The 10 Most Anticipated Upcoming Movies of 2017

The 10 Most Anticipated Upcoming Movies of 2017

The Second Half of 2017 is Full of Heists, Wars, Diseases, Alternate Dimensions, Far Away Galaxies and… Underpants


Though 2017 has already seen the release of several well-regarded films (from Get Out and Wonder Woman to Split and Okja), it’s no secret that we tend to see better movies in the second half of the year. This is for several reasons, one of the most prominent being that summer in North America is just now getting into full swing, which is a huge season for blockbusters. On the other hand, movies that go on to compete at the Oscars almost always premiere in the later months, so that’s got you covered whether you want to see gratuitous explosions or a well-crafted drama.

For this reason, instead of doing a rundown of the best films we’ve seen so far, we thought we’d gear up for what could be one of the best six months for movies in recent memory. Whatever your mood or general vibe as far as cinema experiences go, it’s likely you’ll find something here worth checking out. Superheroes, obviously, are everywhere right now (though not necessarily the ones you might expect), but you can also check out an intimate tragicomedy, a couple of tightly-wound heist films, a war epic, some sci-fi reboots and true life story of simmering race relations in the ’60s. If none of that suits you, then your mother was right: you are impossible to please.


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Baby Driver, in cinemas July 13th

From hyperstylitic director Edgar Wright, the dude who brought us the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz and The World’s End) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, comes Baby Driver. Now, I’m looking forward to this film in spite of a few offputting early moments in the trailer. For starters, there’s the immediate whiplash of seeing an authoritative Kevin Spacey instruct a roomful of people on some illegal doings (am I the only who remembers 21?), followed by the eye-roll inducing spectacle of a kid named “Baby” listening to smooth jazz while taking it all in. Christ, they even drop the “One more job…” line at some point, like it’s the first time anyone’s ever said it.

In the overall, though, I’m firmly of the belief that Baby Driver is gonna be, at the least, a good way to kill a couple of hours. For starters, inconsistent or not, when Spacey and Jamie Foxx bring their A-game, they fucking deliver. Meanwhile, that’s none other than Jon “Draper” Hamm in the supporting cast, and did I mention that the director is on another level when it comes to bristling action and comedy fare? Shit, did you see that car stunt in the first minute?! In essence, it looks like an unruly mix of the Cornetto Trilogy’s droll humour, Drive‘s brood and Fast and the Furious‘ masturbatory “cars make me hard” attitude. Could be a lot of things, but boring won’t be one of them.


Dunkirk, in cinemas July 20th

So, which Christopher Nolan do you come through for? Are you all for early days Nolan, on his Memento and Insomnia trip of intricate, shrouded murder-mysteries? Maybe you prefer the darkly humanistic Batman trilogy, or the real magic vs. illusory spectacle of The Prestige? Do you hold out for Inception‘s dreamscapes or Interstellar‘s spacescapes? Point is, dude’s career is as varied as they come, and it seems only inevitable that he’d eventually rack up a war film to add to that list. And, if the visual flair and vibrant plotting of his previous films are anything to judge by, there’s good reason to believe he’ll pull it off.

Then again, he’s got some stiff competition in this department. Some of the world’s greatest directors, from Spielberg to Coppola and Malick, have tackled the war epic… and, also, Michael Bay. They all did so with different purposes and, from the trailer of Dunkirk, it seems Nolan’s intentions align with Spielberg’s when he made Saving Private Ryan. Yeah, there’s the potential for harrowing, yet undeniably thrilling setpieces, but there’s also a distinct sense of camaraderie that runs through this trailer. The warm, recognisable faces on display help, from Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy to Mark Rylance, the world’s greatest living actor, helping to offset any concerns that this might be the forecoming of Pearl Harbour 2.0.


The Big Sick, in cinemas August 3rd

Would people pay to hear the story of how you two met, the fateful day you laid eyes on the current or hypothetical partner you could spend the rest of your life with? Let me put your mind at ease: I fucking doubt it. But, hey, that doesn’t mean there aren’t stories of that nature worth telling. I mean, How I Met Your Mother was literally based on that entire notion, even if basically 9/10ths of it had nothing to with that actual titular meeting. If a story is funny, unique and, often, comes with a hint of tragedy, people will eat that shit up.

Kumail Nanjiani, one of the funniest stand-up comedians working today, seems to recognise this. And so – along with his wife, Emily V. Gordon – he has written and now stars in The Big Sick, which tells the real-life story of how he and Gordon got together. From the trailer, it’s obvious how much low-key humour pulses through the film, and at the halfway point you get a pretty good idea of the tragedy underpinning everything. It has the discreet feel of a Judd Apatow film (who’s on as a producer) without the rambunctious leads and constant dick jokes. Could stand to be the best romcom in a long time.


Logan Lucky, in cinemas August 17th

We already did something of a write-up on how above and beyond Logan Lucky‘s trailer goes to make itself stand out from the pack. It mixes just the right amount of breakneck pace and sudden swerves to induce giddiness, laying out a story that’s been done to death (wronged employee decides to get back at his former bosses by robbing them) while adding a unique charm and strangeness that will, hopefully, help it transcend its fairly basic plot. Oh, and Daniel Craig’s in it, and the way he says “in-car-ce-ra-ted” should win him every Oscar on the planet.

What’s strange is – when considering the trailer for Baby Driver at the top of this list – how diverse the world of comedy-tinged crime films can be. Whereas Edgar Wright (director of Baby Driver) elects to go with a hyperkinetic approach, pairing constant movement with the flow of his story, Steven Soderbergh (who directs Logan Lucky) is more interested in off-kilter shots, long takes and unexpected framing to make his movie stand out from the rest. Both are masters at their respective styles, undoubtedly, but it will be very interesting to see which manages to marry their particular skills with such a similar type of film.


The Dark Tower, in cinemas August 17th

This is easily the diciest choice on this list. I mean, no doubt, it fits the criteria for an anticipated film, but while every other movie here comes with at least a 75% guarantee it’ll be good, this one… well, this one could really suck. I can’t imagine how nerve wracking the wait for The Dark Tower must be for fans of Stephen King’s source novels, considering how long rumours of a film adaptation have been floating around. As it stands, I have never read them and have little invested in this movie beyond really wanting Idris Elba to finally get the breakout starring role in a franchise that he so richly deserves.

Anyway, you heard the title and who wrote it, right? That’s all you need to know: Stephen King, darkness and towers covered in it. Elba plays The Gunslinger, a single man attempting to combat the evil that is spreading throughout the fantasy realm he occupies. The source of said evil? Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flagg, King’s go-to antagonist who, let’s face it, is really just the Devil. There’s a gate, or portal or [plot device] that allows The Gunslinger to travel to our world. There’s bound to be a lot of “fish out off water” jokes and metaphysical discussions of good and evil. I give it solid 50/50 odds, and that’s the best you’re gonna get.


Captain Underpants, in cinemas throughout September

I’m just gonna say it: if you don’t know who Captain Underpants is, your entire childhood was an unmitigated failure. From the formative scatological humour and cheeky rebellious tone of the books to the interactive flipbook form they took, the Captain Underpants series was as essential a read for a certain breed of kids as Andy Griffiths or Paul Jennings. And, honestly, they’re so ripe for big screen adaptation that it’s crazy for me to think that it’s taken this long for a movie to be made.

That said, the timing does seem about right. Think of how inundated we are right now with animated kids’ films that are stupid in conception and lifeless in execution, from The Angry Bird Movie to The Emoji Movie. Isn’t it about time that we got one that’s both stupid and insanely fun? Not to mention, this film has one of the most inspired voice casts in recent memory: there’s Kevin Hart and Silicon Valley‘s Thomas Middleditch as best friends George and Harold, respectively, Nick Kroll as Professor Pippy Pee-Pee Poopypants and Ed Helms as the titular Captain himself. Scoff all you want, but if you’re looking for the most fun you’ll have at the movies this year, you’d be hardpressed to ignore Captain Underpants.


Blade Runner 2049, in cinemas October 5th

Make a list of all the great cult classics that anyone would be crazy to try and tamper with the legacy of and, no doubt, Blade Runner will fall somewhere near the top of it. But, beyond the fact that nothing is sacred anymore, someone could be forgiven for thinking this late-in-the-day sequel is actually a pretty decent idea. For one, the world of Blade Runner is one of the most pre-eminent in all of cinematic sci-fi. There’s really nothing like the noir-tinged, gritty neon vibe of its futuristic world, which feels like a hardboiled detective movie directed by an android.

Speaking of androids, it will be kind of cool if this film deals with the long-suspected theory that Deckard, the previous film’s protagonist, is actually a replicant. This seems more likely than you might think as, much like with the Star Wars reboot, the eternally grumpy Harrison Ford is back to reprise his role from the original, albeit in a lesser capacity. Meanwhile, the 21st Century’s answer to “Who’s the handsomest?”, Ryan Gosling has been tapped as the main character and looks to suit it pretty damn well. Oh, and Denis Villeneuve – director of Sicario and last year’s majestic Arrival is helming this thing, which gives it a far better chance winding up a similar calibre to Mad Max: Fury Road than whatever the fuck 2012’s Total Recall was.


Thor: Ragnarok, in cinemas October 26th

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been as consistent as it’s diehards insist. For all the highs, like the first Iron Man and all four of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movies, there are some undeniable lows, like both Iron Man sequels and at least one (and probably more) of the three Captain Americas. Oh, and the Thor movies; damn, are they bad. They’re tonally all over the place, not particularly significant to the overall MCU narrative and are bolstered by arguably the least interesting Avenger (except possibly, once again, for the Cap’n). Which is why I can’t believe I’m saying this: Thor: Ragnarok is the most excited I’ve ever, ever been for a Marvel film.

To begin with, there’s the notion of having Thor fight for his life in an interstellar colosseum, basically making it Thor meets Gladiator, which I never realised until this very moment is everything I’ve ever wanted. Then there’s the cast, including national treasure Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum sporting what looks like a blue streak of dribble down the centre of his chin (once again, never knew it but that’s all I want). And it’s directed by New Zealand’s own Taika Waititi, the man behind What We Do In The Shadow‘s and last year’s brilliant Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Oh, and it looks like the Hulk beats the piss out of Thor pretty early on. Seriously, try and find a reason not to look forward to this.


Detroit, in cinemas November 9th

“Glass ceilings” get spoken about a lot in politics, but the push to correct the male-dominated industry of film directing deserves just as much attention (sidenote: if you’re interested in the cause, check out our 52 Films By Women reviews). In that specific struggle, it would be hard to single out a more central figure in recent years than Kathryn Bigelow. After cutting her teeth on well-honed genre films like Point Break and K-19: The Widowmaker, Bigelow helmed two of the most significant films of the last decade: 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, a dense thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and 2009’s The Hurt Locker, one of my favourite films of the ’00s that focuses on an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team in Iraq. For the latter, she won the Academy Award for Best Director, the first woman to do that in… uuuh, literally ever!

So, based both on her reputation as a trailblazer and refined filmmaker, she’s earned all of the hype that is sure to build before the release of her latest film, Detroit. Centring around a specific violent incident during Detroit’s 12th Street Riots in 1967, the film stars Star Wars‘ John Boyega, Orange is the New Black‘s Samira Wiley and Hannah Murray of Skins and Game of Thrones fame. From the trailer alone, you can pick up on all of Bigelow’s trademarks, from the claustrophobic settings to the sudden, unglorified outbursts of violence and some true-to-life performances. Calling it early: this could be the film of the year.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in cinemas December 14th

I’ve never written these two words consecutively in my life, and I have rigged a microchip in my neck to explode if I ever do so again, but I feel obligated to do it just this one time… Trigger Warning. Here’s why: I don’t care about Star Wars. I’ve seen the originals, and honestly, meh; I truly prefer The Phantom Menace, but I’m not saying that to erupt anyone’s inner volcano of nerd rage or to be contrarian. I simply have no shame on this subject because it doesn’t really bother me one way or another. And, yeah, The Force Awakens was a bit o’ alright, though even someone as vaguely familiar with A New Hope as myself could tell it was basically just a remake.

So, that spasming mass of indifference aside, it’s within my purview as a pop culture obsessive to acknowledge that the Star Wars franchise has firmly made a return and will be kicking around for the foreseeable future. At the end of this year, the second installment in the rebooted main series – separate from the tangential prequels(?) that constitute Rogue One – will arrive. It’s called The Last Jedi, as if you didn’t already fucking know. You’ll go and see it, I’ll probably go and see it, we’ll talk about it, we’ll move on, and this fused orb of rock and bluster we call a planet will rotate perpetually until the sun eats it. We good?

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