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10 new movies to look forward to in 2018

OPENING FRIDAY:

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY

Donít worry, the first wide release of 2018 isnít a sign of things to come.

Itís the horror sequel Insidious: The Last Key (PG-13), Chapter 4 in the paranormal activity franchise that went downhill after St. Peteís own Patrick Wilson left.

Lin Shayeís parapsychologist is the last original character left, chasing ghosts in her own home. You know a series is DOA when it canít even whip up a decent haunted house.

2018 GETS BETTER

Think happy thoughts of much better movies ahead, starting with these 10 to mark on your calendar:

A WRINKLE IN TIME (MARCH 9)

2018 is packed with movies by, for and about women, led by Ava DuVernayís adaptation of Madeleine LíEngleís fantasy novel. The cast of otherworldly characters includes Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and (drum roll, please) OPRAH!

ISLE OF DOGS (MARCH 23)

Say the title fast then ask yourself: Donít we all? Wes Andersonís first stop-motion animated movie since Fantastic Mr. Fox is set on a garbage island inhabited by dogs. A litter of celebrity voices includes Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig and Bryan Cranston.

READY PLAYER ONE (MARCH 30)

Steven Spielberg makes his overdue return to fantasy filmmaking, shaping a virtual reality world inhabited by 1980s pop culture icons. Tye Sheridan is one game player racing many to discover an Easter Egg fortune. You know E.T. will sneak in somewhere.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
(MAY 25)

Ever wonder how Han Solo met Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian? Well, Ron Howard will tell us in another Star Wars standalone movie. Alden Eisenreich (Hail, Caesar!, Rules Donít Apply) plays young Han while Donald Glover is Billy Dee Williams personified. Someone tall plays Chewie.

OCEANíS 8 (JUNE 8)

Danny Oceanís sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock) has her own gang and splashy heist in mind, at New Yorkís Met Gala. Her accomplices include Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Sarah Paulson. Just stay out of it, Matt Damon.

BOY ERASED (SEPT. 28)

True story of a Baptist preacherís gay son forced into church-sponsored conversion therapy. The teenager is played by Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird), his parents by Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. Directed by Joel Edgerton, based on Garrard Conleyís memoir.

FIRST MAN (OCT. 12)

Ryan Gosling stars as astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to step onto the moonís surface. Director Damien Chazelle follows his Oscar winning work on La La Land with the yearís most anticipated biopic, a companion piece of sorts to The Right Stuff.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (DEC. 25)

The long-awaited Freddie Mercury biography starring Mr. Robotís Rami Malek as Queenís flamboyant frontman. Former director Bryan Singer is banging his head after being fired after sexual misconduct allegations, replaced by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle).

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (DEC. 25)

Step in time to Disneyís sequel starring Emily Blunt as the magical nanny. Maryís back in the lives of her now-adult charges (Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer), joined by a new busker-pal (Lin-Manuel Miranda). Meryl Streep and Colin Firth are here, plus a spot for Maryís former dance partner Dick Van Dyke.

BLACK KLANSMAN (TBA)

Spike Leeís next joint tells the true story of a black policeman (John David Washington, Denzelís son) who infiltrated a Colorado chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, eventually becoming its leader. Adam Driver and Topher Grace co-star in what sounds like Leeís most vital movie in years.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The Shape of Water: Nominated for seven Golden Globes including best drama.

2 I, Tonya: Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding skating on thin ice.

3 The Greatest Showman: An original musical about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.

4 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: One of 2017ís best films.

5 Lady Bird: Saoirse Ronan shines in Greta Gerwigís directing debut.

UPCOMING RELEASES

(Dates subject to change)

Jan. 12: The Post; The Commuter; Proud Mary; Paddington 2

Jan. 19: Call Me By Your Name; Phantom Thread; Hostiles; 12 Strong; Den of Thieves; Forever My Girl

Jan. 26: White Boy Rick; Maze Runner: The Death Cure

   
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