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Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2019

Written by on January 10, 2019 

40. Wounds (Babak Anvari)

wounds

After gaining attention with his horror feature Under the Shadow, director Babak Anvari is returning to Sundance Film Festival this year with a higher-profile project. Starring Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson, Wounds follows a bartender in New Orleans who picks up a phone left at his bar and a series of strange, disturbing occurrences begin to unravel. Backed by Annapurna Pictures, it will be intriguing to see two of Luca Guadagnino’s collaborators team for what looks to be a dark psychological mind game. – Jordan R.

39. The Thousand Miles (Sylvain Chomet)

the thousand miles sylvain chomet

One of our greatest animators looks to be returning this year. Sylvain Chomet’s newest project is reportedly a combination of live-action and animated material inspired by writings and drawings that Federico Fellini created from his dreams, and follows an early-80s-set plot concerning “a pair of aging brothers who, separated by the twist and turns of life, reunite through their shared life-dream to compete in Italy’s Mille Miglia – a Brescia-to-Rome-and-back vintage car rally, said to be the world’s most beautiful road race.” – Jordan R.

38. John Wick: Chapter 3 (Chad Stahelski; May 17)

john-wick-chapter-3

After two films of kinetic, neon-infused vengeance, John Wick has now become a newfound action institution; a genre unto itself (see: Atomic Blonde, Hotel Artemis, Polar). With Chapter 3 (or Parabellum), director Chad Stahelski places Keanu Reeves’ canine-loving assassin in a veritable Escape From New York, with a global contract hanging over him. With newcomers Halle Berry, Jason Mantzoukas and Anjelica Huston, one can expect the Wick-verse to expand in scope, and undoubtedly triple its body count. – Conor O.

37. The Day Shall Come (Chris Morris)

Anna Kendrick

Anyone who’s seen Chris Morris’ work knows he’s a comedic genius. Shows like The Day Today and Brass Eye brilliantly satirized the news before The Daily Show even existed, his sketch comedy series Jam is a singular achievement, and his feature debut Four Lions somehow mined big laughs from suicide bombings. Now he’s back with a secret film he shot last summer with Anna Kendrick, and while there’s no other information on the production (save for an Instagram photo of Kendrick in an FBI uniform), this will be one title to keep an eye on this year. Morris has an incredible track record as a writer and director, and the fact that he has a star like Kendrick on board means this could be his long overdue breakthrough in North America. – C.J. P.

36. Waiting for the Barbarians (Ciro Guerra)

robert-pattinson

This year will kick off with Birds of Passage, the newest film from Embrace of the Serpent director Ciro Guerra, but we don’t expect it to be his only feature this year. Notable for its major cast—including Robert Pattinson, Mark Rylance, Joe Alwyn, and Johnny Depp—the story of his newest film follows a Magistrate working in a distant outpost who begins to question his loyalty to the Empire. One imagines a Zama-esque odyssey and with Guerra’s incredible eye, expect something special. Production kicked off this past fall, so this one could see the light of day at festivals soon. – Jordan R.

35. Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie (Richard Phelan and Will Becher)

farmageddon-1

Following up one of the most delightful films of 2015, the next film in the Shaun the Sheep franchise carries the subtitle of Farmageddon and, yes, these sheep are going to space. Directed by Richard Phelan and Will Becher, the Aardman Animations story follows a peculiar visitor landing in the quaint town of Mossingham and the adventure that ensues. If it even has an ounce of the visual ingenuity and charm of its predecessor, expect it to be the year’s finest animation. – Jordan R.

34. Roubaix, A Light (Arnaud Desplechin)

Arnaud Desplechin

Following his complex, wild Ismael’s Ghosts, Arnaud Desplechin’s next film is Roubaix, a Light, a detective story that centers around a police chief in the eponymous town — Desplechin’s birthplace, where some of his past films have been set — trying to solve the murder of an old woman. According to our most recent interview with Desplechin, it may be heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man, which sounds very promising indeed. Look for this, in all likelihood, at Cannes. – Ryan S.

33. Harriet (Kasi Lemmons)

cynthia-erivo

After ascending to fame with her powerhouse performance in Broadway’s The Color Purple (garnering a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy along the way) Cynthia Erivo will be taking on what could be the role of a lifetime in Kasi Lemmon’s Harriet Tubman biopic. Lemmons also assembled a strong supporting cast including Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae, Clarke Petes, Joe Alwyn, and Jennifer Nettles. It’s long past due for Harriet Tubman’s story to come to the big screen, and we cannot wait to see what Erivo, who broke out last year with supporting roles in Widows and Bad Times at the El Royale, will do with this powerful story. – Stephen H.

32. Untitled Noah Baumbach Film

baumbach

 Every film Noah Baumbach makes is shrouded in both anticipation and mysterious. While much isn’t known yet about his upcoming film (it still has no title) we do know that it concerns the aftermath of a divorce and features a killer cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Merritt Wever, and Ray Liotta. Baumbach is a master of depicting the everyday lives of the lonely and the neurotic, and it’s going to be a treat to see what he’s cooked up this time with such exemplary actors. Stephen H.

31. Midsommar (Ari Aster; Aug. 9)

hereditary

After breaking out last year with his debut feature Hereditary, Ari Aster has reteamed with A24 for his next film, described as an “apocalyptic breakup movie.” The film will follow a young couple’s vacation to a Swedish village, where they discover the residents’ peculiar traditions and rituals. As one of the main characters carries pain from a recently deceased loved one, these rituals become cloaked in a sense of dread. Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, and Will Poulter, it will get a prime summer release, so get ready to get terrified. – Jordan R.

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