The 24 best upcoming movies of 2017

11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release date: April 28, 2017 (UK)/May 5, 2017 (US)

Do you like Pina Coladas? How about getting caught in the rain? If you’re not into health food, but are into champagne, then you probably know I’m quoting one of the most loved songs from the original Guardians. I’ll stop now, and tell you about Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which is due in theatres next April. Star-Lord is back, and this time he’s finding out about his true parentage, as well as battling an artificial being called Paragon. Or Her. Or Kismet. Or Ayesha. Look, it has loads of names. We know that most members of the original movie are returning, and that the film kicks off about 3 months after the climax of the first. There will be a new mixtape soundtrack, obviously, loads of baby Groot, and plenty of other Marvel comic cameos. Early teasers suggest it’s more of the same explosive, hilarious, space-adventuring. Good. Andy Hartup

12. Alien: Covenant

Release date: May 19, 2017

Do you yearn for an ethereal paradise? You’ll be thrilled to know that on a remote planet on the furthest side of the galaxy there’s all the stunning scenery you’ll ever need. Provided that you’re willing to share it with Ridley Scott’s deadly alien, of course. Directed by Scott himself, the events of the upcoming Alien: Covenant are set on this enchanting planet after the crew of the Covenant colony ship stumble upon it, but they soon discover that they’re not alone. Strolling amongst the flora is David (Michael Fassbender), a synthetic android who happens to be the survivor of the ill-fated Prometheus voyage. I’m betting that he’s got some ominous advice about the other lethal inhabitants of the planet, and judging by his morally dubious actions in Prometheus, he might hinder more than help the colonists. Zoe Delahunty-Light

13. Wonder Woman 

Release date: June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman is exciting for three reasons. Firstly and most simply, its titular character is finally getting a proper, big-screen adaptation, after decades of excuses and near-misses. Secondly, lead Gal Gadot was about the only ray of light in the mirthless dirge that is Batman v Superman, working with limited material to nevertheless create a Diana Prince as capable as she is downright likable. And thirdly, with its highly intriguing World War One setting - a scenario that will hopefully answer some big questions about the so far underused character, without leading into a thousand more deliberately oblique sequel teases - a great director in Patty Jenkins, helmer of the Oscar-winning Monster, and a (hopefully) good script co-written by DC’s Geoff Johns, Wonder Woman could actually be the first, genuinely decent film set in the new DC Extended Universe. Because God knows, we need one of those right now. David Houghton

14. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Release date: June 16, 2017 (UK) / October 6, 2017 (US)

Kingsman: The Secret Service was the surprise hit of 2014 and shot it’s lead actor Taron Egerton to fame almost overnight. A James Bond for the new age, it mixes sharp humour with standout action sequences and… well, it was always going to get a sequel. Well, that follow-up is on the way next year and will see Eggsy back in action as the newest Kingsman. After the events of the first movie, there’s plenty to discuss. Who’s the Kingsman’s new leader, now traitor Michael Caine’s Arthur is gone? Will Eggsy’s budding romance with follow Kingsman Roxy continue? How on earth did Colin Firth's Harry Hart survive that bullet to the head in the first movie?! What we do know is that Eggsy will be teaming up with Mark Strong’s Merlin as the pair travel the states to meet their US counterparts, and new cast members include Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, and Vinnie Jones. Impressive. Lauren O’Callaghan

15. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release date: July 7, 2017

Post-Marvel success there’s a lot to get excited about with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Tom Holland is playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man and has already won fans over in Civil War. Then there’s Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man - set pictures suggest Spidey will be seeing him both in New York and the Avengers base so expect a film connected to the wider MCU. Most interestingly of all is former Batman Michael Keaton as the main villain, Vulture. That has to guarantee some amazing on-screen evil (seriously, watch Pacific Heights if you want to see Keaton go full evil). But the villains don't stop there: the gadget building Tinkerer will played by Orange is the New Black’s Michael Chernus, while Shocker is also around, strongly rumoured to be played Bokeem Woodbine. The only mystery so far is who exactly Zendaya is playing after she said she’s definitely not MJ. Leon Hurley

16. War for the Planet of the Apes

Release date: July 14, 2017

The original Planet of the Apes remains a cinema classic but its sequels got schlocky fast. It's been a pleasant surprise to watch the reboot series (not the Mark Wahlberg one) avoid the same pitfalls through Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and all signs point to the trend continuing with War for the Planet of the Apes. Humanity is nearly extinct after the events of the first two films and chimpanzee Caesar is struggling to retain control over his colony of intelligent apes. As the name suggests, War for the Planet of the Apes will set Caesar's group against a new detachment of militarized human survivors. Mankind has almost no chance of restoring its former dominance, but it might still be able to royally mess things up for the apes. Connor Sheridan

17. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Release date: July 21, 2017

As far as trailers go Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets wins the ‘holy hell I want that now’ award. Based on a French comic book that started in the ‘60s, it follows special agent Valerian and his partner Laureline, played by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne respectively, as they’re sent to a massive space city called Alpha to investigate a threat to the human race. That’s about all the information we have right now, but we do know that their Commander is played by Clive Owen and that singer Rihanna has a role. Director Luc Besson seems to have crafted a spectacular vision of the future, which is fitting as the original book influenced big sci-fi movies like his own Fifth Element and Star Wars. Leon Hurley

18. The Dark Tower

Release date: July 28, 2017

Movies based on Stephen King novels are dicey propositions. Yes, The Mist, Green Mile, and The Shawshank Redemption are all totally sweet, but Frank Darabont isn’t always there to save the day. Sometimes you end up with The Shining and filmmaking is changed forever, other times you end up with Dreamcatcher… The Dark Tower saga is especially thorny, though. It’s an eight novel cycle about a bizarre fantasy world of cowboys who are also Arthurian-style knights. Not only does it crossover into our own real world and other King novels like Salem’s Lot, the author himself shows up as a crucial character. It is, in a word, unfilmable. While much is still unknown about this adaptation, starring Idris Elba as Roland the Gunslinger (the proper name for these knights), there have been hints that it’s not an adaptation at all. King’s statements and teases about the movie suggest it might be a sort of sequel to the books so those more esoteric aspects of the originals can be skipped entirely. Which is a good thing. Characters show up in book five dressed like Doctor Doom but with wolf heads and their primary weapons are lightsabers and snitches from Harry Potter. Literally. Anthony Agnello

19. It

Release date: September 8, 2017

It’s had a troubled production, but the new version of Stephen King’s cosmic clown horror masterpiece looks like it might well be back on track. Losing True Detective season 1 director Cary Fukunaga was a blow, but the film has a strong replacement in Mama director Andrés Muschietti. And what’s more, the new It is doing things right. Split into two movies - one following its characters’ childhood battles against the titular horror, the other picking up when their adult selves must return to face it decades later - it should have more than ample running time to do King’s complex novel justice. And as for you purists worrying that transplanting the childhood story from the ‘50s to the ‘80s might ruin things? Don’t. The ‘80s now represent much the same things that the book’s original setting did at the time it was released. And besides, when we’re talking about unspoken-of horrors in isolated small towns, do things ever really change that much? David Houghton

20. Blade Runner 2049

Release date: October 6, 2017

Blade Runner defies sequelization. The power of its ending, with Deckard haunted by ambiguous implications about the nature of modern humanity, gains power from the fact that we don’t know what happens next. That’s on top of its nature as a showcase for the filmmaking technology of 1982; nothing else looked like Blade Runner’s mad mix of set design, models, and trick photography. Many imitators have tried, none have succeeded. Yet if anyone was going to carry the story of Ridley Scott’s weary world and its synthetic people struggling for the right to live, Denis Villeneuve is the man for the job. His nightmarish thriller Enemy, the sober alien contact film Arrival, and his penchant for human tension exemplified by Sicario demonstrate how he can capture the Blade Runner tone. The rest depends on a brilliant script and better editing - Ridley Scott spent 25 years tinkering with the original - and whether or not Edward James Olmos shows up with that jaunty hat again. Anthony Agnello

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