30 Movies We Can't Wait To See At The 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Team /Film (Peter Sciretta, Ethan Anderton, and myself) is headed up to the Sundance Film Festival this week. As always, we know to expect the unexpected — so often, our favorite films turn out to be ones we'd never even heard of until we arrived — but we can't help but pick out a few we're especially dying to see. After the jump, read our Sundance 2017 preview of 30 films we can't wait to see at the fest.

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Alexandre O. Philippe's documentary digs into the shower scene in Psycho, still one of the most famous movie scenes of all time, with help from filmmakers like Guillermo del ToroBret Easton EllisKaryn Kusama, Eli Roth, and Peter Bogdanovich. The title refers to the 78 setups and 52 cuts that make up the scene, but the film goes beyond the technical to examine the scene's cultural context and place in cinematic history.Beatriz at Dinner

Beatriz at Dinner

Sundance favorite Miguel Arteta (Chuck & BuckThe Good Girl) returns with a dark dramedy about a holistic therapist (Salma Hayek) who inadvertently winds up at an upper-crust dinner — and becomes disturbed when she believes she recognizes one of the guests, and the sins he's committed to get where he is.

Before I Fall

Before I Fall

Like a YA Groundhog's DayBefore I Fall centers on a high school mean girl (Zoey Deutch of Everybody Wants Some!!) who is forced to relive, over and over, the very last day of her life. Ry Russo-Young (Nobody Walks) directs the drama based on the bestselling novel by Lauren Oliver. Watch the trailer here.

Berlin Syndrome (2)

Berlin Syndrome

A vacation fling turns into something more intense — and much more disturbing — in the new film by Somersault and Lore director Cate ShortlandTeresa Palmer plays a young Australian woman who hooks up with a handsome local (Sense8's Max Riemelt) while holidaying in Berlin. Their intense attraction turns into a sinister possessiveness on his part, as she finds herself locked in his apartment with no way out.

The Big Sick

The Big Sick

Have you ever heard Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon's tragic, dramatic, and utterly romantic real-life wedding story? If not, it's dramatized in the new dramedy written by Nanjiani and Gordon and directed by Michael Showalter. Nanjiani plays a fictionalized version of himself, while Zoe Kazan stars as Emily. Judd Apatow produced, so you know you can count on his signature mix of heart and humor.

Burning Sands

Burning Sands

Up and comer Gerard McMurray (he produced Fruitvale Station) wrote and directed Burning Sands, an intense hazing drama centered on a promising young freshman (Trevor Jackson) pledging a prestigious black fraternity. The supporting cast includes the great Alfre Woodard and Moonlight breakout Trevante Rhodes.

Call Me By Your Name (2)

Call Me By Your Name

Luca Guadagnino, of I Am Love and A Bigger Splash fame, is back with what sounds like another intoxicatingly sensual drama. This one stars Timothée Chalamet as an American teenager visiting northern Italy in the summer of 1983. His life changes forever when he meets his father's charismatic young assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer). Michael Stuhlbarg also stars.Columbus


You might know Kogonada for his elegant video essays, commissioned by the likes of the Criterion Collection, on the works of auteurs like Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, and Richard Linklater. Now he's making his feature directing debut with Columbus, starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson as two strangers who form an unexpected friendship after meeting by chance in Columbus, Indiana.

Crown Heights

Crown Heights

Lakieth Stanfield takes center stage in Crown Heights, based on the devastating true story of Colin Warner, who was wrongfully convicted of murder when he was just 16 and spent the next twenty years in prison. Warner's story has a happy ending, relatively speaking — a friend devoted his life to exonerating him, and finally succeeded in 2001 — but the drama promises a good hard look at the broken system that failed him so badly to begin with.The Discovery

The Discovery

Charlie McDowell hit Sundance 2014 with his mind-bender of a relationship drama, The One I Love, and now he's coming to Sundance 2017 with another one. Jason SegelRobert Redford, and Rooney Mara star as three lost souls who live in a world where the existence of an afterlife has been definitively proven. We can only assume it gets weirder and more complicated from there.A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story

Sometime after making Pete's Dragon, director David Lowery found the time to reunite with his Ain't Them Bodies Saints stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck for a secret drama. Affleck plays an actual ghost who haunts his bereaved lover (Mara), but don't call it a horror story — Lowery's made it crystal clear that this isn't "scary" in any sense unless you've got some very specific fears.



Not long ago we got word of a few different L.A. riots movies in development, but Justin Chon's beat them all to the punch with Gook. His drama focuses on a dynamic that's rarely been explored even in films that reference the riots — the rising tension between the city's Korean-American and African-American communities — through the story of two Korean-American store owners who befriend a young African-American girl.

The Incredible Jessica James

The Incredible Jessica James

Jessica Williams' first movie role since leaving The Daily Show is The Incredible Jessica James, an indie romcom that reunites her with People Places Things director James Strouse. Williams plays Jessica, who's still reeling from a breakup when she meets Boone (Chris O'Dowd). Lakeith Stanfield co-stars as Jessica's ex.Ingrid Goes West

Ingrid Goes West

Aubrey Plaza stars as Ingrid, who becomes obsessed with an Instagram star named Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen) and moves to Los Angeles in hopes of befriending her in real life. It sounds like a profoundly uncomfortable watch, and hopefuly an insightful one. Billy MagnussenO'Shea Jackson Jr., and Wyatt Russell also star.Killing Ground

Killing Ground

We've already heard some promising off-the-record buzz about this Midnight entry, which follows a young couple who head to a remote campsite for a fun weekend getaway and end up fighting for their lives. With shades of Funny Games and Straw Dogs, this does not look like one line for the faint of heart.

LA Times

L.A. Times

Michelle Morgan wrote, directed, and stars in a comedy of manners about a perfectionist who decides her relationship just isn't cutting it anymore, and breaks up with her boyfriend so she can find someone better. As she continues to explore the Los Angeles dating scene, though, she starts to realize the picture-perfect romances around her aren't exactly what they seem.Landline


Obvious Child director Gillian Robespierre and star Jenny Slate have reunited for Landline, a '90s-set comedy about a Manhattan family in turmoil. Slate and Abby Quinn play sisters who discover that their father (John Turturro) has been cheating on their straight-laced mother (Edie Falco). If Landline has even half the heart and humor of Obvious Child, we should be in for a treat.The Little Hours

The Little Hours

Jeff Baena's never been one to shy away from offbeat comedy — his feature directing debut was the zom-rom-com Life After Beth — but even so, The Little Hours looks unexpected. Alison BrieAubrey Plaza, and Kate Micucci play a trio of medieval nuns who get all hot and bothered when the priest (John C. Reilly) hires a strapping young man (Dave Franco) to help out around the convent. Maybe it'll be great, maybe it won't, but either way it's bound to be something unusual.Marjorie Prime

Marjorie Prime

Based on a Pulitzer finalist play by Jordan Harrison, Marjorie Prime follows an elderly woman sending the rest of her days with a "Prime," a computerized simulation of her late husband. He's programmed to reflect her happiest memories, smoothing over the tragedy and misfortune that also make up a life. Lois Smith reprises her role as Marjorie, after playing her onstage in New York, and Jon Hamm is her new companion.

Mudbound (2)


Dee Rees follows up her remarkable debut feature, Pariah, with something much, much larger in scale. Epic, even. Jason Mitchell and Garrett Hedlund star as two men who return home to the South after World War II. They strike up an unexpected friendship even as their families go to war against each other. The outstanding ensemble cast includes Carey MulliganJason ClarkeMary J. BligeRob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks. But really, Dee Rees' name was all we needed to hear to excited for this one.Nobody Speak Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press

Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press

You probably don't need a documentary to remind you about Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker. It was covered exhaustively in the press, and the final settlement was reached just a couple of months ago. But director Brian Knappenberger uses that legal battle to examine its greater context, including the troubling shifts in our media landscape and the powerful forces driving them forward, at a time when the freedom of the press is more crucial than ever.



Coming-of-age dramas are a pretty common sight at Sundance. Coming-of-age dramas about nuns around the creation of Vatican II? Yeah, that's new. Directed by Maggie BettsNovitiate follows a young woman (Margaret Qualley) enters a convent to begin her training as a nun, only to find her faith challenged. Julianne Nicholson and Melissa Leo also star.

The Polka King

The Polka King

Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear) chronicles the strange true story of Jan Lewan (Jack Black), who rose to polka music stardom in the 1990s... and then lost it all when he was arrested for fleecing his fans in a Ponzi scheme. Honestly, the phrase "Polka Ponzi scheme" is enough to make us curious.Roxanne Roxanne

Roxanne Roxanne

Michael Larnell's new drama centers on a classic hip-hop beef from the 1980s: the "Roxanne Wars" that took off when a 14-year-old from Queens recorded "Roxanne's Revenge," her response to U.T.F.O.'s "Roxanne, Roxanne." Newcomer Chanté Adams plays the young artist, and Nia Long and Mahershala Ali are among the supporting cast.To the Bone

To the Bone

Marti Noxon, creator of Lifetime's UnREAL and former showrunner of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, moves into movie directing with To the BoneLily Collins plays an anorexic young woman facing her demons, aided by a doctor played by Keanu Reeves.Tokyo Idols (2)

Tokyo Idols

Peabody-winning documentarian Kyoko Miyake digs into Japan's unusual pop music culture, following a young idol and the adult male superfans obsessed with her. Tokyo Idols promises to look at the country's music industry, the gender dynamics in play, and the evolution of the phenomenon in the age of the internet.



Perpetual mentor Woody Harrelson gets his turn to be the lost and prickly one in Wilson, an adaptation of Daniel Clowes' graphic novel of the same title. He plays a hilariously awkward middle-aged man who finds a new purpose in life when he discovers that his estranged wife (Laura Dern) plans to put up for adoption daughter he never knew he had (Isabella Amara). Watch the trailer here.

Wind River

Wind River

Taylor Sheridan, the acclaimed screenwriter behind Sicario and Hell or High Water, branches out into directing for the first time ever with Wind RiverElizabeth Olsen stars as a rookie FBI agent who teams with a more experienced game tracker (Jeremy Renner) to solve a murder on a remote Indian Reservation in Wyoming.XX


Karyn KusamaAnnie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent), Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic, and animator Sofia Carrillo each contribute a segment to what might be the first-ever all-female-director horror anthology film. Watch the first trailer here.The Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds

Before Alden Ehrenreich shoots off into a galaxy far, far away, we'll get to see him in Alexandre Moors' Iraq War drama written by David Lowery and R.F.I. Porto. Ehrenreich stars as a young soldier who watches his friend (Tye Sheridan) die in the battlefield, and returns home to a military investigator (Jason Patric) and a mother (Jennifer Aniston) desperate for answers.