Ten Fourth-Quarter 2017 Films to be Excited About!

I did this a 2016 version of this post a year ago (right here) and had fun with it, so I’m doing it again for 2017.  Sometimes it feels that all the good movies for the year are released in the summer.  But that’s not true!  We have plenty more to which we can look forward!  As with the 2016 list, these aren’t the only films to potentially be excited about for the remainder of the year.  But these are the ones I feel have the most potential.  Last year, I feel like I had at least a 70% hit rate, with at least seven of the ten being very good or better.  Let’s see how I do, this year!  I will list the films in order of currently-scheduled release date.  So here are the ten films scheduled for release from October through December of 2017 that I’m most excited about!

1. The Snowman


October 13 – The trailer for Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman reminds me of both this year’s stunning Wind River and the classic The Silence of the Lambs.  Michael Fassbender plays a detective investigating a serial killer whose calling card is an ominous snowman.  Alfredson is a Swedish filmmaker who brought us the original Let the Right One In, so he has pedigree.  And, seemingly part crime story, part mystery, and part horror thriller, The Snowman looks to get the final few months of the year off to an exciting start.  (Official Trailer)

2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer


October 20 – A psychological drama from director/co-writer Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), the cast of Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, and Alicia Silverstone is enough to suck me in and get to me to the theater to see The Killing of a Sacred Deer.  Throw in some mystery, ambiance, and a fresh upstart of a director who is continuing to make a name for himself, and the fact that the film comes from A24 Studios – perhaps the most reliable production studio in the industry today –  and there’s every reason to be excited about this one.  I’m there.  (Official Trailer)

3. Jigsaw


October 27 – I’m sure some of you are groaning, and I know the Saw franchise isn’t for everyone.  But, if you can get over the graphic nature of the violence and look beyond the creativity of the traps (as fun as they can be), narratively speaking, the series has actually provided audiences with one sprawling epic of a story that has a fascinating ethical dilemma at its center.  There are loads of characters who are connected in intricate ways and the filmmakers never fail to surprise with the developments that unfold on screen.  I’m in for the long haul because of the mythology and I, for one, am glad to have the Saw series back.  (Official Trailer)

4. A Bad Moms Christmas

Bad Moms

November 3 – Last year’s Bad Moms was a hidden gem in the middle of the summer and a surprising hit, grossing almost $184 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.  There was some unsettling scuttlebutt that the inevitable sequel would be a movie entitled Bad Dads which would have been a mistake on every possible level.  Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and out trio of freedom-loving mothers will be back to allow an oft-untapped market of young and middle-aged women to live vicariously through them and all of us tagalongs to get a voyeuristic kick out of the sure-to-be raucous proceedings.  (Official Trailer)

5. Thor: Ragnarok


November 3 – Of all the movies on this list, Thor: Ragnarok is unquestionably my most-anticipated.  Come on, what’s not to love about a Thor/Hulk buddy movie with Cate Blanchett as a wickedly intimidating Hela, the return of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and battle scenes with Surtur and what appears to be Fenris, all directed by Taika Waititi – the man who gifted unto the world last year’s wonderful Hunt for the Wilderpeople?  This one appears to be a big winner in every single imaginable way and I can hardly stand the wait.  (Official Trailer)

6. Justice League

Justice League

November 17 – Even if you haven’t been crazy about the majority of the DC Extended Universe, so far (I personally have liked three of the four entries and absolutely loved Wonder Woman, as most did), there’s got to be a little piece you on the inside that is pumped for Justice League (or Wonder Woman and Her Superfriends).  This film has been a long time coming and the fact that I still know so very little about the storyline only makes it that much more intriguing.  DC and Warner Brothers have to be thrilled with the popularity and success of Wonder Woman as her very presence alone will increase the excitement around the film.  Heck, if nothing else, we can count on enjoying Gal Gadot in her now-iconic role as Diana of Themyscira.  But the film has a lot of potential beyond that and there are millions of fans around the world crossing their fingers that it pays off. (Official Trailer)

7. Coco


November 24 – Pixar hasn’t been quite as consistent in recent years with the high-level of quality for which they have become known, but I still have faith in them and continue to look forward to each of their films.  Coco is breaking from their recent onslaught of sequels and giving us something fresh and takes us on an adventure through the Land of the Dead.  I hope this one has the spark of life and originality that we were subject to with Inside Out.  The fact is, no matter how hasty many people are to become cynical and jaded after one or two (relative) missteps, Pixar is still far more likely to deliver than not. (Original Trailer)

8. Murder on the Orient Express


November 24 – The day before Thanksgiving in America is traditionally a great day for movie releases and 2017 is no exception.  In addition to Pixar’s Coco, that Wednesday will see director-actor Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Murder on the Orient Express.  Remake or not, I love locked-box mysteries and the casts of characters they bring along with them.  The cast is outstanding, Branagh is a versatile director, and I’ve simply been on board since the first time I saw the trailer.  This one is near the top of my list for the rest of the year.  (Original Trailer)

9. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi


December 15 – Come on, folks, this had to be here.  There’s so much to be revealed and uncovered in The Last Jedi.  The most exciting aspect of the new trilogy is the journey of Rey as we discover her history, her lineage, and her destiny.  There will be plenty more fun to be had with all of the great new characters, more fun with some of the old, a sad goodbye to Carrie Fisher, and plenty more that we don’t even know to be anticipating.  It’s exciting to not know what’s coming in the Star Wars universe, again!  (Official Trailer)

10. Downsizing


December 22 – From director Alexander Payne comes Downsizing, a comedy-drama about a society who discovers that their lives and bank accounts are significantly improved by shrinking themselves through a new – and irreversible – scientific procedure.  Payne directed the amazing George Clooney/Shailene Woodley dramedy The Descendants as well as other cult favorites ElectionSideways, and Nebraska.  With Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig front-and-center, Downsizing is shaping up to be a crowd-pleasing sleeper hit that seeks to counterprogram against the big bad Star Wars.  For true film lovers, there’s plenty of room for both.  (Official Trailer)

And there we have it for 2017!  As always, there should be plenty of surprising Oscar bait that pops up before January 1, and that’s half the fun (at least) of the end of each moviegoing year, so we’ll see what that brings as well.  All in all, while the upcoming months look solid, I don’t think it paints quite the optimistic picture that 2016 did, but I would love to be wrong.  Go!  Watch!  And (hopefully) enjoy!

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