6 Months Later: A Look At Our 2018 Most Anticipated Films And How They Measured Up

Written by Tom Sheffield

Back in December we asked our team what their most anticipated films of 2018 were, and we compiled a list of our top 10. We are now half way through the year, and eight films that made our top ten have been released – but did they live up to our expectations? Click the film titles to be taken to our official verdicts!

The two films in our list we are still twiddling our thumbs waiting for at Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’, which has now been pushed back to 2019, and the return of the Parr family in ‘Incredibles 2’, which we only have a few more weeks to wait for!

We’ve also just had a fantastic week of trailers for upcoming films to be excited for, so be sure to check them out if you missed any!


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#10 – The Irishman

 

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#9 – A Wrinkle in Time

“With stunning visual effects and incredible costume, hair and make-up design; this film was a feast for the eyes”

 

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#8 – Deadpool 2

“There are problems abound that come with trying to exceed the expectations set by a great first outing, but I honestly feel ‘Deadpool 2′ has more re-watchability than the original because of its attempts to go bigger than the first.”

 

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#7 – Incredibles 2

 

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#6 – Ready Player One

“Ultimately, one of 2018’s most anticipated productions does not disappoint, nor purge Ernest Cline’s concept of its defining qualities. Instead, Sir Steven — God of euphoric adventure — deserves one thunderous high-five for letting us break free from the mundane and witness a magical journey too colossal for the real world.”

 

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#5 – Annihilation

“It’s a miraculous achievement in filmmaking across the board, and it deserves your attention. It’s on Netflix right now. Watch it, experience it, and prepare for it to take over your every thought for some time.”

 

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#4 – Solo: A Star Wars Story

“Is this a Star Wars film we needed in the timeline? Not really, but I’m glad we have it because Ron Howard just whetted my appetite for more of this sort of anthology film away from the ‘Episodes’. And on the basis of a certain cameo towards the end, the timeline just got a whole lot spicier!”

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#3 – Isle of Dogs

“‘Isle of Dogs’ stumbles occasionally when the dogs aren’t on screen, but this doesn’t diminish the film as an impressive achievement in animation. Most importantly, ‘Isle of Dogs’ is better than ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’  in my opinion. Yes, I went there.”

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#2 – Black Panther

“‘Black Panther’ wasn’t just a Marvel superhero movie, it was a rattling of the cages type film. It spoke a lot of truth that we often sweep under the rug about the world we live in. It raises awareness and then offers the global society an olive branch. ‘Black Panther’ is well-crafted in every sense of the word. “

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#1 – Avengers: Infinity War

“‘Avengers Infinity War’ at its best is epic, emotional and very, very shocking. It has impressive set pieces and of course it’s very funny. The few faults it does have are going to be down purely to the viewer. A knowledge of all that has happened before is essential. This is not the film for newbies. “

 

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Fiona’s March Round-Up

Written by Fiona Underhill

While the UK enjoys the quality of Oscar-nominated films such as ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Lady Bird’ in the first few months of the year, the first quarter can be something of a barren wasteland in US cinemas. We did get ‘Paddington 2’ in January and of course, there has been ‘Black Panther’, but other than that, there have been slim pickings to choose from. But, like buses, they can all suddenly come along at once and I’ve seen 5 films in the last week that have greatly improved my year in film. Below is a round-up of my movie-watching month, which has ranged in quality, but certainly hasn’t been boring!

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Gringo

(starring David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton & Thandie Newton)

‘Gringo’ stars Oyelowo as a businessman working for his friend (Edgerton) and his colleague (Theron) at a pharmaceutical company. The three of them go to Mexico on a business trip, which unbeknownst to Oyelowo is connected to the drug trade. There Oyelowo gets embroiled with drug dealers, traffickers, kingpins and mercenaries (including another great turn from Sharlto Copley) while trying to stay alive and ahead of the law. Although amusing at times, ‘Gringo’ has big tonal problems and inconsistencies. Theron is playing an unlikeable, edgy character, demonstrated by her saying things like “fat people are so funny” and Newton’s character is handled offensively at the end. Great cast, but disappointing execution.

Verdict: 4/10

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A Wrinkle in Time

(starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon & Mindy Kaling)

Despite its critical reception, I really enjoyed ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and crucially, so did my 8 year old (the target audience of this film). An adaptation of a beloved children’s book, we follow Meg Murry (Reid) on an adventure across space and time. With stunning visual effects and incredible costume, hair and make-up design; this film was a feast for the eyes. It also featured an emotional story, with two children on a quest to find their missing father and I struggled to hold it together towards the end. Featuring some astounding performances from the child/teen actors, I really loved this film and recommend it to families during the spring/Easter holidays.

Verdict: 8/10

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The Hurricane Heist

(starring Toby Kebell, Maggie Grace & Ryan Kwanten)

Last year’s ‘Geostorm’ spoiled us in terms of trashy disaster movies (a genre which I adore), but ‘Hurricane Heist’ is possibly even better, if you can believe it. Everything you need to know is right there in the title: it’s about a heist that takes place during a hurricane. I don’t know what else to tell you.

Verdict: 10/10

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Flower

(starring Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn and Adam Scott)

‘Flower’ follows Erica (Zoey Deutch) a troubled 17 year old girl who spends her time giving blowjobs to men and then blackmailing them for money so she can try to bail her father out of prison. Her world is disrupted when her step-brother Luke (who she has never met) leaves rehab and moves in with her. Luke accuses a local man Will (Adam Scott) of having abused him while he was his teacher, so Erica and her friends set out to avenge him with some vigilante justice. Despite a strong cast, led by another winning performance from Zoey Deutch, this film was a little problematic, with unlikeable characters and will end up proving rather forgettable. I’m frankly getting a little tired of teen girl characters being written and directed by men.

Verdict: 6/10

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Final Portrait

(starring Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer & Tony Shalhoub)

The release date for this film has been all over the shop, but it’s now on UK Netflix and I managed to find one cinema showing it in LA. Directed by Stanley Tucci, it follows the sculptor and artist Giacometti (Rush) as he struggles to paint a portrait of his friend/muse James Lord (Hammer). And that is it – the whole plot. Frankly, the only thing that got me through this film was the long, lingering close-ups of Hammer’s face. One for die-hard fans only, I would suggest.

Verdict:  4/10

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Oh Lucy!

(starring Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Kaho Minami & Shiloi Kutsuna)

This film follows Setsuko (a sublime performance by Terajima), an unusual woman who does not view her job or relationships in the same way as her contemporaries. Her niece Mika (Kutsuna) persuades her to take English lessons from John (Hartnett), but then he abruptly leaves for LA, taking Mika with him. Setsuko and her sister Ayako (Minami) set out to track them down and end up on an adventurous road trip of sorts. I absolutely adored this film from director Atsuko Hirayanagi and appreciated the creation of a fully-realised, complex and unique woman as the protagonist. Seek this out – you won’t regret it.

Verdict: 9/10

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Thoroughbreds

(starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke & Anton Yelchin)

‘Thoroughbreds’ focuses on childhood friends Lily (Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Cooke), who have grown apart but are forced together when Amanda’s mother pays Lily to tutor her daughter. Set in the ultra-privileged world of private school Connecticut kids, this is an insight into a rarefied world. Lily and Amanda plot to kill Lily’s step-father with the help of local drug dealer Tim (one of Yelchin’s last roles). I appreciated the score and some of the camerawork in this film and the central performances are fantastic. Again, it’s a little difficult to fully engage with a film where everyone is terrible, but it’s stylishly done.

Verdict: 7.5/10

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Gemini

(starring Lola Kirke, Zoe Kravitz & John Cho)

‘Gemini’ is another film that seems to have had its release date majorly delayed because I first saw trailers for this over a year ago. An LA-set neo-noir (a genre that is very much up my street) focusing on the relationship between a celebrity, Heather (Kravitz) and her assistant, Jill (Lola Kirke), this is a mystery-thriller that is sure to intrigue. When Heather is murdered, Jill is immediately under suspicion and is pursued by Detective Edward Ahn (Cho), so she sets out to clear her name. The central performance by Kirke is incredible, but unfortunately there was not enough Cho for me. There is a delicious slice of black humour that runs through this film and it is a slightly ridiculous, but fun watch.

Verdict: 7.5/10

 Don’t forget to check out Fiona’s full reviews for Love, Simon and Journey’s End

JUMPCUT’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2018

Written by Corey Hughes

Ah, December. The month where every cinephile tries to cram in as many films that they’ve missed throughout the year into one, single month. It’s also the month where we begin to think about the year ahead, and what films are on our radars.

2018 has the potential to be a great year for film. It’s a year filled with big, blockbuster movies, with Marvel looking to add to their already impressive CV, and not to forget the return of the Merc with the Mouth. The new year also promises a few hidden gems, particularly Alex Garland’s return after his promising directorial debut with ‘Ex Machina’,  and the eagerly-anticipated return of Wes Anderson.

In short, there’s a lot to be excited about. So, without further ado, I present to you: JUMPCUT Online’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2018, as compiled by our marvellous team.


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#10 – The Irishman

Martin Scorsese returns in 2018 with a handful of familiar faces. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino all return under Marty’s direction in what will be the director’s fifth mob film, this time recollecting the assassination of former American labour union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Whilst there’s still speculation whether Netflix will distribute the film during late 2018 or early 2019, we are chomping at the bit to see the return of such a legendary cinematic collaboration.

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#9 – A Wrinkle in Time

Based on the novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle, visionary director Ava DuVernay will be at the helm of Disney’s next big outing, a multidimensional adventure of a young girl attempting to find her missing father. Starring an ensemble cast including the likes of Chris Pine, Reece Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Zach Galifianakis, and not to forget adapted to the big screen by the queen of Disney animations Jennifer Lee, A Wrinkle in Time has the potential to be a wonderful movie.

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#8 – Deadpool 2

Also returning this year is everybody’s favourite mercenary – Deadpool. The perfectly casted Ryan Reynolds reprises the role as the potty-mouthed antihero, accompanied by Josh Brolin as newcomer Cable. If the first film is anything to go by, we can expect plenty of vulgar humour and incredible action set pieces in next year’s sequel. You can count my sweet-ass in.

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#7 – Incredibles 2

Now, if you’re anything like us, you’ve been waiting years for this. Director Brad Bird and the wonderful ensemble cast all return to perhaps the most eagerly-awaited sequel ever made. Bird once said that he’d never return for an Incredibles sequel unless he could come up with a story that would be just as good as, or even better than, the first film. If that doesn’t make you excited for his sequel, then nothing will.

Honey, where is my super suit?!”

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#6 – Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg returns in 2018 to his beloved Sci-fi genre with an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s revolutionary novel, ‘Ready Player One’; a story of a young man entering the virtual reality world of OASIS to find an Easter Egg. Promising extraordinary visual effects and a catalogue of pop-culture icon cameos from the likes of Freddy Krueger, the Iron Giant and King Kong, Spielberg’s new adventure could be one of the year’s best.

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#5 – Annihilation

Also returning to the Sci-fi genre is Alex Garland, who made an impressive directorial debut in 2015 with ‘Ex Machina.’ The film tells the story of a biologist who signs up for an expedition where the rules of nature don’t apply, with the immensely talented Natalie Portman starring as the main lead. Count our words, this could be another successful run-out for Alex Garland. It’s just a shame that us folks in the UK might not be able to see it on the big screen, with Netflix being the front-runners to distribute the film. A damn shame, I tell you.

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#4 – Solo: A Star Wars Story

It may come as no surprise to see a Star Wars film included in our list. With the success of ‘Rogue One’, Disney proved that a spin-off Star Wars movie, outside of the main episodic format, could be as well received as the films within the Skywalker saga. This time round, fan-favourite Han Solo receives his stand-alone movie, with Alden Ehrenreich playing the younger version of Harrison Ford’s iconic character. With Ron Howard stepping in to direct after a rift between writer Lawrence Kasdan and former director Chris Miller, it has been reported that Howard has reshot almost the entirety of the movie, but whether or not this will negatively impact the final film, we are not sure. But there is one thing we are sure about – we are all going to see this film regardless.

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#3 – Isle of Dogs

Coming in with the bronze medal is Wes Anderson’s forthcoming stop-motion animation, ‘Isle of Dogs’; an Akira Kurosawa inspired story set against the backdrop of Japanese culture. With Tristan Oliver as Director of Photography, we can expect another shining example of Wes Anderson’s distinguishable and mesmerising stop-motion style that was last seen in ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. We are expecting big things from Anderson, and we are confident that he will not disappoint.

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#2 – Black Panther

Now it’s time for the big guns. With Ryan Coogler at the helm of Marvel’s eighteenth addition to the MCU, audiences will be greeted with a catalogue of talented faces, including the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and, of course, Chadwick Boseman as the titular character. From such a diverse cast showcasing an array of black leads, this is by far Marvel’s most successful feat in regards to representation on the big screen, proving once and for all that anybody can be a superhero. We cannot wait so see how it all goes down.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Sicario 2: Soldado (That new trailer has us hyped!)
  • Three Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri (UK really should have had this sooner…)
  • Phantom Thread (Daniel Day-Lewis’ final outing)
  • Ocean’s Eight (showcasing a fantastic ensemble cast)
  • A Quiet Place (John Krasinski’s promising thriller)

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#1 – Avengers: Infinity War

Was there ever any doubt? Topping our list is, of course, the gargantuan Marvel blockbuster ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. With parts 1 and 2 holding a staggering budget of almost $1 billion (most of that surely going towards paying the wages of the insane cast on offer), this is going to be the most monumental cinematic moment in all of Hollywood’s history. Marking the tenth anniversary of the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Infinity War’, if executed successfully, could be Marvel’s biggest accomplishment. Whether you love or hate the MCU, there is one thing for sure – this is going to be incredible. Book your tickets and secure your seats to be the first to see Thanos’s eagerly-anticipated arrival (or Chris Evans sporting a beard, am I right?).


So, there you have it: our top 10 most anticipated films of 2018. Have we missed any out? What films are you most anticipated for? Be sure to let us know!