Movies to look forward to in 2018

Eighteen films that intrigue

By Richard Roeper on January 11, 2018

Get your mind out of the Jedi, people!

It's 2018, which means it's time to take a look at 18 for ‘18 -- the list of films I'm most keenly anticipating.

The 15:17 to Paris (Feb. 9)     

Clint Eastwood's newest film is about the 2015 terrorist attack on a Thalys train bound from Amsterdam to Paris, and the three off-duty American soldiers who brought down the gunman.

Of course, Eastwood has long been interested in making movies about true events and heroes, but in a bold experiment this time around, the three real-life heroes will be playing themselves.

Black Panther (Feb. 16)

The Black Panther comic book character was introduced in the 1960s, and Hollywood has been exploring a movie version since at least the early 1990s (with Wesley Snipes as the title character). Now, finally, we get the Marvel Studios treatment, with Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther.

Game Night (Feb. 23)

Jason Bateman seems like a perfect casting choice for Game Night, a comedy-thriller about a group of friends and family members (including Rachel McAdams as Bateman's wife and Kyle Chandler as his brother) whose regular game night turns into a murder mystery.

A Wrinkle in Time (March 9)

The greatly talented Ava DuVernay (Selma) directs Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Pena and Zach Galifianakis in the adaptation of the hugely popular sci-fi novel by Madeleine L'Engle.     

Isle of Dogs (March 23)

The one and only Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated adventure is set in the Japan of 20 years from now, when a "canine flu" leads to all dogs being banished to a remote island. When a little boy arrives on the island in search of his pup, a team of dogs vow to protect him from the authorities and help him find his dog. Come on! Who's not going to be rooting for the boy and his dog!

Ready Player One (March 30)

Tell me they're making a movie based on the terrific 2011 sci-fi novel by Ernest Cline and my reaction is, "OK, I'm down for that."

Tell me Steven Spielberg is directing the adaptation, and I'm putting Ready Player One on this list.

The New Mutants (April 13)

I loved Josh Boone's adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, and I think he's an inspired choice to tell the story of some new mutants in the X-Men universe: a Russian, a Scot, a Kentuckian, a Brazilian and a Native American.

Avengers: Infinity War (May 4)

This looks to be the movie equivalent of an All-Star game, which means we're sure to see an amazing array of Hall of Fame talent and some moments of breathtaking individual performances, but it's a coin toss as to whether the event itself will be rousing, start-to-finish entertainment, or a somewhat bloated, overstuffed exhibition.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette (May 11)

Richard Linklater (one of my favorite living directors) helms this adaptation of Maria Semple's novel, with Cate Blanchett starring as the agoraphobic Bernadette, and a supporting cast that includes Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne.     

Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)

The follow-up to Rogue One has a checkered history, with Ron Howard replacing directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

This of course led to much hand-wringing on the Internet. Ron Howard! What does HE know about adventures in space?!

Well, given Howard made a great film about some real-life space explorers on a little mission called Apollo 13, he just might be able to handle the story of a rogue young pilot and his Wookie best friend. Alden Ehrenreich stars as the young Han Solo.

Ocean's 8 (June 8)

Ocean's 8 is an all-female, semi-sequel, semi-reboot of the 21st-century Ocean's trilogy (which sprung from the 1960 original). Gotta love the cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter.

Alita: Battle Angel (July 20)

Robert Rodriguez's live-action adaptation of the manga series created by Yukito Kishiro features the lead character (played by Rosa Salazar) with a human face but large, anime-style eyes. It's a marvel of cutting-edge technology to see this blend of human face and CGI-created eyes, but it's also very creepy and distracting. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out over the length of a feature film.

Crazy Rich Asians (Aug. 17)

Jon Chu directs the adaptation of the first of three novels by Kevin Kwan. Constance Wu (so wonderful on ABC's Fresh Off the Boat) stars as an American-born economics professor who accompanies her boyfriend to Singapore, and discovers he's from an insanely wealthy and very traditional family.

Boy Erased (Sept. 28)

Joel Edgerton writes, co-produces, directs and has a key supporting role in what is sure to be one of the hot-button movies of the year. It's based on Garrard Conley's memoir, in which Conley (the son of a Baptist preacher) comes out to his parents, and is told he must enroll in a "gay conversion" program, or be ostracized.

Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Three Billboards) plays the teenage Conley, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman are his parents, and Edgerton is the leader of the "therapy" program.

First Man (Oct. 12)

Director Damien Chazelle reteams with La La Land star Ryan Gosling in a biopic focusing on Neil Armstrong's life and career from 1961 through the moon landing of 1969.

Halloween (Oct. 19)

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, some 40 years after she first encountered Michael Myers. Ooh, I can hear that fantastically haunting theme music already ...

The Women of Marwen (Nov. 21)

The visionary director Robert Zemeckis seems a wise choice indeed to direct a fictionalized take on the 2010 documentary Marwencol, which told the story of Mark Hogancamp, who was beaten nearly to death, spent nine days in a coma, woke up with little memory of his previous life -- and as a form of therapy, created a scale model of a Belgian town circa World War II in his backyard.

Steve Carell plays Hogancamp.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Dec. 25)

Another troubled production, but with Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) as Freddie Mercury, one still holds out hope for this biopic of the late and legendary lead singer for Queen.