January 11, 2017
Our 100 Most-Anticipated Films of 2017
After highlighting 50 films that we can guarantee are worth seeing this year, it’s time we venture into the unknown. Rather than regurgitating a list of dated-years-in-advance studio releases, we’ve set out to focus on 100 films we’re genuinely looking forward to, regardless of their marketing budgets. While some might not have a set release — let alone any confirmed festival premiere — most have wrapped production and will likely debut at some point in 2017, so make sure to check back for updates over the next twelve months and beyond. Be sure to keep the following one-hundred films on your radar (with release dates, where applicable). If you want to see how we did with our picks last year (potentially to shame us), head on over here.
100. The Discovery (Charlie McDowell; Winter TBD)
One of the primary pleasures of Charlie McDowell‘s directorial debut The One I Love was his ability to realistically inject a dose of science-fiction into a relatable romantic drama. The director, along with writer Justin Lader, have now re-teamed for a follow-up in the same vein. The Discovery, which stars Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, and Riley Keough is a love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified. That hook is all I need to make sure it’s on my must-see list at Sundance. For everyone else, Netflix is waiting until this winter to release the film. – Jordan R.
99. Euphoria (Lisa Langseth)
Following her Oscar win last year, Alicia Vikander not only picked up a major tentpole role in Tomb Raider, but also launched her own production company, the aptly named Vikarious Productions. It also hasn’t taken long for her to start their first feature as Euphoria will arrive this year. Vikander’s Pure and Hotell collaborator Lisa Langseth is writing and directing the English-language picture, which teams Vikander and Eva Green as “sisters in conflict traveling through Europe towards a mystery destination,” creating a project that the actor-producer calls “full of suffering but also full of joy, and squaring up to very important subject matter.” – Jordan R.
98. Woman Walks Ahead (Susanna White)
Along with new films from Xavier Dolan, Aaron Sorkin, and Niki Caro this year, Jessica Chastain is leading a 19th-century period drama titled Woman Walks Ahead. Directed by Susanna White (who last helmed this summer’s John le Carré adaptation Our Kind of Traitor), the script by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke) follows Chastain’s character as she leaves Brooklyn and heads to the Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas to helped the plight of a Sioux chieftain (Michael Greyeyes) to fight for his land. With Chastain continually giving great performances regardless of a film’s overall quality, this one is shaping up to be one to watch. – Jordan R.
97. God Particle aka Cloverfield 3 (Julius Onah; Oct. 27)
After the surprise announcement of 10 Cloverfield Lane this past year, it didn’t take long for attention to turn to J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot’s next mystery project, tentatively titled God Particle. Indeed, after some noncommittal answers from Abrams, it was eventually revealed in October that the movie would, in fact, be the third chapter of a loosely-connected series. That alone makes it an exciting offer – hopefully the filmmakers will continue in the steps of Cloverfield Lane and reveal as little as possible about the storyline, to keep it as mysterious as possible, although we do at least know that it takes place on a space station and involves an enigmatic “discovery” of some kind. (Which, perhaps, begs an alternate title: Cloverfield! In Space!) – John U.
96. Movie No. 1 (Josephine Decker)
Earning acclaim a few years back for Thou Wast Mild and Lovely and Butter on the Latch, indie director Josephine Decker is returning this year with Movie No. 1, a drama which stars House of Cards stars Molly Parker and Julee Cerda, as well as Miranda July. Following a young star who takes her theater director’s latest project too seriously, not much else is known about the film, but it’s safe to say a festival premiere is in the works for this year. – Jordan R.
95. Wildlife (Paul Dano)
In the span of just a decade, Paul Dano has worked with the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, Ang Lee, Kelly Reichardt, Steve McQueen, Denis Villeneuve, Bong Joon-ho, Rian Johnson, and more. Presumably learning a thing or two from this batch of talented directors, he’s now making his debut behind the camera with Wildlife. The script, penned by Zoe Kazan and Dano himself, is adapted from the 1990 coming-of-age novel by Richard Ford, following a boy who watches his parents marriage unravel after a move and his mom falls in love with another man. Dano’s Prisoners and forthcoming Okja co-star Jake Gyllenhaal leads the film alongside Carey Mulligan, and we imagine it will pop up at fall film festivals. – Jordan R.
94. Slice (Austin Vesely; Fall TBD)
Not only did he have one of the most entertaining albums of last year, Chance the Rapper found time to lead an entire feature film. Coming from A24 and likely arriving in the fall, aside from a brief teaser and plot details, not much is known about the Chicago-set film following a werewolf pizza driver, but rest assured, it’ll be unlike anything else this year. Also, Chance’s character is named Dax Lycander if you needed any other reason to see it. – Jordan R.
93. Lizzie (Craig William Macneill)
While we imagine there will certainly be some announced this year, as of now, the only Kristen Stewart-starring film yet to premiere is the dark biopic Lizzie. Following the true story of a woman who committed ax-wielding murders in Massachusetts in the late 1800s, it’s got quite the hook. With Chloë Sevigny taking the lead role and Stewart playing her live-in maid, this has the makings of a daring look an little-known black mark in history. – Jordan R.
92. Small Crimes (E.L. Katz)
Cheap Thrills director E.L. Katz assembled quite the cast for his follow-up Small Crimes with Robert Forster, Jacki Weaver, Green Room‘s Macon Blair, Gary Cole, Larry Fessenden, Molly Parker, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau taking part in the thriller. Co-penned (along with Katz) by Blair, the Game of Thrones star plays the lead, a former cop who gets out of prison and returns to his hometown to start fresh, only to get entangled in the same hullabaloo he originally left behind. Having been shot over the summer, we imagine this one will get a bow at a midnight sidebar — perhaps SXSW, Fantastic Fest, or TIFF? – Mike M.
91. Unicorn Store (Brie Larson)
After working with Edgar Wright, Lenny Abrahamson, Destin Daniel Cretton, James Ponsoldt, and more, Brie Larson segued from her Oscar win to her directorial debut. Unicorn Store, which the first-time director also stars in and produce,s follows Kit (Larson), who moves back in with her parents and receives an out-of-the-blue invitation to the titular store that “test[s] her ideas of what it really means to grow up.” Also starring Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, and Bradley Whitford, Larson certainly has a knack for choosing projects, so we’re eager to see her directorial style. – Jordan R.
See More: 2017 Movie Preview, A Ghost Story, Annihilation, Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Call Me By Your Name, Claire’s Camera, Damsel, Dark Glasses, Downsizing, Dunkirk, Ex Libris: New York Public Library, Friday’s Child, Golden Exits, Good Time, Happy End, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Inner City, Ismael’s Ghosts, It Comes at Night, John Wick: Chapter Two, Last Flag Flying, Lean on Pete, Logan Lucky, Loveless, Okja, On the Beach at Night Alone, Roma, Song to Song, The Beguiled, The Commuter, The Death of Stalin, The Florida Project, The Glass Castle, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, The Legacy Of A Whitetail Deer Hunter, The Shape of Water, The Snowman, The Square, Thelma, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Under the Silver Lake, Vox Lux, Where Life Is Born, Widows, Wonderstruck, You Were Never Really Here, Zama