6. Domino – Brian De Palma
One can hardly say the 21st century has been the artistic peak of Brian De Palma’s career so far. In earlier times, De Palma helmed the (cult) classics Carrie, Scarface and The Untouchables, yet since the first episode in the Mission: Impossible franchise in 1996 he has arguably made a solid zero remarkable movies.
However, with every new feature there’s still the stubborn hope this regrettable trend will come to a halt and we will finally get to see the old De Palma again. In the upcoming Domino, with Carice van Houten and Guy Pearce in the leading roles, a Copenhagen police officer is looking for revenge after his partner is murdered by a mysterious man.
A straightforward, even kind of silly plot that should be a perfect match for De Palma, who knows as no other how to craft a wildly entertaining thriller out of an almost laughable B-script, in his best work (The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way) even adding emotional depth to it. Let’s pray 2019 will be the year where De Palma, after a disappointing two decades, gets his mojo back.
Netherlands release date: April 4th 2019 (No U.S. distribution yet)
7. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino
Every single feature by Quentin Tarantino is highly anticipated by movie fans all over the world and the phenomenal cast of his newest only adds to the regular QT-anticipation. Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning and Tim Roth are all starring in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino’s first feature that’s not produced by the discredited Harvey Weinstein.
In Tarantino’s newest a faded TV-actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) pursue a career in Hollywood at the end of the 1960’s against the backdrop of the Charles Manson family terror, culminating in the Tate/La Bianca murders.
The actions of the Manson family are clearly still a sensitive issue in the States as the movie already provoked protests from relatives of the victims. It will be interesting to see how much of Tarantino’s characteristic tongue-in-cheek humor and violent extravaganza such a delicate matter can bear.
U.S. release date: July 26th 2019
8. Gemini Man – Ang Lee
After the utterly forgettable Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a total flop at the box office, two times Oscar winner Lee is eager to return to his old shape with Gemini Man, starring Will Smith and Clive Owen.
The Taiwanese director has taken on a variety of genres in his career, ranging from the romantic drama Brokeback Mountain to the surreal 3D epic Life of Pi, and now enters the realm of science-fiction with Gemini Man, telling the story of an ageing hitman who has to deal with a younger clone of himself.
With a synopsis dangerously close to that of Rian Johnson’s Looper and actors who have been making cheesy tearjerkers and brainless thrillers for more than a decade this movie would be destined to fail badly if it weren’t for Ang Lee being in the director’s chair. In the hands of the versatile and super-talented Lee, this suspicious combination could actually work.
U.S. release date: October 4th 2019
9. The Irishman – Martin Scorsese (Netflix, select theatres)
The tireless Martin Scorsese has been putting out films for almost half a century now and it doesn’t look like he’s about to stop any time soon. This year’s The Irishman will be the next addition to his impressive back catalogue.
During the last decades Scorsese has challenged himself by diving into all sorts of genres, including among others a 3D children’s film (Hugo) and a spiritual religious epic (Silence), but with The Irishman Scorsese is going back to his old love, the gangster movie.
In The Irishman, a hitman working for the mob comes to realize he might have had something to do with the murder on Jimmy Hoffa, the American labor union leader who vanished in 1975 and was declared legally dead in 1982. Robert De Niro will be playing the hitman and Al Pacino will be portraying Hoffa, making this only the fourth collaboration between the two iconic actors and surprisingly only the first time Al Pacino is directed by Scorsese.
In spite of his earlier skeptical remarks on streaming services and television Scorsese has made this film for Netflix, declaring this was the only way to gather a proper budget. It has already been confirmed by De Niro however that the movie will get a (limited) theatrical release.
U.S. release date: 2019 (exact date currently unknown)
10. Radegund – Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick became one of the world’s most applauded directors with his two seventies masterpieces Badlands and Days of Heaven, and reaffirmed his reputation as an idiosyncratic outstanding director when he released the WWII-drama The Thin Red Line in 1998 after a silence of two decades.
However, Malick has seen his fame declining during the 21st century as the many films that followed showed little consistency in quality and a lot of people grew tired of his characteristic dreamy, poetic style. Nevertheless, a small number of fans who always stayed loyal to their favorite director and a big group of people secretly hoping for each of his new films to show the rebirth of the best Malick still look forward to each new film.
This year Malick returns to the Second World War with Radegund, this time following the Austrian Franz Jägerstätter after his refusal to fight for the Nazis, a conscientious decision obviously met with a lot of resistance.
The cast of Radegund is surprisingly modest for a Malick film and consists solely of European actors, such as August Diehl, Michael Nyqvist, Bruno Ganz and Matthias Schoenaerts. The mountainous Austrian scenery could inspire some wonderful Malick moments while the prosaic background of World War II could urge him to exercise some welcome restraint in his often weighty contemplation.
Radegund has no official release date yet, but it is currently in post-production and will normally be released in the course of 2019.
Author Bio: Ben De Smet is a freelance journalist from Belgium, mainly writing on cinema and (pop) culture. When he’s not watching a movie, he’s probably watching cycling, or riding his bike.