10 films to see in 2018

Three Billboards, The Incredibles 2 and Phantom Thread are all on the way

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

After the mess of Seven Psychopaths, Martin McDonagh gets right back on track with this tale of a bereaved mother, played with icy brilliance by Frances McDormand, attempting to embarrass Woody Harrelson’s local sheriff into stepping up the search for her daughter’s killer. It’s like a Cohen brothers’ film on crack – melancholy and violent at times, but mainly very, very funny. Released on January 12

Phantom Thread

After collaborating so unforgettably on There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day-Lewis reunites with director Paul Thomas Anderson for the former’s final film before his retirement from acting. Acclaim is already vociferous for Day-Lewis’s star turn as a revered dressmaker in 1950s London. Released on February 2

The Shape of Water

A new film from Guillermo del Toro, the genius behind Pan’s Labyrinth, is always something to get excited about. The Shape of Water is another wildly fantastical story from the Mexican master about a mute woman, played by Sally Hawkins, who falls in love with a half-man, half-fish who is being held captive at a government laboratory. Released on February 14

Lady Bird

The reaction to this coming of age comedy, about a high school student desperate to escape her stultifying small town existence, has been nothing short of ecstatic. The film, starring Saoirse Ronan and directed by Greta Gerwig, lands here in February, so not long now before British audiences can see what all the fuss is about. Released on February 16

You Were Never Really Here

Joaquin Phoenix stars as an enforcer for hire in this disorinetating and brutal big screen adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ superb novella. Lynne Ramsay, who directed We Need to Talk About Kevin, has made a provocative thriller that deserves to be one of the most discussed films of the year. Released on March 8

The Square

Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure is one of the finest films of the last decade. The Swedish writer-director therefore has big expectations to meet with his latest bitter comedy, a satire on the pretensions of the art world, which picked up the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes festival. Released on March 16

Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson returns to stop motion animation, a medium with which he had decidedly mixed results with back in 2009 with Fantastic Mr Fox, to tell one of his typically off-the-wall stories. This one, set in a future Japan, is about a group of dogs banished to a remote island following an outbreak of ‘canine flu’ on the mainland. Released on March 30

Lean On Pete

Lean on Pete, adapted from Willy Vlautin’s novel, takes the well-trodden genre of the US road movie and does wondrous things with it. A young boy, living with his deadbeat father, falls in with Steve Buscemi’s kindly but dodgy racehorse owner, before stealing one of the horses and hitting the road without much of a plan. The acting is perfectly judged, particularly by the young lead Charlie Plummer, and the film looks fantastic. British director Andrew Haigh gained plenty of plaudits for his previous film, 45 Years, and he’s scored another minor key triumph with this one. Released on May 4

The Incredibles 2

The first outing for the superhero family way back in 2004 remains one of Pixar’s finest achievements, and this long-awaited sequel will surely be one of the biggest hits of the summer. Released on July 13

Widows

Viola Davis (Getty)

Steve McQueen, director of films as various as Hunger, Shame and 12 Years A Slave, changes register once again with this heist thriller, based on a British TV mini-series from the 1980s. A group of armed robbers are killed when a job goes horribly wrong, so their wives step forward to finish the job. Viola Davis, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell all star. Released on November 9

Also showing…

Early Man – The latest stop motion feature from Aardman Animations. January 26

The Post – Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in this drama about the publication of the Pentagon Papers. January 19

Loveless – A mesmerising Russian drama about an estranged couple whose young child goes missing. February 9

Journeyman – Paddy Considine writes, directs and stars in this heartfelt drama about an injured boxer. February 16

I, Tonya – More sport on screen as Margot Robbie plays disgraced ice skater Tonya Harding. February 23

Red Sparrow – Jennifer Lawrence stars as a ballerina turned secret agent in the latest spy thriller on the block. March 2


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