FT Picks: Must See Films 2017

Our choices for must see films 2017

2016 was a rough year, all things considered. And, so far, 2017 hasn’t really got off to the best start. And what’s the best way to escape from all the bad stuff that’s happening in the world? Going to the cinema or collapsing in front of Netflix. (Or drinking, of course.)

That’s why we’ve put together this ‘Must See Films 2017’ list; to give you a handy guide of alternatives to crappy Hollywood rom coms, Fifty Shades Darker and the Baywatch reboot…13

FT’s Must See Films 2017


2017 is already looking like it’s going to be fantastic year for films, and what better way to kick the year off than a return to a classic?

T2: Trainspotting 2

Danny Boyle’s long-awaited sequel sees all of the gang – Sickboy, Renton, Spud and Begbie - back together and back in Edinburgh and it's easily one of the must see films 2017. Sequels are rarely any good – especially ones that happen this long after the original (we’re looking at you, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) – but this one has a lot of promise: original cast, original crew and Irvine Welsh. If you’re going to choose any film this January, choose this.

Live By Night

Ben Affleck might have had an up-and-down career in front of and away from the camera, but behind it he’s always knocked it out of the park. Following on from Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the Oscar-winning Argo, Live By Night follows a gangster during the Prohibition. It looks like the classic rise and fall story, but when was the last decent gangster film released? American Gangster? The Departed? The stage is set for this one, don’t let us down, Ben.

Hacksaw Ridge

Another director with a less-than-stellar personal life and an up-and-down on-screen history now – Mel Gibson. He’s been exiled from Hollywood over controversial comments for the past decade or so, but he’s back with Hacksaw Ridge, the true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who saved 75 during the bloodiest battle of WWII – without firing a shot. The hype around this is unreal and it’s been getting long standing ovations at all of the film festivals. If you’re a fan of Saving Private Ryan or Braveheart, check this out.

La La Land

OK, perhaps musicals aren’t the most masculine of films, but you need to make an exception for La La Land. Not only does it star the coolest-man-alive Ryan Gosling, but Emma Stone steals the show. If you’re after guns and violence, this isn’t for you. If you’re after one of the best and most positive films (the perfect anecdote to our Trump-era world) then La La Land is the film for you.


The Lego Batman Movie

OK, bear with us. We’re all adults here – we don’t want to watch cartoons, right? But if you’re an adult male who says they don’t want to see Lego Batman, you’re probably lying. It’s got everything going for it – the cast and crew are just perfect, and the trailer makes it look like easily the best Batman film since The Dark Knight. It might not have that Christopher Nolan grittiness to it (quite the opposite in fact) but it has Will Arnett as Batman, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred and Zach Gallifanakis as The Joker. Plus, the trailer is hilarious – check it out:

John Wick: Chapter Two

After the surprise success of John Wick, we’re getting treated to a sequel – and we couldn’t be happier. If you’re expecting a clever and cerebral flick, this isn’t for you. If you’re after Keanu Reeves in a return to form, a reunion between Morpheus and Neo, slick action, brutal violence and great shoot-outs, you’re in for a treat. (If you haven’t already, check out the first film too.)


There’s only one film that you need to see this March, perhaps even this year. It's another one of must see films 2017:


The X-men franchise has always been hit and miss, but Hugh Jackman has always knocked it out of the park as Wolverine. Now, for his last outing, spurred by the success of Deadpool, Jackman finally has his R-rated Wolverine film. Expect the same misanthropic Wolverine, only this time with more gore, more violence and more bad language. (Rumour has it that Wolverine dies in this film too, and that would be quite something.)


Slim pickings in April, unless you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise. In which case…

The Fate of the Furious

Ridiculous title aside, if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll be a fan of this. The Rock, Vin Diesel, Ludacris and the usual crew assemble for the usual, high-octane car-chase stuff with added banter and intrigue:


Two big hitters stepping up in May – one eagerly-awaited Marvel sequel and one less-eagerly-awaited-but-hopefully-a-return-to-form sci-fi sequel:

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2

Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit with an incredibly soundtrack, great cast, spot-on humour and a star making role for Chris Pratt – are you surprised there’s a second? That said, the second looks every bit as good and as funny as the first – although expect your Facebook feed to be full of people gushing about how cute mini-Groot is.

Alien: Covenant

Despite the name, this looks like more of a sequel to Prometheus than a prequel to Alien. However, it does look like a return to the scarier, tenser roots of the Alien franchise than the garbled mess of Prometheus. Plus, as always, Michael Fassbender looks like he’s going to knock it out of the park, and Ridley Scott knows what he’s doing. We’re quietly optimistic about this one:


We’re getting into Summer Blockbuster season now, so expect big-budget tentpole releases for the next few months…

The Mummy

We’ll be honest, we can’t see any way that this can top the Brendan Fraser classic, but that doesn’t mean that Tom Cruise can’t make this work - but perhaps it won't be one of the must see films 2017. Say what you want about his personal life, Tom Cruise can carry a film (and, to be fair, hardly ever makes a stinker). Expect lots of anguished screaming and fingers-extended running from Mr Scientology:


Dunkirk – (Easily one of the must see films 2017)

If there’s only one film you see this year, make sure that it’s Dunkirk. Directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar) and based on the true story of little ships on a rescue mission in WWII, it looks incredible. Check out the trailer:


Baby Driver

It’s been a while since Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End director Edgar Wright has released a film, but this August sees the release of Baby Driver, the project he moved onto after leaving Ant Man. Not too much has been released yet, but we know it revolves around a getaway driver who relies on his music to do his job. Suffice to say, it’ll have exceptional editing, quick-fire humour and a great soundtrack.


OK, we’ll be upfront: September is a bit barren. There are no films we’d say fit the ‘Must See Films 2017’ bill. If you’re a horror fan, maybe go and see the IT remake. If not, tuck yourself in for some Netflix binges and save your money for the coming months…


Blade Runner 2049 - (another of the easy choices for must see films 2017)

We’re incredibly excited for this one. Not only does it have Harrison Ford returning to the role of a lifetime, but it’s added Ryan Gosling to the mix. On top of that, the film is helmed by Denis Villeneuve, one of the best directors working at the moment. If you’re excited by this, make sure you check out his other work: Prisoners, Sicario and Enemy are all incredible.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The first Kingsman film was a riot – excessive but comedic violence, great cast and a razor-sharp script – and the sequel looks like it’s going to be just as good. They’ve hinted (well, pretty much stated) that Colin Firth’s character will be returning, which is only good news. Plus, they’ve added Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges.

There’s no trailer yet, so in the meantime, enjoy this great bit from the first film:


Justice League

So far, DC haven’t had much luck. Suicide Squad was awful, Batman vs Superman wasn’t much better. They’re hoping to finally kick start their cinematic universe with this ensemble piece – there’s Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash…

To be honest, it’s a risk – but it might just pay off and be the next Avengers.


It’s December. There’s only one film you’re going to need to see. In fact, if you see any other films being promoted in December, we’ll be surprised. Of course, we’re talking about...

Star Wars: Episode VIII.

At the moment, there’s hardly any news on this – we do know that it takes off where Episode VII left us. That Luke will probably at least have a line and that Rey and Finn are back. After that, it’s anybody’s guess. However, it’s in safe hands – Riann Johnson, the director, previously directed the time-travel thriller Looper. If you haven’t seen that, it’s well worth checking out.

Whatever happens, here’s hoping it’s better than the good-on-paper-but-flat-on-screen, Rogue One.

Anything we missed? What are you looking forward to seeing this year? Let us know!