LIVE BY NIGHT- JANUARY 13
The early months of the year are always the roughest for audiences, and 2017 is no exception, with some of the only viable options being the incredibly over the top third installment in the XXX franchise, The Return of Xander Cage, and the final chapter in the action horror Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. However, there is still a glimmer of hope for January, and that lies in Ben Afflecks gritty Prohibition drama Live By Night. Affleck himself wrote, directed, and stars as the films lead gangster, Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston police superintendent, who turns his back on his law-abiding upbringing for the spoils of the life of an outlaw. The all-star cast is also set to feature Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, and Sienna Miller all as the films leading ladies, while Scott Eastwood and Brendan Gleeson are set to star as Afflecks film brother and father. With so much star power packed into a film with such extraordinary potential, Live By Night may be the one and only reason we need to get to the theatres in January.
RINGS- FEBRUARY 3
Over the last decade, we have seen some terrifying masterpieces when it comes to the horror genre, and films like Insidious, The Conjuring, and especially The Ring have left their mark on the genre. While 2002s The Ring introduced us to horror icon Samara Morgan, and the cursed video tape that kills its viewers in seven days after watching, its sequel only delved into the mystery surrounding the cursed child, Samara Morgan, and never the tape itself. The third installment titled Rings is set to answer the most horrifying secret of all though, when a young woman discovers that there is a movie within the movie, one that no one has ever witnessed. What really sets The Ring series apart, is that the film doesnt rely on cheap scare to thrill its audiences, but builds on the dark tones and fears of death, the unknown, and hidden evils to captivate and scare audiences. Whether Rings will finally answer all our questions surrounding the cursed video is unknown, but judging from the trailer and information we have been provided with, the film looks like its planning to dive into new realms of terror. With so much promise, Rings is on track to be the horror event of 2017.
JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2- FEBRUARY 10
2014s bloody action thriller, John Wick, is undisputedly one of the best action films in recent the past five years, and fortunately for moviegoers, everyones favorite hitman is coming out of retirement again. Leaving behind the crime-ridden streets of New York, the second chapter in the John Wick franchise sees the titular assassin traveling to Rome to square off against some of the worlds deadliest killers, while stopping a new enemy from seizing control of the Assassins Guild. With Keanu Reeves reprising his role as the titular assassin, Chapter 2 promises to take the anti-hero to new levels, by giving us a story on a more dangerous scale and higher life-or-death odds for John to contend with, while still keeping him the stylish and brutally dangerous character we saw in the first film. While many sequels never live up to their originals, John Wick Chapter 2 looks like one of the few films that will best its predecessor, and if Reeves brings the same unparalleled style we saw in the first film, then Chapter 2 will be one of the best action films of 2017.
A CURE FOR WELLNESS- FEBRUARY 17
If Rings doesnt provide you with enough scares for the month of February, then Gore Verbinskis A Cure for Wellness certainly will. From the same mind that brought us 2002s The Ring, A Cure for Wellness finds a young business executive, Mr. Lockhart, traveling to the Swiss Alps to retrieve his companys CEO from a mysterious wellness center. Things take a dark turn though when the centers dark secrets begin to slowly reveal themselves to Lockhart, and even he begins to question his own sanity when he finds himself searching for the same cure the facilities guests long for. The trailer for A Cure for Wellness is utterly spine-chilling, with everything from the visuals to the soundtrack giving off dark vibes, and with the bold talents of Dane DeHaan and Mia Goth leading the film, A Cure for Wellness is sure to be unlike anything else this year. If you love a good psychological horror, unnerving suspense, and ambitious filmmaking, then A Cure for Wellness should top your must-see list for 2017.
LOGAN- MARCH 3
When Hugh Jackman announced that the third installment in The Wolverine trilogy would be his last outing as the titular hero, it drummed up a little hype, but when it was announced that the film would be based around the famed Old Man Logan story arc, star Wolverines young clone X-23, and receive an R rating, it became one of the most talked about films of 2017. While Wolverine has always been a hero at heart, Logan looks to explore his darker and more complex sides. Set in a desolate future, where Logan looks to be one of the last mutants, the film will see a broken Logan take the cybernetic mutant killers, the Reavers, and protecting a young girl with powers matching his own. While fans have rejoiced that they are finally going to get the Wolverine film of their dreams, Logan looks to break new ground in the world of superhero film, by crafting a darker and more adult story, while still paying homage to the character. Most interesting though, is that Logan also seems to be reaching out to the non-hero crowd as well as the fans, and it may be a bold choice, but even those who never joined the hero camp should consider Logan. There will be no shortage of heroes on the big screen in 2017, but if you only see one, make sure its Logan.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST- MARCH 17
Year after year, Disney has impressed us with their spectacular lineup of animated features, with films like Frozen, Inside Out, and Zootopia all receiving commercial and critical success in the past years. While Disney could easily live off its yearly animated features, it seems that the company has since set its sights on turning some of its most beloved classics into live-action features, and after 2016s incredible retelling of The Jungle Book, its hard not to be excited. With everyone already knowing the story of a shy girl who comes to love a Beast for what he is on the inside and not his unsettling appearance, it falls to the actors to fully recreate the beloved story, and who better than British actress Emma Watson. Watson has proven to be both intelligent and brave throughout her film career as well as through her off camera work, even giving a speech in front of the U.N. in 2016. Its these bold characteristics that make Watson the perfect person to portray the fiercely intelligent and daring princess, Belle. Disney has already proven that its live-action retellings can be just as good, if not better than the originals, and Beauty and the Beast is on its way to becoming one of the most memorable Disney productions of 2017.
THE ZOOKEEPERS WIFE- MARCH 31
2017 is set to bring us not one, but two great World War II films, the first being about two of the many unsung heroes of the war, Antonia Zabinski and her husband Dr. Jan Zabinski. The incredible true story recounts the couples harrowing decision to join the Polish resistance after their country is invaded, and put into action a plan that would save the lives of hundreds of Jewish people from the Warsaw Ghettos. The plan involved the couple hiding hundreds of refugees in their once flourishing Warsaw zoo, even while reporting to the Nazi appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck, and endangering their lives in the process. With Daniel Bruhl standing in as Dr. Lutz Heck, and two-time Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain giving an emotionally charged performance as a woman who dares to see the hope and beauty in the darkest times, The Zookeepers Wife is already on its way to becoming one of the years most powerful films. Its always refreshing to leave the battlefields behind, and remember the brave civilians who dared to do the right thing even when an entire country lost hope, and its films like The Zookeepers Wife that remind us that there is always more we can give. The Zookeepers Wife will definitely warrant a trip to the theaters in March, that way you wont have to see the film come Oscar season next year.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2- MAY 5
Back in 2014, there was little faith that one of Marvels most obscure titles could resonate with audiences the same way others like Iron Man and Captain America had. Except when 2014 was said and done, The Guardians of the Galaxy had not only saved the universe, but came out as one of the most successful films of the year. Since the films wildly successful run in 2014, director James Gunn is finally ready to reveal the next adventure for the most ragtag group of heroes ever assembled. While the plot has been kept under wraps, pieces of information have revealed that story will partially focus on Peter Quill/Star Lords true parentage. With Thanos also still at large in the Marvel Universe, it would be wise to assume that whatever threat the Guardians end up facing will tie into Thanos endgame and the upcoming Avengers film in 2018. While the plot of Guardians may be under wraps, we already know we can count on Guardians being wholly original with its expert combination of action, comedy, and its throwback soundtrack, which is appropriately titled Awesome Mixtape 2. Guardians of the Galaxy may have been the underdog of 2014, but for 2017 its a front runner for sure.
ALIEN: COVENANT- MAY 19
With no official release date, or even year, for Neil Blomkamps Alien sequel, it seems that the Alien mythos will fall to the prequels to fill the void. While the film will act as a sequel to 2012s Prometheus, a film that was not too well received by fans of the Alien franchise, and feature Michael Fassbenders synthetic android, David, the film looks to create an entirely new story, and not just a follow up. Centering on a new expedition, The Covenant, the film will see the Covenants crew discover an uncharted paradise, only to discover that the strange new world is host to hostile life forms. Thats right, the xenomorph will be playing quite a big role in Covenant, not only brining the classic monster back to the big screen, but also introducing a new breed of the creature. Even if you were one of the many fans disappointed with Prometheus, there should be no reason to shy away from Covenant, as the film finally looks to bring to light the terrifying history of the creature, and give us a prequel worthy of the original 1979 classic. Whether you find solace in the horror, sci-fi, or even adventure drama, Covenant promises to deliver all this and more in the same horrific style as Alien did, and still does even in this day and age of film.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES- MAY 26
Disney will be having a big year with its many planned Marvel features, Star Wars Episode VIII, and not to mention its animated features, but 2017 will also be bringing a sequel to one of Disneys modern classics, Pirates of the Caribbean. The fifth installment to the franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales, will not only find ill-fortune for the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow, but also Captain Barbosa, and series original Will Turner, when the undead Captain Salazar escapes the Devils Triangle with the intent to kill every pirate on the seas. While some fans may be jaded over the silliness of the fourth installment, On Stranger Tides, it seems that Pirates is ready to return to its adventure and pirate themed roots, and deliver something more like The Black Peral. Always deeply imaginative and wrought with adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean will always have a special place in the heart of audiences, but Dead Men Tell No Tales is setting up an ambitious story that could make the fifth installment the best film to in the series. May is without question the start of the summer blockbuster series, and there will be no better way to begin that series then with the high seas adventure of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
WONDER WOMAN- JUNE 2
DC didnt have the most successful year in 2016, with both their highly-anticipated films, Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, failing catastrophically. With those two films in the past though, it seems that DC is putting its best foot forward in 2017 by debuting the story of one of its most beloved heroes, Wonder Woman. While Wonder Woman played a small role in Batman v. Superman, the solo film will take audiences back to World war I, and showcase the amazon warrior and idealist, Diana Prince, leaving her peaceful island of Themyscira in order to stop the conflict that has engulfed the world. Gal Gadot is set to reprise her role as Diana/Wonder Woman, with Chris Pine taking up the role as Steve Trevor, a fighter pilot who crashes on Themyscira and is Dianas driving force for venturing out into mans world. Fans have also theorized that Danny Hustons yet-to-be revealed role is that of Ares, the god of war, and a major villain in Wonder Womans rogues gallery. Considering that the film is set during the first World War, this has become the adapted theory amongst fans. People have been complaining that there arent enough female superheroes in film, but all that can virtually end when Wonder Woman knocks out the summer of 2017, proving that she hits just as hard as Super-Man.
DUNKIRK- JULY 21
When Christopher Nolan makes a film, you better believe that it will be on as grand a scale as possible. In the past, Nolan not only gave us the Dark Knight Trilogy, but also the thought provoking Interstellar, and the visually striking masterpiece Inception. Dunkirk wont have any superheroes, space travel, or dreams within dreams, but instead will be very reality based, as it sees British forces attempting to evacuate the stranded allied forces out of Dunkirk, France, during one of the fiercest battles of World War II. Joining Nolan in his gripping vision of war is Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, who both starred in Nolans Dark Knight films as well as Inception, and singer turned actor Harry Styles. The charismatic yet grim biopic is also looking to maximize on the latest film innovation by shooting in 65mm, and Dunkirk is shaping up to be more of an experience that a film. Nolan has yet to fail us when it comes to creating provocative thrillers, and Dunkirk will be much needed as the film pool begins to dry up come late July and August.
DARK TOWER- JULY 28
2017 will see not one but two of author Stephen Kings best works appear on the big screen. A remake of Kings jarring horror story of a demonic clown who targets children, It, will appear in theatres in early September, but currently were more focused on the adaption Kings famed comic series, Dark Tower. Set in a world that only someone as ingenious as King could create, Dark Tower takes place in a feudal society similar to that of American West, but also one that possess magical and mystical abilities. The story follows a young boy named Jake Chambers, who finds himself trapped in the strange and distant world, and his quest to find the Dark Tower, a nexus for the worlds. In his journey, Jake is joined by Roland, played by Idris Elba, a gunslinger who is in search of the tower in order to keep his own world from collapsing. What made The Dark Tower such a fascinating read, is that it doesnt sugar coat its fantasy world, and Jake and Roland come face to face with everything from mutants and vampires to bandits and killers. 2016 didnt have any big adventures or epic quests that paid off, but it sure seems like 2017 has a winner waiting patiently for late July.
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE- OCTOBER 6
2015 saw Kick-Ass director, Matthew Vaughn, take his signature brand of action and comedy and apply it to the spy genre, thus giving us Kingsman: The Secret Service. The was extremely well-received amongst critics and audiences, and praised for its stellar blend of bloody action and comedic undertones, as well as its cleverly original and often self-aware storyline. For their second outing, the clandestine Kingsman members Eggsy, Roxy, and Merlin are sent to the United States and teamed with their American counterparts, The Statesman, in a hunt for the criminal mastermind who attacked Kingsman headquarters. The sequel will see original cast members Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, and Sophie Cookson joined by Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges, as well Julianne Moore, who will star as the villainess, but the real mystery lies around Colin Firths reprisal of Harry Hart. If you dont recall, Eggsys mentor and fellow Kingsman Harry Hart took a bullet to the head in the first film, so it will be an interesting twist to see how the character fits into the next chapter. Kingsman may have had ticket payers skeptical back in 2015, but this year we know what to expect, and the price of admission certainly wont be a problem this time around.
BLADE RUNNER- OCTOBER 6
One of the most inventive visions of the future came with 1982s Blade Runner, which introduced a technologically advanced society undermined by social and urban decay. This vision of the future also introduced us to replicants, or androids that were identical to human in almost every way, and blade runners, who hunt these replicant to retire them. While the original film was set in the year 2019, the sequel will take us even further into the future, with Ryan Gosling staring as blade runner Officer K and Harrison Ford reprising his role as the original blade runner Rick Deckard. From the teaser released in late 2016, where Officer K explains to Deckard that things were simpler in his time, we can only assume that replicants have become even more advanced and harder to hunt. Although it is unclear as to what role Deckard will play in the sequel, many fans of the original are hoping for an answer to one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in film history, was Deckard a replicant, a question that even the cast and creators have been divided on. A big budget sci-fi epic endowed in mystery will surely attract a crowd, and it will be equally impressive to see the gap between an older and younger audience bridged through a classic.
RED SPARROW- NOVEMBER 10
Jennifer Lawrence has reached that point in her career, where we can count on seeing her at least once a year as the leading lady, in either a major blockbuster or Oscar contender. It was hard to miss Lawrence last year, with her roles in X-Men: Apocalypse and Passengers, and the years before that she was not only starring in the Hunger Games franchise, but also sweeping up awards for roles in films like Joy, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. 2017 however will give us Lawrence in her boldest role yet, as she takes on the role of a contemporary Russian intelligence agent who is tasked with seducing a first-tour CIA officer, and learning the dangerous secrets of Americas most valuable Russia assets. Joel Edgerton, who appeared in 2016s civil-rights biopic Loving, has been cast to play Lawrences CIA target, while Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence will direct the spy thriller, marking it his fourth film outing with Jenifer Lawrence. Red Sparrow promises to be a dangerous espionage thriller with plenty of twists, and with the subtle charm and immense talents of both Lawrence and Edgerton it wouldnt be at all surprising if both these actors and the film itself were on 2017s Oscar list.
JUSTICE LEAGUE- NOVEMBER 17
Like we said above, DC had a hard year in 2016, and even though fans have a lot of faith in Wonder Woman, there are still plenty of questions surrounding the upcoming Justice League film. Justice League will feature the combined efforts of Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and even Supper-Man, although his role has yet to be revealed, as the team combines their powers to stop the god-like alien Steppenwolf, a minion of the even more powerful alien Darkseid. One of the main questions that has been surrounding the film, is how it will all work with so many un-introduced characters, unlike The Avengers, which already had the team established before the film began. The fact is, is that the team not being connected yet could be the best part of the film, and watching Batman and Wonder Woman recruit the team could even keep the film grounded and prevent it from getting too over the top. Aside from the team, the film also looks to pit our heroes in a more realistic situation, and not simply throw them up against thousands of faceless aliens, like other films of this caliber tend to do. In the end, people will continue to criticize DC for their past work, but have ultimately failed to see how much potential Justice League has, and that its likely to be the gamechanger for the DC film universe.
MURDER ON THE ORIENTAL EXPRESS- NOVEMBER 22
A popular saying these days, is that Hollywood has run out of ideas, and with all the adaptions and remakes, its easy to see how some would think this way. Murder on the Oriental Express happens to be both an adaption of a 1934 Agatha Christie novel and a remake of a 1974 film, however its a story that deserves to be told, especially to a modern audience. For those unfamiliar with the classic story, the film centers around a Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who is asked to investigate the murder of a wealthy American businessman while traveling on the Oriental express, thus making every passenger a viable suspect. Like the 1974 film, the remake will also include an all-star cast, including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Judy Dench, and Daisy Ridley, while Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Detective Poirot. Murder on the Oriental Express wont be a violent crime thrill, but instead will be a good old-fashioned detective mystery, where the audience is just as stumped as the characters, and with such a stand out cast, we are going to get one hell of a mindbender. Hollywood may have run out of original ideas, but that doesnt mean Murder on the Oriental Express isnt a much-needed remake, as well as a story that should be told time and time again.
STAR WARS EPISODE VIII- DECEMBER 15
It should go without saying that Star Wars Episode VIII will be one of the most anticipated films of the year, and rightly so, as the film is set to dive into an infinite realm of possibilities that were presented in 2015s The Force Awakens. As usual, Star Wars has only released small pieces of information regarding what is to come in the galaxy far far away, but from what we have gathered, the film will not only see Kylo Ren fully embrace the dark side, but also examine Reys relationship with Luke, and finally gives us the most sought after answer of all, who are Reys parents. Director Rian Johnson has also promised that there will be no time gap between the two films, unlike the three-year gap between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, but that Episode VIII will continue right where The Force Awakens concluded. The Force Awakens did an excellent job at setting a new stage for Star Wars, but now that we have been acquainted with the new cast of characters, Episode VIII can further develop them and really delve into the new conflict plaguing the galaxy. Episode VIII will need to be bold in order to follow up 2016s Rogue One, but with everything that The Force Awaken put in motion, theres no doubt Star Wars can pull off being the major film event of 2017.
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH- DECEMBER 25
A musical staring Hugh Jackman may be all the convincing that theater lovers and Les Miserables fans need, but the average film fans may need more convincing. The musical will also be telling the story of the one and only P.T. Barnum, a con artist who became the founder of the world-renowned three ring Barnum and Bailey Circus. Zac Efron and Zendaya are currently attached to the project, while Michelle Williams is being scouted to play Jenny Lind, an opera singer, who toured with Barnums show throughout the 1850s. The production is also currently penning an original soundtrack to accompany the film. With musicals making a comeback, there would be no better time to debut The Greatest Showman on Earth, and a large-scale production to depict one of the greatest success stories in American history would be the premises to do it on. We know how talented and musically inclined Jackman, Efron, and Zendaya are, and Williamss performance in 2016s Manchester by the Sea proved that she can take on just about any role presented to her. Christmas may be a long way away, but its good to know that we have a film that will be as spectacular as see the circus, with The Greatest Showman on Earth.
LET US KNOW WHAT FILMS YOU'RE MOST EXCITED FOR THIS YEAR!
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