First, I will note that my list skews to bigger movies because those are movies that we have information on. I need something to get me anticipating. Next, I’ve got some runners up for movies that didn’t quite make my list. The Personal History of David Copperfield is on my radar because it is directed by Armando Iannucci, who did the delightful Death of Stalin a few years ago and Veep. Also, Godzilla vs Kong is coming around Christmas; I have liked all three of the previous MonsterVerse movies. There is an adaptation of the Monster Hunter video games that I am equally anticipating and dreading. Jungle Cruise has The Rock in it. The Marvel movies, Black Widow and Eternals, should be good. I am most looking forward to Eternals because of its Jack Kirby provenance. There are a couple of original Pixar movies coming that should be good. Fast & Furious 9 is also on the way; I liked Hobbs and Shaw, but I am not sure this series isn’t running out of gas. At least Justin Lin is back directing. Now, here is my Top 10:
10. Birds of Prey – This one might just be the fact that it is actually coming soon and I am a little bit hyped to see it. Because I am genuinely interested in this movie and, Joker aside, DC has been on a bit of a hot streak lately. Basically, this movie gets the last spot because I know more about it than most of my honorable mentions.
9. No Time to Die – I kind of hated Spectre. This looks like a direct sequel to that movie in a way that not a lot of Bond movies are. Honestly, Skyfall aside I’ve never really warmed to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. I have, however, really warmed to Craig over the last few years. Plus the rest of the cast (Ana de Armas!) and Cary Fukunaga directing makes me want to see this.
8. The Gentleman – I might be the outlier here, but I still really like Guy Ritchie. Snatch and Lock Stock hold up. Man from UNCLE was a delight, Aladdin is the best of the Disney live action remakes. The trailer makes this look like it has the energy of Ritchie’s earlier gangster films. Those simply work for me. Plus, this has an interesting cast seemingly having a great time. I guess I’ll see how good it is in a few days.
7. Death on the Nile – Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is a movie that has aged really well for me. I thought upon first seeing it that it might have just been that I hadn’t really seen a murder mystery movie of any quality in a long time, but rewatching it has shown that it is just a fundamentally well made version of a good story. I hope this is more of the same. Branagh’s Poirot with a cast full of names in a beautiful place. This is my jam.
6. Bob’s Burgers – I feel like I shouldn’t be this excited for this movie; it will almost undoubtedly turn out to be just an 80 minute or so long episode of the TV show. But Bob’s Burgers is one of my favorites and even an extra long episode gives me more to go on than what I know of a lot of movies coming this year. The chance that it does something more is enough to get it this high on the list.
5. Tenet – It is Christopher Nolan, which is enough. But it also looks really interesting, like some kind of time manipulating spy movie. I don’t know, it is hard to tell from previews. But Nolan. And a really interesting cast.
4. Dune – Nearly half of my list is just because I want to see what a specific director’s next movie. This is one of those. I am currently reading Dune, but only have a vague idea of what the story is. (I’ve never seen the Lynch Dune movie). But I am here for Denis Villeneuve after Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. And that cast is amazing.
3. Wonder Woman 1984 – The first Wonder Woman is one of my favorite superhero movies of the last few years. I thought the trailer for this sequel looked great. I don’t really have any more to say.
2. Last Night in Soho – If descriptions of this called it anything other than a horror movie, it would be my most anticipated movie of the year. Edgar Wright is my absolute favorite director, but as a rule I don’t watch horror movies. (Maybe I should move this one down.) I am hoping for something that is not a straight horror movie, but I will likely see whatever it is.
1. Bill & Ted: Face the Music – This movie kept moving up this list as I made it. I really shouldn’t be anticipating it as much as I am, but nothing else coming this year fills me with as much pure joy. The Bill & Ted movies were really important to me growing up. I loved the time traveling antics of the first movie and the sheer unrepentant weirdness of the second one. The track record of this sort of late-coming sequel is miserable, but for some reason I think this will be the exception. It is enough to see Keanu and Alex Winter back is enough for me.