Movies And TV Shows To Be Really Excited About In 2018

From A Wrinkle in Time to Ready Player One, and Rise to the Roseanne reboot, there are a lot of new film and television offerings to be excited about. In chronological order!

1. LA to Vegas, Jan. 2 (9 p.m. on Fox)

2. Grown-ish, Jan. 3 (8 p.m. on Freeform)

3. 9-1-1, Jan. 3 (9 p.m. on Fox)

4. The Four, Jan. 4 (8 p.m. on Fox)

5. The Chi, Jan. 7 (10 p.m. on Showtime)

6. Proud Mary, Jan. 12

7. The Commuter, Jan. 12

8. The Polka King, Jan. 12

9. Black Lightning, Jan. 16 (9 p.m. on the CW)

10. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Jan. 17 (10 p.m. on FX)

11. Corporate, Jan. 17 (10 p.m. on Comedy Central)

12. Step Sisters, Jan. 19

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Netflix

When Jamilah Bishop (Megalyn Echikunwoke), an excellent student and the captain of her step crew, is asked to train an insubordinate, mostly white sorority in the art of stepping, she secretly agrees, betraying her own sorority. (I love movies when people are just asked to do nonsensical things, and then agree to do them, but this setup makes me think the cheer-off scene in Bring It On has been expanded into a movie, which is all I want in this life.) Charles Stone III (2002's Drumline) is the director of this Netflix movie.

13. Counterpart, Jan. 21 (8 p.m. on Starz)

14. Mosaic, Jan. 22 (8 p.m. on HBO — all six episodes air that week, concluding Friday night)

15. The Alienist, Jan. 22 (9 p.m. on TNT)

16. Let's Get Physical, Jan. 24 (8:30 p.m. on Pop)

17. Waco, Jan. 24 (10 p.m. on Paramount Network)

18. Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Jan. 26

19. Absentia, February 2 (Amazon)

20. Altered Carbon, Feb. 2 (Netflix)

21. 2 Dope Queens, Feb. 2 (HBO)

22. The Cloverfield Paradox, Feb. 4

23. Queer Eye, Feb. 7 (Netflix)

24. The 15:17 to Paris, Feb. 9

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Warner Bros.

In August 2015, a gunman on a train from Amsterdam to Paris was brought down by passengers, three of whom are the subjects of Clint Eastwood's new movie, The 15:17 to Paris. Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone — who met and became friends as children — were three Americans on the train (two were in the military), and the story will follow their lives leading up to the attack. And the men will play themselves as adults! Which is sort of interesting (and it also seemed pretty clear in the trailer that they're not professional actors). P.S. Eastwood is 87 years old and pretty much directs a movie per year. I barely move from my couch to the kitchen. I do hope scientists somewhere are studying him.

25. Fifty Shades Freed, Feb. 9

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Universal

The first of these movies, Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015, grossed more than half a billion dollars at the box office (and god knows how much more in the aftermarket). Last year's Fifty Shades Darker performed worse, though making more than $380 million worldwide is nothing to sneeze at. Was it because the novelty was gone? Or because the movie was pretty bad? (I maintain the first one was fun, and had some interesting ideas.) With the same directing-screenwriting team as Darker returning for this one — James Foley and Niall Leonard, respectively — I am curious how Fifty Shades Freed will do in terms of ticket sales. I thought they weakened the sequel (Leonard is the husband of E.L. James, the Fifty Shades novelist). Even if you hate the first movie — and so many do! — you may appreciate Sam Taylor-Johnson's stylish direction of it. Or not. I'm sure I'll hear about it in the comments. Back to the movie: Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Ana (Dakota Johnson) are married now, and there are people who want to break them up and maybe kill them, which was also the case in the second movie.

26. Our Cartoon President, Feb. 11 (8 p.m. on Showtime)

27. Here and Now, Feb. 11 (9 p.m. on HBO)

28. Black Panther, Feb. 16

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Marvel Studios

Marvel fans first saw Black Panther in action in 2016's Captain America: Civil War — but now, he leads. T'Challa (Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman) returns to the (fictional) African country of Wakanda after his father dies, making him king. And it ain't easy being king! Black Panther is a reunion for director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, who starred in Coogler's Fruitvale Station and the (fucking awesome) Creed. Here, Jordan plays the villain, Erik Killmonger, a former Wakandan exile who has returned to unseat T'Challa. It's exciting. And such a great cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, and Danai Gurira play T'Challa's protectors; Martin Freeman plays a CIA operative; Angela Bassett plays T'Challa's mother; Letitia Wright plays his sister; and Andy Serkis is another bad guy. It is a nice thing that one of the most anticipated movies of the year opens in February.

29. Irreplaceable You, Feb. 16 (Netflix)

30. Seven Seconds, Feb. 23 (Netflix)

31. Annihilation, Feb. 23

32. Game Night, Feb. 23

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Warner Bros.

A group of friends — led by Jason Bateman, Kyle Chandler, and Rachel McAdams — take the idea of game night to a violent extreme. Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (who co-directed Vacation, which I didn't like) are behind this. But the trailer looks so funny to me: I keep laughing at Jesse Plemons being creepy, and McAdams saying, "Oh no, he died!" (And kind of everything McAdams does in the trailer? More funny Rachel McAdams, please.)

33. Good Girls, Feb. 26 (10 p.m. on NBC)

34. Living Biblically, Feb. 26 (9:30 p.m. on CBS)

35. Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., Feb. 27 (10 p.m. on USA)

36. The Looming Tower, Feb. 28 (Hulu)

37. Red Sparrow, March 2

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Fox

After Joy, Passengers, and Mother!, we're still legally allowed to get excited about Jennifer Lawrence movies, right? If not, throw me in jail, because I cannot wait for this one! Lawrence plays a Russian spy who falls in love with a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) and considers turning on Russia. Also, the members of the spy group she's been trained in are called "Sparrows" and they're trained at a "Sparrow School" where no less than Charlotte Rampling is their teacher. Francis Lawrence (no relation) directed this movie, and the trailer looks good.

38. Life Sentence, March 7 (9 p.m. on the CW)

39. A Wrinkle in Time, March 9

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Disney

I cried watching the trailer for A Wrinkle in Time. I cried because I love Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 book about a girl on a quest to find her father, and because this adaptation, directed by Ava DuVernay, has been a long time coming for its fans. I also cried because I love that a black actor plays Meg Murry (Storm Reid), the lead character, and because I'm so excited that Oprah Winfrey will be Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon is Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling is Mrs. Who. And if you throw in that DuVernay is the first woman of color to direct a movie with a budget of more than $100 million, the sobs begin. Most important, it just looks so good, and I cannot wait.

40. American Idol, March 11 (8 p.m. on ABC)

41. Instinct, March 11 (8 p.m. on CBS)

42. For the People, March 13 (10 p.m. on ABC) and Station 19, March 22 (9 p.m. on ABC)

43. Rise, March 13 (10 p.m. on NBC — its regular time slot will be 9 p.m. after its premiere)

44. Love, Simon, March 16

45. Tomb Raider, March 16

46. Krypton, March 21 (10 p.m. on Syfy)

47. Trust, March 25 (10 p.m. on FX)

48. Muppet Babies, March 23 (10 a.m. on Disney Channel and Disney Junior)

49. Roxanne Roxanne, March 23

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Netflix

This film got good reviews at Sundance, and was snatched up by Netflix. It's about Roxanne Shanté, who at 14 in 1984 recorded a rap song called “Roxanne’s Revenge” as an answer to UTFO’s “Roxanne, Roxanne." It sparked hip-hop's "Roxanne Wars," sold tons, and dominated New York radio, but she ended up with almost nothing. Chanté Adams plays the lead role, and drew raves for her performance; Mahershala Ali plays the (bad) man with whom she has a child. Michael Larnell, a protégé of Spike Lee's, wrote and directed.

50. Isle of Dogs, March 23

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Fox Searchlight

This animated movie by Wes Anderson is set in a dystopian Japan in which all dogs are quarantined on a remote island. When 12-year-old Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin), a ward of a corrupt mayor, loses his dog, Atari goes to the island to find him. There, he enlists a disgruntled, insurrectionist pack of exiled dogs, voiced by Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Edward Norton, and Bill Murray. (No girl dogs, I guess?) This looks adorable.

51. Pacific Rim Uprising, March 23

52. The Terror, March 26 (9 p.m. on AMC)

53. Roseanne, March 27 (8 p.m. on ABC)

54. Siren, March 29 (8 p.m. on Freeform)

55. Ready Player One, March 30

56. Jesus Christ Superstar Live, April 1 (NBC)

57. The Crossing, April 2 (10 p.m. on ABC)

58. The Last O.G., April 3 (10:30 p.m. on TBS)

59. Paterno, April 7; Fahrenheit 451, May 19 (HBO)

60. Killing Eve, April 8 (8 p.m. on BBC America)

61. Howards End, April 8 (Starz)

62. Unforgotten, April 8 (9 p.m. on Sundays through May 13, Masterpiece on PBS)

63. Bug Juice, Spring/Summer TBA (Disney Channel)

64. Rampage, April 13

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Warner Bros.

When did this trailer get me? Was it when it became clear that Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is playing a primatologist, of all things? Is it when the giant wolf jumps up and attacks the helicopter? Was it Jeffrey Dean Morgan's over-the-top Southern accent as the villain? Was it the words "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF SAN ANDREAS," a movie I've gotten sucked into countless times? It doesn't really matter when it got me — but it got me good.

65. Avengers: Infinity War, April 27

66. A Little Help With Carol Burnett, May 4 (Netflix)

67. Life of the Party, May 11

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Warner Bros.

Will the third time be the charm for the feature efforts of Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone? Tammy in 2014 was trashed by critics (but performed better at the box office than I thought it had); The Boss in 2016 was also panned. In Life of the Party, Deanna (McCarthy) goes back to college after her husband dumps her — just as her daughter (Molly Gordon) is starting at the same school. Maya Rudolph, Gillian Jacobs, Matt Walsh, and Jacki Weaver costar with McCarthy, who can be the funniest person on Earth, in my opinion, given the right material.

68. Little Women, May 13 from 8 to 9 p.m., then May 20 from 8 to 10 p.m. (Masterpiece on PBS)

69. Slender Man, May 18

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Screen Gems

I'm not going to lie: There's a 95% chance I'll be too scared to see this movie. Just the idea of the Slender Man, the internet myth that inspired two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls to stab their friend, gives me the deepest creeps in my soul. A movie version of the character — who apparently looks like The Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer — was inevitable. Sylvain White, a prolific television director, who also directed 2007's Stomp the Yard, directs; Joey King, Julia Goldani-Telles, and Jaz Sinclair are among the teen cast who will be terrorized by the Slender Man. Just typing the words Slender Man… Help me!

70. Deadpool 2, May 18

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20th Century Fox

Though the first Deadpool was released in 2016, and this one is coming out only two years later, it feels like this sequel has had a long road. Perhaps because Tim Miller, who directed the first one and was also doing the second, was fired after he and star Ryan Reynolds clashed. David Leitch, who codirected John Wick, even though he didn't get credit due to the Directors Guild of America being ridiculous, took over for Miller. Then there was also a seemingly endless search for an actor to play Cable, a cybernetic mutant: Kyle Chandler, Michael Shannon, and David Harbour were all in the running at various points, but Josh Brolin got the role in the end, signing on for four films. Also new to the cast is Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) as Domino, another mutant and a mercenary. Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Leslie Uggams all return, but best of all, Brianna Hildebrand will be back as Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Ahead of being presumably taken over by Disney, Fox is heavily investing in its comic book mutants in 2018. In The New Mutants (April 13), an X-Men superhero horror movie, young mutants (Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, and Charlie Heaton among them) are held captive in a facility. And in what X-Men fans hope will be a corrective to the dreadful Last Stand, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be the directorial debut of Simon Kinberg, who has overseen the franchise for years. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, and Sophie Turner all return. Dark Phoenix will be released on Nov. 2. [Update: The New Mutants has now been pushed to Feb. 22, 2019, eek!]

71. Solo: A Star Wars Story, May 25

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Disney/Lucasfilm

Solo started out as a bumpy ride, with codirectors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) being fired from the movie and Ron Howard taking over. (This excellent Hollywood Reporter story has all the dirt about what happened, like Miller and Lord relying on improvisation — to the dismay of screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan — and Lucasfilm's president, Kathleen Kennedy, finally firing the pair.) But the behind-the-scenes machinations won't necessarily have any effect on the final movie: I thought Rogue One was really good, and apparently its production was a huge mess! So let's just keep thinking good thoughts about Alden Ehrenreich as young Han, Donald Glover as young Lando Calrissian, and Joonas Suotamo as young Chewbacca. Plus, there are the additions of Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I am one with the Force, the Force is with me, and that's all we really have in this life, so I will this movie to be good.

72. C.B. Strike, June 1 (Cinemax)

73. Dietland, June 4 (9 p.m. on AMC)

74. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, June 8

75. Ocean’s 8, June 8

76. The Incredibles 2, June 15

77. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, June 22

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Universal

Details are scarce on this sequel to Jurassic World — though this behind-the-scenes video showed a few details, and so did the trailer above — but what we do know is that Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and B.D. Wong will return. And Jeff Goldblum will again play Ian Malcolm, his character from Jurassic Park, and yes, he says "life finds a way" in the trailer. (Goldblum was also in The Lost World, but best not to mention that movie any further.) J.A. Bayona takes over directing from Colin Trevorrow, but Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, who were among the writers of Jurassic World, wrote the screenplay for Fallen Kingdom. So for those who felt Jurassic World showed a mean streak in some of its kills — or hated that Howard had to spend the movie in high heels — well...it's possible the new movie might also be hashtag-problematic. (We do know that Trevorrow has learned from the heels mistake, though.) After the trailer dropped, Donna Dickens, formerly of BuzzFeed, had some great questions about it in a (salty!) Twitter thread. Most of all, why did they build Jurassic World on an island with a volcano?

78. Sicario 2: Soldado, June 29

79. Sharp Objects, July TBA (HBO)

80. The First, second half of the year TBA (Hulu)

81. Ant-Man and the Wasp, July 6

82. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, July 20

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Universal

The first Mamma Mia! in 2008 was so inexplicably huge — it made more than $600 million worldwide — that not doing a sequel has been leaving money on the table. And what studio does that! So 10 years later, almost to the day, Here We Go Again, literally. Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, and Stellan Skarsgård are all returning. And Cher is joining the cast! She hasn't acted in a movie since 2010's (unintentionally hilarious) Burlesque. The trailer for Here We Go Again, released just before Christmas, reveals a surprising development: It appears that Donna, Streep's character, may be dead, and a significant amount of the movie takes place in flashback, with Lily James playing young Donna? I gasped. We need the palliative ABBA songs to flow over us to calm us down.

83. Castle Rock, July 25 (Hulu)

84. Mission: Impossible — Fallout, July 27

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Paramount

While the cynical thing to do is to hate on these movies, and perhaps even on their star, Tom Cruise, I will confess without shame to thinking they're pretty great. And that they bring out the old-fashioned movie star in Cruise. I loved Ghost Protocol in 2011 so much; Rogue Nation (2015) was also very good. For this one, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (who also directed Cruise in Jack Reacher) has vowed to give Cruise's Ethan Hunt an "emotional journey," which was also J.J. Abrams' idea for Mission: Impossible III (and was greeted by mixed reviews from critics) — good luck to him. Also, nerds, this Mission: Impossible will be the first one in 3D. (Cruise, famous for doing his own stunts, was injured filming this movie, but Paramount claims its release date will remain the same.)

85. The Meg, Aug. 10

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Warner Bros.

When I was a kid, I had a book about sharks — you know, hammerheads, bull sharks, etc. — and at the very end was a picture of the Carcharodon megalodon, the prehistoric shark that apparently grew to be 75 feet long. It was one of those things I couldn't stop looking at or thinking about; I was fascinated and terrified. In other words, I feel like I've been waiting for The Meg my whole life! And when I became aware of Jason Statham, circa 2002 or so? I probably thought to myself, This guy should be in the Carcharodon megalodon movie I've always wanted! Well, here it is: The Meg has been in development since 1997, so I'm not the only one who's been waiting. It is based on a book Meg: A Story of Deep Terror (yes, I have read it). Jon Turteltaub, clearly qualified to direct this movie based on his work on the Sandra Bullock rom-com While You Were Sleeping, is in charge. (He also directed the National Treasure movies.) Ruby Rose and Rainn Wilson are in it, too, blah blah blah, LET'S SEE THE GIANT SHARK.

86. Crazy Rich Asians, Aug. 17

87. The Hate U Give, Fall 2018

88. The House With a Clock in Its Walls, Sept. 21

89. Boy Erased, Sept. 28

90. Smallfoot, Sept. 28

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Warner Bros.

A bunch of Yeti sit around a campfire scaring small Yeti children with horror stories of human babies? "It's a terrifying creature, with perfect white teeth, and breath that just smells all minty fresh! And the only hair it has on its entire body is on the top of its head!" What's not to love? Channing Tatum, Gina Rodriguez, Zendaya, and LeBron James (???) are among the voice cast.

91. Night School, Sept. 28

92. A Star Is Born, Oct. 5

93. Venom, Oct. 5

94. First Man, Oct. 12

95. Halloween, Oct. 19

96. Bohemian Rhapsody, Nov. 2

97. The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Nov. 9

98. Widows, Nov. 16

99. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Nov. 16

100. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, Nov. 21

101. Mary Queen of Scots, Dec. 7

102. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Dec. 14

103. Aquaman, Dec. 21

104. Mary Poppins Returns, Dec. 25

105. My Brilliant Friend, 2018 TBA (HBO)

106. Netflix TV 2018

107. Amazon TV 2018

108. Heathers, 2018 TBA (10 p.m. on Paramount Network)

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