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Kaboom! Magazine.com 19 Most Explosive Films to Watch in 2019

Kaboom! Magazine.com 19 Most Explosive Films to Watch in 2019

2018 was an excellent year in film. We had teen romances (Love, Simon; Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) and urgent dramas (BlacKkKlansman; The Hate U Give); stylish thrillers (A Simple Favour; Widows) and blockbuster smashes (Black Panther; A Star is Born). Now it’s time to look forward. The year 2019 is already a major one for movies. Not only will it features the conclusion of ambitious (and bizarrely controversial) new Star Wars trilogy, it will also bring Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out, the first Marvel film focused squarely on a female hero, and a new Quentin Tarantino picture. From X-Men: The New Mutants and Captain Marvel to The Lion King and Dumbo remakes. Here are all the most exciting films to get riled up for next year.


When Disney released its animated classic in 1941, live action film was nowhere near technologically capable of telling a story like Dumbo. More than 75 years later, Hollywood may be in a place to pull it off, and it’s placing the opportunity in the hands of hit-or-miss director Tim Burton. There’s no denying that Burton is a talented filmmaker. He has soared to visionary heights in his career with visually stunning, narratively affecting films like Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Batman Returns. Dumbo is goddamn beautiful—and Burton has some in front of the camera help with Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, and Eva Green all taking roles in the live action remake—but we’ll have to wait until March to see if Burton’s vision can be sustained across an entire feature film.

18.The Hustle:

The title may have changed, but here is the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. An classic kind of Hollywood story—even when the 1988 original starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine was released—it is the tale of one graceful and high-rolling con artist trying to train (and muscle out) a crassly inept one. The yarn has already been successfully transferred as a musical to Broadway, so reimagining it now is more than fair game, especially after Hathaway proved to be the stealth comedy MVP in similar territory with 2018’s Ocean’s Eight. The film moves the story from the French Riviera to the UK and features Hathaway as the queen of manipulation, and Wilson as her less skilled but eager pupil/rival.

17.Hobbs & Shaw:

The most interesting element of 2017’s The Fate of the Furious was not the increasingly dour and self-important Vin Diesel, but the rancorous mini-buddy comedy embedded in the film in the form of DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and rogue assassin Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). The undeniable chemistry between two of Hollywood’s leading action/adventure stars seemed to make a spinoff inevitable, although how that will alter the dynamic of the main franchise in the future remains to be seen. For now, we can probably look forward to some hilarious repartee between the Rock and the Dome, not to mention jaw-dropping action courtesy of director David Leitch (Deadpool 2).


From the director of The Hangover trilogy and producer Martin Scorsese, get ready for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix. No, you haven’t been huffing Smilex, Warner Bros. is actually rolling the dice on a Joker solo movie. The catch? This one doesn’t take place in the shared DC Extended Universe, and has nothing to do with the version of the character made infamous by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. Instead Joker is a smaller film, telling how “a man utterly disregarded by society” becomes the Clown Prince of Crime… albeit in a Gotham City that looks remarkably like New York City circa Taxi Driver. If WB can resist the urge to pepper this with too much bat-fan service, and instead play up the psychological horror, Joker could end up being the most pleasant superhero (ahem, supervillain) movie surprise since Deadpool.

15.Zombieland 2:

A sequel to Zombieland? Who ever thought we’d get that? While the sleeper zombie comedy hit (how often can you write that?) was a surprise darling of 2009, no sequel ever materialized and seemed pretty caput after a so-so television adaptation. But now, in time for the 10th anniversary, everyone is coming back, including Oscar nominated Jesse Eisenberg, Oscar winning Emma Stone, thrice Oscar nominated Woody Harrelson (it’s been some decade!), Abigail Breslin, and director Ruben Fleischer and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The latter pair showed they know that rare alchemy for comedy sequels via Deadpool 2, and just discovering what “Zombie Kill of the Week” is going on 10 years after Tallahassee got his Twinkie should be a joy. (Please, let Twinkies last 10 years… and Bill Murray zombie corpses).


Disney’s supremely lucrative live-action adaptations project continues unabated, with this update of the 1992 animated classic. Mena Massoud has been cast as Street Rat #1 Aladdin, with Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. Will Smith is the Genie this time, with director Guy Ritchie making his family entertainment debut.

13.Once Upon A Time in Hollywood:

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a faded television star and Brad Pitt as his stunt double as they both look for a new comeback, but what raises the most eyebrows is that DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton is neighbors with Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), the ‘60s bombshell and wife of Roman Polanski who was eight months pregnant when she was brutally murdered by the Charles Manson family. The film risks going to some dark places, yet it likely is not exactly what it appears to be, not least of all because Tate’s sister has given the film and its screenplay her blessing (which she has refused to do for some of 2019’s other grisly “50th anniversary” cash-ins on the Tate murders). This is absolutely one of 2019’s must-see projects.

12.Dark Phoenix:

X-Men: Apocalypse may have had its weaknesses (we don’t blame you, Oscar Isaac), but Jean Grey (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner) was not one of them. Jean’s arc as the proto-Phoenix, in which she ultimately embraced her power to take out Apocalypse, was organic, subversive, and, save for a shoehorned-in Wolverine cameo, tightly plotted. Turner is slated to continue her turn as the telepathic, telekinetic teen in Dark Phoenix, presumably taking on a much larger role in the franchise and marking a passing of the baton from one X-Men generation to the next. Older mutants Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) will all be back, as will younger mutants Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters). They’ll be facing off in some capacity against Jessica Chastain’s villain, previously reported to be Lilandra, the Empress of the Shi’Ar Empire (though that has yet to be confirmed).

11.Are You Afraid of the Dark:

If you were born at any point in the ‘80s or early ‘90s, then Are You Afraid of the Dark? is as important a childhood staple as any urban legend. Acting as a tween version of The Twilight Zone, each episode starred a group of the most deadly serious theater kids you’ll ever see (they were Canadian, after all), as they took turns in a cultish ritual with strict bylaws of telling ghost stories around a campfire. Paramount mining this ‘90s kid property for a nostalgic reboot is smart, as is tapping Gary Dauberman (It, Annabelle) to write the screenplay.


Plot details are still few and far between at this point, but we know that Jordan Peele is writing and directing another thriller as a follow-up to his 2017 smash hit Get Out. It will star Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Moss, and Black Panther‘s Winston Duke among others, which already makes this sound like a really promising project.

9.The Irishman:

It’s a strange world indeed when a crime epic directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino–the latter working with Scorsese for the first time ever–finds itself a home with a streaming service like Netflix and not a major Hollywood studio. De Niro (in his ninth collaboration with Scorsese) stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor leader who was heavily involved in the corruption of the Teamsters Union by the mob and claimed to have been the man who killed Jimmy Hoffa. Visual effects needed to make the principals look decades younger in flashbacks have reportedly led the budget to soar to a stunning $175 million, with Netflix betting that these actors directed by this filmmaker, in the genre he’s most known for, will bring in the viewers… and potentially the awards. We admit it: We can’t wait for this one either.

8.Toy Story 4:

The Toy Story movies are unequivocally the gold standard in animated franchises. While making sequels to a beloved classic is always tough, each of the Toy Story follow-ups have become classics in their own right, especially Toy Story 3, which benefitted from its 10-year absence, as opposed to suffer from it. Now nine years after that, enters Toy Story 4. Given that Toy Story 3 concluded with what was clearly intended to be a final trilogy closer, it is a bit risky for Pixar to go back to this well. At least creatively; commercially, it will make all the money. Further Josh Cooley will be making his feature directing debut by stepping into Pixar’s first and arguably most adored toy chest of characters.

7.Star Wars Episode IX:

Episode IX is the culmination of everything Disney has been building up to since purchasing Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars in 2012. The film continue Rey’s story as she learns more about the Jedi and her mysterious Force abilities. Meanwhile, the First Order is still in power under the leadership of Kylo Ren, who fulfilled his destiny by ridding the galaxy of his master in cold blood.Directed by J.J. Abrams, who took over from Colin Trevorrow, from a script by himself and Chris Terrio, Episode IX promises to be the biggest Star Wars movie yet, as it brings an end to the Skywalker Saga and perhaps even balance to the Force. The film stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and the late Carrie Fisher, who will return for Episode IX thanks to unused footage shot for The Force Awakens. Billy Dee Williams will also return as the sweet-talking con man, Lando Calrissian.

6.It: Chapter 2:

It: Chapter Two continues its story with a real novelty in the horror genre: an A-list cast. Muschietti’s original leading lady, Jessica Chastain, returns as Beverly Marsh all grown-up, and she is being joined by James McAvoy as Bill, Bill Hader as Ritchie, and Xavier Dolan cameoing as new Pennywise mark, Adrian Mellon, among others. Plus, Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, of course. When Pennywise returns from his three-decade nap to begin his slaughter of Derry’s children once more (now more sadistically than ever), the Losers are summoned home from disparate lives to face the boogeyman they all forgot existed.

5.Spider-Man: Far From Home:

Spider-Man: Homecoming put the “neighborhood” back in “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” And while Avengers: Infinity War expanded Peter Parker’s horizons (among… um… doing other things to him), he’s always most at home in the friendly confines of New York City, right? Right. So of course Far From Home will bring Spidey back to Queens where he can (checks notes)… actually be sent off to London. Well, so much for the neighborhood. Far From Home continues the new Spider-Man movie tradition of focusing on villains who haven’t yet been brought to life on the big screen with Jake Gyllenhaal as a special effects guru gone bad, Mysterio. Homecoming director Jon Watts is back, so we expect a similarly bouncy tone this time around, as well as another diverse, comedically literate ensemble cast. But particularly intriguing is the addition of JB Smoove in a lead role. Please… please let him be J. Jonah Jameson.

4.The Lion King:

Lion King  may have dropped “Be Prepared” as a song, but it also has Beyonce in its cast as Nala, so we’ll call it even. The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau is behind the camera for this live-action remake, which will include “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” “Hakuna Matata,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and “Circle of Life.” The impressiveness of the cast doesn’t end at Beyonce. Donald Glover is on board as Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor will play Scar, and James Earl Jones is reprising his role as Mufasa. (I don’t know if my tear ducts can do this again…) Other performers include Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, John Oliver as Zazu, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumba, and Keegan Michael-Key as Kamari.

3. John Wick 3: Parabellum:

While many loved the original John Wick, we preferred the surreal, even more stylized sequel, which featured not just a series of astonishing action set-pieces but drenched them in a nearly psychedelic concoction of color and atmosphere. We also enjoyed the expanded world-building of John’s (Keanu Reeves) strange but somehow orderly universe. So we have high hopes for the third film in the series, which reunites Reeves, director Chad Stahelski and much of the standout cast, along with new faces like Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston. We last saw John on the run, with a global contract out on him. Will he make his escape and finally find the peace he craves? Can’t wait to find out.

2.Captain Marvel:

However will the Avengers recover from the mass destruction wrought by Thanos in Infinity War? Some folks suggest we’ll get some answers in Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s and introduces the world to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), the Air Force pilot who receives superpowers from… Well, we won’t spoil anything here. Indie co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take the helm as Captain Marvel becomes Marvel’s first female superhero to get her own solo movie.

1.Avengers: Endgame:

Avengers: Endgame promises to bring resolution to the conflict between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Thanos, the Mad Titan, which began in this year’s Infinity War. We know almost nothing about what will happen in the film – save for the fact Hawkeye is back, Ant-Man joins the fight, and Tony’s lost in space, all revealed in the first trailer – but the upcoming Captain Marvel will likely provide some clues, and considering this will mark the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “phase three,” we’ll probably end up saying good-bye to a few more characters.

What film are you most looking forward to seeing when it hits theaters in 2019? Allow your opinion to be heard by leaving a comment below.