My god does putting this thing together every year take a little bit of my soul. The product of countless hours of hunting, refining, ordering, researching, writing all so you can look at the pretty pictures as your zooming from one title to the next. A labor of love this must be. This year, more than those before, making this list was exhausting (and exhaustive) because it required so much cutting down. The initial rundown included 92 films and you better believe I wasn’t about to write up more than 50.

So I’ve given myself some loose boundaries this year to keep things interesting because a lot of these Most Anticipated Movies lists that I’ve seen have mostly included the same Hollywood mumbo jumbo that is going to receive a ridiculous amount of marketing anyways so it’s not like I really need to convince you to see it anyway. That being the case, largely omitted here are sequels and superheroes movies. If you want to try and convince me that you hadn’t heard of Spider-Man: Homecoming because I didn’t include it on my list, well then, you’re fake news.

But sure, why not, I’ll tip my hat to a few before we get into the rundown. So here are those that I’m interested in but just weren’t able to make the cut:

The Girl With All the Gifts, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Fate of the Furious, The Current War, The Mummy, John Wick: Chapter 2, The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, The Square, Split, Beauty and the Beast, The Dark Tower, A Cure For Wellness, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, It, The Lego Batman Movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Landline, Redoubtable , The Coldest City, Life, Based on a True Story, The Book of Henry, Journeyman, Suspiria, Tully, Red Sparrow, Golden Exits and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

A lot of ’em right? Well It’s time to get down to business and do this countdown thing because the internet loves lists and I write on the internet so here we go: our 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2017.


Yes, The Mummy looks absolutely ridiculous (and of course the trailer managed to slip in Tom Cruise running) but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve got a bit of a nerd boner for this. I guess since I’m getting things off my chest I should say I also have more than a soft spot for the Brendan Frasier 1999 redux and if  Brendan Frasier can’t drag something down, well you know you have some good material. Here’s hoping I’m not embarrassed for including this when it hits theaters June 9.


Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris tell the true story of the 1973 tennis match between world champion Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs after the later said that he could beat any girl, no matter his condition. Emma Stone and Steve Carrell face off in what is sure to be a snappy and poignant sports dramedy that could see the directing duo returning to the critical good graces. No official release.


Ok sure it stars Vince Vaughn as a boxer-turned-drug-runner-turned-convict who has to battle inmates in the fight of his life but you have to remember that director S. Craig Zahler got a good performance out of Matthew Fox. Zahler made a hell of a debut with Bone Tomahawk, a film that transitioned from western to horror in the blink of an eye, so we’re trusting that this action thriller is more than meets the eye. No official release.


Steven Soderbergh collaborator Scott Z. Burns (Side Effects, Contagion) pens this misadventure of Yachtsman Donald Crowhurst who, while attempting to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race, wound up lost at sea. Rachel Weisz, Colin Firth and David Thewlis join director James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) to tell what should be a compelling mix of drama and survival story. No release yet but late year awards run is likely.


I know I said that I’m omitting sequels and superhero movies but what can I say? I’m a sucker for X-Men movies. The fact that Apocalypse was bad to the bone only left me wanting some kind of redemption and Logan, the first R-rated entry in the series, stands to deliver such. Hugh Jackman has said he’ll hang up the claws after his eighth outing as the Wolverine and this stripped down post-apocalyptic setting, which also features Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, looks like just the place to make a true last stand. In theaters March 3.


The Florida Project sounds like something Jeff Nichols might make if he weren’t busy cranking out a few films each year. It revolves around a 6-year-old girl on summer vacation, gallivanting in ignorant bliss while her parents struggle through hardship. Sean Baker’s excellent debut Tangerine (which was shot entirely on an iPhone) was a groundbreaking vision that gave voice to inner-city transgenders and we expect his next to be equally strong, especially since his cast includes Willem Dafoe and Macon Blair. No release yet but certainly looks geared for a festival showing.


This dark comedy starring Woody Harrelson tells the story of a neurotic man who meets his teenager daughter for the first time. Director Craig Johnson lit the indie world on fire with his darkly hysterical but surprisingly poignant Kristen Wiig/Bill Hader comedy The Skeleton Twins and looks to make magic again with Wilson. A Sundance premiere means it’s just around the corner.


He’s been talking about it for a while but Aaron Sorkin is finally stepping behind the camera to translate the story of Molly Bloom, a Olympic skiing hopeful who established a seedy international high-stakes poker tournament. Jessica Chastian stars as the titular character while Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Chris O’Dowd fill out this intriguing cast list. Sorkin is a proven script auteur but will his years studying at the feet of greats like David Fincher give him needed verve as a director? We bet so. Still currently filming so probably a late season bow.


2014’s Godzilla transplanted the iconic movie monster to the modern age and Kong: Skull Island looks to set up his adversary in style. The Kings of Summer indie director Jordan Vogt-Roberts takes the helm with a promising cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell and John C. Reilly and the busy but bumpin’ first trailer promised no shortage of monsters and tons of stunning visual effects. Summer starts early with this March 10 drop.


Brie Larson and Destin Daniel Cretton reunite after finding a lot of love for Short Term 12 for this dysfunctional familial drama about a girl contending with her alcoholic father and artist mother. An impressive cast including Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Snook and Max Greenfield confirm that Cretton’s splashy debut ingratiated him to the acting community. Now we’ll see if he can do it all over again. No official release.



Dick Cheney was the original Donald Trump; someone all liberals could rally behind as a putrid vestige of pure evil. But while Trump is a bumbling megalomaniacal dolt, Cheney possessed the kind of cunning that is sure to make for an interesting dissection. Adam McKay, who has seen one of the strangest career transformations in Hollywood, takes on the Haliburton-CEO-cum-Veep. There’s virtually no information on the film, including who will be starring, so if it does make it in 2017, it’ll be just in the nick of time for awards season.


After the relative shrugging that was High Rise, Free Fire sees horror director Ben Wheatley buck his genre blanket to try some new digs. Free Fire is described as an Boston crime/drama film that pits two warring gangs against each other in a 1978 territory dispute. 2016 was weak on crime dramas but with Wheatley, McDonagh and Hillcoat now enlisted to the cause, 2017 might see the genre’s redemption. March 17 sees its stateside release.


Ridley Scott returns to the Alien franchise for the third time (for the series’ sixth film) in this sequel to the 2012 Prometheus that divided critics and audiences alike. Returning is Michael Fassbender’s David, unarguably one of the best parts of its predecessor, who is joined by Katherine Waterston, James Franco, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup and Guy Pearce. The first trailer suggested a sequel with a lot in common with the original Alien so now we’ll have to wait and see if that’s a good thing or not. May 19 release.

"Men, Women and Children" - Los Angeles Premiere

Noah Baumbach has experienced a bonafide career resurgence of late with Mistress America, While We’re Young and Frances Ha all connecting with a younger audience and receiving critical acclaim. His next film, unsurprisingly, takes us to a dysfunctional NYC family who gather to celebrate the artistic achievement of the family patriarch. It sounds like par for the course for Baumbach but with a intriguing cast that includes Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler, you have to imagine that The Meyerowitz Stories has something special up its sleeve. It surely will be working the fall festival circuit.



I’m not usually one to include superheroes movies in my most anticipated write up because, well, they’re not usually all that good. Also, they don’t need the attention. But I just couldn’t help myself with Thor: Ragnarok which made the inspired choice of bringing Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taiki Waititi to the table. The New Zealand director has proven himself capable of juggling drama and comedy, action and emotion and is, most importantly, a totally goof. Thor has always been the Marvel stable’s underdog so I’m ready for this to be a total doozy. Also, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk is in it. November 3 wide release.

Wind River - Still 4

Taylor Sheridan is so hot right now. The celebrated writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water takes the directorial reigns for the first time directing a script of his own making that sees an FBI agent team with a local tracker to investigate a murder on an Indian Reservation. Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner star in what is sure to be a taut thriller that makes waves through the critical community. It plays Sundance in little more than a week and is sure to be picked up in a pinch.


Long awaited sequels to critically acclaimed cult films are almost universally misses, a scourge on the reputation of their predecessor, but not always. T2 is really a toss up. There’s nothing about the original that demands a sequel and yet the fact that Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor are willing to put aside old feuds to make the film shows that there has to be something special about it, right? We’ll find out March 10.



Two idiosyncratic Michael S’s (Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg) starring in a Guillermo del Toro yarn that uses the Cold War as a back drop? Uh, hell yeah. Del Toro can be a bit hit or miss but when he’s working in the fantasy realm – The Shape of Water is described as a drama, fantasy, romance because of course it is – he seems to be on the mark. Now if only he could edge some horror in there too… No official release.



Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson star in this neo-noir from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson. Drive scribe Hossein Amini wrote the screenplay with Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z, The Kingdom) which centers around the disappearance of a woman, whose pink scarf is found adorning an eerie snowman. Alfredson handles the cold like none other and with a creepy premise, this project sounds like a perfect fit for the chilly Swede. October 13 debut.

30. DARKEST HOUR The-Darkest-Hour-Movie-First-Look

Winston Churchill. Adolf Hitler. Joe Wright. An unrecognizable Gary Oldman. Ben Mendelsohn. The ingredients for success are all there and Joe Wright is overdue a knockout (his last two, Anna Karenina and Pan, fizzled) so we’re hoping to see the guy who made Atonement and Hanna return to grandeur in a big way. Currently filming and aiming for a November 24 bow.



Sofia Coppola’s last, The Bling Ring, was met with a collective shrug so The Beguiled stands to make a significant statement regarding the celebrated director’s standing. The film takes us to the Civil War where an injured Union soldier seeks solace at a Confederate girls’ boarding school. The school girls swoon before turning on each other and, soon, him.  With Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Oona Laurence and Colin Farrell involved, this looks to be a sure return to form for Coppola. Currently in post so probably a debut at Cannes later this year.


Doug Liman made one of 2014’s best films and certainly its best action flick with the criminally underseen Edge of Tomorrow and he and Tom Cruise unite again for this story of an American CIA agent who moonlights as a drug runner. I’m a sucker for Cruise and his pairing with Liman has proved shockingly successful in the past. Let’s see them do it again. September 29 has it opening wide.

Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) in Columbia Pictures' FURY.

Brad Pitt, Will Poulter and Emory Cohen assemble for David Michôd’s War Machine, a satire on America’s war in Afghanistan. Michôd has proved a dramatic master in the past so seeing him switch gears to complete a through-and-through comedy should make for something of great interest. As far as we’re concerned both Animal Kingdom and The Rover prove that he knows exactly what he’s doing so consider us waiting in the wings for Michôd to flex new muscles. Hitting Netflix at some point this year.


Kathryn Bigelow is perhaps the biggest female name in directing so it’s no wonder that when she’s working on something, we’re gonna get geared up for it. The director has an eye for orchestrating the chaotic so marrying her to the 1967 Detroit civilian uprising against a police raid seems a match made in heaven. John Krasinski, Kaitlyn Never, Jack Reynor, John Boyega, Anthony Mackie and Will Poulter star. No official release but it is currently in post production meaning a late session awards push is likely.


Love it or hate it, It Follows showcased a hungry director primed to explode into the mainstream. David Robert Mitchell follows up his horror debut with an LA noir crime thriller that stars Andrew Garfield, Topher Grace and Riley Keough. Details are slim but the fact that A24 already swept it up is as promising a prospect as it gets. No official release.


Lynne Ramsay’s follows up what is one of the darkest and most poignant deconstructions of sociopathic rage in We Need to Talk About Kevin with this story of a veteran’s (Joaquin Phoenix) failed attempt to rescue a young girl from sex trafficking. Like her last film, it certainly doesn’t sound pleasant but if she can tap into the same tenor of dread and unease, we’re in for a rather riveting thriller. No release date as of yet.

23. COCO


Director of what may just be the best Pixar movie ever Lee Unkrich returns for an original Pixar project. Coco is inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos and follows a young boy who has an unexpected family reunion. With so much focus on sequels lately, the once gilded animation studio has ended their period of unblemished success but if Inside Out was any indication, there is still gold to be found within the studio. With Cars 3 also hitting theaters, Coco is definitely the best bet for a good 2017 Pixar flick. Releases November 22.



SXSW smash Krisha had the blood of a horror movie, even if it was a domestic holiday drama, so it makes totally sense that writer/director Trey Edwards Shults is hopping aboard the horror express with his follow up It Comes at Night. Joel Edgerton plays a father protecting his family from a malevolent presence attacking their homestead. The film is currently in post so will probably make a stop at a festival before arriving wide. Our bet is SXSW.



Veep show runner Armando Iannucci left the Emmy-slaying, hysterical political satire to make this based on a popular graphic novel. Depicting the final days of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin,  Iannucci’s filmic follow-up to In the Loop stars Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough. If Iannucci’s former work is any indication, this should be a sharp, biting and much needed piece of political satire. No release on schedule yet.

20. RAW


When Julia Docournau’s Raw debuted at Cannes, it scored headlines with claims that it made grown men in the audience faint. Sign me up. The gruesome horror film follows a vegetarian college student’s transformation into a cannibal and received rave reviews from horror fans and non-horror fans alike. And no, this is not the only cannibal movie on this list. Hits theaters March 10.



After a brief hiatus, Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) is back with this darkly comic murder mystery that stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Peter Dinklage, Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes, Caleb Landry Jones and Sam Rockwell. Though the name is a mouthful, we have faith that McDonagh will make this a more memorably encounter than the enjoyable but ultimately forgettable Seven Psychopaths. No official release but hopefully will bow in 2017.



I hate putting untitled films on these lists because they tend to not actually see release in the year that we’re anticipating but it’d be a shame to leave out Paul Thomas Anderson reteaming with Daniel-Day Lewis. As expected, there’s not a lot of info about this one yet outside of the fact that it takes place within the London fashion world circa 1950. Anderson’s last film, Inherent Vice, proved overly slippery and I wasn’t a massive fan of The Master either so here’s hoping this returns the director to the greatness of Magnolia, Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood. No release date but if it plays in 2017, it’ll certainly play abroad at a fest first.



Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig star in Alexander Payne’s social satire about a world so overcrowded that people literally shrink themselves to better fit in. With a wacky concept befitting of a Phillp K. Dick novella, Downsizing, which also stars Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Sudeikis and character actor Margo Martindale, seems an inspired match to Payne’s sensibilities. With an award’s season December 22 release, you better believe that Paramount is thinking Oscar.


Christopher Nolan experienced a bit of a fall from grace with the heady but ultimately clunky Interstellar but his latest, a bracingly transportative WWII drama, looks to get his good name back on track. With a stand out cast that includes returnees Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and adds Mark Rylance and Shakespeare veteran Kenneth Branagh, Dunkirk’s first trailer showcased an immersive war film sure to leave the audience shaken. Landing in the midst of Summer blockbuster season on July 21.


A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night was one of the great surprises of 2014. A feminist Iranian vampire movie sounds hairy on paper but my god was the execution spot on. Ana Lily Amirpour returns to the director’s chair with The Bad Batch, a dystopian love story set in a cannibalistic Texas. Why yes, that premise DOES sound amazing. Amirpour’s reputation has obviously preceded her as Keanu Reeves, Jim Carret, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi and Diego Luna have all enlisted to tell her sure-to-be-delicious story. Debuted at Venice Film Festival last year and should find a wide release hopefully sooner rather than later.


We all knew it was coming. Steven Soderbergh returns from “retirement” with Logan Lucky a heist film whose stage is a NASCAR race. Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Katherine Heigl and Sebastian Stan make up the impressive cast. There’s not much in way of plot or details revealed yet but you better believe that if the script from Rebecca Blunt was good enough to tempt Soderbergh from his self-imposed stay away from Hollywood, it’s gonna be damn good. No official release.


The Lobster director, writer and star Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou and Colin Farrell reteam to tell the story of a sadistic teenager bonding with a surgeon (Farrell). Nicole Kidman and Alicia Silverstone co-star in what is sure to be a total oddity ready to once again shake up the critical community. Lanthimos usually takes his time developing projects so the fact that he’s dropping yet another film in such a short span of time should have us all celebrating. No official debut but a Cannes bow is likely.

12. MUTE

Duncan Jones fell off the rails with Warcraft but Moon and Source Code are just so damn good, we’re still excited for anything he does. Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux star in this sci-fi fiction about a mute bartender in future Berlin looking for his disappeared lover. Jones has claimed Mute is a “spiritual sequel” to Moon which means it can’t get here quickly enough. Netflix has the reigns here so expect it to pop up on the screening service in 2017 with a limited theatrical release to match.


Key and Peele’s Comedy Central reign made for one of the best sketch comedy series since Chappelle and when their show saw curtains, ’twas not the last to be seen of the dynamic duo. While  Keegan-Michael Key was cropping up in just about every comedy movie of the year, Jordan Peele was directing his feature debut, Get Out. The satirical thriller looks like a perfectly timed nip of indie horror and almost the first trailer was a bit of a riot, Peele promises it’s much more in line with horror than comedy so don’t be expecting any kind of spoof. Hits theaters next month, February 24.


10 Cloverfield Lane was probably the best surprise of 2016 and we’re delighted to hear that we’ll be seeing another Cloverfield anthology flick (now titled God Particle but likely to change prior to release) as soon as this year. This installment takes us to space where a crew of astronauts must ensure the survival of humanity when the laws of reality themselves have been shifted. With a cast that includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Chris O’Dowd and David Oyelowo, we simply cannot wait to sink our teeth into God Particle. Unfortunately we will have to wait until later in the year, October 27, for its release.


In 2014, writer-director Charlie McDowell unleashed one of the most fascinating pieces of original science fiction of the 21st century with The One I Love and we’ve been waiting for his follow up ever since. The Discovery couldn’t look better with Robert Redford, Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, and Riley Keough all attached to this project that imagines a world where the afterlife is scientifically proven. In response, people starting committing suicide by the millions. A Sundance bow means we’ll be hearing more about it very soon.



Rey, Fin, Poe, BB-8, Luke, Chewy, Leia (*sniffle*). They’re all back in the Rian Johnson-directed eighth installment of every sane person’s favorite space opera. With a new Star Wars feature every year, there’s going to be some fatigue that sets in but with Johnson at the helm and promises of a darker, more original addendum to the series, we’d be lying if we said that we weren’t on the edge of our seat to see where the action takes us next. Like The Force Awakens, we’ll have to wait until the winds of December (15th) to find out though…

7. FIRST MANWhiplash-6078.cr2

La La Land compatriots Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling reteam for this Neil Armstrong biopic that’s said to start shooting soon. Working off a script from Oscar-winning Spotlight penner Josh Singer, the picture is based on James Hansen’s biography “First Man: A Life Of Neil A. Armstrong”. If Whiplash and La La Land prove anything it’s that Chazelle should be trusted without reservation. No release on the docket yet.



It’s been 7 years since Darren Aronofsky dropped Black Swan on the world (oh how I miss 2010) and though his Noah was a bit of a hit-and-miss effort, I’m more than ready to welcome the auteur back to the fold. Mother stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Garden, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson and Ed Harris and works from Aronofsky’s original script, which sounds more theatrical than a lot of his other work: a couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. How mysterious. I can’t wait. No release date yet.



After wasting years developing Ant-Man before ultimately removing himself from the project, Edgar Wright is back with an original comedy sure to do the Cornetto Trilogy justice. Ansel Elgort is a getaway driver who undertakes a poorly conceived heist. The picture hosts a number of new inductees to the temple of Wright with Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm hoping in on the action. The jury is out still on whether Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will make an appearance. Slated for an August 11 debut.



Joon-ho Bong made one of the best modern monster movies of his generation with The Host before winning over a more international audience with his English-language debut Snowpiercer. With an all star cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Steven Yeun, Okja tells the story of a little girl trying to protect her pet monster from an evil corporate conglomerate. Expect a science fiction thriller that is unique from talon to tail. Netflix owns this puppy and is expected to drop sometime this year.



For the past few years, James Ponsdolt has eked by somewhat unnoticed by critics and audiences alike. It’s no accident that the director’s last two films have made appearances in my Top Ten Lists, nor does his directorial prowess behind the camera seem to be slowing. The Circle works from Dave Eggers’ novel of the same name and tells of a woman with a upper-echelon new job and a mysterious new man. Starring Emma Watson, The Force Awakens John Boyega, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Boyhood’s Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswald and more, The Circle might just have enough big names attached to it to attract the attention Ponsdolt has deserved for years. April 28 release.



Ok, I miscalculated and only realized when I got this far so we’re calling this one a tie. The proof is in the pudding and with Arrival, Canadian director Denis Villenue proved that he could marry spectacular visual effects to a thought-provoking narrative. The first trailer for Blade Runner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, was a spectacular breathe of fresh air featuring vivid landscapes and a crusty reintroduction to the world Ridley Scott created 35 years ago. Though I’m usually a bit nervous about long-awaited sequels to beloved classics, I feel confident about having faith in this. It just looks so good. Hits theaters October 6.



The third in an increasingly spectacular rebooted Apes franchise again starts afresh cast-wise with Woody Harrelson joining the action. Andy Serkis remains as Caesar, king of both apes and motion capture technology. If War stays on pace with the excellence of its predecessor (which we gave an A+ in 2014), this could be among the greatest modern trilogies of our time. Hit theaters on my birthday, July 14.



Alex Garland was involved behind the scenes in a number of cult hits (28 Day Later, Dredd, Sunshine) before making his smash directorial debut with the wholly compelling Ex Machina. The writer/director returns with Annihilation, an adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer’s 2014 novel of the same name. Thought unfilmable due to the fact that the laws of nature do not apply in this hard sci-fi story, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gina Rodriguez and should be a totally unhinged smash. No current release date but we will be waiting.

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