Now that we’re back at the start, I’ve assembled my list of Most Anticipated Films for 2024. It’s always exciting to look ahead at the upcoming releases for the year. Keeping that in mind, I’m well aware that some movies may not even be on my radar as of yet. However, it’s always fascinating to have an idea of all the current potential and narrow it down to a collection of intriguing or fun-looking titles. The following is a month-by-month look at what movies I look forward to seeing this year (links for trailers where available). Feel free to name the films you are all looking forward to in the comments.
First, let’s start with a recap of my 2023 picks:
January – Infinity Pool – Intriguing, gross, and repetitive. Creepy work from Mia Goth, but little else once I got the idea down.
February – Knock at the Cabin – Shyamalan’s best film since Signs. A well-acted, thrilling piece of work.
March – Creed III – This series has tremendous consistency. Even though Jonathan Majors isn’t in the best light right now, he made for a compelling villain, with Michael B. Jordan delivering assured direction in the process.
April – Renfield – Cage was the best part of this film, as one would expect, and while not as strong as it could have been, still impressed by just how gory it was willing to be.
May – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – James Gunn delivered a terrific finale for his family of misfits, matching humor, imaginative set pieces, and emotion together for the highlight of the MCU’s 2023 output.
June – Asteroid City – Wes Anderson continues to show how his recognizable style still opens doors to new and ambitious approaches to narrative and filmmaking in this farce that delivers plenty of humor as well as its touches of sadness.
July – Oppenheimer – I had little doubt Christopher Nolan wouldn’t be able to pull off a film like this, but having it be as massive a crowd-pleasing blockbuster as it ended up being was the best kind of surprise.
August – The Last Voyage of the Demeter – I really enjoyed the premise of this one. While it ended up more on the average side, the depiction of Dracula and other elements made this enjoyable enough.
September – Next Goal Wins – Taika Waititi’s long-delayed sports comedy finally arrived and left little impact on most. However, as a small-scale film calling back to 90s sports comedies, there was fun to be had here.
October – The Creator – Originally titled “True Love,” I was delighted to see director Gareth Edwards deliver an original sci-fi adventure that looked fantastic and played well with its approachable yet layered story.
November – Dune: Part Two – Delayed
December – Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – This iteration of the DCU may have gone out on a whimper in terms of box office and general regard, but even if it wasn’t as strong as the first, I still had a fun time watching Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson have essentially a buddy team-up superhero movie.
The Book of Clarence (1/12)
Here’s the thing – I try not to put films here that I’ve already seen, but January can also be a bit of a wash. That said, I’ve already seen several films opening wide this month, including Origin and Society of the Snow, which are both terrific. There’s also the Sundance Film Festival, which has far more going for it than most mainstream releases hitting theaters this month. And who knows, maybe David Ayer will impress me more than expected with his Jason Statham action flick, The Beekeeper. That said, while I’ll have more to say in a full review, The Book of Clarence would be the film I’m anticipating most this month because of how impressed I was with Jeymes Samual’s first film, The Harder They Fall. Now, he has a sharp (if a bit long) comedy staged as a biblical epic and asks interesting questions about knowledge vs. faith. Having the always-engaging LaKeith Stanfield in the lead role certainly helps as well.
Drive-Away Dolls (2/23)
A few interesting options hit in February. Argylle may have become the most obnoxious trailer simply by being attached to every movie. Still, I like Matthew Vaughn quite a bit. Frankenstein has been all the rage as of late, so Zelda Williams and Diablo Cody combining for a new modern take could be something. I’m all for a film covering the life of Bob Marley (see the doc Marley), though I may be reading too much into its February release date. Also, Madame Web exists, I guess. Still, Ethan Coen has a movie on the way. Even with the Coen brothers being separated now, I’m always going to be interested in what they are bringing, and this road-trip crime comedy looks entirely in their wheelhouse, complete with a stacked cast. Plus, it’s never not funny thinking of Ethan making a big wacky movie purely to spite his brother’s very artsy (and excellent) Macbeth adaptation.
Other Notable Releases: Argylle, Bob Marley: One Love, Land of Bad, Lisa Frankenstein, Madame Web, The Monk and the Gun, Orion and the Dark, Out of Darkness, The Promised Land, Red Right Hand, Scrambled
Mickey 17 (3/29)
As usual, March is where more notable blockbusters start kicking into gear, and there are several films of all sizes to keep in mind here. That includes a lot of sequels, including a Kung Fu Panda and a Ghostbusters. There’s Dune, of course, but that was on my list last year, so it’s not the featured pick here. On the smaller side, Adam Sandler has a serious sci-fi movie, Loves Lies Bleeding could be a fun neo-noir, and The American Society of Magical Negroes is already in the running for best movie title of the year. That said, Mickey 17 is Bong Joon-ho’s first film since cleaning up at the Oscars, and he’s brought with him Robert Pattinson, so that’s where I’m at. It’s a sci-film film about a man sent into space to colonize a foreign world, with the catch being that if he dies, a clone will just replace him, sharing all the same memories. Sounds great!
Other Notable Releases: The American Society of Magical Negroes, Arthur the King, Damsel, DogMan, Dune: Part Two, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Imaginary, Kung Fu Panda 4, Late Night with the Devil, Love Lies Bleeding, One Life, Ricky Stanicky, Road House, Spaceman, Wicked Little Letters
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (4/12)
I’ll get it out of the way – there’s no version of this list where the latest Godzilla movie wouldn’t be on it. Godzilla vs. Kong was a lot of splashy fun (and the film that saved movie theaters earlier than Top Gun: Maverick). If that was the end of the MonsterVerse, it would have been sufficient. But the film was a hit, and here we are with Godzilla x Kong. Awesome. I’m ready for it, even if it comes up short of what Toho’s Godzilla Minus One accomplished. Otherwise, April has a variety of stuff, including Alex Garland’s already notable Civil War, and Omen prequel for some reason, part two of Zack Snyder’s sci-fi saga, Rebel Moon, and the delayed sports drama Challengers from Luca Guadagnino.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (5/24)
So begins the Summer movie season, and while some studios are pumping out less IP this year, there are still plenty of notables to look out for. The Fall Guy is the first non-Marvel movie kicking off the Summer in over 15 years. Planet of the Apes is back, with director Wes Ball looking to pick up where the previous films left off. Linklater’s very intriguing Hit Man is supposedly coming to Netflix. Garfield is back for some reason, while John Krasinski is pivoting to family fantasy comedy. With all that in mind, madman director George Miller is ready for another Mad Max story with his Furiosa spin-off set to deliver wild action and new ground for Anya Taylor-Joy’s take on the character to cover.
The Bikeriders (6/21)
Granted, The Bikeriders was so far along before getting delayed from its original 2023 release date that the film had screened at multiple film festivals. Still, I’m not going to deny being excited by a new film from Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud), and the story about a motorcycle gang in the 60s looks pretty compelling. Otherwise, June also offers a new Bad Boys sequel, a new Beverly Hills Cop, another Inside Out, a prequel to A Quiet Place, the first part of a two-part western epic from Kevin Costner, and M. Night Shyamalan’s (more on him in a bit) daughter’s feature directorial debut focused on strangers stranded in a forest with mysterious creatures.
Deadpool 3 (7/26)
So far, July isn’t stacked with releases, but that will change. However, despite all of the irritating rumors and reveals about who will star/cameo in the only MCU release of 2024, Deadpool 3 is my pick for the month, as I am certainly curious what it will be. As a potential buddy comedy featuring the Merc with the Mouth and a reluctant Hugh Jackman, that has a lot of fun potential, even if its choice of director doesn’t quite get me revved up. With that, there’s also another Despicable Me, a space race-set rom-com with Johansson and Tatum, and a new take on Twister from the director of Minari. Hopefully, they have cows.
Other Notable Releases: Despicable Me 4, Janet Planet, Project Artemis, Twisters
As a rule, I just don’t get myself excited for video game movies, so despite my curiosity about Eli Roth’s Borderlands (amid all the reshoot drama), featuring a wild cast, other things stand out more. There’s a new Alien film from Fede Alvarez, the second part of Costner’s Western epic, maybe the much-delayed Harold and the Purple Crayon movie, and Sony’s latest attempt at a villain-led Spider-Man-less movie, Kraven. Still, I’m happy to put faith in M. Night Shyamalan, who has a film called Trap starring Josh Hartnett. It’s a thriller set at a concert from Warner Bros, and that’s all we know about it so far. With that said, Knock of the Cabin was Shyamalan’s best film since Signs, and even with recent flicks such as Magic Beach Old, I remain intrigued by whatever he has going, so, hey, Trap has my attention.
Other Notable Releases: Alien: Romulus, Borderlands, Flint Strong, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Horizon: An American Saga – Part 2, Kraven the Hunter, Speak No Evil
So, 9-16 year-old-me probably wouldn’t believe you if he was told Tim Burton is making Beetlejuice 2. This fills me with dread, especially given that I already know it will be a big hit, thanks to the right combination of nostalgic ingredients. Still, I’ll hope for the best and see what comes. Otherwise, September has a few movies to distract from all the news bound to come out of the various film festivals. There’s a Transformers animated movie, a follow-up to the surprisingly strong Saw X, and my pick for the month – Wolfs. Clooney and Pitt are back together for a crime comedy about fixers from director Jon Watts, taking a break from Spider-Man movies.
Other Notable Releases: Beetlejuice 2, Saw XI, Transformers One, The Wild Robot
Joker: Folie á Deux (10/4)
As much as we’ve all been waiting to see the much-delayed Holocaust-focused spin-off of Wonder (yes, that’s real), October has scarier prospects on the table, such as Smile 2 and Terrifier 3, the latter of which I am very excited about. Meanwhile, as a follow-up to the billion-dollar DC standalone that was Joker, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix are back, and they’ve brought Lady Gaga along for a musical sequel. I have no idea what that’s going to look like, so even as one who found the first film to be average, this bizarre energy going into this sequel seems interesting enough, even if it means we’ll all have to spell out Folie á Deux for the months surrounding the film.
Gladiator 2 (11/22)
Speaking of “what the hell is this going to be,” Ridley Scott is finally delivering Gladiator 2 (my subtitle prediction: A Rising Empire) after years of us questioning “why?” Well, with a new focus on young Lucius from the previous Best Picture winner, there’s now a star-studded sequel featuring Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal, along with a returning Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi, and Djimon Hounsou. Plus, as a bonus for all of us, Denzel Washington is in this thing. So yeah, whatever Ridley is cooking up, it’s more exciting than expected. Also this month – the first part of the surprisingly split into two Wicked movies, a Santa Claus movie with The Rock and Chris Evans, a third Venom film that will continue to let Tom Hardy run wild, and the return of Paddington, with an impossibly high bar to try and reach.
Other Notable Releases: Alto Nights, The Amateur, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Paddington in Peru, Red One, Venom 3, Wicked: Part One
The year comes to an end for mainstream flicks on a bit of an odd note, as Warner Bros. is releasing an animated Lord of the Rings film, while Disney has a Lion King prequel directed by Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins. Do audiences want either of these things? I have no idea, but I’m curious about what they offer. Meanwhile, Sonic the Hedgehog will go for the three-peat of success, and the next next Karate Kid is ready to attack. Still, I’m setting my eyes on Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu. Between Nosferatu films and what Eggers has already delivered, the batting average is incredibly high between them. I’m all for whatever approach is being taken to once again realize F.W. Murnau’s take on Dracula.
Other Notable Releases: Karate Kid 6(?), The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim, Mufasa: The Lion King, Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Dates Not Yet Set:
Of course, while plenty of films are listed, there is still only so much to be aware of in January, as plenty of other releases have not been scheduled yet. So, I’m happy to shout out some titles I am keeping in mind, such as Blitz, Echo Valley, The End, The Governess, Havoc, Hedda, Here, Horizon, Hot Milk, In the Blink of an Eye, Juror No. 2, Maria, Megalopolis, Nightbitch, Oh Canada, The Piano Lesson, Polaris, Salem’s Lot, Shirley, The Shrouds, Weapons, Wildwood, The Way of the Wind, and more. Plus, these films and others are coming from directors Andrea Arnold, Clint Eastwood, David Cronenberg, Edward Berger, Gareth Evans, Guy Ritchie, Jacques Audiard, Joachim Trier, Joshua Oppenheimer, Lynn Ramsay, Paul Schrader, Robert Zemeckis, Sean Baker, Steve McQueen, Steven Soderbergh, Terrence Malick, Ti West, Yorgos Lanthimos, Zach Cregger, and Francis Ford Coppola.