30 films to get you excited for 2019

With mere weeks left of 2018, a new year of cinema beckons. And, boy, has it got us excited!

There are new films from Jordan Peele, Quentin Tarantino and Barry Jenkins; new entries in the Avengers, Jumanji and Star Wars franchises; and even an upscale for popular TV show Downton Abbey.

Following on from our list of most-anticipated animated films, we now present thirty live-action features that we can’t wait to see in 2019…

1. The Favourite

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Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest film might not be the favourite for Best Picture glory but you can expect this quirky period drama to feature prominently in next year’s awards season.

Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are divine as a pair of sixteenth century cousins vying to be the ‘favourite’ of Olivia Colman’s gout-ridden Queen Anne.

If you loved The Killing of a Sacred Deer, don’t miss The Favourite on 01/01/19.

2. Stan & Ollie

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Whilst Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are giants of comedy in their own right, here the pair play a duo of singular prowess: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Jon S. Baird’s biopic, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October, tells the story of the success and struggles they faced in their three decade Hollywood career.

Prepare for tears of joy, and a little sadness too, on 11/01/19.

3. Glass

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M. Night Shyamalan shocked us all when Bruce Willis rocked up at the close of 2016 horror Split. It was a reveal that placed the film within the same universe as Shyamalan’s earlier Unbreakable and set up a third and final part for the so-called ‘Eastrail 177’ trilogy.

Samuel L. Jackson returns from Unbreakable alongside Willis with Split stars James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy joining for a threequel that promises escalating encounters.

Nothing will be as it seems when Glass hits cinemas on 18/01/19.

4. Mary, Queen of Scots

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Following the trail of Netflix’s Outlaw King, here’s another chapter in Scottish regal history, this one set predominantly in 1569.

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in the imperious role of Queen Elizabeth I but Saoirse Ronan is every bit her equal as her titular cousin.

Expect period politics to dominate your cinema experience from 18/01/19.

5. If Beale Street Could Talk

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Barry Jenkins follows his Oscar-winning Moonlight with the story of a pregnant African-American woman who must prove her husband’s innocence.

Jenkins’ script has been drawn from James Baldwin’s novel of the same name and is brought to life by KiKi Layne, Stephen James and Regina King.

Beale Street will talk on 08/02/19.

6. Us

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Lupita Nyong’o stars in Jordan Peele’s sophomore feature as a mother whose seaside getaway with her husband (Winston Duke), friend (Elisabeth Moss) and children descends to chaos.

Notably, Us boasts the film debut of Duke Nicholson, grandson of screen legend Jack, and lists Jason Blum among its producers.

Get Out was the horror smash hit of 2017 so anticipation is high for this one, which lands in the UK on 15/03/19.

7. Greyhound

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The last time Tom Hanks starred in a Second World War film it was Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and we all know how that turned out. Very, very well.

This time, the Hollywood star has written the script for himself, which comes from director Aaron Schneider and producer Gary Goetzman.

See Hanks’ Commander Krause lead a convoy across the North Atlantic on 22/03/19.

8. Dumbo/Aladdin/The Lion King

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Are Disney overcooking their 2019 schedule? With three major remakes due in fewer than six months next year, we’d say so.

Find out everything you need to know about Dumbo here, watch The Lion King trailer here, and get your first look at Aladdin here.

Dumbo is out 29/03/19, Aladdin on 24/05/19 and The Lion King on 19/07/19.

9. Shazam!

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‘We all have a superhero inside us.’ So says the marketing campaign for the film that promises to be DC’s quirkiest to date.

In a plot that combines Banana Man with the film Big, Shazam! sees Zachary Levi play the grown up alter ego of Asher Angel’s Billy Batson is comes to life whenever the teen shouts ‘SHAZAM!’

We’ve tried shouting ‘SHAZAM!’ but it’s no good, you’re going to have to wait until 05/04/19.

10. Captain Marvel/Avengers: Endgame/Spider-Man: Far From Home

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Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)

More proof, if it were needed, that Disney haven’t learned their lesson since Solo disappointed, the studio have two major Marvel entries and a new Spider-Man out in 2019.

Catch the trailer for the game changing Endgame here and find out everything you need to know about Captain Marvel here.

Captain Marvel lands on 08/03/19 and Avengers: Endgame is out on 26/04/19. Spider-Man: Far From Home hasn’t been given a UK release date yet but is due in the US on 05/07/19.

11. The Hustle

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The latest Hollywood remake you didn’t know you wanted gender-swaps Frank Oz’s 1988 crime-comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson play a pair of down-and-out hustlers who face off in a ‘loser leaves town’ contest. Chris Addison directs, whilst Tim Blake Nelson – most recently of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs –  co-stars.

This dirty rotten caper is due 10/05/19.

12. John Wick 3: Parabellum

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Will Keanu Reeves’ John Wick ever retire? Having wiped out a member of the High Table last time around, the former hitman now has a $14m tag on his life so perhaps not.

Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad are back as director and writer respectively, whilst Reeves is again joined on screen by Ian McShane, Lance Reddick and Laurence Fishburne.

The hunt commences on 17/05/2019.

13. Ad Astra

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James Gray’s last film was the wonderful Lost City of Z so we have high hopes for this science fiction epic follower.

There are parts for Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga here, but its Brad Pitt who leads in the role of Army Corps engineer Roy McBride. Twenty years after his father set out on a one-way mission to Neptune, McBride launches after him to find out why he failed.

From Pitt’s own production company, Ad Astra is out on 24/05/19

14. Rocketman

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Having bowed out of the Kingsman franchise, Taron Egerton stretches his acting muscles in this, semi-fictional, Elton John biopic.

Dexter Fletcher, who recently picked up Bryan Singer’s reins on Bohemian Rhapsody, directs the film, while John himself is among its producers.

You can catch a glimpse of Egerton’s flamboyant turn here, ahead of the film’s release on 24/05/19.

15. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

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The Monsterverse continues next Spring with the return of the behemothic sea creature Godzilla, for the first time since 2014.

We’ve had Kong: Skull Island in the interim and Godzilla: King of the Monsters may prove to be little more than an aperitif, ahead of Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020.

Prehistoric battles await cinema goers on 31/05/19.

16. Dark Phoenix

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The last time Jean Grey became the Dark Phoenix was in X-Men: The Last Stand and fans hated it. Thankfully, 2014’s Days of Future Past wiped that film from the franchise’s continuity and Fox can start again.

Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut here but he’s working with a cast of regulars, as Sophie Turner, James McCoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence all return.

Prepare to be hit with Phoenix Force on 07/06/19.

17. Ford v. Ferrari

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Sticking with the X-Men theme, this biographical retelling of the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari in the 1960s comes from director James Mangold, who was chosen by Fox following the success of Logan.

Tracy Letts plays Henry Ford II, who, in the run up to the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, sent automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) on a mission to build a brand new car with the power to beat the, then dominant, Ferrari once and for all.

Checkered flags will wave on 28/06/19.

18. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film is his first in a decade to be entirely severed from the Weinstein Company. Instead, he’s teamed up with Wizarding World producer David Heyman to deliver a crime-mystery set in the days of the Charles Manson murders.

Drenched in Hollywood history – we’re calling it already – this won’t be for those who consider Tarantino a touch on the vainglorious side. Leonardo DiCaprio leads as a struggling actor who seeks to make his name in film.

Can there be a happy ending to this fairytale? Find out on 26/07/19.

19. Hobbs & Shaw

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Fan favourites Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham unite for this Fast and Furious spin-off, which is directed by Atomic Blonde‘s David Leitch.

US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs is an unlikely ally for military officer turned mercenary Deckard Shaw but team up they must if they want to survive.

Expect fireworks on 02/08/19.

20. Artemis Fowl

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Eoin Colfer’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ books are huge in the fantasy fiction market but it’s up to director Kenneth Branagh to ensure it matches that success on the big screen.

Newcomers Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell head up the film as the titular teen, who seeks to rescue his criminal father and restore the family fortune, and the elf he kidnaps along the way.

Get ready to explore a world of fairies and mud people on 09/08/19.

21. It: Chapter Two

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We tried – and failed – to predict who would play the Losers’ Club grown up in Andy Muschietti’s sequel to horror smash hit It – officially the number one horror ever – but there’s not so long to go now until we find out how Jessica Chastain and company compare.

Chapter Two is set twenty-seven years after the first film and sees the terrifying It (Bill Skarsgård) return to terrify the town of Derry.

Coulrophobics will want to book their holidays for 06/09/19.

22. Downton Abbey

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When Dame Maggie Smith dismissed the idea of a film being made from the popular UK TV series Downton Abbey, in which she plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham, the idea seemed outlandish.

Three years later, Michael Engler directs Julian Fellows’ big screen adaptation with the whole cast – including Smith – on board.

Polish that chandelier on 13/09/19.

23. The Woman in the Window

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Amy Adams, Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore star in this Joe Wright directed thriller, which is based on the book of the same name by A.J. Finn.

Working from a script by Tracy Letts, Adams plays Dr. Anna Fox, an agoraphobic child psychologist who becomes convinced that she’s witnessed a crime from her window.

Curtains are set to twitch on 27/09/19.

24. Joker

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It’s rare for the casting of an actor in the role of the Joker to be met with anything less than outrage and Joaquin Phoenix has done little to change that.

From Hangover director Todd Phillips, Joker promises to be a more character orientated affair and tells of how a failed comedian became the archenemy of Batman.

Can Phoenix match Ledger? Find out on 04/10/19.

25. Zombieland Too

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Ten years after Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland joined the ranks of the most successful zombie films ever made, his cast return for more post-apocalyptic fun.

Production hasn’t actually started yet but we do know that Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin are set to encounter a new species of ‘super zombies’.

The zombies get bigger and badder on 11/10/19.

26. The Goldfinch

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Donna Tartt’s best-selling, Pulitzer Prize winning novel gets the big screen treatment in this Amazon-Warner Bros. co-production.

After his break-out turn in Baby Driver, Ansel Elgort leads as Theo Decker, a terrorist bombing surviver who descends into a life of crime with only a small painting of a goldfinch to his name.

The Goldfinch flies into cinemas on 11/10/19.

27. Kingsman: The Great Game

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The next in the Kingsman franchise isn’t the third instalment but a prequel to the first two.

Ralph Fiennes and Harris Dickinson are set to star in the film, which takes place in 1918 and will tell the story of the espionage agency’s founding.

There’s no official release date for this one as yet but word is that The Great Game will land on 08/11/19.

28. Jumanji 3

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a huge success in 2017, perhaps even surprisingly so. Naturally, there’s a sequel on the way and, thankfully, the likeable cast are all back.

That’s about all we know. As the game was destroyed at the end of Welcome to the Jungle, it’s unclear where this one’s going but Hollywood always finds a way.

The jungle beats will sound on 13/12/19.

29. Star Wars: Episode IX

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The Force Awakens was huge and beloved. The Last Jedi was less huge – but still big – and controversial. J. J. Abrams is back for part three of the trilogy and could do with a clear-cut hit.

Whilst Billy Dee Williams is set to make his return as Lands Calrissian, Carrie Fisher’s death means she will appear only through old, unused footage.

In America, the untitled threequel is to land on 20/12/19 but there’s no UK confirmation yet.

30. Cats

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Tom Hooper nailed his last stage-to-screen adaptation and seems a safe bet for this one. For one thing, the Les Miserables director has accumulated a glittering cast, including Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench.

‘Cats’ is the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical drawn from T. S. Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’. It’s also the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.

Get your cats eyes on this one from 20/12/2019.

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