After months of the studios biting their nails, the writers' and actors' strikes don't seem to have ruined 2024 after all. Here are all the big movies you should look out for this year...
Emma Stone gives a dazzling performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’s daring, deranged and deeply funny Frankenstein-flavoured comedy about a young woman’s unusual awakening.
Mean Girls: The Musical
The film adaptation of the Broadway stage adaptation of the original film... you don't even need us to tell you any more about this, the title should have got you booking your tickets already. Oh, and the Broadway adaptation is coming to the West End later this year too.
Jodie Comer’s magnificent lead performance elevates a simple, yet mostly effective, adaptation of Megan Hunter’s apocalyptic novel about a new mother surviving after an apocalyptic event.
The Book of Clarence
Spotting an opportunity to capitalise on the star power of Jesus, Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield) begins faking miracles, a lucrative hustle until the Romans start asking questions.
Both Paul Giamatti and Da'Vine Joy Randolph won Golden Globes for their roles in Alexander Payne’s bittersweet Christmas-set school comedy (their trio is completed by delicate newcomer Dominic Sessa) that shows how friendship can blossom in the stoniest ground.
Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal shimmer in this beautiful, elegiac film in which a screenwriter is reunited as an adult with his (dead) parents while embarking on a new love affair.
The Color Purple
This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel softens some of the original's blows but Fantasia Barrino as Celie, alongside Taraji P Henson and Danielle Brooks, carry it like a whirlwind.
This may be Jonathan Glazer’s masterpiece – his chilly, deeply unsettling look at a Nazi family making a life together on the edge of Auschwitz burrows its way under the skin like a parasite.
Jeffrey Wright leads a note-perfect cast in this biting comedy satire as an author pandering to a white appetite for Black trauma in an impressive debut from former journalist Cord Jefferson.
Steve McQueen directs this four-hour epic which tracks life in his adopted city of Amsterdam under Nazi rule and asks hard questions about the gulf between past and present.
Sean Durkin’s film, starring The Bear heartthrob Jeremy Allen White, Zac Efron and other beefcakes, tells the immensely sad story of the ‘cursed’ Von Erich wrestling family.
It Ends With Us
A welcome return to the screen for Blake Lively in this adaptation of Coleen Hoover’s huge bestselling romance novel dealing with domestic abuse and control.
Dakota Johnson plays the eponymous superhero in this Spider-verse story, which looks and sounds deeply convoluted, but will no doubt spark a lot of chat on Reddit.
Wicked Little Letters
The joy of watching Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley swearing at each other like Malcolm Tucker is likely to be the main draw for this tale of neighbours at war over obscene anonymous letters.
Dune: Part Two
Timothée Chalamet returns alongside Zendaya in the second part of Denis Villeneuve’s sand-swept epic, finally out after much strike-related delay.
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Ancient artefact blah, evil force blah – Bill Murray is back which is the main thing you need to know about this sequel, bringing together the old and new of the franchise.
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Not entirely sure the storyline is important, but the OGs of the outsized monster realm face a threat to both themselves and humanity from deep within Earth.
Back to Black
Sam Taylor Johnson’s biopic of Amy Winehouse stars Industry’s Marisa Abela as the singer, with Jack O’Connell as Blake Fielder-Civil and Eddie Marsan and Lesley Manville as Amy’s parents
Love Lies Bleeding
This much-anticipated thriller by Rose Glass (Saint Maud) stars Kristen Stewart and Katy M O’Brien in a slightly implausible but gripping tale of queer romance and crime.
Alex Garland has gathered a great cast (Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst, with Cailee Spaeny) for his latest, extremely on-the-nose film about divisions in a not-very-far-future United States.
The description of Luca Guadagnino’s latest, starring Zendaya with Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, as a "romantic sports comedy drama", tells you nothing, but we’re all desperate to know. All we have at the moment is there's tennis in it.
The Fall Guy
David Leitch (Bullet Train) takes on this adaptation of the TV series, starring Ryan Gosling as down-at-heel stuntman Colt Seavers, alongside Emily Blunt, Hannah Waddingham and Stephanie Hsu.
The other Ryan (Reynolds) joins John Krasinski and Fiona Shaw in a cute fantasy comedy about a young girl who starts to see other kids’ abandoned imaginary friends.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
A return to the manic, bonkers desert world of Mad Max in this spin-off prequel to 2015’s Fury Road casts Anya Taylor Joy as Imperator Furiousa (played in its predecessor by Charlize Theron).
Inside Out 2
In this Pixar sequel, Riley is now a teenager and she is encountering new and unexpected emotions. Live them out again from the inside. Let’s hope it sparks as many gifs as the original – what would we do without anger blowing his top?
Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy and Michael Shannon in a tale about Chicago motorcycle club Outlaws MC inspired by a 1967 photobook. With that cast, it's clearly a film to get revved up about.
A Quiet Place: Day One
This is a spin off set in the world of the two wildly popular Quiet Place horror films, this time starring Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn. All together now: shhhhhhhh.
Horizon: An American Saga
Kevin Costner just can’t leave the Western alone, and he’s co-written, produced, directed and stars in this saga told over two instalments. He has a strong moustache game here, which is good to see.
Chapter 1: June 28; Chapter 2: August 16
Despicable Me 4
Yes, it’s another Despicable Me movie, which means more Gru and more minions, and more parents being dragged to their local multiplex by their wild children.
In a year of unusual sequels and reboots, a return to the world of Jan de Bont’s 1996 action film Twister is definitely a surprise. This standalone story sees Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones take on the lead role as a tornado chaser.
Football club owner and sometime actor Ryan Reynolds returns to his breakout role, the potty-mouthed comedy superhero in red latex, alongside Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Could this be the film that turns Marvel’s fortunes around after a patchy 2023?
After the acclaimed TV adaptation of The Last of Us, no longer do the words “based on the popular video game” strike fear into the heart when sitting down to watch a new show. This adaptation, about an infamous outlaw returning to her home planet to find a missing girl, stars Cate Blanchett… I mean, how bad could it be?
The tricksy spirit from cult 1988 film is back in a surprise, but welcome return. Stars of the original – Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara – are back, as is director Tim Burton, with Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega joining the cast.
Joker: Folie a Deux
After the original proved such a critical and commercial smash – landing Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar in the process – a sequel was inevitable. Less inevitable was the casting of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. But can lightning strike twice?
It’s another Transformers movie. This time an animated origin story set on their home planet of Cybertron, which looks at how Optimus Prime and Megatron went from bessy mates to mortal enemies.
Paddington in Peru
Everyone's favourite red hatted, blue duffle-coated bear is back and he's heading to home soil. Most of the cast return for this third instalment of the much-loved series.
After the second movie pitted Tom Hardy's wild alien symbiote thingie against Carnage, an even wilder alien symbiote thingie (played by Woody Harrelson), the surprisingly watchable Venom is back for a third instalment with Juno Temple and Chiwetel Ejiofor added to the cast.
It’s the sequel we didn’t know we needed, but 24 years after Russell Crowe strode around an amphitheatre looking cross, we’re back in Ancient Rome again. This time the hunky hero is Lucius, nephew of the dead emperor Commodus (played all those years ago by Joaquin Phoenix incidentally). This time Paul Mescal is in the lead presumably striding around an amphitheatre looking cross.
Wicked Part 1
Movie versions of long-running musicals can go veeeery differently. On the one hand there’s box office winner and award bait Les Misèrables, very much on the other there’s Cats. So who knows which way it’s going to go as Wicked this way comes. The stellar cast of Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Bailey and Ariana Grande might help.
The Karate Kid
Four decades on (sigh) from the first film, a new karate kid will be waxing on and off in this return to the original franchise, whose spirit has been kept alive by numerous series of Cobra Kai on Netflix. Confirmed cast so far are Ralph Macchio, the original karate kid, and Jackie Chan. Get those Crane Kicks out.
Mufasa: The Lion King
This prequel to the Lion King shows the rise of Mufasa, father of Simba, who goes on the hero’s journey in the original, with photorealistic CGI of the animals, like the 2019 version of The Lion King. Aaron Pierre voices Mufasa and Kelvin Harrison Jr his brother Scar with a script by Barry “Moonlight” Jenkins.