2019 looks all set to be another brilliant year for us crime fiction fans. We can tell you with some assurance that it’ll be a fine twelve months for books and we’re pretty certain there’ll be more than enough in the TV stakes to satiate you all too. As for the big screen? Well, put it this way – you’ve very little to worry about on that front either.
We’ve trawled through all of the next 52 weeks’ scheduled movie releases and picked out a dozen we think are worth keeping an eye out for. There’s action, revenge, murder mystery, organised crime, neo-noir… In fact, there’s a little bit of everything.
Here’s our pick of the new crime movies not to miss throughout 2019, all dates accurate as of December 2018.
New crime movies you shouldn’t miss in 2019:
The Rhythm Section
Emmy Award-winning Handmaid’s Tale and Billions director Reed Morano helms this interesting looking crime/espionage thriller. Blake Lively stars as a woman spiralling into depression after her family are killed in a plane crash. When she learns that US intelligence services are covering up the true nature of the disaster, she pulls her butt-kicking boots on and gets to work settling the score.
Based on the novels by British writer Mark Burnell, The Rhythm Section co-stars Jude Law and is being produced by 007’s very own Barbara Broccoli. Early word is – if it goes well – we could be looking at a full-on Bond-style franchise.
Liam Neeson continues his ‘hard old fella’ routine with this snow-covered black comedy/thriller set in the Rocky Mountains. As is his wont, he plays a father out to avenge the death of a family member – this time his son – at the hands of a local drug-dealing syndicate. Laura Dern and William Forsythe provide the support for this popcorn-muncher that can quickly be described as ‘nice guy snowplough driver turns vigilante’.
Will it be better than the excellent 2014 Norwegian film it’s based on, In Order of Disappearance? Maybe not, though it’s the same director returning. That Stellan Skarsgård flick was a real highlight four years ago. We’ll take it being half as good, if we’re honest.
Joel Kinnaman stars as an FBI informant working to bring down the New York City Polish mob. This looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill crime thriller from the trailer, but with Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen supporting and the second half of the picture set in a jail, it could be a low key flick to watch out for. We’ll have to wait and see how good it is, though.
Under the Silver Lake
Pushed from 2018 to 2019, this noirish effort from It Follows director David Robert Mitchell follows Andrew Garfield’s ambling character as he attempts to investigate the disappearance of a beautiful woman. This isn’t likely to be a straight ‘find the girl’ thriller, though. The trailer makes it look more like a descent into a Lynchian nightmare, albeit a seemingly amusing one.
Weird characters, occult conspiracies and bizarre goings-on make this look like it could be a bit on the Marmite side. But if you don’t mind a bit of oddness, this nerdy, oddball psychodrama could be something of a delight.
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino making a movie about Charles Manson… That’s bound to split opinion, isn’t it? It’s either the cinematic event of the year or a pile of exploitative manure – depending on your viewpoint. Luckily for fans of taste, it seems as though the Tate murders and the Manson family serve more as background and flavour to this tale of the sheer insanity of Hollywood in the late 1960s.
It’s the cast that really catches the eye, though. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star, with a quite remarkable supporting ensemble including such luminaries as Bruce Dern, Emile Hirsch, Al Pacino, Damian Lewis, Margot Robbie, Lena Dunham, Dakota Fanning, Luke Perry, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Bell, James Marsden, Scoot McNairy and Rumer Willis.
Arguably 2018’s best film was Widows, a tale of a gangster’s other halves taking on their husband’s trade. Perhaps 2019 will follow suit with this similarly-plotted drama/thriller. The idea of a film starring Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish being anything other than a daft comedy might seem far-fetched, but The Kitchen isn’t playing it for laughs. With help from Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, Common, James Badge Dale and one of the best character actors working today – Bill Camp – this could be an autumn cracker.
A Batman movie? What’s that doing making our list of crime films to look out for in 2019? Well, it’s been a long time since Batman movies got PG certificates. Besides, this spin-off effort about the Dark Knight’s fiercest foe doesn’t even feature Bruce Wayne or his alter ego. Well, okay – it does a bit. But only a bit.
This ‘origins’ effort stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/The Joker and shows us all how he went from gag merchant chat show stand-up comedian to The World’s Most Evil Man™. With War Dogs director Todd Phillips directing and the likes of Robert de Niro on board, this has a feel of The King of Comedy to it. If it were written by Frank Miller.
The Woman in the Window
Sharp Objects‘ Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman star in this adaptation of A J Finn’s book of the same name. In this Rear Window-inspired tale, An agoraphobic New York City child psychologist is witness to a brutal and disturbing crime while spying on her next-door neighbours. But will anyone believe her if she tells them what’s she’s seen…?
The book was a runaway bestseller, so expect a bit of buzz around this on its release.
It feels as though this Martin Scorsese film has been in production forever. Maybe it just feels that way, especially given the anticipation over the project. Why? Well, it’s set to star Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel. Based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, the plot centres around Frank Sheeran (de Niro), a hitman for the Bufalino crime family and his apparent involvement in the infamous murder of labor union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).
Support comes from an impressive list of acting talent including Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Stephen Graham, Jesse Plemons and Jack Huston.
The Irishman was originally due to debut as a Netflix Original, but the budget went way over due to the costs involved in the CGI to make the ageing cast look younger in some of the scenes. So to help recoup costs, it’ll hit cinemas a little before the streaming service shows it.
The Earthquake Bird
The CWA’s New Blood Dagger winner The Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones gets the big screen treatment some 18 years after its publication. Alicia Vikander’s expat Lucy Fly comes under suspicion of murder in Tokyo when her friend – Riley Keough’s Lily Bridges – goes missing. Could a lurid love triangle explain the young woman’s disappearance?
This alluring-sounding mystery noir is set to go straight to Netflix.
Edward Norton directs and stars in this 50s-set sleuther based on the Gold Dagger award-winning novel by Jonathan Lethem. The Fight Club star plays a private investigator with Tourette’s attempting to solve the murder of his mentor. Padding out the cast are the likes of Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin and Michael K Williams.
Production and release on Motherless Brooklyn were held up due to a fire that broke out on-set in early 2018, in which a New York City firefighter sadly died. The movie will, presumably, be dedicated to his memory.
Not too much is known about this apparently ‘high concept and modern take on the whodunit murder mystery’ from Brick and Looper director Rian Johnson. What we do know is that it has some cast… Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield and Christopher Plummer all feature in as-yet-unannounced roles.
Heard about any intriguing-sounding new crime movies due out in 2019 that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below…