For us nerds, 2017 was an interesting year in terms of cinema. It undoubtedly gave us some awesome movies, but it also gave us some less than stellar movies that made us regret ever wasting our time and money on them.
One of the definitive highlights of 2017 for geek movies was Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, the second instalment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The Last Jedi had an insane performance at the box office, making over $1.3 billion worldwide. Some other highlights for 2017 include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Blade Runner 2049.
Unfortunately, there were also some nerdy movies in 2017 that didn’t turn out so well. Ghost in the Shell, a live-action remake of the anime film, was received relatively poorly by critics and barely managed to make a profit. Death Note, another live-action anime adaptation, was an awful re-telling of its incredible source material. Finally, Power Rangers, the big-screen reboot of the television series, was another movie that failed to impress. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Thanks to the rise of comic book movies over the past decade as well as the huge popularity of Star Wars and other sci-fi features, we have easy access to a ton of films that will appease the nerd in all of us. With this list, we will take a look at the upcoming nerdy movies of 2018 – which ones will suck, and which ones are the hidden gems that you should watch?
20 Bad: Tomb Raider
Directed by Roar Uthaug and starring Alicia Vikander, Tomb Raider is an upcoming film adaptation of the popular video game series of the same name. Remember the awfully-received Lara Croft: Tomb Raider from 2001 starring Angelina Jolie? If you thought we learned our lesson back then, you were wrong. This new film claims to take its inspiration mainly from the more recent video games developed by Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) with the ultimate goal of rebooting the film series. If we take a look at the countless other failed video game adaptation films such as Prince of Persia (2010) and Assassin’s Creed (2016), it’s not hard to imagine that this new Tomb Raider will join the list.
19 Gem: Avengers: Infinity War
When Marvel’s The Avengers was released in 2012, it was well-received by critics and comic book fans alike. The Avengers became a worldwide phenomenon and made a total of over $1.5 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing film of the year. The sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, also received favourable reviews,= and again had an amazing run at the box office. 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War promises an even bigger host of heroes than the previous films in the series, bringing the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) together with the original Avengers team. Judging by the success of the original film series, as well as the critically-acclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy series, Avengers: Infinity War is sure to be a smash hit.
18 Bad: Aquaman
The films in DC’s extended universe such as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) have never quite managed to make the same impact as the films in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. This is disappointing, as DC succeeded in making arguably one of the most brilliant and iconic superhero films of all time in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008). After appearing in two previous DC films with ensemble superhero casts, Jason Momoa will reprise his role as Aquaman in the 2018 film directed by James Wan. As much as we might want this movie to be great, we cannot ignore the poor track record of the other films in DC’s extended universe and we have to assume that Aquaman might be one to avoid.
17 Gem: Overlord
The Cloverfield franchise, also called the “Cloververse,” is an intriguing series of movies created by Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. This franchise is made interesting by the fact that the movies do not directly follow each other, but they simply exist in the same universe. Cloverfield (2008), the first film in the series, is a found-footage sci-fi/horror film that received critical acclaim. Cloverfield was followed by 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), a psychological horror film that was praised for its acting and well-received by critics and audiences. The third film in the franchise, The Cloverfield Paradox (2018), unfortunately received poor reviews. The next instalment, Overlord, will follow the story of two American soldiers in 1944 that discover the Nazis are using supernatural forces to aid them in battle. This film is set to release later this year and is surely one to look out for.
16 Bad: X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Historically, the films in Marvel’s X-Men franchise have been hit or miss and 2018’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be no different. We have seen such amazing movies as X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: First Class (2011), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). On the other hand, we have also been disappointed by major flops like X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set to follow the events of the previous film, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). It will tell the story of the X-Men going on a mission where Phoenix (Sophie Turner) becomes unable to control her powers. The X-Men franchise seems to confuse us more and more with each release, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix seems to be more of the same.
15 Gem: Venom
We are all familiar with Venom, as he is arguably the coolest and most interesting villain in the Spider-Man universe. Sony’s upcoming film, Venom, will act as a spin-off film from the Spider-Man franchise, and it will be directed by Reuben Fleischer. Tom Hardy will play the role of Eddie Brock, the man who becomes the host of the symbiote which gives him superhuman powers and turns him into the iconic character Venom. Hardy is an amazing actor who will surely be able to showcase his talent in this sci-fi horror film. It will be very interesting to see a superhero film that is focused on a character known for being villainous, so we will see how they choose to portray Brock/Venom in the film. Venom will come out in October of 2018 and is sure to be one of the most anticipated and exciting releases of the year.
14 Bad: Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, was received in 2015 with generally favourable reviews. However, similar to Aquaman, Ant-Man is not the most exciting superhero there is and the film had some problems in how it dealt with the logistics of the shrinking technology. The story of 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp will reportedly occur after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016). Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will reprise their roles from the previous film and we will see Ant-Man embark on a new mission. This film will mark the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Realistically, Ant-Man is the least exciting superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Ant-Man series will only serve to cause confusion. While this movie may not necessarily be terrible, there are plenty of better ones to watch.
13 Gem: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Ever since Star Wars first made a comeback in 2015 with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the franchise has only continued to impress. In 2016, Gareth Edwards gave us something truly special with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It became the first Star Wars anthology film, going back in time and straying away from the regular cast to show us events that happened outside of the main story with a darker tone. Solo: A Star Wars Story will follow a young Han Solo as he first meets Chewbacca, his co-pilot and partner in the future. The film will feature Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, as well as a host of big names like Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke. Book your tickets in advance for what will surely be another excellent addition to the Star Wars franchise.
12 Bad: A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time is set to come out in theatres in March of 2018 and is based on a novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle. Right off the bat, there are many problems that we can find with this film. It stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pine, among others. This cast is less than desirable, as none of them have worked on any films in the past that have been particularly great (we'll give Chris Pine a pass for Wonder Woman). This movie feels like an uninspired cash-grab that will serve well as something to watch for families with young children. After that, it will eventually join your list of movies on Netflix that you continually scroll past. You should not even let somebody pay you to see this movie.
11 Gem: Deadpool 2
2016’s Deadpool gave us a refreshing new take on the constant barrage of superhero films. It was a movie filled with laughs, love, and awesome action scenes that didn’t take itself too seriously. Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role as Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the upcoming sequel and it’s obvious that this film will showcase the same passion that we saw from Reynolds previously. The Deadpool films are actually a part of the X-Men series, making Deadpool 2 the eleventh instalment. In the first film, Deadpool gets revenge on the man that scarred him and gave him his mutant abilities. The 2018 sequel will introduce a new fan favoritet, Cable, played by Josh Brolin. Deadpool 2 is sure to be as exciting and hilarious as the first film, so make sure to mark the May release date in your calendars.
10 Bad: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The original Jurassic Park (1993) is undoubtedly an amazing and iconic film that sparked a number of sequels. This film showcased masterful suspense and an intriguing adventure story that still holds up today. When the series was rebooted with Jurassic World in 2015, it made an insane amount of money. However, it definitely felt like the film lost the magic of its predecessors. It told a story that was riddled with plot holes and featured a largely uninspiring cast of characters. 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seems no different; it is simply another film that will allow the relevant parties to cash in. The stakes have been raised so high in this new movie with hordes of dinosaurs and volcanic eruptions that it becomes borderline ridiculous. The new film will come out in the summer and it is the last film you want to see.
9 Gem: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Eddie Redmayne delivered a stellar performance as the quirky and endearingly awkward Newton “Newt” Scamander in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We saw similarly masterful performances from Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, and many others, and the film made over $800 million worldwide. It was incredible, after the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, to once again be immersed in the enthralling universe created by J.K. Rowling. At the end of the original film, the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) is captured and brought into custody. This anticipated sequel will reportedly follow the events of Grindelwald’s escape from custody and the efforts made to stop him. Eddie Redmayne will return as Newt Scamander and Jude Law will play a young Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. You won’t want to miss out on this one!
8 Bad: The Predator
The original Predator from 1987 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is undoubtedly a sci-fi classic. Since then, the Predator franchise has fallen into ruin like so many other franchises, such as Jaws and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Like these films, the Predator franchise had a strong first instalment that was followed by increasingly mediocre sequels. The Predator will be directed by Shane Black, who has actually directed a number of great films in the past such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and The Nice Guys (2016). Having Shane Black as a director will help this new Predator movie, but even he may not be able to successfully revamp this franchise. The Predator will come out in theatres in August of 2018, so we will just have to see if Black can work his magic, or if it will turn out to be a flop.
7 Gem: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated Spider-Man film that will be based on the Ultimate Marvel comic book series. In this alternate version of the Marvel universe, Peter Parker’s death prompts the introduction of a new Spider-Man, an Afro-Latino teenager named Miles Morales. In the comics, Morales has similar powers to those of Peter Parker, but he also has the ability to paralyze enemies with his touch in addition to the ability to camouflage himself to the environment around him. The trailer for this film showcases some amazingly stylish animation and action sequences, as well as Spidey’s cool new red and black suit. This film is set to release in December of 2018 and it promises to be an awesome new take on the Spider-Man we know and love.
6 Bad: Bumblebee: The Movie
The Transformers franchise is one that has received a lot of negative attention since its inception. The first film in the series, Transformers, came out in 2007 and was generally well-received as a fun and exciting cinema experience. Since then, it seems like each sequel has received even worse reviews than the last. Still, the Transformers films have managed to bring in billions of dollars combined, so there has been no reason to stop making them yet. Bumblebee: The Movie will act as a spin-off film from the original series and will be the first Transformers movie that will not be directed by Michael Bay. It will instead be directed by Travis Knight and it will serve as a prequel to the events of the first Transformers film. Judging by the criticism received by previous films in the franchise, you may want to avoid this one as well.
5 Gem: Pacific Rim: Uprising
Pacific Rim (2013) was the anime fan’s dream, as it brought human-piloted giant robot suits reminiscent of the Gundam series to the big screen. The original movie received mostly positive reviews and became known as a fun movie with epic action scenes featuring huge robots (called Jaegers) fighting giant sea monsters (called Kaiju). Pacific Rim: Uprising will introduce a new character played by John Boyega, known for his performance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in the main role. The film is set ten years after the events of the previous one and we will surely see some more action-packed Jaeger versus Kaiju combat. Pacific Rim: Uprising will premiere in theatres in March of 2018 and it definitely seems like a must-watch.
4 Bad: Rampage
Rampage is an upcoming sci-fi creature flick that takes inspiration from the video game series of the same name. In the video game, you are able to choose from a host of huge monsters and play as one of them as you try to make it through waves of military forces that are trying to take you down. This new film is directed by Brad Peyton and will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the main character. Johnson has gained major Hollywood fame over the years and is now solidified as one of today’s most popular action stars. We have seen the disastrous results of other attempted video game adaptations in the past and this film has even less material to use than others due to the relative lack of storyline in the Rampage video game series. Rampage is one movie that is sure to be a big-budget disappointment.
3 Gem: Annihilation
This new sci-fi thriller will be based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. Annihilation will star Natalie Portman in the lead role and is written and directed by Alex Garland, the same man who brought us such great films as 28 Days Later (2002), Dredd (2012), and Ex Machina (2015). The story will follow Natalie Portman’s character as she leads an expedition through a mysterious barrier into a strange environment in an attempt to save her husband’s life from whatever he found there. The trailer shows us some stunning visuals and bizarre creatures, and promises an intriguing and suspenseful sci-fi experience. This has the potential to be the best sci-fi film of the year, so be sure to check this one out as it hits theatres later this month.
2 Bad: Mortal Engines
Based on a series of books called The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines is scheduled to come out in December of 2018. The film is set in a dangerous and barren post-apocalyptic world where cities attempt to “eat” one another to gain precious resources. This is accomplished by equipping cities with motor transport capabilities, much like what we saw in the masterpiece that is Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). Mortal Engines, however, gives the feel of other high-budget, generic films that are based on novels, such as The Hunger Games series or the Divergent series. Directed by Christian Rivers, Mortal Engines promises a relatively high-budget yet disappointingly bland film, filled with so much CGI that it may, in fact, have been shot entirely in one room. This is surely a movie that you won’t want to waste your money on.
1 Gem: Ready Player One
Ready Player One, the smash hit science fiction novel by Ernest Cline, is finally getting a long-awaited movie adaptation. Cline joins Zak Penn in writing the film and it will be directed by Steven Spielberg. This movie is an amazing celebration of all nerd culture and we will likely be up to our ears in easter eggs and references to popular culture throughout the ages. In fact, the trailer has already confirmed this for us. The film will star Tye Sheridan as the main character Wade Watts alongside other well-known faces such as Olivia Cooke and Simon Pegg. A live-action movie about people playing a high-stakes virtual reality video game? Count us in. Ready Player One is set to come out in theatres in March of 2018 and is destined to be an instant classic that will be talked about for years to come.