It looks like 2017 is shaping up to be another epic year in the film industry. Between the numerous entries into the world of superheroes to the apparent 12 month long spread of sci-fi thrillers, this year promises to be one of the most exciting, if not actually most noteworthy, for movies to date. Sure, it’s not looking like a particularly Oscar-friendly span (not, at least, genre-thematically), but we’ve never put much stock into the Academy’s biased system, anyhow.
This year marks the return of cult favorite directors like M. Night Shyamalan, Gore Verbinski, and Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy). We’ll also be getting another Skywalker-based Star Wars sequel, as well as some long-awaited Marvel and DC superhero meet-ups. And, sprinkled in throughout that, is a number of notable thrillers, horror flicks, action-adventure romps, and more. While we’re sure there’s going to be a couple duds here and there (there always are, after all), these are our 30 most anticipated films of 2017.
Release Date: January 20th, 2017
M. Night Shyamalan gets a bad rap, but the guy clearly has talent. He is, after all, the same guy that gave us The Sixth Sense, Signs, and Unbreakable. His newest film stars James McAvoy as a man with 24 distinct and independent personalities who kidnaps a trio of high school girls. Between the suspense of never knowing which personality they’re going to meet and the greater and much more frightening promise that nothing good could possibly come of this situation, this film promises – at the very least – to deliver some chills.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2
Release Date: February 10th, 2017
The first John Wick was the best Keanu Reeves movie we’d seen since the original Matrix. It was an adrenaline-fueled, over-the-top, hitman revenge, action flick that delivered enough explosions and gunplay to keep us sated for quite a while. The second chapter in Mr. Wick’s story promises to be more of the same, bringing back some familiar faces from the last film, as well as some new ones – including an appearance from Morpheus himself, Lawrence Fishburne. Whether you are nostalgic for the pair’s reunion or you just like hardboiled gun-toting heroes in impossible shootouts, this movie promises to be worth the watch.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Release Date: February 20th, 2017
Not often do supporting characters get their own spin-off movies. But not all supporting characters are as awesome as Lego Batman. We’ve been looking forward to this feature since it was announced, thanks in part to how surprisingly good the first Lego movie was. Even without the stellar cast – which includes Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, and more – the fact that this is a hybrid Lego and Batman movie makes it worth at least a second glance. In any case, we’ll be surprised if this family-friendly movie doesn’t draw out the kid in all of us.
A CURE FOR WELLNESS
Release Date: February 17th, 2017
The mind behind three entries into one of the most successful movie franchises in history, Pirates of the Caribbean,
Gore Verbinski appears to be taking a bit of a risk with this movie – albeit a likely calculated one. The plot centers around an ambitious young executive, played by Dane DeHaan, who must retrieve his company’s CEO from a bizarre “wellness center” in the Swiss Alps. From there, things appear to go pear-shaped in a major way. Judging from the styling and overall mood of the picture, this mystery/thriller looks to be just teetering on the edge of horror. And the cerebral nature of it, which reminds us just a bit of Shutter Island, promises to keep everyone guessing ’til the very end.
Release Date: February 24th, 2017
If you’re familiar with comedian Jordan Peele – half of the comedy duo Key & Peele – then his upcoming movie, Get Out, might surprise you. And that’s because it isn’t a comedy. At All. In fact, it’s a racially charged horror flick that looks to occupy a space somewhere between The Stepford Wives and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What starts out as an innocent enough premise – a boyfriend meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time, turns into something much more sinister when it is revealed that a number of young black men have gone missing from the family’s estate. While the overarching theme of race is hardly a new idea, this movie certainly promises a unique spin from an inarguably creative writer.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017
For the final time, Hugh Jackman steps into the role of Wolverine in this dystopian futuristic look into Marvel’s world of mutants. Years after the events of the X-men films, Logan is left caring for an ailing Professor X whilst hiding out on the Mexican-American border. The pair are thrust back into action when they meet up with X-23, a child mutant with powers akin to those of Wolverine, and are subsequently hunted by a group of ne’er-do-well security agents who work for a shadowy corporation. Though there have been a handful of misses in the X-men franchise up to this point, we still have hope that this one will be different – thanks in part to the success of the gritty R-rated Deadpool. By the way, this one will also be R-rated.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017
The original Trainspotting masterfully treaded the line between black comedy and crime drama. This one will attempt to walk that same path. And while we always believe that creating a sequel to a cult classic is a risky endeavor, this film has the benefits of being, yet again, directed by Danny Boyle and having most of the original cast back on the bill – including star Ewan McGregor. Set 20 years after the original, this film finds Mark Renton (the main character of the first film) returning to Scotland to make amends with his friends whilst avoiding the psychopathic Francis “Franco” Begbie, played by Robert Carlyle. We’re certain this film will come with a hard dose of nostalgia, but if you haven’t seen the original, there’s still time before this one is released.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Release Date: March 10th, 2017
King Kong has seen a lot of iterations in his day. From the clay-animated original, to the Godzilla-fighting man-in-a-suit, to Peter Jackson’s visually stunning yet somehow mediocre remake, it would seem that this towering brute has been done to death. That is, until we heard plans for this one. Boasting the largest King Kong ever seen on screen, this movie – which is brought to us from the creators of the latest American Godzilla film – promises plenty of action, plenty of giant monsters, and a future in which the greatest of apes faces off with the king of the monsters, himself. It may be far from a new idea, but we always love a good monster movie.
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
Release Date: March 24th, 2017
Apart perhaps only from James Cameron’s promised 3-sequel Avatar follow-ups, the upcoming King Arthur series from Guy Ritchie might be the most ambitious project we’ve ever seen. In fact, they claim to have six films in the works. But the powerhouse director of Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels has teamed up with a cast that just might be able to pull it off. Charlie Hunnam stars as King Arthur, alongside Djimon Hounsou, Jude Law, and Eric Bana – to name a few. And, judging by the trailers, this film will have plenty of over-the-top action to coincide with this legendary story.
Release Date: March 17th, 2017
Armie Hammer – who appears to be channeling his inner Jon Hamm – stars alongside Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, and Cillian Murphy in this foul-mouthed action-comedy about an arms deal gone wrong. Written and directed by Ben Wheatley – the mind behind the highly underrated psychological horror film Kill List – this movie looks to fit right in alongside movies like Snatch and Layer Cake.
Release Date: March 24th, 2017
Yeah, we know. It’s the Power Rangers. Still, we want to give this one a chance. It has all the elements needed to create an entertaining, if not actually good, film: giant robots fighting giant monsters, a dose of kung-fu, and Brian Cranston as Zordon – the big-headed mentor to the Power Rangers. The film also stars Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, Bill Hader as Alpha 5, and a number of young actors we’ve never heard of as the Rangers themselves.
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Release Date: March 31st, 2017
In spite of the controversy surrounding the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the Japan-native Major, this live-action adaptation of the wildly popular anime film of the same name looks incredibly promising. From the mind-bending art style to the prospect of seeing the streets of future Tokyo in a world where cybernetics are as commonplace as cell phones are today, this movie might actually successfully pull off what so many before it have failed miserably at: turning a cartoon into a good live-action movie.
Release Date: April 7th, 2017
Like we said, we love a good monster movie. But we love them even more when they have a unique and fresh twist, like Colossal. This kaiju comedy flick follows Gloria, played by Anne Hathaway, who moves back to her home town after seemingly losing everything only to find out that she can control a giant monster that has been ravaging Seoul. Alongside Hathaway, this film also features Jason Sudekis and Tim Blake Nelson (whom you might know from O Brother, Where Art Thou?). We’re not entirely sure what to expect from this one, but the premise is too good to miss.
THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS
Release Date: April 14th, 2017
With the eighth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise quickly approaching, we are both astounded and excited that they keep making these. Each one supplies us with the kind of absurd vehicular criminal hijinks that are completely unheard of in the real world, but make for a very entertaining couple of hours. In this one, the unthinkable happens when Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel) turns on the family he so vehemently defended throughout the previous films. Now Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) must team up with former enemy Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to take down Dom and his parnter Cipher (Charlize Theron).
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2
Release Date: May 5th, 2017
The first Guardians was the surprise hit of 2014. Naturally, you can expect that there’s a lot of pressure on the show-runners to make something worthwhile this time around, too. But that should’t be too hard with Disney, Marvel, and the returning cast all onboard. We’re also excited to see the addition of Kurt Russel as the character Ego – a living planet in the comics, but presumably more human-sized in the film. One way or another, this movie has all the elements necessary to make it a surefire hit.
Release Date: May 19th, 2017
Though it took place in the same universe as the wildly popular Alien movies, Prometheus got mixed reviews. Still, Ridley Scott’s franchise is so rich, it was only a matter of time before it was revisited. This one – which stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, and Noomi Rapace – bridges the gap between the first Alien movie and Prometheus. You can safely assume that this film will be a dark, moody, claustrophobic, and violent thriller that will have you white-knuckling the whole way through.
Release Date: May 26th, 2017
It’s become quite clear that 2017 is the year of science fiction. And Life looks like one of the more interesting films to make it that way. This one, which follows six astronauts about the International Space Station who discover the first evidence of extraterrestrial life, plays upon one of mankind’s oldest insecurities: fear of the unknown. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson, this sci-fi horror brings the genre a little more down to Earth.
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Release Date: June 16th, 2017
If 2017 isn’t the year of Sci-Fi, it’s certainly the year of sequels. Some, however, are more promising than others. The first Kingsman turned out to be one of the most surprisingly good movies we have ever seen. It managed to break a lot of the typical spy movie tropes while still staying true enough to the genre to hit all the right buttons. This one adds some strong names to the cast, as well – including Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and Channing Tatum. Somehow, this sequel seems to be as under-the-radar as its predecessor, but we still have high hopes.
Release Date: July 7th, 2017
In another year riddled with big and bold releases from Marvel, Spider-man: Homecoming has a lot of hurdles to jump in order to be a worthwhile film. For starters, it seems like every year for the last decade has been marked by a Spider-Man movie. Likewise, many of those movies have been unbearable duds. That being said, bringing the character back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Tony Stark and The Avengers gives him somewhat of a fresh start. And Tom Holland, or what we saw from him in Civil War, seems pretty promising as Peter Parker.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Release Date: July 14th, 2017
In stark contrast to just about every single POTA movie (apart from the original), the prequel series of this franchise has been a refreshing and unique series of films. This third entry should follow suit, giving us equal parts giddy action and somehow gut-wrenching animal-based drama. While the movie spells certain doom for humanity – it would have to, as the timeline makes way for Charlton Heston’s story arc – War for The Planet of the Apes is almost certainly a summer blockbuster.
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
Dunkirk is one of the movies that we are most excited about this year. Based on the real-life story of the Dunkirk evacuation during World War 2, Christopher Nolan directs Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and several unknowns in this thrilling and almost certainly devastating action film. From the press materials to the previews we’ve seen so far, this film will be another gorgeous and noteworthy Nolan accomplishment. If you’re at all a history buff, you’re not going to want to miss this one.
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
If you’re a fan of Luc Besson and his film The Fifth Element, then this movie is an absolutely must-see. Starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevnigne, the film is based on an old comic book from 1967 about a pair of time-and-space travelers who must team up to stop evil. Sure, it’s a little vague – as they’ve been pretty tight-lipped about what’s to transpire in the film, but one look at the trailer ensures that this flick is a space opera of the highest caliber since the meet-up of Korben Dallas and Leeloo.
THE DARK TOWER
Release Date: July 28th, 2017
Most people know Steven King for his horror novels. What you might not know is that he is also responsible for an epic science-fiction/fantasy series called The Dark Tower. Well, that series (or at least the first book) is being turned into a film of the same name. Not much is known about it, apart from the release date and the fact that it is starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as hero and villain, respectively. That being said, it’s still certainly worth keeping an eye on, as the book series is something special as are the names attached.
BLADE RUNNER 2049
Release Date: October 6th, 2017
Ridley Scott is the master of atmospheric science fiction. And the original Blade Runneris about as atmospheric as they come. This one takes place thirty years after the events of the first film and follows Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling, on a quest to find Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, and stop an impending disaster from swallowing up what’s left of society. Fans of hard sci-fi (like the Philip K. Dick novel on which Blade Runner was based), this one’s for you.
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Release Date: October 13th, 2017
Jason, the unstoppable, hockey mask-wearing, machete swinging killer is back in yet another entry in this hack-em-up horror series. And while we know that slasher films, especially ones starring Jason, have been done to death, we still have a soft spot in our hearts for the big brute. The good news is, even though this is another Friday the 13thfranchise entry, it’s a rebook. So, those who are unfamiliar with the ongoing storylines wont be left out by this one.
Release Date: October 27th, 2017
There are very few things we know about this upcoming movie. That is, apart from a pair of very brief synopses that could easily be red herrings. But there are bit of information that absolutely garner it a spot on this list. First, it is produced by none other than J.J. Abrams. And second, it’s the 3rd entry in the Cloverfield series – which now includes Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane. As the first two are vastly different films, you can expect this one to be just as good as a standalone as a member of the squad.
Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Two words: Planet Hulk. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Planet Hulk was a comic arc that followed the big green guy as he was captured and forced into gladiatorial combat. Well, the people behind this movie have admitted to drawing inspiration from that very arc. How much? We don’t know. But, the very thought that we might get to see a no-holds-barred throw-down between Hulk and Thor is reason enough to go see this flick. Plus, director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Boy) is vastly underrated, in our opinion.
Release Date: November 24th, 2017
Sure, Batman Vs. Superman turned out to be not so great. But we can’t just abandon all of these superb characters. Our hopes is that Warner Brothers and DC have learned from their multitude of mistakes and are going to correct them this time around. In any case, this will be the first time all of the biggest DC heroes – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and maybe even some lesser-known cameos) will all appear alongside one another in a live-action film for longer than just a second or two. So, we’re going to forgo our instincts and give this cinematic universe one last chance.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Release Date: November 24th, 2017
Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes, but not many know his Agatha Christy-penned counterpart Hercule Poirot. Having appeared in 33 novels and over 50 short stories, this character is arguably the most prolific single-author literary detective of all time. Now his most famous story is getting an updated remake. This version of the film will star Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, and Daisy Ridley (of The Force Awakens fame). If you like either period pieces or a good mystery story, this one will be worth checking out.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Release Date: December 15th, 2017
It’s Star Wars. Need we say more? This ongoing space opera, which follows the Skywalker family, sees its next entry this holiday season. And, considering that The Force Awakenswas left on a bit of a cliffhanger, we’re very excited to see where the next part of the story takes us. Especially because they have so recently announced that it will be titled The Last Jedi. It’s ominous and is certain to elicit it’s fair share of fan theories, but we’ll just have to wait and see what it means.