Movies to Watch Before You Go to the Movies in 2017 —3rd Quarter

By  · Published on December 31st, 2016

Spider-Man (2002)

In case you haven’t heard, the latest reboot of the Spider-Man character on the big screen, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is skipping the origin story. What if you’ve never seen a Spider-Man movie before and don’t know how the superhero got his powers? You’ll need to check out the first installment of Sam Raimi’s initial trilogy.
Due Date: July 7th


My Cousin Rachel (1952)

Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland star in the first version of My Cousin Rachel, an adaptation of a novel by Daphne du Maurier about a man suspicious that his cousin was murdered by his new wife. Since its release the book has been turned into stage and radio productions, but now there’s also another movie version starring Sam Claflin and Rachel Weisz in the Burton and de Havilland roles.
Due Date: July 14th

My Cousin Rachel

Planet of the Apes (1968), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

The third installment of the surprisingly still awesome Planet of the Apes reboot series is due in 2017, and the first two installments are definite musts before seeing War of the Planet of the Apes. I’ve also included the original movie because War features a young version of a human character from that movie. You can get to its sequels later, but that one will be on the test.
Due Date: July 14th

Rise of the Planet of the Apes / Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray] 2-pack

Midnight Sun (2006)

This Japanese romantic drama (also known as Song to the Sun or Song of the Sun) is a weepy summer love story about a singer with a skin condition that keeps her out of the sun and the surfer boy she can’t really see in action. It’s said to be a loose remake of the 1993 Hong Kong romantic film Endless Love, but more directly it’s the source of an American remake, also called Midnight Sun, starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, as well as a prior Vietnamese redo.
Due Date: July 14th

A Song to the Sun / Taiyou No Uta / Midnight Sun Movie DVD

Bad Moms (2016)

This assignment is good for two times over the course of 2017. First, the recent comedy is spinning off a gender-swapped sequel called Bad Dads arriving in the summer. Then later, a direct holiday-themed sequel will hit at the end of the year titled A Bad Mom’s Christmas.
Due Date: July 14th

Bad Moms

Dunkirk (1958)

There have been many movies to involve the Dunkirk evacuation during World War II, some made while the war was still going on. The British film Dunkirk is probably the most concentrated on the ordeal, which was codenamed Operation Dynamo, in which Allied soldiers had to be rescued from a beach in Nazi-occupied France. Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film of the same name is not a remake, but it’s probably the next to be so focused on the evacuation.
Due Date: July 21st


Blazing Saddles (1974)

They could never make Blazing Saddles today, right? Oh, but they kind of have, as an animated feature for kids called Blazing Samurai. That’s right, and not only does Mel Brooks approve of the unofficial remake, he’s also voicing a character. In the lead, Michael Cera voices a dog based on Cleavon Little’s Sheriff Bart, Samuel L. Jackson is a cat based on Gene Wilder’s Waco Kid, and Ricky Gervais is another cat, the villain trying to clear out a town for personal gain. In a reverse of some remakes, this one turns a Western into a samurai story.
Due Date: August 4th

Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary (BD) [Blu-ray]

Annabelle (2014)

Hollywood is so crazy with its movie franchises now that this horror prequel is getting a sequel. Annabelle 2 doesn’t sound too closely linked to the first Annabelle, and the Warrens aren’t back as characters, but you might not even have any interest in seeing it without already being hooked on the terrifying doll.
Due Date: August 11th


It (1990)

Because it’s still only the length of a long feature, I’m allowing a miniseries. Plus everyone will be comparing Andres Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name with the old TV version. Definitely Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise in the new It will be and already has been contrasted against Tim Curry’s portrayal in 1990. And when you get to the end of the two-part series, you’ll be hoping for an improvement on the big screen.
Due Date: September 8th

Stephen King, IT!

Ninjago: Secrets of the Blacksmith (2011)

The first mini-movie tied to the animated series Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is an OK place to start with this sub-brand of the toy-based franchise before the feature-length Ninjago joins the LEGO movie universe on the big screen.
Due Date: September 22nd

America Burning (2013)

The Yarnell Hill Fire was a tragic wildfire in Arizona that took the lives of many firefighters attempting to put out the blaze. This short documentary produced for The Weather Channel will give you the basic facts before Granite Mountain, a dramatic depiction of the story, hits theaters.
Due Date: September 22nd

Flatliners (1990)

Despite having a high-profile cast for its time (namely Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, and Kiefer Sutherland), the original Joel Schumacher-helmed Flatliners, about medical students experimenting with near-death experiences in an attempt to prove an afterlife, is not thought about much after all these years. That’s why a remake seemed in order, but as it turns out the upcoming movie of the same name is actually a sequel with Sutherland reprising his role. All the more reason for people to see the one that came first.
Due Date: September 29th

Flatliners – Blu-ray

Doublecrossed (1991)

Real-life American drug dealer and money launderer Barry Seal, whose work for the CIA resulted in him also working for the Medellin Cartel, is now the subject of two biopics. The new one, titled American Made and heading for the big screen with Tom Cruise as Seal, will be better remembered than the first, a TV movie starring Dennis Hopper in the role. But the latter is where you’ll find early work by Richard Jenkins and Danny Trejo.
Due Date: September 29th

Click Below for the Rest of Your Assignments:
Part 1: January, February, and March
Part 2: April, May, and June
Part 4: October, November, and December

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.