The 11 movies we're most excited about in 2018

Aquaman (14 December)

Wonder Woman showed that it's possible to make a great film in DC's cinematic universe, although the other films in said universe have shown why we shouldn't get particularly excited about its future. So here we are now with Aquaman.

Jason Momoa's portrayal of the underwater hero was a rare bright spot in Justice League, so hopefully his rough-edged charisma can carry this solo film. On the other hand, we're a bit worried that the CG will be overkill and that the end result will just end up feeling goofy. Hey, at least it's not grimdark like the previous DC flicks…

Once Upon a Deadpool (12 December)

Another Deadpool movie in 2018? Well, kind of. See, Once Upon a Deadpool takes this summer's hilarious and immensely violent Deadpool 2 and squeezes out the worst of the mature content, resulting in a sanitised version that's more appropriate for younger viewers.

Why is that reasonably compelling? Because of the tongue-in-cheek way that it's being done. The original Deadpool 2 content will be framed by new footage of Deadpool reading a storybook to former child star Fred Savage in bed, in a sequence inspired by The Princess Bride.

Weird? Totally. Amazing? Possibly. Deadpool just won't be the same without gratuitous adult humour and graphic violence, but if any franchise can still make that kind of neutered approach worthwhile, it's this one.

Mary Poppins Returns (21 December)

Given the enduring love for the original classic, Disney had better not mess this up. Mary Poppins Returns sees the magical nanny return to the Banks family after 25 years, still packing songs and life lessons alike.

Of course, it's been 54 years since the first Mary Poppins, so Returns swaps in Emily Blunt as the lead – and she seems to capture the role well. Furthermore, with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda alongside and plenty of other notable actors throughout the cast, it has some serious star power as well. Hopefully it doesn't sully any childhood memories along the way…

Welcome to Marwen (21 December)

Welcome to Marwen tells the true story of a man who, after being beaten within an inch of his life, creates a World War II-themed village of dolls while recovering. And as the trailer shows, his real and imagined worlds frequently overlap.

As the director of Forest Gump and the Back to the Future films, Robert Zemeckis has long pushed the boundaries of visual storytelling – and that's definitely true again with Marwen, which features plastic doll versions of all of the main human actors and seems to spend much of its time in that imaginative world.

Bumblebee (26 December)

Each successive Transformers movie became more and more difficult to watch, as incoherent storylines and obnoxious characters kept the outrageous action from being much fun. But maybe Bumblebee will be a welcome fresh start for the series.

The shake-up begins behind the camera, with Kubo and the Two Strings' Travis Knight taking over for Michael Bay, and you can see the difference in the trailer. The 1987-set Bumblebee clearly has more heart and charm than the past films, plus the Transformer looks a lot closer to the old cartoon and action figure source material. We're keeping fingers crossed on this one.

Holmes & Watson (26 December)

Benedict Cumberbatch is the all-time best Sherlock Holmes, right? Well, maybe – let's see how Will Farrell handles the role.

Holmes & Watson brings Farrell and John C. Reilly back together again after gems like Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, as the titular characters attempt to save the Queen from an assassination threat by James Moriarty. It looks expectedly dumb, but these two comedic legends are consistently an all-star team. Could be perfect for some post-Christmas laughs.