I’m a huge advocate for watching movies in theaters. In 2023, I visited my local cinema almost 80 times. I consider myself a movie buff and I firmly believe that pretty much every movie is better on the big screen.
Of course, some movies shine even brighter when projected onto a gigantic surface, and as we take our first steps into 2024, I’m already getting hyped for all the cinematic adventures I’ll be enjoying over the next 12 months.
While I don’t have high hopes for the first movie I’ll be seeing in cinemas in 2024 (sorry, Night Swim), there are plenty of flicks that I’m convinced will be challenging for a spot on my always hotly-contested list of favorite movies of the year.
From a sparkling musical twist on a teen-comedy classic to the long-overdue big-screen return of my favorite film franchise of all time, these are the 5 movies that I cannot wait to watch at my local multiplex in 2024.
Mean Girls (January 12)
The trailers may be attempting to hide it, but this new version of Mean Girls is actually a musical based on the hit stage production that debuted in 2017 and landed on Broadway the following year. Tina Fey, the writer of the original 2004 movie, was heavily involved in the show and has returned to pen the screenplay for this big-screen adaptation, so I have full faith that this reimaging is in good hands.
I’m not super familiar with the musical tunes, but I’ve heard good things, and after Barbie proved to be such a fun cinema experience last year, I’m hoping that the Mean Girls musical might recapture some of that same energy. Plus, it’ll give me another excuse to dig out my favorite pink t-shirt, and that’s always a bonus.
Dune: Part Two (March 1)
Director Denis Villeneuve returns to the desert planet of Arrakis for the second chapter of his adaption of Frank Herbet’s legendary 1965 novel, Dune. While I don’t rank the first Dune movie as my favorite Villeneuve effort to date — that honor still goes to Blade Runner: 2049 — it was a gripping sci-fi epic with an absolutely stacked cast list.
This upcoming sequel looks to be more of the same promising an incredible group of actors, truly breathtaking visuals and an engrossing narrative that should be even more dramatic than its predecessor. Dune: Part Two was originally scheduled for November 2023, before being delayed into this year during the early part of the lengthy Hollywood labor disputes that halted the industry in 2023. We’ve had to wait four extra months but I'm sure that Dune 2 will be worth it.
The Fall Guy (May 3)
I’ve long considered Ryan Gosling among my favorite actors, and it was great to see him return to prominence in 2023 playing the now iconic role of Ken in the Barbie movie. This year he’ll team up with Emily Blunt, who is enjoying her own deserved resurgence post-Oppenheimer, for The Fall Guy. No, it’s not an adaption of that video game we were all playing in 2020. Instead, it’s a ridiculously over-the-top action comedy where Gosling plays a Hollywood stuntman, who must find the MIA star of a big-budget movie to win back the affections of his ex-girlfriend (Blunt) who is also directing the film in question. Plus, David Leitch, director of the excellent Bullet Train and Atomic Blonde, is behind the camera. That’s a very exciting trio of talent.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (May 24)
I vividly remember walking out of the theater on Mad Max: Fury Road's opening night and being simply awestruck by the action masterpiece I’d just witnessed. If director George Miller can recapture even a third of the pure cinematic magic he captured in that critically adored 2015 flick, then Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is going to be one seriously memorable ride. I’m pleased with the casting of Anya Taylor-Joy as a young Furiosa, and Chris Hemsworth looks to be having a blast as the leader of a post-apocalyptic biker gang, but I do have some slight reservations about this one. The initial teaser trailer has me a little concerned about some ropey visual effects, especially as Fury Road was championed for its use of practical stunts, but I’m keeping faith that these issues will be minor and maybe even ironed out by release.
Alien: Romulus (August 16)
We know very little about Alien: Romulus right now. And I’m fine with that. Alien is my favorite film franchise of all time, so whenever a new installment lands, I’m going to be there no matter what. We do know that director Fede Álvarez is on directorial duties this time around and that the movie will be set between the 1979 original and its beloved sequel, 1986’s Aliens. I enjoyed Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and its sort-of follow-up Alien: Covenant more than most, but the series is screaming out for some fresh blood. And the rumors that Romulus will be separate from any previous Alien movies and instead focus on a new cast of characters feels like a smart call. I’m nervous that the franchise could be saddled with another dud, but the Xenomorph deserved to be on the big screen and I can’t wait to see it stalk fresh prey in 2024.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.