The 17 movies we're most excited about in 2019

UPDATED: Get a glimpse at the year's biggest flicks

As one amazing year for cinema ends, another potentially begins. At least, that's our hope now that we've seen loads of trailers for the year's films ahead.

We've got huge blockbusters, enticing animated sequels, and other compelling flicks in the mix, and this is just the start. There are plenty other compelling-looking movies on the horizon, and as some of these films release and new trailers for others roll out, we'll refresh the list to help you refuel your own personal hype machine.

Without further ado, these are our 17 most-anticipated films of 2019.

Dumbo (29 March)

Disney is going hard on live-action (and/or lifelike) remakes of its beloved animated films, and the first of three is Dumbo. Unlike the others, this one has the brilliantly creative mind of Tim Burton behind the lens.

Is it beautiful? For sure. Is it sure to wreck you emotionally? No doubt in our minds. We're not sure why Disney needs to roll out remakes every few months, but Burton is a director with vision, and this star-studded cast (along with a strong CG assist) ought to help make it a compelling flick.

Shazam! (5 April)

The more that the DC Extended Universe films have gotten away from the grimdark aesthetic of Batman v Superman, the more successful and appealing they've been – as evidenced by the success of both Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Well, Shazam! is taking it in a very different kind of direction, opting for a strongly comedic approach in which a young kid transforms into the cape-wearing hero. Think Big, but it's also a flashy superhero flick. It's kind of an unexpected turn for the DCEU at this point, but it definitely looks like a fun one – especially with Zachary Levi in the role.

Avengers: Endgame (26 April)

If you've seen Avengers: Infinity War, then you know just how utterly grim that ending was, and how dramatically it raises the stakes for Avengers: Endgame.

We won't get into Infinity War spoilers at all for the stragglers out there, but the first Endgame trailer above shows what the heroes are working with – and still manages to be funny at the end, despite the dramatic tone. Endgame is expected to cap off this incredible era of Marvel Studios films and help set the path for the next wave of films, so you can count on it being essential viewing in 2019.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (10 May)

Well, this looks wild. Pokémon Detective Pikachu translates Nintendo's beloved catch-'em-all game franchise and anime series into a live-action/CG hybrid with a Ryan Reynolds-voiced Pikachu... who speaks English and helps solve a mystery.

Say what now? This first trailer is a fever dream of classic Pokémon references and funny gags, and honestly… it works. It seems delirious, and yet we can't help but want to see this strange and unexpected new take on Pikachu and crew.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (17 May)

John Wick just can't catch a break. After the hit he pulled off at the end of John Wick: Chapter 2, this year's Chapter 3: Parabellum finds him on the run from the entire underworld of assassins – which means he needs to get the hell out of New York City to survive.

Given how great the first two flicks were, we fully expect more excellence here – and a violent horseback chase sequence against motorcycle pursuers seems like a brilliant place to start. Hopefully the new addition of Halle Berry proves to be a great partner, and let's also hope for no grim canine demises this time around.

Aladdin (24 May)

Earlier trailers were roundly mocked for how awkward Will Smith's CG-hybrid Genie looked, but with this first full look at the live-action Aladdin remake, we finally have a good sense of how the actual movie will play out.

Obviously, it has all of the key elements intact from Disney's animated classic, including the brilliant songs and familiar characters, but doesn't seem to be quite as much of a shot-by-shot remake like The Lion King appears to be. And Smith has utterly enormous shoes to fill in Robin Williams' original voice role, but what's here looks pretty entertaining so far.

Rocketman (24 May)

After the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, we may well see a flood of music industry biopics – but Rocketman has been in the pipeline for a while now. And likewise, it looks pretty darn compelling based on this first trailer.

Taron Egerton seems to do a pretty strong Elton John impression, plus Rocketman has more of a whimsical touch to this look at the performer's rise – at least when it's not showing his apparently frequent bouts of self-destruction.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (31 May)

The MonsterVerse is in full swing! Following both 2014's Godzilla reboot and 2017's Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King of the Monsters expands the rebooted and combined monster universe by introducing Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah to battle with Godzilla.

Looks like another fun monster mashup, and we hope you're ready for more because it'll all culminate in 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong. No, really! Everything's a cinematic universe now… and hopefully King of the Monsters makes this one worth continuing on with.

Dark Phoenix (7 June)

Dark Phoenix could well be the last of Fox's core X-Men flicks now that the characters are coming under the wing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it's focusing on one of the most iconic storylines in mutant comic-book history.

It's also material that was covered in the terrible X-Men: The Last Stand, but thankfully that's been retconned out of the universe, allowing the current cast of actors and creatives to offer a more faithful rendition of Jean Grey's embrace and abuse of incredible power.

Men in Black: International (14 June)

The iconic original Men in Black duo of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is officially retired, but as replacements go, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson look like pretty inspired choices. They were a delight in Thor: Ragnarok, and look much the same in Men in Black: International.

Shifting the scene in London, International keeps the silly sci-fi tone with wacky aliens and cool tech, delivering what ought to be another crowd-pleaser of a summer blockbuster.

Toy Story 4 (21 June)

It's been several years since the emotional gut-punch that was Toy Story 3, but Pixar and Disney weren't content to let Woody and Buzz rest in the toy box forever.

Toy Story 4 has been billed as a road trip movie for the plastic crew, and they have an odd new member along for the ride: Forky, a makeshift spork toy who doesn't quite fit with his new store-bought pals. We've only seen some bits and pieces in trailers so far, including the return of Bo Peep after two movies away, but this series has only produced insta-classics to date.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (5 July)

Avengers: Endgame isn't even out yet, but thanks to the miracle of modern blockbuster scheduling, it sure looks like Spider-Man is back to life in the aftermath of that April epic. Spider-Man: Far From Home is the wall-crawler's next live-action solo adventure following Homecoming, and it sees him… well, far from the familiar on a trip to Europe.

It's there that he encounters Mysterio, an iconic comic villain – but Nick Fury is there as well. With Homecoming's original director onboard, a couple of slick new suits, and apparently the same winning blend of humour and action, we can't wait to see the web-head in action again this summer… even if its mere existence is kind of a huge spoiler.

The Lion King (19 July)

You've probably seen people calling this the "live-action" remake of The Lion King, but that's half-true at best. It's actually another hyper-realistic CG flick that looks convincingly lifelike, but is the result of performance capture, high-end workstations, and impeccable artistry. (Also, good luck getting scores of real animals to act on command like this.)

As this first trailer shows, Jon Favreau's take on The Lion King seems largely content to follow the exacting storyline and set pieces of the '90s animation classic. Even if that holds true for the finished product, the star-studded voice cast and stunning visuals should make it a treat to take in.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (26 July)

Any Quentin Tarantino film should be considered an event, and that's what we have to look forward to this summer with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The flick features Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie in an old-school Hollywood mystery.

And it has a real historical hook: the Manson Family murders of 1969. DiCaprio stars as an actor, Pitt plays his stunt double and pal, and Robbie is the infamous Sharon Tate—the actress whose murder defined the Manson reign of terror. We already know how that part ends, but have to believe that Tarantino's road there will be an entertaining one. There's no trailer yet, but the above image comes from Vanity Fair's first look at the film.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2 August)

After eight core films that have pulled in rapidly increasing sums of cash, it's no surprise that we're finally getting a Fast & Furious spinoff with Hobbs & Shaw. Granted, these guys aren't the headliners of the franchise, but they're perfectly poised for an utterly ridiculous action flick.

Just look at this first trailer. Idris Elba as a classic bad guy? Check. The Rock being The Rock? Yup. Jason Statham as a low-key badass? You got it. As a riotously dumb, rollicking summer blockbuster, it's hard to see how this won't entertain.

Frozen 2 (22 November)

Six years after we all pondered whether or not we ought to build a snowman (and then ultimately decided to let it go), Disney's Frozen is finally back for a sequel. And wow, this trailer doesn't have a bit of whimsy in sight.

True, the original film had plenty of drama and emotion packed in, but it also had breezy songs and comic relief. So far, we haven't seen any of that in Frozen 2 – but it promises to be a musical again plus Olaf is back in tow, so we'll probably get another well-balanced crowd-pleaser of a CG animated flick. Still, it's interesting that Disney is leading with this darker look.

Star Wars: Episode IX (20 December)

It all comes down to this: the sequel trilogy is set to end with Star Wars: Episode IX, which as of this writing doesn't have a proper subtitle yet.

The Last Jedi (shown) proved to be incredibly divisive as a riskier film than its predecessor, but with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams back at the helm, we have to wonder if it will continue to take storytelling chances for the legendary franchise or just try and deliver a comforting finale before Star Wars begins telling other tales. We're sure to get a trailer in the coming months, and we can't wait to see what's happened with Rey, Finn, and the gang.