Clint Eastwood is a drug mule would always get me interested in seeing a film. However, 88-year-old Clint Eastwood directing and starring in a thriller based on the true story of a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a dealer and courier for a cartel makes The Mule one of this year’s most anticipated.
More than likely a swan song for the legendary actor/director (a more gritty final film than Robert Redford’s similar The Old Man and the Gun), the trailer’s elegiac tone and the increasingly frail Eastwood makes it seem like The Mule could hit even harder than his 2008 flick Gran Torino.
2. Apostle, Dir. Gareth Evans
The first feature from A-class genre filmmaker Gareth Evans since 2014’s The Raid 2, this trailer only amps up expectations further. Set in 1905, a man (The Guest’s Dan Stevens) travels to a remote island to rescue his sister from a mysterious religious cult (led by a creepy Michael Sheen) . If this teaser is anything to go by, expect literal bone crunching vengeance and creepy Wicker Man-esque vibes.
3. The Little Drummer Girl, Dir. Park Chan-wook
After the smash success of their John le Carre adaptation The Night Manager, BBC are returning to the author’s oeuvre with a six-part adaptation of his 1983 book The Little Drummer Girl. This time they have even more talent on-screen and behind. Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth, Netflix’s Malevolent) stars as Charlie, a radical left-wing English actress recruited to find a Palestinian terrorist by Israeli spy Kurtz (Michael Shannon). Hold the Dark’s Alexander Skarsgard also stars while Oldboy and The Handmaiden director Park Chan-Wook will helm each episode.
While this teaser only provides a glimpse of the show’s globe trotting settings and stunning costumes, it makes this list because film fans should just be happy that one of the world’s greatest living directors has been given this budget and these stars.
4. Shoplifters, Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
Having earned top honours at Cannes this year, we finally have an English trailer for Our Little Sister and The Third Murder director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest. My god, is it beautiful. Set in Tokyo, a family who live in poverty, shoplifting to make end’s meet, discover a homeless girl who shows signs of abuse. Despite their strained finances, they informally adopt her. This teaser makes Shoplifters looks like another emotional but warm, humane work from a filmmaker whose been quietly making some of the best dramas of the 21st century.
5. Vice, Dir Adam McKay
The biggest testament to the teaser for Dick Cheney biopic Vice is that within seconds one forgets they are watching a fattened Christian Bale as the central character (he gained 40 pounds). Already, the Batman just disappears into the role, as the viewer gets caught up in what will no doubt be another critique of modern America from Adam McKay (The Big Short) told through Scorsese-esque flash and a jukebox soundtrack. Also, the casting of Sam Rockwell as George W Bush is spot on.
The trailer implies the film will focus on Cheney’s controversial role in spearheading the US’ war on terrorism as well as his accidental shooting of a friend hunting in 2006.
Least Favourite: Dark Phoenix, Dir Simon Kinberg
The latest in the increasingly convoluted X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix’s trailer does not inspire much confidence in the series following 2016’s dismal Apocalypse. Not only does the movie look noticeably cheaper than previous entries – perhaps on account of debut director Simon Kinberg – it also feels incredibly repetitive. We saw Jean (back when she was not Sophie Turner but Famke Janssen) turn evil in X-Men: Last Stand. We’ve seen Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X (James McAvoy) debate humanity’s merits for what feels like an eternity. As the former says in the trailer so aptly: ‘No one cares’.
It seems 20th Century Fox have realised this, pushing back its release date to June 2019, just days after releasing the trailer. Now, along with The New Mutants, that’s two Fox shot superhero films sitting on a shelf somewhere – leaving one to ask, what the hell is going on at that studio?