2016 is wrapping up, and as we’ve seen from the number of incredible movie trailers in the last few weeks of the year, 2017 is shaping up to be an amazing year in theaters. Our team has gathered together to break down the movies we’re looking forward to most in the year ahead. Come inside to check them out and add your own!
With the year coming to an end, we’ve already been spending some time on the things we enjoyed most about 2016. While the year certainly had more than its fair share of downer moments (in entertainment and beyond), 2017 can be a fresh start. As nerds, there are a number of movies our Cinelinx Staff are looking forward to seeing, so many in fact that we couldn’t all agree on a single list. As such, we’re sharing our most anticipated movies in a slightly different way:
War for the Planet of the Apes - Planet of the Apes has always been a favorite franchise of mine, but the rebooted films (Rise and Dawn) are among my favorite movies, hitting the right balance of emotional storytelling, and sci-fi action. The first trailer for War was stunning and promises more amazing things to come.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - Luc Besson’s Fifth Element is still one of my favorite science fiction movies, and I’ve been dying to see him get back into the genre to that level. Valerian looks all kinds of insane, in the best ways, and I’m crossing my fingers the story holds up to the already amazing looking visuals.
Alien: Covenant - Considering the fact that Prometheus didn’t fully sit well with me, I’m surprised at how much I’m looking forward to Covenant. Maybe the idea that it’s really getting back to the roots of the Alien franchise, along with the impressive trailer that recently hit, that’s pulled me back in.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - I could have easily made my entire list comic book films with Wonder Woman, Thor: Ragnarok, Logan, and Justice League all very much on my horizon. Having to keep this list shorter, however, I’ve gone with GOTG 2, as the original is still my favorite all-time Marvel movie and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
Star Wars: Episode VIII - I don’t know of any other film that could top my list other than Star Wars...I mean, it’s Star Wars. Rogue One was pretty amazing, but I’m eager to get back to the Saga adventure and see what’s next for Rey, Finn, and Kylo. Not to mention getting to see Luke actually do something!
Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Film - After a long hiatus, Bigelow is back to tackle the Detroit riots with stellar actors John Boyega and Anthony Mackie. Bigelow is on top of her game, and every movie of hers should be a cinematic event film goers cherish.
Dunkirk - Christopher Nolan got a lot of flack for Interstellar and making a World War II film feels like the right move coming off of the cosmic bookcase, the spinning top, and the...Bane, of his last three films. He’s an excellent director and he’s going big in subject and in filmmaking by shooting the Dunkirk evacuation on film in 70mm IMAX.
Mother - One of our finest auteurs Darren Aronofsky is also making his comeback from a 2014 often misunderstood film Noah. There isn’t a lot known except he’s shooting on 16mm again, and he’s put together a hell of a cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Domhall Gleeson, Javier Bardem, and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film - PTA’s follow-up to the often misunderstood Inherent Vice, but more importantly he’s reteaming with three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis after the modern American masterpiece There Will Be Blood. Details are minimal, but it will be a period piece in the 1950s set in the London/NYC fashion world--this is the movie I’ve been waiting for.
Star Wars: Episode VIII - My list is all auteur directors, and that doesn’t end with here because it’s Star Wars. Rian Johnson coming in for the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga was a stroke of genius by the Queen of Hollywood, Kathleen Kennedy. I am still buzzing from The Force Awakens, and I can’t wait to see what Johnson does with our old and new characters….but mostly Luke Skywalker. God help me, Luke Skywalker.
Alien: Covenant - Alien is one of my all time favorite movies, and Ridley Scott among my favorite directors. Therefore, another opportunity to have both of these things together again is something I definitely am looking forward to. No, Prometheus didn’t quite live up to expectations, but I think Ridley Scott has what it takes to make up for it. Since Covenant will bridge the gap between Prometheus and Alien, I think it will be much more cohesive and add context to both of those films. I’ve been waiting for this film for a very long time, I can’t explain how excited I am for it.
Blade Runner 2049 - Is this real? A new Alien movie and a sequel to Blade Runner, both with Ridley Scott involved! For the same reasons I’m looking forward to Alien: Covenant, I’m looking forward to Blade Runner 2049. Blade Runner is among the top 5 science fiction films ever made, and although there’s logic in having some hesitation regarding a delayed sequel, I think it is in safe hands. Denis Villeneuve showed us in Arrival that he can make an awesome character-driven science fiction film, so there’s no reason he can’t handle this sequel. The only problem is that I have to wait until October to see it.
Thor: Ragnarok - While I’m not necessarily a fan of comic book movies, and don’t really look forward to them that much (although I do enjoy watching them), I can’t help myself with this one. For starters, Taika Waititi is at the helm, which means there will be a significant injection of brilliant comedy. I’m hopeful that Marvel learned from the Ant-Man fiasco to leave their directors alone. I think Taika has a good chance to make a Marvel movie unlike we’ve seen so far. How he describes it, as a “crazy movie with 80’s vibe” has me very intrigued. The movie will also feature some favorite actors of mine, new to the Marvel cinematic universe; Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Cate Blanchett. What’s not to love?
Dunkirk - Is Christopher Nolan the greatest mainstream director of our time? Even when his films miss their mark, they are still impressive achievements and consistent in entertainment value. Dunkirk takes Nolan in a direction we haven’t seen him go yet, to war. With his expertise behind the camera, and an epic WW2 story to tell in front of it, this film seems to have a lot going for it.
Baby Driver - Edgar Wright’s new film looks to be like his biggest yet. It has a star-studded cast of both old and new stars. Although we don’t know much about it yet, we do know thanks to his Instagram profile that it will feature car chase scenes. That’s music to my ears. Wright’s energy behind the camera, plus his witty writing talent is perfect for an action-packed crime film.
Spider-Man Homecoming - Anyone that has followed me writing about anything, I’ll just say “duh!” Did you not expect me to get excited about a new Spider-Man movie? It somewhat sucks Garfield didn’t get a chance to work with the Avengers, but this new Spidey seems to be pretty good too!
Wonder Woman - DC instincts kicking in again! I do think Wonder Woman looks amazing from what we have seen so far and it’s about time some female heroes got some good movies! Wonder Woman is one of my favorite heroes so I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
Cloverfield 2017 (Or whatever it’s called now) - Whatever they are naming the next Cloverfield, I’m excited to go see it! I was extremely bummed when it was delayed from February, but if that means it will be even better then awesome!
Ghost In The Shell - It looks interesting and based on one of the few anime shows I watched.
Justice League - This will be the greatest film of all time! I’ve been waiting since I was a child to see this finally come together and I don’t have to sit through single films waiting for it!
Wonder Woman - I have been waiting for this movie since the day I heard a rumor that a plan for a Live Action Wonder Woman series was in the works. I was in High School, It was also in the mid 80’s. I have been waiting a LONG TIME for this movie.
IT - never read the book but did I did watch the miniseries on ABC in the 90’s. I loved it (luckily I didn’t develop the fear of clowns a lot of people seem to have), Tim Curry was magnificent as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Bill Skarsgard (Hemlock Grove) now has the task of bringing Pennywise back to life 32 years later on the big screen.
Spider-Man: Homecoming - ‘another’ reboot of the Spider-Man Franchise, but this time Marvel is involved. I was hyped to see Tom Holland's portrayal of web head in Captain America: Civil War, and I was not disappointed.
John Wick: Chapter 2 - John Wick was a surprise movie 2 years ago. I just went to the movies to watch something and really didn't expect much. Makes it all better that this movie was actually good. I was hoping there’d be a part 2 and the movie gods answered.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 - Baby Groot. Nuff said!
The Lego Batman Movie - A few years ago, The Lego Movie burst onto the scene with its hilarious child-like humor and amazing ensemble of characters. One of those characters highlighted was the self-centered, brooding, Batman who stole the show. Now, he gets his own movie that includes Robin, Alfred, and all of his dastardly villains. So far the trailers we’ve seen show that The Lego Batman Movie may be just as funny as, if not funnier than, The Lego Movie.
Wonder Woman - What can I say that hasn’t already been said? This is the first stand-alone Heroin film, in the MCU/DCCU, and it’s only right that Wonder Woman should be the one to pave the way. Gal Gadot stole the show in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so it’s only natural to assume she’ll kill it in her solo flick. Not to mention, those swanky trailers we’ve seen only support the theory that this will be the movie to get DC back on track!
Kong: Skull Island - I cannot wait to see John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly, and the cast of Straight Outta Compton take on King Kong. The trailer they showed, late in 2016, revealed the massive ape and boy does he not disappoint. My hope is that it follows the momentum from Gareth Edward’s Godzilla and sets up for one colossal encounter.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - A long time ago, saying you were a fan of the Pirates franchise wasn’t said in hushed voices. However, since On Stranger Tides, the popularity has waned. Yet, that didn’t stop them from working on a new Jack Sparrow adventure. What gets me excited about Dead Men Tell No Tales is that it looks like it’s going back to its roots. The trailer already reminds me of Curse of the Black Pearl and they’re bringing back Orlando Bloom! With that in mind, a pirate’s life will definitely be for me in 2017!
Beauty and The Beast - While I’m excited for Star Wars: Episode VIII (R.I.P. Carrie Fisher), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Cloverfield Sequel, and all the other movies my colleagues have mentioned, Beauty and the Beast will forever hold a special place in my heart. I played Gaston on stage and the countless hours studying the story and singing the songs have me so very excited for this film! The trailer gave me goosebumps and the movie will have me crying with joy, mark my words!
Star Wars Episode VIII - The Force Awakens, despite perhaps some minor qualms, laid a perfect foundation for the franchise. Chief among them, characters, and an excellent ensemble of fresh faces to play them. I care about the dynamics between Rey, Finn, Kylo, Poe and General Hux, even, and The Force Awakens strongest suit was that I needed to know where their emotional arcs headed next.
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer - With The Lobster, and Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos has spoken, and the inflection rings different, darker, and funnier, than most other directors and auteurs. His follow up to two consecutive critical darlings, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer has deep shoes to fill, I think the feet’ll be bigger than the shoes.
Okja - Snowpiercer, The Host, Mother... there has yet to be a Bong Joon-Ho film that I haven’t adored. Okja, is a bit of a Kong tale. It follows a young traveling Korean girl who must protect her best friend, a giant creature called Okja, from a nasty corporation. I doubt the plot and tone is as simple as it sounds in synopsis.
The Florida Project - Sean Baker made a festival smash on an iPhone (Tangerine) and an unknown cast. Now he’s firing on 35mm, with Willem Dafoe, Caleb Landry Jones, Macon Blair (Blue Ruin, Green Room), and a new face (Brooklynn Prince), and Prince’s mother, Bria Vinaite, who the director hired over social media… on a film about a family’s holiday at Disney World. Yes please.
Mute - Though Warcraft was an unanimous flop, I still have high hopes for this Duncan Jones passion project about a mute bartender in near-future Berlin. He’s on the search for a women, and is accompanied by a pair of abetting and nefarious American surgeons. Remember what Jones did with Moon and Source Code? Try to think of those.
When I think of the most anticipated movies of 2016 its hard for me not to just pick the ones I am most excited about. When I really sit down and think about it, Most Anticipated, to me atleast, means the films that I don’t know what to expect from them. Certain Movies we expect them to be great and therefore the anticipation while great, may not be the highest of other.
Then again, regardless of the fact that I know Star Wars Episode VIII is going to be great, it still tops my list as one of the most anticipated films of the year. Not so much because I am excited because the first two Disney Star Wars films were great, but because I don’t know where this story is going to go. What did Luke say to Rey? Who are Rey’s parents? Where is Hux taking Kylo Ren to meet up with Snoke? Who Is Snoke?! And most importantly, now that R2-D2 is out of low power mode, what kind of hijinks are he and BB-8 gong to get into?!
The Fate of the Furious is another film I am very intrigued by. How does this franchise stand without Paul Walker? Can they still pull us into the story? What exactly is making Dom turn on his family? The F&F franchise has continued to up the ante when it comes each installment. And if the trailer is any indication of what's to come they are ready to keep lifting bar.
I’ll admit. When the announcement of The Lego Movie was made I was very sceptical. A lego Movie? There’s no way that works. That will be dumb as hell I said. Fast forward to today and The Lego Movie rivals The Lion King for my favorite animated film. The Lego Batman Movie poses quite a bit a questions. Batman was great in the Lego Movie, but an the character, as they have portrayed him, carry his own film? It was Emmit that gave us the heart we connected with in The Lego Movie, Can Will Arnett’s Batman keep us intrigued for 90 minutes? I’m excited to see.
Power Rangers. Before I would've just been excited to see the Rangers on the big screen again, but after that trailer, I have no idea what to expect from this film. So many different angles they could take the story. ANd the grittiness of the trailer mixed with what looked to be some pretty cool action sequences has me ready to sing Go Go Power Rangers again!
Growing up there were two heroes that I loved more then anything. Spider-Man an Hulk. Spidey because he was a kid like me, going the same drama and problems that a regular kid went through, but he was also a superhero out saving the world! And the Hulk because like me, he had some MAJOR anger issues. So in picking a 5th most anticipated film it’s hard for me to decide between Thor Ragnarok, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. But I think I have to go with Homecoming.
Due to the fact that while I am very excited to see Hulk and hints of the Planet Hulk storyline in Thor’s third outing, I know it’s going to be great. Spider-Man has had it’s ups and downs. And while he was phenomenal in Civil War, were Sony and Marvel able to put out the greatness our friendly neighborhood wall crawler deserves? The excitement and anticipation of a true to form Spidey has me giggling like a schoolgirl! Plus how can you not be pumped for anything that involves Michael Keaton!
Sure, not all of the films we were looking forward to in last year's list paid off, but we're going to head into 2017 with a positive attitude and lots of hope for the films to come. Now that you've seen what our team is looking forward to most, we'd love to hear about the films you're excited for in the new year!