After a disappointing 2016, 2017 looks to be a great year with the return of such classic directors such as Michael Haneke, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ridley Scott and hopefully Terrance Malick! It’s also the year of Sci-Fi with a lot of great Sci-Fi films coming out from the comic book adventures to sequels of our beloved classics such as Alien and Bladerunner. A few films from the Feb/March release schedule are missed off the list because of how close they will be to the release of this blog post such as Logan, Kong: Skull Island and Beauty and the Beasts. There are also films which ive left off the list because of lack of 2017 release confirmation such as Derek Cianfrances Metalhead and Lars Von Trier’s The House that Jack Built.
(Dir. Bong Joon Ho)
Release Date: 28th June
Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja.
Another returning director with a wild sense of creativity, Bong Joon Ho returns with another English language film after Snowpiercer. The film looks like a delight but the message of animal rights seems quite heavy and im afraid the film may fall into more comical terms than expected. However, the story has my interest peaked.
24. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
(Dir. Martin McDonagh)
Release Date: 13th Oct
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh. After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon, an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.
After making the cult hit In Bruges back in 2008 he introduced the world to his comical dark humour. His previous film Seven Psychopaths also turned out to be made quite well even though its reception was not as vibrant as In Bruges. Teaming up with him on this film is Academy Award winner Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. The film reminds me of a Coen brothers film especially with the small town American setting and is quite reminsicent of Fargo, especially with McDormand cast.
23. THE SEIGE
(Dir. Justin Kurzel)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
Mumbai, 2008. On the night of November 26, Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked targets throughout the city, including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the world’s most exclusive luxury hotels. For sixty-eight hours, hundreds were held hostage as shots rang out and an enormous fire raged.
Justin Kurzel is a talented director and certainly showed off his flair with Snowtown and Macbeth. Last year he was behind the critically panned Assassins Creed film but one thing he is good at is creating an unique atmosphere. Paired up with the good investigative source material he should be able to mix his visual style to recreate a tragic event.
22. GOD PARTICLE
(Dir. Julius Onah)
Release Date: 27th Oct
A shocking discovery forces a team of astronauts aboard a space station to fight for survival while their reality has been altered.
God Particle has been confirmed to be a part of the Cloverfield anthology universe that was created with 10 Cloverfield Lane last year. I’m a huge fan of the original Cloverfield and I really enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane but I really hope God Particle is more connected to the universe. Julius Onah is directing and he joins Dan Trachtenberg as another new time director joining this universe and this becomes one of my hesitations with the film. Its a risk having a first time director but it can also be a chance to see a fresh vision. My main qualm with this film is its writers who are previously known for Star Wars Beyond and 22 Jump Street, two films I really didn’t enjoy. However, the cast seems to stand out a lot as we have Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo and Daniel Bruhl joining the films production. Hopefully this can connect more to the original Cloverfield and answer all the questions fans are looking for surround the mythos of J.J Abrams universe.
(Dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
Release Date: 25th Aug
A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest citizen uprisings in United States history. The story is centered around The Algiers Motel Incident, which occurred in Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1967, during the racially charged 12th Street Riot. It involves the death of three black men and the brutal beatings of nine other people: seven black men and two white women.
Kathryn Bigelow has yet to disappoint me after The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty turned out to be political masterpieces. Her films remind me of a refined version of a Paul Greengrass film but she handles political matters with ease as is evident with her filmography. This film follows her portrayal of the Detroit riots and has Star Wars’ John Bodeyga and Hurt Locker’s Anthony Mackie starring in leading roles. Mark Boal is also back to teaming with Bigelow on the screenplay so i’m sure this will be another hit for her but at the same time I found the trailer underwhelming so it could go either way.
(Dir. Andres Muschietti)
Release Date: 8th Sept
In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind bloody remains. In a place known as ‘The Barrens’, a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with an evil clown and their determination to kill It.
IT is based on Stephen King’s amazing horror novel and now it is brought to the big screen after a stint on TV 17 years ago. Originally Cary Fukunaga was behind the directors chair and it had my interest peaked but instead we were given the director behind Mama, a film I didnt personally enjoy. However, being a fan of the story and concept I was excited for the film and after an impressive trailer my hype has grown for the film. We are always surrounded in poor Horror films but recently this formula has been broken with films such as Get Out, The Babadook etc. So hopefully with this adaption this huge story is finally given justice on the big screen.
19. STAR WARS : EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI
(Dir. Rian Johnson)
Release Date: 15th Dec
Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.
(Dir. Andrey Zvyaginstev)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments..
Andrey’s previous film Leviathan shook Cannes and captivated my attention, it spoke of society and showed a side of Russia the Western world doesn’t see. Speaking about society through the medium of film was something Tarkovsky employed but Andrey comes through in a less surrealistic manner and fills the euro arthouse criteria. Loveless is heading to Cannes this year and looks to be another hit as he follows a similar pattern of exploring social constructs.
17. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
(Dir. Lynne Ramsey)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
A war veteran’s attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring goes horribly wrong.
6 years after releasing We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsey returns with her sex trafficking thriller. Im a huge fan of her directing style and it will be interesting how her follow up film will play out. Joaquin Phoenix also takes the lead role and he is one of my favourite current actors so It will be great to see him on the screen after Inherent Vice.
16. MARY MAGDALENE
(Dir. Garth Davis)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
The story of Mary Magdalene.
Fresh off his praise for Lion, Garth Davis tackles a completely different kind of film and focuses on Mary Magdalene. Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, Rooney Mara as Mary and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter! Sounds like it could be a perfect mix for a great film even though biblical films never really fare well. Plus its the first time Mara and Phoenix have been together on screen since Her. This will be quite different to his last film Lion, which I loved but it still had its over dramatic tones which let it down. Lets hope Garth Davis retains a darker tone for such a serious story.
15. THE KILLING OF THE SACRED DEER
(Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
Release Date: 3rd Nov
A teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family take an unexpected turn.
Lanthimos’ previous film The Lobster was full of creative and original ideas but the execution for me became sloppy because the film couldn’t support the absurdity it had created. With his new film we have a fresh new premise and i’m excited to see how Lanthimos handles these themes and perfects his creativity.
(Dir. George Clooney)
Release Date: TBC 2016
A crime mystery set in the quiet family town of Suburbicon during the 1950s, where the best and worst of humanity is hilariously reflected through the deeds of seemingly ordinary people. When a home invasion turns deadly, a picture-perfect family turns to blackmail, revenge and betrayal.
After The Monuments of Men back in 2014 ruined George Clooney’s perfect driving track we are finally given details regarding his new film Suburbicon. Part murder mystery, part comedy and its written Coen Brothers seems like the perfect recipe for a great dark comedy. Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Julianne Moore and Josh Brolin on the cast list, a great set of writers and a great director seems like it couldn’t turn out bad even if it tried.
13. UNDER THE SILVER LAKE
(Dir. David Robert Mitchell)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
Modern noir crime thriller set in Los Angeles.
After breathing originality into the horror movie ‘It Follows’ David Mitchell returns with a modern day noir thriller. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of It Follows I could still appreciate the aesthetic of Mitchell’s filmmaking and its iconic score. His style quite reminded me of Nicholas Winding Refn and Under the Silver Lake could end up being Mitchell’s ‘Drive’. Disasterpiece also return to compose the score for this film after creating such a unique electronic score for It Follows. All the pieces seem to fall perfectly for this to become one of the better noir’s in a year full of the crime genre.
12. GHOST STORY
Release Date: 11th August
(Dir. David Lowrey)
In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.
The story of this film sounds like a beautiful and personal take on the ghost story, not its horror but its emotion also. Starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara this seems to have an amazing cast with the emotional range to create a great movie. After great reviews all around from Sundance this looks like it will be the underdog in a year full of big films and big directors.
11. HAPPY END
(Dir. Michael Haneke)
Release Date: 18th Oct
A drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop.
After finally gaining awards recognition with Amour the legendary director is returning with an ensemble piece focusing on family and the immigration crisis in France. This film has very current themes in regards to immigration so it will interesting to see how Haneke handles the situation. Isabelle Huppert is also fresh off her Oscar nomination and critical praise for Elle and she is joined by great european actors such as Jean-Louis Trintignant and Mathieu Kassovitz. Will this have a happy ending like its title or will it be ironic like Funny Games?
(Dir. Terrance Malick)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
9. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Release Date: 24th Nov
(Dir. Luca Guadagnino)
Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.
Italian director Luca Guadagnino returns to the big screen with one of his two films out for release this year. The first being a Suspiria remake which im looking forward to a lot, but this film is the one which i believe will make the biggest impact this year. A story of summer love, a forbidden homosexual love that could be this years answer to Brokeback Mountain.
8. THE SNOWMAN
(Dir. Tomas Alfredson)
Release Date: Oct 13th
Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
The Snowman novel is an interesting read and even more interesting is Tomas Alfredson behind the camera. His last film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy didnt hit the right notes to impress me but I could see his ability to adapt books to the big screen and I think this may be his biggest hit yet. Also one of my favourite actors in the industry at the moment. Michael Fassbender takes the lead role in this dark murder mystery.
(Dir. Christopher Nolan)
Release Date: 21st July
Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II.
The biggest film of Summer 2017 as Christopher Nolan returns to the big screen after his polarising film Interstellar. Christopher Nolan truly does try and experiment with all the genres and this is his first take on the War genre. However, the trailers released so far have been quite underwhelming for me and the quality looks like a TV movie. My hopes are still high though because out of Nolans expansive filmography he has yet to disappoint me because all of his films have been more than impressive.
(Dir. Alfonso Cuaron)
Release Date: 2017 TBC
A story that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.
Another big league director returning to the cinema with Alfonso Cuaron making his first film since his critically acclaimed Gravity. Now Cuaron is ditching his Sci-Fi traits and returning to his roots with a film based in his hometown of Mexico City. This film reminds me of the masterpiece Y Tu Mama Tambien as its his first return the place that made him a world famous director.
(Dir. Alex Garland)
Release Date: TBC 2017
A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.
The Novel is a curious read and im curious to see how it will be adapted for the big screen. Alex Garland surprised the world with Ex Machina going all the way to the Academy Awards. Now he returns with a more ambitious project starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. Annihilation is actually part of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy but Garland has confirmed his is only adapting the first part for the big screen.
(Dir. Duncan Jones)
Release Date: TBC 2017
Berlin. Forty years from today. A roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West in a science-fiction Casablanca. Leo Beiler (Skarsgard), a mute bartender has one reason and one reason only for living here, and she’s disappeared. But when Leo’s search takes him deeper into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (led by Rudd) seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can’t tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.
Duncan Jones the amazing director of Moon returns after his critical failure Warcraft. Mute is also meant to revolve around the same world he created in Moon and this connection will help strengthen this neo noir universe he has created. At its core Mute is a science fiction noir, a collaboration of two amazing genres that will hopefully culminate into a neon drenched masterpiece.
(Dir. Darren Aronofsky)
Release Date: 10th Nov
Centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
Darren Aronosky’s mystery film mother! is his first film since his first mess in my opinion, Noah. Regardless of this failure he is still the director of some of my favourite films including Black Swan and The Wrestler. He has a way of handling character studies and im hoping this will be his character study of the ‘couple’.
2. PHANTOM THREAD
(Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
Release Date: TBC 2017
Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, Charles James is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family.
The mystery fashion film from one of my favourite directors Paul Thomas Anderson is coming out later this year. My hype for all of his films is always high and now he returns to working with Daniel Day Lewis who gave one of my all time favourite performances in my favourite PTA film, There Will Be Blood. The story of this film seems quite simple but im sure PTA will bring out the darker side of the 50’s fashion industry and will hopefully become a better constructed version of Refn’s The Neon Demon.
1. BLADERUNNER 2049
(Dir. Denis Villeneuve)
Release Date: 6th Oct
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
The original Bladerunner is one of all time favourite films and the film that made me fall in love with the science fiction genre, a film id rate higher than 2001 A Space Odyssey. Now 35 years later the sequel has arrived and I would normally be more afraid of a sequel to such a beloved classic film. However, Denis Villeneuve has taken up the directors chair which is welcome surprise as just last year he created one of my favourite science fiction films of the decade, Arrival. Unfortunately Vangelis isn’t returning to score the film instead Johann Johannsson returns but his style has been highly influenced by Vangelis himself. This becomes more most anticipated film of the year ahead of all the usual oscar bait.