Goldfinch (Oct. 11)
Donna Tartt’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, about a boy whose mother is killed when a bomb explodes inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hits the screen this fall, starring Ansel Elgort, Jeffrey Wright and Nicole Kidman.
Zombieland 2 (Oct. 11)
Timed to the 10th anniversary of the original horror-comedy, which has since become a cult hit, the sequel to Zombieland reconvenes the stars (Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin), director (Ruben Fleischer) and writers (Deadpool‘s Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) that made the first a hit. Like any family reunion, there will be spats and eye-rolling and infighting. (Oh, and zombies.)
Charlie’s Angels (Nov. 1)
More than 40 years after the feathery-haired trio debuted on television and nearly 20 since they were revived by Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore, Elizabeth Banks directs a reboot starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott (the new Aladdin‘s Jasmine) and British actor Ella Balinska. Banks has said she hopes to honor the original series’ celebration of female empowerment while “introducing a new era of modern and global Angels.”
Last Christmas (Nov. 15)
Emma Thompson co-writes and Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig directs this holiday rom-com about a young woman (Emilia Clarke) who works as an elf in a Christmas shop and a handsome fellow (Henry Golding) who enters into her orbit.
Frozen 2 (Nov. 22)
If you’re Disney and you make an animated movie that rakes in more than a billion dollars worldwide — not to mention the toys, the merch, the Broadway musical — you don’t just let it go. You don’t hold it back anymore. You make a sequel. Not much is known about the plot, but co-director Chris Buck has hinted at an Elsa who’s a little more fun and open.
Queen & Slim (Nov. 27)
It’s been a banner year-and-then-some for Lena Waithe, who last year became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing (for Master of None), and this year debuted her own semi-autobiographical Showtime series, The Chi. Now, she’s directing her first feature, about a black man (Daniel Kaluuya) and a black woman (still to be cast), who go on the run after a traffic stop goes awry.
Cats (Dec. 20)
The next smash Broadway musical to appear on the big screen (aside from The Lion King, which has made its way from film to stage and back to film again) is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s furry, early-’80s tale. Tom Hooper, who directed a movie adaptation of Les Misérables in 2012, has assembled a crew of felines that includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden.
Star Wars: Episode XI (Dec. 20)
The final film in the sequel trilogy has J.J. Abrams jumping from producer to director after Lucasfilm parted ways with Colin Trevorrow. In addition to the central cast of characters (Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron and others), the crew will be joined by friends old (Billy Dee Williams reprising the role of Lando Calrissian and the late Carrie Fisher in unused footage from The Force Awakens) and new (Keri Russell, Matt Smith and Richard E. Grant, among others). According to Lucasfilm, Episode IX will close out the Skywalker era before the next trilogy, to be helmed by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, kicks off with new characters.
Little Women (Dec. 25)
Greta Gerwig follows up her Oscar-nominated debut feature, Lady Bird, with a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 19th-century classic. The all-star cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Sharp Objects‘ Eliza Scanlon, Meryl Streep and Timothée Chalamet.
The Rhythm Section (TBA)
This adaptation of Mark Burnell’s thriller — the first in a quartet of novels — sees Blake Lively morph into a bona fide action star. Reed Morano, who came up as a cinematographer and won an Emmy for her work as a director on The Handmaid‘s Tale, directs this story of a vengeful woman seeking to take out the terrorists who killed her family.
How to Build a Girl (TBA)
Caitlin Moran adapted (alongside screenwriter John Niven) her own semi-autobiographical novel for this movie starring Lady Bird breakout Beanie Feldstein. The story follows a working class teen who, in early 1990s London, attempts to reinvent her boring life into something a little more rock-and-roll.
The Irishman (TBA)
Netflix has made a lot of big bets in recent years, and The Irishman is among the biggest. The movie has a budget reported to be in the mid-$100 million range, and sees Martin Scorsese directing Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in a story about the killing of union leader Jimmy Hoffa.
Late Night (TBA)
Mindy Kaling writes and produces her first feature film, a comedy in which she stars alongside Emma Thompson, who plays a late-night TV host at risk of losing her post. According to the movie’s synopsis, Thompson’s host hires Kaling’s character as the first female writer on her show to appease diversity concerns only to find her worldview challenged.
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