Winter Movie Preview: 31 Movies To Watch Out For

Traditionally, winter blockbusters don't get released before May 1. But, as in so many other ways, Avengers: Infinity War is making its own rules. It's decided the winter movie season began this Wednesday, April 25, and everyone else can deal with it. All we can do is to tell you about the other 30 big movies coming out afterwards, including heady sci-fi films, a slew of sequels, and different superheroes.


April

Avengers: Infinity War

What can we say that hasn't already been said about Avengers: Infinity War? It's the culmination of 10 years of Marvel movies, bringing together basically every hero we've seen in that time. It has one of the largest, most impressive casts in history. It's following Marvel's biggest hit ever, Black Panther.

And the fact that Disney wouldn't let reviewers see it until this week - a few days before its actual release - means that it's trying very hard to avoid spoilers, which means whatever happens in it, it's huge. Check out our review here. (April 25)


May

Lu Over the Wall

Lu Over the Wall is just your basic anime about a young boy in a band, which just so happens to have a mermaid in it. The mermaid is really good at getting people to dance, but unfortunately most people have long believed mermaids are bad news - which causes quite a problem when the boy and the mermaid form a deep friendship. So, you know, pretty standard stuff. (May 11 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Higher Power

You owe it to yourself to watch this trailer for Higher Power. It starts off feeling familiar, but by the end, it looks like an entirely different movie, in the best possible way.

It's about a man who is kidnapped and infused with mysterious powers that get more and more complex as he gets angrier. And from the trailer it looks as though he doesn't just become super-powerful, he may become some kind of giant, ethereal being? So yeah, this looks very interesting. (May 11 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Show Dogs

A cop, played by Ludacris, and his partner, played by Will Arnett, go undercover in a high stakes competition to uncover a criminal mastermind. That doesn't sound bad, right? Well, what if Ludacris was the voice of a talking dog and the high stakes competition was a dog show? A little worse? Yeah, we thought so, too. But that's what Show Dogs is all about. (May 13)

Deadpool 2

Very few people saw the massive success of the first Deadpool coming. However, the wisecracking hero won't have that element of surprise this time around. This time he's armed not just with guns and swords, but with a prime winter release date; new heroes including Cable (Josh Brolin), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and the X-Force team; and way more money to spend.

There's no doubt the film will be action-packed and hilarious, but it's also possible that a lot of Deadpool's charm was because it wasn't a million-dollar budget, superhero-packed film. (May 16)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Based on a story by Neil Gaiman (Sandman) and directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), How to Talk to Girls at Parties follows several young men in 1970s London as they try to pick up girls, only to find out the girls are literally aliens. Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman star, but unfortunately, since its debut at the Cannes Film Festival last year, buzz has not been great for this one. (May 18 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Future World

This post-apocalyptic film directed by James Franco (who also stars) is a Mad Max-inspired tale about a prince travelling across a mean desert to get a medicine to save his mum.

If you have no interest in Franco's work nowadays, you might take some comfort in that it honestly it looks kind of bad, which is a shame for the other stars including Suki Waterhouse, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Lucy Liu and Milla Jovovich. Maybe there's more to it, but we aren't holding our breath. (May 25 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Solo: A Star Wars Story

It's still hard to fathom that mere months ago we had a new Star Wars movie and now we're already getting another. The franchise's second standalone entry follows a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as he becomes the smuggler/nerf herder we know and love from the original trilogy.

Director Ron Howard came on the film late and audiences are dying to know if he salvaged what sounded like a significantly troubled production. The good news is, the more we see from the movie, the better it looks. (May 24)


June

Hereditary

When this film debuted at Sundance earlier this year, the stories of how terrified people were by the film sold us on it, right then and there. Evan Narcisse saw it at South by Southwest and loved it (his review is here).

It's about what happens when a family realises the matriarch they lost had a secret (freaky, awful, alarming... the trailer is very unsettling) past they did not know about. (June 7)

Hotel Artemis

Here's one that's been a little under the radar, which is crazy considering its cast. Jodie Foster plays a nurse who runs a futuristic, secret hospital for criminals; among her patients are characters played by Jeff Goldblum, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day and Jenny Slate. Oh, and Dave Bautista is in it, too.

It's the directorial debut of Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce, and from everything we've seen Hotel Artemis is definitely one of our most-anticipated films. (June 8 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Upgrade

Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who co-created Saw and Insidious, Upgrade got some good buzz when it debuted at South by Southwest and the trailer lives up to that.

It's about a man who is implanted with a chip that gives him superpowers, but the chip also completely takes over his motor functions. That plot sounds oddly familiar, but apparently the movie messes with those tropes in some interesting and cool ways. (June 14)

Incredibles 2

Fourteen years after the first movie became an instant classic, director Brad Bird is finally releasing his Incredibles sequel. The sequel picks up right at the end of the original film, but moves on with a story about a company that wants to bring supers back, and thinks Elastigirl is the perfect spokesperson to do that - leaving Mr Incredible with three kids to manage.

The trailers look great and, well, it's Pixar. Expectations are always high. (June 14)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

In the second film in what's going to be a new Jurassic Park trilogy, the park is closed and no one wants to go there because of all the loose dinosaurs that ate people. But the main characters will have to return to save the dinosaurs from a killer volcano and yet another genetically mutated creation, too.

Though we've see a few trailers for this one, it still feels relatively mysterious, which is probably a good thing. Plus Jeff Goldblum is back, which is definitely a great thing. (June 21)

Under the Silver Lake

This isn't technically a science fiction or fantasy movie, but it looks weird and wonderful as hell so we're here for it.

Directed by David Robert Mitchell, who did It Follows, this movie follows a man (Andrew Garfield) who becomes obsessed with symbolism and riddles in Los Angeles after a mysterious clue is left at the scene of a missing girl. It's kind of like Inherent Vice meets Zodiac, which is a combination we're very interested in checking out. (June 22 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation

Yes, they made a third Hotel Transylvania movie. No, we didn't see the second one. But the franchise has its fans and director Genndy Tartakovsky is still one of the best animation directors out there.

He's once again assembled an amazing cast (Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher and Mel Brooks) for this film about Dracula and his family going on a cruise. (June 28)

Hover

It's bad enough that, in Hover, the world has degenerated to a state where humanity relies on drones to get us food. But when it's revealed that an evil entity is behind those drones and that the drones will stop at nothing to keep the secret? Well, that's just a damn shame. (June 29 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)


July

Ant-Man and the Wasp

A few short weeks after Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues! Paul Rudd is back as Ant-Man and he's joined by Evangeline Lilly as Wasp, making her the first female superhero to be in the title of a Marvel movie, which, better late than never.

The biggest challenge for Ant-Man and the Wasp is following potentially the biggest Marvel movie ever with maybe the smallest (pun semi-intended). The first Ant-Man movie was fine, but giving Hope Van Dyne her own shrinking powers and getting Scott Lang a real partner adds a great deal of potential. (July 5)

Sorry to Bother You

This Sundance standout starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson is about an alternate reality where a telemarketer learns a trick to help him get to the top of his business. That trick is for he, a black man, to use an ultra "white" sounding voice. The change makes him ultra successful, opening up a whole new world of opportunity. Which is pretty messed up.

It seems as though writer-director Boots Riley has come up with a twisted, dark tale that will press more than a few buttons. This was another one of our favourites from SXSW; our review is here. (July 6 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

In this ultra-meta animated film, everyone's favourite teen superhero team goes to Hollywood because every other superhero is getting a movie and they want one, too. But when they get there, they find they have to save the world from an evil supervillain, natch.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is almost a PG-rated, animated Deadpool and, come to think of it, that sounds pretty damn excellent. (July 26)


August

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

For the first time in Mission: Impossible history, a director has returned to make a second film. That director is Christopher McQuarrie, whose last film, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, was way better than it had any right to be.

Fallout hopes to continue that trend by bringing back not just series regulars such as Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, but other familiar characters, such as the ones played by Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Monaghan. Then, of course, there's good ol', never-ageing Tom Cruise, saving the world one more time by performing his own insane stunts. (August 2)

The First Purge

For the fourth film in The Purge franchise, Universal and Blumhouse are taking things back to the beginning: The very first time the United States made all crime legal for 12 hours.

Back then, it was relegated to one small area, Staten Island, and while that may sound like a smaller version of the previous two films, the fact we know where the experiment goes and all the future horror it inspires (thanks to three larger sequels) is almost scarier than anything that could happen in the movie. (August 2)

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds looks like a young adult spin on the X-Men. It takes place in a future where most kids are dead and the ones who aren't are persecuted because they have powers. So, of course, a group of these powerful kids decide to rise up against the status quo.

All the elements are here for a potential franchise and, if the movie does well, author Alexandra Bracken has three more books ready for adaptation. (August 2)

John Cho in Searching.Photo: Sony

Searching

In Searching, John Cho plays a father whose daughter is missing, so begins a desperate search to find her, and the entire drama unfolds on a computer screen.

This sounds crazy, but the film got great buzz out of Sundance and was picked up by Sony. Apparently, it's incredibly tense and exciting even though it's told in an unconventional (and seemingly dull) manner. (August 3 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

A scene from A.X.L. Image: Global Road Entertainment

A.X.L.

What happens when a young kid finds a military-enhanced robot dog with a heart of gold? The new movie A.X.L. is here to answer that question. The boy and the dog develop the kind of bond only a boy and his dog could - but then, of course, the military wants the dog back.

We realise it sounds, and looks, kind of awful, but it's being described as kind of Short Circuit or Flight of the Navigator, which are both good in that "I saw them in the '80s" way. So maybe kids will like this one. (August 10 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

The Meg

Jason Statham versus a giant shark. What more do you need to know? The trailer makes it obvious the film embraces its cheesiness. Besides, the effects look great, the supporting cast (which includes Li Bingbing, Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson and Cliff Curtis) seems game and, well, it has Jason Statham fighting a giant shark. This is what movies are all about. (August 16)

Down a Dark Hall

Uma Thurman stars as the headmistress of a mysterious boarding school that only has four students. Each of those students are young women who are all considered troubled teens - but when a fifth one arrives (played by AnnaSophia Robb), the group begins to explore the school and realises there's something supernatural at play.

The film is based on a YA novel of the same name and is directed by Rodrigo Cort├ęs, who made the underrated Ryan Reynolds film Buried. (August 17 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Replicas

Replicas is a Keanu Reeves sci-fi movie. Even his worst sci-fi movies are kind of good, but Replicas actually looks like a good one. It's about a genius scientist who loses his family and then continues to recreate and clone them in order to keep them in his life. It's pretty messed up, but in a very intriguing way. (August 24 US release, Australian release yet to be announced)

Slender Man

Slender Man, the popular internet meme turned real-life attempted-murder inspiration, will soon be the star of his very own fictional horror movie.

This movie doesn't deal with any of the character's real-world implications; instead, it simply puts him at the centre of a story much like the ones fans traded online to make him such an iconic character. If the movie is popular, it could easily be the first in a brand new horror franchise. (August 23)

Kin

Kin is based on a short film of the same name and it's about two brothers on the run from the law who happen upon an alien weapon. The cast is stellar, as it includes Dennis Quaid, Carrie Coon, Jack Reynor and Zoe Kravitz, but it also includes James Franco, whose participation feels like a bit of a dark mark on an otherwise great premise. Hopefully, everything else rises above that. (August 30)


September

The Happytime Murders

In a world where humans and puppets live side by side, Melissa McCarthy plays a disgraced Los Angeles cop who reteams with her former partner (a puppet) to solve the murders of several members of a popular puppet sitcom. So basically, it's kind of a hard-boiled detective story, with hard R-rated puppet humour. Sign us the hell up. (September 6)

Christopher Robin

What if Winnie the Pooh's best human friend grew up? That's the basic premise behind Christopher Robin, which stars Ewan McGregor as the title character.

When Christopher Robin's adult life begins to tumble around him, Pooh and all his friends come back into his life to help him through his difficulties. This is unapologetically cheesy but we're absolutely here for it. (September 13)

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