I love summer movies. There’s just something about them to get excited about and enjoy. Sure most of them won’t come close to being a favorite film of the year but I love the simple good time that comes with them. To be fair, I’m usually disappointed, but not always. Last year, the crop of summer movies were abysmal. With a lot of difficulty writing my 2016 summer preview list, I had a bad feeling going into it, which was mostly confirmed. However this year, I’m feeling much more optimistic. So I’ve decided to expand my summer preview list to twenty, adding five of the big films I don’t care about, five that I’m curious but not completely sold on, and still a solid ten that I’m genuinely excited for. Yes, sequels and superheroes will show up on the list, but not as many as you might think – look for some of the smaller films to make a big splash in 2017’s summer.
15. WONDER WOMAN (June 2) – Ugh. Another DC film that will almost surely disappoint. The one saving grace is that she was the best thing to come out of BATMAN V. SUPERMAN. I can’t say I’m excited but I’m definitely curious.
14. WAR MACHINE (May 26) – Brad Pitt stars as a confident, charismatic U.S. General. The film is billed as part reality and part parody of an absurdist war story. It looks to be an oddly unique and humorous film by Australian director David Michod (ROVER, ANIMAL KINGDOM) who always has an interesting perspective.
13. THE BEGUILED (June 23) – I’ve been burned by director Sofia Coppola before, but on the merit of LOST IN TRANSLATION, I’m at least partly curious about a mysterious girl’s school taking in a wounded soldier during the Civil War. The rather dark film has a great cast – Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.
12. WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (July 14) – Admittedly the new PLANET OF THE APES series about the apes taking over has been pretty good. Each one has surprised me, therefore I’m sure the third one in the series with raised stakes will do the same. Motion capture actor Andy Serkis is a brilliant artist, so I consider it a thrill to see him with the special effects team work their magic. I’m probably underselling the true quality of the films. For some reason, I haven’t loved them. I think some part of me always gets uneasy seeing animals get hurt or killed even within a movie where the talking apes are carrying weapons.