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We're Pumped For These 2019 Movies Directed By Women

By Kristy Puchko | Film | January 2, 2019 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | January 2, 2019 |


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The decade-long garbage fire of 2018 is over! But for all its faults and worst timeline headlines, it was a pretty stellar year for movies made by women. And this year is shaping up to be similarly spectacular! So to toast the New Year, we’re raising a glass to the female-helmed movies we’re stoked to see in 2019!

Here’s every 2019 movie directed by a woman that is currently on the release schedule. (Side-eying you, Summer ‘19.)

Rust Creek, Dir. Jen McGowan
Logline: An overachieving college student gets lost on her way to a job interview. A wrong turn leaves her stranded deep in the Kentucky forest. The woman must defend herself against the harsh elements and a band of ruthless outlaws. She is forced into an uneasy alliance with a strange loner who has unknown intentions.
Cast: Hermione Corfield, Denise Dal Vera, and Jeremy Glazer
Why We’re Excited: We’re a sucker for a lean, mean thriller, and Rust Creek’s trailer is giving us Killing Ground vibes.
Opens January 4.

Adult Life Skills, Dir. Rachel Tunnard
Logline: Anna is comfortable living in her mom’s garden shed making funny videos all day, but as she approaches 30, she starts feeling the pressure to move on and “grow up” without compromising her youthful spirit.
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Lorraine Ashbourne, and Brett Goldstein
Why We’re Excited: The trailer had us at Doctor Who’s Jodie Whitaker. Shed Zeppelin and everything after is just gravy.
Opens January 18.

Miss Bala, Dir. Catherine Hardwicke
Logline: A beauty contest winner is forced to work for a crime boss after she witnesses a murder. A remake of the 2011 Mexican film of the same name.
Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Mackie, and Thomas Dekker
Why We’re Excited: The original Miss Bala was widely praised. And while we tend to side-eye American remakes, we’re all for more of Gina Rodriguez, especially in badass mode.
Opens February 1.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Dirs. Trisha Gum and Mike Mitchell
Logline: It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, and Worst Chris
Why We’re Excited: Post-apocalyptic Wildstyle. Stephanie Beatriz as General Mayhem. Tiffany Haddish as alien queen Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi. The return of LEGO Batman. We can keep going…
Opens February 8.

Birds of Passage, Dirs. Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra
Logline: During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.
Cast: Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, and Natalia Reyes
Why We’re Excited: After making its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, this drama won a slew of praise from critics and was selected Colombian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. We’re ready to see what all the buzz is about.
Opens February 13.

The Rhythm Section, Dir. Reed Morano
Logline: A woman seeks revenge against those who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her family.
Cast: Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Sterling K. Brown
Why We’re Excited: Cinematographer turned director, Morano broke through helming critically lauded episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale. So, we can’t wait to see what she’ll do with an adaptation of Mark Burnell’s spy novel. Plus, post A Simple Favor we are in for any thriller Blake Lively will throw our way.
Opens February 22.

The Turning, Dir. Floria Sigismondi
Logline: For more than 100 years, a deeply haunting tale has been passed down to terrify audiences. Next February, DreamWorks Pictures’ The Turning takes us to a mysterious estate in the Maine countryside, where newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora and Miles. Quickly though, she discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.
Cast: Mackenzie Davis (Tully), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), and Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project)
Why We’re Excited: It’s a modern retelling of Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, starring one of the most exciting ingenues out there. Need we say more?
Opens February 22.


Captain Marvel, Dirs. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Logline: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
Cast: Brie Larson, Gemma Chan, Jude Law, and Samuel L. Jackson
Why We’re Excited: It’s the first MCU movie directed by a woman! It’s Brie Larson! It’s Captain Marvel! And Boden and Fleck have collaborated on a string of poignant and bittersweet films, like Half Nelson, Sugar and Mississippi Grind.
Opens March 8.


The Mustang, Dir. Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Logline: Mustang tells the story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.
Cast: Gideon Adlon, Matthias Schoenaerts, Connie Britton, and Bruce Dern
Why We’re Excited: Toxic masculinity and the importance of male vulnerability tackled by a female director! More of this please!
Opens March 15.

Breakthrough, Dir. Roxann Dawson
Logline: When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake Sainte Louise and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth’s mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.
Cast: Rebecca Staab, Topher Grace, and Chrissy Metz
Why We’re Excited: Dawson brings to the big screen the incredible true story of faith, family, and community.
Opens April 12.

After, Dir. Jenny Gage
Logline: A young woman falls for a guy with a dark secret and the two embark on a rocky relationship. Based on the novel by Anna Todd.
Cast: Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford, Selma Blair, Jennifer Beals, and Peter Gallagher
Why We’re Excited: Anna Todd’s After began as One Direction fan fiction, became a best-selling novel, and now is getting a steamy movie adaptation. Sometimes you want your romance slathered in YA-style cheese.
Opens April 12.

High Life, Dir. Claire Denis
Logline: A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, and Mia Goth
Why We’re Excited: Post-Twilight, Patterson has been selecting roles in strange and challenging cinema. The latest from this prolific French filmmaker seems another can’t-miss pick.
Opens April 12.

Little, Dir. Tina Gordon Chism
Logline: A woman receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self, at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear.
Cast: Marsai Martin, JD McCrary, and Justin Hartley
Why We’re Excited: Little is a vehicle for Black-ish’s 14-year-old master of side-eye Marsai Martin. She’s also executive producing, and it’s based on an idea she pitched. Her colleagues include Girls Trip’s executive producers Regina Hall and Josh Martin, and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver penned the first draft, then Tina Gordon Chism came on to polish and helm. Basically, Little looks grand.
Opens April 12.

Girls of the Sun, Dir. Eva Husson
Logline: A Kurdish female battalion prepares to take back their town from extremists.
Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Emmanuelle Bercot, and Zübeyde Bulut
Why We’re Excited: You read the logline, right?
Opens April 12.

Rafiki, Dir. Wanuri Kahiu
Logline: “Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.
Cast: Samantha Mugatsia, Neville Misati, and Nice Githinji
Why We’re Excited: Since its Cannes world premiere, this lesbian drama out of Kenya has been collecting accolades. And its trailer has us shook.
Opens April 19.

The Third Wife, Dir. Ash Mayfair
Logline: 19th century rural Vietnam, fourteen-year-old May is ready to become the third wife of a wealthy landowner. Little did she know that her hidden desires will take her by surprise and force her to make a choice between living in safety and being free.
Cast: Long Le Vu, Mai Thu Huong Maya, and Nguyen Phuong Tra My
Why We’re Excited: Through a string of film festival premieres, Mayfair’s feature directorial debut has maintained a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes!
Opens May 15.

The Sun Is Also A Star, Dir. Ry Russo-Young
Logline: It is Natasha’s last day in New York City, where she has lived for 10 years. Her family, living as undocumented immigrants in a small Brooklyn apartment, are being deported to Jamaica after her father’s arrest for drunk driving. Natasha is scouring the city for a chance to stay in the United States legally. She wants the normal teen existence of her peers. Meanwhile, poetic Daniel is on his way to an interview as part of his application process to Yale. He is under great pressure to get in because his parents (who emigrated from South Korea) are adamant that he become a doctor. Events slowly conspire to bring the two leads together. When Daniel and Natasha finally meet, he falls in love immediately and convinces her to join him for the day.
Cast: Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton, and Gbenga Akinnagbe
Why We’re Excited: Based on Nicola Yoon’s YA novel, this romance stars Grown-ish’s chic ingenue and Riverdale’s Hot Reggie 2.0. We swoon.
Opens May 17.

A Dog’s Journey, Dir. Gail Mancuso
Logline: A dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Betty Gilpin, and Josh Gad
Why We’re Excited: Some movies were made to be reviewed by TK.
Opens May 17.

Booksmart, Dir. Olivia Wilde
Logline: On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
Cast: Billie Lourd, Kaitlyn Dever, Lisa Kudrow, Beanie Feldstein, and Jessica Williams
Why We’re Excited: Wilde makes her feature directorial debut with a comedy scripted by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman, and with a cast of amazing women (plus Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte).
Opens May 24.

BEHOLD THE GAPING MAW THAT IS A SUMMER WITHOUT A SINGLE FEMALE-DIRECTED MOVIE ON THE SCHEDULE

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The Kitchen, Dir. Andrea Berloff
Logline: The wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison.
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish
Why We’re Excited: Did you see that cast? And Widows as a comedy? You know we’re in.
Opens September 20.

Abominable, Dirs. Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman
Logline: Pearl Studio and DreamWorks Animation’s co-production Abominable takes audiences on an epic 3,000-mile journey from the streets of Shanghai to the breathtaking Himalayan snowscapes. When a mischievous group of friends encounter a young Yeti, they embark upon an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth.
Cast: Albert Tsai, Chloe Bennet, and Tenzing Norgay Trainor
Why We’re Excited: Abominable sounds adorable.
Opens September 27.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.jpg

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Dir. Marielle Heller
Logline: The story of Fred Rogers, the honored host and creator of the popular children’s television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, and Enrico Colantoni
Why We’re Excited: Heller helmed the wildly entertaining and thought-provoking Can You Ever Forgive Me? After that, we’d follow her anywhere. Plus, Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers is dream casting made real!
Opens October 18.

Charlie’s Angels, Dir. Elizabeth Banks
Logline: Reboot of the 2000 action comedy based on the 1970s TV series. Plot unknown.
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Noah Centineo, and Patrick Stewart
Why We’re Excited: We thought there was no way another reboot of Charlie’s Angels could interest us. But Banks has gathered a cast that’s got our attention.
Opens November 1.

Frozen 2, Dirs. Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck
Logline: Plot unknown. This is the sequel to Walt Disney Pictures’ 53rd full-length animated motion picture, Frozen.
Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Evan Rachel Wood, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad
Why We’re Excited: Despite how overexposed it got, despite the years of kiddos (and grown-ups) belting out its songs adnauseum, despite Disney’s probably refusal to give Elsa a girlfriend, we’ll never let it go.
Opens November 22.

Queen & Slim, Dir. Melina Matsoukas
Logline: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith
Why We’re Excited: After helming a slew of music videos for the likes of Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, and Rihanna, Matsoukas directed eps of Master of None and Insecure. Now she’s making her feature directorial debut with a script by Lena Waithe, and she’s giving us more Kaluuya.
Opens November 27.

🎥❤️ @littlewomenofficial

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Little Women, Dir. Greta Gerwig
Logline: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Bob Odenkirk
Why We’re Excited: The writer/director of Lady Bird adapts Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel. Sold.
Opens December 25.

Did we miss a female-directed movie you’re pumped to see in 2019? Share it in comments.



Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.



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