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18 Women-Led Movies You Can Look Forward To In 2018

Bookmark this — it's gonna be a long year.

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1. Annihilation, Feb. 23

Paramount Pictures

Synopsis: Based on Jeff VanderMeer's best-selling Southern Reach trilogy, this sci-fi thriller follows a group of five women as they navigate a beautiful but treacherous geological zone known as Area X in a race against time and nature.

Why you should be excited: The leading cast alone is reason enough: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny all star. Plus, it was written and directed by Alex Garland, the same guy behind 2014's sci-fi feminist gem, Ex Machina. Sign me up for this perilous journey, my dudes.

Check out the trailer here.

2. Red Sparrow, March 2

20th Century Fox

Synopsis: After suffering a career-ending injury, former Russian ballerina Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. Now she has to reconcile her powers as a spy with her human empathy.

Why you should be excited: Look, J. Law is playing a murderous ballerina and we should all be supporting her in this decision.

Check out the trailer here.

3. A Wrinkle in Time, March 9

Atsushi Nishijima / Disney

Synopsis: Based on Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 novel, the fantasy-adventure follows fiercely intelligent middle schooler Meg Murry (Storm Reid) on a multidimensional race against time to save both her family and the world. Meg must enlist the help of three celestial beings, Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who take her on a journey to worlds beyond anything she could possibly imagine.

Why you should be excited: Three powerful women teaching an awkward middle schooler how to embrace her inner power? Yes, please.

Check out the trailer here.


4. Thoroughbreds, March 9

Focus Features

Synopsis: Polar opposites Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) — two friends from suburban Connecticut — find common ground when they decide to kill Lily's oppressive and very problematic stepfather (Paul Sparks).

Why you should be excited: It's like a modern-day Heathers, but if Christian Slater had been Winona Ryder's best friend instead.

Watch the trailer here.

5. Tomb Raider, March 16

Warner Bros.

Synopsis: Alicia Vikander stars as Lara Croft, the 21-year-old daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Croft goes in search of her father's last known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. Double-gun-wielding adventure ensues.

Why you should be excited: This seems like the Tomb Raider origin story we deserve after 2003's deeply disappointing Cradle of Life starring Angelina Jolie. Plus, Vikander is already kicking so much ass in the trailers, I'm here for this even if the movie proves less than perfect.

Check out the trailer here.

6. Tully, April 20

Focus Features

Synopsis: The latest from Juno writer Diablo Cody, Tully follows a mother of three, Marlo (Charlize Theron), whose brother (Mark Duplass) gifts her a night nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis). The two women form a unique bond.

Why you should be excited: Marlo accidentally drops an iPhone on her baby's face in the first teaser trailer. Already very relatable.

Watch the trailer here.

7. Life of the Party, May 11

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Synopsis: This new comedy, penned by Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone (who also directs), follows Deanna (McCarthy), a dedicated housewife whose husband unexpectedly leaves her. Whirling, she returns to college and ends up in the same class as her daughter. Soon, Deanna finds herself fully embracing college life (maybe a little too fully). Life of the Party also stars Maya Rudolph, Gillian Jacobs, Julie Bowen, and Jacki Weaver.

Why you should be excited: McCarthy is at her best when she has a big vaudevillian character to sink her teeth into, and "mom in a frat house reliving her lost youth" is rife with promise. Plus, she and Maya Rudolph together = Bridesmaids reunion!


8. Ocean's 8, June 8

Warner Bros.

Synopsis: This time, the Ocean's story follows Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) and seven other badass women (Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway), as Debbie and co. try to steal a near-priceless necklace from New York's Met Gala.

Why you should be excited: How much time do you have? This movie is going to be better than the original Ocean's Eleven series. Do not @ me.

Watch the trailer here.

9. Crazy Rich Asians, Aug. 17

Random House, Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Synopsis: Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) for a wedding, only to discover Nick is from one of the country's richest families, and he's a famously eligible bachelor.

Why you should be excited: Constance Wu is finally getting a leading role worthy of her talent, and the supporting cast — especially Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina (between this and Ocean's 8, 2018 primed to be her year), and Gemma Chan — is spectacular. Yes, it's a story about love, but if the movie's anything like the book, we'll get most of the story through Rachel's point of view.

10. The Darkest Minds, Sept. 14

Disney-Hyperion, John Sciulli / Getty Images

Synopsis: Based on Alexandra Bracken's sci-fi YA novel, The Darkest Minds chronicles the journey of Ruby (Amandla Stenberg), a teen living in a dystopian world where disease has killed most children in the US, and the survivors are left with terrifying powers that the government is struggling to control. She joins forces with some similarly gifted teens, and together they try to survive.

Why you should be excited: Amandla Stenberg is fast becoming the YA Queen — she's fresh off another hit YA adaptation, 2017's Everything, Everything. Plus, it'll be great to see her revisit those dystopian roots (or RUEts, amirite?) from when she got her breakout role in 2012's The Hunger Games.

11. Mary, Queen of Scots, Nov. 2

Liam Daniel / Focus Features, John Mathieson / Focus Features, Parisa Tag / Focus Features

Synopsis: Saoirse Ronan plays Mary Stuart, the charismatic woman who became Queen of France at 16, was widowed at 18, and returned to Scotland to reclaim her throne from Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). The movie follows the dynamic between the two strong women, rivals who both fear and revere each other.

Why you should be excited: It'll be great fun to see Ronan and Robbie — current awards season competitors for their roles in Lady Bird and I, Tonya, respectively — sink their teeth into a lush period piece. Plus, it likely won't skimp on drama. Director Josie Rourke and House of Cards creator Beau Willimon — who penned the script — both have backgrounds in theater. Also, the wigs.


12. X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Nov. 2


Synopsis: We got our first glimpse of Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. Turner returns for the character's stand-alone movie, which will explore Grey's powers and personal backstory even more.

Why you should be excited: We all know Turner was the best part of Apocalypse. And with Hugh Jackman officially ending his 17-year turn as Wolverine with 2017's Logan, we need a charismatic, empathetic mutant to take his place.

13. The Girl in the Spider's Web, Nov. 9

Knopf, Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Synopsis: Based on David Lagercrantz's 2015 book The Girl in the Spider's Web, this movie will bring Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) back to the silver screen for the first time since Rooney Mara played the genius hacker in 2011's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The story reunites Salander with journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and they'll once again try to solve a dangerous and timely mystery.

Why you should be excited: Claire. Fucking. Foy. Now that she's officially finished with Netflix's The Crown, it's going to be so fun watching her go from regal Queen Elizabeth II to badass computer wiz. She has the range.

14. Widows, Nov. 16

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Jason Kempin / Getty Images

Synopsis: Widows is the story of four Chicago women — Veronica (Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) — who have nothing in common except, oh right, all their dead criminal husbands have unpaid debts. Tension builds in this modern-day thriller when the widows unite and take their fate into their own hands.

Why you should be excited: I would watch these four women do anything together, but getting to watch them team up and smash the patriarchal Chicago crime world? It's almost too much. Plus, Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame cowrote the script with director Steve McQueen (the Academy Award–winning director of 12 Years A Slave), so it's gonna be goooood.

15. On the Basis of Sex, release date TBD

Focus Features

Synopsis: This Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic will premiere in 2018, in line with Justice Ginsburg's 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court. Felicity Jones will play Ginsburg as a young lawyer who teams up with her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), to try to turn the tide on gender discrimination.

Why you should be excited: We could all use an inspiring story about a woman succeeding in politics right now. And after Jones gained so much awards recognition for her supporting role in 2014's The Theory of Everything playing Stephen Hawking's wife, Jane, it'll be wonderful to see Jones take center stage in a biopic of her own.

16. Eighth Grade, release date TBD

Courtesy of Sundance

Synopsis: Comedian Bo Burnham's Sundance hit is about a painfully shy eighth grader, Kayla (Elsie Fisher), and what it means to be young in the age of social media. Caught between the end of middle school and beginning of high school, Kayla makes inspirational YouTube videos for her fellow teens while struggling to follow her own advice.

Why you should be excited: The reviews out of Sundance have been universally glowing, emphasizing how much the movie nails the sweet, funny, overall cringey-ness of adolescence. And when an older boy shows aggressive interest in her, Kayla deals with her first foray into navigating sex and power — an apt story for the current environment.

17. The Tale, release date TBD

Courtesy of Sundance

Synopsis: Laura Dern plays Jennifer, a successful journalist and professor who's unexpectedly forced to square with a dark memory from her past. At age 13, she wrote a story called “The Tale,” depicting a “special” relationship with two adult coaches. In an effort to find clarity, she seeks out her two former coaches and returns to the Carolina horse farm where everything happened.

Why you should be excited: The Tale is based on director Jennifer Fox's own experience, and the story couldn't be more timely. It's also great to see Dern lend her talent and post–Big Little Lies buzz to a woman-centric tale.

18. Book Club, release date TBD

Synopsis: Four lifelong friends — Diane (Diane Keaton), recently widowed after 40 years of marriage, Vivian (Jane Fonda), who enjoys her men without strings, Sharon (Candice Bergen), still working through a decades-old divorce, and Carol (Mary Steenburgen), whose 35-year marriage is in a slump — have their lives turned upside down after reading 50 Shades of Grey. The book catapults them into a series of outrageous life choices.