Here are the films we’re most excited to see at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
The 10-day Toronto International Film Festival, fondly known as TIFF, has grown from a subcultural gathering for Canadian cinephiles to one of the largest and most internationally renowned film festivals on the circuit. With a projected 500,000 attendees and over 300 films being screened this year, TIFF is a reliable pit stop for Oscar hopefuls and buzz-generator for international indie gems. This year, TIFF programmers cut the lineup by 20%; as a result, the lineup is more refined—and edgier—than ever. The selected films represent a world embroiled in complex issues, from the migration crisis to the definition of modern masculinity to the geopolitical and interpersonal conflicts in which all of us are implicated in some way or another.
Below, we’ve selected nine movies we can’t wait to see.
“Mom, I want the world to hear my voice!” Up for another singing competition movie? Bollywood is ready to launch a guaranteed hit with the movie Secret Superstar, about a 14-year-old girl from Baroda who dreams of being a singer. It’s not often we feature trailers for Bollywood movies, but I thought we’d make an exception for this one, especially considering it opens the same day in India as it does in the US later this October. Zaira Wasim stars as Insiya, with Meher Vij, Raj Arjun, Tirth Sharma, Kabir Sheikh, Farrukh Jaffer, and Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. This actually looks fun, but it’s still another one of these singer-must-overcome-her-family stories we’ve seen many times before. English subtitles included. ›››
There are 130 feature films screening at SXSW this year. We hand-picked 10 of the most intruiging, exciting, and innovative titles to watch.
Director: Edgar Wright Section: Headliners
Edgar Wright has a new movie! Edgar Wright has a new movie! It’s his first since The World’s End, which was preceded by 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 2007’s Hot Fuzz, and, of course, 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. If you ask us, Wright has never made a bad movie. His films are strong because they aren’t your run-of-the-mill satire; they play more like homages to the old action and horror films Wright grew up loving. His newest, Baby Driver, about a young getaway driver coerced into working for a crime boss, is sure to be as action-packed as the rest. While Wright regulars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are notably absent, Baby Driver does have a great cast in Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx. —Jon Fusco
A new infographic from Zacuto shows that the most highly-anticipated camera of 2017 is the Panasonic GH5. According to the 200 customers that Zacuto surveyed, the GH5 beat out the Sony FS7 II, which recently shipped in February, by a wide margin. It’s also interesting to note that DSLRs are still very much in the game.
Even though the survey had a relatively small sample size, its findings seem to echo the general buzz surrounding each of these cameras.
Back to Sundance we go for another year of discovery. What’s on the line-up this year? Out of the 120+ films showing at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, I’ve chosen 10 that I’m looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I’ve chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There are so many films playing at the fest, and so many I’ll end up seeing (30+), that this is a quick list to get everyone acquainted with some of the work premiering in 2017 (and why I’m so excited for these). From docs about free speech and doping, to features about life after death. Nothing like watching movies in the mountains. ›››
Sometimes humans can be terrible at predicting things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun when we try. My previous attempts to predict my favorite films of the year are often wildly inaccurate — inevitably, my actual favorite films of the year will contain lots of entries that I couldn’t have possibly foreseen.
That being said, for 2017, the job is slightly easier. There are sequels on the docket that lots of people are actually psyched to see, rather than follow-ups people didn’t need (Alice Through the Looking Glass) or ask for (The Hunstman: Winter’s War). Still, I have no doubt that my favorite films of the year will be those that I couldn’t have possibly predicted at this stage.
After the jump, check out my picks in chronological order based on release date. Also, I recorded an episode of my new podcast with Joanna Robinson, Gen Pop, in which we both discuss the films that have us most excited. Listen below (and also see Jacob and Ethan’s lists).
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John Wick: Chapter 2(February 10)
Part of the reason why the first John Wick was so refreshing was it filmed its action in relatively wide shots and lengthy takes, allowing viewers to luxuriate in the choreography and gunplay. Moreover, it was unafraid to embrace its status as a b-movie, leaning into the outlandishness of Wick’s mythology and crafting a subculture of assassins that felt alluring and dangerous. This new film looks like it’ll continue both those trends and deliver some reliable, fun ultraviolence.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)
I couldn’t be more excited to see a film with these beloved characters again, unencumbered by the need to provide each of them with origin stories. I wasn’t certain that director James Gunn could pull off a mass-market four-quadrant film the first time around, but my doubts have been eliminated and I really appreciated the edginess he brought to that film. Bring on Baby Groot, I say.
A Cure for Wellness (February 17)
Between TheRingand the Pirates films (and even arguably Lone Ranger), Gore Verbinski has demonstrated that he can produce some of the most distinctive visuals of our time. The incredibly creepy teaser trailer for The Cure for Wellness hints at how his powers might be used might be used in service of something that’s not a reboot or a remake (see also: Rango).
Logan (March 3)
The resilience of the Wolverine franchise, as separate from The X-Men, has really impressed me. It takes a lot of guts to continue soldiering on in the wake of a movie as resoundingly awful as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but James Mangold took The Wolverine and made it into a solid extension of the invincible clawed superhero’s story. With Logan, it seems like Mangold and Hugh Jackman understand that all bets are off. This will likely be the last featuring Jackman in the role and based on the trailers, he is going to leave it all on the field. I love what looks like a smaller stakes story with a darker tone.
T2: Trainspotting (March 3)
I’m not sure why Danny Boyle has chosen to return to the Trainspotting franchise after all this time, but I’m hoping it’s because he sees an opportunity to deliver something we don’t expect. When I’ve interviewed Boyle in the past, he’s always spoken compellingly about using each new film as an opportunity to test himself and try new things. The diversity of his filmography attests to the fact that Boyle moves between different genres with aplomb, and he’s never done a sequel until now. I’m cautiously optimistic that this isn’t just a cash grab, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7)
No joke: One of the most moving parts of Captain America: Civil War was the re-introduction of Spider-Man into the Marvel cinematic universe. Not just because Tom Holland played the part perfectly (he did), but because of the knowledge that after Sony cranked out two terrible Spider-Man movies, essentially ruining the very concept of Spider-Man in the popular imagination, Spider-Man was finally coming home to Marvel Studios. This new trailer indicates that they’re doing a lot of things right: Holland actually looks the part, and they’re skipping the by-now-tired origin story to get straight to the action. Here’s hoping this homecoming continues to be a joyful one.
War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favorite films of 2014, introducing us to the entire subculture and language of the Ceasar’s community and successfully making us root for these non-human characters. But it was ultimately tragic, with its message that some differences can be irreconcilable. With War coming out this year, we are promised the next phase of the escalating violence between apes and humans. Matt Reeves returns from the second film to shepherd the third to its conclusion.
Dunkirk (July 21)
I haven’t loved any Christopher Nolan film as much as I loved Memento, but here’s one thing you can consistently say about his most recent ones: They are visually spectacular. Whether it’s cities folding in on themselves in Inception, or spaceships trying to bend the laws of space/time in Interstellar, Nolan not only comes up with novel concepts, he comes up with innovative ways of executing those concepts. While I feel less and less connected with his characters in each subsequent film, I am increasingly impressed by his technique. I’m hoping that Dunkirk can deliver on both fronts.
Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)
As with Danny Boyle above, here we have another filmmaker (Denis Villeneuve)whose work I’ve adored, but is now taking his first steps into sequel-making. The visuals and design of Blade Runner have inspired dozens of sci-fi films since, and this movie already looks like it’ll be a worthy successor on those fronts. But will the story justify the return to this world? I’ll take the return of Harrison Ford as an encouraging sign.
Star Wars: Episode VIII (December 15)
What to say about one of the most anticipated sequels of all time? Rian Johnson is one of my favorite filmmakers on the planet and with The Force Awakens, I feel like JJ Abrams reintroduced the universe of Star Wars to fans in a way that allows Johnson to take it in bold and interesting new directions. I hope Disney lets him.