The year is already half over, and though there are a lot of movies to catch up with, there are even more to look forward to as 2019 barrels to an end. There’s a new Terminator movie, Taika Waititi playing Hitler, and this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Parasite, which might be the best two hours and 11 minutes we’ll have all year.
To help you keep your movie calendar in check, we’ve put together a list of 40 movies hitting theaters through the rest of the year that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re looking for a blockbuster or a quiet meditation on the nature of family, we’ve got a movie for you.
Directed by Andy Muschietti, opening Sept. 6
The boys (and one girl) are back in town! The hotly anticipated follow-up to It is hitting theaters almost exactly two years later, and will be delving into the aftermath of The Losers Club’s run-in with Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård). Having promised to return home to destroy the clown should it ever return, the gang — now all adults — make their way back to face their demons once again.
Directed by John Crowley, opening Sept. 13
Based on the novel of the same name by Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch tells the story of Theo Decker (Ansel Elgort), whose mother is killed at a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, he takes a small painting called The Goldfinch, which becomes something of a talisman to him as he grows up. Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Jeffrey Wright, and Finn Wolfhard also star.
Directed by Lorene Scafaria, opening Sept. 13
In 2015, journalist Jessica Pressler published a piece in New York magazine titled “The Hustlers at Scores,” about a group of strippers who had run a scam on wealthy clients after the late-2000s financial crisis. Julia Stiles plays a version of Pressler in Lorene Scafaria’s film adaptation, with Jennifer Lopez playing Ramona, the ringleader, and Constance Wu playing Destiny, the new girl whom Ramona takes under her wing. The story is told through Destiny’s narration as she recounts what happened, from the golden days preceding the crash to the eventual escalation of their tactics. Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart star as younger members of the group, with Lizzo and Cardi B appearing as other strippers.
Directed by James Gray, opening Sept. 20
Over and over, James Gray has proven himself to be perhaps the most sensitive filmmaker of our time (see: Little Odessa, The Immigrant). His last film, the tremendous The Lost City of Z, was his first to take place outside of New York, and his latest, Ad Astra, travels even further afield, taking Brad Pitt up into outer space. James Gray hive, where you at?!
Directed by Adrian Grunberg, opening Sept. 20
Given how many reboots and remakes we’ve gotten lately, perhaps it was inevitable that Rambo (who first appeared in First Blood in 1982) would return, too. Sylvester Stallone’s last go-round with the role sees Rambo going to Mexico in order to save the daughter of a friend from a drug cartel, though all you really need to know about the movie is that the trailer set the action to Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.”
Directed by Rupert Goold, opening Sept. 27
Set three decades after The Wizard of Oz, Renee Zellweger’s Judy Garland biopic focuses on the final years of the legendary performer’s life. As she reminisces with friends — as well as beginning a romance with musician Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock) — the film takes on Garland’s ups and downs, with Zellweger cutting an uncannily close figure in all of the footage that’s been seen so far.
Directed by Todd Phillips, opening Oct. 4
Against my better judgment, I am all-in on the Todd Phillips/Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie. Though each new report on what the film is actually about (Thomas Wayne is supposedly “in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump”) seems to indicate that this movie will be trying to tap into the zeitgeist in a way that seems less productive than promising, the King of Comedy vibe that emanates from every other detail — plus that delightful “Laughing” teaser — gives me hope.
Directed by Noah Hawley, opening Oct. 4
Hot off the heels of Legion is Noah Hawley’s feature directorial debut, Lucy in the Sky. Despite the title, it’s not a movie about the Beatles; rather, it’s a loose adaptation of the story of astronaut Lisa Nowak, who drove 900 miles straight after discovering that her lover had begun another affair. Natalie Portman stars as Lucy Cola, whose trouble readjusting to life on Earth is compounded by her affair with a fellow astronaut (Jon Hamm). Dan Stevens also makes the jump over from Legion as Lucy’s husband.
Pain and Glory
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, opening Oct. 4
Pedro Almodóvar’s film about an aging filmmaker, which draws on his own experiences, earned its lead, Antonio Banderas, the award for Best Actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and seems set to propel Banderas to the Oscars, too. Banderas plays director Salvador Mallo, who, throughout the film, recounts events from his entire life, as well as musing about the creation of art, and how (if at all) to separate it from one’s own life.
Directed by Ang Lee, opening Oct. 11
You had me at “Ang Lee,” and you really had me at “Ang Lee and Will Smith.” I don’t even know what to say about the actual pitch: “Ang Lee and two Will Smiths.” In Gemini Man, Smith plays an assassin whose attempts at getting out of the game are stymied by a young clone of himself, who, in turn, will be played by a CGI clone of Smith. (Obviously, the effects masters at Weta Digital are on the case.) While you wait for the movie to come out, here is a picture of Ang Lee destroying a hamburger.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho, opening Oct. 11
There’s no question that Bong Joon-ho’s thrilling Parasite is one of the best movies of the year. Like a vertically oriented Snowpiercer, Parasite is concerned with class. Two families, one rich (and living in a beautiful house on a hill) and one poor (and relegated to a sub-basement apartment in a flood-prone zone), become entwined in each other’s lives through matters of work and money. Gradually, however, their entanglement becomes more complicated, and the caper-esque qualities of the early part of the film twist into tragedy. Parasite builds like a symphony, and the great pleasure of it is not only that you’ll never see what’s coming, but that it’s so deftly made that you’ll want to revisit it again and again.
Directed by Taika Waititi, opening Oct. 18
Putting Hitler in a movie in any form is a gamble. If there’s anyone that I’d trust to do it well (?), it’s Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi. Jojo Rabbit, set during World War II, centers on a young boy whose imaginary friend is a version of Hitler who isn’t based on the dictator so much as he is an amalgam of the boy’s wishes for his father’s love. Waititi himself plays the made-up version of the Führer, because of course he does.
Directed by Robert Eggers, opening Oct. 18
The Witch is a tough act to follow, but director Robert Eggers has pulled it off — and how — with The Lighthouse. A fascinating mix of styles and mythologies, the film is a wild ride from top to bottom, defying expectations and weaving a tapestry so grand and so grim that it overflows from its near-square aspect ratio.
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star as lighthouse keepers working through a four-week shift. As the days pass, events on their little island grow stranger and stranger, and their methods of coping come down to drinking, which doesn’t exactly help. For the audience, at least, there is the panacea of bravado performances from Pattinson and Dafoe, who leave all vanity on the cutting room floor as they go all out in a descent into madness.
Directed by Joachim Rønning, opening Oct. 18
Maleficent seemed to give Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) the happy ending she was denied in the original Cinderella, but further trouble is afoot in the sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Aurora (Elle Fanning) is set to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson, replacing Brenton Thwaites from the first movie), and it seems like her new mother-in-law (Michelle Pfeiffer) maybe be the in-law from hell. Of course, it’s up to Maleficent to step in and make sure things go smoothly.
Zombieland: Double Tap
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, opening Oct. 18
What if Zombieland became Ruben Fleischer’s Boyhood? The franchise, which began in 2009 and is returning a decade later, seems to raise that particular thought experiment, given that the exact same cast is reuniting for the sequel. It’s the same principle that Richard Linklater was operating on, isn’t it? Check in every so often on the same cast, except instead of telling a story about a boy growing up in Texas, this is about a group of people getting by in an apocalyptic wasteland.
Directed by Ira Sachs, opening Oct. 25
Like most Ira Sachs movies, Frankie is a delicate domestic drama, featuring an ensemble of players who revolve around actress Frankie Crémont (Isabelle Huppert). Frankie has gathered her family together for a last trip before her terminal cancer gets worse, and each scene — even if Frankie isn’t in them — deals with the weight of that looming, inevitable death alongside the mundanities of life and family.
Directed by Kasi Lemmons, opening Nov. 1
Cynthia Erivo stars as Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet, based on the life of the famed abolitionist who escaped slavery and was a pivotal figure for the Underground Railroad, leading other slaves to freedom. Leslie Odom Jr. co-stars as William Still, a fellow abolitionist, with Janelle Monáe, Jennifer Nettles, and Joe Alwyn in supporting roles.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, opening Nov. 1
Even though Scorsese’s Silence didn’t get nearly the kind of attention it deserved, the acclaimed director is still blessing us with another film, this time via Netflix. The Irishman is a passion project for Scorsese, and has the billing to match: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino reunite for the fourth time (after The Godfather Part II, Heat, and Righteous Kill) in a take on alleged hitman Frank Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Bufalino crime family. It’s gonna rule! Joe Pesci came out of unofficial retirement for this!
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, opening Nov. 1
Steven Soderbergh’s latest film takes on another slice of history: the Panama Papers. Meryl Streep heads the cast as Ellen Martin, whose vacation takes a turn when she stumbles across a series of dealings that all lead to a single Panama City law firm run by Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas). Bit by bit, it becomes clear that what she’s found is just the tip of the iceberg of an international conspiracy.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Directed by Tim Miller, opening Nov. 1
Though the new Terminator movie will apparently disregard the last three Terminator films (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, and Terminator Genisys, which, hell, I liked), Arnold Schwarzenegger is once again set to return, as is the OG Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton. The film will serve as a direct sequel to The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and will also feature a truly ripped Mackenzie Davis.
Directed by Mike Flanagan, opening Nov. 8
Stephen King remains the reigning king of horror movie adaptations with Doctor Sleep, which is based on his sequel to The Shining. Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor), son of The Shining lead Jack Torrance, is still struggling to find peace after what took place at the Overlook Hotel. Peace, however, is nowhere to be found, as his extrasensory gift brings him into contact with a cult searching for the key to immortality.
Directed by Alma Har’el, opening Nov. 8
Honey Boy, written by Shia LaBeouf, is a thinly veiled telling of LaBeouf’s own story, as it follows a child actor (played by Noah Jupe as a child and Lucas Hedges as a teenager) and his relationship with his alcoholic father (played by none other than LaBeouf himself). It’s a fascinating work in the wake of LaBeouf’s very public struggles with fame, and boasts a career performance from the actor.
Directed by Paul Feig, opening Nov. 8
A holiday rom-com arrives just in time for Thanksgiving with Last Christmas, which uses the music of the late George Michael to help bring the cynical Kate (Emilia Clarke) and the optimistic Tom (Henry Golding) together. Kate works at a year-round Christmas shop, but is finding it hard to maintain a sense of holiday spirit. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Tom, whom she keeps running into by chance.
Directed by Elizabeth Banks, opening Nov. 15
The Charlie’s Angels franchise is revving back to life with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska as the Angels, and Elizabeth Banks (who is also directing the movie) as Charlie. The crime-fighting trio will no doubt have their hands full, as the names they have to contend with range from Patrick Stewart to the internet’s boyfriend, Noah Centineo.
Ford v Ferrari
Directed by James Mangold, opening Nov. 15
James Mangold’s follow-up to Logan is Ford v Ferrari, which sets former Bourne Matt Damon and former Batman Christian Bale on the racetrack as Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) wants to build a car that will beat anything built by Ferrari (Remo Girone) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, and it’s up to Shelby to build it, and Miles to drive it.
Directed by Scott Z. Burns, opening Nov. 15
It’s a big year for Adam Driver, what with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wrapping up the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The Report promises to be a tougher sit, as Driver plays a man charged with investigating the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and accusations of torture in the wake of 9/11. It’s a bold performance from Driver, as well as a sensitively handled look at a grim part of American history.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Directed by Marielle Heller, opening Nov. 22
Even the title of this film makes me cry. The fact that America’s sweetheart Tom Hanks is playing Fred Rogers is enough to crank up the dial to “wrenching sobs.” Matthew Rhys co-stars as Lloyd Vogel, a journalist sent to profile Rogers who, naturally, finds his own view of the world changing as he spends time in Rogers’ neighborhood.
Directed by Todd Haynes, opening Nov. 22
Todd Haynes (of Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven, and Carol) returns with Dark Waters, a drama based on the true story of environmental defense attorney Robert Bilott (played by Mark Ruffalo) and his case against the chemical company and polluter DuPont. The film centers on his quest to expose the truth, and the toll it takes on his life and his family, with Anne Hathaway as Bilott’s wife and The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper co-starring.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, opening Nov. 27
Disney has been relatively tight-lipped about details on the new film, though we know this much: Elsa (Idina Menzel) finally figures out how to control her magic, and finally lets loose. (Letting it go?) Trailers for the sequel tease a movie that’s bigger on the action and lifting a little from Disney’s Marvel success story.
Directed by Rian Johnson, opening Nov. 27
After directing The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson is back to his caper roots with the whodunit Knives Out. If you’ve seen his 2009 film The Brothers Bloom, then you know that this is cause for celebration, especially as the cast is stacked with names like Daniel Craig (building off of his Logan Lucky appearance), Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, and Don Johnson. Oh, and, of course, Noah Segan.
Directed by Melina Matsoukas, opening Nov. 27
Written by Lena Waithe (Master of None), Queen & Slim is billed as the story of the “black Bonnie and Clyde,” as it follows two young lovers who must go on the run. Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya play the star-crossed pair, who, after an incident with a police officer that ends in the officer’s death, flee in fear of their lives. The footage of the scene, however, goes viral, making them infamous. Bokeem Woodbine, Indya Moore, and Chloë Sevigny also star.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Directed by Céline Sciamma, opening Dec. 6
Céline Sciamma’s new film isn’t particularly revolutionary when it comes to the story it’s telling, but it’s stunning in the details and execution. Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint a portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), with the one stipulation: Héloïse must not know the portrait is being painted. It’s a condition that Marianne is happy to agree to at first, but finds harder to accept as the two get to know each other. What follows is a love story that unfolds so warmly and delicately that it’s impossible to resist, with a final shot that should single-handedly turn any remaining doubts about the quality of the film and its performances. Portrait of a Lady on Fire also deals with the way female artists have often been erased from their own stories and robbed of agency, which makes it all the more refreshing that almost the entire cast is made up of women.
Directed by Sophia Takal, opening Dec. 13
Arriving on Friday the 13th is Blumhouse’s remake of the 1974 slasher Black Christmas, which sees a group of sorority girls in the sights of a serial killer. The remake, however, has been updated so that the young women aren’t just waiting to be picked off; instead, they’re fighting back against their would-be murderer, with Imogen Poots (Green Room) heading up the cast.
Directed by Jake Kasdan, opening Dec. 13
Thought the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle kids wouldn’t find a way back into the game? Well, think again! The cursed cartridge has been repaired and it’s back to the jungle, baby! This time around, players and characters have swapped around, as Spencer (Alex Wolff) disappears into the game and, when his friends arrive to help him, they get Spencer’s grandfather (Danny DeVito) and his friend (Danny Glover) sucked into the game, too. Yes, your dreams are coming true: We’re getting Dwayne Johnson doing a Danny DeVito impersonation.
Directed by Terrence Malick, opening Dec. 13
The hidden life of Franz Jägerstätter comes to the big screen in Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, which stars Inglourious Basterds’ August Diehl as the conscientious objector. During World War II, Jägerstätter refused to fight for Hitler, and was jailed and eventually executed for it. The film focuses on his imprisonment and the effect on his family, slowly parsing through exactly what caused Jägerstätter to hold so fast to his convictions.
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Directed by Richard Starzak, opening Dec. 13
Stop-motion studio Aardman can do no wrong, and though the Wallace and Gromit shorts remain the studio’s best work, the Shaun the Sheep movies may just give them a run for their money. The first film, released in 2015, was a delight, and the sequel looks to be shaking up the formula by cranking things up to the next level. Forget a jaunt into the big city — Farmageddon throws an alien and the attendant government agents into the mix.
Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, opening Dec. 13
If any film will truly cement the Adam Sandler-ssance, it is Uncut Gems, which pairs Sandler with Good Time directors Josh and Benny Safdie. Sandler plays a jewelry store owner struggling with a gambling addiction and the attendant problems, who finds himself in hot water when his merchandise is stolen. The set photos have shown Sandler in various states of rage, bloodiness, and public-fountain-jumping-ness, all of which seem to herald a — pardon the pun — very good time.
Directed by Tom Hooper, opening Dec. 20
Cats. What is there to say about Cats? Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, and Judi Dench will be there. They’ll be playing cats. They’ll be sending another cat to the Heaviside Layer. If you need any further explanation, I highly recommend reading this.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, opening Dec. 20
The final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy caps off the year, which is about as good a Christmas present as you could ask for. Though there’s not too much known about it besides the fact that it’s set to take place a year after the events of The Last Jedi, Episode IX still has the goods: Richard E. Grant is joining the Star Wars universe, as is Keri Russell, with Billy Dee Williams returning as Lando Calrissian.
Directed by Greta Gerwig, opening Dec. 25
The eighth feature film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel comes courtesy of Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig, and stars a murderers’ row of actresses including Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep. As with all adaptations of the beloved book, this film promises to inspire impassioned opinions, though Gerwig is arguably the perfect choice to handle the material.