2019 has already been a banner year at the box offices. It’s hard to believe that we have so many incredible new and returning franchises to look forward to over the course of the year. In fact, making this list was the hardest thing I’ll probably do all day. I think I need a nap.
Without further musings, let’s get on to my personally curated, supremely authoritative list of can’t-miss movies releasing in 2019:
John Wick: Chapter 3
Ahh, the John Wick franchise. An absolutely brilliant love letter to action filmography that seemingly sprang forth out of nowhere, giving us all yet another reason to love and adore Keanu Reeves (as if we needed one). The first Wick film arrived unceremoniously, but it was an instant and undeniable smash hit. This third outing promises to be every bit as fun, chaotic, and extreme as its predecessors, and as far as I’m concerned, we can just make this a biannual showing at this point. Bring on the Wick Cinematic Universe.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
With Avengers: Endgame fully (and finally) unleashed upon the MCU, we have one more film to look forward to before closing out this phase of Marvel’s epic, sweeping tale of the men and women (and rabbits) tasked with saving the universe. Tom Holland may not be my favorite Spider-Man ever to grace the silver screen, but he has certainly come into his own over the course of the past few films, and I’m looking forward to see where his character falls into place in a post-Endgame world.
The Lion King
The Lion King is one of those movies that seems utterly timeless in its own right, but that isn’t stopping Disney from trying to thrust it into the limelight again for a whole new generation of moviegoers (and their sentimental parents). I remember taking my son along to see the original, and I’m going to enjoy dragging him out to the remake all these years later as well. Though I’m personally a bit leery over the jump to live-action, I’m still very interested in the Big Mouse’ modern interpretation of this absolute classic film.
Godzilla: King of The Monsters
Godzilla movies may not be known for their masterful storytelling, but then again, not every movie needs to be The Green Mile. The previous several films in this franchise have all satisfied me with their overly-destructive depiction of titanic creatures duking it out while the humans sort of, you know, just try and stay out of the way. It’s still unclear what the long-term plan is for this world of massive beasts playing rock-em soc-em, but King of The Monsters looks to up the ante even further, and I, for one, am “here for it”.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the original Frozen. There’s just something about a classic Disney tale told through the backdrop of a winter wonderland (complete with an adorable talking snowman) that is impossible not to love. As one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, the second entry has a lot to live up to, but considering the star-studded casting and the originals undeniable charm, I’m expecting to be pleased yet again when we return to Arendelle later this year.
Pokemon Detective Pikachu
When it was first announced, no one really knew what to expect from Detective Pikachu. A Pokemon movie headed up by Ryan Reynolds, based on a one-off Nintendo 3DS game of the same name? This is truly the strangest timeline for fans. That said, the Pokemon universe is overdue for a facelift, and every indication thus far has shown that Reynolds and the rest of the impressively-stacked cast and crew are taking this movie seriously, and it may just end up being the best Pokemon film in years.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Dark Fate is the next in a long line of Terminator films, and thus far, we know next to nothing about the upcoming movie. I hesitated to include this one on my list, considering how little we’ve actually seen of what could easily be just another sloppy remake of a once-lauded cult sci-fi franchise. But I’m including it anyway, because the movie could end up with just the right mixture of nostalgia-bait, cast talent, and cinematic gravitas to truly live up to its source material. Or it could totally bomb. Time will tell with this one!
Zombieland: Double Tap
The original Zombieland was a hit with audiences and critics alike, and for good reason; the film elevated zombie comedies to heights previously unknown to just about any film outside of Shaun Of The Dead. Now, 10 years later, the sequel is hoping to do it all over again. Featuring a mix of returning and new cast members, and what appears to be a copious amount of callback humor to the original, I’m fairly confident that we’re all in for a treat when this one hits theaters later in the year.
Director Ari Aster’s last horror outing, Hereditary, was one of the most genuinely unnerving films I’ve ever seen. It’s clear that the filmmakers unique brand of psychological horror could not be fully constrained to just one movie, but with the announcement that this will be his final foray into horror, I’m even more excited (terrified) of what Midsommar will end up providing. Debuting this summer, this tale of a strange Swedish festival gone awry seems to offer a stark contrast to the dark, bleak setting explored in Hereditary, and I for one cannot wait to see what’s in store.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
The end of an era. Star Wars has had a historic run, and Disney’s latest trilogy has been a massive box-office success (even though I have my fair share of issues with the storytelling choices made thus far). The final entry in the Skywalker saga wraps up more than 50 years of adventures in the galaxy far, far away, and though there are already several planned trilogies in the works, this certainly feels like the end of something. The Rise Of Skywalker hits theaters this winter, and you can bet I’ll be there opening night, in my Jedi best.