There’s a lot of films on the horizon this year and hell, some of them might even be good. Here’s qmunicate’s top 10 picks of the next semester’s worth of blockbuster delights.
Mother! (September 15th)
Kicking off the Autumn season is another controversial work from director Darren Aronofsky. Booed at Venice and hailed elsewhere, it’s best to go into this one blind and unspoilered as it seems Aronofsky has crafted an unsettling and affecting thriller for the ages. Also props to Aronofsky for managing to fit both Javier Bardem’s jawline and literally anything else onscreen at once – you’ll have to see it to believe it.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (September 20th)
We’ve got a soft spot here for the original Kingsman, not least for popping the heads of the global financial elite in a climactic sequence so cathartic it still registers a pulse in even the most conservative of hearts. It’s a shame then, that with the sequel’s spoilerific publicity run, all its aces seem to have fallen out its sleeves before it’s even made it to the table. That said, with its predecessor’s unabashed disregard for sense or propriety, we shouldn’t write off Kingsman’s ability to surprise just yet.
Blade Runner 2049 (October 6th)
Just pump this neon-noir goodness straight into our veins. From the film’s cryptic trailers it seems director Denis Villeneuve is straying beyond the original’s singular tone in favour of a greater and more varied degree of worldbuilding. But then a budget that goes beyond cardboard boxes, neon tubing and a three-street backlot was always going to push boundaries. That said, why Rick Deckard’s look has evolved from chic retro-futurism to begrudging parent/teacher evening attendee is beyond us.
Thor Ragnarok (October 24th)
It’s Mjölnir time! The last two Thors were a bit gumf if we’re being honest with ourselves here. But with New Zealand’s wunderkind Taika Waititi at the helm and a Flash Gordon-esque vibe a mile wide, this might just be the one to do the Aussie Viking justice.
Call Me by Your Name (October 27th)
Armie Hammer continues his run of excellent post-Lone Ranger career decisions with Luca Guadagnino’s tender coming-of-age romance. The film tells the tale of a blossoming relationship between Hammer’s graduate student and his professor’s son against the setting of the sleepy Italian north. Honestly if the trailer alone isn’t enough to open a new valve in your heart then call your GP.
Murder on the Orient Express (November 3rd)
All aboard the remake express. Pulling in just four years after the conclusion to David Suchet’s stellar run as Hercule Poirot is Kenneth Branagh’s latest directorial effort, with the director himself stepping into the polished shoes of the Belgian detective extraordinaire. With a castlist as long and well-groomed as the sleuth’s trademark moustache, the film is on track to tunnel its way into box office earnings.
Justice League (November 17th)
If the desaturated angst-fest of Batman v Superman: Yawn of Justice wasn’t enough to shake your faith in hench orphans in expensive leotards then step right this way. Its franchise’s turbulent history aside, from the trailers Justice League at least looks like it’s finally found a sense of humour and, if the box office record-breaking Wonder Woman is anything to go by, perhaps a basic grasp of characterisation and plot structure. We live in hope.
Suburbicon (November 24th)
George Clooney gets his handsome director hands all over the Coen brothers’ latest script: a home invasion thriller set in the picket-fenced suburban town of, well, Suburbicon. The trailer shows a fair few hallmarks of the Coen’s comedic style: displaying farcical violence and the surrealism of white-collar America in heaps as Matt Damon’s bereaved father is caught amid the long-suppressed grudges and prejudices pushing through the cracks in Suburbicon’s freshly-mown suburbia.
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (December 14th)
Nothing we could possibly say will convince either you or ourselves to go see this in theatres any less than five times. We cling to the Disney behemoth like a child to an apathetic mother, scared to cast our gaze away to the surrounding moral void. Also we’re pretty sure this is the one where Poe and Finn finally kiss.
Downsizing (December 22nd)
The year concludes with Alexander Payne’s oddball drama Downsizing. Much in the vein of Payne’s prior outings, The Descendants and About Schmidt, his latest follows a modern everyman in a time of crisis and transition. Yet instead of the more mundane emotional outlets of generational bonding or child sponsorship, here Matt Damon’s everyman undergoes medical treatment to shrink himself down to about ankle-height to enjoy a life of luxury in miniature – with his assets inflated in relation to his diminished size. As a premise it’s a bit of a stretch, and could perhaps get too bogged down in the logistics of its central procedure, but in Payne’s capable hands Downsizing looks to be a novel and perhaps insightful perspective on modern life condensed.
[Ronan Duff – @DonanRuff]