After listing all my favorite musical releases for 2017, it’s high time to scroll through the enormous list of films set to release this year and embark on the daunting task of listing my favorites. The aim was to get a nice, neat list of 15 films, 20 at most. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a little too daunting and in the end, I managed to list 25 of my must-see films of 2017!
// Manchester By The Sea
Okay, technically this isn’t a 2017 release. However, it’s one of the most talked-about (and underrated) films of this moment, the beautifully realistic and subtle “Manchester By The Sea”. Actor Casey Affleck has already been awarded a Golden Globe for best performance and rumor has it the film is going to get quite some Oscar nominations.
// Fifty Shades Darker
February 9, 2017
Two years after naive literature student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and control-freak dominant Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) made their way to the big screen in the adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic bestseller, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, it’s time for the sequel. Traditionally released around Valentine’s Day, “Fifty Shades Darker” promises to be, well… darker, than its prequel and have thriller elements woven into the erotic plot.
// The Girl With All The Gifts
February 24, 2017
Based on the 2014 novel by M.R. Carey, “The Girl With All The Gifts” is set in a particularly gruesome dystopian future. A teacher and a scientist have been put together to work on a secret experimental project, focusing on children with special, extraordinary gifts. Starring Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and Sennia Nanua as the girl with all the gifts, it promises to be an interesting watch. Here in the Netherlands the film premieres at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) if you want to go and check it out!
// Tulip Fever
February 24, 2017
Dutch paintings, Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz – what else does one need? These three are combined and mixed together in the film “Tulip Fever”. The story focuses on the love affair between a young married woman and the painter who has been commissioned to paint her portrait. Set in 17th century Amsterdam and directed by Justin Chadwick (“The Other Boleyn Girl”), it promises to be beautiful and sexy costume drama.
“Brimstone” has just been released in the Netherlands and it already appears to be a “love it” or “hate it” feature. Directer by Dutch director Martin Koolhoven, the film focuses the mute Liz (Dakota Fanning) as her life gets violently derailed by the arrival of the ominous reverend (Guy Pearce).
March 3, 2017
In what is said to be his last performance as Wolverine, actor Hugh Jackman returns in “Logan”. The bad-tempered character has to help out Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in a film that is supposed to be darker and quite different from previous portraits.
// T2: Trainspotting
March 3, 2017
Back in 1996, Danny Boyle directed the controversial, crazy and darkly funny “Trainspotting”. The film followed four friends in Edinburgh, Scotland, as they maneuvered through drugs, hallucinations, friendship and hard choices. Now, 11 years later, Renton (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Brember), Sick b0y (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) are reunited on the big screen for “T2: Trainspotting”.
// Beauty and the Beast
March 17, 2017
Another year, another live-action Disney reboot. This year it’s the 1991 classic “Beauty and the Beast”, in which the young, bookish Belle falls in love with the monstrous beast. With a star-studded cast, including Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson and Ewan McGregor, the expectations are rising high.
// Song to Song
March 17, 2017
Two years after the beautiful “Knight of Cups“, director Terrence Malick returns with his latest feature film, “Song to Song”. Once more, he has gathered an incredible collection of actors (Ryan Gosling, Haley Bennett, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett) and lies the focus on intricate, complicated relationships and characters.
// Ghost in the Shell
March 17, 2017
Already the subject of a lot of controversy surrounding the casting of Scarlett Johansson, “The Ghost In The Shell” is a reboot of the popular 1995 same-titled anime. Johansson plays The Major, a cyborg policewoman as she is set on bringing down a dangerous and daunting computer hacker.
// The Circle
April 28, 2017
Based on the bestselling novel by Dave Eggers, “The Circle” paints a haunting and strikingly realistic image of the rise and influence of technology. A young women (Emma Watson) gets a coveted job at a tech company and she gets involved with the mysterious owner (Tom Hanks). Directed by James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”), it promises to be a thrilling feature.
// Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
May 5, 2017
Star Lord, Gamora, Groot and Rocket return to the big screen in the sequel to the incredibly popular 2014 “Guardians of the Galaxy”. In volume 2, the unorthodox heroes undertake a journey to uncover Star Lord’s true parentage, whilst Awesome Mixtape #2 is blasting on the background.
// King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
May 12, 2017
Actor Charlie Hunman said “no” to the role of Christian Grey, but he said “hell yes” to the part of King Arthur. From director Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes”), the feature is supposed to be a more classic retelling of the Arthur legend.
// Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales
May 26, 2017
Why Disney continues to add new installments to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, I honestly could not tell you, but this year it’s time for the fifth film of the series. In “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales”, Johnny Depp returns in his iconic role of captain Jack Sparrow while he embarks on a search for Poseidon’s trident.
// The Book of Henry
June 16, 2017
Jacob Tremblay won over critics’ and audience’s hearts in “Room”, in which he successfully portrays a boy who was born in captivity and has to readjust to the world outside of his prison. In “The Book of Henry”, the young actor plays a child genius, while his mother (played by Naomi Watts) navigates his unconventional upbringing.
// The Beguiled
June 30, 2017
Four of my favorite film ladies are thrown together and I’m very excited. Director Sofia Coppola (“Maria Antoinette”) brings together actresses Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning in “The Beguiled”. The film focuses on a Confederate girls’ boarding school, where three women are intrigued by a Union soldier, start to turn on each other and, eventually, on him.
// Spider-Man: Homecoming
July 7, 2017
The first out of the two Marvel features set to release this year is “Spiderman: Homecoming”. After Spidey’s brief introduction in “Captain America: Civil War” last year, the beloved character is finally coming home to the Marvel universe in his own feature film. The film is supposed to focus on a younger Spiderman, played by Tom Holland, and his coping with his new secret identity.
July 21, 2017
After “Inception” and “Interstellar”, Christopher Nolan is back in the director’s chair. This time he focuses on the battle of Dunkirk during World War II, in which allied soldiers have to fight for their survival against the German Army. Nolan brings along familiar faces, such as actors Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, and, perhaps surprisingly, introduces Harry Styles.
// Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
July 21, 2017
The winner of longest film title of 2017 goes to… “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”! Based on a comic book series, director Luc Besson is set to make the futuristic adventure world come to life. The feature stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as the two main heroes and is set to release over the Summer. Picture this: air-conditioning, ice-cream and an intergalactic adventure. Pretty cool.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
September 29, 2017
Super entertaining, very British and really funny: 2017 marks the return of “Kingsman”, a secret and very fashionable agency based in London. Matthew Vaughn returns as director, while Taron Egerton reprises his role of Eggsy and Colin Firth brings back Harry Hart. Added are Channing Tatum and Julianne Moore, in yet another sleek, super-stylized adventure.
// Blade Runner 2049
October 6, 2017
The 1980s classic “Blade Runner” is set for a reboot this year, thirty years later. The story of “Blade Runner 2049” is also set a mere 30 years after the events of the first film and stars Ryan Gosling and a returning Harrison Ford.
// Thor: Ragnarok
November 3, 2017
Besides “Spiderman: Homecoming”, Marvel is set to release another feature film later this year, “Thor: Ragnarok”. The long-awaited sequel to 2011’s “Thor” focuses on the battle between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Additionally, Benedict Cumberbatch will return in his role of Dr. Strange and Cate Blanchett is introduced as the villain Hela.
// Darkest Hour
November 24, 2017
Joe Wright, director of “Anna Karenina”, “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement” returns with yet another history-oriented feature. With “The Darkest Hour”, he focuses on the British prime minister Winston Churchill during the early days of World War II. Actor Gary Oldman transforms into the prime minister, while John Hurt, Kirsten Scott Thomas and Lily James star alongside him.
// Star Wars: Episode VIII
December 22, 2017
Another year, another new Star Wars release scheduled for December! Ever since directer J.J. Abrams rebooted the series in 2015 with “The Force Awakens”, the series has been more popular than ever. Only last month, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” broke box office records and the next installment of the saga is scheduled later this year.
Perhaps the most mysterious film of 2017: Darren Arronosky’s “Mother” (if that’s even the real title…). The film is star-studded, with Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Ed Harris. I’m curious to see what the director of “Black Swan”, “The Fountain” and “Requiem for a Dream” is up to now.