Yes, it is that time of the year again. The time to make list (reminders for the brave ones) of the visual delights and amazements we are going to indulge ourselves to. This is also an annual ritual for me, sometimes I share them on this blog when I have time+energy enough to write a proper blogpost, nevertheless I always have an IMDb list created so that I can keep track of the cinema that releases in a calendar year. Even though I keep a list ready, I don’t necessarily watch them in the same calendar year itself, due to several reasons (time enough, backlogs, and also due to the emergence of amazing TV – traditional or internet – in recent years). Nevertheless, the list I create each year serves to me as a guide for me for the entire year, and for the ones I missed, to make sure I catch up to the most anticipated for this year in coming years.
Insofar I have been creating the most anticipated movies of a year in 2 parts – main list and Hindi. However this year, I have taken a different route and I have classified movies in 4 different categories. Reason is that, in last few years, there have been some changes however, such as:
The quality of Bollywood and Indian movies have been fluctuating quite a lot, as usual, meaning, one can hardly anticipate well. Especially for the global audience. Pity is that, despite of how high and low Indian cinema goes, it remains highly unpredictable to be anticipated by an audience unbounded by geography. Despite that, I usually create a list of Hindi/Indian movies that, given the global cinema sensibilities, I am personally inclined to watch and could be looking forward to. Henceforth, I feel that this list is safe enough for all the audiences.
There is a surge of Hollywood parallel cinema in last few years, parallel cinema being a set of cinema that has ran parallel to the general cinema schedule, on its own. And successfully. I call it ‘comic-con’, partly due to its nature and partly due to the ability of this kind of cinema to have created an event in itself. This is not a criticism in any manners, given I myself go to the theatres to watch a lot of the movies from this genres every year and I fully enjoy watching them. But, this is truly remarkable in the terms of how these movies have created a worldwide psyche for these movies. This classification is also (and mostly) due to how the nature of blockbusters have been re-defined in last few years, mainly due to the emergence of these movies. How the nature of blockbusters have been re-defined is probably the biggest achievement for this genre, as well as, a paradigm shift in audience awareness and change in how cinema schedule has been operating in these years.
I have created another classification this year for animation movies, mainly due to my own likings and watching patterns.
And in the end, of course, is the primary list of the he most anticipated movies of the year. THE LIST.
Hope the list still remains worthwhile to you. However, if you happened to not like this classification, you can safely skip sections, though not missing the main section.
As far the orders of the movies are concerned, usual caveats apply, for example, my own biases, movies that I personally anticipate the most (which may not be the same for you), movie genres that I don’t usually watch or look forward to, genres that I live and die for, and so on and forth. Also, the factual information of the movies are not my creations, they have been read/borrowed/re-written/opined/edited/created/sometimes even copied from several sources.
I shall start the list in this order: Hindi, Animation, Comic-con, the primary list.
Please note that the ranking of anticipation is entirely mine.
So, here begins the definitive (still an almost, I guess) list of 183 movies that release in 2018, anticipated by all or respective audiences.
10. Paltan / Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety
First is JP Dutta’s usual multi-starrer film based on 1962 India-China war, and second is Luv Ranjan’s usual comedy/romance about a war between bromance and romance.
9. Mogul: The Gulshan Kumar Story
Biopic of founder of giant Indian music company Gulshan Kumar. Directed by Subhash Kapoor, starring Akshay Kumar and others.
Reema Kagti’s sport drama set in 1948, the historic story of India’s first Olympic medal post their independence. Starring Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar.
Nandita Das directs Nawazuddin Siddiqui as writer Saadat Hasan Manto’s life set in 1940s India.
Neeraj Pandey’s long awaiting drug crime-action starring Akshay Kumar.
Delhi Belly co-director Akshat Verma’s first solo direction film, looks quite similar to DB in story or treatment or jokes, almost like a sequel. Should be fun nonetheless. Starring Saif Ali Khan and several of the Delhi Belly star cast. [Trailer]
4. Pad Man
R Balki stars Akshay Kumar in the real-life story of Tamil Nadu activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, whose mission was to provide sanitary napkin’s to poor women of rural areas.
3. The Field
Quite a few years already in making, Rohit Karn Batra’s directorial debut is a bilingual crime movie and stars Brendan Fraser, Ronit Roy, Abhay Deol, and Neeraj Kabi. Plot: A classic crime narrative in the backdrop of Delhi merges a dysfunctional, mafia family at war with each other as an undercover officer fights his demons by assisting in their downfall.
Starring Akshay Kumar, Diljit Dosanjh &Pavan Malhotra and based on the Battle of Saragarhi on 12 September 1897 between 21 Sikh soldiers of the British Indian Army and 10000 of Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen.
Neeraj Pandey’s crime-action witnesses the story of two Indian Army officers, a mentor and his protégé on this Republic Day. Starring Manoj Vajpayee, Siddharth Malhotra, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Kumud Mishra, Adil Hussain, and others. [Trailer]
15. Paddington 2
Bought recently by Warner brothers, in this sequel, Paddington, who has now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen. [Trailer]
14. Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart and inspired by Studio Ghibili, a strange flower grants a young girl magic powers. [Trailer]
13. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies io9: In a meta twist on the popular show, the Teen Titans head to Hollywood to get a movie made, because every other superhero is getting a movie made. However, their plan is derailed by a supervillain trying to take over the world. Oh, and there’s musical numbers.
12. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
6 years after the events of “Wreck-It Ralph”, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure…discovering the internetz.
11. Christopher Robin
Working-class family man Christopher Robin encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life. Directed by Marc Forster and voices from Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Mark Gatiss, and Jim Cummings.
10. Peter Rabbit
Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden. [Trailer]
9. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales
Whoever thinks that the countryside is calm and peaceful is mistaken. In it we find especially agitated animals, a Fox that thinks it’s a chicken, a Rabbit that acts like a stork, and a Duck who wants to replace Father Christmas. If you want to take a vacation, keep driving past this place.
8. The Grinch
A new spin on the classic Dr. Seuss story, Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of the grumpy Grinch, who plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.
6. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
The true story of the most decorated dog in American military history — Sgt. Stubby — and the enduring bonds he forged with his brothers-in-arms in the trenches of World War I.
5. Early Man io9: The company behind Wallace and Gromit is back with this animated family comedy about a caveman (Eddie Redmayne) who teams up with a friend to defend their tribe against an evil Lord, voiced by Tom Hiddleston. Aardman, the company in question, is one of the best at making top-flight stop-motion animation for all ages, so Early Man is worth keeping an eye on. [Trailer]
A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “humans” really do exist. Humans are, of course, the smallfoot.
2. Sherlock Gnomes
Garden gnomes, Gnomeo & Juliet, recruit renown detective, Sherlock Gnomes, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments. Features voices of Johnny Depp, James McAvoy, and Emily Blunt. [Trailer]
1. Incredibles 2
Only animation I am personally excited about, so are most of us, being the sequel following up with original director Brad Bird, the entire voice cast, and toddler Jack-Jack, as he, his parents and siblings, and us figuring out what all powers he posseses.
Based on the classic 1980s video game featuring apes and monsters destroying cities. [Trailer]
14. Mortal Engines Christian Rivers, known for LOTR art director, directs this action-fantasy about cities surviving a desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resource. [Trailer].
13. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. [Trailer].
12. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Disney produces the story written by ETA Hoffmann and directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, where a young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice. Features Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Jean Grey and this time, X-men universe goes into the space. Starring Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Mackenzie Foy, and Helen Mirren. [Trailer]
11. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Also starring Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm. [Trailer]
10. Ant-Man and the Wasp
As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past. This Marvel sequel is supposed to cure your Avengers hangovers.
Only DC movie to release this year, starring Jason Mamoa as the Aquaman. James Wan directs the beginning of him when Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world. Also stars Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe.
8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
David Yates directs the second installment of the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ series, which follows the adventures of Newt Scamander. With a stella cast of Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law. [Trailer]
7. Pacific Rim Uprising
Just so that Marvel doesn’t hijack the year and Kaijus are still as threatening as ever. The sequel is, however, directed by the Marvel’s Daredevil director and has John Boyega in lead role in this robots vs monsters. [Trailer]
6. The New Mutants
Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Some of thse new mutants are Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones). [Trailer]
5. Solo: A Star Wars Story
According ton Esquire, given that Lucasfilm fired its original directors (The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller) mid-production and replaced them with Ron Howard, this origin story for Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) is one of 2018’s biggest question marks. And, probably, also one of its biggest hits.
Marvel with Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson. If, as is being said are true, this will be the first Marvel movie focussing entirely on a villain (for the Spiderman), who becomes a villain from a man after being infected by an alien symbiote.
3. Black Panther
As per the trailers and several observers, just ahead of summer’s all-star Avengers blow-out, Marvel will first drop this Black Panther stand-alone adventure directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett, among many others. Its great trailers suggest it may be the most daring effort from the superhero studio yet. And we get to see Wakanda for the first time. [Trailer]
2. Deadpool -2
Foul-mouthed superhero Ryan Reynolds is paired with Josh Brolin’s time-traveling badass Cable in this most-awaited sequel is being directed by Atomic Blonde’s David Leitch. Super fun on the cards. [Teaser]
1. Avengers: Infinity War
Probably the biggest hit of the year. A movie that got every Marvel superhero involved trying to stop Josh Brolin’s villainous Thanos. This is where everything ends and then gets a new beginning, for the Marvel as the alternate universe as well as Marvel as a blockbusters producer. Also, you probably know everything about it already! [Trailer]
The rest of the most anticipated movies of 2018
143. The Upside
Second remake of the successful french movie The Intouchables, starring Nicole Kidman, Bryan Cranston, and Kevin Hart. Why?
142. Love, Simon
Everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it’s complicated: no-one knows he’s gay and he doesn’t know who the anonymous classmate is that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, scary and life-changing.
141. The Strangers: Prey at Night
A sequel to 2008 horror film, where a family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit. [Trailer]
140. The Purge: The Island
The fourth Purge movie is a prequel that goes to the beginning of it and focuses on the events that lead up to the very first Purge event.
139. Paul, Apostle of Christ
The story covers Paul (James Faulkner) going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ’s (Jim Caviezel) most influential apostle. Interesting character, but doesn’t quite seem like interesting portrayal as well.
According to io9: Cadaver is about a young cop who is forced to work in a morgue, where things start to go very bad when a mysterious new corpse is brought in. The problem here is that the film was supposed to be released last August. So a one-year delay probably means it’s either bad, really bad, or so good they wanted to finish it right and give it a prime release date.
First Transformers film not to be directed by Michael Bay, but by Travis Knight (Kubo and the two strings), this follows only Bumblebee, a not-so-ordinary yellow VW bug.
Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
A drama from Naomi Kawase (Sweet Bean, Still the Water, The Mourning Forest) starring Juliette Binoche.
From writer/actor/director Mason Guevara: A lonesome man at the threshold of death finds himself trapped in a place called the Endless.
133. Anna and the Apocalypse
A girl and her friends must fight – and sing – their way through a zombie invasion to reach the supposed safety of their school. As apparent, a comedy/horror/musical.
Action/thriller from writer/director Coralie Fargeat: Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting – a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.
A comedy/horror from Austin Vesely. When a pizza delivery driver is murdered on the job, the city searches for someone to blame: ghosts? drug dealers? a disgraced werewolf?
130. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
if you are into this, then there is another one. I would watch it only when there is a sequel eventually called Maze Runner: Vim Editor. But, apparently, this is going to be the 3rd on the trilogy in this mix of mythology, action, and a young cast. [Trailer]
129. Johnny English 3
Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) returns to save the world again.
128. Summer of ’84
A thriller/drama from ‘Turbo Kid’ trio François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell. After suspecting that their police officer neighbour is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.
127. The Public
In this drama from writer/director Emilio Estevez, an unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place.
125. Proud Mary
In this action-thriller by Babak Najafi (London has fallen), Taraji P. Henson is Mary, a hitwoman working for an organised crime family in Boston. Mary’s life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes awry.
124. The Commuter
Typical modern-day Liam Neeson crime-action, where he is a businessman who is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home in a train. The director Jaume Collet-Serra has Neeson running behind bad guys 3 times in past, including closed vehicles such as planes.
123. When the Storm God Rides: Hell’s Coming with Me
Western: Walker’s single minded quest for vengeance against the eight men who destroyed his family, is the only thing that keeps him going. He will find each and everyone of them, if he has to go to Hell to do it.
122. April Winters
While Richard Schenkman’s sequel to Man from Earth went unnoticed this year, he returns with this drama about a 20-year old Jax, who never set out to be a father figure to his little sister. But, after their mother’s death and father’s murder, he removes 13-year old April from their sleepy beach hometown, searching for a better life under the bright lights and gritty streets of New York’s lower East side.
121. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Mamma Mia returns, with Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Cher, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Stellan Skarsgård, Andy Garcia, etc.
120. A Rainy Day in New York
Woody Allen has directed at least a movie every year since 1982. This year it’s a comedy set in New York.
119. Insidious: The Last Key
Where a parapsychologist encounters her most fearsome haunting, both from her future and the past…in her own home. Adam Robitel of ‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’ directs this fourth instalment of the horror franchise. [Trailer]
118. Every Day
Based on a novel by David Levithan of same name, this fantasy-romance-drama is about a shy teenager Rhiannon who falls for someone (a spirit called A) who transforms into another person every day, starting with Rhiannon’s boyfriend Justin. [Trailer]
Jason Reitman’s (Young Adult) comedy about motherhood starring Charlize Theron as mother and Mackenzie Davis as nanny.
116. The Predator
A sequel to the 1987 sci-fi film ‘Predator’ from Shane Black (writer and star in the original Predator). This time, the alien hunter is rumoured to be terrorising a suburban setting, instead of the dingy forests.
115. The Jungle Book
Another take by Andy Serkis, who unfortunately got a little late and the other one released first but features a stellar cast of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, and Serkis himself.
114. On the Basis of Sex
Mimi Leder returns after 9 years with true-story drama the early life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) and her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome in order to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
113. The Meg
Jason Stathom will be fighting the Meg, Meg being a 70-foot long Megalodon shark to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.
112. Robin Hood
A gritty take on the classic Robin Hood story, starring, Taron Egerton (Kingsman) as Robin, Jamie Foxx as Little John,Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlett, and Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
111. The Happytime Murders
A murder mystery set in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, but puppets are viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show begins to get murdered one by one, a former cop, who has since become a private eye, takes on the case. Directed by Brian Henson.
110. Gloria Julianne Moore, a free-spirited woman in her 50s seeks out love at L.A. dance clubs. Directed by Sebastián Lelio and also starring Sean Astin, Michael Cera, and John Turturo.
109. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
In this drama/comedy from Marielle Heller, when bestselling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend, Jack (Richard E. Grant).
Christopher Waltz directs and stars as Ulrich Mott, an ambitious social climber, who marries a wealthy widow in Washington D.C. in order to mix with powerful political players.
107. The Equalizer 2
A sequel to the 2014 film, ‘The Equalizer’, starring Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, and Melissa Leo, and directed by Antoine Fuqua.
106. The Open House
In this horror-thriller, a teenager (Dylan Minnette) and his mother (Piercey Dalton) find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house. [Trailer]
105. Mary Poppins Returns
Rob Marshall directs this sequel starring Dick Van Dyke, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and Emily Blunt as Marry Poppins. In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
104. Birds of Passage
Next from the duo Cristina Gallego andCiro Guerra (of the amazonian tale ‘Embrace of the Serpent’).
103. The Beach Bum
Matthew McConaughey is a rebellious stoner called Moondog in this comedy who lives life by his own rules. Directed by Harmony Korine who last directed Spring Breakers back in 2012.
102. Cloverfield Movie
Another one, yes. After a scientific experiment aboard the space station involving a particle accelerator has unexpected results, the astronauts find themselves isolated. Following their horrible discovery, the space station crew must fight for survival.
A period horror-mystery is about two American soldiers behind enemy lines on D-day, but instead of facing Nazis, they have other troubles, such as, zombies. Produced by JJ Abrams and directed by Julius Avery.
99. Thrilla in Manila
Ang Lee directs the real life drama of the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
98. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Adaptation of the book from David Lagercrantz, based on characters written by Stieg Larsson, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.
97. A Star Is Born
A musical-drama about a movie star (Bradley Cooper, who also directs this) helps a young singer/actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
96. Mary Queen of Scots
This drama, based on John Guy’s ‘My Heart is My Own’, from Josie Rourke follows Mary Stuart’s (Saoirse Ronan) attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), Queen of England, which finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.
95. Under the Silver Lake
‘It Follows’ director David Robert Mitchell follows up with a crime-thriller, instead of horror, starring Riley Keough, Andrew Garfield, and Topher Grace.
94. The Nightingale
Based in Tasmania (Australia) in 1825, in this drama(!) from Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), a young convict woman seeking revenge for the murder of her family, takes an Aboriginal male outcast with her through the interior and gets much more than she bargained for.
93. Untitled Hatton Garden Jewel Heist Project
James Marsh’s crime drama is about a crew of retired crooks pull off a major heist in London’s jewelry district. Starring Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, and Charlie Cox.
92. American Animals
First feature of 2012 documentary ‘The Imposter’ director ‘Bart Layton’, this crime drama follows four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.
91. A Quiet Place
A horror/thriller starring Emily Blunt and her husband John Krasinski (also as director), where a family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound in this quiet place. [Trailer]
90. Mom and Dad
In this horror/thriller directed by Brian Taylor, a teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids. Starring Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, and others. [Trailer]
89. Creed II
The second instalment of Creed, this time directed by rookie Steven Caple Jr., where Adonis Creed tries to seek revenge when he goes toe to toe with the man who killed his father.
88. The Darkest Minds
Bases on a novel by Alexandra Bracken, after a disease kills 98% of America’s children, the surviving 2% develop superpowers and are placed in internment camps. A 16-year-old girl escapes her camp and joins a group of other teens on the run from the government. Also featuring Gwendoline Christie as a bounty hunter.
Andrew Dominik’s fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
86. The House with a Clock in its Walls
Eli Roth’s fantasy-horror-mystery starring Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, and Kyle MacLachlan. A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.
85. Life Itself
A romance-comedy starring Oscar Isaac, Samuel Jackson, and Olivia Wilde on the lives of people from New York to Spain intersect over the course of different generations. Directed by Dan Fogelman.
84. Slender Man
What a rags-to-riches story for Slender Man, from being a creepy Internet urban legend to a movie of his own. For the uninitiated, Slender Man is a tall, thin horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens. [Trailer]
20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, a young boy is left for dead after a violent hunt. To survive, he befriends a wolf and the two set off an epic adventure across a rough road home. Directed by Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli). [Trailer]
82. The White Crow
Ralph Fiennes directs this true story of Soviet Ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West. Rudolf Nureyev was regarded as one of ballet’s most gifted male dancers.
Mike Leigh directs the story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester.
80. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Chiwetel Ejiofor directs and stars in this drama about a boy in Malawi who helps his village by building a wind turbine after reading about them in a library book.
In this sci-fi/action, an ex-convict (Jack Reynor) and his brother are forced on the run, with a tagged-along Zoë Kravitz, by a vengeful criminal (James Franco). One good thing goes for the brother is that they might have a mysterious weapon. Also stars Dennis Quaid.
78. Suspiria Luca Guadagnino, this year, also remakes his fellow Italian legend Dario Argento’s most famous 1977 Italian horror/thriller movie. Suzy will be re-enacted by Dakota Johsnon and Tilda Swinton will be the mysterious Madam Blanc.
In this fantasy-horror from Spierig Brothers (Predestination, but also Jigsaw), eccentric firearm heiress of the famous Winchester rifles, Sara Winchester (Helen Mirren) believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester rifles and she keeps renovating and building sections to the house to keep the ghosts hidden away. [Trailer]
76. Holmes and Watson
A comedy with Holmes (Will Farrell), Watson (John C. Reilly), Morierty (Ralph Fiennes), and Mycroft (Hugh Laurie), which also means, Doyle’s detectives are totally going bananas.
Sebastián Lelio’s lesbian love story that’s set in a community where unmarried men and women aren’t even allowed to touch each other and the patriarchy has made itself divinely unimpeachable. Rachel McAdams returns to her Orthodox Jewish home after the death of her rabbi father and stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in an old childhood friend (Rachel Weisz).
74. The Outsider
A crime-thriller epic set in post-WWII Japan and centered on an American former G.I. (Jared Leto) who joins the yakuza. Directed by Martin Zandvliet.
Karyn Kusama, director of 2015 The Invitation, returns with a crime-drama starring Nicole Kidman, about a police detective who reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.
72. Old Man and the Gun
David Lowry’s based-on true story comedy-crime-drama about an elderly bank robber, who had managed to escape from prison over a dozen times in his life before moving to a retirement community, looks to spice things up with another heist. Starring Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Elisabeth Moss, Sissy Spacek, and Danny Glover.
71. The Nun
A mystery-horror in the Conjuring universe is about a priest named Father Burke (Demián Bichir) who is sent to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of a nun.
70. Journal 64
Fourth Department Q outing, based on Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen’s crime-mystery novels, with same lead actors (Fares Fares and Nikolaj Lie Kaas), where a series of mysterious disappearances in 1987 are all eerily connected to the same person.
69. 12 Strong
Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, and Trevante Rhodes star in this action-drama about the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.
In this war/biography from Terrence Mallick, The Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II.
67. Mary Magdalene
Lion’s director Garth Davis returns with the story of Mary Magdalene starring Rooney Mara as Mary, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter.
Panos Cosmatos’ 2011 Beyond the Black Rainbow is one of the decade’s truly great genre films, a trippy sci-fi nightmare that has to be seen to be believed. For his long-awaited follow-up, the director is teaming with Nicolas Cage for this story of a 1983 man who embarks on a mission of revenge against the religious cult that murdered his wife.
The true story of the 1973 hostage crisis in Stockholm, that gave the world the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. Stars Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong, Ethan Hawke, and Christopher Heyerdahl and directed by Robert Budreau.
64. Beautiful Boy
Based on best-selling memoirs from father-son David and Nic Sheff, it chronicles meth addiction and recovery through the eyes of a father who watches his son as he struggles with the disease. Steve Carell is the father and Timothée Chalamet the son in this drama directed by Felix van Groeningen.
63. M:I 6 – Mission Impossible
Tom Cruise and ‘Rogue Nation’ director Christopher McQuarrie returns with the 6th instalment. Also starring Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, and Alec Baldwin. [Teaser]
This real-life based thriller-drama follows the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG that sparked an investigation. Directed by Brad Furman (Lincoln Lawyer) starring Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Toby Huss, and Dayton Callie.
61. The Kid Who Would Be King
A take on the Arthurian legend (last take on it was in 2017 from Guy Ritchie) set in the modern-day, A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace Morgana from ending the world. Directed by Joe Cornish (his 2nd after Attack The Block) and starring Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Fergusson, and a whole lot of youth.
A crime-drama-mystery about a young man caught up in organised crime, where he must kill one of his own family in the next two days to pay off his debt after he has accidentally killed the brother of a powerful crime figure. Starring Jon Bernthal, Joel Edgerton & Anthony Hayes and directed by Anthony Hayes.
59. The Catcher Was a Spy
Major league baseball player, Moe Berg, lives a double life working for the Office of Strategic Services. This spy-drama stars Connie Nielsen, Mark Strong, Jeff Daniels, and Sienna Miller.
58. High Life
In this sci-fi from Claire Denis, a father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation. It takes place beyond the solar system in a future that seems like the present. About a group of criminals who accept a mission in space to become the subjects of a human reproduction experiment. They find themselves in the most unimaginable situation after a storm of cosmic rays hit the ship. Starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth, Juliette Binoche.
57. The Women of Marwen
Robert Zemeckis adapts the 2010 documentary Marwencol with Steve Carell as Mark Hogancamp, Gwendoline Christie, Eiza González, Diane Kruger, and Leslie Mann. In the uplifting documentary, after a vicious attacks leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Hogancamp seeks recovery in “Marwencol”, a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.
56. A Wrinkle in Time
Ava DuVernay (Selma) takes the reigns of this big-budget Disney fantasy film, an adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s book about a young girl, her brother, and her friend’s odyssey into space to find her father courtesy of three mystical figures. With Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Michael Pena, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Zach Galifianakis at the helms, this definitely looks interesting. [Trailer]
55. The Little Stranger
A horror-mystery-thriller from Lenny Abrahamson (returning after ‘the room’), starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, and Charlotte Rampling.
54. White Boy Rick
Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Matthew McConaughey, and Bruce Dern, Yann Demange directs this crime-drama about a teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.
53. The War Magician
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Jasper Maskelyne, who uses the principles of stage magic in ways that influence WWII and beyond.
52. Tomb Raider
15 years since the first one, The Norwegian Roar Uthaug directs the Swede Alicia Vikander as the new Lara Croft, who comes across challenges stronger than ever to put together the puzzles in east Asia to define who she is. [Trailer]
51. Game Night
A group of friends (consisting of Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemons, Jason Bateman, and Kyle Chandler) who meet regularly for game nights find themselves trying to solve a murder mystery.
50. Come Sunday
Directed by the brilliant Joshua Marston, Evangelist Carlton Pearson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), in this drama, is ostracized by his church for preaching that there is no Hell.
49. Captive State
Next sci-fi/thriller from Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, where it explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents. This decent premise, looking a role-reversal to Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, stars Vera Farmiga and John Goodman.
Paul Duno directs this drama about a boy who witnesses his parent’s marriage falling apart after his mom finds another man. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan, and Ed Oxenbould.
Locke director Steven Knight directs this thriller/drama starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Diana Lane. Plot: The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain living in the Caribbean comes back to haunt him, ensnaring his life in a new reality that may not be what it all seems.
46. Lean on Pete
From the guy behind many tear-jerkers (ie, 45 years), Andrew Haigh, this drama is about a teenager who gets a summer job working for a horse trainer (Steve Buscemi) and befriends the fading racehorse, Lean on Pete.
The exciting Nash Edgerton directs Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Thandie Newton, and David Oyelowo in this action-comedy-drama. That is a dark comedy mixed with white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal. [Trailer]
44. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
Gus Van Sant directs this real-life drama about John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) who became paralyzed after a car accident at age 21, and turned to drawing as a form of therapy. Also features Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black.
43. The French Detective
Luc Besson’s mystery-drama about detective Luc Moncrief (Jean Dujardin), who moves from Paris to New York to join the NYPD and make a new start in his life.
42. Ocean’s 8
Playing the estranged brother of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, Sandra Bullock assembles her own all-star thief team — including Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, and Rihanna — to pull off a heist targeting Damian Lewis’ baddie in this A-list effort, which is being helmed by The Hunger Games’ Garry Ross. [Trailer]
Steven Soderbergh is still going strong, a director, though mostly under the high radar, never disappoints. In this horror-thriller, a young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real or is it a product of her delusion? Starring Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving.
40. If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to Moonlight is an adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel and tells the story of a woman in Harlem determined to prove that her husband has been falsely accused of rape while carrying their first child.
39. Boy Erased
Joel Edgerton directs this drama about the son of a baptist preacher, who is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program. Stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Russell Crowe.
38. Dragged Across Concrete
S. Craig Zahler’s next is also an action-drama, like his Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99. It centers on two policemen, one an old-timer (Mel Gibson), the other his volatile younger partner (Vince Vaughn), who find themselves suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics become the media’s cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers descend into the criminal underworld to gain their just due, but instead find far more than they wanted awaiting them in the shadows.
37. Mute Duncan Jones’s last feature (Warcraft) didn’t do well, but this sci-fi/thriller doesn’t have anything to do with Warcraft world. It is said that this one has some connection to his 2009 Moon. In Berlin, a roiling city of immigrants 40 years from now, where East crashes against West in a science-fiction Casablanca. Leo Beiler (Alexander Skarsgård), a mute bartender has one reason and one reason only for living here, and she’s disappeared. But when Leo’s search takes him deeper into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (Paul Rudd) seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can’t tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.
‘Train to Busan’ director Yeon Sang-ho directs this dark superhero origin movie, where a father sets out to save his troubled daughter with superpowers that he discovers he possesses.
35. The Front Runner
Jason Reitman directs Hugh Jackman as American senator Gary Hart whose presidential campaign in 1988 was derailed when he got caught in a scandalous love affair. Also stars J.K. Simmons and Vera Farmiga.
Mélanie Laurent directs this noir-ish crime thriller written by Nic Pizzolatto. It follows New Orleans (southern backwaters that worked so well for TD-1) hitman Roy Cady (Ben Foster), who after escaping a set up and diagnosed with cancer, returns to his hometown of Galveston where he plans his revenge.
33. Bad Times at the El Royale
Drew Goddard returns after 6 years (cabin in the woods) to direct a thriller starring Chris Hemsworth and Jeff Bridges (as a lapsed priest), which is set in the 1960s in a dilapidated hotel in the Lake Tahoe region in California.
32. Backseat ‘The Big Short’ Adam McKay’s biography of Dick Cheney, the powerful US vice-president under Bush junior. Starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, and Amy Adams.
This history-drama from Thomas Vinterberg follows the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster and the governmental negligence that followed. As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them. Starring Max von Sydow, Colin Firth, and Léa Seydoux.
30. Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek as Queen. Dexter Fletcher and Bryan Singer chronicles the years leading up to Queen’s legendary appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.
After Son of Saul, László Nemes goes back to first world war to tell a story that is both coming-of-age and thriller, set in Budapest a year before the outbreak of war, a young orphan finds out that she has a brother, which soon leads to dark, uncovered secrets.
28. Death Wish
Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER -until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper. Fury and fate collide in the intense action-thriller Death Wish, directed by Eli Roth. [Trailer]
27. Red Sparrow
In this thriller from Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games and I am Legend), Ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is recruited to ‘Sparrow School’ a Russian intelligence service, where she is forced to use her body as a weapon as a super-spy. But her first mission, targeting a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton), threatens to unravel the security of both nations. [Trailer]
26. The House That Jack Built
The horror/thriller/drama from auteur Lars Von Trier follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer over the course of 12 years and depicts the murders that truly develop Jack as a serial killer. Starring Riley Keough, Uma Thurman, and Matt Dillon.
Alfonso Curon’s next after 5 years, this is a story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.
24. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
In this sci-fi/adventure adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s book, directed by Terry Gilliam, an advertising executive (Adam Driver) jumps back and forth in time between 21st century London and 17th century La Mancha, where Don Quixote (Jonathan Pryce) mistakes him for Sancho Panza.
Alex Garland (Ex Machina) wrote and directed this sci-fi-horror film about a biologist who ventures into an environmental disaster area, where the laws of nature don’t apply, to search for her missing husband. Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Gina Rodriguez are the group of scientists in this exquisition, with Oscar Isaac as co-star. [Trailer]
22. Sicario 2: Soldado
Second instalment of Sicario, without Dennis Villeneuve and Emily Blunt, but with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. The drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro. [Trailer]
21. Hold the Dark
Before he directs True Detective’s 3rd season, Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room) will have a thriller with Riley Keough, Jeffrey Wright, and Alexander Skarsgard, based on William Giraldi’s mystery-thriller. In remote Alaskan town, a wolf expert writer is hired by the parents of a missing 6-year-old boy to locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness, where the wolves have been suspected to kill 3 children already.
20. Everybody Knows
Iranian legend Asghar Farhadi Spanish-English drama features original Spanish speaking actors from Spain and Latin America, notably, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Ricardo Darín. It follows Carolina, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, who returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her Argentinian husband and children. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.
19. Molly’s Game
Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut tells the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Also starring Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, and Michael Cera.
17. Ad Astra
A sci-fi/thriller from James Gray, director of 2016′ the lost of Z, about a son (Brad Pitt) searching across the galaxy for his father (Donald Sutherland) who disappeared on a mission to find alien life 20 years ago. Also starring Tommy Lee Jones. Could be releasing end of December or early January 2019.
16. Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Richard Linklater’s next is a drama about 15-year-old Bee, who, after her anxiety-ridden mother disappears, does everything she can to track her down, discovering her troubled past in the process. Starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Judy Greer.
15. The Black Hand Adaptation of Stephan Talty’s book, a true story about the origins of the Italian-American mafia in America follows Joe Petrosino – nicknamed the “Italian Sherlock Holmes” – an NYPD cop who goes after the ruthless gang in the early 1900s. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Joe Petrosino. (Status: maybe)
14. Alita: Battle Angel
Robert Rodriguez’s sci-fi/action follows one young woman’s journey to discover the truth of who she is and her fight to change the world. Alita (Rosa Salazar), who is a cyborg, seemingly thought to be trash, realises that she’s much more important and deadly than she ever thought. Starring Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz, Jackie Earl Haley, and Michelle Rodriguez. [Trailer]
13. The Favourite
The modern auteur Yorgos Lanthimos returns with a bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. Starring Emma Stone,Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Mark Gatiss (Mycroft), and Olivia Colman (DSI Miller).
A western/drama from Scott Cooper, about a legendary Army captain (Christian Bale) in 1892, who reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family through dangerous territory. Also starring Rosamund Pike. [Trailer]
11. 7 Days in Entebbe
Jose Padilha returns with the true events of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight en route from Tel Aviv to Paris, and the most daring rescue mission ever attempted. His usual genre mix of crime-drama-thriller features Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, and Eddie Marsan among others. [Trailer]
10. Ready Player One
Can Steven Spielberg not direct a genre or sub-genre? RPO is the sci-fi/action/adventure adaptation of Earnest Cline’s pop culture-obsessed book, which concerns a young kid (Tye Sheridan) going on a virtual reality treasure hunt. One of the other most interesting thing would be the several featured characters from several other sources along the way the kid goes on for treasure hunt. Also starring Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, Ben Mendelsohn, and Simon Pegg. [Trailer]
9. Isle of Dogs
Nine years after his stop-motion feature ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, Wes Anderson returns to stop-motion animation with this saga about a boy searching for his missing dog on a quarantined island populated by canines. As always, an all-star cast is along for the ride, and early glimpses suggest it could be one of the year’s most charming offerings.
The genius Bong Joon-ho’s drama about a man (Song Kang-ho), who gets infected with a parasite that changes his paradigm in unforeseen ways.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michelle Williams stars in the crime-mystery-drama by Luca Guadagnino, best known for ‘Call me by your name’ and ‘A bigger splash’, about a financial reporter travels to Rio de Janeiro to visit a wealthy friend, only to get sucked into a plot to fake his friend’s death.
6. The 15:17 to Paris
When will Clint Eastwood stop? Not that anyone is complaining, but it takes a real passion for cinema to find the stories and goes on making it. In this thriller-drama, he directs a bunch of American soldiers discovering a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train. [Trailer]
Gareth Evans is back with another thriller, with a man who attempts to rescue his sister who’s been kidnapped by religious cult. As if Evans and a thriller was not enough, this movie is set in 1902, puts the hero against a mysterious and maniacal religious cult who travels to a remote island to reign in the carnage. Awesome!
4. First Man
Damien Chazelle look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. This is, of course and apparently, not a musical from Chazelle.
Steve McQueen returns after 5 years with a heist-crime-thriller, co-written by Gillian Flynn. Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities take fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. Stars the amazing ensemble of Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Eviro, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon, Garret Dillahunt, Jacki Weaver, Brian Tyree Henry, and Jon Bernthal.
2. The Sisters Brothers
The legend frenchman Jacques Audiard directs a Western based on a novel by Patrick DeWitt, in which a gold prospector (Jake Gyllenhaal) is being pursued across 1000 miles of 1850s Oregon desert to San Francisco by the notorious assassins Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix).
1. The Irishman
Martin Scorsese’s mobster crime/drama reuniting Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Based on Charles Brandt’s book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and the Closing of the Case on Jimmy Hoffa (2004)’, where the hitman Frank Sheeran (De Niro) recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Also starring Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel.
Even though I’ve read about WW2 many times previously and, after a point, it felt increasingly important to me to read more about the eastern front. But the reason behind why I wanted that was different – that this was where the greater war was fought and so less was generally available to be read, even though all the numbers that came out were way too huge. After reading this book, and I’ll be honest that I didn’t have the complete idea about what the eastern front actually meant to the war and what exactly happened there, it dawned that, more than the numbers and durations, this was actually the most fated part of the world soaked in blood and tears, a part that has been so out of the world’s folklore that we don’t ‘obviously’ know about it.
Bloodlands made me angry, sad, horrified, but beyond that, a lot more of a humble human being. It’s not a very easy read, obviously. The great number of lives that suffered and the reasons (and the ideas, the regimes, the killers) that made them suffer seemingly endlessly (or sometimes as quick and fast at thousands in a day) is beyond imagination. Every detail, small or big, is overwhelming.
The book generally takes into account the events that unfolded and future that beheld this land (post world war 1 until Stalin’s death), but specifically about a certain very specific period in history (1933-1945) for a certain very specific part of the world (Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltics) for a certain very specific people (people who happened to live in this bloodland and of a certain racial/national distinction to the perpetrators) who still carry that history solely in their lives and deaths.
There are numbers. Numbers so big, as Timothy Snyder notices, that they are too big for simple humans to fathom or understand. The numbers being talked about is of actually human lives and deaths, such as 1 million+ at Leningrad, 780 863 at Treblinka, or 33 761 at Babi Yar, among many other such numbers. Hence, he provided numbers as small, Snyder cautions lest they become a context and implores you to remember them, as 1, such as Tania Savicheva or Dina Pronicheva’s mother, and 2, such as the married couple of Maria Juriewicz and Stanislaw Wyganoswski. The numbers in the middle, talking about the ‘industriousness’ of the perpetrators, such as, killing of 12-15000 jews in a 14hrs nazi workday in Treblinka and 20761 men killed in Moscow by one team of just 12 NKVD men. All kinds of numbers. Two things are certain though – these are the number of the people brutally killed in the bloodlands, and each of these numbers will leave you a little more shattered than before. The numbers are overwhelming but Snyder cautions the reader to not stop at them.
He aims seens to not have these number brushed away and forgotten, like they did until not too long ago (because a major part of these lands were still part of the Soviets – the communists of Soviet and the communists and nationalists of the rest had their own plans and purposes to play with the history for their own goals). He also wants to avoid shaking off the nazis and the stalinists by merely terming them inhuman or savages or anything but humans themselves. The aim of this history, as he points out, has to be avoiding another occurrence of something even resembling that worst part of human history, which can only be achieved when they are treated as humans and what led them doing it. So does he want the dead to remembered as those human beings in particular and their individual lives, rather than just another number part of all the big numbers. 14 millions in total were killed in that part of the Europe, each of them dead were living once. As Snyder says, how could so many of them be brought to such violent end?
He talks about the nations that were made into bloodlands, as well as the nations and its rulers (Hitler and Stalin) who burned these civilisations into ashes. He details the boundaries of these nations and the ideas of the 2 murderous regimes that moved them : both of them fluid and fragmented, in their own ways, so long the period of bloodlands lasted. Sometimes even after that.
Timothy Snyder has written an amazing book, as well as a very important one. A few things that stand out for the author and his book for me –
a) The narrative: that is unlike very many history books and would compel you to read on and on, despite the book detailing one of the most horrendous periods of humanity. As the matter of history books in general goes, a decent length history book with maps and numbers one would finish in a matter of days.
b) The purpose: He seemed to be on a mission and makes sure the reader gets it. I have read a few reviews on this book, which states that some names, numbers, and events are repeated. It does iInitially in the book, which can come across as a little off-putting, but later one knows that it was probably necessary. In the end, he concludes with his points even more precisely and, while doing so, he repeats those names and numbers again. By then, one knows what has he been talking about.
This is a very important book, for a very important and violent part of the history, the numbers and the context, but more for each one of those 14 million fateful normal lives in the bloodlands. Alarming and concerning is how a major part of this history was mostly lost from the world war II narrative for so long. And it remains so yet, for many of it parts.
Snyder aptly says this in his summary note:
Closure is a false harmony, a siren song masquerading as a swan song.
Sheer delight to watch. An Indian cinema masterpiece, almost!
Ship of Theseus is a movie which we need but didn’t really deserve right now. A lot of things have already been said about it, so with the risk of sounding repetitive, however I’ll try not to be so, here are some of my thoughts:
1. To begin with, Anand Gandhi has made an utterly brilliant movie. The honesty, genuineness, and intent of the director is clear from the word go which is a sheer pleasure to see in an Indian filmmaker.
2. Three stories – totally different to each others in terms of mood and narration, yet so well transitioned that you don’t even notice it. Two thumbs up for the screenplay and editing.
3. Utterly brilliant cinematography, a visual delight which mesmerizes you and grips you with every scene and its details that is on the screen. After I exited the theater, I couldn’t believe I watched an Indian movie looking so beautiful. In fact, I can go on and on about the imagery. Well done!
4. Superb dialogues (and the use of no dialogues) – At times, zen, and other times, so passionate that you feel like talking to your alter ego, just like, the conversations in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Even the humorous and satirical parts don’t make you feel like they are used as punches, except a couple times maybe.
5. Acting – Top notch by the all three protagonists. Relatively good performance by the other actors as well. But the three main actors are so good you long to see more of them. And the sympathies and your connections with them find their peaks in the penultimate scene.
6. Only thing where I felt I had issue is that some scenes and conversations were finished in a hurry. While one talk about something so powerful in detail, it should be a complete conversation, whereas, at times, it appears a lot of important things were skipped (esp. in story #2). Though I didn’t find too many things wrong with the conversations in story 2 and narrations in story 2 and 3, it looked to me that something was amiss, they could have talked a little more, and so on. The movie could have been even more powerful, given the premise and ideas it began with. Actually, the idea is itself so big and extensive that any less would feel like incomplete. Such as, writing about this movie in 140 characters. But I guess I shouldn’t complain as it’s a movie where it’s very difficult to have such kind of narration as well as a speech as long as that of John Galt. Anyways, I am more than glad that such things were talked about in a movie made in India.
Bravo, Anand Gandhi and the team! I stood and clapped for you all when the movie ended in the theater.
Thirty-five finest writers from past and present share the secrets of storytelling. This is a compilation of rules, tips, suggestions, techniques, and commandments for writing as listed by the master storytellers. Read on!
A new year begins and so do a fresh movie calender. 2012 was relatively excellent year for movies – a refreshing mainstream, well flourishing indies, stalwarts with excellence, superheroes extravaganza, some disappointments, and of course the mediocre. 2013 will also have a fair share of all of the above. Despite that, if you look at the calender, it’s most likely that 2013 will be remembered for the science-fiction genre. Science fictions will be all around the year, either as pure sci-fi or clubbed with all sorts of genres, such as, action, adventure, drama, horror, thriller, and art-house.
So, here is my list of the most anticipated movies of 2013. First, 50 movies from around the world, well, mostly from Hollywood. And then, 20 movies from India. The lists come up with usual disclaimer: Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest (animation) or have lost interest in that particular genre (pure horror), c). I have no interest or least expectations from that movie at all (such as sequels of Hangover, GI Joe, Fast and Furious. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.
50 Most Anticipated Movies in English Language
50. Last Vegas
The old men’s hangover. The four old men are – De Niro, Douglas, Freeman, and Kevin Kline
49. August: Osage County The Company Man director John Wells directs a Pulitzer winning tale about a family overcoming certain differences when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Ewan McGregor.
48. Untitled Terrence Malick Project Musical drama of two intersecting love traingles. Now. drool over the star cast – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Benecio Del Toro, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara.
47. The Place Beyond the Pines
Ryan Gosling is a stunt driver, motorcycle this time, once again and that welcomes interest and suspicion both.
46. Broken City
A crime drama involving Wahlberg and Russel Crowe.
45. The Rivals
John Madden directs Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman as two 19th century theatrical divas and real-life rivalry between them.
44. Gangster Squad
A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.
43. Now You See Me
The ensemble cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine) and the plot – FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
40. Midnight’s Children A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.
39. Kick Ass-2 Kick-ass and hit-girl are back. Anyone loved the first part will most certainly be looking for the sequel.
29. Thor: The Dark World
The Avengers initiative has made Thor more interesting and considering that all of these individual stories are in order to build up for The Avengers 2, this should be worth waiting for.
28. Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling are back together. This time in Bangkok where a policeman and a gangster fight their differences in boxing match.
Luc Besson directs De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones in a crime/drama where a mafia clan is relocated under witness protection program and is trying to fit in there.
26. The ABCs of Death
IMDb says: A 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.
25. The Great Gatsby
Adaptation of a finest novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, DiCaprio as Mr Gatsby, gigantic stage, and an awesome looking trailer.
24. World War Z
A zombie movie on the hugest canavas ever for a zombie movie. Marc Forster directs Brad Pitt.
23. The Last Stand
Big guy Arnold Schwarzenegger gun-rotting on US-Mexico border with an interesting screenplay and an awesome director – Kim Ji Woon, known for ‘I Saw The Devil’.
22. Captain Phillips
A real life story of a ship captain where the ship is hijacked by the Somali pirates. Tom Hanks directed by Paul Greengrass.
21. Before Midnight
Richard Linklater makes Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet again.
20. The Monuments Men George Clooney helms the director seat again, with a history thriller based on a real story from the WWII era. Stars Clooney himself along with Daniel Craig, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and Jean Dujardin.
19. Man of Steel
First of this year’s superhero movies. Superman, that is. The trailer suggests it will show a very intriguing story, much more than a usual superhero movie, a bar set high for the superheroes by the Batman trilogy.
Martin Scorsese goes back to 17th century where, two priests go to a violently conservative Japan to spread Christianity.
17. The Counselor Ridley Scott returns to thriller genre, which involves Fassbender, as a lawyer getting into drug trafficking. Remaining star cast: Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penelop Cruz.
16. The Grandmasters
Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the master of Bruce Lee.
Joseph Kosinski is back with a new science-fiction, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman on post-apocalyptic earth. And, awesome teaser.
14. The Lone Ranger
A western, set in Native American land, unites Gore Verbinski and Johny Depp.
13. After Earth
M. Night Shyamalan directing someone else’s screenplay for the first time, in which, Will and Jaden Smith, as father and son, explore a planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier, fighting for survival with monstrous creatures and dangerous landscape.
Incendies was one of the finest movies in 2010. Denis Villeneuve follows up with this crime/drama, which stars Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo. The story revolves around a father who kidnaps the man he believes is responsible for the disappearance of his daughter and her best friend.
11. Star Trek Into Darkness
The rebooted sci-fi franchise with awesome Benedict Cumberbatch as a villain. Darker than the previous Star Trek movie.
10. The World’s End
A British sci-fi comedy, directed by Edgar Wright and featuring the super-awesome duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Martin Freeman (Dr Watson), in which the friends have a reunion in a bar and become humankind’s only hope for survival.
8. Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jr. as and in Iron Man.
7. The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese continues his bonhomie with Leonardo Dicaprio and visits Wall Street where the stock broking collides with corruption and mob. Features Jean Dujardin too.
6. Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow directs one of the biggest man-hunt ever, which ends with the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Chan-wook Park’s first movie in English is, as expected, a combination of thriller, mystery, horror, and drama. It’s worth noting that the story was on the black list of the best unproduced scripts (a 2010 list).
The ace director Alfonso Cuarón directs Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in this sci-fi where astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.
3. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
This MUST be on everyone’s list of the most anticipated movies of 2013. Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez are back with mostly the same cast.
Can’t wait to see Neill Blomkamp’s next sci-fi feature starring Matt Damon as an ex-con fighting for human rights on the earth, which is about to burst with its population and extreme gap between rich and poor.
1. Pacific Rim
One of most awaited movies this year. Guillermo del Toro directs this science fiction where giant robots piloted by humans will fight with huge alien monsters. Those who have watched ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ know how beautiful the visuals and intriguing the narratives would be.
9 Notable mentions: 1. Safe Haven (Nicholas Spark’s novel, directed by Lasse Hallström), 2. R.I.P.D. (The team of Robert Schwentke, Jeff Bridges, and Ryan Reynolds), 3. The Wolverine. 4. Walking with Dinosaurs (Co-directed by a BBC documentarian, it’s a story of two brothers looking to follow in their father’s footsteps leads to a showdown with dinosaurs in the Arctic North), 5. Machete Kills (Robert Rodriguez’s action flick), 6. Struck by Lightning (a fun story where the protagonist narrates the story from the grave), 7. Jack the Giant Slayer (A fairy-tale adventure by Bryan Singer), 8. Paranoia (Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Hemsworth in a thriller set in the corporate world), and 9. Side Effects (A crime drama by Steven Soderbergh which is possibly his last feature film)
During last two weeks, came across a few more movies, which I’m certainly going to watch in 2013. (Thanks to Mihir Fadnavis and others) One of them, which is now no 1 on my list is this –
1. TPB-AFK Short for “The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard”, it’s a documentary on The Pirate Bay, its founders, the birth and life of it, and behind the scenes. Check the trailer on its official website. I’m probably going to buy it.
Yet another maverick director is coming up with a sci-fi this year. Bong Joon-ho, of Memories of Murder and Mother, sets the film in 2031, where the passengers in a train are the only survivors on now snow-covered Earth. The film stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Song Kang-ho.
3. Room 237
A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining. Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments.
4. Upstream Color
A bizarre premise by Primer’s director Shane Carruth. The plot says – A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.
A sci-fi comedy where a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need. Directed by Spike Jonze, better known for Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and Adaptation, the movie stars Joaquin Pheonix, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Amy Adams.
6. The Nymphomaniac
Awesome Lars von Trier directs Shia LeBeouf and Willem Dafoe.
18. Miss Lovely Ashim Ahluwalia’s indie feature set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry and the devastating story of two brothers. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead.
Kamal Haasan’s action thriller. Expect the extravaganza.
Prakash Jha disappointed heavily with his last, yet he continues with his own type of materials. Ajay Devgan joins the camp along with Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Vajpayee, and Arjun Rampal.
8. Kai Po Che
Never mind Chetan Bhagat. The trailer looks real good.
7. Ek Thi Daayan
Vishal Bhardwaj and Ekta Kapoor collaborate to produce this film, starring Emraan Hashmi, Huma GoW Qureshi, Kalki, and Konkana
Rajkumar Gupta’s romantic comedy with Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan
Vikramaditya Motwane’s next is a romantic flick
4. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
A biopic on Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar) directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Bejoy ‘Shaitan’ Nambiar directs 3 Davids in 3 different locations in 3 different eras. This action-thriller movie is in both Hindi and Tamil. In spite of Nambiar and the plot, if you need to re-think, check the trailer and Tamil version’s soundtrack.
2. Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola Vishal Bhardwaj will start 2013 with this fun movie. Featuring Pankaj Kapoor, Haryana, Gulzar, Imran Khan, and lot of fun.
1. Special 26
Neeraj Pandey’s second flick involves a real life gang and their exploits in late 80s.
Hope there are more excellent ones to come which we don’t know about yet. Enjoy 2013 with the movies!