I think we can all agree that 2016 was a weird year. Incidentally, it turned out to be one of the best years for film in a long time. Meanwhile, 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty solid year as well, with a fresh crop of great looking films. We’re getting sequels that look awesome, book adaptations that give me hope for the genre, and some original horror and comedies that may surprise you. The ten films below are just a small sliver of what we can expect,
What to watch while we wait for the Oscars:
The Oscars don’t happen until late February this year, and since most of the nominated movies will be out of theaters by that time, here’s a few movies to watch instead and one movie that will likely be nominated despite its late arrival.
20th Century Women
I’ve already seen this movie, but It was so incredible that I wanted to make sure it made this list. It’s a semi-autobiographical comedy about a single mother (Annette Bening) who asks two younger girls (Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) to help her raise her teenage son (Lucas Jade Zumann). It’s an incredible film that has Oscars hype, which means it’ll make you seem super smart when you’re watching the awards with your friends. In Theaters January 20th
LEGO Batman Movie
Trying to play off the 100-jokes-per-minute comedy and nostalgia-fest of 2014’s “The LEGO Movie”, the deluge of spin-offs and sequels will begin this February. Most of what you’ll see here is the same from that movie, except the high-concept plot has been abandoned for a lot of Batman-related humor. That might sound like an insult, but honestly I appreciate this kind of thing in an animated movie, especially something from LEGO. In Theaters February 10th
Few people thought that Jordan Peele’s (of Key and Peele) first movie would be a Horror movie taking on the familiar feeling of terror people of color feel going into white communities where you could face racism, discrimination, even violence for just existing. This film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Sicario) and Allison Williams (Girls) as an interracial company taking a weekend trip to visit her parents, where things become deadly. In Theaters February 24th
Spring is The New Summer:
Normally July 4th or the last Friday in June are when all the big Summer movies come out. It’s been like this forever, but in the last few years we’ve seen a lot of the big tentpole movies come out even earlier, when there’s usually much less competition. This is great for both filmmakers who want an audience and audiences who’d rather get their movie-watching out of the way before beach weather hits.
Kong: Skull Island
I love a Monster movie more than I care to admit, but I’ve always struggled with the King Kong movies. The whole “Huge Monkey Falls In Love With Human Woman” thing lost me during 2005’s “King Kong”, and I’m glad it’s been over a decade without a Kong movie. This version is dropping the usual formula for something a little more action-y, but it looks enough like 2014’s Godzilla (one of my favorite recent monster movies) that my interest is piqued. In Theaters March 10th
Say what you will of Kristen Stewart, she’s had an incredible post-Twilight career that the public has woefully ignored. This film, a thriller about a high-end personal shopper living in Paris who is trying to connect with her dead brother’s ghost, is a complete tonal shift from what we expect from her, but that’s why I can’t wait. In Theaters March 10th.
We’ve all had that moment of suspicion and paranoia looking at our phones and computers and wondering just how public we’ve made our lives. This movie, based on a David Eggers novel of the same name, is going to ramp that paranoia into high gear. Starring Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Tom Hanks, and John Boyega (Star Wars) in this thriller about a powerful tech company that may be taking more from its users than they know. In Theaters April 28th.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
I have a usual rule with Marvel movies: I’ll entertain one a year comfortably, and catch the others when they hit streaming the following year. This year I am breaking that rule, because the Marvel movies coming out this year look too good. The original Guardians’ irreverent sense of humor and killer soundtrack seem to be intact, and Vin Diesel is back as Baby Groot which is all I need to know. Not much is known about the actual plot, but I’m not here for the plot, and chances are neither are you. In Theaters May 5th.
The Alien series is one of my all-time favorites, and after a few deviations (the AVP movies, the most recent prequel Prometheus) we’re getting back to the originals Survival-Horror roots. Taking place after Prometheus but still a bit before the first film, the crew of a colony ship discover a planet that looks like a paradise but turns out to be incredibly dangerous and they encounter a version of the Xenomorph, the monster from the original series. Ridley Scott is directing and the film is starring Michael Fassbender, James Franco, and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts). In Theaters May 19th.
The only summer movie that matters (to me):
As I said above, I’m breaking my one Marvel-related rule for this movie, a reboot of the franchise starring Tom Holland (The Impossible), Donald Glover (Atlanta), and Robert Downey Jr. (every Marvel movie for the last 10 years). It looks funny and like it’ll avoid re-treading the Uncle Ben territory we’re all tired of seeing. Also, it’s fresh to see a younger actor (Tom Holland is 21, his predecessors were pushing 30) suit up for the role. To borrow a phrase from a DC comic, this isn’t the reboot we needed, but it’s the one we deserve right now. In Theaters July 7th.
The most wonderful time of the year:
Star Wars Episode VIII
December is becoming my favorite month for movies, in part because Disney has decided it’s when all their new Star Wars movies will be coming out. Last year we got the incredible prequel Rogue One, which blew me away in the quality, diversity, and how perfectly it fits into this huge world. We don’t know much about this newest installment yet, besides the addition of actors Tom Hardy, Benicio Del Toro, and Laura Dern in uncredited roles. It will also be Carrie Fisher’s final appearance in a Star Wars movie, a bittersweet moment for all of us who grew up watching her in the original 3 films and the most recent Episode VII. In Theaters December 15th.
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