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The Movies of Summer 2017 We Can’t Wait to See, Ranked

What’s most interesting is what didn’t make the list.
Anticipated Summer Movies
By  · Published on May 10th, 2017

Hello, and welcome to summer 2017! The summer movie season has been a big deal ever since Steven Spielberg unleashed his very determined Great White shark into the waters off Amity Island, and that’s okay by us. Fun, fantastic films are released year-round of course, but there’s something about summer movies that continues to pull us out of the sunshine and into the darkness for two or three hours at a time.

Summer 2017 looks to be no different meaning there are plenty of movies to be excited about over the next four months. Summer movies come in all shapes, sizes, and IQs, and to illustrate that point I enlisted the help of eighteen of my fellow FSR writers to share the five films they’re most anticipating seeing this summer. Some of the answers are obvious, some are unexpected, and perhaps most surprising of all… none of them are Spider-Man: Homecoming.

1. Baby Driver (June 28th)

Summer is for enjoying the simpler things: bonfires, patio beers, and getaway drivers with one last job before retirement. I didn’t have the pleasure of attending Baby Driver’s premiere at SXSW, so I’ve settled for watching the international trailer in bed and yelling “HIS NAME IS BABY” at my cat. Reuniting with the Cornetto Trilogy’s Working Title Films and DP Bill Pope (World’s End, Scott Pilgrim), Edgar Wright’s latest looks like the perfect vehicle for his first solo writing credit, as well as his trademark kinetic storytelling and high style genre-play. I can hardly wait to watch Ansel Elgort’s latter-day Gene Kelly pull sick, musically-synchronized drifts while flipping crime kingpins the bird. In the meantime, I’m happily playing Wright’s pseudo-Baby Driver Mint Royale music video (featuring Noel Fielding) in anticipation. — Meg Shields

2. Alien: Covenant (May 19th)

Look, Ridley Scott’s last Alien film, Prometheus, is simultaneously something of a mess and not as bad as people seem to think. Its issues though are wholly in the script — okay, the script and the English-language performance from Noomi Rapace — while the rest of the film delivers some intense action/horror sequences and gorgeous production design. We won’t know until we see it if his latest jaunt into nightmarish sci-fi keeps the latter and fixes the script, but if it does the end result just may be a horror film on par with the original. If nothing else Scott has brought together one hell of a compelling cast with Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, and Amy Seimetz joining the returning Michael Fassbender and Rapace. The title already shows a willingness to fully embrace the Alien mythology where Prometheus tried to obfuscate it, so consider me giddy for some bloody space slaughter. — Rob Hunter

3. The Beguiled (June 23rd)

Sofia Coppola is to return to filmmaking with this year’s The Beguiled, and the film presents a turning point for the director. Not only is her cast full of returning indie stars Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, but Coppola will also be directing the acclaimed Nicole Kidman. What’s more, with her first and most established venture into genre filmmaking, audiences will be able to see an added twist to Coppola’s aesthetic. — Sinead McCausland

4. Wonder Woman (June 2nd)

This may come as a shock to some of you, but DC’s Extended Universe hasn’t quite found the same level of success as Marvel’s, and while it’s not exactly a direct competition it most certainly is a direct competition. DC’s films have made money, but they haven’t exactly been… good. They are beating Marvel to the punch with a female superhero solo film though, and even better, it looks fantastic. Patty Jenkins’ direction and Allan Heinberg’s script appear to have captured both the period and the personality the same way the first Captain America film did, and if that holds true the end result will not only be the best DC film but one of the best superhero films period. Gal Gadot looks set to embody her character with the same personality and presence, and I’m especially interested in seeing her in a world not helmed by Zack Snyder. — Rob Hunter

5. It Comes at Night (June 9th)

Trey Edward Shults’ first feature, Krisha, is a haunting and uncomfortably disturbing movie about a family dinner. The thought of him taking that talent and applying it towards an actual horror film, even one that’s likely subdued in its gradually increasing intensity, is incredibly appealing. A24 thought so too which bodes equally well. The first teaser revealed very little, and that’s already too much for me. I’m going in blind based on the power of Krisha and a cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, and Christopher Abbott. — Rob Hunter

6. The Bad Batch (June 23rd)

Ana Lily Amirpour’s sultry debut, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, delivered unique, uncompromising, and touching genre weirdness in a package stylish enough to win a blank enthusiasm check from me for whatever she did next. What’s next is The Bad Batch, which leaves her first film’s Iranian ghost town for the abandoned Mad Max-ish deserts of the American west. Featuring a scowly, ridiculously muscle-bound performance from Jason Momoa and supporting roles from Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey, there’s a lot of bizarre star power hovering dangerously around the central, anxious lead played by Suki Waterhouse. I can’t wait to see how Amirpour’s over-the-top style melds with violent Western tropes and her delicate touch when it comes to developing relationships. No matter how good or bad it is, the film will definitely be original. — Jacob Oller

7. Dunkirk (July 21st)

Summer blockbusters from Christopher Nolan have become an essential part of the cinematic landscape — that rare treat that both cinephiles and casual moviegoers can enjoy. But what’s so intriguing about Dunkirk is that all indications suggest it will stretch Nolan’s talents as both an artist and a mass entertainer. The Inception director will trade labyrinthine structure and mind-bending narrative for a pared-down survival story, less a war film than a nail-biting suspense flick. Not unlike Gravity and The Revenant, Dunkirk represents an effort by a sophisticated auteur to grapple with the most elemental themes imaginable: life, death, and fear. And like both those films, Dunkirk will reportedly feature little dialogue and character backstory, relying instead on present-moment visual and emotional intensity. Serving as both director and sole writer, Nolan will divide the film into three parts, capturing the historic battle from the perspectives of land, sea, and air soldiers respectively. If it lives up to its promise, the film will solidify Nolan’s place in the pantheon of grand scale visionaries, alongside David Lean, Stanley Kubrick, and Steven Spielberg. We can’t wait. — Jake Orthwein

8. War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14th)

As much as I enjoyed the previous two entries in the pseudo-reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise, I find myself wracked with a nearly uncontrollable/unstoppable excitement for Matt Reeves’ trilogy-capper. The earlier efforts were certainly rich with character and offered the appropriate amount of action et-pieces for a summer tent-pole, but Andy Serkis’ Caesar kept having his role reduced for lesser human actors like James Franco and Jason Clarke. Now, in War for the Planet of the Apes, the pink-skin distraction appears to have been reduced to one insane Woody Harrelson and his army of fodder; Caesar stands alone as the leader of his people, and the rightful heir to our dollars. The title alone promises an apocalyptic event that will inevitably result in that terrifyingly backwards society that Charlton Heston will one day plummet into. For Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, we were teased with apes on horses, tanks, and slinging M16s, but now it appears that we’re going to get full-on gorilla warfare. Apes, chimps, and all manner of monkey will bring the oh-so-needed hurt to the human race. In keeping with the rest of the series, I am not expecting a happy ending for any animal involved, but I am hoping for a proper conclusion to Caesar’s story before Reeves flees for The Batman. — Brad Gullickson

9. The Dark Tower (August 4th)

Idris Elba is one of those actors of which you do not ask, “will he be good?” but, “will this film deserve him?” to which the answer as of late has been consistently and disappointingly “no.” While his TV roles have shown audiences what he’s capable of, he has not yet found such a platform on the big screen. To see him starring in a major, big-budget film, much like The Dark Tower film itself, seems like something that should have happened ten years ago. But sometimes good things come to those who wait, and we can only hope this is one of those times. Considering the source material and just how long this one has been in development, I’m anticipating either something spectacular or spectacularly terrible (which can still make for an entertaining viewing experience, after all). The only true disappointment will be if it turns out to be truly mediocre, which, though I am loathe to admit it, the new trailer makes apparent is a decided possibility. But I shall continue holding out hope nonetheless. — Ciara Wardlow

10. Logan Lucky (August 18th)

As we all pretty much expected, independent film icon Steven Soderbergh has come out of his four-year retirement from directing to bring us Logan Lucky, a heist comedy he describes as the “anti-glam” version of the Ocean’s Trilogy. The film follows two brothers (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) who team up with an ex-con (Daniel Craig) to rob $14 million from NASCAR at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The all-star ensemble cast also includes Hilary Swank and Katherine Waterston. Soderbergh’s return is one of the most exciting in a year full of directors returning to the fray, so let’s hope it’s one of the best, too. — Fernando Andres

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

The original is inarguably among the best comic book movies. My goodness, it’s pure love when Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” hits and a tiny Starlord is standing under that gigantic Guardians of the Galaxy title treatment. Tell me you weren’t all in when he danced his way through his Raiders of the Lost Ark moment. James Gunn gave us the perfect mood music to fall in love with a space adventure starring a bunch of losers. Do you remember three years ago when a talking tree, a hostile raccoon, and that silly guy from Parks and Recreation seemed like an impossible leap for the MCU? I sure don’t. Gunn’s penchant for whip-smart dialogue, heartful storytelling, and fun action sequences makes the nearly-here sequel my most anticipated film of the summer. — Billy Dass

12. Okja (June 28th)

Memories of Murder. The Host. Mother. Snowpiercer. Bong Joon-ho’s last four films made a compelling argument for being excited about whatever he chose to make next, and the details just add to the anticipation. It’s about a genetically-created creature and the ethics of both science and consumption, and it stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, and more. The only real area of concern from where I’m sitting is tone. The creature is befriended by a young child, and the risk is that the pair’s adventure may end up being a bit too cutesy to actually be all that engaging and affecting. Hopefully Bong avoids that trap and instead delivers a film that celebrates both the innocence of youth and the viciousness of corporate interests. — Rob Hunter

13. Atomic Blonde (July 28th)

I’m not quite sure how anyone could watch the latest Atomic Blonde trailer and shrug their shoulders because I for one could watch Charlize Theron destroy men all day long. The parallels with John Wick are obvious enough to whet the appetite but make no mistake, this looks to a film that can stand on its own. Based on Antony Johnson’s 2012 graphic novel, the film follows Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent. Those of us bemoaning the lack of a Black Widow-led Marvel film can find some solace in Atomic Blonde’s spy thriller plot and kick ass female lead. Also, there’s James McAvoy and he’s a peach! So here’s to one of the summer’s most promising action films and that inevitable and delicious John Wick crossover we truly don’t deserve but might get anyway. Charlize and Keanu forever! — Jamie Righetti

14. The The Big Sick (June 23rd)

In a summer that promises to be sufficiently action-packed, I’m looking forward to a good romantic comedy to break up all the stylized violence. Especially, a romantic comedy that’s both funny and genuine. The Big Sick is about how cultural differences and a medically-induced coma endanger the relationship of a comedian, Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), and his girlfriend, Emily (Zoe Kazan). Writers Emily V. Gordon and Nanjiani based the film on their real-life courtship and from what I’ve heard post-Sundance about its premiere there is it shows in the best possible way. Judd Apatow produced the film, Michael Showalter directed it, and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano round out the cast as Emily’s parents. Call me a sap but I just, like, believe in love you know? Honestly, I’ve been FOMO’d to the max since Sundance in January I just want to see this movie. — Francesca Fau

15. A Ghost Story (July 7th)

Talk about a ghost story… nobody even knew David Lowery had been stealthily making another movie with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara until last November after it had been secretly shot. Two months later it was premiering at Sundance to rave reviews — the kind that make you want to just trust the buzz and avoid details and trailers and wait for its release. And then it was picked up by A24, so there’s even more reason to just believe and go in blind. But we have seen the trailer, which shows a lot and affirms it would be best encountered cold, and it does look like a magical piece of cinema. It has had us at every step of its being, and we can’t wait to have it in full. — Christopher Campbell

16. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21st)

I am a Luc Besson addict, have been since The Professional. There’s something so ludicrously over-the-top about his films, and simultaneously something so playful. He’s bombastic, kinetic, and other words you’d use to describe a hyper child, and I love most everything he’s done. Which is why Valerian — which the director professes to be his dream project — makes my most-anticipated list. Not only is Besson returning to sci-fi, he looks to be making amends for the issues of The Fifth Element with an all-out space action epic that appears as imaginative as it does action-packed. Besson’s been waiting his whole life to make this movie, and I for one feel like I’ve been waiting all mine to see it. — Perry Horton

17. Detroit (August 4th)

She may never top her New Order music video for “Touched by the Hand of God” but Kathryn Bigelow will always be a director I get excited about. Later this summer her newest film will hit theaters and well, I’m excited. In her third collaboration with screenwriter Mark Boal, Bigelow tackles the racially charged 12th Street Riot that occurred in Detroit 1967, specifically focusing on incident at the Algiers Motel. The story is an unfortunate black eye for the city of Detroit and sadly something that is still relevant today in the United States. Bigelow and Boal have a very recent history of dealing with historical tense situations and thus far the results have been positive. Here’s to hoping they once again succeed in telling an important story. — Chris Coffel

18. The Mummy (June 9th)

Universal’s plan to create a shared monster universe (along the lines of Marvel’s films) is interesting on the surface, but with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Chris Morgan being the creative behind them it’s tough to get all that excited. At least, it was before Tom Cruise joined the first official film out of the gate. I’m unapologetic in my love for Cruise, and the idea of seeing him in a horror movie — even PG-13 Hollywood horror — is more than enough to get my butt in a theater seat. It’s destined to be a CG spectacle to be sure, but the trailer reveals some fun, creepy set-pieces, and with Cruise favorite Christopher McQuarrie on-board as a co-writer the odds of us getting a somewhat smarter summer blockbuster have increased noticeably. I know I’m in the minority on this one — it only made the list because a second person voted for it too — but Cruise has proven himself more often than not of delivering the goods, and knowing that this is the intended beginning of not only a new franchise for him but a far bigger one for Universal I trust that he’ll be giving it all he’s got. — Rob Hunter

Honorable mentions that each received a single vote:

All Eyez on Me, Elian, Generation Iron 2, Ingrid Goes West, The Little Hours, Paris Can Wait, Rough Night, Tulip Fever, Wind River, Wish Upon

Individual ballots on the next page >>

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