It’s 2017. It’s a brand-new year. Many of us are probably already working towards our new year’s resolutions, trying to cross off as many things on our list as possible before 2018 rolls around.
But there’s another very important list that you should be keeping track of. Maybe you don’t have it written out, instead choosing to keep a mental list inside your head, but it’s still somewhere. It’s your must-watch movie list.
A new year means new movies. 2016 was a pretty good year for cinema. There were a lot of hit movies such as Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Movie, Zootopia, Deadpool, Finding Dory, Moana and more. And 2017 is expected to do just as good, if not better. Some of you may already have movies coming out this year on your must-watch movie list. But others of you may not have anything on your list because you don’t really know what’s being released later this year.
Well you don’t have to worry. I did the work for you and looked over lists of movies coming out this year and picked out what I think are the best ones. It wasn’t easy to do because there’s a lot of good stuff coming out, but I did my best to pick the cream of the crop, the movies I think will blow everyone’s minds. So, here is the list of 15 movies that will blow everyone away in 2017, in order of release date, of course.
15. The Lego Batman Movie: February 10
Can I say how psyched I am for this movie? The Lego Movie was spectacular; it blew my expectations right out the window. And we’re going to be treated with a spin-off focusing on Batman? One of the most entertaining characters from the original film? It’s sure to be amazing, especially with the addition of new characters. Michael Cera is voicing Robin, Zach Galifianakis is voicing the Joker, and Mariah Carey is voicing the mayor. In the film Batman must fight against the nefarious criminals threatening Gotham City while raising the boy he adopted, which I’m naturally assuming is Robin. It’s going to be a fun-filled ride of laughter, I can already tell.
14. The Great Wall: February 17
What if the Great Wall was built not to keep out northern invaders but to defend against mythical monsters? That’s the tagline for the upcoming epic historical fantasy movie, The Great Wall. Set in ancient China, the movie follows a European mercenary who helps Chinese warriors defend their country from frightening monsters attacking the Great Wall. After the first trailer was released, the movie was met with criticism over the casting of Matt Damon as the main character. Critics accused the film of whitewashing, finding fault with the casting of a white actor instead of an Asian actor since the film takes place in China. But Matt Damon and the movie’s director, Zhang Yimou, both said that this is not the case and the main character was intended to be European from the start. Now most Chinese-American collaboration films haven’t been successful, but I think The Great Wall has the potential to be different. If nothing else the special effects look fantastic and the landscape looks beautiful. Hopefully the narrative can be just as good.
13. Logan: March 3
Ok, so none of the movies in the Wolverine series received stellar reviews. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was noted for being riddled with clichés, and the 2013 follow-up The Wolverine was only a little better. But in what is going to be the last solo Wolverine film, it looks like Logan is going out with a bang. The movie takes place after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, in the year 2024. Mutant births are in a serious decline and mutants have found their powers gradually weakening. Logan’s naturally healing process is slowly failing and he’s aging. He’s not the only one suffering, however. He has to take care of the ill Professor Xavier and protect a young girl named Laura, from the clutches of a nefarious organization who transforms mutant children into killing machines. As it’s based off the Old Man Logan comic, it seems that this film will be the one to inject the franchise with a renewed vigor it so desperately needs.
12. Kong: Skull Island: March 10
It’s been eleven years since the last King Kong movie roared into theaters, the Peter Jackson-directed action flick that fared better among critics than among audiences. But perhaps the newest King Kong remake can win over critics and audiences alike. Kong: Skull Island is the second film in Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla-Kong film series, being preceded by Godzilla in 2014. The film steps back in time to the 1970s as a team of explorers and soldiers trek into an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean, unaware of the fearsome creatures that inhabit the island, of which Kong is king. And a king he is. For the new film, Kong towers at 100 feet, which is twice the size he roughly stood at in previous films. Kong isn’t the only impressive thing on the island. The movie’s trailer also showcased some intriguing creatures and hinted at some mysteries concerning the island. Kong: Skull Island has blockbuster written all over it.
11. Beauty and the Beast: March 17
Beauty and the Beast is next in the lineup of Disney live-action films, following the Alice in Wonderland movies and Cinderella and soon to be followed by the remake of Mulan next year. We all know how the story goes so there’s no need to go into the plot details here. Now, to be honest, I was a little worried when I first heard about the Beauty and the Beast remake. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be handled right; but after seeing the trailer, I am now completely on board with the movie. Not only does the live-action film look to have the same magic as the original movie, but everything looks so beautiful. And casting Emma Watson as Belle? Can you spell perfection?
10. Guardians of the Galaxy 2: May 5
Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the highest-grossing films of 2014 and the highest-grossing superhero film of 2014. It received universal praise for its humor, action sequences and visual effects, among other things. So of course everyone would be excited for a sequel to the hugely popular film. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 takes place just two months after the first film and finds the Guardians traveling through space while trying to help Peter Quill uncover the truths about his true parentage. Quill discovered he possessed alien DNA at the end of the first movie, so the second film will show him trying to deal with the knowledge he’s not completely human while deciding whether or not to trust his father that he newly reunited with. The other Guardians will have their own issues to deal with, which adds another layer of intrigue to an already interesting film.
9. Wonder Woman: June 2
Many comic book fans are probably saying, “Finally!” right about now. We got numerous movie reboots of Superman and Batman, but the Amazonian gladiator never really got her chance to shine on the silver screen. Some movie execs believed that a superhero movie featuring a female superhero wouldn’t do well, but finally someone decided Wonder Woman deserved a standalone film of her own. Wonder Woman was first introduced in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and is rumored to star in a period-piece trilogy that will span from the 1920s to the present day. There is also talk that the movie’s villain will be “earth-shattering”, but that’s all the news we have at the moment about the antagonist. One thing is for sure; Wonder Woman is going to be out of this world.
8. The Mummy: June 9
Okay, to be honest, I wasn’t psyched when I first heard the news that a reboot of The Mummy was going to be made. I hold The Mummy franchise starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz dear to my heart (well at least the first two movies, the third left a lot to be desired) and I was somewhat worried that the reboot would just mess everything up. But after seeing the trailer, I think I can actually get on board with the film. And actually be really excited for it. The plot is that an ancient Egyptian princess has been reawakened from her thousand-year slumber, bringing with her a bitter grudge and terrifying powers that threaten humanity. The decision to have the titular antagonist be a female instead of a male as done in all previous incarnations is a bold choice, but a fresh one, and I think it can really pay off in the end. And maybe be a blockbuster at the box office like it has the potential to be.
7. Transformers: The Last Knight: June 23
Tell me there’s going to be another Transformers movie and my attention is hooked. Transformers: Age of Extinction was surprisingly better than expected, which I didn’t see coming. I didn’t expect it because I really loved the preceding Transformers movies starring Shia LaBeouf and I wasn’t too happy when I heard the news of a reboot. But since I liked Age of Extinction, I can say I’m looking forward to the sequel. The storyline is that Optimus Prime returned to Cybertron, only to discover it is now a dead planet, and that he’s guilty of its current state. He uncovers a way to bring life back to Cybertron, but he must first locate an artifact which is somewhere on Earth. Unlike the other Transformers movies, this film will be a mystery, and it will delve into the Cybertronian mythology which has been largely unknown until now. I am a sucker for a good mystery, and a Transformers mystery sounds amazing. It’s going to be yet another great Transformers movie.
6. War for the Planet of the Apes: July 14
We saw the apes rise to power in Rise of the Planet of The Apes and we saw them establish their own society in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Now we get to see a full-blown war in War of the Planet of the Apes. After facing off against a colony of humans in the previous film, Caesar and his apes are pressed into another battle against a brutal colonel and his imposing army. After Caesar’s army suffers crippling losses, he goes on a quest to avenge his fallen apes. On his journey, Caesar comes face to face with the colonel in an epic battle that will decide the ultimate fate of the humans and apes and determine the future of the planet. A battle that will decide the fate of the world? Count me in. It’s going to be a thrilling ride.
5. Dunkirk: July 31
Know about the Battle of Dunkirk that took place during World War 2? Well then, get prepared for a history lesson of epic proportions. Dunkirk takes place at the beginning of World War 2 and follows Allied soldiers from France, Canada, Belgium and Britain, as they are evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo after being encircled by German forces. People have been itching to see this one for a while, and the film even drew the interest of the younger demographic thanks to Harry Styles being cast as the main character. And after watching the trailer, I can definitely see why so many people have this movie on their must-watch list. If you can, please go see this movie in IMAX. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
4. Thor: Ragnarok: November 3
Thor was a solid film. Thor: The Dark World, however, was less than dazzling. But Thor: Ragnarok has the potential to be the best film in the Thor series. The Norse god of thunder will team up with the Hulk and Doctor Strange to face off against intergalactic enemies. As if that wasn’t already awesome enough, Cate Blanchett is playing the Asgardian goddess of death Hela and Jeff Goldblum is playing the eccentric and troublemaking powerhouse the Grandmaster. The movie will serve as a bridge between the ongoing plots in the MCU and the big face-off against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. If Thor: Ragnarok has heart-pounding action like that of Avengers: Age of Ultron as some people think it will, then it will be a sight to behold.
3. Justice League: November 17
Ok, so Batman and Superman didn’t exactly blow people’s minds in their movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Not only did it receive largely negative reviews from critics, but it brought in a disappointing turnout from the box office, even though it made a profit. But Batman and Superman will have a chance to turn their failure into success in the new year when they star in Justice League later this year. In Justice League, Batman and Wonder Woman gather together a superhero team composed of the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and the newly-awakened Superman to fight against the immortal warmonger Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. Justice League needs to be good in order to make up for the previous DC films that haven’t met expectations, and I think this is the film that can do it. Perhaps it can even rival the Avengers franchise. Who knows?
2. Star Wars: Episode 8: December 15
Star Wars: Episode 7-The Force Awakens opened at the box office to rave reviews. And there’s no doubt that the next episode will the biggest movie of December. It picks up right where the first film ended, continuing from the climatic meeting between Rey and Luke Skywalker at the end. Adam Driver says that the First Order is still “at war” and haven’t been deterred in the slightest since their defeat in the last movie. Driver adds that the tone of Episode 8 will be like that of The Empire Strikes Back, which means we’re in store for a bleaker and darker follow-up. Though there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure all of us are just glad for another Star Wars movie.
1. World War Z 2: TBA
Initial critics of World War Z probably weren’t expecting the film to be a commercial success. They also probably weren’t expecting the film to be the highest-grossing zombie film of all time. But it was. Even though World War Z was bashed by the press since the start of production, it overcame the obstacles. And now it’s getting a sequel. But there isn’t much known about it at the moment. A release date was initially set for June 9th, but it’s been pushed back. All we know is that David Fincher is the director and Max Brooks, the author the novel World War Z is based off of, is doing the screenplay. But World War Z didn’t disappoint, at least for me it didn’t. And I have a good feeling World War Z 2 won’t either.