2017 could be a banner year for movies. Here are 50 promising films still to come.

Posted 2017/07/05 224 0

The first half of 2017 was great for movies — but the second half of 2017 is poised to be a stunner.

There’s something for everyone coming up: hotly anticipated franchise entries (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, War for the Planet of the Apes); sequels both long-awaited (Blade Runner: 2049) and spiritual (The Only Living Boy in New York, Cloverfield Movie); romantic comedies (Home Again); musicals (The Greatest Showman); and a fresh Pixar movie (Coco).

There are new arrivals from a murderer’s row of great directors, including Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, Martin McDonagh, and many more. Intriguing thrillers, important documentaries, satire, and historical drama dot the schedule.

And some of the year’s most buzzed-about festival films — like Call Me by Your Name, Mudbound, and The Florida Project — are scheduled to arrive in theaters just in time for awards season.

Here are 50 movies you won’t want to miss between now and the end of the year, arranged by month and release date.

Get ready: It’s going to be a great second half of the year at the multiplex.


July

A Ghost Story

Release date: July 7

Why it matters: The buzzy Sundance film from versatile director David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) is artful, spooky, and thought-provoking. It also features an indelible scene of Rooney Mara eating pie, and Casey Affleck, fresh off his Best Actor nod at the Oscars, wearing a sheet with eyeholes.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release date: July 7

Why it matters: Our new Spider-Man has arrived in the form of Tom Holland, and early positive reviews from critics at advance screenings indicate that good things are afoot for the franchise.

War for the Planet of the Apes

Release date: July 14

Why it matters: It’s the cap to the best blockbuster trilogy of our time. And after early screenings, critics are positively raving.

Dunkirk

Release date: July 21

Why it matters: A star-studded cast takes on an important piece of history, with Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) at the helm of what looks like a visually rich, emotionally resonant epic.

Landline

Release date: July 21

Why it matters: Writer-director Gillian Robespierre’s last project, Obvious Child, was an unexpected delight; her star from that project, Jenny Slate, also appears in this 1990s-set piece about a family in Manhattan.


August

Detroit

Release date: August 4

Why it matters: Few films this year have been as hotly anticipated as this one from Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), who teamed up again with screenwriter Mark Boal for a film about three young men murdered during the 1967 riots in Detroit.

Wind River

Release date: August 4

Why it matters: The directorial debut from screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) made the rounds at major festivals this year to critical acclaim. Wind River stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as two US Fish and Wildlife agents investigating an apparent murder in Wyoming.

The Dark Tower

Release date: August 4

Why it matters: Based on Stephen King’s massive, wildly popular series of novels, this movie stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in a horror-fantasy-action-adventure-Western epic.

Good Time

Release date: August 11

Why it matters: Directors (and brothers) Josh and Benny Safdie made a huge splash at Cannes with this crime thriller, which is full of chases and ’90s-inflected touches. It’s also a career-defining role for its star, Robert Pattinson.

Ingrid Goes West

Release date: August 11

Why it matters: The most darkly funny film to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival stars Aubrey Plaza as a girl named Ingrid who moves across the country to try to get close to her Instagram idol, played by Elizabeth Olsen.

Whose Streets?

Release date: August 11

Why it matters: This documentary had inside, unfettered access to the Black Lives Matter movement as it sparked in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The Glass Castle

Release date: August 11

Why it matters: The latest from director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) stars Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, and Max Greenfield in a drama about a dysfunctional family, based on Jeannette Walls’s best-selling memoir.

The Only Living Boy in New York

Release date: August 11

Why it matters: With a title based on a Simon & Garfunkel song, it sure sounds like The Only Living Boy in New York will have strong overtones of The Graduate (which turns 50 this year). The movie follows a recent college graduate who has his life upended by his father’s mistress (played by Kate Beckinsale).

Logan Lucky

Release date: August 18

Why it matters: Steven Soderbergh keeps threatening to retire from directing movies, but he hasn’t managed it yet. His latest, Logan Lucky, stars an absurdly stacked cast — Daniel Craig, Katherine Waterston, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Channing Tatum, Sebastian Stan, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, and more — in a heist tale set during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Marjorie Prime

Jon Hamm in Marjorie Prime
Jon Hamm in Marjorie Prime.

Release date: August 18

Why it matters: There was a hologram of Jon Hamm (along with actual Jon Hamm) walking around the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to promote Marjorie Prime, a sci-fi movie based on Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer-nominated play about love and loss. In addition to Hamm, it stars the great Geena Davis.

Beach Rats

Release date: August 25

Why it matters: Eliza Hittman’s indie film, which made a splash at Sundance earlier in the year, is about a lonely teenager on Brooklyn’s outer edge coming to grips with his own sexuality, as he flirts with an older man online while also starting a tentative relationship with a girl his age.

Crown Heights

Lakeith Stanfield in Crown Heights
Lakeith Stanfield in Crown Heights.

Release date: August 25

Why it matters: Adapted from a This American Life episode, Crown Heights — which stars Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Get Out) and former Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha — is the true story of a young man wrongfully convicted of murder and his friend’s efforts to prove his innocence.


September

 

It

Release date: September 8

Why it matters: Another movie based on a Stephen King novel, It (which boasts a screenwriting credit from True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga) is intended to be the first of two films that will undoubtedly haunt your nightmares forever.

Home Again

Release date: September 8

Why it matters: Reese Witherspoon goes back to her romantic comedy roots for a movie about a 40-year-old woman who returns home to LA with her two young daughters and ends up forming a makeshift family with three aspiring filmmakers. Sweet home Los Angeles?

Rat Film

Release date: September 15

Why it matters: This innovative, damning documentary takes on the history of racial segregation in Baltimore through the unexpected lens of the city’s rats. It’s somehow both experimental and educational, and it’s been delighting and confounding audiences on the festival circuit this year.

The Force

The Force
The Force.

Release date: September 15

Why it matters: Peter Nicks’s absolutely vital documentary follows the beleaguered police department of Oakland, California, as it tries to reform itself, and then discovers just how difficult that is.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Release date: September 22

Why it matters: The follow-up to the 2014 spy action-comedy promises to be just as snarky and self-aware as the first, with most of the same cast — Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton — and some new faces, too.

Stronger

Release date: September 22

Why it matters: Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the inspirational true story of Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing but was still able to identify the suspects.


October

The Florida Project

A scene from Sean Baker’s The Florida Project

Release date: October 6

Why it matters: One of the buzziest films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (here’s our review) was a small, colorful movie about kids living in a cheap motel outside of Disney World. Director Sean Baker (Tangerine) turns this premise into a remarkable and moving look at the struggles of America’s poor.

Blade Runner: 2049

Release date: October 6

Why it matters: Few films have been as anticipated as this one, which is set 30 years after the first film and stars Ryan Gosling as well as the original’s Harrison Ford. Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) is at the helm.

Mother!

The first poster for Mother!
The first poster for Mother!

Release date: October 13

Why it matters: Nobody is totally sure what this movie is, except that it’s the latest from Darren Aronofsky and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, Javier Bardem, Kristin Wiig, Ed Harris, and Domhnall Gleeson. Aronofsky fans are excited to see the director returning to the psychological horror mode he exhibited in films like Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream.

Marshall

Release date: October 13

Why it matters: Chadwick Boseman plays future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in his early days, when he raised hell as an NAACP attorney. The film retells one of Marshall’s biggest cases: defending a black chauffeur accused by his white employer of sexual assault and attempted murder.

The Foreigner

Release date: October 13

Why it matters: It’s an action movie starring Jackie Chan — but in a different mode — as a father who seeks revenge when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. Pierce Brosnan also stars.

Wonderstruck

Release date: October 20

Why it matters: Todd Haynes (Carol) premiered his lyrical, lovely children’s film at Cannes to a strong response (here’s our review). The story about two deaf children decades apart boasts terrific acting from its leads and a moving conclusion.

The Snowman

Michael Fassbender in The Snowman
Michael Fassbender in The Snowman.

Release date: October 20

Why it matters: It’s a crime drama about a mysterious murder and stars Michael Fassbender, but it’s also directed by Tomas Alfredson, best known for the chilly, beguiling 2008 film Let the Right One In.

The Square

Ruben Ostland’s The Square
A scene from Ruben Ostland’s The Square.

Release date: October 27

Why it matters: This satirical drama about a contemporary art curator whose best intentions go a bit awry left audiences laughing at Cannes, where it eventually won the coveted Palme d’Or.

Cloverfield Movie

'10 Cloverfield Lane' New York Premiere
Cloverfield mastermind J.J. Abrams at the New York premiere of 10 Cloverfield Lane in March 2016.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Release date: October 27

Why it matters: Formerly titled God Particle — and then mysteriously removed from Paramount’s release schedule — the movie was eventually reinstated on the calendar and revealed to be the third entry in the loosely connected Cloverfield universe, following last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane. So maybe we’ll get more insight into what’s going on in J.J. Abrams’s post-apocalyptic world — though this installment is set in space.


November

Suburbicon

CinemaCon 2017 - Paramount Pictures Presentation Highlighting Its 2017 Summer And Beyond
Julianne Moore, Matt Damon, and George Clooney at an event for Suburbicon in March 2017.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Release date: November 3

Why it matters: George Clooney is not always a great director, but he’s always an interesting one; in Suburbicon, he directs Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, and Julianne Moore in a story about a home invasion that disrupts a small town.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell headline in The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell headline in The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Release date: November 3

Why it matters: This oddly titled movie (here’s our review) is a wild inversion of the Greek myth to which it alludes from Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman as a well-off suburban couple whose lives are upended by a teenager.

Thor: Ragnarok

Release date: November 3

Why it matters: The Thor movies are generally respected, even by people who aren’t really into comic book movies, for their sense of humor. Pairing this one with director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows) was a stroke of genius on Marvel’s part.

Murder on the Orient Express

Release date: November 10

Why it matters: Director Kenneth Branagh takes on Agatha Christie’s murder mystery with a killer cast in what looks like a very stylish film.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Release date: November 10

Why it matters: Writer-director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) has concocted what looks like a mad, dark comedy, with a cast led by the always stellar Frances McDormand (Fargo). The release of the incredible trailer briefly set the film world on fire.

Justice League

Release date: November 17

Why it matters: It’s hard to know what to expect from this movie, given that its predecessor is the dismal Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. On the other hand, Wonder Woman — whose main character is also a member of the Justice League — far exceeded expectations. So who knows? Justice League is certainly the year’s most high-profile wild card.

Last Flag Flying

Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne in Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying
Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne in Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying.
Wilson Webb / Amazon Studios

Release date: November 17

Why it matters: The latest from the versatile Richard Linklater is slated to open the New York Film Festival, a prestigious spot usually reserved for artfully made crowd pleasers. (Recent years have opened with Gone Girl and Life of Pi.) This one is a road movie about three Vietnam vets (Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne) who travel to bury one man’s only child, killed during the early days of the invasion in Iraq.

Coco

Release date: November 22

Why it matters: It’s a Pixar movie, which means hopes are already high — but it’s also been described as a “love letter to Mexico,” with a voice cast full of Hispanic and Latinx actors. It’s likely to dominate the box office on Thanksgiving weekend.

 

Darkest HourGary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

Release date: November 22

Why it matters: The latest from Joe Wright (Atonement) stars Gary Oldman as the statesman Winston Churchill, who is struggling with the decision to either negotiate a peace treaty with the Nazis or stand for his country’s ideals.

Call Me by Your Name

Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name.

Release date: November 24

Why it matters: This film was the unmitigated critical favorite at Sundance and will certainly make a run at Best Picture. From director Luca Guadagnino, it’s an intimate, lush romance set in the Italian Riviera in 1983 that features, by all accounts, a star-making turn for Armie Hammer.


December

The Shape of Water

The teaser poster for The Shape of Water
The teaser poster for The Shape of Water.

Release date: December 8

Why it matters: Horror/fantasy master Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) tells a Cold War-era story of two women in 1963 (played by Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer) who stumble across a secret classified experiment.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Release date: December 15

Why it matters: Obviously, any Star Wars film will be one of the year’s most anticipated. But not only is this one directed by the versatile Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper), but it’s the last of the films to include Carrie Fisher; the star was slated to appear in the next installment as well, but after her unexpected passing in December 2016, the decision was made to not bring her back virtually (using CGI) for that installment. So this, sadly, is our last glimpse of Leia.

The Papers

'Five Came Back' World Premiere
Steven Spielberg, who is slated to direct The Papers this fall.
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Release date: December 22

Why it matters: Despite early controversy about the movie’s historical accuracy, the latest from Steven Spielberg still looks like a barnburner, taking on the story of the Pentagon Papers with a truly all-star cast led by Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Alison Brie, and Carrie Coon.

Downsizing

CinemaCon 2017 - Paramount Pictures Presentation Highlighting Its 2017 Summer And Beyond
Alexander Payne and Matt Damon talk about their upcoming film Downsizing at an event in March 2017.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Release date: December 22

Why it matters: Alexander Payne (Nebraska, Sideways, About Schmidt) makes films about families and aging with an off-kilter sense of humor, and this one — a satirical story about a man who decides to shrink himself — promises to be no exception.

The Greatest Showman

Release date: December 25

Why it matters: Hugh Jackman leads a cast including Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya in a musical(!) about the birth of show business, inspired by P.T. Barnum.

Phantom Thread

There Will Be Blood - Paris Premiere
Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis in 2008 at the French premiere of There Will Be Blood.
Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images

Release date: December 25

Why it matters: Daniel Day-Lewis and writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson haven’t teamed up since 2007’s explosive, expansive There Will Be Blood. This one is set in the world of 1950s fashion, and the fact that it’s slated to release on Christmas Day is a surefire sign it’s making a run at the Best Picture title at the Oscars, and probably a Best Actor nod, too — especially since Day-Lewis recently announced his retirement from acting.

TBD fall release

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson in The Meyerowitz Stories

Release date: TBD (Netflix)

Why it matters: At Cannes, The Meyerowitz Stories won praise (here’s our review) for its terrific cast — especially Adam Sandler and Emma Thompson, who along with Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel bring writer-director Noah Baumbach’s story of a dysfunctional but affectionate family to life.

Mudbound

Mudbound

Release date: TBD (Netflix)

Why it matters: One of the most talked-about films at Sundance was Dee Rees’s indie drama Mudbound, about two men who return from World War II to rural Mississippi and struggle with the adjustment to civilian life and with the racism around them. It’s also got a great cast, including Garrett Hedlund, Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, and Jason Mitchell.