Last year I said I had trouble narrowing down my list to ten selections, this year I had to add five more spots to my Most Anticipated of… List. Its ridiculous how packed this year’s going to be and that’s just great to hear as a fan of film. My original list contained 67 films on it, I don’t know how, but I managed to narrow that down to 25 plus honorable mentions which my way cheating the system. So, knowing this list might be eternal and you’ll scrolling downwards for quite sometime, with no further delays I present my list of My Most Anticipated Films of 2017 according to the release date presented on IMDb.
Yes, I know, this is a cheat card but what did you expect me to do, omit these incredible-sounding films from my list, Hell No! So, here we go: The Current War, Last Flag Flying, Lady Bird, Good Time, The Florida Project, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, Free Fire, The Nightingale, Wilson and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. With these awesome films which you should look forward to now out of the way, the real list may commence.
25. The Miseducation of Cameron Post-Desiree Akhavan
The truth of the matter is female directors are not getting the respect they should be getting nor the amount of the projects they should be getting. Hopefully, we’ll see a change in that during 2017 with high-profile projects like Wonder Woman being tackled by great female directors like Patty Jenkins. But, back to why I chose this film specifically as one of my most anticipated is because of the sheer talent Desiree Akhavan is behind the camera. She’s a powerful filmmaker and her approach towards queer cinema has always extremely intriguing, understanding, and respectful. Not only that, Akhavan also has an amazing cast following her along on this endeavor, from Chloë Grace Moretz to John Gallagher Jr., the cast for this film is incredible and if this manages to be next year’s little indie film that managed to overthrow the box office merited on pure artistic and intellectual value, we could an amazing empowerment of queer cinema and female directors that could lead the new age of Hollywood in a not so distant future.
24. Lean on Pete-Andrew Haigh
Next on my list, I’d like to direct my attention to another great young director who know how to play on emotions when it comes to crafting a story. Andrew Haigh has demonstrated us twice now how great of filmmaker he is. Add Travis Fimmel, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Amy Seimetz, Thomas Mann, and most importantly Charlie Plummer up there and we’ve got the potential of Kes-like quality coming of age tale here. Based on Andrew Haigh’s Criterion picks of Ratcatcher and If…, you know he’s got the right mentality for the project and after having watched King Jack over the summer, I can’t verbalize how psyched I am for Charlie Plummer to make a bigger splash in the world of contemporary film.
23. Logan-James Mangold
Honestly, I wasn’t that excited for this movie and then that trailer came out. Pure artistry, genius visual poetry, and Hugh Jackman kicking ass paired with Johnny Cash, who could you not be mesmerized by that. Plus the fact that it looks like X-Men’s spin on The Last of Us and Children of Men just rockets my expectations sky-high. I probably shouldn’t let that happen, but after witnessing such a great trailer its natural for that to happen. Logan looks incredible and will hopefully live up to those expectations because its the only superhero movie I’ve got on this list. So, in a way I’m entrusting Logan with being the best superhero film of the year on the basis of a trailer. Maybe that’s insane of me to do, but we’ll see if its pays off.
22. War Machine-David Michôd
David Michôd did something wondrous with Animal Kingdom and something really interesting with The Rover. With War Machine he aims at satirizing the US’s war with Afghanistan and I’m ready to see a great satire for the first time in forever. Plus, there’s the added bonus that this film’s cast is fantastic. Not only does it contain Brad Pitt and Tilda Swinton among its ranks, but its also got great actors such as Ben Kingsley, Keith Stanfield, Anthony Michael Hall and Will Poulter there too. With that combination of talents and the fact that Michôd will be working under the liberating grounds of Netflix basically gives Michôd the ability to go as far as he wants with his satirization of the Afghan war and providing us with a genuinely intelligent politically-minded film.
21. A Cure for Wellness-Gore Verbinski
I was aware of the fact that Verbinski was secretly working on this strange project with Dane DeHaan and like Logan, then the trailer hit. Full of lucious cinematography and not giving away anything, the trailer for Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness made me more and more curious with every re-watch. There’s a beautiful sense of looming danger and mystery tangible from every shot in the trailer. No stranger to the horror genre, Verbinski seems to be building on what he first did with The Ring, furthering his experimentation with the genre. But, besides expanding on his horror roots, he also seems to be flirting with mystery and his version of the seemingly perfect actually being quite wicked. A Cure for Wellness looks incredibly original, intriguing, and simply beautiful to look at, making it one of my anticipated films of next year.
20. Blade Runner 2049-Denis Villeneuve
Just look at how awesome this picture is, Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Denis Villeneuve, and Sir Ridley Scott discussing the sequel to one of the best films ever made. Sir Ridley Scott’s currently on a high after his work on The Martian, Harrison Ford seems to only be revisiting projects he only truly cares about, Ryan Gosling is always a great addition to any project and Denis Villeneuve mastered sci-fi with Arrival this year. We’ve already defined our central figures in the making of this film as amazing talents, expanding on that you’ve also got Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Mackenzie Davis’s involvement in this project. Throw in some mind-bending existential questions that are to be interpreted from an artificial mind and I’m hyped.
19. American Made-Doug Liman
I am currently under the impression that it is impossible for Domhnall Gleeson to choose a bad project to sign onto. By that logic, his involvement in Doug Liman’s film about Barry Seal, a pilot who lands a job at the CIA as a drug runner for the Medellin Cartel, has to mean this film is going to be awesome. Not necessarily action film awesome because we don’t want that, but more of a Goodfellas and Donnie Brasco type of awesome. This film could also let us see Tom Cruise explore another side of his acting range, much like what he did with Collateral. I did like this film more when it was called Mena, but I understand why they would change the title to American Made. That being said, I’m uber-excited for a good drug related throw-back film that hearkens back to the films like the ones I previously mentioned.
18. Under the Silver Lake-David Robert Mitchell
I already glamorized how amazing It Follows was in one of my earliest reviews so I won’t delve into writing another 500 word review about how great that film is because we’ve all already accepted its greatness. And no we’ve got this director who first worked on a coming of age followed by a horror film with some coming of age elements in it and now is heading in an entirely different direction. With Under the Silver Lake he’s got his mind set on making a neo-noir film taking place in modern day L.A. Then, like Domhnall Gleeson, someone who I also believe has the ability to only choose great scripts is Riley Keough. So, Riley Keough’s involvement in this project further legitimizes my anticipation for this film. Add Andrew Garfield on top of that and I’m even more excited after having just watched Hacksaw Ridge and it doesn’t stop there, you’ve also got Jimmi Simpson involvement, who just did an amazing run in Westworld. Loving all of these guys’ work and the neo-noir genre, Under the Silver Lake’s got to take the 18th place on my list.
17. Get Out-Jordan Peele
With my 21st spot I discussed the original look the trailer for A Cure for Wellness presented us with, ok, times that times ten and you’ve got this insane-looking horror film that I can’t even describe. Hypnosis and issues of race plus an hovering sense of dread, this film looks like its got all that plus a lot more in store for us. Originally, when Jordan Peele announced he was working on a horror film for some reason my reaction was “Oh, that’s cute,” but now after seeing what he’s got in store for us I’m ready to see this man transition from an awesome comedian to an amazing director of horror films. And then you add one my favorite working actors into the mix, Keith Stanfield, and you can count on me showing up for the premiere.
16. Submergence-Wim Wenders
Alicia Vikander was everywhere to be seen in 2015 and now it seems like she’s missing. Thankfully she’s got a bunch of interesting projects lined up for next year and among them is Submergence. Directed by none other than Wim Wenders, Submergence will follow two lovers stuck in an situations where death is a very probable outcome remembering the lovely relationship they had last Christmas. That might sound kind of tacky, but the fact of the matter is this film is being directed by Wim Wenders, a man who’s proven himself a magnificent director with a good handle on how to express relationships and love time and time again. Add Charlotte Rampling, Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy on top of that and I’m ready to go to the movies and watch a heartfelt story about love that’ll probably leave me in tears by the end of it.
15. How to Talk to Girls at Parties-John Cameron Mitchell
I’ve been interested in this film from its conception, but it immediately jumped up to the 15th spot on my most anticipated of the year list when I discovered James Murphy is composing the music for this film alongside Mitchell. We already know Mitchell knows how to handle punk-rock musicals as he launched his career on one, but being a huge fan of LCD Soundsystem, I became extremely excited after hearing about James Murphy’s involvement. Alongside that you add the fact that Nicole Kidman is playing a wild-looking punk-rock goddess of sorts and Elle Fanning’s involvement as an extraterrestrial being and I’m even more excited. How to Talk to Girls at Parties seems like it could be a mix between Phantom of the Paradise and The Brother from Another Planet that I never could’ve pictured existing but now desire to see after hearing about its existence.
14.The Book of Henry-Colin Trevorrow
Of the films that haven’t come out featured on my List of Most Anticipated last year, The Book of Henry was the only one able to make the cut. Besides the fact that based on this picture this film just looks incredibly charming, the fact that Colin Trevorrow decided to do this project before he goes on to tackle the 9th Star Wars episode makes this film ever more intriguing. And the fact that he was able to gather such an amazing amount of incredible child actors and actresses like Naomi Watts and Sarah Silverman makes me even more interested in what type of tone Trevorrow’s got in mind for this film. It will also let Trevorrow be able to tap back into the type of characterization he was able to give us with his first film, Safety Not Guaranteed. With all of that said, I believe The Book of Henry could end up being a really special and charming film next year.
13. Untitled Darren Aronofksy Project/Mother-Darren Aronofsky
Regardless of whether the film’s actual title is Mother or not, you’ve got just on the name-basis of Aronofsky alone. Sure, its probably going to be ultra-depressive and my mind won’t be able to process things correctly after leaving the movie theater, but that’s what a good Aronofosky film does. It just kind of overtakes your senses and leaves you in semi-paralytic state as you try and make sense of the rushing flood of genius that your eyes just witnessed. Going back to what I said earlier, at this point it might be impossible for Domhnall Gleeson to be part of a bad movie, meaning his involvement with Mother might just clairvoyantly predict the greatness that’s to come. Not only that, but Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Ed Harris are also involved in what could be a deeply affecting drama of Oscar-calibre.
12. Okja-Joon-ho Bong
I have no idea what’s going on in this picture but it looks ridiculously fun. Not only is the involvement of talents like Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Giancarlo Esposito and Paul Dano exciting, but look at what they’re wearing, it literally looks like they’ve jumped out of a Studio Ghibli film. Could Joon-ho Bong be the first director to properly adapt a Miyazaki like film because from the sound of it, Okja does sound awfully similar to My Neighbor Totoro. And like Michôd’s War Machine that I mentioned earlier, Okja is being produced by Netflix which means Bong will most likely be able to go as crazy as he wants with the material. With Snowpiercer being Bong’s last film, you know his unique vision got something fascinating and store for us and I’m ready to see whatever that is.
11. The Glass Castle-Destin Cretton
I recently watched Short Term 12 for the first time and realized how amazing that film is, knowing that Cretton and Larson and reuniting for another collaboration, I can’t help but get excited. Basing it off my reading of the synopsis, The Glass Castle feels like it’ll be another deeply affecting and emotional tale, something Cretton has proved he can do wonderfully in the past. But, not only am I excited for Brie Larson’s appearance, I’m also really excited to see what Woody Harrelson brings to the project because it seems like he hasn’t done an entirely dramatic role in an while.
10. Bright-David Ayer
I’ve been rooting for Max Landis’s writing to be turned into a fantastic movie ever since I started watching him pitch films on Youtube. Love him or hate him, he’s a creative wizard and I although I’ve liked some of the films that have been made from his works, there’s hasn’t really been a fantastic adaptation of his screenplays to this date. You could say Chronicle was, but I know Landis has much more in him and this fantastical tale set in an urban environment where orcs, humans, and other creatures interact with each other just seems like the perfect vehicle for success. Not only is the film a really interesting concept from Landis, but its also being helmed by David Ayer who really needs a comeback after Suicide Squad and this story about two cops in an slightly more fantastical setting than Mike and Brian were in End of Watch seems tailor-fit for his directing style. It also seems Ayer has landed himself some pretty fantastic leading men with Will Smith as the human partner to his orc partner who’s being played by none other than Joel Edgerton. A great director, a creative mastermind behind the script, and some great actors leading this film, honestly if this movie sucks I don’t know what I’ll do with myself.
9. Annihilation-Alex Garland
Ex Machina was my favorite film of 2015 and proved Garland to not only be an amazing writer, but also a magnificent director. It also happens that I’ve read Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer and happened to really enjoy it as it set-up this surreal landscape that was reminiscent of what Tarkovsky did with The Zone in Stalker. The possibility of Garland crafting this decade’s Stalker is a high-standard to hold him to, but I truly believe his intelligent sci-fi oriented mind will be able to do it. Not only that, but it also seems he’s surrounded himself with the perfect cast for the job with Oscar Isaac returning to work with him and several incredibly talented actresses filling up the majority of the cast. Among these are Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Natalie Portman leading the ensemble.
8. Mute-Duncan Jones
With no trailer, real pictures to run on, and Duncan Jones shying away from revealing much about the plot, Mute still makes the 8th spot on my list. All Jones has said in his description of this film so dar is that it’ll play out like futuristic Casablanca and that’s enough for me. He also revealed the setting to be futuristic Berlin, which has me really intrigued about this world’s situation. Even though Warcraft wasn’t that good this year, every-time Jones has tackled the sci-fi genre he’s hit it out of the park and with talents such as Paul Rudd, Alexander Skarsgård, and Justin Theroux who’s been killing it on The Leftovers I feel like Jones has got another hit on his hands.
7. Weightless – Terrence Malick
It’s Terrence Malick, must I explain myself. Then again, this film was supposed to come out this year and since it’s Malick it might as well not come out until 2022 for all I know. You’ve got Chivo in control of the camera and a cast that might be Malick’s best assembled ensemble to date. Maybe some actor’s screen-time might get reduced to minutes or may not even appear in the film at all, but the talent assembled is still extraordinary. Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Benecio del Toro, Val Kilmer, Holly Hunter, Boyd Holbrook, and more, plus the musical talent involving Arcade Fire, Iggy Pop, Florence and the Machine, and Patti Smith. And the reports that surged during Malick’s filming of this project said he was doing some wild stuff. So with confirmation of Malick doing crazy things once again, a fantastic cast and the always welcome addition of good music, I can’t wait for Weightless.
6. The Discovery – Charlie McDowell
The Discovery is one of those films that originally would’ve only made it onto my honorable mentions, but after seeing the cast assembled I really believe this could be this decade’s Eternal Sunshine. Wow!, I know, that’s a big statement, especially coming from someone who bows down at the altar of Charlie Kaufman, but with how McDowell handled the eccentricities of The One I Love and the plot synopsis he’s put forward, this sure is shaping up to be a very special type of love story. And the cast I’m saying changed my mind about how excited I was for this film just so happens to involve Riley Keough which practically guarantees this film will be good. Not only that, but it also stars Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons, and the always great Robert Redford.
5. Baby Driver – Edgar Wright
The man’s never made a bad film, not only that, but Edgar Wright has never made a film that’s less than great. Edgar Wright a contemporary cinematic treasure and after he wasn’t able to direct Ant-Man its glad to see him return to original filmmaking. He’s stated this film isn’t going to be a full-fledged comedy as most of his films are, but that’s just as exciting since it means Wright’s venturing in new directions and knowing how much of a cinephile he is I know he’s going to a do a bunch of awesome things to reference those 70’s driving films like The Driver. He’s also talked about how music will play a central role in the car chases taking place during the film, which just ups-the-ante if you’ve been paying attention to several of my musically-touched picks. Although his classic comedic duo is gone for this one, he has put together a stellar cast in uniting Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Lily James, and Ansel Elgort together for this film.
4. Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan is a name that gets anyone excited for a movie nowadays and knowing he is tackling a WWII epic spells out success in the future. The only thing that’s got me worried is the lack of Michael Caine who’s been in every single Nolan film since Batman Begins, that’s like if Bill Murray just decided to not to show up in the next Wes Anderson movie. But, with the lack of Caine, you’ve got Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Mark Rylance. Two of those have been nominated for an Oscar at least once and another of those has already won, so I really shouldn’t worry about the cast. With that said, the trailer looks awesome and the way they’re putting emphasis on the terror of air raids is really interesting, so that’s why Dunkirk steals the third spot on my list.
3. Logan Lucky – Steven Soderbergh
He’s retired then he’s not, at this point I don’t care, all I know is Steven Soderbergh is a remarkable filmmaker and I can’t wait for Logan Lucky. Besides the fact that everyone in this film looks ridiculous and that’s hilarious on its own, Logan Lucky seems like Soderbergh’s return to the type of filmmaking which he displayed when directing Ocean’s Eleven. Oh, I almost forgot, this film has Riley Keough so there’s that and not only that, this film’s also got Adam Driver and Daniel Craig, as well as Katherine Waterston, Channing Tatum, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, and Sebastian Stan. Not only do you have an alien fighting bad-ass and a soviet superhero starring in this film, but they’re supposed to pulling off this ridiculous heist and seriously, what else do you want, it sounds incredible.
2. Star Wars Episode VIII – Rian Johnson
I’m a Star Wars guy, Episode VIII has to be on my list. But, beyond the fact that it’s Star Wars, this is also a Rian Johnson film. This man directed Brick, but not only Brick, he also directed Looper and now he’s tackling Star Wars, that’s awesome. The Force Awakens was really fun and now that we’re continuing the story, I’m really curious as to where Johnson will take now that he doesn’t have to play it safe necessarily. And from the whispers that have escaped production, it sounds like Johnson is going dark and weird with this one, something I think we all love as Star Wars fans.
- T2 Trainspotting – Danny Boyle
Well, besides being a Star Wars guy, I’m most definitely a Trainspotting guy. Depending on the day of the week, Trainspotting’s either my favorite film of all time or my second favorite film of all time. At first I was excited but frightful, Could it be bad? Will Boyle knock it out of the park?, and then that wonderful first trailer came out. I was sold immediately, it really seems like Danny Boyle was able to recapture the magic of the original while also implementing the various techniques he’s perfected as a directer ever since he first premiered the original. Then, there’s the music, Oh, the music, you’ve seen it appear as something I mention several times on this list and the score for Trainspotting is one of my favorites of all time, so here’s to hoping the one for T2 is as well. Trainspotting T2 wins the top spot on my list because I feel like it’s going to be that sequel to finally break the curse of bad sequels that came too late and be another wondrous indie gem that impacts moviegoers just like the first one did back when it was released in 1996.