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20 Movies You Gotta Watch in 2017

2017 Movie Preview Collage

Yesterday I told you about the must-watch TV shows of 2017, but sometimes you feel that you just got to get out of the house. Trust me: I feel the same way.

Multiplexes know that even when we make it out into the world, we still want to stare at pretty screens. The people producing those moving images have plenty to offer this year, as per usual. Below is a selection that I will certainly be seeing and that I think you all may enjoy as well.

(Keep in mind: because this is only one of many timelines, all release dates are subject to change.)

Split – January 20

Night Shyamalan showed us he’s still got the twisty goods with 2015’s The Visit, and his latest scarefest looks like quite the showcase for one of this generation’s finest actors. James McAvoy plays a man with 23 distinct personalities plus a dangerous 24th one emerging who kidnaps three teenage girls (including The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy and Edge of Seventeen’s Haley Lu Richardson).

A Cure for Wellness – February 17

Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango director Gore Verbinski gets his auteur side on in this horror thriller about a mysterious “wellness center” in the Swiss Alps with disturbing secrets. Dane DeHaan and the aptly named Mia Goth star.

Get Out – February 24

Key & Peele is perhaps the most cinematic sketch show of all time, and comedy can easily veer into horror if the tone shifts ever so slightly, so it only makes sense that Jordan Peele would direct a horror movie that looks absolutely terrifying. “Get out” is exactly what black man Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is told to do when visiting the hometown of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) – will he heed the warning?

Logan – March 3

It’s supposedly the last time that Hugh Jackman will be donning the adamantium claws as Wolverine, and he is making sure to go out in style by bringing along Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and likely securing an R rating.

T2: Trainspotting 2 – March 3

The heroin-fueled Trainspotting is a singular landmark in independent ’90s cinema, so I’m not sure what a 20-years-later sequel is meant to accomplish, but with director Danny Boyle, star Ewan McGregor, and the rest of the main cast, I’m interested to find out.

Life – March 24

No, it’s not a remake of the Eddie Murphy-Martin Lawrence prison comedy. This Life refers to a Martian specimen being examined by a six-member crew onboard the International Space Station that may be more than what they bargained for. Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds try to figure out what this thing is.

The Fate of the Furious – April 14

The most death-defying action franchise around continues on unabated. The eighth entry welcomes Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren into the fold and sends The Rock into prison.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 – May 5

Baby Groot likes explosions!

Alien: Covenant – May 19

I am certainly intrigued to see how director Ridley Scott chooses to continue his space-horror franchise, but even if Covenant had nothing to do with Prometheus or the original adventures with Ripley, I would still be lining up to see Space Cowboy Danny McBride.

Wonder Woman – June 2

The recent DC Comics movies have been major disappointments, but there is plenty of reason to believe that Wonder Woman might be different. For one thing, this is somehow the first feature film ever starring the Amazon warrior in the lead role. I trust that Gal Gadot, a former Israeli soldier herself, will not let us down.

Cars 3 – June 16

Is this the end of Lightning McQueen? Cars 2 is one of the few Pixar movies I haven’t seen, but I am intrigued by this third go-round, as the first trailer suggests that it is more serious-minded and borderline-disturbing than I ever could have predicted.

Despicable Me 3 – June 30

I’m a Despicable Me lifer. If every two years or so until the end of time, Gru gets up to some scheme, the girls mess around with the gears of that plan, and the Minions keep nattering on, I’ll be a happy man.

Dunkirk – July 21

I am generally not a fan of war movies, even the ones that are undeniably well-made. But Dunkirk, which recounts the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of the titular French city during WWII, is a must-see thanks to one man: director Christopher Nolan. I have doubted him (ever-so-slightly) before, only to be won all over again. I’ll just go ahead and preemptively keep the faith this time.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – July 21

Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element, Lucy) adaptation of a classic spacefaring French comic book series looks like a blast of fresh air compared to every other major franchise movie. I love a good Marvel flick, but none of them look as vibrant and indescribable as Valerian.

It – September 8


One of the many reasons I see horror movies is because of how much they make me laugh. Thus, creepy clowns are right up my alley! If the images of Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise are anything to go by, then it looks like director Andrés Muschietti (Mamá) has done right by Stephen King.

Blade Runner 2049 – October 6

This follow-up to the 1982 sci-fi noir classic is the latest long-awaited sequel on this list whose long delay would have me wary save for the creative team that has been assembled. Denis Villeneuve is probably my favorite director working right now, and as Harrison Ford nears 75, he is compelling even when (perhaps especially when) it is not always clear that he wants to be there.

Thor: Ragnarok – November 3

The latest chapter starring Marvel’s resident Norse god is directed by Taika Waititi, who has shown his knack for action, charm, and wit in the vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and the coming-of-age adventure Hunt for the Willderpeople. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is expected to appear, and Waititi has apparently been given a decent amount of leeway to mess around with the MCU template.

Coco – November 22

The next Pixar original takes its inspiration from the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (a vibe I can totally get behind), as 12-year-old Miguel gets himself mixed up in a century-old mystery.

Star Wars: Episode VIII – December 15

If Episode VIII is anything like The Force Awakens, then I’ll be satisfied. If it features a duet between BB-8 and Reggie Watts, I might lose my mind.

Battle of the Sexes – Release Date TBA


Emma Stone and Steve Carell will be donning some ’70s hair and glasses to play tennis greats Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in a dramatization of their 1973 match that served as a flashpoint of women’s athletics. Hopefully, the real King will make a cameo. We know she’s got some fine acting chops after her work with the Geico Cavemen.

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