Ignore for a moment the “Fast and Furious” and “Star Wars” sequels, the possibly-hilarious “Baywatch” reboot, or all the superhero movies. 2017 will also bring us some exciting things that not as many people are talking about. Here are just a few.
Split (January 20)
With 2015’s “The Visit,” M. Night Shyamalan–a 15-time Razzie nominee–was nominated for the coveted Redeemer Award, for former Razzie winners who make a career comeback with a successful movie. He follows it up with “Split,” a bold story about a man with multiple-personalities who kidnaps three girls. Some of the personalities are sympathetic, some of them are downright vicious. Since “The Last Station,” James McAvoy has been one of my favorite actors. So I’m pumped.
A Dog’s Purpose (January 27)
3-time Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom is back, directing an adorable story about a dog who, after death, returns in the body of a new dog, loved by a new family–until eventually it’s discovered by a former owner from another life. Cute idea. Dennis Quaid hasn’t been busy lately, so maybe this could spark some career renaissance for him.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (February 10)
The new trailer for this follow-up released a few weeks ago, and wow does it look incredible. I tried to avoid sequels in this list, but I wanted to recommend 2014’s “John Wick” to anyone who hadn’t seen it. In this one, John is put on a hit list for not obeying an order. He’ll have to defend himself and clear his name while killers like those played by Common and Ruby Rose pursue him.
A Cure for Wellness (February 17)
Director Gore Verbinski’s first feature since “The Lone Ranger” sounds like a winning formula. A CEO in a “wellness” clinic is supposed to be retrieved by a young man (Dane DeHaan), who’s subsequently put in the clinic himself–escaping will be harder than he imagines.
Tulip Fever (February 24)
Alicia Vikander returns to the screen for another film about a northern-European painter. “The Danish Girl” was a huge success, especially for its actors. I have no doubt that Vikander (whose much lighter schedule in 2016 was a disappointment after a HUGE 2015) will come through, as usual.
Logan (March 3)
Finally, a movie named after me I can see in theaters. This dusty, dreary, dystopian-looking sequel looks like a 180 shift from the “X-Men” movies of the past, especially the most recent few. After “Apocalypse” proved to be the franchise’s lowest point, I look forward to seeing it make a quick comeback.
Free Fire (March 17)
With a poster that looks like the best scene in “Resovoir Dogs,” “Free Fire” looks to take the Tarantino movie’s climax and make a feature out of it. Sounds good to me.
My Cousin Rachel (May 5)
Rachel Weisz plays a possibly-murderous Englishwoman in this stylish period piece. Her pair of performances in 2016’s “Denial” and “The Light Between Oceans” reminded us of Weisz’s ability to portray mystery like few others can.
Life (May 26)
A space thriller better than “Passengers” is just what we need. Ryan Reynolds proved himself as the comedic action star this generation deserves in “Deadpool.” He’s out of this world. Now, he will be.
Captain Underpants (June 2)
Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll…this childhood favorite is coming to life with a cast worth getting excited about.
Rock That Body (June 23)
“Rock That Body” gets equal billing as a comedy and drama, but considering it’s about a male stripper at a bachelorette party ending up dead, I’m curious as to what that balance will look like. Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell, straight-up comediennes, share the screen with Scarlett Johannsson and Zoe Kravitz, who have dramatic credits. It’ll be interesting, to be sure.
Dunkirk (July 21)
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S WAR MOVIE. [This isn’t a placeholder I forgot to take out–this is just all you need to know about “Dunkirk” to get excited.]
American Made (September 29)
This 1980s-set crime thriller tells the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot-turned-drug smuggler who was later recruited by the CIA. It also marks the return of Domhnall Gleeson after a year off that was probably as relaxing for him as it was terrible for the rest of us.
The Snowman (October 13)
“Detective Harry Hole (they can’t expect us to take him seriously with a name like that!) investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.” Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, JK Simmons, and “Sense8” standout Jamie Clayton–I love this cast.
The Commuter (October 13)
The new Liam Neeson vehicle is only on this list because I miss “Taken” and “Non-Stop” and the kind of corny action only Neeson can bring.
Murder on the Orient Express (November 24)
Kenneth Branagh brings Agatha Christie’s classic mystery to the screen with “Star Wars” newbie Daisy Ridley and weirdo character actor Johnny Depp.
The Greatest Showman (December 29)
A P.T. Barnum biopic with theater darling Hugh Jackman in the lead role? Sounds like The Greatest Show on Earth, and the ideal way to end the year.