Movies to Watch Before You Go to the Movies in 2017 — 4th Quarter

By  · Published on December 31st, 2016

Blade Runner (1982)

Ridley Scott’s masterpiece about rogue androids in the future and the detective assigned to terminate them has been an isolated gem for a long time. Now, 35 years later, the Scott-produced sequel, Blade Runner 2049, might dilute some of its magic, though it should be remembered that the original cut of Blade Runner wasn’t too great, either. You’ve got time for all the different versions available of the first movie if you begin now.
Due Date: October 6th

Blade Runner (30th Anniversary Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

The 1980s incarnation of My Little Pony isn’t that related to the current series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, or its new movie spinoff, also titled My Little Pony: The Movie, but it’s worth seeing where the animated characters got their start, in this first feature based on the Hasbro toys. Plus, funny enough, it’s basically the first Marvel movie.
Due Date: October 6th

My Little Pony The Movie

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Matthew Vaughn can make just about anything into a fun time at the movies, and that includes this unlikely graphic novel adaptation about a young hip British spy recruit. He’s back for the sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which should also be great with Julianne Moore playing the villain, but it’ll still take a lot to top Sofia Boutella’s clever blade-legged henchwoman or the incredibly violent church scene of this first installment. Due Date: October 6th

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Friday the 13th (1980)

The king of slasher horror movies is getting rebooted again, this time with a new take on the origin of Jason Voorhees and his vengefully murderous mom. Will Pamela Voorhees again be the primary killer in the new Friday the 13th? Regardless, the one that started it all is all you need for background on what the future brings.
Due Date: October 13th

Friday the 13th

Insidious (2010), Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), and Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

You wouldn’t just start a book with the fourth chapter, so why would you do so with a movie series? Insidious: Chapter 4 might be another prequel, and therefor a sequel mainly to Chapter 3, but that’s not confirmed yet. Still, it’s not Chapter 0.5, so you’ll still be expected to know all that came previously.
Due Date: October 20th

Insidious [Blu-ray]

Saw (2004)

There have been seven Saw movies in total, but the upcoming eighth movie is said to be a reinvention of the franchise, headed in a new direction. So until we hear otherwise, it’s just the first movie that you’ll want to see in anticipation of Saw: Legacy, or whatever it’s titled.
Due Date: October 27th

Saw (Unrated)

Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

So far, it seems the Cloverfield franchise is truly an anthology with each installment unrelated to the rest. But there has been rumor that eventually we’ll see something tying them together. Maybe that will happen in the third movie, formerly known as God Particle.
Due Date: October 27th

10 Cloverfield Lane [Blu-ray]

Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Get ready for the third Thor movie, which is also the 17th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, with probably only this trio of films as essential background material. Thor: Ragnarok will pick up with Thor and Hulk pretty much directly after the events of Age of Ultron, showing where they went instead of appearing in Captain America: Civil War.
Due Date: November 3rd

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two (Iron Man 3 / Thor: The Dark World / Captain America: The Winter Soldier / Guardians of the Galaxy / Avengers: Age of Ultron / Ant-Man)(Amazon Exclusive) [Blu-ray]

Bad Dads (2017)

Who knows if the Bad Moms spinoff from earlier in the year will have any link to the holiday-themed sequel A Bad Moms Christmas. Better to be safe than sorry.
Due Date: November 3rd

Bad Moms

Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2013), and Wonder Woman (2017)

There’s a chance of Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn being shoehorned into this crossover movie somehow, but without knowing for sure there are only three DC Extended Universe installments to get through before seeing Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg team-up against the chance of another disappointing comic book movie with Justice League.
Due Date: November 17th

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition Blu-ray + Theatrical Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Sidney Lumet directed this first, very successful film version of the Agatha Christie mystery, and Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar for her supporting role while nominations recognized the script, score, cinematography, costumes and lead performance by Albert Finney as iconic detective Hercule Poirot. Since then, there have been a few TV adaptations, and now Kenneth Branagh is directing another star-studded take on Murder on the Orient Express for the big screen.
Due Date: November 22nd

Murder on the Orient Express [ Blu-Ray, Reg.A/B/C Import – Sweden ]

The Finest Hours (1964)

There have been so many film portrayals of Winston Churchill, going back actually as far as 1914, that it’s hard to decide the one most fittingly watched ahead of Gary Oldman’s go in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. So, let’s settle on the real deal with this Oscar-nominated, Orson Welles-narrated documentary about the iconic British prime minister released just before his death.
Due Date: November 24th

Churchill: The Finest Hours

Star Wars: Episode I ‐ The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II ‐ Attack of the Clones (2002), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), Star Wars: Episode III ‐ Revenge of the Sith (2005), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984), Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

You never know which movies in the 40-year history of the franchise will be referenced with Easter eggs in Star Wars: Episode VIII, so make sure you’ve seen and closely studied them all.
Due Date: December 15th

Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]

Ferdinand the Bull (1938)

Disney won an Oscar for this short based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s classic children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand.” Now Fox and producer Paul Feig are making a feature-length version with either a more faithful title or one shortened just to Ferdinand.
Due Date: December 22nd

The Six Million Dollar Man (1973)

One of the biggest hit series of the 1970s began with this Lee Majors-led TV movie, plus two others, and now a new movie franchise is set to begin with Mark Wahlberg set to star in a feature with the updated title of The Six Billion Dollar Man.
Due Date: December 22nd

The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 1

Jumanji (1995)

Another movie we once thought was a remake is actually a sequel, despite Jumanji being another of these follow-ups with the same name as the original. It’s actually not that similar in plot to the 1995 movie and so far doesn’t look like a continuation either, but it’ll be good to be prepared for anything.
Due Date: December 22nd

Jumanji [Blu-ray]

Pitch Perfect (2012) and Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Fans will be getting their aca-fix with Pitch Perfect 3 in 2017, and you can be one of those fans after watching the two preceding musical installments. Due Date: December 22nd

Pitch Perfect Aca-Amazing 2-Movie Collection

The Mighty Barnum (1934)

Wallace Beery played P.T. Barnum for the second, unrelated time in this comedic biopic that also stars Virginia Bruce as singer Jenny Lind. Not quite the same as the musical we’ll be getting with the Hugh Jackman-led The Greatest Showman, which co-stars Rebecca Ferguson as Lind but still a fine look at the circus icon.
Due Date: December 25th

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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.