11 Science Fiction Movies Scheduled for 1H 2019

Star Wars, Millennium Falcon, asteroid field, Han Solo, Chewbacca It’s a whole new year and time for a new slate of science fiction movies—hopefully of a higher quality than what we saw (or, to more accurate, didn’t see) in the second half of 2018.

The good news is that here we have 11 hopeful entries and just one sequel. The bad news is that some of them look like pretty B-level stuff. I would be surprised if they got enough distribution to run in theaters. Sigh. On the other hand, surprises like a Quiet Place pop up.

Quantity Over Quality?

In other news, there are a lot of science fiction movies orbiting around out there like asteroids in the Mars-Jupiter Belt. Alas, they do not have scheduled release dates and thus remain in an orbit too loose to be included here. Possibly some will land in the first half as a complete surprise while others will make it out in the second half.

And there’s a lot of dystopia coming to theaters this year. Plagues, aliens, environmental disaster: take your pick. But we also have the return of the Men in Black to lighten our spirits.

The Rules:

  1. No superheroes, No masks, No powers, No heroics, science fiction movies 1H 2019The following list does not include superhero or comic book movies, anime, animated children’s movies, movies based on video games, horror (including poltergeists, haunted mirrors, creepy children, etc.), fairy tales, Bible movies, paranormal romance and (with a few notable exceptions) monster movies. They are not science fiction.
  2. This list focuses on movies appearing in theaters. It includes a few premium channel movies, which may be straight-to-video films or appear simultaneously in theaters.Distribution patterns are changing and Netflix has raised the bar for new content.
  3. To be included, the movie must have a definite release date. This date may change and the movie may even slip into the following year. In that case, I will not review it along with the others. But if it has no announced release date, it does not make the list.

I already anticipate a problem around May 24 when two of these movies are scheduled to open. One could get moved to prevent a conflict. Or one could not appear in theaters at all. It happens. Title links go to the film’s IMDB page. Without further countdown or technicalities, here is the list of the 11 scheduled science fiction movies 1H 2019.

Science Fiction Movies 1H 2019

January

 Replicas

  • Release Date: January 11, 2019
  • Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
  • Synopsis: “A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: This was scheduled for last year but then slipped into 2019. With Rotten Tomatoes scores like these (95 Rotten / 41% Liked) they probably should have slipped it a few more years—or sent it straight to video.

IO

  • Release Date: January 18, 2019
  • Director: Jonathan Helpert
  • Synopsis: “Sam (Margaret Qualley), one of the last survivors on a post-cataclysmic Earth, is a young scientist dedicated to finding a way for humans to adapt and survive, rather than abandon their world. But with the final shuttle scheduled to leave the planet for a distant colony, her determination to stay is rocked by the arrival of another survivor, Micah (Anthony Mackie). She must decide whether to journey with him to join the rest of humanity and begin life anew, or stay to fight for Earth’s survival.
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: I’m not sure that one person, no matter how hard she fights, can have an impact on “Earth’s survival.” Nor do I agree with the premise that mankind can destroy the Earth. We’re just not that powerful. Human beings CAN make the Earth unlivable—and we seem to be well along in the process of doing just that. But if IO is good I’ll suspend my skepticism and go along for the ride. If not? Well, there’s always Wall-E.

February

Alita: Battle Angel

  • Release Date: Originally December 21,2018, now February 14,2019
  • Director: Robert Rodriguez
  • Synopsis: “An action-packed story of one young woman’s journey to discover the truth of who she is and her fight to change the world.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: The trailer looks interesting but this could also turn into a standard fight-heavy movie, with improbable action, characters walking away from devastating injuries, and blood flying everywhere. I have reservations. Time will tell.

Fox Trot Six

  • Fox Trot Six, science fiction, movieRelease Date: February 21, 2019
  • Director: Randy Korompis
  • Synopsis: “IN THE TIME OF OUR CHILDREN, escalating climate change is turning the world economy upside down. With crops dying and food price spiking, FOOD has replaced oil as the world’s most valuable commodity. Among the very few lands still left fertile, Indonesia is quickly rising as the next economic superpower, when its government was suddenly and ruthlessly overtaken by a popular rogue political party: PIRANAS.
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: Indonesia as a superpower?  Really? A generation from now, much of Indonesia is likely to be under water. I tend to be put off by over-written drivel like this synopsis but I will try to remain open minded.

March

Chaos Walking

  • Release Date: March 1, 2109
  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Synopsis: “From Carnegie Award-winning writer Patrick Ness comes the story of Todd Hewitt who lives on the distant planet of New World-a new hope for humanity until struck by “The Noise,” a virus which inflicts immersive visions of ones’ every thought. The cacophony drives many mad until Todd makes a hidden, silent discovery: there is a girl named Viola, who may be the key to unlocking New World’s many layered secrets.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: Given the success of A Quiet Place and then Bird Box, we will almost certainly be flooded by movies about the senses. This one at least adds the twist of overwhelming the sense of hearing instead of depriving its actors of the ability to use it. This approach has been used with movies about telepaths but this is the first time noise pollution has afflicted the hearing population. I would think technology could solve the problem better than one person, though. Earbuds, anyone?

Captive State

  • Rupert Wyatt,Captive State, science fiction, movie, Release Date: March 29, 2019
  • Director: Rupert Wyatt
  • Synopsis: “Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: I love alien-occupation movies so I have real hope for this one. Also, it has a good director and a pretty decent cast. Captive State  has promise. I’m feeling a little pessimistic today so I just hope it doesn’t turn into a Grand Disappointment on the scale of Mortal Engines.

April

High Life

  • Release Date: April 12, 2019
  • Director: Claire Denis
  • Synopsis: “A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: At first this sounded suspiciously like an outer-space version of Leave No Trace. Hey, if a father-daughter story worked in the woods of Washington State, why not in space? But the trailer looks very different. More people, for one thing. It could be good.

May

Ad Astra

  • Release Date: May 24, 2019
  • Director: James Gray
  • Synopsis: “Astronaut Roy McBride travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: I have watched three different trailers for this movie and they all look totally different. Like three different movies. So your guess is as good as mine.

Brightburn

  • Release Date: May 24, 2019
  • Director: David Yarovesky
  • Synopsis: “What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: This sounds far too much like a variation on the “evil child” horror movies that I dislike, except that the baby is Rosemary’s Superman. If so, you will not find me in the theater when this is showing.

June

 Doom

  • Release Date: June 7, 2019
  • Director: Tony Giglio
  • Synopsis: NA
  • Trailer: NA

My Take: Hard to say. Not enough information so far. That usually means it could end up slipping to a later release date or go straight to cable.

Men In Black International

  • Men in Black International, MIB, movie onesheet, science fictionRelease Date: June 14, 2019
  • Director: Gary Gray
  • Synopsis: “The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: Oh, I think this is a must-see. It’s been way too long since the last MIB movie and I love the combination of science fiction, James Bond, ubiquitous aliens and snarky humor. Please, please, please let this one be good.

So there you have it: 11 science fiction movies that should appear in theaters between now and July. That should — if everything works out well — give us a lot to watch. Get ready for liftoff: 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 ….

2001 Space Odyssey, astronaut, Dave Bowman, HAL

 

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