A Cinematic to-do List: Movies to see in 2018

At the start of the new year movies can become a point of interest for many. Movie aficionados resolve to catch more quality time with the big screen. Frugal members of the population want to know which movies might be good bets to economize their movie-buying budgets in the new year. And still others are simply curious about what the world of movies has in store for them.

If you fall into one of these three categories, or some other category not mentioned above, fear not because Salient Cinema is here!

In this piece we will take a look at, what we believe could potentially be, some of the better upcoming films of 2018. Some of these movies are in more advanced stages of productions than others so some have more information about them available. Therefore, readers should take that into consideration when they see our list. Also know this is not an exhaustive list of all the films that we think might be good in 2018 as some movies might be released later in the year.

Without further ado, here is our list in no particular order:

Early Man (2018):

Release Date: January 26, 2018

Director: Nick Park

This movie’s premise is that of a band of hunter-gatherers who face off against a more technologically advanced civilization invading their home. The plot is seemingly meant to symbolize the clash between old and new as it explores the end of the stone age and the beginning of the bronze age. The film is a stop motion animation that looks to continue in the style, artistic feel and comedy that we have come to know and respect from Nick Park. Who, as you might know, is the creator of the Wallace and Gromit franchise and Chicken Run (2000).

This will be Mr. Park’s return to the big screen since his last long-form movie Shaun the Sheep came out in 2015 to positive reviews. Early indications show no reason to expect anything less with this newest title in the Parkian style. Early Man promises to be another melodic and playfully absurd exhibition of British comedy. With movies like this there is always a chance of dry plot, however. Movie-goers should beware a potentially mundane story structure.

Black Panther (2018):

Release Date: February 16, 2018

Director: Ryan Coogler

The 18th addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film looks to continue Marvel’s surprisingly good form as of late. Their last film Thor: Ragnarok (2017) (our review of which can be heard here) was a real mold-breaker and voice-finder for the Marvel universe. Set in the fictional east African country of Wakanda, Black Panther will be the first Marvel movie set on said continent. The Black Panther mantel is also the monarch of the country of Wakanda. The plot looks to be dealing with the reign of the new hero-sovereign, T’Challa, after his father’s death in the events of Captain America: Civil War (2017), a potential usurper, and other forces that wish some malevolent fate upon the secretive mountain country and the world.

The success of the movie will be dependent on its voice and artistry. Hopefully it can give movie-goers a thrilling time at the theaters without taking itself too seriously. It could also easily run into super hero movie clichés about romance and character motivations. The trailers seem to show a set design and costume ensemble focused on portraying an authentic pan-African, yet also distinctly individualistic, artistic style that we hope is consistent throughout.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018):

Release Date: May 4, 2018

Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo

This will be the long-anticipated clash between the ultimate villain of the Marvel Universe, Thanos, and the superhero forces of good embodied by a marriage of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. It takes place four years after The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) in the Marvel cinematic timeline. It will be the next Marvel movie after Black Panther (2018).

The raw level of excitement Marvel fans have over this upcoming film has forced us to put it on this list.  Other than the pure story arch poignancy of Thanos and the Infinity Stones, there are no indicators as of yet of its quality independent of the fanboyish fever that has surrounded it. Although one can hope with all the hype, money, and star power behind this film it will become something worth watching.

Ready Player One (2018)

Release Date: March 30, 2018

Director: Steven Spielberg

Is a futuristic sci-fi thriller set in an overpopulated Earth in the year 2045. To escape the stark new world of overcrowded slum cities people use virtual reality to engage in work and leisure. Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan) is the protagonist in the film who, along with some friends, attempts to find an Easter egg in a popular game that would unlock a fabulous fortune. But an amorphous corporation is paying other player to find it first.

Based on a book by the same name, this movie shows potential with an interesting premise, and a potential for detail. T.J. Miller and Simon Pegg being attached to the project seems like reason enough to get excited. One might worry, however, that it could become a blockbuster flop that relies too much on action and unconvincing characters. Or at least it could suffer from these problems.

Isle of Dogs (2018)

Release Date: March 23, 2018

Director: Wes Anderson

Although he has been involved in other films since, the last movie Wes Anderson directed was The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014. This time his story is based in a futuristic fictional Japan in which a young boy is on a quest to find his dog on an island full of garbage. A pack of misfit canines join him. And, what seems like, an evil mayor must be stopped. Anderson is known for his painfully specific visual artistry, his quirky characters, curt dialogue, and winding plot. If the trailers are any indication of what’s to come it’s safe to bet we are in for another cinematic delight from the wily filmmaker.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Release Date: March 9, 2018

Director: Ava DuVernay

A Wrinkle in Time is based on a wildly popular young adult science fiction novel by the same name. In it a young girl, along with some friends, attempts to free her astrophysicist father from a galactic evil. The book’s popularity and generally positive reviews point towards a potentially compelling story. And trailers have shown a dazzling blend of special effects and colors to create, what could be, a visual spectacle. However, many flashy Disney movies are often plagued with cliché tropes and hammy acting. Let’s hope we get neither here.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Release Date: October 17, 2018

Director: Ron Howard

Just like Rogue One (2016) this movie will be a Star Wars anthology film meant as a standalone. It is set prior to the original trilogy in the Star Wars timeline. The premise of the film is focused on the exploits of a young Hon Solo and Chewbacca. It is also written that Lando Calrissian will be a part of the movie.

The last Star Wars film The Last Jedi (2017) is arguably the best movie yet in the franchise. Though the fan base has been split on the issue. Rogue One was also surprisingly good. Are we to expect the same for this film or will it be a disappointing flop? It’s uncertain to say this far out but the hype and form of Disney’s recent Star Wars endeavor warrant putting it on your to-watch list.

Honorable Mentions

Some films didn’t quite make it on to our list this year, either for lack of information or quality concerns. Here we will list the ones that got close to being put on the list and ones that you still might want to pay attention to.

Honorable mentions include: Peter Rabbit (2018), The untitled Deadpool sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), Gotti (2018), Incredibles II (2018).