REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus
It’s a new year, which means a whole new lineup of films to get excited for. On the lineup this year are a handful of superhero films from Marvel and DC, lots of horror films which will hopefully continue the winning streak the genre had in 2022, a good number of legacy sequels, and lots of big name directors returning with their latest films like Denis Villeneuve, Martin Scorsese, and David Fincher. Needless to say, film lovers will be having a grand old time at cinemas this year with the wide variety of films that are set to be released. And for a sneak peek of what is coming this year to a screen near you, here are my ten most anticipated films of the year!
10. Salem’s Lot
Stephen King is one of the greatest horror storytellers of our time, and his second novel is getting the big screen treatment. From horror maestro James Wan as executive producer and starring Lewis Pullman, Alfre Woodard, Spencer Treat Clark and Pilou Asbaek, the story follows a writer returning to his hometown, only to discover it is being prayed upon by vampires. While we have not had any footage released yet, knowing King’s writing style, this is certain to be a must see horror event!
Matthew Vaughn, the director of the Kingsman series, has a new spy film coming. While little is known about the story other than that it follows a spy suffering from amnesia who believes he is a spy novelist, that upon discovering his past and skills, begins to hunt down the shadowy organization he used to work for. Knowing Vaughn’s great eye for action, and with an all star cast featuring Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ariana DeBose, Sam Rockwell, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Dua Lipa, and Samuel L. Jackson, Argylle is destined to thrill audiences.
8. Scream VI
Matt Bettinelli-Opin and Tyler Gillett gave new birth to Wes Craven’s iconic horror series, and my personal favourite horror series of all time, with last years’ fifth installment. For the first time in the series’ history, Neve Campbell will not be returning as Sydney Prescott, but moving the terror to New York City is an exciting direction. Between returning stars Courtney Cox, Jenna Ortega, Melissa Berrera, and Scream 4’s Hayden Panettiere returning to the series, as well as Ready or Not’s Samara Weaving joining the series and reuniting with Bettinelli-Opin and Gillett, Scream VI is certain to be a terrifyingly fun time at the theatre this year.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The Guardians of the Galaxy are back for one last time to save the galaxy, in what is sure to be an action packed, hilarious, and rockin’ experience. But that teaser trailer teased an incredibly emotional experience that is certain to get the waterworks started if those character deaths fans are fearing actually happen. But I’m typical James Gunn fashion, it will be a glorious film that I will no doubt see multiple times on the big screen.
6. The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is one of the greatest Disney animated films ever made, and one that I have enjoyed countless times during my life. The music is extraordinary, and the story is the epitome of Disney. With Rob Marshall directing, who has an extensive background with musicals from films such as Chicago, Into the Woods, and Mary Poppins Returns, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the right director to bring this animated film to life. But after that visually stunning teaser trailer that dropped this past fall and hearing Halle Bailey singing a few bars of “Part of Your World” which gave me chills, I’m certain that we are about to experience one of the best Disney live action adaptations this summer!
5. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Phase 5 of the MCU is kicking off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and I could not think of a better superhero film to start the year off with! While the first two Ant-Man films were a lot of fun, this one looks much darker and will have large ramifications for the MCU going forward. It’s been long theorized by myself and others that the Quantum Realm would be important going forward in the MCU, and the teaser trailer suggests exactly that. For the film’s villains, we are getting M.O.D.O.K. and the next appearance of Jonathan Major’s Kang the Conqueror, who is going to be the big villain for the next Avengers film: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. And based on Janet’s (Michelle Pfeiffer) fear of the Quantum Realm in the trailer, this might just be the variation of Kang that is going to try and destroy the Avengers. The film itself looks wild, with mind bending visuals as we explore a new corner of the MCU, and with the choice of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” for the trailer’s music, it's certain that the MCU is about to change forever after this film.
Over the past two decades, Christopher Nolan’s name has become synonymous with event cinema, having directed some of the biggest blockbuster experiences from The Dark Knight, Inception, to Tenet. For his latest film, Nolan is moving away from the action genre and setting his eyes on the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the creator of the atomic bomb. Shot using the IMAX camera on 65mm, and with one of the largest casts ever assembled in Hollywood featuring Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Rami Malek and Gary Oldman among many other notable cast members, it is bound to be a breathtaking experience. And that is before factoring in the fact that Nolan recreated the detonation of the atomic bomb for the film using real explosives rather than using CGI, which is sure to be one of the most exciting and surreal scenes of the entire year!
3. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Indiana Jones is the name that movie goers associate with adventure, and Harrison Ford is picking up the hat and whip for one final adventure. While the plot details are being kept largely underwraps at this point, knowing that Steven Spielberg has been heavily involved as an executive producer, the talents of director James Mangold, and that John Williams is returning to compose his final musical score ever, this is certain to be one of the biggest hits of the year. The teaser trailer alone promises a truly epic adventure that will provide a great send off to Ford as one of cinema’s most infamous heroes, while introducing a whole new generation to one of the greatest franchises of all time.
2. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1
Tom Cruise loves to keep raising the bar with each film he makes, and Mission: Impossible - Fallout is arguably the greatest action film ever made. This time around, Tom Cruise’s big stunt for this film is riding a motorcycle off a cliff and then transitioning into a base dive, which is pure insanity that this was not only done, but captured on camera. The behind the scenes footage of the stunt is absolutely breathtaking, especially in the IMAX format promising a truly unforgettable stunt, and this is merely one of the wild stunts we will see in the latest Mission: Impossible. While plot details are scarce, we know that Ethan Hunt and his associates will be on another globe trotting adventure, featuring the return of Henry Czerny’s Kittridge from the first film, Vanessa Kirby’s White Widow, in addition to regulars Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson. Joining the cast for this adventure is Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Cary Elwes and Chirs Parnell among many stars, ensuring that there is no lack of star power for part one of this two part mission that Ethan Hunt will find himself on. There is no doubt that Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1 will be the film of the year that has audiences’ hearts racing as they are taken on one of the most exhilarating cinematic experiences ever!
1. Dune: Part Two
Denis Villeneuve created one of the most incredible cinematic experiences back in 2021 when he adapted the first half of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel. Dune was one of the most visually stunning films ever created that made audience’s jaws drop, showcasing talent across every aspect of the film from the performances, the sensational musical score of Hans Zimmer, cinematography of Greig Fraser, and Villeneuve’s directorial efforts. Needless to say, the second half of Dune is my most anticipated film of the year. The story will continue Paul Atreides’s struggle against House Harkonnen, while seeing Paul become one with the Fremen, develop his romance with Chani, and grapple with his destiny of becoming Muad’Dib. With the entire cast and creative team of the first film returning for Part Two, with Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, and Léa Seydoux joining the film in key roles, the return to Arrakis later this year is bound to conclude one of the greatest novel adaptations we have ever seen grace the silver screen!