The pop-culture sphere may still be buzzing about last year’s films in the buildup to award season, but stoners are already looking forward to the next batch of entertaining movies they get to see in theaters. From action-packed thrillers to stoner comedies, 2019 looks like it will be stacked full of enjoyable titles for moviegoers with all kinds of taste. Pause your Netflix and come learn about these 10 movies you should check out during the first half of the year!
The Lego Movie and its various spinoffs are some of of the funniest, most creative kids films to come out recently. With stars Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks being joined by Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph, The Lego Movie 2 looks like it will be just as hilarious and thought-provoking as the original. Set five years after The Lego Movie, everyone’s favorite legos have to defend themselves from an invading force of Duplo Bricks who want to destroy all life in the the Lego Universe.
At this point, if Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s names are associated with a project, it should make you run to the theater. The duo, who directed the first film and produced the Golden Globe-winning Into The Spider-Verse, returned to write the screenplay for the sequel, so hopefully this film will be just as entertaining as everything else they touch.
Based on Yukito Kishiro’s classic manga, Alita: Battle Angel follows a robot desperately trying to piece her past together. No, Alita (Rosa Salazar) doesn’t have long-term memory loss from smoking too much; she’s brain damaged and left in critical condition after an apocalyptic event. In her amnesiac state the only thing she remembers is a legendary martial arts form known as Panzer Kunst, knowledge that leads her on a dangerous path of self-discovery where she’s forced to take on deadly droids to gather information about her former life as an assassin.
In development since 2000, Alita is one of James Cameron’s passion projects. Not only did he write the screenplay, he was originally set to direct it before work on Avatar made it too difficult. Fortunately Robert Rodriguez, the zany director behind films like Spy Kids and Machete, stepped in to take over after helping Cameron condense the script, so the project is still in capable hands.
I’m not gonna lie, romantic comedies aren’t normally my thing, but Isn’t It Romantic looks like a clever, enjoyable twist on the genre. Set in New York City, the film follows Natalie (Rebel Wilson), someone who is fed up with “love” after she gets a concussion and magically wakes up inside the cheery world of a rom-com. Aware of all the changes in her life, especially the random appearance of a gay best friend and an upgraded apartment, Natalie has to navigate all the tropes and cliches as she tries to find real love in this phony world in order to return to her old life. Also starring Priyanka Chopra, Adam Devine, and Liam Hemsworth, Isn’t It Romantic looks like it will be a tongue-in-cheek hit that will have no problem stretching the limits of its PG-13 rating.
Tyler Perry may have just played General Colin Powell in Adam McKay’s Vice, but the Hollywood icon is returning to what he’s best known for in 2019: the Madea series. Written and directed by and starring Perry in multiple roles, A Madea Family Funeral follows an extended reunion that quickly goes downhill as everyone has to relocate to rural Georgia in order to plan an unexpected funeral. Don’t let the serious premise fool you though; with Madea leading the planning, the movie will be packed full of humorous, attitude-filled moments. Rumored to be the last film in the franchise, anyone who likes Perry’s unique sense of wit and heart should see what words of wisdom Madea has in store for her family and all of us as we head into the new year.
Hot off the tails of his Oscar-winning directorial debut Get Out, comedian-turned-horror auteur Jordan Peele is back with Us, another haunting psychological thriller. A beach vacation with friends turns deadly for the Wilson family as a mysterious group of deranged doppelgängers arrive on their driveway at the end of the night and immediately start to terrorize the group. While Get Out utilized racism to establish its creepy tone, Us is set to examine the idea that we are our own worst enemy. The cast is stacked with great performers like Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke in the lead roles, but I’m most excited to see Tim Heidecker step away from his Adult Swim personas and stretch his dramatic chops.
No, this isn’t a movie about a disgraced member of The Beach Boys, but it does feature Matthew McConaughey smoking a lot of weed on the beach so it’s still worth checking out. McConaughey plays Moonbag, a pot-loving poet who wanders through life with a smile—and has no problem asking the guy at the liquor store if they sell acid. With Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, and Zac Efron rounding out the cast of this stoner comedy, The Beach Bum may turn out to be one of 2019’s sleeper hits.
Directed by Harmony Korine, the twisted genius behind Kids, Gummo, and Spring Breakers, odds are the humor will eventually reveal a dark, gripping story. Don’t let that harsh your mellow though, because the movie looks like it will be one hell of a ride. Honestly though, as long as McConaughey says “alright, alright, alright,” I’ll be happy.
With so many superhero movies released in the last few years and dozens more in the pipeline, it can be hard for a new franchise to distinguish itself from the pack. Shazam!, the story about a young boy named Billy Batson who transforms into a superhero after meeting an ancient wizard, looks set to be DC’s most entertaining and comedic film yet. An origin story with a fresh twist, the audience will finally get to see a superhero who’s just as confused about his situation as we are. With Zachary Levi in the lead, Shazam! looks like a fun take on the genre that will be packed full of entertaining action sequences and funny fish-out-of-water antics as Billy Batson adjusts to having an adult-sized body and figures out how to control his powers for the first time.
“What do you mean half of all life in the universe was wiped away in the last one?”
Watching a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without seeing the previous one is usually fine. Sure, there may be a few ancillary details you don’t understand, but odds are you’ll enjoy the story and the sight of your favorite superheroes kicking butt on the big screen. Well, Avengers: Endgame is certainly not one of those movies.
Directed by the Russo brothers, Endgame is the culmination of everything Marvel Studios has been building towards since they released Iron Man in 2007. At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, half of all life, including many fan-favorite heroes, disappeared after Thanos collected the Infinity Stones and snapped his fingers (comic books are a riot, people). Now it falls to the remaining Avengers to save the universe in what will likely be an action-packed, emotional conclusion that changes the MCU forever.
John Wick is likely the most successful and enjoyable new action franchise to emerge from Hollywood in quite a while. Starring Keanu Reeves as the notorious, dog-loving hitman John Wick, nicknamed “the Baba Yaga” (after the folkloric Slavic witch), this new film sees the esteemed killer on the run with a $14 million price on his head. Wick seemingly stands alone as he tries to clear his name and survive the assassin packed streets of New York City. Chad Stahelski, a stuntman turned filmmaker who worked with Reeves on The Matrix and directed the last two movies, is back behind the camera for Wick’s third outing, meaning the action will be as expertly choreographed, bloody and tense as ever.
“And I’m gonna be highhhhhh, as a kite by then.”
Make way, everybody. The Tiny Dancer, Sir Elton John himself, is finally getting the biopic treatment after the film was originally announced all the way back in 2012. Starring Taron Egerton, best known for his role in the Kingsman franchise, as the bespectacled pianist, Rocketman follows the singer from his early days at the Royal Academy of Music all the way up to his iconic rockstar status.
Here’s a fun-fact for all you movie nerds out there. Director Dexter Fletcher, who previously worked with Egerton in Eddie the Eagle, actually took over directorial duties from Bryan Singer on the Golden Globe-winning Bohemian Rhapsody. Fletcher didn’t receive any credits for his work on the film, but if you enjoyed that musical biopic odds are you’ll like this one too!
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