My top five most anticipated movies of 2018

With 2017 behind us, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2018! There will be plenty of movies to look forward to in theaters this year, including a certain little Marvel movie that will wrap up a decade of build-up. It might make a little money at the box office. ?

Although it’s always hard to narrow my list down, here are the top five movies I’m most excited about this year!

1. Avengers: Infinity War (May 4), Black Panther (Feb. 16), and Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)

I’m already cheating on my supposed “five movie limit” by combining these three into one entry, but otherwise I’d only have two slots left in my list. ? I’m super excited about all three of these. I’m also glad we only have to wait another month for “Black Panther.” Although I had a lot of fun watching “Thor: Ragnarok” last year, it will be nice to see a little more serious superhero movie like “Black Panther.” I loved his character in “Captain America: Civil War” and can’t wait to find out more about that world. I also think the original “Ant-Man” is sometimes a little underappreciated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s actually one of my favorites. I’m looking forward to seeing an expanded role for the Wasp. Still, if I had to pick only one most anticipated movie of the year, it would have to be “Infinity War.” It’s hard to believe that this all started back in 2008 with “Iron Man” and has now grown into this expansive cinematic universe. I have a feeling the MCU is going to look a lot different after the fourth Avengers movie wraps up, but it’s been a great ride so far. Hopefully it will be the epic finale to this phase of the MCU that the characters deserve.

2. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)

I’m a huge Star Wars fan; pretty much everybody knows that. So despite my misgivings about a spinoff Han Solo film, I’m definitely willing to give it a chance. I would have much rather Disney given us an Obi-Wan or Boba Fett spinoff movie, but since this is what we’re getting, I’m hoping it will turn out well. I’ve loved all the Disney Star Wars flicks so far, and in an odd way, the director shakeup behind the scenes on the “Solo” set boosted my confidence a little. If Disney had doubts about the direction the film was taking, I’m glad they were willing to brave the negative PR and make a change. Harrison Ford as Han Solo is such an iconic performance and getting audiences to invest in a new actor playing the character is probably the biggest obstacle the film is facing. However, I’m super excited to see Donald Glover as Lando, and it will also be fun to see Woody Harrelson in a Star Wars movie. On another note, I wish they had pushed back the deadline and released this movie in December, rather than summertime so close to “Infinity War.” But it is kinda cool it’s being released on the 41st anniversary of “A New Hope.”

3. Annihilation (Feb. 23)

“Annihilation” is my pick for best potential breakout movie. I don’t know a lot about the film, other than what I’ve seen in the mysterious, eerie trailers, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’m not even sure how to describe it, really, other than that Natalie Portman’s character is apparently going to investigate some sort of really weird scientific anomaly that is most definitely not benign (based on the title “Annihilation”). Although sometimes an early winter release date doesn’t speak of a lot of confidence from a film studio, sometimes it’s nice to get these movies outside the increasingly crowded summer season. “Black Panther” is going to do very well the weekend before, so I’m hoping this has a shot at being a surprise hit. Hopefully it will offer better sci-fi scares than last summer’s “Alien: Covenant.”

4. Pacific Rim: Uprising (March 23)

The original “Pacific Rim” does not have a particularly deep plot, characters, or dialogue, but I absolutely love that movie. Where else can you see a giant robot pick up a cargo ship and use it to smash a giant monster? One could argue that the film doesn’t really need a sequel, especially since director Guillermo del Toro isn’t returning. However, I’m actually really excited to see John Boyega heading up a new sci-fi blockbuster. I really loved him as ex-stormtrooper Finn in the new Star Wars trilogy and I think he’s a good fit to play the son of the coolest character in the original movie, Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost. The film’s March release date also might be a good thing, giving it a chance to stand out before the onslaught of summer blockbusters.

5. Ready Player One (March 30)

The novel “Ready Player One” has been on my “to be read” list for a long time so at this point I’ll probably end up watching the movie first. The story takes place in the dystopian future, where people find solace in a virtual reality world known as OASIS. Teenager Wade Watts enjoys the escape the OASIS provides…until dangerous real-world problems start bleeding into the virtual one. One of the things I’m most excited about in this movie is all the pop culture references that will supposedly be in the film, including “The Iron Giant,” “Back to the Future,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and more. The first Lego movie is the only other film I can think of with this many cool characters mashed together. Plus, this movie was directed by one of my all-time favorite directors — Steven Spielberg — so that’s always a plus!

So, what’s on your “must-see” list for 2018? What will be the biggest hit, or the biggest flop?

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