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2018's must-see blockbusters to celebrate #NationalPopcornDay

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Movies and popcorn go together like bacon and eggs, and with today being National Popcorn Day, it's time to celebrate the experience of kicking back with your favourite cinema snack.

Here's our roundup of the 2018 blockbusters you need to experience with a tub of popcorn.

Black Panther

Released 13th February

Chadwick Boseman's imposing Marvel superhero T'Challa first appeared in Captain America: Civil War. That was two years ago, and now anticipation over his solo movie has reached fever pitch. Acting as our first proper introduction to the mysterious kingdom of Wakanda, Marvel's latest is set to expand their Cinematic Universe in a host of exciting ways, not least with a new cast of characters including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o and Daniel Kaluuya.


Red Sparrow

Released 1st March

Jennifer Lawrence is a Soviet spy in this atmospheric espionage thriller from Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. She plays a Russian ballerina reluctantly co-opted to take part in the 'Sparrow' programme, transforming into a agent trained to use her body as a deadly weapon of seduction. But then she meets an American CIA agent and her mission to expose a mole gets complicated...


Tomb Raider

Released 16th March

Forget Angelina Jolie. Ex Machina star and The Danish Girl Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is set to become the definitive Lara Croft of our time. The videogame icon bursts back onto the screen in a story brimming with all the Tomb Raider goodness we'd expect: secrets from the past, remote, exotic locations and plenty of badass stuntwork. Vikander is one of the finest actors around at the moment and we can't wait to see how she brings Lara to life.


A Wrinkle In Time

Released 23rd March

What happens when you fuse a socially conscious director, Disney and an acclaimed 1960s children's novel? The answer is A Wrinkle In Time, poised to be one of 2018's most visually lustrous and thought-provoking adventures. Directed by Oscar nominated Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay, it stars Storm Reid as a young girl embarking on an inter-dimensional search for her long-lost father. The outstanding cast also includes Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon.


Ready Player One

Released 30th March

Steven Spielberg invented the popcorn blockbuster with Jaws, and further honed the formula with the likes of Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. The prospect of him tackling Ernest Cline's pop culture-laden adventure is therefore enormously exciting. A virtual reality treasure hunt taking place within the make-believe world of the OASIS, Ready Player One mashes up references ranging from A Nightmare on Elm Street to The Iron Giant, a Spielbergian playground that we can't wait to enter.


Avengers: Infinity War

Released 27th April

10 years of Marvel movies have all led to this, the blockbuster battle to end all battles. Infinity War's gargantuan cast is reported to comprise 76 key players, a new record that indicates the enormous scale of Marvel's latest. Directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War filmmakers the Russo brothers, it pits the Avengers against their deadliest foe so far, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Fortunately, the original team are drafting in help from the various corners of the MCU, including Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and the Guardians of the Galaxy.


Deadpool 2

Released 16th May

The Merc with a Mouth is back with his assortment of filthy jokes and massive weapons in this feverishly awaited sequel. Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool debut broke all the rules back in 2016, tearing down the fourth wall and reminding us that not all comic book heroes need to play nice. This year's sequel brings in new faces Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz) – expect it to make you laugh, wince and blast out 'Careless Whisper' just like its predecessor.


Solo: A Star Wars Story

Released 25th May

We're still waiting for the trailer but the prospect of a Han Solo origin story is an intriguing one. Following the departure of original filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Apollo 13's Ron Howard took over this latest Star Wars anthology movie. Alden Ehrenreich plays young solo with Atlanta's Donald Glover as his eventual best buddy (and betrayer) Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany co-star.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Released 8th June

The dinosaurs are in trouble in this sequel to 2015's monstrous hit Jurassic World. Following the catastrophic events of the earlier movie, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) are compelled to return to Isla Nublar to save our prehistoric ancestors from an extinction-level event. The Orphanage and A Monster Calls J.A. Bayona is behind the camera and Jeff Goldblum is back as fan favourite Dr. Ian Malcolm.


The Incredibles 2

Released 13th July

Can you believe it's been 13 years since the release of Pixar's The Incredibles? It's one of the studio's most enduringly popular classics, introducing us to super-strong Mr. Incredible, super-stretchy Mrs. Incredible and their brood. Mashing up Fantastic Four with James Bond it left us hanging for a sequel. Well, our patience has finally been rewarded with this summer's follow-up centering on young infant Jack-Jack. Can July hurry up, please?


Mission: Impossible 6

Released 27th July

The previous Mission: Impossible movie, Rogue Nation, saw Tom Cruise clinging to the outside of an airborne plane. Expectations are therefore sky-high for his latest adventure, which has already been teased by his daredevil stuntwork tearing across London rooftops (resulting in a busted ankle last October). Christopher McQuarrie is back in the driving seat with the cast comprising Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Henry Cavill, Sean Harris and Michelle Monaghan.


Ant-Man and the Wasp

Released 3rd August

We'll next see Paul Rudd's shrinking superhero in Avengers: Infinity War, but let's not forget his second solo adventure arrives later in the summer. Promising more of the inventive special effects that distinguished his 2015 debut, the Ant-Man sequel also allows Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne to take centre stage, as her alter ego Wasp assists Ant-Man in his adventures. 


Venom

Released 5th October

Fed up of comic book movies playing by the rules? Allow Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock to act as the solution. The Taboo actor is set to bring his intensity to the role of reporter turned anti-hero Venom, a twisted flipside to Spider-Man who most certainly isn't neighbourhood friendly. It's directed by Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer, so we might expect plenty of similarly dark humour alongside superpowered action and a cast that includes All the Money in the World's Michelle Williams.


X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Released 2nd November

The ongoing X-Men universe gets a serious injection of prestige with the addition of Jessica Chastain. The Molly's Game star is playing the latest mutant nemesis in a film that connects back to one of the most enduringly popular comic book sagas. Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner returns as the young Jean Grey, struggling with her burgeoning powers that eventually manifest as the destructive Dark Phoenix of the title. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender return as Xavier and Magneto.


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Released 16th November

The Fantastic Beasts universe expands as magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) comes to London and Paris. This J.K. Rowling-scripted sequel places greater focus on the villainous dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who escapes MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) custody and threatens the harmony between muggles and magic. Jude Law makes his franchise debut as young Albus Dumbledore.


Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Released 30th November

Disney's 2013 animation was one of their most inventive and enjoyable in years. Whisking us inside the nostalgic environment of an arcade game, it introduced us to pixellated baddie Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) who tired of his pre-determined role and longed to become a good guy. The sequel moves Ralph and the rest of his arcade buddies into the digital age, as our title character must travel via wi-fi router to save his beloved Sugar Rush game.


Aquaman

Released 21st December

Reaction to Justice League may have been mixed but we're still positive about Jason Momoa's debut standalone movie. Fingers crossed his wisecracking Atlantean warrior will get more of a chance to shine in Insidious director James Wan's DC adventure. Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Amber Heard co-star with retro movie legend Dolph Lundgren (Masters of the Universe) playing King Nereus.


Mary Poppins Returns

Released 21st December

It takes a brave person to step into the shoes of Julie Andrews. But if anyone's going to pick up the mantle of the cinema's greatest magical nanny, it's Emily Blunt. A terrific actress who has already proven her singing chops in Disney's Into the Woods, she's also got the effervescent innocence needed for the long-awaited revival of Mary Poppins. Chicago's Rob Marshall directs, Dick van Dyke returns and Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer play the grown-up Banks children. Plus, Colin Firth's in it too, and Hamilton sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda. What's not to like?


Bumblebee

Released 26th December

No matter how much carnage the Transformers movies throw at the screen, it's endearing shape-shifting Camaro Bumblee who usually steals the show. It's therefore fitting that he's now got his own spin-off movie, starring Pitch Perfect's Hailee Steinfeld as his human sidekick with support from John Cena. Plus, Peter Cullen is back to voice Transformers leader Optimus Prime.