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50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2017: ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Star Wars’ and More

From superhero blockbusters and high-profile sequels to docs, director passion-projects and some downright weird stuff

You do not need a crystal ball to look at the movies slated to drop over the next 12 months to know that 2017 should be an interesting year regardless of whether you prefer popcorn-littered multiplexes or your local hoity-toity art-house. You’ve got your usual round-up of sequel, prequels and threequels, in addition to the requisite superhero blockbusters (in both original-recipe Marvel and extra-crispy DC flavors), revisionist reboots, the beginning of a brand new Universal Monsters-verse and your now-annual next-gen Star Wars movie.

But you’ve also got intriguing projects coming from brand-name filmmakers like Alexander Payne, M. Night Shyamalan, Luc Besson, Denis Villeneuve, Christopher Nolan, Edgar Wright, James Gray and Terrence Malick, as well as the return of Steven Soderbergh to bona fide moviemaking. There are not one but two Ridley Scott sci-fi classics getting the executive 2.0 treatment, one of which he’s directing, and not one but two Stephen King novels getting big-screen blowouts. Social-justice docs, both the earnest and the gonzo kind, are on the menu, with a serving of rockumentaries on the side. All-star Agatha Christie mysteries, gritty-gory horror flicks, big-budget WWII epics, Kristen Stewart talking to ghosts in France and a Polish cult-musical about mermaids? Yup, those are coming soon to a theater near you as well.

So after looking at the cinematic landscape and looking past, say, Beauty and the Beast and Power Rangers fan servicing, we’ve singled out 50 movies we’re anxious to get our eyeballs on. Keep in mind, we’re focusing on movies that have release dates at the moment (even if, of course, said dates are subject to change). We may or may not be getting a new Paul Thomas Anderson collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis this year; it’s also highly possible that new projects from Spielberg, Haneke, Polanski, Noah Baumbach and Harmony Korine, as well as Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut and Trey Edwards Shults’ follow-up to Krisha, are going to drop before we start tallying those best-of-2017 lists. But these are the ones you should be looking out for between now and next December. Start marking your calendars.

'The Red Turtle' (Jan. 20)

‘The Red Turtle’ (Jan. 20)

A castaway develops a strange relationship with a giant reptile in this beautiful-looking, critically acclaimed animated feature, directed by European artist Michaël Dudok de Wit with a little help from Japan's Studio Ghibli. Stranded on a beautiful-but-hostile island, the hero relies on his wits, his guts, and the help of a mysterious sea creature, in an exciting, wondrous fantasy-adventure told almost completely without dialogue. It's a must for cartoon buffs, Ghibli-heads, fans of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and anyone who likes pretty pictures and elemental tales of survival. NM

'Split' (Jan. 20)

‘Split’ (Jan. 20)

It's nightmarish enough to be kidnapped and held in a basement against your will; when the man who has abducted you happens to have 23 separate personalities, ranging from a prepubescent to something called "the Beast," you have officially entered the seventh circle of horror-movie hell. Say what you will about the ups and down of M. Night Shyamalan's career and output – the director and his star James McAvoy have taken an intriguing premise for a thriller and run with it straight into some genuine WTF territory. Jessica Sula (TV's Skins), Haley Lu Richardson (The Edge of Seventeen) and rising scream queen Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) make up the trio of young women who have to find a way out of the madman's clutches. DF

'The Salesman' (Jan. 27)

‘The Salesman’ (Jan. 27)

The title refers obliquely to Death of a Salesman, the play that the movie's husband-and-wife thespians are performing in Tehran; what you're really being sold here, however, is a template for how a story of life v. art, fate, violence, vengeance and the choices you make after a tragedy can be transformed in to a profound work of art. The latest movie from master Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) sets up its premise – a woman is assaulted and her spouse is determined to find out who the mystery assailant is – and then starts slowly turning the thumbscrews. But the director never forgets that he's telling a moral tale here, and that every action has its equal, opposite reaction. Do not let this one slip away. DF

'The Lure' (Feb. 1)

‘The Lure’ (Feb. 1)

If you're only going to plunk down cash for one Polish horror-fantasy-musical about lovestruck teenage mermaids in 2017, make it this one. Director Agnieszka Smoczynska's cracked fable takes an age-old story – Girl meets Boy, Girl is part fish, Girl forgets she sometimes has to devour human flesh per ancient mythology – and turns into a delirious riot involving pop-punk singalongs, perversity, plenty of 1980s Eastern European nostalgia and pure adrenaline. (We dare NBC to do a live Broadway-style broadcast of this.) You have never really seen anything like this. No, really. DF

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘I Am Not Your Negro’ (Feb. 3)

An unfinished James Baldwin book becomes a searing look at modern American race relations in Raoul Peck's provocative, no-holds-barred documentary. Samuel L. Jackson gives voice to the late author's essays and letters, sharing ruminations on the deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, as well as articulating the alienation of African-Americans living in a country that often seems unwelcoming. Footage from the Sixties Civil Rights movement flows almost seamlessly into the modern Black Lives Matter era; it's a portrait of a struggle that feels perpetually – and frustratingly – ongoing. NM

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ (Feb. 10)

Whether you thought the first Fifty Shades movie was "so bad it's good" camp or you're actually a devoted fan of E.L. James's erotic novels, there's no way you're skipping this follow-up, as kinky young entrepreneur Christian Gray (Jamie Dornan) continuing to pursue his bedroom/boardroom protege Ana Steele (Dakota Johnson). This time out, the S&M-obsessed loverboy concedes more control to his skittish gal-pal, as the couple deals with his shady past and outside threats to his business. Expect more expensive-looking sets, semi-steamy sex, cornier-than-Iowa dialogue and another underrated performance from the ever-likable Johnson. NM

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ (Feb. 10)

Yeah, we were guessing he'd be back. Keanu Reeves returns as the dog-loving hitman in the sequel to the hyperviolent 2014 hit; this time, the gun-fu master must takes on a squadron of assassins in Rome (including Common and new boss-level badass with Ruby Rose), armed with only several dozen weapons and a new canine sidekick. As Lance Reddick's concierge character says to Wick, "Good to see you again so soon." Indeed it is. KYK

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘A Cure for Wellness’ (Feb. 17)

Gore Verbinski returns to the director's chair for the first time since his Lone Ranger debacle to helm this psychological thriller, starring Dane DeHaan as an ambitious corporate lackey who goes looking for his missing boss at a creepy European spa. The longer he stays, however, the harder it is to leave, thanks to the resort's strange hold – which is possibly pharmaceutical, potentially supernatural and definitely involves coming into close contact with writhing eels. Expect this film to be a trip, in both the "taking a journey" and "dropping acid" senses of the word. NM

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘Get Out’ (Feb. 24)

After five seasons of merciless racial satire via sketch comedy, Key & Peele's Jordan Peele brings the tensions between black and white America to the big screen via a hard left turn into surreal horror. For his directorial debut, he's crafted a darkly humorous nightmare about a young man of color going to meet his WASP-y white girlfriend's family; soon enough, he discovers a Stepford Wives-ish secret beneath the polite facade. Hypnosis, abduction, violent hallucinations and awkward white mimicry of ebonics all add up to creepy and socially incisive genre moviemaking! CB

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ (Feb. 24)

After a fungus has turned most of humanity into flesh-chomping zombies, a group of children who can keep their cannibalistic cravings at bay are being used for research at a remote Army base. One youngster in particular, named Melanie (Sennia Nanua), is a cut above the rest – see title – and develops a bond with her handler (Gemma Arterton). This relationship comes in handy once the compound is overrun and the duo must make their way to London in search of sanctuary. Word on the street is that director Colm McCarthy adaptation of M.R. Carey's popular YA novel totally and utterly delivers the angry-undead goods; judging from the trailer, this soon-to-be-subgenre-classic most definitely looks intense as hell. DF

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘Logan’ (Mar. 3)

The end is nigh for Wolverine – or, at least, the man who plays him. Hugh Jackman has said that this solo X-Men flick, which picks up the action after 2014’s Days of Future Past, will be his final film as the mutton-chopped mutant. That may account for the movie's mournful, post-apocalyptic-Western tone, with the aged mutant trying to protect a young girl with similar powers. There's an undeniable poignancy to the fact that Jackman will be hanging up his claws after 17 years; the trailer certainly suggests this will both an epic and bittersweet final chapter. TG

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘My Scientology Movie’ (Mar. 3)

Documentarian Louis Theroux wanted to make an exposé on the Church of Scientology; unsurprisingly, the organization was not into the idea. So instead, he decided to chronicle his contentious relationship with the "cult" religion, casting actors to conduct re-enactments of alleged incidents from behind closed doors. Eventually, the project attracts a Scientology surveillance crew, resulting in an absurd camera-to-camera showdown. An informative, comical and somewhat chilling portrait about one man versus a powerful institution? Praise Xenu. CB

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘T2: Trainspotting’ (Mar. 3)

That's right. The whole gang – Renton, Sickboy, Spud, Begbie, even Diane – return for this 21-years-later sequel, and we get to see what the poster kids for Nineties nihilistic-cool (U.K. division) have been up to for the past two decades. The fact that director Danny Boyle and the original cast reunited to do this adaptation of Irvine Welsh's sequel-novel Porno suggests that it's a real passion project; the melancholy feel of the trailer hints that this won't just be another nostalgia trip, even if the original's gallows humor, stylistic brio and adrenaline-rush pacing is in full effect. Choose life once more. DF

'I Am Not Your Negro' (Feb. 3)

‘Kong: Skull Island’ (Mar. 10)

Other monster movies trade in awe and gravitas; this latest reboot of the King Kong legend looks to be a supremely gonzo action film in which a group of luckless souls stumble across the gigantic primate's jungle lair. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly won't just do battle with the great ape but also an island full of giant creatures and beasts – all while delivering lots of quips, if the trailer is to be believed. You can see why filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts and co. set this in the 1970s, as the whole affair seems to be a loving throwback to old-school adventure flicks. TG

Personal Shopper

IFC Films

‘Personal Shopper’ (Mar. 10)

Kristen Stewart continues her post-Twilight ascent into the greatest-actresses-of-their-generation Hall of Fame with this woozy, wonderfully offbeat drama from Clouds of Sils Maria collaborator Olivier Assayas, in which K-Stew's fashionista begins communing with the ghost of her dead twin brother. To say things take a turn for the moody, if not the macabre, would be underselling the pleasures of watching the star finally find a filmmaker who knows how to use her talent properly. This could turn out to be one of the screen's great actor/director pairings. It's time to get in on the ground floor. DF


Courtesy of Focus World

‘Raw’ (Mar. 10)

A strong stomach is recommended for anyone who watches this witty, perverse French-Belgian horror film, about a young veterinary student who develops a taste for human flesh. (The movie that made viewers pass out at last year's Toronto Film Festival? This is the one.) First-time writer-director Julia Ducournau uses cannibalism as a coming-of-age metaphor, comparing her heroine's experiments with new food-sources to what every sheltered teen goes through when they first experience the freedom of adulthood. Clever symbolism doesn't make Raw's gory feasting any less disgusting though – or its story any less terrifying. NM

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Free Fire’ (Mar. 17)

The idea is simple: Two groups of criminals meet in a Boston warehouse to negotiate a large weaponry purchase. Things go way south once a personal grudge gets thrown in to the mix, and did we mention that everyone has a lot of loaded guns on the premise? Now put this in the hands of a director like Ben Wheatley, who has never met a genre convention he could not beautifully turn on its head (see Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers) and voila! You have what is basically a near-feature-length shootout that gives all those old John Woo bullet-ballets a run for their money. Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer and District 9's Sharlto Copely are among the thugs on hand. DF

Song to Song

Van Redin/ Broad Green Pictures

‘Song to Song’ (Mar. 17)

In a continuation of his zero-to-60-mph late-career arc, Terrence Malick has made yet another movie (for those playing along at home, that’s five films since 2011, if you count his double-dip IMAX experiment Voyage of Time as one project). His latest, which promises to be less philosophical than The Tree of Life and less stream-of-consciousness than last year’s Knight of Cups, uses Austin’s robust music scene as the backdrop for a tale of love and betrayal. Once again, a star-studded cast – Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale – show up to ponder the meaning of it all. There will be voiceovers. KYK

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Life’ (Mar. 24)

Even in a year that sees the Alien franchise make its grand return (more on that in a minute), this take on the in-space-no-one-can-hear-you-scream horror subgenre is still more than just another sci-fi thriller about an extraterrestrial picking off a space-station crew. Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation's Rebecca Ferguson and their fellow astronauts come face to face with some sort of cosmic predator that rapidly evolves as it claims more lives. Specific details about the plot have been kept under wraps, but suffice it to say that this will undoubtedly be the deadliest A-list biology lesson of the year. CB

‘Ghost in the Shell’ (Mar. 31)

Numerous feathers were ruffled last year when it was announced that Scarlett Johansson was playing the Major in this live-action redo of the mega-popular 1995 anime, and you can't argue that the whitewashing claims aren't valid. (There is no known universe that the star looks even remotely Japanese.) What we can say is, judging from the teasers, that this new version nails the cyberpunk vibe of the original movie (and the manga is based on), that the action sequences look kick-ass and that fans of future-shock sci-fi will likely dig what director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) has done with the material. DF

Shot! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock

Courtesy of the BFI London Film Festival

‘Shot! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock’ (Apr. 7)

The "Rock" in the title of this documentary refers both to British photographer Mick Rock and to the main subjects of his camera: musical legends like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, the Ramones … the list goes on and on. As much a raconteur as he is a great pop artist, this renowned shutterbug takes director Barney Clay on a tour through his work, which doubles as a history of cool culture from the 1970s to now. NM

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘The Fate of the Furious’ (Apr. 14)

Sure, the latest in this venerable cars+family-divided-by-Vin-Diesel action franchise could have just gone with Furious 8. But no, they choose what is either the most ridiculous or brilliant title ever – two adjectives that would describe almost every entry in this increasingly nonsensical, physics-defying series. In a shocking plot twist, Diesel's Dom gets lured to the dark side by a criminal mastermind (Charlize Theron, rocking some choice blonde dreads). So the crew calls on newfound ally Deckard (Jason Statham) – previously the big bad guy – to help stop their old friend. And yes, the Rock is back to deal with any candy-asses who get in his way. KYK

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘The Lost City of Z’ (Apr. 14)

James Gray (The Immigrant) returns with this adaptation of David Grann's 2009 nonfiction book about British explorer Percy Fawcett (Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam), who was obsessed with uncovering a lost city in the Amazon. Expect a thought-provoking deep dive into the jungle's heart of darkness, one that eschews cheap CG spectacle for an immersive, old-school portrait of a man willing to risk everything – even his sanity and his life – in search of a prize he may never find. TG

A Quiet Passion

Courtesy of the BFI London Film Festival

‘A Quiet Passion’ (Apr. 14)

If anyone could turn a potentially staid biopic about Emily Dickinson into a catty, compelling, creatively fulfilling and cathartic movie, it's British filmmaker Terence Davies – a man intimately familiar with the more lyrical uses of his medium. His take on the younger years (and final months) of the "so we must meet apart" poet is not only filled with enough witty banter and cutting epigrams to make Oscar Wilde do a Rudy-clap; it's also a showcase for actress Cynthia Nixon, who plays the melancholy writer as teasing, tormented and totally at odds with her stuffy father and brother. (We had no idea that Dickinson was really a Miranda.) DF

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘The Circle’ (Apr. 28)

Need even more reasons to be fearful of social media and the lack of privacy in the digital age? How about this upcoming thriller that James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) has adapted from Dave Eggers' novel of the same name? Emma Watson plays a tech-wunderkind at a large Internet company who slowly realize that both the company and her charismatic boss (Tom Hanks) – the kind of Steve Jobs-ish Silicon Valley capitalist who promises things like "the perfectibility of human being" – are not as altruistic and user-friendly as they seem. Cue many shots of surveillance cameras and sinister motives at work (literally). KYK

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (May 5)

One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most unlikely successes now gets to take a victory lap, via a sequel which sees Chris Pratt's self-appointed "Star-Lord" Peter Quill and his team of intergalactic misfits enjoying the fruits of their newfound fame. Naturally, some unresolved issues from their respective pasts rear their ugly heads and cause cosmic chaos. The big addition to the cast is Kurt Russell as Quill's father – a literal planet in human form named Ego. But for superhero connossieurs, what's even more exciting is that the Guardians series will reportedly begin intersecting more with the larger MCU, bringing the group closer to an inevitable team-up with the Avengers in some far-off summer blockbuster. NM

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘The Lovers’ (May 5)

In deftly observed indie character studies as Momma's Man (2008) and Terri (2011), filmmaker Azazel Jacobs told tender, brutally funny stories about outcasts trying to figure themselves out. He now turns his eye to a married couple (Debra Winger and Tracy Letts) having affairs on the side. When they decide to end their marriage, however, they find themselves unexpectedly falling back in love. This could genuinely be Jacobs' breakthrough moment. TG

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Snatched’ (May 12)

Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer are a mother-and-daughter combo who are kidnapped while on vacation in Ecuador. Family dysfunction and action-comedy escapism look to be equal selling points, and we're curious to see where Schumer's screen career goes post-Trainwreck. But don’t overlook the fact that this is Hawn's biggest starring vehicle since the 1999 remake of The Out-of-Towners. She is one of the all-time great comediennes; her big-screen return automatically puts this on the must-see list. TG

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Alien: Covenant’ (May 19)

More facehuggers and xenomorphs, a reprise of that famous chest-bursting scene (only through a dude's spinal column), an even creepier Michael Fassbender android, the usual chases down dripping dark corridors – the latest Alien movie looks like both a return to the original's "haunted house in space" thrill ride and a steroidal update of the franchise as a whole. Ridley Scott has said this is the second part of a proposed "prequel quadrilogy" after Prometheus, while star Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) has mentioned the story involves a colony of couples sent to repopulate a world filled with you-know-what. If this is half as terrifying as the movie's poster, we may need adult diapers. DF

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Lady Macbeth’ (Jun. 2)

The buzz you've heard about this British import is indeed true: Theater director William Oldroyd's adaptation of a Russian novella about a "sold" young bride (played by the incredible Florence Pugh) who begins to take control of her destiny – and her desires, via a hot stablehand – is quite possibly the best historical potboiler you'll see this year. By the time this rigorous tale of adultery, feminism, vengeance, violence and in-house power-jockeying is over, you'll feel like you've been hit by a truck. It's Masterpiece Theater with blood-stained fangs. DF

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Wonder Woman’ (Jun. 2)

The D.C. Comics movies of the past few years have been decidedly drearier than their Marvel counterparts, but this summer's retro take on Wonder Woman promises to bring some brightness back into an oppressively dark superhero universe. With charismatic actress Gal Gadot front-and-center as the Amazonian princess Diana, and confident blockbuster veteran Chris Pine playing WWI fighter pilot Steve Trevor, this new movie looks to recapture some of the throwback kicks of the first Captain America film, but with the burnished look and outsized heroism of D.C.'s recent Justice League run-ups. NM

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (Jul. 7)

Had you asked us a year ago whether we were so psyched for the gajillionth new iteration of a big-screen Spider-Man, you'd have been met by the world's loudest yawn. And then we saw what Tom Holland could do with the friendly neighborhood webslinger – more specifically, how the young British actor could nail the kid behind the mask so convincingly – in Captain America: Civil War, and everything changed. He's the reason we're curious to see how this third reboot of the iconic superhero, in which he takes on Michael Keaton's techo-crook Vulture, plays out, and whether director Jon Watts (Cop Car) can capture the Spidey comics' eternal appeal. We have our web-covered fingers crossed. DF

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘The Mummy’ (Jun. 9)

It's just not summertime without an action tentpole featuring Tom Cruise urgently running somewhere. The ageless hero takes the lead for this installment in Universal's emerging monster-flick universe, crossing paths with a malevolent, ancient Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella) who doesn't appreciate being disturbed from her eternal slumber. And as a signal of spookier things to come, Russell Crowe co-stars as one highly temperamental physician who goes by the name of Dr. Jekyll. Here's hoping it's a walloping good time, because the studio is already prepping a whole lot more where this came from. CB

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ (Jul. 14)

The rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise has been one of the stronger pro-arguments for recycled properties, and after two strong entries, director Matt Reeves will attempt to stick the landing with a climactic post-apocalyptic showdown of man vs. chimp. Woody Harrelson joins the cast as a cueball-headed despot intent on wiping out the simian survivors once and for all, pushing the otherwise-peaceable primates to a battle that will decide the fate of Earth. Fur will most assuredly fly. CB

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Dunkirk’ (Jul. 21)

It was 10 days of intense fighting that claimed the lives of thousands of troops, saved hundreds of thousands of others and eventually helped turn the tide of WWII – and now Christopher Nolan has made a movie out of it. The Interstellar director tackles the Battle of Dunkirk with his customary thoroughness, chilled-to-Kubrickian-subzero stylistics and an extraordinary sense of the visceral, violent nature of 20th century warfare. Kenneth Brannagh, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and One Direction's Harry Styles (!) are among the fighting men trapped by Axis forces. The trailer hints at a bit of ecstasy and whole lotta agony. DF

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ (Jul. 21)

French action maestro Luc Besson turns the Gallic comic series Valerian into a big-budget brouhaha and, in the process, delivers what may be his most expensive, ambitious and batshit blockbuster since 1997's The Fifth Element. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne are "spatio-temporal agents" who go hopping from era to era, encountering memorable friends and foes played by the likes of John Goodman, Ethan Hawke, and a mega-blonde-meets-Cabaret-chic Rihanna. Who cares if the material risks being too unfamiliar (and too European) to connect with summer-movie audiences? For Besson, freakier is always better. NM

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

Ian Gavan/Getty

‘Atomic Blonde’ (Jul. 28)

On the eve of the Berlin Wall’s collapse, an MI6 spy (Charlize Theron) and the city’s intelligence station chief (James McAvoy) must figure out who’s killing undercover agents and why. Ooh, some good old-school Cold War espionage! The two leads have a proven track record with this kind of stuff; we’re curious to see how rookie director David Leitch, a.k.a. John Wick‘s co-director (and Brad Pitt’s old stuntman), handles the stylistic thrills, spills and chills, given that he’s tasked with the responsibility of making Deadpool 2 next year. KYK

The Dark Tower

Ilze Kitshoff

‘The Dark Tower’ (Jul. 28)

Stephen King's epic, multi-book tale of good, evil, gunfighters, evil sorcerers, father figures and mysterious quests has been one of those stop-start dream projects that Hollywood has been trying to make for years – the fact that there will finally be a movie version of this fantsasy-western-whatsit saga feels slightly unreal. Rumors have circulated about major characters not making the page-to-screen transition, that the film combines several volumes into one story, and that it's actually a sequel of sorts to the books have been flying fast and furious for the last six months. What we do know is that King himself was heavily involved as a consultant, and that casting Idris Elba as the hero Roland Deschain is a stroke of genius. Plus Matthew McCounaughey costars as the not-alright-alright-alright Man in Black. DF

Baby Driver

Wilson Webb

‘Baby Driver’ (Aug. 11)

A heist film in which a getaway driver signs up for one last score and settle down with his lady love, only to have the job go completely awry? We've seen that. But a crime flick in which said driver-for-hire suffers from tinnitus (!) and the action scenes are choreographed to whatever music he's listening to (!!!) … this we have not seen. The Fault in Our Stars' Ansel Elgort plays the wheelman; Lily James is the good woman trying to save him; Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm are his scummy associates; Edgar Wright, genre deconstructionist extraordinaire (see Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End) and one of the most exciting directors working today, is calling the shots. DF

Steven Soderbergh

Steve Sands/Getty

‘Logan Lucky’ (Aug. 18)

We were hoping that this “I’m retiring from making movies” plan was temporary, and as flat-out great as The Knick is, we really wanted Steven Soderbergh to come back to the big screen. The plot of this cryptic project has simply been described as “brothers plan a heist during a NASCAR event”; the fact that Soderbergh is doing this – and that the cast includes Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Katherine Waterston, Adam Driver, Hilary Swank, Katherine Heigl and Seth MacFarlane, among others – means this is likely to be one funny, funky, wonderfully fucked-up crime flick. We’re so happy right now. DF 


Brooke Palmer

‘It’ (Sep. 8)

What a great year for Stephen King fans – first the long-awaited screen adaptation of The Dark Tower, and now this. The author's 1986 bestseller about a group of kids and the world's scariest killer clown (oh, Pennywise, you fodder for endless phobias you!) had already been turned into a TV miniseries, but we imagine this new version will up the nightmarish qualities substantially. And frankly, those pictures of Bill Skarsgård as the embodiment of pancake-make-upped evil give us some serious heebie-jeebies. DF

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Blade Runner 2049’ (Oct. 6)

In the last 10 years, Harrison Ford's most iconic roles – Indiana Jones and Han Solo – have brought him back to the big screen for long-in-the-works, massively commercially successful sequels. So it was only a matter of time until Rick Deckard crossed our path again. This second chapter takes place 30 years after the events of the original Blade Runner, with Ryan Gosling's L.A. cop seeking out our long-lost hero as society's fate hangs in the balance. Ridley Scott has handed the reins to Arrival filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, a man with a considerable talent for intelligent, visually arresting, powerfully moody dramas. Plus, maybe we'll finally find out if Deckard was a replicant all along. TG

Michael Fassbender

Gareth Cattermole/Getty

‘The Snowman’ (Oct. 13)

It's been six years since we’ve heard from Sweden's Tomas Alfredson, the icy talent behind vampire romance Let the Right One In and espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. News of him directing another feature would be reason enough to be excited; that it stars Michael Fassbender, playing a detective hot on the trail of a serial killer that leaves snowmen at each crime scene, is even better. Rebecca Ferguson, Chloë Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg and J.K. Simmons fill out the strong supporting cast of this frost-choked mystery, adapted from Scandi-noir author Jo Nesbo's bestselling "Harry Hole" series. CB

Thor: The Dark World

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Photofest

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (Nov. 3)

Did you miss Thor and the Hulk during Marvel's epic Captain America: Civil War? Don't worry: You'll get plenty of each in this new to-Asgard-and-beyond installment, which finds the God of Thunder squaring off against the big green guy, as well as contending with a new menace that could destroy his home planet. Humblebragging award-winner Tom Hiddleston will be joining Chris Hemsworth once again as Loki; two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett plays Thor's main enemy; and filmmaker Taika Waititi (responsible for the wry vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows) takes over as director. TG

50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2017

‘Justice League’ (Nov. 17)

Yes, it's perfectly reasonable to be nervous about this D.C. all-star team-up, given that director Zack Snyder was the man behind the overblown Batman v Superman. And yet, the prospect of those two caped heroes alongside Wonder Woman, Aquaman and other big-league superheroes is simply too tempting to resist. This is Warner Brothers' all-chips-in, make-or-break challenge to Marvel's comic-book-movie dominance, and the anticipation of what stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot come up with may be even more suspenseful than whatever the Justice League will face in this action-packed blockbuster. TG

Gary Oldman

Jack English/Focus Features

‘Darkest Hour’ (Nov. 22)

In 2011, The King's Speech won the Oscar by telling the true story of a British leader, King George VI, who stood up to Hitler during World War II. This year, Joe Wright's drama recounts a similar tale, focusing on Winston Churchill (played by Gary Oldman) as he tries to rally the country against the encroaching threat of the Nazis. Set for release around Thanksgiving, this movie looks like the kind of highly-acclaimed biopic that’s catnip for Academy members. Even better, it could be the movie that brings the criminally underappreciated Oldman his second Oscar nomination after Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. TG

Kenneth Brannagh

Maarten de Boer/Getty

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (Nov. 22)

Agatha Christie's train-set mystery featuring redoubtable detective Hercule Poirot has already been made into a movie once. (Sidney Lumet's 1974 adaptation starred, among others, Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery and Ingrid Bergman.) This time around, Kenneth Branagh, enjoying a commercial rebirth as a director after helming Thor and Cinderella, both directs and plays Poirot, squaring off with an equally formidable A-list ensemble that includes Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad and Daisy Ridley. Amidst a sea of serious, awards-bait dramas, this movable feast of a mystery could be a perfect bit of smart, escapist counterprogramming. TG

Star Wars: Episode VIII

‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ (Dec. 15)

Here's what we know so far about this year's Star Wars film: Looper's Rian Johnson is behind the camera for this next chapter, which bodes very well; per Johnson, this won't be a dark Empire Strikes Back-style tragedy but something more "fun"; per The Force Awakens' last scene, Luke Skywalker is back in a big way; Carrie Fisher had finished all of her scenes before her death this past December; Benicio Del Toro will play an unspecified role; and you will almost assuredly be there in line on the first day, waiting to see it while dressed as either Rey, Poe Dameron or a next-gen stormtrooper. DF

Matt Damon

Elizabeth Weinberg/The NY Times/Redux

‘Downsizing’ (Dec. 22)

You hear that a collaboration between Matt Damon and director Alexander Payne (Nebraska) is called Downsizing, and you assume this is their earnest drama about workers trying to keep their jobs in today's tough economy – a sort of wry, poignant Up in the Air. But no: It's a comedy-drama about a man who voluntarily decides to shrink himself to Lilliputian size and joins a community of like-minded teeny, tiny people. The title is literal, you see. It should be interesting to see what Payne will do with this detour into Charlie Kaufman-esque absurdism territory, and finally, we get the chance to use that "The Incredible Shrinking Matt" joke we've been sitting on for years. DF

Pitch Perfect 3

Maarten de Boer/Getty

‘Pitch Perfect 3’ (Dec. 22)

To quote Rebel Wilson's Twitter feed: "We're back, Pitches!" The Barden Bellas return for Round 3, in what will probably be the last original-cast outing for this bubbly comedy franchise (how they can still afford Anna Kendrick and Wilson, much less all those extravagant music rights, is a mystery). Word is mum on what, exactly, everyone's favorite collegiate a capella group will be doing in this new movie, but we can guess that it will involve some sort of competition; that there will be a sort of evil-Bellas-twin group involved that will give the troupe a run for their money; and that we're going to hear a whole helluva lotta pop songs sung sans backing instruments. DF

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