As we approach the year’s halfway point, you may think we’ve already seen some of the best films of 2018 – but there are plenty more to come. Here’s the biggest the film world has to offer over the next seven months…
1. Ocean’s 8
Release date: June 8
Why it’s a big deal: A heist film! With an all-star cast consisting of Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson! This spinoff of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy has the eight-strong team stealing a necklace at the Met Gala in New York City, and it looks like a riot.
2. Incredibles 2
Release date: June 15
Why it’s a big deal: 15 years on from its release, the original Incredibles is still among Pixar’s most lovable films. This one, also from Brad Bird, picks up immediately after the superhero family’s last outing. After taking down The Underminer, Mr Incredible becomes a stay-at-home dad, while Mrs Incredible returns to her Elastigirl persona after being asked to be the face of a new superhero programme. Then, presumably, all hell breaks loose to the sound of Michael Giacchino’s awesomely brassy soundtrack.
3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Release date: June 22
Why it’s a big deal: It’s a second Jurassic World film starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard – a charismatic pair that brought tons of personality to the first. That one was a loving tribute to the 1993 original; this one seems to take things up a notch – J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, A Monster Calls) is directing – when a rescue mission for the former park’s dinosaurs goes awry.
4. Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Release date: June 29
Why it’s a big deal: After the success of Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, this sort-of sequel by the same screenwriter follows not Emily Blunt’s protagonist from the original, but Benicio del Toro’s menacing Alejandro Gillick and Josh Brolin’s Matt Graver, who are still battling on the frontlines of the war on drugs at the US-Mexican border. This time, they’re working together to stop terrorists being transported by the cartels, and directing is Italy’s Stefano Sollima, who was behind the acclaimed crime dramas Gomorrah and Suburra.
5. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Release date: July 6
Why it’s a big deal: While the Avengers were getting their asses kicked by Thanos in Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp are fighting a different villain altogether in this second film starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. It’s Marvel, so even if you’re not a superhero fan, you’ll see promo for this goofy blockbuster everywhere in July.
6. Sorry To Bother You
Release date: July 6
Why it’s a big deal: The directorial debut from Boots Riley is a wacky, bitter comedy in which Atlanta standout Lakeith Stanfield’s protagonist begins using his “white voice” at his telesales job and finds his sales going sky-high, changing the lives of him and his girlfriend (Tessa Thompson). The film’s hilarious trailer and 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating suggests it will stick out as one of 2018’s most biting satires.
7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Release date: July 27
Why it’s a big deal: Why is the M:I series still going? Does anybody know? This sixth instalment is yet another Tom Cruise action movie, directed by the same guy who made 2017’s deeply unenjoyable The Mummy; it finds Ethan Hunt going completely against type as he finds his loyalty questioned and gets drawn in a race against time to avert global disaster. It’s not necessarily going to be a good film, no – it’s even hard to get excited by its all-star cast (Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Monaghan, Henry Cavill) – but it is going to make lots of money. Also – some of it was shot in London, which is nice.
Release date: August 10
Why it’s a big deal: Spike Lee’s latest is a crime comedy starring John David Washington and Adam Driver as detectives who work together to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. Get Out‘s Jordan Peele and Jason Blum are co-producers alongside Donnie Darko‘s Sean McKittrick. It won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year, so it’s already a must-see.
9. The Happytime Murders
Release date: August 17
Why it’s a big deal: This wacky puppet comedy is from Brian Henson, the son of Muppets creator Jim, and stars Melissa McCarthy as a detective who teams up with puppet-PI Phil Phillips (The Muppets’ Bill Barretta) to track down a serial killer. Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks and Maya Rudolph co-star: expect darkness and silliness in equal measure.
Release date: October 5
Why it’s a big deal: Like Mad Max: Fury Road, this is a blockbuster that’ll propel lead actor Tom Hardy another step up the stardom ladder. Here he plays the antihero Venom, an investigative journalist who becomes the host of an alien symbiote that gives him powers mirroring Spider-Man’s. Co-starring are Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer behind the camera.
Release date: October 19
Why it’s a big deal: The production company for Get Out (Jason Blum’s Blumhouse) is behind this slasher sequel, executive produced by series co-creator John Carpenter and set 40 years after the original film, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprising their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. In the director’s chair, curiously, is the same guy who made screwball stoner comedy Pineapple Express. As well as his EP credit, John Carpenter is reportedly returning to provide the music, too.
12. Bohemian Rhapsody
Release date: November 2
Why it’s a big deal: Following the release of the trailer for this Queen biopic, it’s been roundly criticised by Star Trek and American Gods writer Bryan Fuller for its clumsy AIDS euphemism – “a life-threatening illness” – and, in fact, it appears to ignore the reality of frontman Freddie Mercury’s sexuality. Fuller called the phenomenon “hetwashing” – other recent examples include some deplorable marketing for Call Me By Your Name and Brokeback Mountain – and demanded studio 20th Century Fox “do better”. He’s right, but there’s scope for the final cut of the film to do justice to Freddie’s story – we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it’s a landmark production, with a stellar lead in Mr Robot‘s Rami Malek.
13. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Release date: November 16
Why it’s a big deal: Like Bohemian Rhapsody, the second of the Harry Potter spin-off films will arrive mired in controversy; it’s drawn criticism for its casting of Johnny Depp as the villainous Grindelwald, and for its decision to swerve around the topic of Dumbledore’s gayness. But the first film, centring on Eddie Redmayne’s foppish magizoologist Newt Scamander, was a big cinematic event and became one of the most profitable films of 2016, so expect big things for its sequel, too.
14. Creed 2
Release date: November 21
Why it’s a big deal: For the second Rocky spinoff (following 2015’s award-winning Creed) Black Panther‘s Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as boxer Adonis Creed. It’s executive-produced by the first film’s prodigious writer-director, Ryan Coogler, and this time round it’s helmed by Steven Caple Jr., who was one of Forbes’ Hollywood 30 under 30 last year. On the strength of those credits alone, you wouldn’t bet against it – but remember, it also stars Tessa Thompson, whose past year has been utterly faultless: just look at her recent CV: Annihilation, Westworld, Thor: Ragnarok, the aforementioned Sorry To Bother You, Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer ’emotion picture’, Portlandia, Dear White People… the list goes on.
15. Mortal Engines
Release date: December 14
Why it’s a big deal: Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson helped write this adaptation of Philip Reeve’s beloved steampunk young-adult novel, in which moving cities rove the earth consuming resources (and even one another) following an apocalyptic event. And Jackson’s protégé Christian Rivers is in the director’s chair, with Icelandic actor Hera Hilmar in the key role of fugitive Hester Shaw, and Misfits‘ Robert Sheehan as her unwitting ally, Tom Natsworthy. Hugo Weaving and Jihae also star.
Release date: December 21
Why it’s a big deal: Following the critically panned Suicide Squad, Justice League and Batman vs. Superman, this Jason Momoa-fronted flick is DC’s latest shot at redemption. In the wake of Justice League‘s events, the ruler of Atlantis struggles to keep control of his kingdom; big names in the cast include Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kingdom. Will it be actually quite good, à la 2017’s Wonder Woman? Or will it be yet another soggy DC mess? Fingers crossed it’s the former.
Release date: December 21
Why it’s a big deal: Michael Bay is out of the picture for this prequel to the first Transformers film, and though we’ve not yet had a trailer, it’s got all the ingredients for a great film, especially because our protagonist is played by the excellent star of True Grit and The Edge of Seventeen, Hailee Steinfeld. Her character, Charlie Watson, is a teenager who discovers the plucky and titular Autobot scout in 1987, and pending the release of the trailer, we can presume she has some kind of throwback adventure with him. It’s directed by Travis Knight, who was responsible for the magical Kubo and the Two Strings.