Hollywood’s fully stocked release schedule waits for no one. As you catch up on blockbusters and Oscar contenders from the past year, a new wave of movies is ready to vie for your attention. Some of them, surprisingly, should be worth your time.

With 2016 behind us, here are the 2017 movies you’ll want to make room for on your calendar.


Release date: January 20th
Cast: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson
Director: M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense)
Reason to be excited: Though he was once knighted as “the next Spielberg,” Shyamalan’s latest phase is a string of thrillers shot on a dime. The exercise is keeping him in shape; 2014’s The Visit was an icy found-footage movie, and his latest, Split, stars McAvoy as a dissociative identity disorder patient who kidnaps three girls and tortures them with his various personalities. Yeah, there’s a twist.
(Watch the trailer)

John Wick: Chapter 2

Release date: February 10th
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane
Director: Chad Stahelski (John Wick)
Reason to be excited: The original John Wick covertly stormed 2014 and became one of our favorite action movies of all time. The follow-up promises more gun-fu, more Reevesian death stares, an expansion of the assassin mythology flirted with in the first movie, and a Rome backdrop. Sounds perfect — as long as we don’t have to watch another dog die at the hand of Russian goons. That was a lot to handle.
(Watch the trailer)

The Great Wall

Release date: February 17th
Cast: Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Andy Lau
Director: Zhang Yimou (Hero)
Reason to be excited: Damon teams up with one of China’s visionary directors for a monster war set against the East’s most recognizable landmark. The movie looks bonkers, from the fire-breathing mayhem down to Damon’s ponytail, but seeing as it’s already a gargantuan hit across the pond, we’ll pay attention to this cross-cultural experiment.
(Watch the trailer)

Get Out

Release date: February 24th
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford
Director: Jordan Peele
Reason to be excited: The directorial debut of the Key & Peele player confronts America’s race issues through an adrenaline-pumping horror movie. Kaluuya and Williams star as an interracial couple heading home on holiday, but don’t expect a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? redux. With 2017 teed up to be one of the most polarizing political years of the new millennium, we’re filing Peele’s vicious movie under “urgent.”
(Watch the trailer)


Release date: March 3rd
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook
Director: James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma)
Reason to be excited: Drawing from the “Old Logan” run of X-Men comics, this shrouded Wolverine threequel picks up with Jackman’s character in the distant future, where time’s catching up with him and a young girl — theorized by fans as the similarly clawed superhuman X-23 — could use his help. Expected to be Jackman’s final turn as Wolverine, the classic Western mold could send him out with a bang.
(Watch the trailer)

T2: Trainspotting

Release date: March 3rd
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle
Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Reason to be excited: Twenty years after Boyle’s original Trainspotting, T2 catches up with the gang of drug addicts as they try to make amends — and stay off the hard stuff. With the entire cast back and material to adapt (author Irvine Welsh’s official sequel Porno), T2 should be less of a nostalgia cash-in than a long-awaited “what if?” payoff.
(Watch the trailer)

Kong: Skull Island

Release date: March 10th
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer)
Reason to be excited: Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong threw back to the 1930s setting of the classic adventure movie that started it all, and the monster brawls drew enough Lord of the Rings devotees to make a splash. Now the people who brought us 2014’s Godzilla hope we’ll return for more Kong with a rebooted take, set in the Pacific during the thick of the Vietnam War.
(Watch the trailer)

The Fate of the Furious

Release date: April 14th
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, so many more
Director: F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton)
Reason to be excited: To reignite the franchise after the death of star Paul Walker, Fast and the Furious takes on a dangerous twist: This time around, Diesel’s Dom Toretto is the villain, working with Theron’s heavy-metal criminal mastermind to carry out a series of heists only Team Fast can stop. Shit blows up. Looks great.
(Watch the trailer)

The Lost City of Z

Release date: April 21st
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller
Director: James Gray (The Immigrant)
Reason to be excited: Gray is one of the few filmmakers authentic enough to make terse, shadowy movies that take their cues from ’70s cinema. That he directed his eye toward the jungle, and a British exploration gone wrong, makes us as excited as any $200 million blockbuster.
(Watch the trailer)

The Circle

Release date: April 28th
Cast: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Patton Oswalt
Director: James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour)
Reason to be excited: Based on Dave Eggers’ acclaimed science-fiction novel, The Circle wonders what happens when the tentacles of a Google-like company wrap around every square inch of society. Poor Emma Watson!
(Watch the trailer)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release date: May 5th
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker
Director: James Gunn (Slither)
Reason to be excited: All the A-holes are back for the next installment of Marvel’s intergalactic adventure series. Reportedly, Vol. 2 follows Pratt’s Peter Quill on a mission that’ll bring him face to face with his father, played by Kurt Russell. Except he might be a sentient planet? This franchise is about to get weird… er.
(Watch the trailer)

Alien: Covenant

Release date: May 19th
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride
Director: Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Reason to be excited: Scott ties his Prometheus prequel movie directly to 1979’s Alien with Covenant, another movie about a promising space expedition gone horribly wrong. The sequel ups the scare factor with a grimy palette and buckets of bloodshed. Hey, if everything’s going horribly wrong, at least we can enjoy it.
(Watch the trailer)

Wonder Woman

Release date: June 2nd
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright
Director: Patty Jenkins (Monster)
Reason to be excited: The best part of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice breaks out in a stand-alone adventure set against World War I. Few know Wonder Woman’s origins on the island of Themyscira and her early encounters with fighter pilot Steve Trevor. This tentpole will unearth it all… in hopes of hooking us for the fall’s Justice League team-up.
(Watch the trailer)

Lady Macbeth

Release date: June 2nd
Cast: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie
Director: William Oldroyd
Reason to be excited: The year’s biggest Russian epic adaptation about a sexually frustrated young woman is Lady Macbeth, which wowed crowds at film festivals and squeezes its way into our field of vision with bold style. Pugh stars as Katherine, arranged to be married for child-bearing purposes. She rebels by lusting after another man, then turning to… violence. We’re dying to discover how it all plays out.
(Watch the trailer)

The Mummy

Release date: June 9th
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe
Director: Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us)
Reason to be excited: We know that Cruise yelps, squees, and RRUUUUPs his way through this reboot of the Universal monster character. We hope the actual movie has background sound, but even if it doesn’t, a Mission: Impossible take on ancient horrors should entertain enough.
(Watch the trailer)

Transformers: The Last Knight

Release date: June 23rd
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson
Director: Michael Bay (Armageddon)
Reason to be excited: The Transformers franchise may have the greatest disparity between box-office take (averaging in the billions per installment) and critical reaction (averaging a 10-second groan per installment). Still, we can’t help but be lured in by the promise of Bay’s last outing with the franchise, and the peculiar time-travel twist that allows Autobots and King Arthur’s knights to fight side by side. We’re not sure it’ll make sense, but we’re buying tickets.
(Watch the trailer)

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release date: July 7th
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr.
Director: Jon Watts (Cop Car)
Reason to be excited: Introduced in Captain America: Civil War, the first Marvel Studios-backed Spider-Man movie swings into action without repeating the origin story we’ve seen over and over again. Straight to the action, straight to the quips, straight to Keaton as a mechanical vulture who robs banks. Probably.
(Watch the trailer)

War for the Planet of the Apes

Release date: July 14th
Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer
Director: Matt Reeves (Cloverfield)
Reason to be excited: Fox’s reboot franchise began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a science-minded drama where the spectacle was focused entirely on Caesar, Serkis’ motion-captured primate. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes upped the ante with brewing conflict, rapid evolution, and a Northwestern setting where CG creatures became reality. War, which picks up with Caesar as he leads ape troops into battle against humans, should follow the trend, the rare case of a franchise getting better and better.
(Watch the trailer)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Release date: July 21st
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna
Director: Luc Besson (The Fifth Element)
Reason to be excited: Besson hopes his return to eye-popping science fiction can mix all the best parts of Star Wars, Avatar, and Doctor Who into the orgastic geek dream. With a reported $189 million at his disposal, he might be able to.
(Watch the trailer)


Release date: July 21st
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy
Director: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight)
Reason to be excited: With his space epic Interstellar and The Dark Knighttrilogy behind him, Nolan turns his eye to a true story, the evacuation of Dunkirk, France by Allied soldiers during the early days of World War II. The IMAX treatment should make this one an unbelievable wonder to behold.
(Watch the trailer)

The Dark Tower

Release date: July 28th
Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley
Director: Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair)
Reason to be excited: Stephen King’s Lord of the Rings-sized epic finally arrives to the big screen — but not as a literal adaptation. Elba plays Roland, a “gunslinger” from an order of knights serving “Mid-World.” Like in the books, he crosses paths with Jake, a human kid from our world, and an adventure towards “The Dark Tower” begins. But as fans of the series know, time and space play key roles in the narrative, and all signs point to Arcel remixing the events for a brand-new take on the material.

The Coldest City

Release date: July 28th
Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella
Director: David Leitch (John Wick)
Reason to be excited: Leitch declined teaming back up with his stuntman collaborator Chad Stahelski on the sequel to John Wick so he could make this spy movie, based on a graphic novel of the same name. Even if this winds up being “Theron’s John Wick,” we’re in for this thriller that runs parallel to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Baby Driver

Release date: August 11th
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm
Director: Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
Reason to be excited: Wright’s killer combo of Tarantino-esque film knowledge and hyperkinetic style sounds perfect for a heist comedy starring a troupe of Hollywood’s underrated. Maybe you loved Drive. Maybe you wished it would lighten up. If you’re the latter, this one might be for you.


Release date: September 8th
Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis
Director: Andrés Muschietti (Mama)
Reason to be excited: Muschietti, who hit a home run with Mama, inherited this Stephen King adaptation from True Detective director Cary Fukunaga, which already gives it promise. The first looks of Skarsgård in makeup already haunt our nightmares. We may not survive the finished product, but we’re going anyway.

Blade Runner 2049

Release date: October 6th
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Jared Leto
Director: Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Reason to be excited: A “legasequel” to 1982’s seminal sci-fi drama Blade Runner, 2049 stars Gosling as another member of the LAPD who tracks down Ford’s original character, Rick Deckard, who went off the grid 30 years earlier. In pursuit, Gosling falls down the smoggy rabbit hole of robotic identity and space-age existentialism.
(Watch the trailer)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Release date: October 6th
Cast: Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Colin Firth
Director: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
Reason to be excited: A sequel to the surprise spy-comedy hit, The Golden Circle adds tons of names to the roster, upping the coefficient on absurd gadget-laden violence. With the last true James Bond movie, Spectre, leaving a sour taste in our mouths, we need this antidote, stat.

The Snowman

Release date: October 13th
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloë Sevigny
Director: Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Reason to be excited: Alfredson, no stranger to taut mysteries wound around disturbing acts of violence, pulls the strings on this adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s novel. This is Fassbender’s first turn as a detective, and with a character name like Harry Hole, we expect plenty of eyebrow-raising skepticism and exasperated sleuthing.

God Particle

Release date: October 27th
Cast: David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki
Director: Julius Onah (The Girl Is in Trouble)
Reason to be excited: Supposedly, Paramount Pictures put God Particledown on its release calendar as “Untitled Cloverfield Sequel.” We’ll let J.J. Abrams and his band of mystery-box unpackers reveal the truth, but the premise, about a team of astronauts whose experiment causes the Earth to disappear, is enough to grab our attention, franchise tie-in be damned.

Thor: Ragnarok

Release date: November 3rd
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett
Director: Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Reason to be excited: After two mythology-forging installments, Thor may finally break free of the Marvel stranglehold and be his own dude. Ragnaroksends the God of Thunder on a cross-dimensional adventure with Hulk, where the duo is expected to contend with Loki, a deity of death, and space alien gladiators. Sure!

Red Sparrow

Release date: November 10th
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts
Director: Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Reason to be excited: Who knows what our relationship with Russia will look like in a year (hold me), but this movie, based on a book by Jason Matthews, casts Lawrence as a woman drafted against her to be a “sparrow,” a trained seductress assassin. When she falls for her CIA target, she contemplates double agenthood, and the thriller unfolds. As long as it doesn’t involve Lawrence feigning interest in Hunger Game politics or wearing blue body paint, we’re stoked.

Justice League

Release date: November 17th
Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller
Director: Zack Snyder (300)
Reason to be excited: Full disclosure: We did not care for Batman v Superman. But consider us optimistic for the sequel, which wrangles the heroes from those dingy .mp4 files for a rollicking good-vs.-evil throwdown. If Snyder took the reactions to heart — and early Comic-Con footage emphasizing humor and human connection support that he did — then this could be the upswing DC’s comic-book universe needs.
(Watch the trailer)

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Release date: December 15th
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Benicio del Toro
Director: Rian Johnson (Looper)
Reason to be excited: The only thing we know for certain about the untitled sequel to The Force Awakens is that it picks up where the last one left off: Rey, holding out Luke Skywalker’s saber to the hermit Jedi himself. We’ve seen spy photos and rumor reports, but if we don’t see a single thing more until the day this opens in theaters, we’ll be OK.

The Greatest Showman on Earth

Release date: December 25th
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Williams
Director: Michael Gracey
Reason to be excited: What better way to end a year than with a musical crowd-pleaser? In a song-and-dance biopic tailored for his skills, Jackman stars as P. T. Barnum, professional hoax artist and founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. If you only know Jackman from Wolverine movies, and have never heard him belt a high note, then The Greatest Showman on Earth will rock your world.


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