After watching 88 films in theaters in 2016, I was able to slightly increase that number to 93 films in 2017. Although I was disappointed I was not able to hit 100 films or come close to my 2015 personal record of 117 films in theaters, being able to see as many films as I did while being a full time student, working and traveling made me feel blessed that I still had time for the cinema as often as I did. Before I get into my 12th year in a row of looking at what is coming out and what will really get me excited to get to the theater this year, let’s take a brief look back at last year’s list to see if my prediction skills stayed consistent or if my expectations lead me to be let down…

10. The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Although I was slightly disappointed by the film’s quality in comparison to the previous year’s “The Lobster”, this film still fascinated me, gave me a lot to chew on and digest and at least is something dire that cinema needs right now…original. Worth watching if you like Yorgos Lanthimos and his other films.

9. The Post – My review is coming very soon on this one but for how excited I was by the potential of this film and with Spielberg behind it, I do have to say that I am rather disappointed by how this ended up turning out. Definitely lesser Spielberg and not worthy of the Best Picture nomination it received.

8. Alien: Covenant – The first of the two Ridley Scott films that came out in 2017 and the better of the two. This was an extremely underrated film in my opinion and Michael Fassbender’s David character has become one of cinema’s best villains throughout the course of the two films he has been in. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but an underrated film with gorgeous visuals and an underrated score/cinematography.

7. Baby Driver – Another film that I was super excited about since Edgar Wright hasn’t directed a film in four long years that ended up being good, but not great. There are a lot of aspects to like about this film like the premise, the car stunts, the music and the editing but quite a few problems left me underwhelmed and that is the second Edgar Wright film in a row that has done that to me. Here’s hoping his next film is great, not just good.

6. Dick Cheney AKA Backseat – Delayed until 2018…

5. Dunkirk – I have mixed feelings about how Dunkirk turned out. On one hand, it is really good. I gave it an 8/10 which I would strongly recommend to anyone. On the other hand, I expect Nolan films to at least be a 9 due to how talented the man is. So this film had some minor problems and I think it’s slightly overrated and not even in his top five best films but it is still a technical marvel with an amazing score, breath taking cinematography and worth checking out.

4. mother! – Besides “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” this was easily the most divisive film of 2017 that people either loved and admired for how ballsy and original it was or hated it for how misleading it was marketed and how graphic and unpleasant the film becomes. I am in the former camp and got a lot out of this movie. I loved the originality, the messages regarding the Bible and the environment and how unforgettable an experience it was. Definitely not for everyone but a good call on my part to put it on last year’s list.

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – I wrote my longest review of 2017 about this mediocre movie that ended up being the biggest disappointment of 2017 for me. I could go on about how Disney is ruining the magic of Star Wars by just looking at this franchise as a cash cow or how they stifle the visions of several directors when they butt heads with the studio yet let Rian Johnson do absolutely whatever he wanted to with this misfire. Disney has yet to make a great Star Wars film, let’s hope that changes.

2. Annihilation – Delayed until 2018…

1. Blade Runner 2049 – I used to have what I would call my “Magnificent Seven” which were my favorite seven directors so when people asked me which movies were my favorite, I could point to their bodies of work for an answer. Well thanks to Dennis Villeneuve I have had to up that number to eight. One of the best films of the year, one of the best sci-fi films in recent memory, better than the original and highly underrated, this is an incredibly made film that every movie fan should see. I’m patting myself on the back for putting it this high up on the list.

Looking back at my overall list from last year I definitely got some things right (Blade Runner 2049, mother! and Molly’s Game was my 12th most anticipated, Wind River 17th most anticipated), some things wrong (Star Wars disappointed and The Post and Baby Driver underwhelmed) and of course a couple movies got delayed, which happens every year. Now let’s look at my Honorable Mentions of my Most Anticipated Films of 2018 and get into the Top 10…


20. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25th 2018)
19. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (*DELAYED UNTIL 2019*)
18. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22nd 2018)
17. Widows (November 16th 2018)
16. The Incredibles 2 (June 15th 2018)
15. You Were Never Really Here (April 6th 2018)
14. The Favourite (September 7th 2018)
13. Bad Times at El Royale (October 5th 2018)
12. Deadpool 2 (May 18th 2018)
11. Ready Player One (March 29th 2018)

10. Hold the Dark (*Acquired by Netflix*)

Release Date: September 28th 2018
Director: Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room)
Screenwriter: Macon Blair
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale, Jeffrey Wright
Rating: R for strong, graphic violence throughout including bloody images, a rape, some language, and nudity
Plot Summary: After the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.

9. The House that Jack Built

Release Date: December 14th 2018
Director: Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Melancholia, Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 & 2)
Screenwriter: Lars von Trier
Starring: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Riley Keough, Sofie Grabøl
Rating: R for strong disturbing violence/sadistic behavior, grisly images, language, and nudity
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYF2tfdD1fA
Plot Summary: Follows the titular serial killer who has spent over a decade aspiring to the art of the perfect murder. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. The film will be set in the 1970s and 1980s, before DNA evidence was used in murder cases.

8. Under the Silver Lake

Release Date: *DELAYED UNTIL 2019*
Director: David Robert Mitchell (It Follows)
Screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Dakota Johnson, Topher Grace
Rating: R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, language throughout and some drug use
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwgUesU1pz4
Plot Summary: The film is a modern-day noir crime thriller set in Los Angeles.

7. Sicario: Day of the Solado

Release Date: June 29th 2018
Director: Stefano Sollima
Screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia Rulfo, Catherine Keener
Rating: R for strong violence, bloody images, and language
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pymm6cmE9uQ
Plot Summary: In “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” the drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) reteams with the mercurial Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro).

6. Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date: May 4th 2018
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War)
Screenwriters: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Sean Gunn, Tom Holland, Paul Rudd, Josh Brolin
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZfuNTqbHE8
Plot Summary: The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Top 5 Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows

5. Homeland (Showtime)
4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
3. South Park (Comedy Central)
2. House of Cards (Netflix)
1. Westworld (HBO)

FINAL NOTE: One fun fact is that although in the past I have had an actor or actress star in two of my Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of any given year, this year I not only have an actress who coincidentally happens to be in three of the Top 10, but three in a row in the #10, #9 and #8 most anticipated films. That actress is Riley Keough and I think after this year she will be a lot more recognizable. In closing, feel free to take a guess as to which films will be in my Top 5 Most Anticipated Films of 2018 and tune in on Thursday to see the 2nd half of the list and find out if your predictions were right or not…


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