Jacob Hall’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

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Ah, January. A time for reflecting on the year that passed and the year that lies ahead. And more specifically, a time for finishing up those top 10 lists and writing most anticipated movie lists covering the next 12 months. Here are my top 10 most anticipated movies of 2017.

I had one rule when making this list: I would only feature movies that already have guaranteed 2017 release dates. This means I lean heavily on mainstream fare rather than potential festival darlings, because there’s no telling which small movies will initially screen this year, get purchased, and then get put on the schedule for 2018. Cool? Cool.

Thor Ragnarok Sets Up Avengers Infinity War

10. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3)

There are three Marvel Studios movies arriving over the course of 2017, but one of them can’t help but pique my curiosity just a little bit more than the others. Thor: Ragnarok is in an interesting position because (despite Chris Hemsworth’s bottomless charisma) there hasn’t been a great solo Thor movie yet. Enter director Taika Waititi, the legit genius behind What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt For the Wilderpeople. Enter Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban, Tessa Thompson, and Jeff Goldblum as the film’s new supporting cast. Enter Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch, who will return as Bruce Banner and Doctor Strange. Those names promise something interesting. The hiring of composer Mark Mothersbaugh to create the film’s soundtrack and that wacky, throwback logo (seen above) suggest something truly bizarre. I have no idea what a Thor movie made by these people looks like, but damn, I sure am excited to find out.

the dark tower trailer

9. The Dark Tower (July 28)

I’m probably a little too close to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower to have even-keeled thoughts about the upcoming movie adaptation. The original book series, a magnificent blend of horror, fantasy, science fiction, and western concepts, has been close to my heart ever since I cracked open The Gunslinger in middle school. There are few pieces of art and pop culture that matter to me more. So I look at the casting of Idris Elba as Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the villainous Man in Black and feel like all is right with the multiverse. And then I remember that I have no frame of reference for director Nikolaj Arcel and note that the film won’t be a proper adaptation, but a “remix” of the book series. The whole endeavor sounds appropriately ambitious and weird, but it’s a very shaky wire everyone is walking – a single misstep could be heartbreaking.

war for the planet of the apes ceasar and his apes

8. War For the Planet of the Apes (July 14)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of 2011’s great surprises and 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was even better. In an age where Planet of the Apes has become a meme and a punchline, these movies restored the series name to its rightful place at the top of the science fiction ladder. They were smart, thoughtful, and surprisingly empathetic, giving both the human characters and the CGI apes a point of view that was wholly understandable. Director Matt Reeves is back with War For the Planet of the Apes and it looks to once again push the right buttons and offer us two worthwhile perspectives on opposite sides of a post-apocalyptic conflict that is both unnecessary and inevitable. If this film follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, it will be a welcome blast of intelligence in the middle of the blockbuster season.

Lego Batman Movie

7. The LEGO Batman Movie (February 10)

Everyone has their Batman, the take on the character that truly matters to them. And while I respect many of ’em (and love Kevin Conroy’s version from Batman: The Animated Series), I will always default to Adam West’s caped crusader from the original ’60s television series. What can I say? I love a dark knight who refuses to throw a bomb into the ocean because he’ll risk hurting ducks. While The LEGO Batman Movie is technically a spin-off from (the so-good-how-was-it-so-good-it-is-a-miracle) The LEGO Movie, the goofy sense of humor on display in the trailers reminds me so much of the Adam West series that it ignites something primal deep inside the fabric of my being. This movie looks to be the first Batman movie in years that will be wholly appropriate for kids and as someone who fell in love with the character as a kid, this feels long overdue.

Get Out Trailer

6. Get Out (February 24)

If you want to know what’s upsetting people, just look to the horror movies hitting theaters. 2016 was a banner year for horror, with many new releases directly reflecting the specific anxieties plaguing us at this very specific moment in time. Get Out looks to pick up that particular torch and spring with it. Written and directed by Jordan Peele (one-half of the great Key & Peele team), Get Out looks to blend jump scares and satirical commentary into a very welcome, and potentially bitter, cocktail. The plot, about a black man who visits his white girlfriend’s family and learns that people of color tend to vanish around these parts, looks to push the right buttons. The involvement of Blumhouse Productions practically ensures it being a crowd-pleaser. I’m not sure what this movie is going to feel like, but I’m eager to find out.

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