For the film industry, 2017 has been a year of extremes. Riding off of massive mid-year hits like “Wonder Woman” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the utter failures of films like “Baywatch” and “The Dark Tower” seemed dramatic by contrast. And amidst below-average audiences, Hollywood is looking to entice moviegoers and avoid critical failures this fall, lining up a series of big-budget sequels, cinematic universe installments and stand-alone comedies to draw the crowds. The fall lineup promises a more even and impressive experience for audiences, hoping to pick up where the year’s earlier successes left off. These are best 10 movies you should see this semester.
Led by 2010’s Black Swan director Daron Aronofsky, “Mother!” is a dramatic experience steeped in metaphor and mystery, discussing vital issues presented in the context of a horror-esque picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. Despite critical early reviews, the film will captivate audiences looking for an intense think-piece. “Mother!” opens on Sept. 15.
Riding on the heels of its predecessor, 2014’s “Kingsman: the Secret Service,” “Kingsman: the Golden Circle” is the second film in the critically praised “Kingsman” series which follows a group of explosion-loving British spies. With The Golden Circle’s predecessor commonly regarded as having the best fight scene of all time, the film has big shoes to fill, but with guest stars Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges, action fans are sure to be in for a wild ride. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” opens on Sept. 22.
A semi-biographical film about the life of pilot Barry Seal, “American Made” follows the story of a man swept up in a high-stakes CIA drug-running plot that nearly brought the entire Regan administration to its knees. Starring Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright and Domhnall Gleeson, this 80s-era crime epic will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. “American Made” opens on Sept. 29.
A long-awaited sequel to the 1982 sci-fi cult classic, “Blade Runner 2049” returns to director Ridley Scott’s dystopian future universe with a new host of secrets to uncover. Boasting a big-name cast including Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto, and directed by Denis Villeneuve of 2016’s “Arrival,” “2049” hopes to draw in droves of sci-fi fans and nostalgia buffs alike. “Blade Runner 2049” opens on Oct. 6.
Martial arts and film legend Jackie Chan has had a busy 2017, taking part in seven films throughout the year. His seventh, an unusual action/thriller, takes on modern terrorism and those affected, showing a more emotional and human Chan than many of his famous action brawlers. Fans of Chan’s work and action lovers alike will doubtlessly enjoy this unique piece. “The Foreigner” opens on Oct. 13.
Despite the demise of the Saw franchise almost a decade ago, this “10-years-later” sequel, “Jigsaw” sees the return of a mysterious and sadistic killer who creates elaborate traps to eviscerate his victims; when evidence links the killer to the original saw murders, a manhunt ensues. Fans of slasher horror and the original “Saw” series are looking to a more emotional, story-driven take on the series. “Jigsaw” opens on Oct. 27.
The third chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Thor” saga, “Thor: Ragnarok” pits hero against hero, bringing the god of thunder against the Incredible Hulk in a battle for survival. New villains, new worlds and a new look for Thor are sure to bring in large audiences for 2017’s second addition to the MCU. “Thor: Ragnarok” opens on Nov. 3.
After “Wonder Woman” put the dubiously produced DC Extended Universe back on track this summer, the comic conglomerate is looking for another win this fall with “Justice League,” which will see many of DC’s greatest heroes join forces to face a new worldwide threat. Though its production has been rocky, hardcore DC fans are hoping for another success for the DCEU. “Justice League” opens on Nov. 17.
Following the career of actor and director Tommy Wiseau, the man behind “the world’s worst film” 2003’s “The Room,” “The Disaster Artist” stars comedy veterans James Franco, Dave Franco and Seth Rogen. The film explores the bizarre history of Wiseau’s “The Room,” and, fronted by strong acting talent, will certainly keep fans rolling. “The Disaster Artist” opens on Dec. 1.
The eighth installment in the beloved “Star Wars” franchise, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” promises a much darker take on the universe, cracking open secrets uncovered by 2015’s “The Force Awakens.” Led by independent film staple director Rian Johnson, 2017’s “Star Wars” edition is destined to be a sharp break from the rest of the franchise. “The Last Jedi” opens on Dec. 15.