Part 1: 50-41
40. Coco (Nov 22)
It’s entirely possible that I am too low on this, given that it is a Pixar film. However, I know next to nothing about it, and what I do know doesn’t sound all that appealing. The story involves a young kid named Miguel, the Day of the Dead, music, and family. GIven that Cars 3 is coming out in the Summer, it seems a safe bet that this will be the best Pixar film released this year, but will it be closer to Inside Out or The Good Dinosaur?
39. Free Fire (Mar 17)
This is the kind of pulpy action film that I really look forward to. A arms deal between two gangs goes south and a shootout between both sides ensues with everyone involved having to shoot their way out to make it out alive. It’s set in Boston in 1978. It’s also got a great cast that includes Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sam Riley, and Sharlto Copley. The trailer looks entertaining and there are even a few early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes that are positive with an 81% rating based on 31 reviews. Feels like a glorified B-movie in the best way possible.
38. Rock That Body (Jun 16)
Kate McKinnon has started to hit it big after a few years killing it on SNL and being one of the positives to come out of last year’s Ghostbusters maelstrom. Here, she is starring in a comedy with Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Demi Moore, and Ilana Glazer about a bachelorette party that ends up with the dead corpse of a male stripper. The premise and the cast has a lot of potential for being hilarious.
37. Snatched (May 12)
Speaking of funny women, Amy Schumer is back this summer in her first film since 2015’s Trainwreck. This one is directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies, The Night Before) and is written by Katie Dippold (Ghostbusters, The Heat). Schumer plays a woman who breaks up with her boyfriend and she convinces her mom to go with her on a vacation to Ecuador, where they get kidnapped. Her mom? None other than Goldie Hawn, who doesn’t have a film credit to her name since 2002’s The Banger Sisters. This could be a great return vehicle for her and another hit comedy for Schumer.
36. Get Out (Feb 17)
My mini run of comedies kind of continues and ends here, as Get Out is from Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame. This is not a comedy but rather a horror film, though it is supposed to be satirical. It’s Peele’s writing and directing film debut, which is exciting. The film is about a black man who goes with his white girlfriend to visit her parents for the weekend only to find out that there is something going on with these white people in this quiet neighborhood. The trailer looks promising and unsettling.
35. Ghost in the Shell (Mar 31)
This is an adaptation of a highly popular manga from Japan which was also made into a wildly popular anime film back in the mid-90s. Scarlett Johansson stars as a cyborg police officer that works in a counter-cyberterrorism and hacking unit. The trailer shows a film that looks like a live-action anime, which is good considering the source material, and the action looks highly stylized too. The director is Rupert Sanders, who directed Snow White and the Hunstman.
34. Battle of the Sexes (TBD)
This sports comedy is based on the real life tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King, one of the greatest female tennis players ever, and Bobby Riggs, a former tennis great who was 55 and claimed that women’s tennis was inferior (whether that was for promotional purposes or sexist reasons is unclear depending on who you talk to). Emma Stone will be portraying King while Steve Carrell is Riggs. It’s being directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the duo who directed Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks.
33. Molly’s Game (TBD)
Molly’s Game is an adaptation of a memoir by Molly Brooks, about a successful entrepreneur that sets up a high stakes poker game and draws the attention of an FBI investigation. The film is notable because it has Aaron Sorkin stepping into the director’s chair for his first feature film. Jessica Chastain is the lead with a supporting cast that features Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, and Chris O’Dowd.
32. Suburbicon (TBD)
George Clooney is directing this film with a script written by Joel and Ethan Coen, Clooney, and Clooney’s writing partner Grant Heslov. It’s a crime mystery comedy set in the 1950s focused on a family that resorts to blackmail, revenge, and betrayal after a deadly home invasion in their quiet little town. The best and the worst of people come out. It stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, and Josh Brolin.
31. The Shape of Water (TBD)
Guillermo Del Toro is back with a fantasy drama that takes place during the height of the Cold War in America, 1963. According to Wikipedia, a “janitor in a government facility falls in love with an aquatic man who is being held captive for testing.” Still, Del Toro period pieces that piece together fantasy and drama (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth) have been some of his most thematically rich films. Sally Hawkins plays the janitor, the aquatic man is apparently frequent Del Toro collaborator Doug Jones, and Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer, and Richard Jenkins round out the main cast.