With every new year comes a new slate of previews, those lists of upcoming motion picture attractions that publications trot out at the beginning of January to get you excited about all the tie-in content said publications will inevitably produce for the next 365 days. I used to like reading these articles, but I used to live in a world without the internet, in which anyone who was interested in upcoming movies couldn’t just Google that information and receive it immediately, free of anything resembling a sales pitch.
Because when we use expressions like “The Most Anticipated Movies of 2017,” what are we doing but already giving these films a tacit endorsement? With a few exceptions – that is to say, films that screened for critics in late 2016, or which have already played in festivals – none of us have seen these movies yet. So we have no reason to believe they’ll necessarily be good, other than perhaps an encouraging idea, reliable filmmaker, a piece of (frequently unreliable) marketing, or worse… our blind fealty to a franchise, the sort of admiration that makes certain fans defend the quality of a motion picture sight unseen, before they have any idea if it’s any good or not.
It would be tempting, then, to fall down a well of cynicism, and present a preview of all the movies that DON’T look very encouraging this year, but we have to ask ourselves what good that could possibly do. There’s no sense in dwelling in the negative, especially when so many people just had a very difficult 2016.
So instead let’s stay positive but make a concerted effort to be rational about it. Here is a list of 20 films that we have coming up on the horizon, which we have at least reasonable reason to believe might be pretty darned good. We’re not going to go nuts about this, and we’re all going to agree to withhold our opinions until we have actually watched these movies (right?). But let’s just say that we think that – in these instances – it’s okay to be cautiously optimistic and hope for the best.
In other words, the future holds no guarantees, but holds a great deal of promise.
20 Movies To Be Cautiously Optimistic About In 2017:
Top Photos: Warner Bros. / 20th Century Fox / Columbia Pictures
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved, Rapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.