Sunday, January 1, 2017

Josh Martin's Top 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2017

2016 has been quite a year. Some would argue that it has been the worst year in the history of civilization, and while I certainly would not go that far, I will concur that it has been a bit of a rocky ride for the last 12 months. But if one aspect has remained consistently good, it has been the movies. Anybody who complains about the death of cinema is out of their mind- 2016 has brought us some extraordinary titles, movies that I will cherish for the rest of my life. My end-of-year lists will be coming down the pipeline shortly, but for now, it's time to take a look at what's coming in the next 12 months.

After a disappointing year for blockbusters, event films are back with a vengeance in 2017. Three films from Marvel, two more from DC, and new chapters in several of the biggest franchises in Hollywood. Filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Edgar Wright, Paul Thomas Anderson, Bong Joon-ho, Kathryn Bigelow, David Robert Mitchell, and Denis Villeneuve will be premiering new projects, and it certainly looks like it'll be a good year for sci-fi and crime movies. So, without further delay, here are the 25 movies that I'm looking forward to in 2017, along with 10 honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

WONDER WOMAN- The DC Cinematic Universe hasn't been successful from a critical standpoint so far, but there is definitely some potential for Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman to be a grand slam. The first trailers have been encouraging, and the World War I setting looks similar to the original Captain America film. Skepticism is high for both of DC's 2017 offerings, but I'm going to maintain a level of hope for this solo outing. JUNE 2

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS- Valerian has the potential to be one of the most interesting blockbusters of summer 2017, with a wacky premise, offbeat source material, and a daring sense of visual energy. Luc Besson has been stuck in the schlock action genre for a while, but after knocking Lucy out of the park, he's finally making his return to big-budget filmmaking. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne lead the cast, and if the trailer is any indication, we're in for a fun, unique ride. JULY 21

THE SNOWMAN- Michael Fassbender plays Harry Hole, a detective investigating the disappearance of a woman, in The Snowman. This seems like the definition of a terrific pulp noir concept, and the supporting cast that includes Rebecca Ferguson and J.K. Simmons is very impressive. I don't know enough to get too excited yet, but consider me intrigued by the idea alone. OCTOBER 13

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER- The Lobster put Yorgos Lanthimos on the map for good, and even though I had mixed feelings about the year's coldest, strangest black comedy, it's clear that Lanthimos is a dynamic filmmaker with ideas and innovation to spare. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is billed as another pitch-black comedy, and I'm excited to see where Lanthimos goes. The cast includes Colin Farrell once again, as well as Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, and Raffey Cassidy. TBA

MUTE- Duncan Jones spent over five years working on Warcraft, only for the film to be lambasted by critics and labeled as a failure. But thankfully, the innovative director isn't letting that disappointment slow him down- he's jumping right back into action with Mute. A mystery movie and a sci-fi thriller packed into one, Mute follows the story of a mute bartender who goes up against gangster to discover the fate of his partner. With a cast led by Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, and Sam Rockwell, this sounds like the kind of original film that Jones should be making. TBA

SUBURBICON- Okay, so George Clooney's last directorial effort wasn't exactly a home run. Clooney has directed five films, and while three were generally well-received, Leatherheads and 2014's The Monuments Men could certainly be labeled as misfires. But there's plenty of reason to be excited about Suburbicon, a murder mystery set in an idyllic 1950s town. The plot synopsis essentially sounds like Pleasantville gone sour, and with an iconic cast that includes Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, and Julianne Moore, this could be really special. Clooney's most successful directorial effort came when he just stayed behind the camera, so that could be a good omen for Suburbicon. Expect a big Oscar push if it's good. TBA

SUSPIRIA- Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash remains one of the more underrated films of 2016, a sexy, stylish dramatic thriller with an exotic bite. The idea of Guadagnino tackling a remake of Dario Argento's classic horror film is very enticing, and I'm excited to see the visual flair that the director adds to the project. In addition to the iconic source material, the cast features Chloe Grace Moretz and Bigger Splash stars Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, which should make for an excellent ensemble. Some are mixed on the idea of remaking Argento's classic, but this really has the potential to be a fascinating film. TBA

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE- David Robert Mitchell broke onto the scene with 2015's It Follows, a horror movie that, for all of its flaws, demonstrated a superb sense of style and energy. Mitchell is returning with a film described as "a noir thriller set in Los Angeles," which sounds like something right up my alley. Andrew Garfield is leading the cast after a big year (the double whammy of Hacksaw Ridge and Silence could gain him an Oscar nomination), but my anticipation primarily lies in the concept alone. TBA

UNTITLED DETROIT RIOTS MOVIE- This is Kathryn Bigelow's return to filmmaking after a five-year hiatus, and this time, she's tackling an iconic story in the history of 1960s America. We don't know much about her plan to bring the Detroit riots to life on screen, but with a cast that includes Jack Reynor, John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell, and Will Poulter, a screenplay from Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal, and Bigelow behind the camera, this is one not to miss in 2017. TBA

WIND RIVER- Taylor Sheridan has proved himself to be quite the breakout star over the last two years, penning the scripts for both Sicario and Hell or High Water. Now, Sheridan is taking a shot at directing with Wind River, a thriller about an FBI agent and a game tracker investigating a murder. Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal, and Gil Birmingham lead the terrific cast, but for me, the real star here is Sheridan. His two screenplays have been nothing short of dynamite, and I can't wait to see what he does behind the camera. TBA (premieres at Sundance)

The Top 25

25. THE LOST CITY OF Z- April 21


Image Credit: IMDB

James Gray's The Lost City of Z was originally thought to be a player in the 2016 awards season, but even after a strong reception at the New York Film Festival, Bleecker Street and Amazon elected to hold it for April 2017. It probably would have been drowned out by much bigger films, but it still would have been interesting to see. Nonetheless, The Lost City of Z is already being billed as one of the "can't miss" films of 2017, an old-fashioned adventure epic that is grand, methodical, and harrowing in equal measure. The cast includes Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland, and I'm anticipating that this could be a real treat in an otherwise dreary month for movies.

24. UNTITLED PTA FASHION PROJECT- TBA


Image Credit: Coming Soon

Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis. What more do I even have to say about this one? The last time these two united on a project, we got There Will Be Blood, which is certainly one of the most distinctive American epics I've ever seen. In 2017, they'll be teaming up to tell a story set in the fashion world of London in the 1950s, which is an irresistible combination of director and material. Day-Lewis hasn't been seen in a movie since Lincoln, a role that won him the Best Actor award at the Oscars in 2012. Meanwhile, PTA's last film was the stoner comedy Inherent Vice, which split many of his fans right down the middle. There's isn't much known about this project to truly get us excited, but the sheer idea of these two working together is more than enough to pique my interest.

23. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST- March 17


Image Credit: IMDB/Disney

Disney's original Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite animated films of all time, and the idea of a live-action remake is very appealing to me. This will likely be one of the biggest box office hits of 2017, as Disney has recently proved that they can turn their iconic properties into new financial bonanzas. But on a creative level, Beauty and the Beast is bolstered by an epic cast and a striking set of trailers. Casting Emma Watson as Belle was an obvious stroke of genius, and with Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Emma Thompson, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, and Kevin Kline rounding out the prestigious supporting cast, Beauty and the Beast has the potential to achieve greatness.

22. THE CIRCLE- April 28


Image courtesy of EuropaCorp

James Ponsoldt has consistently delivered rich, thoughtful films, and I'm a huge fan of both The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour. Ponsoldt is taking a bigger step forward with his next film, a mysterious technological thriller called The Circle. Based on the novel by Dave Eggers, the film follows a young woman, played by Emma Watson, who becomes employed at a famous tech company only to unravel a sinister mystery at the heart of the empire. Tom Hanks and John Boyega star in supporting roles, but for me, the real draw here is Ponsoldt. He's a terrific filmmaker and I can't wait to see what he's able to do with a bigger budget and a massive sci-fi canvas.

21. DOWNSIZING- December 22


Image Credit: IMDB/Fox Searchlight

Alexander Payne has become a pretty consistent filmmaker over the last few years, bringing us gems like The Descendants and Nebraska, both films that were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. After a four-year hiatus, Payne is returning with Downsizing, a film billed as a "social satire" about a man who decides to shrink himself in order to improve his life. The concept itself is incredibly appealing, and the cast is the icing on the cake- Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris, and Margo Martindale will all be joining Payne for his next feature. This will likely be one of the big awards season movies of 2017, and as a huge fan of Payne's last two films, I can't wait to see what we get with Downsizing.

20. GET OUT- February 24


Image Credit: IMDB

Where did this movie come from? I had no idea that Get Out even existed until watching the trailer a month or two ago, but wow, this looks absolutely spectacular. The first solo project from Key & Peele co-founder Jordan Peele, this crazy-looking horror film finds an African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) traveling with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents in their idyllic neighborhood. Things go south when it turns out that something sinister may be going on in the suburban town, as African-American men are disappearing left and right. The trailer was brutal and hilarious and incisive and all kinds of messed up. And in today's world, this may just be the terrifyingly funny racial satire that we need in 2017.

19. COCO- November 22


Image Credit: IMDB/Disney

A new Pixar film is always cause for celebration, and it will be quite interesting to see what happens with Coco in November. The project was originally scrapped after Fox produced The Book of Life, another film about the Mexican holiday of Dia De Los Muertos. A few years later, the film has found new life under the guiding hand of director Lee Unkrich, who was last seen with Toy Story 3, his 2010 masterpiece. Coco is led by Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt, and will follow the adventures of a young boy who explores a "centuries-old mystery." Pixar is at their best with original content, and for that reason, Coco is my most anticipated of their 2017 options (sorry, Cars 3).

18. A CURE FOR WELLNESS- February 17


Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

A Cure for Wellness was not even remotely on my radar until a few months ago, when Fox premiered the spectacular trailer for Gore Verbinski's new horror thriller. The film looks absolutely chilling, with a trailer that clearly creates its own distinct vibe, while also demonstrating an adoration for classic horror films of the past. We don't get many horror films on this large of a scale, which makes A Cure for Wellness an even more enticing proposition. The movie played at Alamo Drafthouse's Butt-Numb-A-Thon earlier this month, and the reaction was incredibly positive. Fans indicated that we're going to get something that is terrifying and beyond messed up, so consider me pumped. This could be a true February treat.

17. THOR: RAGNAROK- November 3


Image Credit: Coming Soon

The Thor franchise has been the most consistently disappointing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with 2013's Thor: The Dark World standing as quite possibly the weakest sequel that the studio has ever produced. So why am I so excited for Thor: Ragnarok? Well, there's a few reasons. It starts with Taika Waititi, the director of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which was a very pleasant summer surprise. Waititi has promised a funnier Thor movie, and the short that he filmed for Comic-Con is nothing short of hilarious. Beyond that, Ragnarok will feature Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch, reprising their roles as Hulk and Doctor Strange, respectively. This film has the potential to feel like a breath of fresh air in the MCU, while also introducing some important plot threads that will be critical to the future of the series. We haven't seen much yet, but it's safe to say that I'm excited.

16. GHOST IN THE SHELL- March 31


Image Credit: IMDB/Paramount

My interest in Ghost in the Shell was minimal for the longest time. After all, Snow White and the Huntsman's Rupert Sanders is at the helm, and the whitewashing controversy involving star Scarlett Johansson overshadowed the entire film. But then I saw the trailer. Ghost in the Shell looks unlike anything we've seen from Hollywood in a long time, a thrilling mix of Blade Runner and Inception done in the style of iconic Japanese anime. The action scenes look downright stunning, and as someone who has never seen the original anime film, the story looks intriguing and fascinating as well. Ghost in the Shell still could go very wrong, but with Johansson and a bold visual look, it's one of the most promising sci-fi offerings of 2017.

15. ANNIHILATION- TBA


Alex Garland worked for years as a screenwriter in Hollywood, but the town really took notice last year with his brilliant, topical sci-fi film Ex Machina. A Kubrickian tale of man vs. machine, the Oscar-winning film became a surprise hit, bolstered the reputation of Domnhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac, and sent Alicia Vikander to superstar status. Everybody was suddenly in a rush to work with Garland on his next project, which was quickly lined up by Paramount. Not much is known about the film beyond the basic concept, which sees a biologist taking a dangerous, secretive expedition. But with Garland at the helm, and a cast that includes Isaac, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, David Gyasi, Gina Rodriguez, and Sonoya Mizuno, Annihilation is a film that everyone should be keeping an eye on.

14. UNTITLED CLOVERFIELD FILM- October 27


Very few films in 2016 were as surprising as Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane, a terrific Hitchcockian thriller that felt like a throwback to an era of filmmaking that we hadn't seen in theaters in a long time. It was clear from the loose connections and mysterious marketing that J.J. Abrams had decided to use the Cloverfield brand to create a modern-day Twilight Zone, an idea that I am totally on board with. Originally listed on the release calendar as God Particle, Paramount's Untitled Cloverfield Film stars David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl, Chris O'Dowd, Elizabeth Debicki, Ziyi Zhang, John Ortiz, and Aksel Hennie, and follows the adventures of a team of astronauts who fight for survival in an alternate reality scenario. The film sounds like prime Cloverfield, and I can't wait to continue to explore Abrams' universe.

13. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING- July 7


Image courtesy of Sony

Spider-Man made his glorious debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this year's Captain America: Civil War, and next year, the web-slinger will have his very own solo debut. Well, mostly solo. He'll be joined by Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, who will probably end up being one of the big selling points of the movie. But personally, I'm much more excited to see a fully high school-set Spider-Man, one that embraces the fun and energy of the character. Holland was so terrific in Civil War, feeling like a perfect fit for the character. The supporting cast in this one includes terrific young actors like Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, and Jacob Batalon, as well as veteran stars like Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Kenneth Choi, Bokeem Woodbine, and Hannibal Buress. Homecoming has the potential to bring the Spidey universe to vivid life on the big screen once again, and as long as it doesn't rely too much on its connection to the rest of the MCU, I have a feeling that I'll be very pleased by this one.

12. OKJA- TBA


Image courtesy of Netflix

Snowpiercer is one of the best sci-fi movies in recent years, an innovative, stylistically bold action film that has incredible ideas and visceral, nasty violence. Bong Joon-ho returning to the sci-fi genre should be enough to get any film fan excited, and especially when it's with a film that sounds as promising as Okja. The tale of a young girl risking her life to keep a corporation from kidnapping her best friend, who just happens to be a giant monster, Okja sounds like a heartfelt, awesome adventure. I'd be intrigued based on the concept alone, but in addition to that, the cast is phenomenal. Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Lily Collins, Paul Dano, Steven Yuen, Giancarlo Esposito- this movie is absolutely stacked. Netflix is releasing the $50 million sci-fi film, and I can't wait to catch a glimpse of what the South Korean director has in store for us with his latest flick.

11. FAST & FURIOUS 8- April 14


Image Credit: Coming Soon

Originally titled The Fate of the Furious, I was pleased to see on IMDb that the title is now listed as Fast & Furious 8. Dumb names aside, the 8th installment in the high-octane action franchise will deliver everything that we've come to expect from these films- ridiculous stunts, cheesy dialogue, beautiful women, and an emphasis on family. The first trailer brought the firepower, giving us a barrage of bullets, crashing cars, and submarine attacks to feast our eyes on. This time, the twist is that Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto has gone rogue, and is teaming up with Charlize Theron's baddie against his family. It's an absurd plot, but I wouldn't expect anything less from this series. Even if it is a disappointment, we'll always have Dwayne Johnson saying "I will beat you like a Cherokee drum" to Jason Statham.

10. KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE- October 6


Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of the biggest surprises of 2015, a frenetic, hyper-violent spoof of the James Bond films that managed to walk a very thin line between parody and homage. The film was a breakout hit as well, grossing $410 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel immediately received the green light for 20th Century Fox, and director Matthew Vaughn agreed to take another adventure with Taron Egerton's Eggsy and the Kingsmen. This time, the British agency will be forced to team up with the Statesman, the American equivalent of the Kingsmen, when an attack creates the rise of a formidable new force. Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal will be joining the cast, with Taron Egerton, Colin Firth (?), Mark Strong, and Sophie Cookson returning. It'll be a tough task to create a film that improves on the original, but there's no question that all of the pieces are in place for a remarkable follow-up.

9. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2- May 5


Image Credit: IMDB

Guardians of the Galaxy took everyone by surprise in the summer of 2014, becoming an instant fan favorite and one of the biggest movies of the year. This time, James Gunn won't have the element of surprise working in his favor. Expectations are sky-high for the return of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel), and fans are counting on an adventure that will match the charming, dazzling heights of the original. From what we've seen so far, it looks like Gunn may have managed to pull it off. The teasers have been light on story, but heavy on the elements that made the original so successful. Excellent chemistry between the characters, awesome soundtrack, beautiful visuals- Vol. 2 is looking really terrific. It's my most anticipated of Marvel's 2017 outings, and I'm hoping for a sequel that recaptures the magic and expands on the gloriously strange Guardians universe.

8. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES- July 14


Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Contrary to pretty much everyone else in the universe, I thought 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a disappointment. Sure, it's a brilliantly made film, one that showcases the capabilities of director Matt Reeves. But with a surprisingly small-scale narrative, a lack of interesting human characters, and an extremely dour approach, I found myself often bored by the film. Nonetheless, I'm so incredibly excited to see what Reeves does with War for the Planet of the Apes. The first trailer was released a few weeks ago, and it sure looks astonishing. Reeves is finally delivering the full-blown war that everybody was hoping we would see in Dawn, and it looks as stunning and emotional as I could have ever hoped for. The blistering intensity of Andy Serkis' performance as Caesar, Michael Seresin's snowy cinematography, and the brutal battles on display in the trailer have me beyond psyched, and I can't wait to see how Reeves continues this story.

7. KONG: SKULL ISLAND- March 10


Image Credit: IMDB/Warner Bros. 

Warner Bros. may not always deliver on their promises, but they sure do have one hell of a marketing team. Kong: Skull Island was barely on my radar until July, when the studio dropped a phenomenal trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. The first look was haunting and epic, reminiscent of the teaser that the studio debuted for Godzilla several years earlier. A few months later, Warner released another, slightly more energetic trailer that emphasized the scope of the action and the 1970s setting. Essentially, this looks like King Kong by way of Apocalypse Now, and that has me very excited. The humor in the second trailer was a bit bizarre, but according to those who saw more of the film at BNAT 2016, the comedic relief fits in nicely. The grandeur and visual style of Skull Island looks completely dazzling, and with a cast that includes Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, and Jason Mitchell, this has the potential to be one of the most memorable blockbusters of 2017.

6. LOGAN- March 3


Image Credit: Coming Soon/Twitter

There is no reason in the world for me to be interested in seeing another Wolverine movie. Sure, I'm one of the few people who maintains that X-Men: Origins- Wolverine is a lot of fun, but it's by no means a good movie. In addition to that, I hated The Wolverine, James Mangold's first adventure with the character and one of the more tedious superhero movies in recent years. So why am I so pumped for Logan? For starters, that trailer is something else. It's one of the best pieces of studio marketing I've ever seen, a trailer that plays off the rich texture of the visuals and the legacy of the character to evoke a strong emotional reaction from the audience. The use of Johnny Cash's "Hurt" is perfect, and the dusty landscapes and minimalist action beats are right up my alley. Secondly, this Wolverine movie is rated R, and it's the final send-off for Hugh Jackman as Logan. I have a feeling that Mangold, Jackman, and Patrick Stewart will do everything in their power to make this great, and from those who've seen chunks of the movie, Logan apparently delivers. This is my most anticipated superhero film of next year, and a movie that I truly believe could be one of the best in the history of the genre.

5. ALIEN: COVENANT- May 19


Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The first trailer for Alien: Covenant was revealed on Christmas Day, and it was a very nice present for fans of the iconic sci-fi franchise. Ridley Scott made an interesting film with Prometheus, but it was one with more questions than answers, and that frustrated many viewers. This time around, we're getting a film that will (hopefully) not only solve the mystery of that 2012 film, but also give us the true Alien throwback movie we deserve. Journalists who got a sneak look at extended footage from the film made sure to emphasize just how R-rated this film will be, while the red band trailer gave us a good look at the blood and gore on display in Covenant. Throw in an excellent cast, a recent release date shift to the heart of summer, and the fact that Scott is coming off his best film in decades, and suddenly, Alien: Covenant is slowly becoming one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year.

4. BABY DRIVER- August 11


Image courtesy of Sony

Edgar Wright hasn't released a movie since 2013's The World's End, which is one of my favorite comedies, not just of this decade, but of all time. Wright is one of our best working filmmakers, a distinct, energetic, original voice in the landscape of modern Hollywood. After leaving Ant-Man due to creative differences, Wright decided to turn to Baby Driver, an original project that seems right in his wheelhouse. The film follows the adventures of a getaway driver named Baby (played by The Fault in Our Stars' Ansel Elgort), who ends up working on a heist that could end his life. Wright has noted that the film relies heavily on music, something that he has excelled at in the past. Throw in a supporting cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jon Bernthal, and you have a movie that has been on my most anticipated list for years. It was originally set to hit theaters in March, but after a recent release swap, it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer for what should be one of the year's best movies.

3. BLADE RUNNER 2049- October 6


Image Credit: IMDB

There's good reason to be skeptical about a sequel to Blade Runner, which stands as one of the most beloved and acclaimed sci-fi movies of all time. But when said sequel is directed by Denis Villeneuve, produced by Ridley Scott, written by Hampton Fancher, scored by Johann Johannsson, shot by Roger Deakins, and led by a cast that includes Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, some of that skepticism has to drift away. We just got our first look at Blade Runner 2049 last week, and it looks truly jaw-dropping. Villeneuve has re-captured the look and feel of the original, and everything looks spot-on. The brief tease was chilling and haunting in the best possible way, and as long as Villeneuve delivers on the story front, this movie will be magnificent. Everybody involved with Blade Runner 2049 has been on an absurdly strong roll recently, which is all the more reason to be excited for one of the most anticipated sequels ever made.

2. DUNKIRK- July 21


Image Credit: Joblo

It's the latest film from Christopher Nolan. What more needs to be said? The director who brought us The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar is working on a World War II epic, and it looks stunning and glorious in every possible way. Nobody makes movies like Nolan anymore, and he's working on a massive canvas to bring the story of the evacuation that saved the Allies to the big screen. We haven't seen a war movie on this scale in years, and I love the fact that Nolan is tackling the Dunkirk story from several perspectives. Those who saw the IMAX prologue came away astonished by what they had seen, which is all the more reason to be pumped for this visionary project. In addition to all of Nolan's cinematic wizardry, this film also has a top-notch cast, led by Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and yes, Harry Styles. All of the pieces are in place, and if Nolan manages to put them all together (as he always does), I'm confident that Dunkirk will be nothing short of a masterpiece.

1. STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII- December 15


Image Credit: Independent/Lucasfilm

In any other year, a new film from Christopher Nolan would most certainly be the #1 film on my list. But next year, we're also getting the latest episode in the Star Wars series. While I wasn't the biggest fan of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, my disappointment with that film hasn't decreased my fandom levels for this franchise in the slightest. I loved J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens, and Rian Johnson has a unique opportunity to take this trilogy in an incredibly fascinating direction with Episode VIII, which still does not have a confirmed title. Abrams set the groundwork, establishing great characters like Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and Poe Dameron, and now, Johnson can shake the nostalgia of the seventh installment and take this series on a bold new path. I know that I'll be waiting with breathless anticipation for each new trailer and image that Lucasfilm releases, and for that reason, this movie stands at the top of this list. The release of a new film in the Star Wars saga is an unparalleled cinematic event, and in 2017, no movie will be bigger than Star Wars: Episode VIII.

For now, that is all. Those are the movies I can't wait to see in 2017. After a great year of movies in 2016, I'm hoping that 2017 is just as good or maybe even better.

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