Though the cinemascape seems dominated lately by superhero films from Marvel and DC Studios, they haven’t quite cornered the market in the action movie genre. There are still plenty of stories to be told that don’t involve America’s butt and lots of spandex. Whether you’re a fan of action movies that feature a little science fiction, a little fantasy, or just really great wide shots of hand to hand combat, 2019 is going to be your year.
Captain Marvel, Shazam, and Avengers: Endgame have already blasted their way into theaters, but there’s still a few cape-and-cowl capers coming down the pike, like X-Men: Dark Phoenix. If you’re into family-friendly action comedy, there’s always the sequel to 2017’s Jumanji, reuniting The Rock, Jack Black, and all the original cast on another jungle adventure. Elsewhere, who could forget the climactic conclusion of the John Wick trilogy, also arriving in theaters this year? Whatever your taste in action, these movies have you covered.
10 Detective Pikachu
In one of the most glorious inadvertent mashups this year, Ryan Reynolds of Deadpool fame will take over the voice of the most famous Pokémon ever, Pikachu! Only this time Pikachu isn't just an adorable little yellow cat-loaf, he's a hard boiled private eye trying to help the only person who can understand him speak track down his missing father.
Once a plane ride away from competing in the Pokémon championships, Tim Goodman never made it after his ace detective father abruptly disappeared. But when his father’s partner Pikachu takes the case, he may have the jolt he needs to participate in the greatest Pokémon test of all. See it May 10th, 2019.
9 John Wick 3: Parabellum
In the highly-anticipated threequel to John Wick Chapter 2, John Wick 3: Parabellum pits the infamous hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) against every assassin in the guild he once pledged his life to. Not only is there a price on his head, but he's being hunted by the High Council himself for assassinating one of its highest-ranking members.
Dive into the intriguing lore of the John Wick Universe, marvel at the amazing action sequences, and admire the stunning fashion of The Boogeyman’s custom tailored suits. Watch John Wick try to stay ahead of every top assassin in New York City with a $14 million dollar price tag on his head. See it May 17th, 2019.
8 Godzilla: King of the Monsters
A follow-up to the popular Godzilla film from 2014 starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Godzilla: King of the Monsters takes the kaiju film franchise to bold new heights with some of the most stunning images of catastrophic destruction to date. Starring Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) and Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring franchise), it follows the cryptozoology agency known as Monarch as it tries to stand off against an ever growing amount of monsters.
With Mothra, Rodan, and the formidable King Ghidorah on the loose, there’s only one monster powerful enough to take them on: the King of the Monsters, Godzilla. With every mythical beast vying for dominance of the planet, only Godzilla can save humanity. See it May 31, 2019.
7 Terminator: Dark Fate
The sixth installment in the Terminator franchise, Terminator Dark Fate will pick up after the events of T2: Judgment Day, disregarding Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator Genisys. It will star Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sarah Connor and the T-800 “Model 101”.
Added to the franchise will be Grace, a soldier-assassin, sent from the future by John Connor to protect Dani Ramos, a young woman in the crosshairs of a new liquid Terminator. Early screenings have called it a return to form for the franchise after a few missteps, and we can’t wait to see Linda Hamilton kick butt again. See it November 1st, 2019.
Lately, the Joker has become a controversial figure for more than just his harrowing criminal actions. After Jared Leto's Suicide Squad take on the character left a bad taste in fans' mouths, they weren’t exactly thrilled to hear of another actor putting on the clown makeup so soon.
Early trailers for Joker (starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime) look promising though, focusing on the downward spiral of a reclusive man who just wanted to make people happy. When his entertainment career comes at the expense of his own sanity, the film takes a psychologically disturbing turn. We know one thing, this new Joker will at least offer something different! See it October 4th, 2019.
5 Rambo V: Last Blood
Stallone will lace up his combat boots and tie a bandanna around his forehead for the very last time in Rambo V: Last Blood, the fifth and final installment (at least for him) in the Rambo franchise. Sylvester Stallone has played charismatic drifter and Vietnam veteran John Rambo off and on for over three decades, since first appearing in Rambo: First Blood in 1982.
After a friend’s daughter is captured, John Rambo will once again brandish a bowie knife and an insane arsenal, putting his paramilitary skills to the test as he takes on the drug cartels of Mexico to get her back. See it September 20th, 2019.
4 X-Men: Dark Phoenix
While Jean Grey is on a rescue mission in space, a sudden blast of cosmic energy transforms her into one of the most powerful forces in the Universe: Dark Phoenix. Unable to fully understand or control her new powers, her increasingly vulnerable and volatile emotional state means not just trouble for the X-Men, but trouble for the planet.
The equivalent of the X-Men’s Avengers: Endgame, emotional resonance is high for this film. The Phoenix Saga is a beloved story arc in the annals of the X-Men comics and has achieved near legendary status. It would be difficult to get perfect, but fans deserve to see a certain reverence applied to the film, the culmination of 20 years of X-Men cinema.
3 Charlie's Angels
Based on the popular television series of the same name, this Charlie’s Angels is directed by and starring Elizabeth Banks, with Naomi Scott and Kristen Stewart rounding out the other Angels. In this reboot of the franchise, the private agency specializing in security and investigation has gone international, with trios of Angels following their respective Bosleys all over the globe.
Fans of the Drew Barrymore/Lucy Liu/Cameron Diaz version weren’t overly excited about watching the exploits of another version of the popular trio, but the concept’s new direction seems promising. Maybe they’ll team up with MiB International and fight aliens! See it November 15th, 2019.
2 Jumanji 3
Nobody ever expected the beloved family film Jumanji to become action-movie franchise material, but with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the mix, it was hard to imagine it as anything else. It went from being about a board game that came to life for its players (in the original 90s film) to players being transported into a Jumanji video game (in the 2017 film).
This sequel reunites The Rock as Dr. Smolder Bravestone (avatar for nerdy Alex), Jack Black as Professor Sheldon Oberon (avatar of popular Bethany), Kevin Hart as Franklin Finbar (avatar of jock Anthony Johnson), and Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse (avatar of shy Martha Kaply), in a plot unreleased at this time. Catch it December 13th, 2019.
Based on the hit made-for-television movies featuring the John Shaft character, this third installment of the Shaft film franchise combines three generations of Shafts to fight crime. When John “JJ” Shaft Jr. (FBI agent and cyber-security expert) finds his best friend dead under mysterious circumstances, he has to partner with the legendary John Shaft II to discover the truth.
Navigating the Harlem underworld won’t be easy, so father and son have to team up with a third family member: the first generation and one-and-only John Shaft (Richard Roundtree). Samuel L. Jackson brought the franchise back to life in 2000 with Shaft, so let's see what’s been happening since in this new entry. Expect it June 14th, 2019.