From “Spider-Man” to “Transformers,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” to “Jumanji,” a quick glance at the roster of 2017 movies could leave you scratching your head and asking… haven’t I seen this all before? While the trend of reboots and sequels will continue next year, you can also look forward a slate of original films you’ll actually want to see. Here is our list of the top 10 films to look forward to in 2017.
Live By Night
With its January release, “Live By Night” could be a major a contender in the 2017 Oscar race. The buzz makes sense: the last film Ben Affleck starred in and directed, “Argo,” won Best Picture in 2013. This film follows a group of mobsters and outlaws from Prohibition-era Boston to Cuba. It promises romance and violence, and considering Affleck’s pedigree, a thrilling ride.
Release Date: 1/13/2017
Fifty Shades Darker
Guilty pleasure to some and sweeping romantic epic to others, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series tends to inspire passion in everyone it reaches. The second installment of the film trilogy finds ingenue Anastasia wrestling with Christian’s past – and as anyone who has read the books can attest, it truly is dark. The film is scheduled for a pre-Valentine’s Day release, to the chagrin of husbands everywhere.
Release Date: 2/10/2017
The Dark Tower
“The Dark Tower” promises a little something for everyone. Fans of horror, science fiction, fantasy and westerns alike can enjoy the latest adaption of a Stephen King novel. If none of those genres appeal to you, the promise of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey might. Elba stars as Roland Deschain, a gunslinger on a mission to find the titular tower and save his world.
The Dark Tower Release Date: 2/17/2017
Beauty and the Beast
It’s a tale as old as time, so the only surprise about the upcoming live action release of “Beauty and the Beast” is that it took Hollywood this long to make it. Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame plays Belle, while “Downton Abbey”’’s Dan Stevens plays the Beast. The live version includes Alan Menken’s songs from the 1991 movie as well as new original songs by Menken, so even Disney movie purists are primed to love this film.
Beauty and the Beast Release Date: 3/17/2017
With an April release, “Wonder” probably doesn’t have much chance of garnering Oscar attention. But for fans of heart-tugging family films, or fans of the 2012 novel on which the movie is based, it’s bound to be a highlight of the year’s lineup. “Wonder” stars Jacob Tremblay, the breakout star of 2015’s “Room,” as a boy who was born with a facial deformity and tries to fit in at a new school. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star as his parents.
Wonder Release Date: 4/7/2017
The “Fast and the Furious” franchise had its fair share of critics in the beginning. But something happened around the release of the fourth film: wide audiences realized that these movies are fun thrillers, even if you don’t know a spoiler from a spark plug. The eighth installment marks the first without series star Paul Walker, who died in 2013, but the rest of the cast will be back, joined by Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron.
Fast 8 Release Date: 4/14/2017
Recent years have seen a cavalcade of action films starring male heroes from the famous to the obscure (hello, Antman), but women have never gotten their due – until now. The highly anticipated “Wonder Woman” was given a massive budget and a prime release date at the beginning of summer blockbuster season. Starring Gal Gadot of “Fast and the Furious” fame, this film could mark the beginning of a new age of female-centric action flicks.
Wonder Woman Release Date: 6/2/2017
First things first: in Norse mythology, “Ragnarok” is the end of the mythical cycle, during which the world is destroyed so it can be rebuilt. Featuring returning stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as warring brothers Thor and Loki, this film is slated for a November release, making it a perfect bit of escapism for a cold and dreary day. Several superhero movies are scheduled for 2017 releases, but “Thor: Ragnarok” is destined to be one of the biggest.
Thor Ragnarok Release Date: 11/3/2017
Star Wars: Episode VIII
If you’ve never seen any of the previous seven installments of “Star Wars”, episode VIII isn’t the place to pick it up. But even casual fans of the series will be anticipating this film all year. It’s the second outing in the new chapter of the series, following newbies Rey, Finn and Poe as well as original characters Luke and Leia.
Star Wars Release Date: 12/15/2017
A Wrinkle in Time
We don’t yet know much about this upcoming adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic sci-fi novel. But what we do know is exciting: Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon will reportedly play central characters. “Selma” director Ava DuVernay is set to helm the project, making her the first African-American director to be given a budget over $100 million. And the movie’s writer is Jennifer Lee, who wrote the screenplay for “Frozen.” All signs point to “A Wrinkle in Time” becoming a modern classic. TBA