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Superb christmas movies 2018

Date: 15.10.2018, 00:31 / View: 63495

If 2017 was something of a bumper year for film, then there’s plenty to suggest that 2018 will also be something rather special. So much so, in fact, that we’ve expanded our preview list to 40, and still couldn’t fit everything in.

Here, though, is a slice of what lies ahead…

40. Venom

Sony finally launched its spin-off collection of Spider-Man movies in 2018, with three films planned out at the start of the year. The first of those was Venom, that saw Tom Hardy taking the lead role (rather than Topher Grace, who played the character not entirely successfully in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3). Ruben Fleischer, still best known for Zombieland, directed. 

Was it any good? Errrrr,

39. Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet

The first Wreck-It Ralph was a joy, and the second has reunited the creative team behind it, this time promising that the John C Reilly-voiced Ralph will play havoc with the internet. Rich Moore, who won an Oscar for co-directing the brilliant Zootropolis, is helming this one again (along with Phil Johnston). It’ll take place six years after the original film, and it’s the first direct sequel to a Disney animated movie to hit the big screen since The Rescuers Down Under (we don’t count The Jungle Book 2. Its origins weren’t as a theatrical film).

38. Halloween

Another Halloween movie? Yes, there have been more disappointing entries than good ones, but like some other films on this list, it's the people behind the movie that leave us intrigued. First, let's look at the premise: this latest reboot is a direct sequel to the 1978 original that started it all, and Jamie Lee Curtis will even be reprising her role as Laurie Strode, a character doomed to live in the shadow of Michael Myers, the seemingly omnipresent masked killer. Then we have the director and co-writer: David Gordon Green, whose dramas, which include George Washington, All The Real Girls and Joe, have been nothing short of wonderful. If nothing else, we're excited to see what he can do to breathe new life into an ageing slasher franchise.

37. Aquaman

Somewhere on the proverbial cutting room floor is an awful lot more footage of Jason Momoa as Aquaman than we got in the Justice League movie. But where was in there showed promise. Momoa has a clear screen presence, and the intriguing appointment of James Wan to direct the movie is a promising choice.

Not much, at the time of writing, is known about the film, but it’s the sole DC Extended Universe project on the 2018 release schedule. Warner Bros will be looking for a Wonder Woman-size success.

36. A Wrinkle In Time

A passion project for Frozen writer/director Jennifer Lee, she adapted Madeleine L'Englethe’s novel, with Ava DuVernay directing. Disney pumped a nine figure budget into the production too, with a high profile cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pratt and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. It’s a much-loved book and it looked like we were getting a lavish film version. Given how sequel and franchise-driven Disney’s theatrical slate tends to be, this was a very welcome production, and we were looking forward to it.

Here's our review

35. The Purge 4: The First Purge

For us, The Purge 2 remains the franchise highlight, but there's there's still plenty of scope in James DeMonaco's horror-dystopian premise, where crime is suspended for 12 terrifying hours each year. This fourth entry takes place before the other movies, and gives us an idea of how the Purge became one of America's big cultural events, like Black Friday but with more beatings and blunt instruments. DeMonaco wrote the film for Gerard McMurray to direct, and we expected lots of gore and icy social commentary.

Here's

34. Fighting With My Family

Stephen Merchant has spent much of this year putting together his first film as solo director. Entitled Fighting With My Family, he’s co-written the screenplay, and attracted a cast that mixes quality British talent – Merchant, Nick Frost – with notable names from American productions, including Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey and Vince Vaughn. The film follows the story of a former wrestler, who goes around the country playing at small venues. All the while, his children dream of joining WWE. Could be fun, this one. And it’s the first of three Dwayne Johnson films we’re going to talk about…

33. Tomb Raider

The last two Tomb Raider films were forgettable, and yes, we know all about the curse of videogame-to-movie adaptations. But Roar Uthaug, the Norwegian director behind this latest attempt at a Lara Croft adventure, impressed us with The Wave - an intense disaster film with some surprisingly good effects for a non-Hollywood movie, and Alicia Vikander, a great actress, was sure make for a convincing Croft. Tomb Raider took its cue from the more recent rebooted videogames, so we expected a rough-and-tumble story of survival rather than the two-fisted gunplay of old.

Here's

32. Bumblebee

After more than a decade, we're about to get a Transformers movie that isn't directed by Michael Bay (though he will remain installed as a producer). Instead, this will be the live-action debut of Travis Knight, previously best known for his stop-motion animated films - including 2016's superb Kubo And The Two Strings. Although he didn't direct them all, the features Knight oversaw at Laika are full of great characters and simple, humane stories - if you haven't seen them already, check out Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls for evidence. We're hoping some of that will rub off on Bumblebee, an 80s-set spin-off about a teenage girl (Hailee Steinfeld) and her best friend, who happens to be a giant alien robot that can turn into a VW Beetle. We're willing this one to be more than a slam-bang spectacle. Don't let us down, Travis.

31. Bohemian Rhapsody

A film that feels like it’s under a cloud at the moment, with director Bryan Singer now having been fired from the production. Dexter Fletcher will replace him, but we've yet to find out whether it will affect the targeted release date.

Lots of very good people are still involved in the film, though, a biopic of the late Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek is taking on the role of Mercury in the film, in a production that’s long been in gestation (Sacha Baron Cohen was going to star at one point). Currently, it’s still scheduled for Christmas 2018…

30. Rampage

Videogames are a minor running theme among 2018's big movies. As if Tomb Raider, Ready Player One and Wreck-It Ralph 2 weren't enough, here came a slightly more left-field option: an adaptation of Bally Midway's 80s arcade game, Rampage. The original's premise saw three ordinary humans transformed into three giant monsters 'inspired' by classic moives, so there's a King-Kong clone, a giant lizard, and a towering werewolf. The aim of the game was, basically, to knock down skyscrapers and punch tanks - the perfect fodder for an effects-filled Hollywood movie, really. Brad Peyton (San Andreas) was the director charged with giving the premise a plot, while the cast was led by the indomitable Dwayne Johnson.

Here's

29. Skyscraper

Along with Den Of Geek pin-up Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson is still flying the flag for big action movies, and Skyscraper sounded like another throwback to the genre's 80s heyday. Johnson plays Will Ford, an ex-Fed who's framed for setting ablaze the world's tallest building; Ford goes on the run and, hoping to clear his name, resolves to track down the true culprits. If you were ever concerned this one would take itself too seriously, it's crucial to bear in mind that it was written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who previously brought us the downright hilarious Dodgeball and We're The Millers

Here's

28. Slender Man

Horror movies have long drawn from myths and urban legends for their story ideas - the most famous one, perhaps, is The Hook, which formed the basis of a dozen slasher movies. But where are the modern urban legends and myths? Why, on the internet, of course. Creepypastas, those short, creepy stories that make their way around the web, have been chilling readers to the bone for years - and Slender Man is arguably one of the most famous tales to emerge from that modern phenomenon. A tall, thin, wraith-like figure, the Slender Man’s appearance often prefaces a disappearance or some other dreadful event; beyond that, his motivations and origins remain obscure, even if we know who first dreamed up the myth back in 2009 - an internet dweller named Eric Knudsen. Director Sylvain White (The Losers) is behind the movie.

27. Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence reunited with the director of the last three Hunger Games movies, Francis Lawrence, for this one. It’s a spy thriller based on the book by Jason Matthews, that also features in its cast Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling and Jeremy Irons. Lawrence, J plays a Russian intelligence officer on the tail of an American mole (figuratively, not literally). 

Here's

26. Creed 2

A film that’s increasingly, on the surface at least, looking like a companion piece to Rocky IV as it is a straight sequel to the Academy Award-nominated Creed.

Michael B Jordan returns in the role of Adonis Creed, with Sylvester Stallone playing Rocky Balboa for the eighth time on screen. This time, Dolph Lundgren is back as Ivan Drago too, and Drago Jr is set to be a character in the movie. Stallone has written, and directs.

25. The Cloverfield Paradox

Last year, 10 Cloverfield Lane came out of nowhere as a kind of stealth sequel: a contained and quietly effective spin-off set within the same universe as the old Cloverfield kaiju flick. Producer JJ Abrams is up to the same old tricks with The Cloverfield Paradox, in which a group of astronauts (among the cast: Daniel Bruhl, Chris O'Dowd and David Oyelowo - an eclectic cast and no mistake) are left stuck on the International Space Station when good old planet Earth unexpectedly vanishes. Just what does this have to do with giant monsters tearing up North America? We were looking forward to finding out.

The movie shrugged off its cinema release date - at one time confirmed for April - and went straight to Netflix in February. We'll be seeing a lot more of that sort of thing in the future, we reckon.

24. Isle Of Dogs

Wes Anderson's last foray into stop-motion, Fantastic Mister Fox, was an absolute joy, and his latest looked just as strange and delightful. It was set in a future Japan where a strange epidemic had left its canine population quarantined on their own island (so no, British readers, it's not set in the East End of London), and concerned a young boy's attempts to get his pet dog back. The animation looked absolutely stunning, and, as with previous Anderson films, the cast was star-studded: we listened out for Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, F Murray Abraham and, as ever, Bill Murray among the voices.

Here's

23. Mary Poppins Returns

It’s been a long time coming, but Disney is finally exploring more of P L Travers’ Mary Poppins books, in a sequel to one of its most beloved films. Emily Blunt is taking on the role from Julie Andrews, with Into The Woods and Chicago helmer Rob Marshall on directing duties. Dick Van Dyke and Julie Walters will both be making appearances in the movie too. It’s due in December 2018.

22. Mission: Impossible 6

Despite their vintage, the Mission: Impossible movies have remained remarkably fresh, with each entry balancing high-tech thrills and Tom Cruise's penchant for high-wire stunts. Here, Cruise again teams with Ilsa Faust for another globe-trotting adventure, while Christopher McQuarrie - who wrote and directed the entertaining Rogue Nation - oversees all the mayhem. 

Here's

21. Pacific Rim: Uprising

Guillermo del Toro produced, rather than directed, this sequel to his robots-versus-monsters flick, but we were still rather excited about it. The sequel follows a new generation of monster fighters, led by John Boyega as Jake Pentecost - the son of Idris Elba's apocalypse-cancelling John - as a new threat against humanity emerges. The original was colourful and guileless, like a Saturday morning cartoon writ large, but did Uprising capture the same larger-than-life spirit?

Here's


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