12 Must-See 2017 Movies: The Best Movie From Each Month

Depending on who you ask, 2016 was either a great year for movies — filled with some truly unforgettable moments — or one of the worst on record. Whatever the case, any given year has its fair share of must-see films, and we’re betting that 2017 will be no different.

Today we’re cherry-picking what we consider to be the most anticipated and/or promising film release from each month of 2017. Of course, that means a great many exciting films will be left off, including superhero sequels like Logan and Spider-Man: Homecoming. We’re aiming to touch on a variety of genres here and limiting our scope to wide releases only. So you won’t find any indie darlings below.

1. The Founder (January 20)

Michael Keaton in The Founder

Michael Keaton in The Founder | The Weinstein Company

Michael Keaton has experienced a career resurgence in recent years, and his performance as Ray Kroc — the businessman who turned McDonald’s into the empire we know today — has been gaining significant buzz.

2. John Wick: Chapter 2 (February 10)

John Wick - Chapter 2

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 | Lionsgate

John Wick was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2014, a kinetic action film with a fascinating mythology and a winning performance by Keanu Reeves. This sequel will hopefully expand on that and prove to be just as much of a blast as its predecessor.

3. Beauty and the Beast (March 17)

Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in Beauty and the Beast | Disney

Sure, Disney has been really fixated on remaking its animated classics as live-action blockbusters (e.g., last year’s The Jungle Book), but this one has tremendous promise. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens lead the cast as Belle and the Beast, and we can’t help but hope it blows us away.

4. The Fate of the Furious (April 14)

Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious

Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious | Universal

Against all odds, the Fast and Furious franchise has evolved into one of the biggest film series running today. This one — which sees Vin Diesel’s Dom turn against his “family” — should be just as much fun, featuring the returns of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, and the addition of Charlize Theron as the new villain.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel

Marvel shocked the world by turning a relatively obscure title into one of the most popular entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the same cast and director James Gunn back for this sequel, expect this film to charm audiences once more. Baby Groot has already conquered the internet once before, after all.

6. Wonder Woman (June 2)

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman | Warner Bros.

Female-led superhero films have a rough history, but we’re hoping that this one can break that trend, delivering a satisfying box office hit that does justice to the iconic character. Gal Gadot was so much fun in her smaller role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. More please.

7. Dunkirk (July 21)

Fionn Whitehead in Dunkirk | EW

Fionn Whitehead in Dunkirk | EW

Whenever Christopher Nolan releases a new film, it instantly skyrockets to our must-see list. The director behind Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception takes on World War II with this release, and we’re anxious to see what his vision of the historic conflict looks like.

8. Baby Driver (August 11)

Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World | Universal Pictures

Edgar Wright. Need we say more? Okay, the man behind Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World returns to theaters with his first directorial effort in seven years. Starring Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver who winds up in hot water, we’re betting Wright shows us something we’ve never seen before.

9. It (September 8)

Bill Skarsgard in It

Bill Skarsgard in It | New Line Cinema

Normally, horror remakes give us pause, but we’re still cautiously optimistic about this new vision of the Stephen King classic. Bill Skarsgard has tremendous shoes to fill as Pennywise the clown. Maybe this one can actually break tradition and make a revisit worth it. Please?

10. Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 | Official Blade Runner 2049 Twitter account

Harrison Ford is really intent on breezing through his signature roles, isn’t he? Still, after reprising Han Solo for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ford has our faith. He returns alongside Ryan Gosling in this much-talked-about sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott cult classic, with Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) directing.

11. Justice League (November 17)

Ben Affleck and Ezra Miller in Justice League

Ben Affleck and Ezra Miller in Justice League | Warner Bros.

Even though the DC Extended Universe hasn’t worked for everyone so far, the fact that we’re finally getting a Justice League film is exciting nonetheless. We’re especially interested to see more of newcomers Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa, who have all appeared only in the briefest of cameos to date.

12. Star Wars: Episode VIII (December 15)

Luke Skywalker at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Lucasfilm

You didn’t think there was any chance this would slip past our list, did you? After that cliffhanger ending, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Rey and Luke in writer and director Rian Johnson’s film. Plus, it will likely mark the final screen appearance of the late Carrie Fisher.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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