Every year, there are a handful of movies that I consider “must see.” Recently, most of them have been based on the stuff you find in comic book panels, but there are a few which don’t fit that mold that have crept in this year.

Still, most are comic book adaptations and, sadly, a few retreads and sequels. The only hope we have for the retreads are that they’re coming from the original creators or newer talent that will bring a great new voice to potentially tired franchises. Here are my top 20 picks for the 2017 movies slated in order by date of release.

Lego Batman

From the same producers that brought us the insanely surprising Lego Movie comes a movie all about the standout character, Batman. Will Arnette reprises his role as the caped crusader but this time he’s joined by his Arrested Development co-star Michael Cera as Robin and Zach Galifianakis in what is sure to be the best Joker performance since Jared Leto. That was a joke. Leto wasn’t good. Batman will need to figure out how to raise his new young protege Robin while trying to stop the new super villain team the Joker has assembled. If you loved the tongue in cheek humor of the Lego Movie and wanted a little more of that world’s Batman, be excited. It hits theaters on Feb. 10.

John Wick 2

The first John Wick came out of nowhere. I mean, how long has it been since Keanu Reeves was relevant? More specifically, in an action role? But along came this $20m action flick about a guy the bad guys shouldn’t have messed with, that would go to great lengths to avenge his puppy. Directed by a lifetime stunt man, the action was fast and the dialogue snappy. It was good to see Keanu again. And we’ll see him get pulled back to his bad guy killing life on Feb. 10.


I have wanted a great Wolverine movie ever since I was 10 years old and read my first Uncanny X-Men comic. I thought I might get my chance when James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma, Walk The Line) stepped in to direct The Wolverine (You may think there was another Wolverine movie before that one, there wasn’t.). While it had its merit, it felt very much like it wanted to be a personal film and a superhero blockbuster all at once. It didn’t really work. The trailer for Logan, however, sets up the movie I expected. It seems personal, it seems visceral, it seems to be everything a Wolverine movie should be. And as a goodbye to the character that Hugh Jackman personified, I hope it’s what it seems. We’ll find out on March 3.

Kong: Skull Island

The last time we saw Kong in a feature film, it was directed by Peter Jackson, was over 3 hours long, and starred Jack Black and Adrien Brody. While some parts of the movie worked, it was mostly just bloated and sappy. Though I still can’t watch the Empire State Building scene without getting waves of acrophobia. When the new film was announced in an attempt to create a shared universe with Godzilla I audibly groaned. The cast and the trailer, however, have gone a long way to change my mind from my initial reaction. It looks brutal. I love that it’s set during the late 60’s/early 70’s, and I’m excited to see a bunch of monster spiders and lizards fight a cast with the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, and John Goodman. Kong hits theaters March 10.

Beauty and the Beast

The Disney live action remakes of their classics catalog keep coming with Beauty and the Beast. In what seems to be a direct remake of the 1991 animated film Emma Watson (Harry Potter series) stars as Belle with rising star Dan Stevens (The Beast). There’s music, there’s dancing, there’s even talking furniture. This looks to have the most potential of any of the live action remakes thus far and the soundtrack won so many awards in the 90s that they’ve kept it largely intact. We will be Belle and Prince Adam’s guest on March 17.