In 2018, stars were born, superheroes were vanished, and husbands were bad. What will be the biggest film stories of 2019? It’s too early to say, but if you want to impress your friends by having opinions on movies months before they actually come out, here’s a guide to the projects we’re most excited about in the new year.
Luz (Early 2019)
This debut film from German writer and director Tilman Singer is a trim but thematically dense 70-minute experience. It starts with a cab driver named Luz drifting into a police station after having been roughed up under mysterious circumstances; from there, Singer incorporates hypnotism, possession, a very unconventional interrogation, surreal trips into locations that feel out of time, and a whole lot more. Luz signals the arrival of a strange, exciting new talent in Singer.
Glass (January 18)
A culminating work for its writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, Glass mashes up the protagonists from two of his previous hits — 2000’s Unbreakable and 2016’s Split — to ponder a question that has burned within the filmmaker for nearly two decades now: What if superheroes were real? Bruce Willis reprises his poncho-wearing vigilante character David Dunn (from Unbreakable) finding himself pursuing James McAvoy’s dissociative identity–suffering supervillain Kevin Wendell Crumb (who is shown transforming into a rampaging Übermensch called “The Beast” in Split). Meanwhile the shadowy presence of Elijah Price (a.k.a. Mr. Glass, Samuel L. Jackson’s evil-genius character in Unbreakable) “emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men,” according to the third movie in the Unbreakable trilogy’s official synopsis.
Birds of Passage (February 13)
Ciro Guerra’s 2015 film Embrace of the Serpent made history by being the first Colombian film to be nominated for an Academy Award, and his follow-up was one of the most talked about films at Cannes 2018. Birds of Passage takes a familiar cinematic narrative — the rise and fall of a drug lord — but sets it within the indigenous communities of Columbia, observing how the traditions and values of the tribespeople clash with the lawless capitalism of the 1970s drug trade.
Climax (March 1)
Ever since we saw (and loved) the latest from French provocateur Gaspar Noé at Cannes, we’ve been anxiously waiting for the moment the rest of the world can partake in its acid-laced, perfectly choreographed madness. The short of it: It stars Sofia Boutella and a troupe of hard-partying dancers in a bunker in the snow-covered wilderness with a seemingly endless supply of funky sangria. That’s about all you need to know.
Captain Marvel (March 8)
More than a decade into its existence, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will finally get its shit together and put out a woman-led movie. Brie Larson stars as the titular superhero, a mysterious spacefarer who finds herself on Earth during the 1990s, tortured by vague memories of an old life on our beautiful blue marble. As she struggles to overcome her amnesia, she runs afoul of the shape-shifting Skrulls and crosses paths with a young Nick Fury (a CGI-augmented, de-aged Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, returning to the big screen after more than paying his dues on TV’s MCU spinoff Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). If that’s not enough to entice you, may we point out that Jude Law appears as Captain Marvel’s sexy alien compatriot? It’s the part he was born to play, baby!
Triple Frontier (March 15)
Thank you, Triple Frontier, for the best gift of 2019: The movie’s Hawaii shoot blessed us with glorious paparazzi shots of its cast — Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, and Garrett Hedlund — roughhousing on a beach, while Ben Affleck and Ben Affleck’s Back Tattoo stared pensively into the ocean. In this J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year, Margin Call) movie, five ex-military friends team up to infiltrate a drug lord’s fortress and steal his money, which sounds very risky and high stakes. The script bounced around development for some time, with Casey Affleck and Mahershala Ali once attached to star — what could’ve been! Garrett Hedlund’s deep voice is a very nice consolation prize.
Us (March 15)
The thesis statement of Oscar-winning writer-director Jordan Peele’s new movie can be fairly boiled down to a simple tenet: “We are our own worst enemy.” The deliciously creepy horror-thriller follows a suburban family — Black Panther co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke play mom and dad — fending off home invasion by a quartet of scissor-wielding doppelgängers apparently intent on killing and replacing them. Unlike Peele’s breakthrough Get Out, the filmmaker has said that Us is “not about race.” Soundtracked by a gothic, slo-mo rendition of the Luniz 420 hip-hop anthem “I Got 5 on It,” the movie looks set to deliver a similarly disorienting brand of terror.
The Beach Bum (March 22)
Writer-director Harmony Korine’s candy-colored follow-up to 2012’s Spring Breakers features what looks to be a career-defining performance by Matthew McConaughey, as a Ferrari-driving, Zubaz-wearing stoner-poet named Moondog following his chemically addled bliss across modern Miami. Aside from the announcement of an ensemble cast that includes Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Buffett (and the director’s tossed-off appraisal of The Beach Bum as a “super swampy, boozy film about fuck ups”), details on the project remain scant. But according to a leaked test screening report, viewers can anticipate no shortage of Korine’s signature weirdness: Martin Lawrence portrays a dolphin-obsessed boat captain, Zac Efron is a hoverboard-riding rehab patient, and Jonah Hill dramatically emotes with a thick Cajun accent. And in one scene, McConaughey reportedly smokes a joint from between Isla Fisher’s toes.
Fast Color (March 29)
Julia Hart’s supernatural drama got a lot of buzz at 2018’s South by Southwest, and it finally gets its proper release this spring. It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a woman with mysterious powers who returns to her family home after years on the run. Think a low-key, female-centric Logan — heavier on atmosphere and character than on all-out action.
Her Smell (March 29)
Elisabeth Moss is a caustic, electrifying mess until she isn’t in Alex Ross Perry’s brilliantly humane story of rock-and-roll, addiction, and redemption. The film was polarizing at festivals this fall, and it’s easy to see why — the film almost literally puts you in the chaotic mind of Moss’s Courtney Love–esque rock star, and it’s not a pleasant place to be for two-plus hours. But take our word for it — this is going to be one of 2019’s best.
Peterloo (April 5)
It may sound odd to say that the moment has arrived for Mike Leigh’s Peterloo — at first glance a mannered, traditional telling of a 1819 uprising and massacre in Manchester, England. But Leigh’s working-class epic feels bracingly modern once you get past the flowery oratory and passionate speechmaking that characterized political movements of the era. It’s astoundingly ambitious stuff, and its climactic scene is one of the most unforgettable things we saw at 2018’s festivals.
Hellboy (April 12)
No, you’re not going crazy; there was already a movie with this exact name back in 2004. This Neil Marshall–helmed reboot of the Hellboy franchise opted to eschew a post-colon subtitle, but promises to be a darker take on the title character, who will be played this time around by a shockingly swole David Harbour. Hellboy emerged from the world of comic books and his creator, writer-artist Mike Mignola, has been heavily involved in this adaptation, so superfans should rest assured that their idol will be faithfully reconstructed. And, hey, Ian McShane is in it as Hellboy’s adoptive father, and that guy can make even the worst stuff at least a little classy.
Under the Silver Lake (April 19)
David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to It Follows was one of only two American films to compete at Cannes this year; since then, it’s been treated to a release-date merry-go-round almost as complicated as the movie’s plot. Assuming audiences actually do get to see the film this spring, they’ll be treated to a stylish L.A. neo-noir about a hipster doofus (Andrew Garfield) investigating the disappearance of his pretty neighbor (Riley Keough). Our own Emily Yoshida called it “a deliberately overwrought mystery that almost feels like a work of interpretive … anthropology.”
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
This sucker will show us what happens in the wake of indigo baddie Thanos’s magical finger-snap from Avengers: Infinity War, which wiped out half of all life in the universe. Ant-Man and Captain Marvel sat the last picture out but will certainly pop up here, so expect a turducken even more overstuffed than the preceding installment.
Detective Pikachu (May 10)
It was only a matter of time ‘til the Pokémon had their big American studio live-action screen debut, and naturally the first corner of the franchise to adapt would be … a game where Pikachu wears a Sherlock Holmes hat and solves mysteries? And is voiced by a sardonic Ryan Reynolds? Oh, who are we kidding, this looks nuts, the trailer is already a meme legend, and we can’t wait to see how that mean-mugging Jigglypuff murdered all those people he definitely murdered.
John Wick: Chapter 3(May 17)
John Wick has a $14 million contract out on his head in the third chapter of this glorious action franchise, and frankly, it’s disrespectful how much these bad guys are lowballing Keanu Reeves! An assassin of his caliber demands at least a $20 million bounty! By failing to fulfill the marker he made with Santino D’Antonio in the second movie, John has run afoul of the mighty criminal consortium called the High Table, and director Chad Stahelski says the body count in Wick 3 will set a new franchise high. So, John has to kill absolutely everyone in the world to survive? Probably! At the very least, we know he kills people while riding a horse, which is so Keanu, and we also know he shows up in the desert with Halle Berry and two precious Belgian Malinois dogs. On top of all that, we get Anjelica Huston as an important figure from John’s past. Give us that Keanu in bisexual lighting one more time!
Ad Astra (May 24)
If you liked James Grey’s The Lost City of Z, and longed for a sequel about its explorer protagonist’s son growing up and taking up his father’s mantle … but would prefer if that sequel was set in space, Ad Astra might be for you. Grey’s latest stars Brad Pitt as a man who goes looking for his father (Tommy Lee Jones) after the latter disappears without a trace on a mission to find intelligent life on Neptune. This might be this year’s highbrow space epic à la Gravity or Interstellar.
Aladdin (May 24)
A few years back, Disney realized that it actually didn’t need to give audiences a whole new world; instead, it could just give them lovingly updated versions of the worlds they loved when they were kids. As part of its mission to update its ’90s classics with live actors and modern CGI, the Mouse House hired Guy Ritchie to bring his characteristic swaggering style to the story of Agrabah’s most upwardly mobile street rat. Mena Massoud plays Aladdin, Power Rangers’ Naomi Scott is Jasmine, and Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari is a Jafar we wouldn’t mind spending a few Arabian nights with. Meanwhile Will Smith blues himself to play the Genie.
Rocketman (May 31)
As evidenced by Bohemian Rhapsody’s $667 million box-office haul, moviegoers are showing new thirst for splashy biopics about ’70s rock stars. Up next: this Taron Egerton–starring “fantasy musical” that chronicles Elton John’s journey from obscurity to superstardom. To get in character, the Kingsman: Golden Circle star took singing lessons and rerecorded many of John’s epochal hits. But don’t expect Rocketman to trade reality for spectacle; the film delves into John’s battle with substance abuse and makes no attempt to straightwash the singer’s sexuality. “I actually think the gay community will be surprised by how gay it feels,” Egerton has said.
Dark Phoenix (June 7)
This flick — a much-delayed X-Men holdover from 2018 — will chronicle the trials and tribulations of Marvel’s merry mutants after their teammate, Sophie Turner’s psychic Jean Grey, gains the cosmic abilities of the so-called Phoenix Force, which corrupts her with its absolute power and provides opportunities for all manner of CGI mishegoss. The gang of X-folks who’ve been populating the franchise since 2011’s X-Men: First Class will return, though the fact that many of them are already past their initial contracted commitments (and have more or less outgrown the need for a superhero megaphone) suggests that not everyone will make it to the finish line alive.
Toy Story 4 (June 21)
After you’ve dangled Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the precipice of a fiery inferno, making millions of young children aware of their own inevitable deaths for the first time, how do you top it? A road trip, of course! This fourqel sees the beloved toys hit the trail, accompanied by a spork named Forky (Tony Hale).
Ford v. Ferrari (June 28)
This fact-based film dramatically re-creates one of automotive racing’s most simmering rivalries: the blood feud between Ferrari sports cars and Ford’s upstart team for primacy at France’s grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Matt Damon stars as automotive visionary Carroll Shelby who, in 1966, sets out to beat the Italians at their own game, leading a crew of American engineers to challenge Ferrari’s long-standing dominance by building an all-new experimental automobile (Christian Bale plays Ford’s legendary British driver Ken Miles). Think: a race-track version of Rocky IV, directed by Logan’s James Mangold.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5)
The very rich people behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe pride themselves on withholding information about forthcoming episodes in that venerable franchise, so this Sony-Disney co-production (Sony owns the Spidey film rights but partnered with Disney to put him in the MCU after the disaster that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2) remains something of a mystery. We know the wall-crawler will make his way to the U.K. and that Jake Gyllenhaal will appear as illusion-master Mysterio — dare we hope for the baddie to be British and give us a shot at hearing Jakey G. attempt an accent?
The Lion King (July 19)
Disney’s 2016 CGI/live-action remake of the animated classic The Jungle Book minted money: over $966 million worldwide, to be exact. Hence the studio’s decision to rehire director Jon Favreau to photo-realistically redo another animated classic centered around talking animals and jungle environs. Donald Glover voices Simba, the crown prince of the Pride Lands, with Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, his ride-or-die warthog homey. Beyoncé provides the voice of Simba’s love interest, and the A-list ensemble vocal cast also includes John Oliver, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner and Keegan-Michael Key (James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa from the 1994 original).
Hobbs & Shaw (July 26)
The phrase “big dick energy” might have worn out its welcome about 48 hours after taking Twitter by storm in 2018, but if there’s anything capable of bringing the term back into fashion, it’s Hobbs & Shaw. This Fast and the Furious spinoff is such a hot ticket that Universal fast-tracked it ahead of the last two core films in the franchise, and honestly, they were right. The Rock, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, and Eiza González all in one place under the direction of David Leitch and doing I have no idea what — because it barely matters! If I die in a theater, let this be the movie that sends me out. I’ve already got the vapors.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 26)
Quentin Tarantino’s tenth feature is a tale of oldish Hollywood: Leonardo DiCaprio (and his Photoshopped chin) plays the former star of a TV Western; Brad Pitt plays his stunt double. Leo’s character just happens to live next door to Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), and her grisly murder by members of the Manson family in the summer of 1969 is part of the plot. (Tate’s sister reportedly spoke with Tarantino and approved of how the movie handles her death.) The half of Hollywood that isn’t in the Top Gun sequel is here for this: Lena Dunham, Al Pacino, James Marsden, Damian Lewis, Maya Hawke, Timothy Olyphant, Margaret Qualley, and Bruce Dern. Initially, the movie was set for release on August 9, the 50th anniversary of Tate’s murder, but the studio quietly moved it to July 26.
The New Mutants (August 2)
If you read our list of the most anticipated films of 2018, you may be experiencing déjà vu right about now. Josh Boone’s X-Men spinoff was slated to come out last April, then got bumped to February 2019, and now is set to hit screens in August — though who knows, at this point. Nevertheless, there’s cause for cautious optimism, as the film will supposedly expand the scope of the superhero genre to include a heaping dose of horror and will feature Anya Taylor-Joy, who is always a welcome member of a dramatis personae.
It: Chapter Two (September 6)
The first It from director Andy Muschietti made more than $700 million around the world, and that was before he had Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader involved. The strength of Chapter One was the great chemistry between the little Losers, but the casting for grown -up Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier, Ben Hanscom, and the rest of the gang is strong enough to make this adult ensemble very exciting. Bring on more Bill “Pennywise” Skarsgård.
Downton Abbey (September 20)
As a card-carrying member of the British aristocracy, it is Julian Fellowes’s God-given right to wring every last drip of profit from his property, intellectual or otherwise. Accordingly, three years after Downton Abbey went off the air, Fellowes and the Crawleys are back to give the family, and their swiftly vanishing way of life, one final curtain call. A two-hour movie might not seem like enough time for a proper send-off to Downton’s two-dozen-odd characters, but if I trust anyone to properly service a large ensemble cast in an English manor house, it’s the writer of Gosford Park.
The Kitchen (September 20)
Widows, but a period piece: When the husbands of a few New York women in the 1970s are sent to prison, the women take over to run the guys’ rackets. Their operation runs smoother than their husbands’ (because they’re a liability!). The first movie directed by screenwriter Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton), The Kitchen is based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle, and Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss all star — what more is there to want!
Gemini Man (October 4)
Will Smith plays an elite assassin in a movie directed by Ang Lee that also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong? I’m sold! Lee has been attached to Gemini Man for a few years already, but the pure charisma of Smith can only be kept bottled up for so long, and the movie will finally arrive in theaters this year. (But, please, spare us the 120 frames per second on this one, Lee!)
Joker (October 4)
In what is surely the biggest swing-for-the-fences moment in the history of DC Comics film adaptations, Todd Phillips will conjure up a heavily altered version of Batman arch-rival the Joker, who occupies a Gotham resembling Koch-era New York City. Though set photos have abounded for whatever reason, little is known about the film’s plot, other than that it will be an origin story that doesn’t feature Batman but does feature Batsy’s dad, Thomas Wayne. Joaquin Phoenix plays the titular Crown Prince of Crime, so expect some deliciously weird junket interviews.
The Goldfinch (October 11)
Based on Donna Tartt’s best-selling, Pulitzer Prize–winning novel and dated to roll out during the thick of awards season, nearly everything about this sprawling drama oozes prestige. Ansel Elgort portrays Theo, a teen whose mother is killed during a terrorist attack at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — and whose split-second decision to steal a 17th-century Dutch painting amid the chaos there eventually sets a complex series of events in motion across decades and continents. The ensemble cast is rounded out by Nicole Kidman (as an icy Park Avenue socialite who takes Theo in), Luke Wilson as the boy’s deadbeat dad, Sarah Paulson as his stepmother, and Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Wright as Theo’s weirdly erudite, antique furniture–restoring mentor.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (October 18)
Though she’s thick in the Oscar race with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Marielle Heller has already finished shooting her next movie, a biopic about Mr. Rogers told through the eyes of a sympathetic journalist (Matthew Rhys). Stepping into the immortal cardigan is none other than Tom Hanks, a casting that seems a perfect match of star and role. Heller’s first two films have been filled with prickly emotional nuance, and we can’t wait to see what she does with the story of the nicest man in TV.
Untitled Terminator Reboot (November 1)
Gluttons for punishment who keep seeing new Terminator movies and thinking Maybe this time will be better! might at long last have a sequel to cheer for. Linda Hamilton is back as Sarah Connor for the first time since Judgement Day, and Mackenzie Davis joins as a character of unknown origin named Grace. Tim Miller is directing and James Cameron has seemed more involved in this movie than previous franchise installments, but really, you had us at “Davis and Hamilton fighting cyborgs with big guns.”
Cats (December 20)
They’re making a Cats movie. That should be about all you need to know, but in case you haven’t been breathlessly updating your Jellicle Google Alerts, it will star Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and JASON DERULO. Tom Hooper, whose Les Misérables was not everyone’s cup of tea, will be helming the adaptation. Let’s hope for lots of intense shaky-cam close-ups when Derulo’s Rum Tum Tugger makes his grand entrance.
Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20)
After 42 years of modern mythmaking, the Skywalker saga will reportedly come to a close in the 11th feature film to bear the Star Wars imprimatur. It’s anyone’s guess what the movie will cover, or even what the title will be. How will the late Carrie Fisher be ushered out? Who the hell knows. Matt Smith will join the cast, but, again, we have no idea who he’ll be playing. Mayhap Jaxxon will finally make his live-action debut?
1917 (December 25)
Oh, you liked Dunkirk, did you? You enjoyed it when Christopher Nolan brought all of his considerable directorial powers to a tale of plucky British heroism in the face of overwhelming odds? Well, buckle up, buster, because Sam Mendes is here to raise the freaking stakes. In place of Nolan’s WWII-era derring-do, Mendes is putting us knee-deep in the morass of WWI’s Western Front, and you know what that means: the unbearable psychological trauma of trench warfare, inhumanly violent assaults “over the top,” and Germans you can’t even really be mad at because they’re not Nazis yet. It’s unclear exactly which part of 1917 Mendes will be dramatizing, but that doesn’t really matter — almost none of it was good.
Little Women (December 25)
Every generation gets the Little Women adaptation it deserves, and Greta Gerwig will not let us down. The Lady Bird writer-director pairs again with Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet for this adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott classic. Plus, nearly every white woman in Hollywood is onboard: Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, Florence Pugh, and Sharp Object’s Eliza Scanlen. Go ahead and tell mama! See it Christmas Day 2019.
The French Dispatch (TBD)
Wes Anderson returns to his first loves— Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, France — with this story of an American newspaper bureau in 1950s Paris. Despite early rumors, the movie will not be a musical, but we’re still excited to see what our most aesthetically minded director does with the most glamorous location in 20th-century Europe.
In Fabric (TBD)
Peter Strickland, the writer and director behind delicious and strange films like Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy, delivers a horror film centered on far too rare a villainous presence: a cursed dress! Taking place during a busy shopping season and following the trail of terror left by a wicked garment, In Fabric is erotic, luscious, surreal, and is a special horror treat for the giallo fanatic in your life.
Honey Boy (TBD)
Shia LaBeouf unpacks his own deep-seated daddy issues in Honey Boy, a drama based on his life that he scripted himself. As LaBeouf worked on the Disney Channel series Even Stevens, he experienced a troubled childhood, thanks to his father, an ex–rodeo clown. LaBeouf shuttled between the Disney set and 12-step programs for his father’s drug addiction. Honey Boy’s script was on the famous Black List, and its portrayal of father and son looks to be a hard sit: father and son spar fiercely as Shia comes of age in blockbusters and wrestles with his father’s complicated life. LaBeouf donned overalls and a receding hairline to play the character based on his father, with Lucas Hedges playing post-Disney Shia.
The Irishman (TBD)
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro reunite for their tenth movie together (not counting Scorsese’s short film The Audition, or their funny bit in Shark Tale), based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses. De Niro plays a union official with mob ties who was involved in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa in this Netflix movie. The Irishman is Scorsese’s first movie with Al Pacino, playing Hoffa. “It’s wild. Wow. It’s a very interesting script,” Pacino said of the project, to The Village Voice. “And there’s Marty at the helm of this tapestry he’s making. You never know what something’s going to be, but I think he’s really going to make something interesting there, no doubt about it.” Frequent Scorsese collaborators Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel are also in the cast. Crime movies are Scorsese’s speciality, but this one comes with different stakes: The movie will reportedly de-age the actors in flashbacks, letting De Niro play as young as 30 years old.
The King (TBD)
Timothée Chalamet. Robert Pattinson. A “little frilly frock.” The King, based on Shakespeare’s Henry the IV and V, is the first movie conjured entirely by stan Twitter — and that’s not even mentioning the hair! Chalamet plays Henry V, who’s navigating life on the throne. Scripted by Joel Edgerton and David Michôd, and directed by Michôd, it also features Sean Harris, Ben Mendelsohn, and Chalamet’s maybe girlfriend Lily-Rose Depp. (Please respect my privacy at this difficult time.) Pattinson is Henry’s glamorous frenemy, King Charles VI of France’s son, called “The Dauphin.”
The Last Thing He Wanted (TBD)
Dee Rees directs this thriller starring Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck, based on Joan Didion’s novel of the same name. Elena McMahon (Hathaway) is a Washington Post reporter who visits her ailing father on a small island off the coast of Costa Rica. Elena’s dear old dad is running an arms-dealing operation in Central America, and she quickly becomes entangled in it. (Will Affleck play the flirtatious Ambassador-at-Large Treat Morrison? Hopefully!) Rees is directing from her own script (co-written with Marco Villalobos).
The Nightshifter (TBD)
This stylish Brazilian horror film from writer and director Dennison Ramalho is a ghost story with a little twist. Stênio is an unhappily married man with two kids who works the night shift performing autopsies at a morgue. It’s a dangerous city, so plenty of victims of gang violence and young criminals land on his steel table, and Stênio has a secret ability to speak with the deceased. But when he uses some ill-gotten information to catch his wife in the act of cheating, this working dad upsets the balance between the living and the dead, and welcomes a dangerous supernatural presence into his home.
The Help director Tate Taylor reteams with Octavia Spencer for this Blumhouse horror movie where Spencer plays the antagonist in a story that’s still being kept quiet. Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans co-star; Taylor says he was drawn to the film because it is “so fucking weird and awesome.” It was also filmed primarily on his own property in Mississippi. There’s not enough modern horror set in Gothic southern mansions, so bring on Ma and let’s make it a trend!
The Perfection (TBD)
It’s possible that The Perfection will be the single most important movie of 2019. Imagine, if you will, a plot that centers on a former cello prodigy played by Allison Williams who returns to her old mentor and also finds his new star student, played by Logan Browning. Now blend that with descriptors like “twisty and undeniably twisted,” “De Palma–level proportions of sensationalism,” comparisons to grind-house cinema, and a scene that apparently revolves around “a nail-biting cello performance with vile stakes within a remote Massachusetts estate.” Netflix bought the worldwide rights to the movie, but let’s hope it at least gets a limited theatrical run, because this needs to play on a very big screen.
Uncut Gems (TBD)
Safdie brothers warriors, unite! Good Time was a manic romp, and now the directing duo presents Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler stars in the brothers’ latest dizzying underground epic, executive produced by Martin Scorsese. Sandler plays a jewelry-store owner for the rich and famous who has a gambling addiction and a lot of debt — and then some of his merchandise is stolen. Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel, Judd Hirsch, Eric Bogosian, and Pom Klementieff also star. (The Weeknd and Trinidad James were also spotted on set in New York, and Kevin Garnett posted a photo from set, too.)