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    Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight)

    10 films to see in 2018

    4 January 2018

    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