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Caitlin Quinlan, Rebecca Speare-Cole, Tom Willams

50 films to look forward to in 2017 – part 1

Must-see films coming your way over the next 12 months, featuring Claire Denis, Edgar Wright, Yorgos Lanthimos and more.

While 2016 was a pretty exceptional year for new movies, we think this year is already shaping up to be even better. To help you decide what to see and what to swerve, we’ve compiled a handy list of some of our most hotly-anticipated films. Here are 50 upcoming titles you’d be mad to miss in 2017.

1. Toni Erdmann

Eta 3 February

Take note: Toni Erdmann is one of the most miraculous films of the new millennium. Written and directed by Maren Ade, this sparkling comedic family drama centres on the often strained relationship between parents and children. Practical joker Winfried attempts to reconnect with his workaholic daughter through absurd humour that forces her to rethink his role in her life. The film was particularly successful at the 29th European Film Awards, taking home five prizes including Best Film, and we’re tipping it for greatness in 2017.

2. Dunkirk

Eta 21 July

The strong-looking latest offering from Christopher Nolan is set to hit screens summer 2017. An impressive lead cast of Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh star in this story of the unprecedented Allied evacuation from Dunkirk during the Second World War, and intriguingly it also sees the screen debut of One Direction singer Harry Styles. Nolan’s directing prowess aside, the subject matter alone makes this one of the most eye-catching releases of the year. Check out the trailer here.

3. Happy End

Eta spring 2017

Michael Haneke reteams with the cast of his 2012 Oscar-winner Amour for Happy End, a family drama set against the backdrop of the European refugee crisis in Calais. Starring Mathieu Kassovitz alongside Haneke regulars Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant, this one is all but guaranteed to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

4. Alien: Covenant

Eta 19 May

Apparently undeterred by the lukewarm reception that Prometheus received, Ridley Scott is back in the hot seat for Alien: Covenant. Having avoided watching Alien 3 after it was released and reportedly strongly disliking it one he finally saw it decades later, Scott has now decided to make a ‘sequel-substitution’. Only Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce reprise their roles from Prometheus, with Katherine Waterston entering the fray as the crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise is actually a dark, dangerous world.

5. You Were Never Really Here

Eta unknown

Very little is currently known about Lynne Ramsay’s next project, adapted from Jonathan Ames’ novella, but we do know that it stars Joaquin Phoenix and relative newcomer Ekaterina Samsonov. The former plays Joe, an ex-Marine who is hired by a New York politician to save his daughter from the perils of the sex trade. Early reports suggest the film will be similar in tone to Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive, which gives the film an exciting edge.

6. My Life as a Courgette

Eta 5 May

A new stop-motion animated feature from Swiss director Claude Barras, My Life as a Courgette follows a young orphan boy, nicknamed Courgette by his late mother, and as he enters a new foster home. Despite struggling to fit in at first, Courgette begins to thrive with the help of kind policeman Raymond and fellow orphan Camille. This charming yet melancholy tale is not to be missed.

7. Stronger

Eta unknown

An exploration of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Stronger sees Jake Gyllenhaal take on the role of Jeff Bauman, a local man who aids the police in tracking down the perpetrators, despite having suffered a heavy trauma during the attack. David Gordon Green’s latest is based on first-hand accounts from Bauman, whose autobiography of the same name was released in 2014.

8. Dark River

Eta unknown

Ruth Wilson and Sean Bean star in this new mystery thriller from director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant). Wilson stars as Alice, who returns to her family farm after 15 years to claim the tenancy she believes is rightfully hers only to face a hostile reception from her estranged brother. The film is adapted from the novel ‘Trespass’ by Rose Tremain.

9. Okja

Eta summer 2017

After 2013’s criminally underrated Snowpiercer, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho and Tilda Swinton join forces again in this action drama. Lilly Collins, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal also star in a film about a young girl named Mija who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal name Okja.

10. The Favourite

Eta unknown

Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuarts, has yet to receive a significant biopic. Step up Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek director whose The Favourite excitingly stars Olivia Colman in the lead role. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are also on board for this historical drama about the political machinations behind the scenes during the reign of this English Queen.

11. The Lost City of Z

Eta spring 2017

James Gray’s follow-up to 2014’s The Immigrant tells the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett’s travels to Amazonia in the 1920s. Hoping to discover a lost civilisation in the treacherous, unchartered jungle, Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) ignores the ridicule he faces from his contemporaries and devotes his life to his work. Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller co-star.

12. John Wick: Chapter 2

Eta 17 February

Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick in the sequel to Chad Stahelski’s hitman thriller. Orange is the New Black’s Ruby Rose is a notable new addition to a cast which remains largely in tact from the first film. This time Wick travels to Rome to face deadly assassins, including a former colleague with dangerous intentions. The all-guns-blazing trailer has certainly piqued our interest.

13. Logan Lucky

Eta unknown

Adam Driver looks set to take his fine form into 2017 with a key role in Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky. Following two brothers as they plan a heist during a NASCAR event, the film boasts an all-star cast that also includes Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Katie Holmes and Hilary Swank. Soderbergh’s return to feature filmmaking following his “retirement” in 2014 has all the makings of a triumphant comeback.

14. Coco

8 December

Pixar’s Coco is a Mexican Day of the Dead themed story of music and family with an entirely Latino cast, including Benjamin Bratt and Gael García Bernal. The story follows Miguel, a young music fan who fights against his family’s belief that they have been cursed by musicians of the past. Lee Unkrich of Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo fame directs alongside Adrian Molina.

15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Eta 28 April

When Guardians of the Galaxy surprised everyone by becoming the highest-grossing superhero film of 2014, a sequel was inevitable. We’re expecting more of the same: fun characters, an awesome soundtrack and plenty of that trademark Marvel banter. The plot sees Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) learn his true parentage, with Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel all reprising their roles.

16. 20th Century Women

Eta 10 February

Annette Bening looks a sure bet to pick up her fifth Oscar nomination for her role in 20th Century Women, which explores three women’s stories from Southern California in the 1970s. Beginners director Mike Mills has lined up Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig to star alongside Bening in a vital exploration of womanhood inspired by his own mother’s depression.

17. Thor: Ragnorak

Eta 27 October

Chris Hemsworth has bulked up again (reportedly smashing 6000 calories a day) in order to reprise his role as the blond-locked lightning god for Thor 3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi is taking on this Marvel mega-movie, which according to producer Kevin Feige will play an important role in setting up Avengers Infinity War: Parts 1 & 2. No pressure, then.

18. The Trap

Eta unknown

Spring Breakers writer/director Harmony Korine is behind this horror/crime-thriller starring James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Al Pacino and Benicio Del Toro. Korine has hinted that the film is the second part of his so-called ‘Florida Trilogy’. This time the action centres on an ex-convict and his quest for revenge against a gangster rapper friend who let him take the fall for a robbery they committed 14 years earlier.

19. Spiderman: Homecoming

Eta summer 2017

We weren’t expecting anything special from this reboot, that is until we caught a first glimpse of Tom Holland in the Spidey suit in Captain America: Civil War. Once again we will see how young Peter Parker begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero. Let’s just hope Marvel brings something new to the table.

20. Baby Driver

Eta 18 August

Edgar Wright’s latest, Baby Driver, is rumoured to be based on a music video for Mint Royale’s track ‘Blue Song’, which Wright himself directed. The film follows a young getaway driver who finds himself taking part in a heist which is doomed to failure. Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Lily James star.

21. Submergence

Eta unknown

Alicia Vikander plays Danielle Flinders, an oceanographer preparing for a dive to the ocean floor while her former lover (James McAvoy) is held captive by Jihadi fighters on the east coast of Africa. Based on the JM Ledgard novel of the same name, Submergence is a story of love and endurance in the face of extreme adversity from ace German director Wim Wenders.

22. The Billboards Outside Edding, Missouri

Eta unknown

Martin McDonagh has been relatively quiet since 2012’s Seven Psychopaths, but the writer/director is returning in 2017 with this dark comedy starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson. She plays a mother who, desperate for answers in her daughter’s murder case, begins a war with the local police by painting three billboards with slogans to highlight their inadequacies. Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage are also involved.

23. The Dark Tower

Eta 28 July

The latest Stephen King work to be made into a feature film, The Dark Tower is a sci-fi western co-written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel. With a cast that includes Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, it focuses on the quest of a frontiersman knight (Elba) who, along with a young boy who stumbles into the magical realm, must reach the eponymous Dark Tower and save his world from extinction.

24. High Life

Eta late 2017

French master Claire Denis helms this Robert Pattinson-starring drama. Set in the future, it casts Pattinson, Patricia Arquette and Mia Goth as a group of criminals who accept a mission in space. In doing so they become the subjects of a human reproduction experiment. We couldn’t be more intrigued by this winning combination.

25. American Made

Eta 25 August

Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman teams up with Tom Cruise again for this thriller biopic. Pilot Barry Seal lands a job for the CIA as a drug runner in the 1980s. While filming on location in Medellin, Columbia, a plane crash on the last day of shooting killed two stunt pilots, delaying the film.

Which films are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017? Let us know @LWLies

Published 1 Jan 2017

Tags: Christopher Nolan Claire Denis Clio Barnard David Gordon Green Harmony Korine Isabelle Huppert Lynne Ramsay Maren Ade Martin McDonagh Wim Wenders Yorgos Lanthimos

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Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, LWLies has been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.

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