2017 has already been a massive year for movies. Disney's Beauty and the Beast live-action remake has already conquered the box-office, and has passed the $1 billion mark worldwide. Logan and The Lego Batman Movie have both shown that there are diametrically opposed ways of bringing a superhero to the big screen, yet both are equally viable in terms of box-office and critical acclaim. John Wick: Chapter Two, Get Out and Split have also proven to be big hits.
The rest of the year is also jam packed with blockbusters: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, Justice League, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The list could go on and on.
But what about the smaller, lesser known movies that will be hitting screens in 2017? This list will highlight 10 of our most anticipated movies outside of the usual blockbuster types. Some of these could very well be sleeper hits or movies that come out of nowhere to get everyone talking.
Release Date: June 16th
This drama, about a boy named Henry who comes up with a plan to rescue his neighbor from her abusive stepfather, was written by novellist/comic book writer Gregg Hurwitz. It looks like it has the potential to be brilliant. It's directed by Colin Trevorrow, who has sandwiched it in between his blockbuster behemoths Jurassic World and Star Wars: Episode IX. The cast is superb, featuring Naomi Watts, Sarah Silverman and Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad).
But the movie will live or die based on its two young stars. Jaeden Lieberher plays the titular Henry, and Jacob Tremblay is his younger brother Peter. Lieberher was compelling in St. Vincent and Midnight Special, and Tremblay was utterly captivating in Room, so we have the utmost confidence in their abilities.
Release Date: June 9th
This one looks interesting (and terrifying). It Comes At Night is a psychological horror movie from writer/director Trey Edward Shults. This is his second film. His first (Krisha) was funded via Kickstarter. It won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the SXSW festival in 2015.
This one stars Joel Edgerton as a man who has secured his family in a desolate home while an unnatural threat terrorises the world. He is then forced to help a young family seeking refuge, and it leads to paranoia and mistrust, all as the horrors outside get ever closer.
8. Wind River
Release Date: August 4th
Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan wrote two of the best movies of the last few years, in our estimation: Sicario and Hell Or High Water. Therefore, you can bet we were excited when we found out his third film, which he is writing and directing, would see release this summer.
Sheridan excels at crime dramas which deal with the issues of modern America (racism, the economy, organized crime) in entertaining ways. This looks to be in a similar vein. It stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as FBI Agents sent to investigate the case of a dead body found in the wilderness of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Jon Bernthal co-stars, which means that this movie stars Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and The Punisher...
Release Date: July 7th
Fresh off his (somewhat controversial, in some quarters) Oscar win for Manchester By The Sea, Casey Affleck can next be seen in indie drama A Ghost Story. The trailer for the film floored us, as it was achingly beautiful and yet also quirky and odd. Affleck plays a recently deceased man, who returns to his home as a ghost (complete with a white sheet and cut-out eye holes) to try to reconnect with his grieving wife (Rooney Mara).
Both Affleck and Mara worked with director David Lowery on 2013's underrated Ain't Them Bodies Saints, so the fact that they are all teaming up again intrigues us. Something tells us that this will be a world away from Lowery's last directorial effort, however: the live-action version of Disney's Pete's Dragon!
6. Logan Lucky
Release Date: August 18th
Just take a gander at this cast list. It's very interesting, with a great mix of up and coming stars and established talent.
Channing Tatum. Daniel Craig. Adam Driver. Hilary Swank. Seth MacFarlane. Katherine Waterston. Sebastian Stan. Riley Keogh.
Now consider that this is director Steven Soderbergh's (Ocean's Eleven, Magic Mike) first film since his self-imposed retirement after 2013's Side Effects. And it's a comedy.
Then consider the plot, which concern two brothers executing a robbery during the legendary Coca Cola 600 Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway during Memorial Day Weekend.
This has got to be, at the very least, an unique watch, right?
5. The Snowman
Release Date: October 13th
We love a good detective story. Norwegian author Jo Nesbo writes some of the best detective novels out there. The Snowman is the first movie adaptation featuring his signature protagonist Harry Hole. Michael Fassbender is starring as Harry, and the plot sees him investigating the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous snowman.
Rebecca Ferguson, so magnetic in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation co-stars, along with Chloe Sevigny and J.K. Simmons. The movie is directed by Thomas Alfredson, Swedish director of Let The Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This sounds like a prestige picture to us, and we can't wait.
Release Date: September 8th
We're going to assume that you've all seen the bowel-loosening trailer for this, which was unleashed upon an unsuspecting public a few weeks ago. Prior to that trailer dropping, optimism for this new version of Stephen King's beloved novel was muted. Few people could see how it would top the 1990 TV miniseries version, which starred Tim Curry as the villainous Pennywise the Clown.
That version haunted the dreams of everyone who saw it in their youth, and you know what? It looks like this one will do just the same for young horror fans in 2017. The sheer terror and malevolence glimpsed in the trailer gives us hope for the rest of the film. This iteration is directed by Andres Muschietti (Mama) and stars Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.
Release Date: July 21st
You may wonder why this film is on the 'alternative' list. After all, the budget for this science-fiction blockbuster based on a comic book series is reported to be $220 million. It stars hot young things Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Cara Delevigne (Suicide Squad) as Valerian and Laureline, two space-and-time-travelling agents charged with keeping order in the 28th century. The film also stars Clive Owen, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke and Rihanna. It is directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson, who is returning to the space-opera genre 20 years after The Fifth Element.
Despite all this, the movie still looks like something of an underdog in a summer packed with bankable franchises. It has to perform well, however, given that it is by far the most expensive French production in history. It more than doubles the budget of 2008's Asterix At The Olympic Games. Lets hope that this one doesn't end up like similarly themed high-priced misfires Ender's Game or After-Earth before it!
Release Date: July 28th
Atomic Blonde (which is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, by Anthony Johnston and Sam Hart) looks like a whole bunch of ultra-violent fun. The first trailer was recently dropped, and it had a lot of observers comparing the vibe to John Wick. This might make sense, actually, considering the director is David Leitch, who did indeed co-direct John Wick with Chad Stahelski!
The cast is awesome, from Charlize Theron kicking ass and taking names in the lead role, to support from James McAvoy, John Goodman and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman). The action looks fast, furious and innovative. With a modest $30 million budget, we reckon the studio could have a hit on their hands.
1. Baby Driver
Release Date: June 28th
This is geek-friendly director Edgar Wright's latest movie, and it looks like a total blast. His first since 2013's The World's End, the recently released trailer makes it seem like he has had a ton of fun making this one. The story concerns a talented getaway driver, named Baby (Ansel Elgort), who is coerced into working for a local crime boss (Kevin Spacey). He wants to ditch his criminal life to be with the girl of his dreams (Lily James), but a doomed heist threatens everything!
The supporting cast is stellar, with Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx bringing some star-power to the proceedings. We're very excited about this movie, and are looking forward to watching it in a darkened movie theatre, while jamming popcorn into our faces!