Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2018 – A Month By Month Look

This is always a fun but challenging list to put together. While there is a lot to work with when it comes to the major studio tentpoles and various prestige films, I can’t account for every movie that is coming to theaters in 2018. However, I can provide a pretty good rundown on what I am looking forward to and the potential of the year by way of this preview. I see over a hundred movies a year theatrically, and a lot of those films are ones I will be anticipating to some degree. Other smaller films randomly arrive on the calendar months after the start of the year, let alone schedule changes, so I will no doubt miss out on some movies to note. There are also many films in production and being completed in time for Cannes and other film festivals to keep in mind, but I’ve provided a month by month look at what I’m looking forward to seeing (links for trailers where available). I am also curious to hear what others have to say as well, so feel free to add thoughts in the comments.

Here’s something new. Let’s start with a recap of my 2017 picks:

January – The Founder – I liked it okay.

February – The LEGO Batman Movie – A wonderful and clever animated celebration of Batman.

March – Kong: Skull Island – A total blast, in my top 20 of the year.

April – The Lost City of Z – Absolutely great.

May – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Not as good as the first, but quite fun.

June – The Book of Henry – Still haven’t seen it.

July – War for the Planet of the Apes – A solid end to this trilogy.

August – Baby Driver – Moved to June and one of my favorites of the year.

September – American Made – A nice character-driven effort from Tom Cruise.

October – Blade Runner 2049 – Delivered new ideas to go along with terrific spectacle.

November – Thor: Ragnarok – A wonderfully quirky Marvel movie.

December – Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The best Star Wars film in over a decade.



Paddington 2 (1/12)

January is always a tricky month to go over. It features the wide releases of many films I’ve already seen, so don’t count this as me putting down The Post or Phantom Thread, as I’ve reviewed those movies and they sit among what happened in 2017. My pick for the month is Paddington 2 because the first film was so shockingly good and based on the buzz I’ve heard from those who’ve seen this sequel already (it’s been released internationally), I have no reason not to expect more of what made the first so endearing. Other than that, Liam Neeson is back with Jaume Collet-Serra for another Hitchcockian thriller, Proud Mary could be good Blaxploitation throwback fun and The Maze Runner: The Death Cure seems to be going for a Fury Road vibe. If you’re going to rip-off something, rip off from the best is what I say.


The Commuter, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Proud Mary



Black Panther (2/16)

Without question, Black Panther is the film of February, let alone one of the movies I’m most looking forward to this year. Director Ryan Coogler already delivered big with Fruitvale Station and Creed, so this upcoming MCU film is an exciting thing to see. I can’t say I’ve waited all my life for this, but ever since Marvel started banking on lesser known superheroes, I’ve been thrilled by the possibilities of a Black Panther movie. Having already got a taste with Chadwick Boseman’s wonderful presence in Captain America: Civil War, it’s a pleasure knowing how T’Challa’s being handled, let alone what’s in store thanks to the amazing (and very black) cast being put into this giant blockbuster. Other than that, Alex Garland is following up Ex Machina with Annihilation, which is plenty intriguing. Plus, Aardman Animation is back with Early Man, which should be very entertaining.


Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built, Early Man, Loveless, Annihilation, Game Night



Isle of Dogs (3/23)

As of now, it looks like March is shaping up to be the best and most exciting movie month of the year. This was a tough pick, but Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is standing out on top. I love Fantastic Mr. Fox, it’s one of my favorite films, and I can’t wait to see what Anderson does with another stop-motion animated film that involves his trademark sensibilities. Of course Ready Player One is another film I can’t be excited enough about; as it looks like Steven Spielberg has decided to show everyone how great the modern style of blockbusters can really be when the reigning champion of popcorn movies puts his hands on one. We all know how much I enjoy Pacific Rim, so I don’t need to say much about that. And Ava DuVernay gets a chance to play in the blockbuster world as well with A Wrinkle in Time, so we can all hope that works out for the best as well. Also, a Strangers sequel that looks good? Here’s hoping.


Ready Player One, Pacific Rim Uprising, Red Sparrow, Foxtrot, A Wrinkle in Time, Strangers: Prey at Night, Gringo, Thoroughbreds, Unsane



The New Mutants (4/13)

I think what excites me most about The New Mutants is the potential. I’ve been burned by X-Men movies before, but the idea of building one of these into a horror film is very intriguing. I also know almost nothing about this group of characters, so I hope to find fun in the potential. A lot of the same can be said for the Cloverfield series entry that’s coming this month as well, but we’ll see if it holds onto its current release date. A Quiet Place could be a solid horror film, but I’ll be curious if it’s more than just a more commercial version of It Comes at Night. Jason Reitman reteams with Diablo Cody and Charlize Theron for Tully, so that could help put Reitman back on track after a couple of misfires.


A Quiet Place, You Were Never Really Here, Beirut, Tully, God Particle (Or whatever this Cloverfield film is called)



Avengers: Infinity War (5/04)

C’mon, it’s got to be Avengers: Infinity War, the culmination of 10 years’ worth of Marvel films. Beyond the thrill of seeing so many superheroes on the screen to battle Thanos, I look forward to seeing the chemistry and interplay between so many different actors who have proven to be well-cast in their respective roles. Plenty of geek-friendly moments will have their place, but I look forward to a lot more scenes of characters just hanging out, like the early party scene in Age of Ultron. Hopefully, things aren’t too dire to take away those moments from an enjoyable group of actors. We also get Solo: A Star Wars Story this month and since I love Star Wars, I want to know how this works out, even if it is one of the more unnecessary ideas for a spin-off.


Solo: A Star Wars Story, Action Point



Incredibles 2 (6/15)

The Incredibles is basically my favorite Pixar film, and with Brad Bird continuing to be involved, I’m very excited to see what he has come up with for a sequel that everyone has been clamoring for. The voice cast is back, and the film apparently picks up where the first left off, so this will hopefully be a lot of fun matched with Bird’s abilities to bring some real emotion to his stories. Plus, the film is coming in an age where superhero films are everywhere, so I look forward to seeing how he adjusts based on what’s become so familiar. Other than that, Ocean’s 8 is hopefully a film that can succeed where Ghostbusters: Answer the Call fell short. As a Jurassic World and J.A. Bayona fan, I want to see more fun dino action. Lastly, Tag has a neat premise and resulted in Jeremy Renner breaking both wrists, so I’m automatically curious.


Deadpool 2, Ocean’s 8, Tag, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom



Alita: Battle Angel (7/20)

Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron teamed up to make a sci-fi action movie. Of course I want to see this, and the trailer looks promising. Seeing Rodriguez finally break away from his comfort zone is a great step forward for the man who doesn’t need to focus so much energy on more Machete movies when he’s always been a film pioneer in the vein of Cameron and George Lucas. Hopefully never betting against Cameron pays off here. Mission: Impossible 6 feels like a pretty solid bet given how strong this franchise has been and the return of director Christopher McQuarrie (the first time a director has come back). The Nun gets all the more credit thanks to how good Annabelle: Creation turned out, so I’ll hold out hope for that. The Rock has a Towering Inferno rip-off coming, which sounds like good goofy fun on paper. And there’s always room for Ant-Man.


Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Nun, Skyscraper, Mission: Impossible 6



The Predator (8/03)

There’s one clear reason The Predator is the pick of the month here, and it’s Shane Black. He’s here directing a big budget Predator movie, and I’m all for it, given how great his previous films have been. If he can bring the energy of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys combined with the action value he brought to Iron Man 3 (that plane rescue is still one of the best scenes of the MCU), I’m all for seeing what one of my favorite movie monster creations will be getting into. Some other neat films are coming around this time as well. Captive State has a fascinating premise. Crazy Rich Asians has potential to be the breakout comedy of the summer. The Meg has Jason Statham versus a giant shark, so I’m there, obviously. And The Happytime Murders sounds like something from the mind of a young Peter Jackson. I’m in.


Captive State, Crazy Rich Asians, The Meg, The Nightingale, The Little Stranger, The Happytime Murders



The Darkest Minds (9/14)

Based on a novel by Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds has an out there premise where 98% of America’s children have been wiped out, and the rest have developed superpowers. It’s coming from Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who directed Kung Fu Panda 2, so this will be a big win for her if she manages to make this into a hit. We also finally have a new film from Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish, which excites me despite knowing nothing about the film. Eli Roth seems to be delivering something different with The House with a Clock in its Walls, which will hopefully be a nice change of pace. Also, Joel Edgerton has another directorial effort with Boy Erased, which is worth keeping an eye on. Lastly, Night School has another funny people and a solid premise to make it into a funny flick to look forward to.


Fighting with My Family, Robin Hood, The House with a Clock in its Walls, Night School, The Kid Who Would Be King, Boy Erased



First Man (10/12)

Damien Chazelle took home an Oscar for Best Director with La La Land, so there’s no real reason not to be excited about what comes next. Given my fondness for all things involving the history of America’s space program, having him putting together a Neil Armstrong-focused biopic with Ryan Gosling in the lead sounds like a recipe for success. There’s a great supporting cast here as well, and I look forward to whatever kind of directorial innovation he brings to the biopic genre. Everything about David Gordon Green’s Halloween has fascinated me, so that’s another film I’m hoping for the best with and being a Blumhouse Production certainly helps. I don’t know what Andy Serkis has in store for us with his Jungle Book origin film Mowgli, but it will likely look great. And I also still have no idea what to expect from Venom, but more Tom Hardy is never a bad thing.


Bad Times at the El Royale, Venom, Halloween, Mowgli, Overlord



Widows  (11/16)

Steve McQueen is finally back after his Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave, and it’s with a genre thriller written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn. With a terrific cast on board and a heist premise that sounds like a neat spin on things, there is little doubt someone with McQueen considerable dramatic talents won’t be making something fascinating. Additionally, I’ll be very curious how well Creed 2 comes together without Coogler. Robert Zemeckis is doing something with Steve Carrell, so I want to know what that’s going to be. The live action Mulan is coming, and that sounds more exciting to me than most of the other Disney live-action remakes. A sequel to Wreck-It Ralph is sure to be a lot of fun. Lastly, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have a Sherlock Holmes movie on the way, which could be amazing.


Mulan, Holmes & Watson, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, Creed 2, The Women of Marwen



Mortal Engines (12/14)

The teaser trailer for Mortal Engines showed me something I haven’t seen before; something along the lines of Mad Max meets Howl’s Moving Castle. With Peter Jackson producing, I’m putting a lot of faith in seeing something spectacular based on the brief preview of a massive moving city swallowing a smaller town. We also have a couple of comic book movies that include “My Man!” Aquaman and an intriguing new take on Spider-Man. Laika studio’s Travis Knight is directing Bumblebee, so hopefully that makes up for The Last Knight. And finally, Marry Poppins Returns with new songs from Lin Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt taking over the iconic role.


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins Returns


Dates Not Yet Set:

As always, there are plenty of other releases that have not even been scheduled for release yet, despite being set for a 2018 release date. So I’m happy to shout out to some titles I am keeping in mind. This includes new films from Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Adam McKay, Terry Gilliam, Duncan Jones, Gareth Evans, Jeremy Saulnier, Barry Jenkins, and others.

The Irishman, A Rainy Day in New York, Backseat, Suspiria, Replicas, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The Black Hand, 7 Days in Entebbe, The Front Runner, Mute, Serenity, Apostle, Hold the Dark, If Beal Street Could Talk, Psychokinesis, Under the Silver Lake, The Death of Stalin


4 Responses to “Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2018 – A Month By Month Look”

  1. Brian White

    Awesome list from which I learned a lot of release month dates from.
    Nice to see kudos to Aquaman, but like Cyborg he’s such an uninteresting character. Other than that a no show year for DCEU.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    I mean Cyborg was the one character who came out the best for me in Justice League, given how little I cared going in. Aquaman is being directed by James Wan and is coming from the studio regime responsible for Wonder Woman and not Justice League, so I have little doubt it will be in the Snyder league of DC films, aka watchable the first time and not in need of people whining about extended cuts.

    Also – so many other movies listed that I care more about.

  3. Declan

    Uh…Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is supposed to come out in November…

    Albus Dumbledore vs Gellert Grindelwald
    Reappearances of Hogwarts and the British Ministry of Magic
    Connections to The Deathly Hallows and The Philosopher’s Stone
    Nicolas Flamel
    Appearances by the Lestrange, Black, Travers, and Rosier families
    New looks at Wizarding Paris!
    Said to be a romantic thriller film.
    Scenes taking place in the Parisian Catacombs
    8 POC cast members including 2 prominent Asian roles
    One of the first possibly openly gay characters in blockbuster film
    A Wizarding freak show and circus plays a significant role.

    I’m not sure how you could leave out one of the most profitable franchises in Hollywood and WB’s most successful IP by a long-shot.

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    Pretty easily, it’s a list called “Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2018”