7 Movies to get excited about this year.

This past year may not have been a great one for movies but we did manage to make it out of 2016 alive and still catch a few good flicks but most can probably count the good ones on one hand. But don’t worry, 2017 is going to be a hundred times better because not only do we have some highly anticipated prequels and sequels to popular franchises, there are also some exciting new standalone films set to be released this year.

Kong: Skull Island

Peter Jackson has already set the bar pretty high when it comes to King Kong movies but this film has all the makings of a hit. The film is a reboot that is set in the 1970s when a group of explorers and soldiers find a mysterious island where (spoiler alert) a giant ape named Kong lives. The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman so if the cast doesn’t sell you on the film, nothing will. Say what you will about Tom Hiddleston and his weird Golden Globe acceptance speech and a certain infamous ex-girlfriend, he looks great in his tight blue shirt that’s two sizes too small. Also, Brie Larson is perfection, as we all know, and this is her first starring role in a film of this magnitude so all of the United States of Tara fans should go out and support their girl on March 10.

2. Alien: Covenant

Despite being a pretty great film, Prometheus wasn’t the most popular movie when it came out but, to be fair, it’s understandable that Alien fans were disappointed when the only Xenomorph only appeared in the last few minutes of the movie. Those of you who were disappointed should be excited to see Alien: Covenant because this is the film that will bridge the prequel to the original Alien movie. Alien: Covenant is kind of like Kong: Skull Island because it centers on a group of travelers who stumble on a mysterious place and find out that’s where a horrible monster lives. The Xenomorphs are kind of like Kong but instead of a giant ape, they’re nearly indestructible aliens that mate with people’s intestines then cough out a baby through the host’s abdomen. The film stars Katherine Waterson, Billy Crudup, and Michael Fassbender. Alien: Covenant will appear in theaters on May 19.

3. Wonder Woman

The market is currently overrun with superhero movies but don’t worry, this list only contains one. The Wonder Woman movie is incredibly exciting because it is the first Wonder Woman movie ever. Just let that sink in. We live in a world where there have been six Spider-Man movies and three different actors who have played Spider-Man in the past fifteen years and there have been eight Batman movies and four different Batmans (Batmen?) since 1989. Not only is this the first Wonder Woman movie, but the film is directed by a woman named Patty Jenkins who is best known for directing Monster in 2003. This is a huge win for women and, in 2017, females need all of the empowerment we can get. If this doesn’t excite you already, Jenkins has made it clear that the movie will be optimistic, not dark. So if you’re tired of those brooding, dark, and angst-fueled superhero movies, get ready for Wonder Woman. The movie flies into theaters June 2.

4. The Dark Tower

Stephen King fans rejoice! The hugely successful book series is finally coming to the silver screen and it looks fantastic. If you haven’t read the books, the story’s genre is described as science fantasy western horror which may be the greatest genre of all time. Idris Elba plays Roland Deschain, a frontiersman/knight whose weapon of choice is a pair of revolvers. Matthew McConaughey is Walter Padick, an ageless sorcerer. Roland is on the quest to find (you guessed it) The Dark Tower but the sorcerer is searching for it as well. There have been rumors swirling around for years about its adaptation and, for a while, it looked that it wasn’t going to happen but now it’s officially hitting theaters July 28!

5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Luc Besson may not have made a really great movie since The Fifth Element but at least his newest attempt looks a lot better than Lucy. The film is based on a popular French sci-fi comic book series Valérian and Laureline and it stars Dane Dehan and Cara Delvingne. The two are space-traveling partners who are sent to investigate a galactic empire and, presumably, get caught up in some trouble in space. It looks like the good, old-fashioned sci-fi adventure that never make it into theaters anymore. In fact, the original comic’s concept and designs have inspired countless sci-fi and space operas including Besson’s own The Fifth Element and even Star Wars. Valerian arrives in theaters July 21.

6. Get Out

The horror genre is wrought with flops and even the most popular of the bunch, such as Paranormal Activity, don’t exactly measure up to the expectations of audience members who grew up watching Wes Craven and John Carpenter movies. Still, the genre is the biggest money-maker in the business because they don’t need any big stars for a hit, just a few jump scares and a creepy little girl who slowly sings nursery rhymes. After wrapping up the beloved show Key & Peele, Jordan Peele decided to do the last thing anyone wanted him to do: write and direct a horror film. However, this horror film is not going to be like any horror film you’ve seen before because the main character is a young African American who visits the cursed family estate of his Caucasion girlfriend’s family. Peele definitely has a new take on the horror genre and it’s going to be exciting to watch. Not only is it horror, but it’s also satire and Peele knows a thing or two about satire. Get Out hits theaters February 24.  

7. The Circle

The Circle is a new sci-fi thriller based on the novel by Dave Eggers. The premise can be described simply as a young woman lands a job at a new company and becomes involved with a mysterious man. Sure, this may sound like the premise to Fifty Shades of Gray but it’s not even close. Emma Watson plays Mae Holland who gets a job at a tech company called The Circle which is run by three mysterious men, one of which being Bailey who is played by Tom Hanks. The film also stars John Boyega and Karen Gillan. The Circle is directed by James Ponsoldt who directed The End of the Tour which is one of the most underrated movie of 2015. The Circle is going to be the sci-fi thriller we all need and with Tom Hanks on board, how can you go wrong? The Circle will hit theaters April 28.