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Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2018

Written by on January 10, 2018 

50. Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton; Sept. 28)

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Following up his well-received thriller The Gift, multi-hyphenate Joel Edgerton examines the life of a young man (Lucas Hedges) forced to join a gay conversion program, sponsored by his church and his minister father (Russell Crowe). Also starring Nicole Kidman and Edgerton himself, the film is adapted from the memoir of the same name by Garrard Conley. Edgerton has proven his skills at wringing the tension out of any situation and he certainly has a strong foundation with this premise.  – Dan M.

49. A Futile and Stupid Gesture (David Wain; Jan. 26)

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After delivering one of the funniest, most tear-inducing parodies of all-time with They Came Together, David Wain gave us two Wet Hot American Summer TV seasons, and now he’s finally back to feature films with a look at the early days of National Lampoon with A Futile and Stupid Gesture, which premieres at Sundance and hits Netflix soon after. Led by Will Forte and also starring Domhnall Gleeson, Thomas Lennon, Joel McHale, Matt Walsh, Paul Scheer, and many more, if this is a 1/10th as funny as his last film, it’ll be the best comedy of the year. You can say that again. – Jordan R.

48. Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski)

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Following up his Oscar-winning hit Ida, which earned nearly $4 million at the box-office here in the U.S. alone, director Pawel Pawlikowski’s next feature is Cold War. After his gorgeous and haunting last film, the writer-director’s latest film is set in the 1950s during the titular era and traverses multiple countries (Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris) as it follows an “impossible love story in impossible times.” The script is also penned by Pawlikowski, and stars Ida‘s Agata Kulesza, Tomasz Kot, and Joanna Kulig. Mike Goodridge. We’d expect this one to show up at Cannes after how much acclaim his last feature received. – Mike M.

47. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Richard Linklater; May 11)

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After back-to-back features that went quite overlooked, Richard Linklater is back faster than ever with the Cate Blanchett-led adaptation of Maria Semple’s novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette. With a script adapted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Spectacular Now, Fault in Our Stars) and a new draft by Holly Gent Palmo and Vince Palmo, the story is narrated by the 15-year-old-daughter of an agoraphobic architect and mother named Bernadette Branch who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica. Also starring Kristen Wiig, I read the book last year and it’s an entertaining journey and perfect role for Blanchett, and a film that will likely have much more commercial appeal than his spiritual sequel to The Last Detail. – Jordan R.

46. The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard)

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Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or win for Dheepan has given him the clout to recruit his finest ensemble yet for The Sisters Brothers, a neo-noir western that’s an adaptation of the novel by the same name from Patrick DeWitt. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, Riz Ahmed, and John C. Reilly, the story follows two brothers (Phoenix and Reilly) who hunt down a gold prospector (Gyllenhaal) in 1850s Oregon. With the makings of a stranger tale than his last few films, hopefully Audiard steps up his scope in a big way here. – Jordan R.

45. Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter (Jody Hill)

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Rough House Productions, the group of people that could be loosely and only semi-accurately referred to as the David Gordon Green school, have been on a real tear. There’s Green and Danny McBride’s Halloween remake, and then there’s McBride and director Jody Hill’s recent triumph with Vice Principals. Those two are key players in The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter, the story of which is said to revolve around a sixth grader on a hunting trip with his father. This will likely be in the group’s usual vein of Southern-inflected comedy that hides genuine humanism and sorrow beneath its swear-y exterior. What’s new here is Josh Brolin in a major role, whose capability in comedy is very well-documented. – Nate F.

44. The Miseducation Of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan)

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Based on the YA novel by Emily Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows a high school student played by Chloë Grace Moretz who is forced into gay-conversion therapy when she is caught having sex with her best friend. It’s the second film by director Desiree Akhavan who took her time following-up her 2014 Sundance hit Appropriate Behavior. “I could have made a second feature much earlier, it just would have sucked and I wouldn’t have made a third one,” Akhavan told Indiewire. Miseducation is slated for a Sundance premiere, so check back for our review soon. – Josh E.

43. Hold the Dark (Jeremy Saulnier)

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Green Room and Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier is stepping away from colors for his next film and getting bleak(er), at least going by titles. Hold the Dark, which he’s making for Netflix, stars Riley Keough, Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, James Badge Dale, and James Bloor. The adventure thriller is based on William Giraldi’s novel, which follows a wolf expert (Wright) who comes to Alaska to investigate disappearing children with the prime suspect being — you guessed it — wolves. Keough plays the mother of a son who died, while her husband (Skarsgard) goes wild when he returns from Iraq, and is being tracked by a detective (Dale). Promising to be another dark, brutal thriller, the Macon Blair-scripted film shot last spring, so it’ll likely pop up soon. – Jordan R.

42. The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier)

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The latest work from cinematic provocateur Lars von Trier is the very project which caused the controversial filmmaker to paraphrase Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon, claiming the film may be his final feature: “I think I’m getting too old for this (shit).” Okay, so maybe he didn’t say ‘shit,’ but von Trier stated that this may indeed be his final film. The House that Jack Built, the director’s first release since his beautifully disturbing two-parter Nymphomaniac, follows a serial killer named Jack, played by Matt Dillon, as he executes a series of vicious murders. Von Trier described the film as his “most brutal,” which after Antichrist, Dancer in the Dark and Dogville, feels like an incredibly bold claim. With Uma Thurman and Riley Keough rounding out the cast, we couldn’t be more curious to see what von Trier has in store. – Tony H.

41. The Land of Steady Habits (Nicole Holofcener)

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One of the most consistently intelligent and observant directors working today, we often have to wait longer than desired for a new film from Nicole Holofcener, but thankfully one will arrive this year. Following up Enough Said, which gave us one of James Gandolfini’s most charming, sadly final roles, she’s teamed with Netflix. The Land of Steady Habits follows Ben Mendelsohn as a father and husband who enters retirement and leaves his wife (Edie Falco) to embrace a newfound freedom. Of course, we imagine complications ensue, and we imagine coming from Holofcener they will be as witty as they are tender. – Jordan R.

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