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20 of the most anticipated movies of 2018

Some of the most anticipated movies to look out for in 2018!

A brand new year means a whole slew of new movies waiting to be discovered in cinemas.

With so many movies out there over the course of 12 months, we have narrowed them down for you and handpicked 20 (we couldn't resist adding two more movies to this list) of THE most anticipated movies to look forward to.


Well, here goes:

1. "Black Panther"

Chadwick Boseman returns as T'Challa a.k.a. Black Panther in his first solo Marvel movie, "Black Panther".

What is it all about?: Following the death of his father in "Captain America: Civil War" (2016), T'Challa a.k.a. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to take the throne as the new king of Wakanda. However, he has to face a new threat where his enemies are looking to tear his kingdom apart.

What's the buzz?: Chadwick Boseman's introductory appearance as Black Panther was nevertheless one of the key highlights in "Captain America: Civil War" two years ago. With a stellar cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya and Forest Whitaker, "Black Panther" looks like it is in good hands under the direction of Ryan Coogler. After all, he proves to be a versatile talent in the past following his gritty biopic of Oscar Grant III in "Fruitvale Station" and the acclaimed "Rocky" spin-off in "Creed". It would be interesting to see what he has to offer in his first big-budget directorial effort.

2. "Annihilation"

Natalie Portman (left) in a scene from "Annihilation".

What is it all about?: Based on the award-winning book of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, "Annihilation" tells about a biologist named Lena (Natalie Portman) who led an expedition where nothing is what it seems.

What's the buzz?: Two words: Alex Garland. Four years ago, he made his mesmerising directorial debut in "Ex Machina", which was famously known for Alicia Vikander's breakout performance. That movie also proved Garland's nifty touch in handling the thought-provoking and cerebral sci-fi genre. "Annihilation" sees Garland continuing the same path and for sci-fi fans, his upcoming movie is definitely worth waiting for.

3. "Red Sparrow"

Jennifer Lawrence plays the Russian spy, Dominika Egorova in "Red Sparrow".

What is it all about?: Based on the novel of the same name by Jason Matthews, Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a Russian ballerina recruited by the Russian intelligence service to become a spy.

What's the buzz?: It's a reunion between "The Hunger Games" director Francis Lawrence and star Jennifer Lawrence. Judging by the trailer, "Red Sparrow" could be this year's "Atomic Blonde".

4. "Tomb Raider"

Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft in the "Tomb Raider" reboot.

What is it all about?: In this reboot of the popular video game, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) leads her first expedition as the archaeologist-cum-adventurer to uncover an ancient secret.

What's the buzz?: It's about time we get another "Tomb Raider" movie following the two much-maligned efforts featuring Angelina Jolie in the early '00s. By basing this highly-anticipated reboot from Crystal Dynamics' 2013 video game remake as the jumping-off point, it looks like a smart move to re-introduce the iconic Lara Croft character for the new generation. Alicia Vikander seems like a controversial choice at first, but after witnessing the first trailer, she may be the ideal candidate to carry the role after all.

5. "Pacific Rim: Uprising"

It's mecha time again in "Pacific Rim: Uprising".

What is it all about?: Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), son of General Stacker Pentecost, leads the next generation of Jaeger pilots alongside Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and other team members to stop a new Kaiju threat.

What's the buzz?: With Guillermo del Toro no longer attached as the director for the long-awaited sequel, it looks as if all hope is lost. Whereas del Toro still remains in the producer capacity, "Pacific Rim: Uprising" boasts the talent of Steven S. DeKnight, the acclaimed producer who brought you Netflix's first season of "Daredevil" and of course, John Boyega from "Star Wars" fame playing a leading role.

6. "Ready Player One"

Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) immerses into the virtual-reality world of OASIS in "Ready Player One".

What is it all about?: Set in the near future of 2045, "Ready Player One" revolves around Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager who seeks refuge from desolation by engaging in a virtual reality world called the OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation).

What's the buzz?: After spending most of his later years directing prestige pictures like "Lincoln" and "Bridge Of Spies", it was finally nice to see Steven Spielberg making a huge comeback in the blockbuster game. Ernest Cline's novel itself is a celebrated geek fest and if you have seen the trailer recently, it's full of pop-culture references ranging with the likes of "Tron", "Back To The Future", "Akira" and more!

7. "The New Mutants"

"Game Of Thrones" Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane in "The New Mutants".

What is it all about?: "The New Mutants" centres on five young mutants discovering their superpower abilities while being held in a secret facility.

What's the buzz?: It's a "X-Men" spin-off but nothing like you have seen before. Put it this way: it's a comic-book movie executed in a psychological horror tone. If done right, this could be a breakout hit.

8. "Rampage"

Dwayne Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye in "Rampage".

What is it all about?: Based on the classic '80s video game by Midway Games, "Rampage" centres on Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a primatologist who must secure an antidote to save George, a gentle-turned-rampaging albino silverback gorilla.

What's the buzz?: Dwayne Johnson + a gigantic CGI gorilla, and a larger-than-life monster smackdown that includes a mutated wolf and crocodile. Brad Peyton is no stranger to directing large-scale blockbusters about mass destruction, especially given his prior experience in 2015's "San Andreas". This is going to be a fun summer movie best experienced on the big screen.

9. "Avengers: Infinity War"

The war is on in "Avengers: Infinity War".

What is it all about?: The Earth's mightiest heroes and other allies must join forces to stop a powerful enemy named Thanos (Josh Brolin).

What's the buzz?: This is easily the most anticipated movie of the year! After 10 years of interconnected MCU movies since 2008's "Iron Man", you could say it's like all hell breaks loose in "Avengers: Infinity War". And yes, it's going to be a big, epic and spectacular Hollywood blockbuster like no other superhero movie has ever done before.

10. "Solo: A Star Wars Story"

The cast of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" featuring Alden Ehrenreich (middle) as the young Han Solo.

What is it all about?: This latest "Star Wars" spin-off chronicles on the early days of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca's (Joonas Suotamo) adventures before joining the Rebellion.

What's the buzz?: It's another "Star Wars" movie and basically, that brand name alone is enough to fill the cinema seats. However, this second "Star Wars" spin-off following the well-received "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" would be an uphill task of whether it's going to make or break. Besides, Han Solo is forever synonymous with Harrison Ford, and frankly, Alden Ehrenreich is going to do a lot more to convince both old and today's fans whether he's up for the young Han Solo role. The movie is also famously plagued with a troubled production history, especially the controversial dismissal of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller of "The Lego Movie" fame, but Ron Howard looks like a safe replacement, given his experience in helming Hollywood blockbusters.

11. "Deadpool 2"

The Merc with the Mouth returns for more shenanigans in "Deadpool 2".

What is it all about?: The Merc with the Mouth (Ryan Reynolds) is back with a highly-anticipated sequel that includes new characters, Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Cable (Josh Brolin).

What's the buzz?: The success of the first "Deadpool" in 2016 proved that there's a huge market for R-rated (18) superhero movies. If they can maintain the same gonzo energy in this sequel, it's going to be another great f****** cinematic experience!

12. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

The T-Rex rules again in "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom".

What is it all about?: This time, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) are racing against time to save the dinosaurs following a volcanic eruption.

What's the buzz?: Who could have thought that "Jurassic World" released back in 2015 would end up as one of the biggest moneymakers with a worldwide total of USD1.6 billion? It sure proved that today's generation is still interested to watch rampaging dinosaurs on the big screen, albeit the age of superhero era. As with the tradition of a blockbuster sequel, expect more dinosaurs and more action that is meant to be enjoyed on the largest screen possible.

13. "Ocean's 8"

The all-female team led by Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) ready for a big heist in "Ocean's 8".

What is it all about?: In this all-female spin-off to "Ocean's Eleven", Danny Ocean's sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock) attempts to pull off a big heist at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala with the help of her crew (Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina). Anne Hathaway also stars.

What's the buzz?: Gender-swapping movies is a trend these days (e.g. the "Ghostbusters" reboot). So, it comes as no surprise that the all-male "Ocean's Eleven" trilogy is now given a female twist in "Ocean's 8". The all-star ensemble cast alone is stellar enough to please most mainstream crowds. Now, let's see if "Pleasantville" and "The Hunger Games" director Gary Ross is able to stage a fine heist movie like Steven Soderbergh did three movies ago.

14. "Incredibles 2"

Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and his baby Jack-Jack in "Incredibles 2".

What is it all about?: In this sequel, Bob Parr a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) is at home watching their children and discovers that baby Jack-Jack possesses secret powers.

What's the buzz?: Fourteen years ago, "The Incredibles" made its spectacular debut to widespread acclaim. It was also one of the best superhero movies ever made outside the live-action counterparts. Best of all, Brad Bird is back in the director's chair and we can safely assume that this sequel is in good hands.

15. "Ant-Man And The Wasp"

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly on the set of "Ant-Man And The Wasp".

What is it all about?: Following the events of "Captain America: Civil War", Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) soon joins forces with Hope van Dyne a.k.a. Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) on a new mission.

What's the buzz?: Billed as Marvel's first romantic comedy, this would be a refreshing change of pace from your usual MCU offering. Peyton Reed, who directed the first "Ant-Man" movie, returns for the second time around in this sequel.

16. "The Nun"

The demonic nun, Valak (Bonnie Aarons) returns to haunt the cinemas in "The Nun".

What is it all about?: Set in 1952 Romania, this latest "Conjuring" spin-off centres on the investigation of a dead nun.

What's the buzz?: One of the scariest moments in 2016's "The Conjuring 2" was none other than the frightening presence of the demonic nun a.k.a. Valak played by Bonnie Aarons. If "The Hallow" director Corin Hardy can sustain the same terrifying beat that James Wan introduced via her in the first place, this would be a good horror movie worth checking out.

17. "Alita: Battle Angel"

Rosa Salazar and her "anime eyes" in "Alita: Battle Angel".

What is it all about?: "Alita: Battle Angel" tells a story about the titular character (Rosa Salazar), who is a cyborg with a mysterious past.

What's the buzz?: The long-gestating "Alita: Battle Angel" has been in development since James Cameron took the interest to direct the big-screen adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's cyberpunk manga back in 2000. Of course, "Avatar" happened and the project was subsequently handed over to Robert Rodriguez, who claimed to be a die-hard fan of the manga himself. Personally, we would really like to see Cameron in the director's chair instead. But then again, with Cameron still attached as both co-writer and producer, it's hard to ignore the presence of this upcoming sci-fi adventure. Now, if only we can get used to Rosa Salazar's creepy "anime eyes" seen in the first trailer...

18. "Mission: Impossible 6"

Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt on the set of "Mission: Impossible 6".

What is it all about?: Not much is known about the sixth "Mission: Impossible" movie but it will be another espionage adventure with the likes of Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson and Simon Pegg reprising their roles as Ethan Hunt, Ilsa Faust and Benji Dunn respectively.

What's the buzz?: Thanks to Christopher McQuarrie's engaging direction in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation", it certainly deserved its place as among the best movie in the series. With McQuarrie back in the director's chair, expect more intrigue and of course, a whole lot of crazy stunts by Tom Cruise.

19. "The Predator"

The cast of "The Predator".

What is it all about?: The upcoming "Predator" movie will be both a reboot and sequel to the 1987's "Predator" and 1990's "Predator 2".

What's the buzz?: The Predator creature is one of the most iconic movie figures of all-time, but the movie franchise itself doesn't share the same fate. Shane Black, the actor who plays Hawkins in the first "Predator", is tasked to direct the new movie. Black is a well-known genre director who made his fortune writing the first "Lethal Weapon" screenplay and directed the financially-successful "Iron Man 3". Best of all, this movie would be the long-overdue sequel to both "Predator" and "Predator 2" that many fans have been waiting for so long.

20. "X-Men: Dark Phoenix"

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix in "X-Men: Dark Phoenix".

What is it all about?: Set in the 1990s after the events of "X-Men: Apocalypse", the latest instalment finds Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) losing control of her superpower abilities that transforms her into a Dark Phoenix.

What's the buzz?: The X-Men's "The Dark Phoenix Saga" is largely known as one of the most pivotal and popular comic-book stories of all-time. It was partially introduced in the much-maligned "X-Men: The Last Stand" back in 2006. And now, the filmmaker finally embraced the saga altogether in their upcoming sequel. With veteran "X-Men" writer and producer Simon Kinberg on board making his directorial debut, here's hoping they get the story right this time around.

21. "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald"

The cast of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald".

What is it all about?: In this follow-up to 2016's "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them", the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escaped custody and it's up to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to stop him at all cost.

What's the buzz?: David Yates, a veteran of the "Harry Potter" series who also helmed the first "Fantastic Beasts" movie, returns to direct the sequel. This is pretty much his comfort zone and he knows well about navigating the Potterverse. Most importantly, this is his chance to redeem himself after the embarrassing debacle of "The Legend Of Tarzan".

22. "Aquaman"

Jason Momoa returns as Arthur Curry/Aquaman in his first solo DC movie, "Aquaman".

What is it all about?: In his first solo adventure after the events of "Justice League", Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman (Jason Momoa) must embrace his identity as the ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis.

What's the buzz?: Jason Momoa made quite an impression playing Aquaman in the otherwise lacklustre "Justice League". James Wan may look like an odd choice directing his first comic-book movie, given his singular reputation as a horror filmmaker. But then again, he did direct "Fast And Furious 7" to huge commercial success. So, it will be interesting to see whether he's up for the task to handle the superhero.


Cinema Online, 31 December 2017