Five films to look out for in early 2018, plus Julia Roberts in Wonder 

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is this year’s box office behemoth which is just two weeks away from release. It’s going to be the longest Star Wars film ever – weighing in at over two and a half hours (152 minutes) – but there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a smash hit at the box office. The week after The Last Jedi we’ll be able to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle while The Greatest Showman starts on Boxing Day but there’s some very interesting smaller films out in December – such as Wonder – that might be worth your time.

But what else is coming up in the New Year? Here’s just a small selection of films which I have noticed coming out soon…

The Post (Certificate TBC), Friday, January 19, 2018

A very serious slice of history, especially in light of recent historical events, showing newspapers in their prime – uncovering wrongdoing and speaking truth to power. This is the story of publisher Katharine Graham’s Washington Post as they publish leaked documents about the US government’s involvement during the Vietnam war. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks this is a very heavyweight film which is sure to be Oscar bait.

Coco (Certificate TBC), Friday, January 19, 2018

This Mexican themed Pixar animation is a smash hit in the US and, understandably, in Mexico too. It remains to be seen how it will travel over the Atlantic. It’s a colourful story about a youngster who becomes trapped in the Land of the Dead while trying to become a musician and has to be helped back to the Land of the Living by his ancestors. It’s a welcome return to original film making by the Disney subsidiary rather than concentrating on sequels which, admittedly, are also on its slate for the next two years with Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 coming out in the next two years.

The Shape of Water (Certificate 15), Friday, February 16, 2018

Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy fable, set in the Cold War era, and possibly loosely connected to Hellboy. Del Toro always makes interesting films and looks set to be graced by a nuanced performance by Sally Hawkins (Paddington) as a mute female lead who falls in love with a mysterious “asset” being imprisoned in the facility she works in.

Red Sparrow (Cert TBC), Friday, March 2, 2018

The trailer suggests a spy thriller, Marvel fans may recognise a story that looks suspiciously like an origin story for Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) but in fact this is an adaptation of a book by Jason Matthews about a young Russian spy who falls in love with a CIA officer and considers becoming a double agent.

Ready Player One (Cert TBC), Friday, March 30, 2018

Another adaptation containing a huge slice of the 80s, with the quintessential 80s family film director on board. Steven Spielberg’s visual charm and storytelling style remains timeless. Based on the book by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One looks set to ride the wave of pop culture nostalgia for people of a certain age.

And one film out imminently:

Wonder (PG), Friday, December 1, 2017

You might think a story about a young boy born with a facial deformity trying to fit in at a new school will go a certain way. I won’t be able to see this film but advance buzz appears to suggest it’s more than just an uplifting feel-good family drama. Starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as parents of a hitherto homeschooled child Auggie Pullman (played by Jacob Tremblay who had a break-out performance in 2015’s Room opposite Brie Larson). Mandy Patinkin is also onboard as a teacher making for a potentially strong film – it’s already earned a decent amount of money from its US release earlier in November.