​Exclaim!'s 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2024

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

BY Rachel HoPublished Jan 5, 2024

After Barbenheimer saved cinema last year, we're anxious to see what the silver screen has to offer in 2024. 

A couple films from 2023 carry over into this year, with Denis Villeneuve and Jeff Nichols's films feeling the effects of the Hollywood strikes, while directors Bong Joon-ho, Robert Eggers and Alex Garland make their return with some intriguing genre films.

As with most years, 2024 will have its fair share of sequels and prequels, and although Furiosa and A Quiet Place: Day One are certainly on our radar, it's the return of apes, the Continental and the Colosseum that have has piqued our interest the most.

Set to be another great year in film, below are 10 movies we're excited to watch this year. Revisit our favourites of 2023 here.

Fitting In
Directed by Molly McGlynn
Release Date: February 3

A personal highlight of the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, Fitting In introduces a coming-of-age story perfectly suited for the younger generation of today — and even more perfectly suited for a group of individuals rarely represented on screen. Following Lindy (an incredible breakthrough performance by Maddie Ziegler) after receiving a diagnosis of MRKH syndrome, a rare reproductive condition, writer-director Molly McGlynn creates a film so personal and so distinct, audiences will feel every bit of the filmmaker's frustration, discomfort and joy.

Dune: Part Two 
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Release Date: March 1

I remain as excited for Dune: Part Two as I was this time last year. Due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Warner Bros. made the decision to move Denis Villeneuve's follow-up to 2021's Dune from its original November 2023 release date. Villeneuve has said that Part One was basically him setting the table for the second instalment, so fingers crossed we're finally able to watch this one (in IMAX of course) come spring.

Mickey 17
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Release Date: N/A

Going from sparkly teen heartthrob to weirdo indie auteur, Robert Pattinson continues to have one of the most intriguing career arcs among his peers. Mickey 17 adapts Edward Ashto's novel Mickey 7, about the human colonization of an ice world, Niflheim. Directed by Parasite's Bong Joon-ho, individually Bong and Pattinson are reason enough to hop to the cinema — but together, Mickey 17 becomes a must-watch this year.

Civil War
Directed by Alex Garland
Release Date: April 12

Alex Garland's Men was a little meh-n but, given his track record (Ex Machina, Annihilation, Sunshine, 28 Days Later), I'm still hyped for Civil War. The first trailer sees Kirsten Dunst as a journalist in the near-future with the US divided into separate nations. A film with obvious topical parallels to reality, coupled with Garland's abilities as a narrative and visual storyteller, Civil War looks to be an intriguing new film from a certifiable sci-fi mastermind.

Back to Black
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson
Release Date: May 10

Singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse left behind a tremendous mark on soul and R&B, with her voice and attitude as definitive trademarks. Alongside this musical legacy, though, was a personal life fraught with substance abuse issues, which ultimately resulted in the singer's passing at only 27 years of age. Last year, the documentary Amy gave an insightful and moving look into Winehouse's life. This time around, Sam Taylor-Johnson takes up the mantle to tell the story of a generational talent with Industry's Marisa Abela starring.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes 
Directed by Wes Ball
Release Date: May 24

In my humble opinion, Andy Serkis's Planet of the Apes trilogy stands as one of the best three-part series in cinematic history. A cohesive and engaging storyline that told a human story with stunning and innovative visuals to match, there are a lot of expectations for director Wes Ball to live up to in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Billed as a continuation of the "Caesar Trilogy," Kingdom takes place many years after Caesar, Koba and Cornelia, introducing a new set of characters and story for audiences to (hopefully) get lost in.

Directed by Len Wiseman 
Release Date: June 7

The first spin-off of the highly successful John Wick franchise, Ballerina builds off of the training grounds of the Ruska Roma seen during Chapter 3, when Keanu Reeves's John calls in his chip with the school's director, played by the transcendent Anjelica Huston. Ana de Armas stars as a graduate of the trainee program who vows revenge on whomever was behind the death of her family. Huston and Reeves return in their roles, as well as Wick regulars Ian McShane and the late Lance Reddick. The John Wick world feels like a perfect fit for de Armas, who wowed in her brief role as Paloma in No Time to Die — and a revisit to the Continental is always welcome. 

The Bikeriders 
Directed by Jeff Nichols
Release Date: June 21

The Bikeriders has gone on a bit of a journey since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival last summer. After being acquired by Searchlight, its December 1 theatrical release date was abandoned officially because of the SAG-AFTRA strike (and possibly because of Beyoncé). Searchlight soon dropped the film from its catalogue completely, with Focus Features picking up the Jeff Nichols film only days later. Known for his moody and atmospheric films, The Bikeriders is set in 1960s Chicago, following a motorcycle club led by the likes of Jodi Comer, Austin Butler and Tom Hardy. A stacked cast with an eclectic director, The Bikeriders looks to be a quiet summer thrill ride. 

Gladiator 2
Directed by Ridley Scott
Release Date: November 22

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Following the success of Normal People, Paul Mescal has found winning roles in quiet and widely acclaimed indies, such as Aftersun and All of Us Strangers. In his first big-budget project, Mescal joins Ridley Scott in a sequel to the classic Gladiator. Currently titled Gladiator 2, Mescal plays Lucius, the son of Lucilla (played by Connie Nielsen, who will be reprising her role) and nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus. Not much else is known about the film other than Derek Jacobi's return as Gracchus, and Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal attachment to the project — but, undoubtedly, we're all ready to be entertained once more.

Directed by Robert Eggers
Release Date: December 25

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

Similar to the story of Frankenstein and his monster, Nosferatu has endured as a classic tale with numerous iterations made on the stage, television and film. Fresh off the success of The Northman, writer and director Robert Eggers takes on the gothic vampiric tale with another Skarsgård brother in tow (Bill), along with Nicholas Hoult (who notably recently played Dracula's familiar in last year's Renfield) and returning collaborator Willem Dafoe (who starred in Eggers's The Lighthouse). A world that has inspired many artists in the past, Nosferatu is set to make for a chilling Christmas Day release. 

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