40. Yeh Din Ka Kissa/The Meyerowitz Stories (Noah Baumbach)
It was early last year we got the surprise news that Noah Baumbach was already shooting his next feature. Without a confirmed title yet, the film stars Adam Sandler and Baumbach’s Greenberg and While We’re Young star Ben Stiller as we follow “the story of an estranged New York family coming together in preparation of artist & patriarch Harold’s career retrospective.” Also starring Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and Grace Van Patten, it’s certainly an arena that Baumbach has previously succeeded in, so hopefully we get to see the results sooner than later. – Jordan R.
39. The Glass Castle (Destin Daniel Cretton)
Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar last year for Room, but for our money, her best performance thus far remains Short Term 12. After a few years, director Destin Cretton is finally returning with the actress for the Lionsgate project The Glass Castle. Based on Jeannette Walls‘ 2005 memoir, the film starring Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield, Woody Harrelson, and Sarah Snook follows Larson as a woman who must deal with her dysfunctional family — including a mother who is obsessed with her art and a father stricken with alcoholism — through her own imagination. – Jordan R.
38. The Death of Stalin (Armando Ianucci)
Many were disappointed when Armando Iannucci left Veep last season, but it looks like we got the best of both worlds. The show continued its comedic streak while the In the Loop director now had time to make his next feature film. The Death of Stalin, starring Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Toby Kebbel, Andrea Riseborough, Paddy Considine, Olga Kurylenko, and Timothy Dalton, is based on Fabien Nury‘s graphic novel, which depicts a Soviet dictator’s last days and the chaos of the regime after his death.” Once again, politics and comedy meet, and with this cast and director, it’s shaping up to be one of 2017’s best films. – Jordan R.
37. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
With The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos scored a stellar domestic hit for himself. Now the Dogtooth director is coming back with Colin Farrell leading the charge once again. Nicole Kidman, who has been enjoying a resurgence in recent years, also joins the cast. Telling a story involving a family on the edge and the promise of unexpected turns aplenty, those who were a fan of The Lobster‘s bizarre energy have a lot to be excited for with this one. – Brian R.
36. John Wick: Chapter Two (Chad Stahelski; Feb. 10)
Following the sleeper success of 2014’s tongue-in-cheek gunplay extravaganza, John Wick: Chapter Two finds Keanu Reeves out of retirement and heading to Rome with an international contract on his head. Promising wall to wall action, Chapter Two’s first looks also show us some trademark bloody target practice and a cartoonishly fun car chase. Not to mention a Matrix (and Street Kings, if that’s your thing) reunion and a decent amount of the winking that made the first installment so surprisingly delightful. – Conor O.
35. On the Beach at Night Alone and Claire’s Camera (Hong Sang-soo)
What will Hong Sang-soo‘s next two films involve? Isabelle Huppert told me Claire’s Camera was shot near Cannes and features her as a sales agent. Otherwise, I’ll guess: mind-twisting structures used to both conceal and elucidate an emotional core; soju consumption; two-shots of men and women talking; men and women not getting along; and zooms. They will, most likely, also be excellent, with On the Beach at Night Alone recently announced as a Berlinale premiere. – Nick N.
34. The Commuter (Jaume-Collet Serra; Oct 13)
Jaume Collet-Serra has become one of the most dependable and inventive directors of purely entertaining thrillers in recent years. From Unknown to Non-Stop to The Shallows, any film by the director has served as a reason to get excited. The Commuter, which brings back former Serra muse Liam Neeson, involves a predictably high-concept plot. A businessman simply getting through his daily commute ends up tangled up in a criminal enterprise. Add in Patrick Wilson (who is one of the most underrated actors working), Vera Farmiga, and Jonathan Banks, and you have a recipe for the kind of whiz-bang cinema we don’t get enough of anymore. – Brian R.
33. Damsel (David Zellner)
A romantic western dramedy starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska? Consider this Maps to the Stars enthusiast intrigued regardless of all else; make this the Zellner brothers’ (producer / co-writer Nathan and co-writer / director David) follow-up to the unclassifiable Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter and I’m seeking the release date rather heavily. Little else is known, and I hope it remains that way until the thing plays before my eyes. – Nick N.
32. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan; July 21)
Any new film from Christopher Nolan is a reason to celebrate. Among the top tier of Hollywood blockbuster directors, no one has a visual sense or narrative mind quite like Nolan. Almost all of his films since Insomnia have involved some fantastical element, but with Dunkirk he turns his eye to history, telling the story of the British retreat from France in the opening years of World War II. With an immense cast and a sweeping canvas, time will tell what the primary story and arc of this film is, but with the evocative trailers we’ve seen so far, it’s certain that the aesthetic pedigree of this film is unparalleled. – Brian R.
31. Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry)
The story of a young foreign woman who disrupts the lives of two Brooklyn families is, on paper, a perfect starting point for Alex Ross Perry, a writer-director at his best when locating the pettiness and anger — as well as its humor, sometimes latent and sometimes rather pronounced — that drives so many of us. Gifted an outstanding ensemble (including a Listen Up Philip reunion with Jason Schwartzman) and the return of DP Sean Price Williams and editor Robert Greene, he’s primed for something big. Discovering what that is should be a pleasure all its own. – Nick N.
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