The 24 best upcoming movies of 2017

December means only one thing; it’s time to start getting excited about next year! We’ve watched and enjoyed (almost) all the best movies of 2016, but there’s so many new ones to look forward to in 2017. Star Wars 8, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Star Wars 8… the list goes on. In fact, the list is below. In an attempt to get you sincerely HYPED for next year, the GR+ team have picked the most exciting upcoming movies to put on your 2017 must-watch list. 

We’ve got everything from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes (Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League), to the sequels and reboots you won’t want to miss (Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049). Not to mention, a few movies you might not have considered but definitely should (Beauty and the Beast and Fast 8). They’re all below in chronological order so you know which to get excited for first, and we’ll be keeping this list up to date with any new information or release date changes, so make sure you check back throughout the year. Read on and enjoy. 

1. XXX: Return of Xander Cage

Release date: January 17, 2017 (UK)/January 20, 2017 (US)

In the pantheon of unexpected sequels and reboots, XXX: Return of Xander Cage has to be up at the top, and if the trailer's any indication, it's a return to the gleeful, stupid excess that Hollywood action blockbusters have been missing since… well, Vin Diesel's other action franchise. Any one of its stunts - which include, but are not limited to, skiing in a jungle, skateboarding downhill and high-fiving a dude in a moving vehicle, and riding a motorcycle in the freaking ocean - would be enough for a single movie. XXX: Return of Xander Cage includes them all, and more. 2002 is back, baby, and we can't wait to see this nonsense. David Roberts

2. T2 Trainspotting

Release date: January 27, 2017 (UK)/March 10, 2017 (US)

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose this sequel. ‘90s classic Trainspotting is getting a second movie in 2017 and yes, I’m as terrified as you that it’s going to be terrible. Thankfully, returning director Danny Boyle has managed to get the original cast on board, including Ewan McGregor, so fingers crossed it will live up to the first film. Picking up 20 years after the 1996 movie, Renton returns to Scotland to make amends with his friends Spud and Sick Boy, while trying to avoid the unstable Begbie who’s been released from prison. If you think that means they’re all going to be grown up and behaving themselves though, you need to watch the first trailer. Based on Irvine Welsh’s Porno novel, it has the blessing of the Trainspotting author which means hopefully it won’t be a sequel we come to regret. Lauren O’Callaghan

3. John Wick: Chapter 2

Release date: February 10, 2017

If you’re not excited about John Wick: Chapter 2 yet, then you obviously haven’t seen John Wick. One of the sharpest, most energetic, most straight-damn-exciting action movies of recent years, John Wick is an economical, witty, incendiary air-punch of a film, pushed up to the next level by a clever and deceptively affecting concept - John is the best-of-the-best assassin, now retired, who gets back on the horse to avenge his murdered dog, which was actually an emotional cipher for his recently dead wife - and a never-better (or at least never-cooler) performance by Keanu Reeves. In the sequel, John is trekking between the US and Rome - with a cool new dog in tow - to help an old friend seize control of a global assassins’ guild. Clearly he continues to be “not very good at retiring”, but that’s no bad thing at all. John Wick: Chapter 2 looks every bit as visually exciting as the first, blending sparkling gloss with a real, artistic eye for composition in every single shot. It also looks just as glorious brutal and raw in its choreography, while maintaining that light tinge of comic book excess that made the first film so much fun amid the bloodshed and pathos. David Houghton

4. The Lego Batman Movie

Release date: February 10, 2017

Depending on who you ask, Will Arnett’s supporting role as Batman was the best part of 2014’s The Lego Movie. So obviously he has now been given the starring spot in an adventure of his own. In The Lego Batman Movie, the caped crusader will be taking down the Joker (a lighter-sounding version voiced by Zach Galifianakis) and learning life lessons with adopted son Robin (played by a very excited Michael Cera). Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, and Mariah Carey are also lending their vocal skills to the movie. A couple of different trailers have dropped, each setting expectations for fun send-ups of the traditional Batman universe and lots of good-natured silliness. Batman struggling to find the right TV input was just one of the many choice moments. In other words, this looks to be just as charming and fun as the first blocky blockbuster. Anna Washenko

5. Logan 

Release date: March 3, 2017 (US)/ March 2, 2017 (UK)

Technically Logan is only the third Wolverine movie, but let’s be honest; X-Men, X2, The Last Stand, and Days of Future Past are all Wolverine movies as well. The world has plenty of movies about Hugh Jackman taking off his shirt and yelling. Why should you be excited about another movie with Hugh Jackman likely losing someone he loves and getting angsty about the knives embedded in his arms? Because finally, after seven movies and two cameos, we finally get to see Wolverine engage in R-rated behavior! The premise of an aged Logan in a vaguely post-apocalyptic world struggling to keep a young mutant alive with Professor X is exciting, but the fact that Wolverine will actually be able to cut loose in fight scenes is far more energizing. Past X-Men movies have plenty of action but it’s almost entirely bloodless and unreal; they’re little more than action figures. The emotional core of the Wolverine character has always been his struggle to avoid violence and it’s inevitable presence in his life. The idea of a Wolverine movie where violence has believable consequences makes revisiting the character well worth it. Anthony Agnello

6. Kong: Skull Island

Release date: March 10, 2017

Who doesn’t love a good monster movie? Skull Island promises to bring back the classic tree-crushing, building-smashing threat of giant beasts, and kick start a new franchise which will see Kong and Godzilla appear on screen together. The ‘70s set adventure has got some great names attached as well, with Tom Hiddleston heading up the cast as an ex-SAS soldier leading an expedition to explore the island. He’s joined by Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and Brie Larson, and while Kong is obviously the draw here, rumour has it that the story revolves around a quest for a mysterious serum that can cure illness. That certainly adds an extra layer to all the running and screaming that’s bound to happen. Leon Hurley

7. Beauty and the Beast

Release date: March 17, 2017

You might be wondering why the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast is in our most exciting upcoming movies of 2017 list. Yes, it’s Disney, but the 1991 original is also one of the biggest, most successful movies of all time and the remake is shaping up to be more than just a bit of fluff. Plus, you know you want to see how they make ‘live action’ versions of a singing clock and a dancing candlestick. Emma Watson is taking on the role of Belle (and should have no trouble pulling it off), but it’s Dan Stevens as the Beast who’ll be really interesting to watch. Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, and Ewan McGregor round out the stellar cast, and unlike Disney’s live action remake of The Jungle Book, this is going to be a musical so get ready for more rousing renditions of Be Our Guest. Don’t pretend like you’re not humming it already. Lauren O’Callaghan

8. Power Rangers

Release date: March 24, 2017

Go, go Power Rangers! The spandex-bedecked heroes who battle the evil Rita Repulsa have seen many iterations on the small screen, but the cinematic outing in 2017 is looking more modern than its afternoon-kids-show-cheesy forefathers. The reboot is providing a fresh take on the Rangers - Blue, Red, Pink, Yellow, and Black - giving them Iron Man-esque armor, mechs that could’ve come from Pacific Rim, and the emotional baggage that comes from being “weirdos and criminals”. Elizabeth Banks chews up the scenery as slinky villain Rita and Bryan Cranston chips in as as the Rangers’ floating head advisor, Zordon. Some of the movie’s aesthetics - most notably robot Alpha 5’s concept art - have drawn raised eyebrows from fans, but overall Power Rangers is in keeping with the current spate of high school action heroes from The Hunger Games and Divergent - hopefully more the former than the latter. Susan Arendt

9. Ghost in the Shell

Release date: March 31, 2017

Finally! Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg bought up the rights to make a live action Ghost in the Shell adaptation all the way back in 2008, promising us big screen adventures where Major Matoko Kusanagi was a real live human being (or at least played by one). She would do all her sweet espionage and counter terrorism stuff in the frighteningly technological future while we watched in awe. Now it’s finally here and Scarlett Johansson is the Major. Some people are upset that an Asian actress isn’t filling the role, but in the wake of early trailers, it’s hard to deny that she looks the part. The rest of the film is directly inspired by the 1995 animated feature right down to fight choreography, but there are implications that this will be a more personal story focussing on the Major herself rather than the political and spiritual conflicts she becomes embroiled in in the original film, comic, and TV show. Nearly a decade coming, and looking well worth the wait. Anthony Agnello

10. Fate of the Furious 

Release date: April 14, 2017

Sick of the Fast and Furious movies yet? NO YOU’RE NOT, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Fate of the Furious - or Fast & Furious 8 in the UK - is hitting cinemas in 2017 so get ready for more fast cars, furious Vin Diesel, and… other stuff. This will be the first Fast and Furious movie (except for Tokyo Drift, obviously) without Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Connor and little is known about the story, other than the fact that it’s set in New York City. We do know that Charlize Theron has signed on as the movie’s villain though, not to mention that Helen Mirren has been confirmed as a new cast member too. Yes, Helen Mirren. Other returning cast members include Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, and, of course, Vin Diesel. Lauren O’Callaghan

We recommend