The best upcoming movies of 2018

That’s it! 2017 is over. Done. Finished. Finito. It’s time to move on and what better way to do that than to check out the biggest, most exciting movies coming in 2018? That’s what we’ve got right here - the most anticipated films hitting cinemas this year, in order of release date. There’s superhero flicks like Avengers: Infinity War and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, video game adaptations such as Tomb Raider and Wreck-It Ralph 2, and another Star Wars movie courtesy of Han Solo. And that’s just the blockbusters I’m talking about. There are plenty of quieter films that you won’t want to miss too, including J.J. Abrams’ still untitled Cloverfield sequel and the long time coming Alita: Battle Angel. Read on and get hyped for the year ahead. It’s going to be a good one!

Look back at the best movies of 2017 with our round-up of last year's top films.

Black Panther

Release date: February 9, 2018 (UK)/February 16, 2018 (US)

If your first reaction to the thought of seeing Black Panther is ‘oh god, not another superhero movie’, stop. Black Panther promises to be so much more than that. Not only is Michael B. Jordan - of The Wire and Creed fame - taking up the role of the main antagonist, but it’s a nearly all-black cast, with famous names including Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Forest Whitaker. Doing its utmost to combat the accusations of a white-washed Marvel universe, the actual focus of Black Panther is on the fictional country in north-east Africa known as Wakanda. And if you need any more reasons to check this one out, just take a look at the amazing Black Panther suit. Spider-Man’s going to be *so* jealous. Sam Loveridge

Annihilation

Release date: February 23, 2018

Based on the first of the Southern Reach trilogy of books by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman and has the potential to be a lavishly artistic and thought provoking sci-fi tale. At the center of the story is a strange presence that’s sealed off a small coastal area of the US behind an energy barrier, and a government agency’s expeditions to discover what it is. The novels focus on granular character studies of the people involved, and how they deal with a presumed alien threat too otherworldly to fully comprehend. From the announcement trailer, however, it looks like Ex Machina director/writer Alex Garland has brought the extraterrestrial threat more to the fore. Given how well his previous film dealt with the questions of artificial life, it’ll be interesting to see how he does the same when the metaphysical dilemmas are more extraterrestrial. Leon Hurley

Red Sparrow

Release date: March 2, 2018

Once its first trailer debuted online, it didn’t take long for the internet to ridicule Red Sparrow as the unofficial Black Widow movie we’ve all been asking for. Yes, it focuses on a female Russian spy who eventually falls for a CIA agent (Hawkeye? Is that you?), but a closer inspection quickly reveals that this is anything but a MCU rip-off. In fact, Red Sparrow looks to be a terse, suspenseful modern spy thriller, couched in a bleak geopolitical landscape and grounded by the kind of dark themes that you’d never see a Marvel movie grappling with. Jennifer Lawrence throws herself into every role she’s cast in, but don’t go in expecting too much in the way of Atomic Blonde-esque action: Red Sparrow wants to send shivers down your spine as much it leaves your adrenaline pumping. Alex Avard

Tomb Raider

Release date: March 16, 2018

Just as the rebooted game Lara shows us a younger, more vulnerable side to the kickass archaeologist, Oscar winner Alicia Vikander’s casting shows Tomb Raider’s plan to do the same. This origins story will focus on Lara’s father but also, hopefully, punching leopards and solving overly complicated cog puzzles. Sure, we’ll all miss the feline power that Angelina Jolie gave Lara, but the idea of seeing Ms Croft on her first expedition, and joined by the legitimately iconic Kristin Scott Thomas (she’s going to turn out to be a villain, right?) is almost as exciting as the first time you saw that T-Rex. Rachel Weber

Pacific Rim Uprising

Release date: March 23, 2018

The sequel to 2013's criminally underrated Pacific Rim was trapped in development hell for a long time, receiving multiple delays and change-ups to the cast. Charlie Hunnam has been replaced by Star Wars' John Boyega as the lead star, and Idris Elba has been dropped entirely, but this is still very much a continuation of the first movie's story. Years after the events of the first Pacific Rim, the Kaiju threat re-emerges and a new team led by General Stacker Pentecost's son (piloting upgraded Jaeger mechs, of course) must put a stop to it. There's also been teases of a potential rogue Jaeger as well, with glimpses of some awe-inspiring mech-on-mech fighting. Pacific Rim Uprising probably isn't going to challenge your brain or make you reflect with deep thoughts, but it looks damn cool. Sam Prell

Ready Player One

Release date: March 30, 2018

Steven Spielberg is looking to add another sci-fi blockbuster to his resume (because apparently he doesn’t have enough) with the adaption of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. The novel tells the story of Wade Watts, a teenager growing up in a dystopian future with only one escape - the OASIS, a VR world where you can be anyone you want to be. People work in it, play in it, do everything in it, but when its creator dies he leaves ownership of it to whoever can solve a series of Easter eggs he’s hidden in the OASIS. Unsurprisingly, the evil corporations want it for themselves so they can charge the public for using it, which leads Wade and his friends to try and solve the Easter eggs before them so they can keep it free for everyone. We’ve already had a couple of trailers and it looks like it’s going to chock full of as many cool pop culture references as the book! Lauren O’Callaghan

Untitled Cloverfield sequel

Release date: April 19, 2018 (US)/April 20, 2018 (UK)

Previously known as God Particle, the apparently now untitled again (not to mention three times delayed) Cloverfield sequel will now be hitting cinemas in April. Given that it’s part of one of the most secretive and teasing of monster franchises, we actually know a surprising amount about the movie. Directed by Julius Onah, it follows a team of astronauts aboard an international space station who make a terrifying discovery and end up fighting for survival. It’s probably a lot less like Alien than I’m making it sound. Plus, the fact that it wasn’t even meant to be a part of the extended Cloverfield universe and was picked up as a standalone script from screenwriter Oren Uziel, means it’ll be interesting to see what producer J.J. Abrams is up to. Louise Blain

Rampage 

Release date: April 20, 2018

The elevator pitch for Rampage really is as simple as ‘Dwayne Johnson versus giant monkey’, but can you really tell me you’re not immediately tempted by those five little words? Loosely based on an arcade game of the same name (“loosely” being the operative word), Rampage is a disaster movie where the disaster just so happens to be a silverback ape the size of a small island. But wait! There’s more to it than that! You have giant wolves, giant crocodiles… oh, and did I mention a regular sized Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? You’re going to have to leave your brain firmly at the snack stand when this one hits theatres. Alex Avard 

Avengers: Infinity War

Release date: April 27, 2018 (UK)/May 4, 2018 (US)

As blockbusters go, it doesn’t get much bigger than Avengers: Infinity War. This movie is the culmination of the MCU so far, with a cast list longer than both my arms, and some serious consequences promised for every Marvel movie that comes after it. Forget every other movie on this list, this is the most anticipated movie of 2018. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a whole host of other superheros are teaming up to take down Thanos in the first part of Marvel Studios’ massive movie crossover and if the first trailer is anything to go by, it's not one to be missed. Better start rewatching all the MCU now then… Lauren O’Callaghan

Deadpool 2

Release date: May 18, 2018 

For many sequels, losing key creative talent might seem a blow. For Deadpool 2, it was an opportunity, and the movie grabbed it with both, blood-drenched hands. When original director Tim Miller left the project, in came John Wick co-director David Leitch, promising a slicky amped-up, even more stylish level of brutal action. With Josh Brolin making his debut as Deadpool’s grumpy future cyborg bestie Cable - in a role that reportedly beat the crap out of the actor - Deadpool 2 is looking leaner, sharper, and altogether more hardcore, while still retaining the intimate scale and ludicrous character focus that made the first one sing just so loudly. David Houghton

Slender Man

Release date: May 18, 2018

Everyone's talking about the Slender Man movie right now... but perhaps not for the right reasons. Not only is it about ten years too late to the party to feel anything close to relevant, but its trailer has already led many to criticise the movie as a distasteful trivialisation of a real life tragedy. The trailer in question does indeed leave me to believe that Slender Man won’t be all too diplomatic in treading the line between fact and fiction, but we’ll have to withhold judgement until the movie releases later this year. At the very least, it’ll be interesting to see how the Slender Man himself is portrayed by Javier Botet, who’s tasked with the lofty challenge of playing a faceless, wordless boogie man. Alex Avard

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Release date: May 25, 2018 

"Never tell me the odds." That's surely what everybody's favorite roguish Star Wars smuggler would say in response to all the production hiccups that have encumbered the making of this Han Solo origin story. Switching directors and scheduling copious reshoots is always a bit disconcerting, but with any luck, getting to see a younger Han (played by Alden Ehrenreich) palling around with Lando (Donald Glover, in an ingenious casting move) will make us forget all about any pre-release troubles. Rogue One set the stage for what A Star Wars Story can be, but Solo could elevate the concept by fleshing out one of the universe's most beloved characters while contextualizing his timeless appeal for a new generation. Plus, we might finally witness the Millennium Falcon make the famed Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Lucas Sullivan 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

Release date: June 7, 2018 (UK)/June 22, 2018 (US)

Watch the first trailer for Jurassic World 2 or, to give it its full name, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and you’ll get two sensations. One is of sheer joy as your Jurassic Park loving soul gets to watch another dino-packed movie that’s clearly spared no expense, and the other is feeling that it might be the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen. This is all understandable but let’s embrace the trash. It’s a wonderfully silly premise. Raptors! Chris Pratt! A volcano threatening to destroy ALL of the dinosaurs and somehow people actually going back to the island to save the toothy wonders! And hey, if all that can’t convince you, Jeff Goldblum definitely will. Life finds a way indeed. Louise Blain

Ocean's 8

Release date: June 8, 2018 (US)/June 22, 2018 (UK)

Hollywood’s ongoing efforts to produce all-female reboots of beloved films didn’t get off to a great start with the well-intentioned, but slightly disappointing Ghostbusters movie, and that puts a lot of pressure on Ocean’s 8 this year. Billed as a modern spin-off to the George Clooney led Ocean’s Eleven series of heist flicks, the cast list alone is enough to leave you reeling with anticipation, with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter all involved as part of the ensemble effort. Here’s hoping the story and script can do justice to the importance of a film like this one; in the climate of today’s entertainment industry, a smart, show-stopping female-led blockbuster could be more valuable than ever. Alex Avard 

Incredibles 2

Release date: June 15, 2018

The superhero family are finally back, 15 years after their cinematic debut. Incredibles 2 picks up straight after the end of the first movie and it looks like it’ll focus more on Helen Parr (otherwise known as Elastigirl) going to work while Bob, her husband and fellow superhero Mr Incredible, stays at home looking after their three kids. There’s sure to be conflict between the Parr’s home life and Helen becoming part of the work force once again. Everything suggests that it’ll be just as on-point with its satire as the first movie considering Brad Bird is writing and directing this sequel. Oh, and the family still don’t know about Jack-Jack’s bewildering range of powers. They’d better get their fire extinguishers ready… Zoe Delahunty-Light 

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Release date: July 2, 2018 (UK)/July 6, 2018 (US)

The original Ant-Man turned out to be a surprise delight for Marvel’s roster. Ant-Man and the Wasp is doubling down on Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly chemistry by teaming Rudd’s tiny superhero with Lilly’s role as the Wasp, a winged, equally shrinking, partner. We’ve seen Lilly’s amazing physique for the part, and we know the film focuses on her, while Michael Douglas is back as Hank Pym, with Michelle Pfeiffer joining as Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp, and Lilly’s on-screen mother. Her casting suggests we might see some past action, especially with Laurence Fishburne as Goliath, a giant-sized running mate of the original Ant-Man and Wasp team. While the plot’s still secret, a heist is definitely involved, and a new villain called The Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen, an invisible thief who can pass through walls. Leon Hurley 

Alita: Battle Angel

Release date: July 20, 2018 

In development thanks to James Cameron for around 20 years, Alita: Battle Angel - an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s 1990-1995 manga, Gunnm - is one of the most exciting films of 2018 just by nature of the fact that it actually exists now. Finally ready for release, thanks to Robert Rodriguez stepping into script-edit and directing duties based on Cameron’s original notes, little is known of the exact plot of the adaptation. We do know that it concerns a scrapped female cyborg found in a post-apocalyptic junk yard, brought back to amnesiac life by a well-meaning scientist before going on a skull-cracking journey of discovery. Given Gunnm’s nine-book run and pre-existing anime adaptation, there’s a lot of material to draw from, and it does look great. The junky, despairing world-building evokes the original work brilliantly, and Alita herself has come to life with an affectingly unreal sense of reality. David Houghton

Mission: Impossible 6

Release date: July 27, 2018

With most of the cast returning from the excellent Rogue Nation, which very much stopped the rot of this great spy franchise, expectations are high for Mission: Impossible 6. Nothing is known of the actual plot right now, but we can expect the usual globe-hopping adventure, with filming locations taking in Norway, New Zealand, India, Paris, and London. We would probably have gotten M:I6 earlier, if star Tom Cruise (who plays Ethan Hunt) hadn’t entered into a salary dispute in the middle of 2017. Because of this filming delay, one of the few high-profile losses from Rogue Nation is Jeremy Renner, who couldn’t commit to M:I6 and Avengers: Infinity War. Cast members new to the franchise include Henry Cavill, Henry Cavill’s moustache, and Angela Basset, while Ving Rhames (Luther), and Simon Pegg (Benji) return, along with Rebecca Ferguson who played Isla Faust in Rogue Nation. Based on that last movie alone, and the returning cast… consider us hyped! Andy Hartup

The Predator 

Release date: August 3, 2018

After Lethal Weapon, Iron Man, and Robocop, it only makes sense that one of Hollywood's sharpest writers turns his head towards the Predator. In fact, one of Shane Black’s first gigs in the industry was playing the role of Hawkins in the original Predator movie, so his upcoming sequel (now behind the camera instead of in front of it) almost seems like a cinematic journey come full circle. No, Arnie won’t be back, but reports of returning to the intimate scale and mysterious atmosphere of the original is good news all around for fans and franchise newcomers alike. Who knows? After the disappointment of Alien: Covenant, this movie could mark the predator reclaiming its throne as the movie monster to be reckoned with. Alex Avard

Venom

Release date: October 5, 2018

Venom is an outlier in the world of comic book movies. It isn’t attached to other universes – as much as Sony want it to be – and it’s got to tempt audiences with the idea of a solo film starring a character who is predominantly known as a villain. So, how do you get that done? Cast Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, that’s how. A lot of the film is currently under wraps, but, if successful, it could kickstart a Sony-led cinematic universe with the *counts on fingers* three characters not owned by Disney. If nothing else, it’s packing a killer cast: Hardy is joined by Rogue One’s Riz Ahmed, the Han Solo movie’s Woody Harrelson, and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams. With the movie calendar awash with MCU releases from now until the end of time, this could be a nice palette cleanser for those who like their Marvel flicks a little darker, and filled with symbiotes. Bradley Russell

Halloween

Release date: October 19, 2018

I know, I know. If Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Final Destination, Saw, and Friday the 13th are anything to go by, reboots and modern sequels to classic horror franchises never end with good results. But the 2018 Halloween movie could be different. Jamie Lee Curtis is returning as franchise icon Laurie Strode, Danny McBride is helping pen the script (suggesting that the movie will have a healthy sense of self-aware humour), and John Carpenter himself is on board to produce and score. Heck, even the original man behind the mask, Nick Castle, is back to reprise his role as knife enthusiast turned serial killer Michael Myers. All things considered, we may have a revived slasher horror masterpiece on our hands this October. Alex Avard 

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Release date: November 2, 2018

Being completely honest here: X-Men: Apocalypse was… not great. Thankfully Dark Phoenix is a return to one of X-Men’s best storylines. Set in the ‘90s after the X-Men have sprung to global fame, Professor X’s vanity has got the better of him and is beginning to affect the group. Little do they know that something altogether more threatening than a failed TIME cover shoot is about to hit them - and it’s going to be triggered by their rescue mission into space. Yes, space. I won’t say how, but rest assured once the malicious Phoenix Force is awoken its thirst for destruction is all-consuming, giving Sophie Turner the chance to show us the same acting mettle that we’ve already seen in Game of Thrones. Zoe Delahunty-Light

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Release date: November 16, 2018

The second of an intimidating five movie series revolving around Fantastic Beasts author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), The Crimes of Grindelwald takes us further into familiar Harry Potter territory. While Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), surfaced at the end of the first movie, Dumbledore’s friend turned nemesis is taking the limelight this time around as the action moves from New York to Paris. Scamander returns with the motley crew from Fantastic Beasts and this time will be joined by Jude Law as a young Professor Dumbledore. Presumably he’ll be hunting down Grindelwald for the big showdown that Rowling fans are already nodding smugly about. A magical Christmas lies ahead. Louise Blain

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Release date: November 21, 2018

Like your Grandma Ethel, Wreck-It Ralph is finally getting hooked up to the internet. The sequel to 2012's love letter to arcade games focuses on what happens when the arcade that Ralph (John C. Reilly) calls home gets plugged into the world wide web. He and Penelope (Sarah Silverman) venture into the electric interwebs to try and find a part to fix Penelope's game, Sugar Rush. The teaser trailer didn't tell us much, but we know that things get real meta, with Penelope visiting a Disney fansite called Oh My Disney (which exists IRL) and meeting all the Disney Princesses. There'll also be cameos from Star Wars favorites, Marvel's Iron Man, and Gamora, and - we'd bet our cheezeburger loving cat on it - meme references aplenty. Let's just hope Ralph and Penelope don't take a wrong turn down a broadband pipe and end up on 4chan. No one wants to see that. Rachel Weber

Creed 2

Release date: November 21, 2018

Director Ryan Coogler may be too busy with Black Panther to return to the Rocky franchise for Creed 2, but there’s still plenty of reasons to be excited for this sequel to the Michael B. Jordan-led sports drama. 2015’s Creed excelled in its ability to intertwine the origin story of wrestling newcomer Adonis Johnson with the legacy of a cinematic icon, so of course it’s exciting to see what this next chapter holds for both Donnie and Rocky now that the former has cemented himself as a future wrestling star. Sly Stallone himself was originally on board to direct, but has since voluntarily dropped out to hand the reins over to rising talent Steven Caple Jr. Given that this whole spin-off series is about the passing of the torch, I reckon that’s probably for the best. Alex Avard 

Bumblebee: The Movie 

Release date: December 21, 2018 (US)/ December 26, 2018 (UK)

No one’s denying that the last few Transformers movies have been, well, awful. Like, really, really bad. But allow me this moment to play devil’s (or should that be Michael’s?) advocate for a second, as I try and make you hopeful for Bumblebee: The Movie - the upcoming Transformers spin-off focusing on the titular autobot from Paramount’s blockbuster franchise. Firstly, it’s not directed by Michael Bay (phew), but Travis Knight, who’s best known for his work at Laika, on animated movies such as Paranorman, Boxtrolls, and last year’s Kubo and the Two Strings (his directorial debut). Then there’s the cast. No more Mark Wahlberg playing Mark Wahlberg with glasses, but now we have the likes of Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena leading what is essentially a prequel to Bay’s original Transformers movie of 2007. Yes, chances are that it’s going to be just as bloated and jingoistic as the other dozen films in the franchise, but fingers crossed that Bumblebee is actually able to surprise us this year. Alex Avard

Aquaman

Release date: December 21, 2018

Back in the Super Friends days, Aquaman seemed pretty low on the heroics totem pole, perhaps just a step above the Wonder Twins. But the modern-day Aquaman of DC's Extended Universe is a far cry from the orange tights of old, and what we saw of the Atlantean in Justice League has us (relatively) excited for more. Jason Momoa is perfect as Arthur Curry - not just because he's ridiculously ripped, but also thanks to the brazen machismo he brings to the character, like a toned-down version of the water-breathing, fish-commanding royal's depiction in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Aquaman's solo movie should give us plenty of action, more screen time for Aquaman's people (like Amber Heard as Queen Mera), and hopefully at least one surfing scene. Lucas Sullivan

 Bohemian Rhapsody 

Release date: December 25, 2018

Much like the song it’s named after, Bohemian Rhapsody’s ongoing journey to the big screen has already been marked by a frenzy of ups and downs. First Sacha Baron Cohen quit after working on pre-production for six years on the Queen biopic, before director Bryan Singer then departed the project only last December, reportedly due to an unprofessional demeanour that didn’t sit well with Rami Malek, who’s set to play Freddie Mercury himself. We still don’t even have a trailer for the movie yet, but the single image that has been released, of Malek giving it his all as Mercury on stage, is admittedly tantalising enough to keep us hopeful about the prospects for this one. Alex Avard 

Mary Poppins Returns

Release date: December 25, 2018

You could practically hear the collective head shaking and hushed tutting when Disney first announced it was making a sequel to Mary Poppins; its crowning achievement from the early days of family cinema. But take the news with a spoonful of sugar, and you’ll soon see that there’s hope for this unexpected follow-up yet. The always wonderful Emily Blunt replaces Julie Andrews as the magical English supernanny for this musical sequel, starring alongside the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and even Dick Van Dyke, returning for an undisclosed cameo role. Considering Disney’s strong recent history with modern reboots from its back catalogue, from The Jungle Book to Beauty and the Beast, this could well turn out to be the Mary Poppins sequel we never knew we needed. Alex Avard