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Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2018

Written by on January 10, 2018 

60. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski; Aug. 24)

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After the lo-fi Computer Chess and helping to bring some variety to the rom-com with Results, one of independent filmmaking’s most distinct voices, director Andrew Bujalski, is returning with his next film. Haley Lu Richardson (recently fantastic in Edge of Seventeen and Columbus) stars alongside Regina Hall, James Le Gros, AJ Michalka, Dylan Gelula, Shayna McHayle, Lea DeLaria, Jana Kramer, and Results star Brooklyn Decker. The story follows a group of restaurant employees who band together to help with the legal bills after one of their co-workers wants to fight back against an abusive boyfriend. Surprisingly not part of the Sundance line-up, perhaps this will turn up at SXSW, which is the same locale where it was shot. – Jordan R.

59. Friday’s Child (A.J. Edwards)

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After working closely with Terrence Malick in the editing room of his last few films, A.J. Edwards used this experience to great lengths with his directorial debut, the Abraham Lincoln biopic The Better Angels. He quietly finished production on his follow-up, Friday’s Child, which follows “young drifter who ages out of foster care at 18 and discovers the perils and temptations of a life apart.” Starring past Malick collaborators Tye Sheridan and Imogen Poots, hopefully it’s further proof that a protege of a legendary director can forge their own path. – Jordan R.

58. The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood; Feb. 9)

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Never one to slow down, Clint Eastwood is back in theaters next month with The 15:17 to Paris, the true story of three life-long friends turned heroes when they thwarted a terrorist attack on a train bound for Paris from Brussels. It hasn’t even been three years since the incident took place, but like Peter Berg’s Patriots Day, based on the 2013 terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, Hollywood turned the story around with breakneck speed. However, Eastwood is going full Bresson with the project as he cast the actual heroes to play themselves. Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone will try their hand at telling their own story, supported by an intriguing cast of traditionally comedic actors: Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Thomas Lennon, Tony Hale, and Jaleel White (yes, Steve Urkel). Eastwood clearly wants to upend critical expectations for himself, his leads, and supporting cast in what is one of 2018’s most intriguing films. – Josh E.

57. The Souvenir: Part One (Joanna Hogg)

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Assembling a murderer’s row of talent, the Martin Scorsese-produced new two-part film by Joanna Hogg stars Robert Pattinson, Tom Burke, Ariane Labed, and Richard Ayoade. The first part, which shot last year, takes place across the 1980s as a film student embarks on a love affair that goes south. “I start from autobiography. When I investigate a story I realize what I don’t remember and the demands of fiction take over: that’s the fun part. Reality and fiction are so jumbled up. That blurring is partly what I’m exploring in this story,” the Archipelago director tells Screen Daily about her new project. While we imagine the first film will debut this year, Hogg will be back to work this summer shooting the second film. – Jordan R.

56. Galveston (Melanie Laurent)

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True Detective is/was undeniably a mileage-may-vary situation, and The Magnificent Seven remake’s wan mythicism wasn’t exactly the big screen debut one would hope for from pulp scribe du jour Nic Pizzolato. But that doesn’t mean we’re not excited for Galveston, an adaptation of Pizzolato’s own hard-boiled novel about a dying hitman returning to his hometown to enact revenge. Directed by Mélanie Laurent, who’s already shown a keen understanding of how to elevate melodrama, and featuring a cast that includes Ben Foster, Elle Fanning, and Riverdale standout Lili Reinhart, Galveston looks to be a welcome throwback noir. – Michael S.

55. Fahrenheit 451 (Ramin Bahrani; May TBD)

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Directed by Ramin Bahrani, who previously helmed Michael Shannon in the underseen 99 Homes, also recruited Michael B. Jordan for a new version of the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451. A dystopian saga about “firemen” who don’t put out fires, but rather start them by burning books, which are outlawed in the bleak but probably now not-too-distant version of America the characters inhabit. Jordan will play Guy Montag, a fireman who comes to lose faith in his profession once his eyes are opened to the outlawed printed word. Shannon is Captain Beatty, Montag’s mentor. Bradbury’s novel was previously adapted as a 1966 film directed by François Truffaut, and served as the inspiration for countless other dystopian sci-fi titles, including the gun-fu extravaganza Equilibrium. Although it’s an HBO film, hopefully this will get wide theatrical attention. – Jordan R.

54. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller; Oct. 19)

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Before the incredible female-directed and-led coming-of-age films Lady Bird and The Edge of Seventeen, we had The Diary of a Teenage Girl. This year, Marielle Heller is making her follow-up with this Melissa McCarthy starrer Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which follows the story of a once-famous entertainment writer who starts to forge letters from deceased celebrities. With hopefully a tinge of complex underlying darkness akin to her debut, this is one of our most-anticipated films of the fall. – Jordan R.

53. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (Gus Van Sant; July 13)

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Is there a once-celebrated director in Hollywood that’s in need of some acclaim more than Gus Van Sant? After the forgotten Restless, the perfectly fine, but forgettable Promised Land, and infamously derided The Sea of Trees, it’s been a rough decade for the helmer. This Sundance, he’ll hopefully bring a return to form with Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot. Starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, as well as Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, and Jack Black, the biopic follows the life of John Callahan, a quadriplegic cartoonist. With this exquisite cast, hopefully Gus Van Sant gets his mojo back. – Jordan R.

52. Private Life (Tamara Jenkins)

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Last year marked a decade since the release of The Savages, the second feature from Slums of Beverly Hills director Tamara Jenkins. Starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, it was a powerfully-acted, perceptive look at familial struggle, and we’ve been waiting ever since for her follow-up. 10 years later, it is finally coming. Financed and distributed by Netflix, Private Life stars Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Shannon, and John Carroll Lynch. Jenkins’ script follows a married couple (Giamatti and Hahn) who are struggling with infertility and its damaging effect on their relationship, but when their niece offers up her eggs, things change. Shannon, who picked up an Indie Spirit award for Other People last year, will play the niece’s mother, while Lynch plays Giamatti’s brother and Shannon’s husband. Set for a Sundance debut, check back for our review soon. – Jordan R.

51. Annihilation (Alex Garland; Feb. 23)

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Sometimes a movie can be anticipated for reasons other than assumed quality; Annihilation is one of those films. That’s not to say that the cinematic pedigree of the film is questionable—quite the opposite. Alex Garland’s last film was the heady and moody Ex Machina, and no one will argue that Natalie Portman isn’t a draw for any film that she is in. However, the greatest reason to be excited about this film is that it is adapting an enigmatic, seemingly unfilmable novel by Jeff VanderMeer. A mix of Tarkovsky’s Stalker and the works of H.P. Lovecraft, the novel is a big bold question mark of a story, and it should be interesting to see how Garland is able to turn that into a functional, satisfying film. – Brian R.

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