January 10, 2019
Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2019
After highlighting 50 films that we can guarantee are worth seeing this year, it’s time we venture into the unknown. Rather than regurgitating a list of dated-years-in-advance studio releases, we’ve set out to focus on 100 films we’re genuinely looking forward to, regardless of their marketing budgets. While the majority might not have a set release–let alone any confirmed festival premiere–most have wrapped production and will likely debut at some point in 2019, so make sure to check back for updates over the next twelve months and beyond. Be sure to keep the following one-hundred films on your radar (with release dates, where applicable). If you want to see how we did with our picks last year, head on over here.
100. Matthias & Maxime (Xavier Dolan)
While the five-year stretch that comprised his first five films resulted in Xavier Dolan’s rise in international prominence, the last years haven’t been as kind, with It’s Only the End of the World and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan receiving less-than-stellar reviews and distribution woes. One hopes that Matthias & Maxime–which recently finished production–is a return to form. Starring Dolan, Gabriel D’Almeida Freitas, Pier-Luc Funk, Antoine Pilon, Samuel Gauthier, Adib Alkhalidey, Catherine Brunet, Marilyn Castonguay, Micheline Bernard, Harris Dickinson and Anne Dorval there are no plot details yet, but we imagine it’ll land on the festival circuit this year. – Jordan R.
99. Star Wars: Episode IX (J.J. Abrams; Dec. 20)
After perhaps the best entry in the entire franchise, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, J.J. Abrams has a difficult task ahead of him in following up the much-needed rejuvenation of the Star Wars saga. Considering how safe he played it when it comes to The Force Awakens, hopefully his trilogy-capper will enter more daring territory while keeping the same level of entertainment. And if all else fails, we can’t wait to see Richard E. Grant join this universe. – Jordan R.
98. The Woman in the Window (Joe Wright; Oct. 4)
After hitting a career low with The Darkest Hour, there’s nowhere that Joe Wright can go but up when it comes to his next project. Reteaming with Gary Oldman, but led by Amy Adams, The Woman in the Window finds the director in Hitchcockian thriller territory in the Tracy Letts-scripted adaptation of A.J. Finn’s novel. Also starring Julianne Moore, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Fred Hechinger, and Anthony Mackie, it follows an agoraphobic child psychologist who sees a crime occur at her neighbor’s house. – Jordan R.
97. My Zoe (Julie Delpy)
Though her last film, the French-language Lolo, didn’t gain as much attention stateside as her 2 Days films, Julie Delpy’s next feature will likely reach a larger audience. My Zoe follows “a divorced mother looks to protect her daughter after an unexpected tragedy.” Starring Delpy, Gemma Arterton, Richard Armitage, and Daniel Brühl, expect a festival premiere this year. – Jordan R.
96. The Kindness of Strangers (Lone Scherfig)
This year will mark a decade since Lone Scherfig made a splash with An Education and since then we’ve been waiting for a film that lives up to that debut. Her next feature has quite a bit promise, set to open this year’s Berlinale with the cast including Andrea Riseborough, Zoe Kazan, Tahar Rahim, Bill Nighy, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jay Baruchel. The film follows various storylines that intersect at a Russian restaurant in New York City and hopefully makes for a compelling small-scale drama. – Jordan R.
95. Bad Education (Cory Finley)
Released last spring, the dark comedy Thoroughbreds felt quite accomplished for a directorial debut and now Cory Finley is stepping up his scope with his follow-up. Tackling the true story of the Roslyn superintendent who embezzled over $11 million, it’s written by Mike Makowsky, who actually attended the school at the time of the scandal. Starring Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff, Kayli Carter, and Rafael Casal, we’d imagine a fall festival bow is in the works. – Jordan R.
94. Queen & Slim (Melina Matsoukas; Nov. 27)
After his break-out in Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya had supporting turns in Black Panther and Widows, but he’s back in a leading role this fall. Scripted by Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas’ directorial debut, Queen & Slim follows a man (Kaluuya) and woman (Jodie Turner-Smith) on a first date who get stopped by a cop and kill him in self-defense, then go on the run. With the makings of an unfortunately timely, thrilling drama, it should be a must-see this fall. – Jordan R.
93. Lucy In The Sky (Noah Hawley)
After an adventurous 2018 with her sci-fi odyssey Annihilation and ambitious pop star drama Vox Lux, Natalie Portman will head to (or rather, return from) space this year. She’s leading Lucy in the Sky (formerly Pale Blue Dot), a drama which follows her character as an astronaut whose life unravels when she returns from a mission. Coming from Noah Hawley, it will mark his directorial debut and we’re curious to see how his experience creating Fargo and Legion translates to the big screen. – Jordan R.
92. Going Places (John Turturro)
Per the Coens’ wishes, we won’t ever get a sequel to The Big Lebowski, but the universe of their cult hit will live on in John Turturro’s next directorial effort. Going Places is not only a spin-off featuring the return of his Jesus Quintana character but also a remake of the 1974 French film by Bertrand Blier. Also starring Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, and Susan Sarandon, it will follow the adventures of a trio of sexually deprived misfits. With filming completed back in 2016, we’d be surprised if it didn’t see the light of day this year. – Jordan R.
91. The Story of My Wife (Ildikó Enyedi)
After earning the Golden Bear and an Oscar nomination for On Body and Soul, director Ildikó Enyedi will return this year with The Story of My Wife. Starring Léa Seydoux, the film is an adaptation of Milán Füst’s 1942 novel, which tells the story of a Dutch sea captain who makes a bet that he’ll marry the next person who walks into the cafe he is at. After doing so, questions of infidelity will cause a crisis. Marking the sixth feature from the director, we expect Seydoux’s attachment will lead to even further recognition. – Jordan R.