The blockbuster watch list

We enlist the help of movie critic Iain McNally to scope out the movies you should go, skip or splurge out for in 2017
Advertising

From the splurge-worthy Amazonian princess epic to the obvious-miss fifth movie in the Transformers franchise, we picked the brains of film critic Iain McNally on the summer blockbusters to go, skip or splurge.

You can find Iain McNally (@McNastyPrime) on the ‘McYap And Fries’ podcast and as a frequent guest on BFM’s ‘At The Movies’.

Film, Drama

Dunkirk

Opens July 20

What's it about?
Christopher Nolan’s latest directorial effort focuses on the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk during World War II. Told through three perspectives – from pilots in the air, soldiers on the ground and those at sea – ‘Dunkirk’ isn’t a classic war movie in the vein of ‘Fury’, ‘Tobruk’ or ‘Saving Private Ryan’. ‘It’s a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film,’ Nolan said at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. ‘So while there is a high level of intensity to it, it does not necessarily concern itself with the bloody aspects of combat, which have been so well done in so many films.’ You can bet on ‘Dunkirk’ being at the Oscars next year.

Iain says... SPLURGE
Christopher Nolan has always been a fan of IMAX (filming key sections of ‘The Dark Knight’ in the larger format), so his widescreen take on World War II deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.

Film, Action and adventure

Wonder Woman

Opens June 1

What's it about?
Ever since Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) made her brief appearance in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, audiences have been rallying for her to save the much-maligned DC Cinematic Universe (DCU). So far, the signs are good: not only does Gadot look the part as Diana – the Amazonian princess compelled to leave her paradise homeland to save mankind during World War II – but she’s also under the capable director Patty Jenkins, who led Charlize Theron to a Best Actress Oscar for ‘Monster’.

Iain says... SPLURGE
Whatever you thought of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Wonder Woman’ will give us our first look at what kind of course correction Warner Bros might attempt ahead of November’s ‘Justice League’. Even if it’s a complete garbage fire (which is a possibility), you might as well be comfortable.

Advertising
Film, Action and adventure

The Mummy

Opens June 8

What's it about?
For starters, it’s not a re-boot of the ’90s comedy-action movie starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz (Hollywood hasn’t resorted to plumbing those depths – for now). What we’re getting instead is a modern-day action-horror movie starring Sofia Boutella as a malevolent two-thousand-yearold Egyptian princess who wakes up and wreaks havoc across the world in her desire for revenge. Why? Who knows, or cares? Well, Tom Cruise does, that’s who. Here he plays an all-action, all-running, and ironically never-ageing former Special Forces officer trying to stop her from ripping London apart. Aside from being a modern interpretation of the classic monster tale, ‘The Mummy’ also lays the ground for a larger cinematic Monster universe that’s expected to include Frankenstein (rumoured to be played by Javier Bardem), the Invisible Man and Dracula.

Iain says... GO
Cruise has been on a roll recently and he’s hardly ever less than entertaining. Watching him face up against ancient evil with the promise of a fresh take on ‘The Mummy’ mythos should be worth the price of admission.

Film, Animation

Despicable Me 3

Opens June 15

What's it about?
The third movie in the money-spinning franchise sees Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) taking on a new arch-nemesis Balthazar Bratt (voiced by ‘South Park’s Trey Parker), an ’80s child star who hasn’t ditched his shoulder pads and Michael Jackson cassettes. Also making an appearance is his long-lost twin brother Dru, who is everything that Gru isn’t: a wealthy, bubbly and excitable blonde. Add them all up and you have a made-to-measure box office hit that would appeal to both kids and their LiteFM-loving parents.

Iain says... GO
Even if it’s not a new ‘Minions’ movie, they will soon be everywhere. You might as well embrace the banana-coloured hordes to have an opinion on their latest adventure. It helps that the previous two ‘Despicable Me’ films have, at least, been fun.

Advertising
Film, Action and adventure

Transformers: The Last Knight

Opens June 22

What's it about?
The fifth(!) movie in the Transformers franchise promises to delve deep into the mythology of the Autobots and Decepticons. ‘The Last Knight’s premise begins with Optimus Prime waking up to discover that every bot on Cybertron is now dead because of his actions. To redeem himself and bring his planet back to life, Prime has to search for an ancient artefact on Earth, which leads him to affect key moments in human history over the span of centuries. The story is as generic as it gets, but director Michael Bay is hyping up ‘The Last Knight’ as the first movie to be shot in Native 3D. The result: Thousands of finely detailed particles flying at your face every ten minutes.

Iain says... SKIP
If there’s one thing the ‘Transformers’ franchise really needs it’s bigger and more detailed explosions. Yeah right! Bay has had four attempts at this franchise and has managed to get progressively worse every time. With another 14(!!) ‘Transformers’ movies in development the only way to stop this looming tragedy is to avoid this movie at all costs.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Opens July 6

What's it about?
Thankfully this Marvel-led effort isn’t another tedious origin story, but one centred on 15-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) who has fully embraced his superhero status after the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’. In this movie, Parker finds himself at a crossroads, needing to decide his future with The Avengers while dealing with high-school problems and battling the Vulture (Michael Keaton).

Iain says... GO
Marvel’s involvement in ‘Homecoming’ should offset the bad taste left by the previous ‘Spider-Man’ movie and the absolute waste of Andrew Garfield. The addition of Michel Keaton as the Vulture makes this an absolute must-see. Unless you hate superheroes.

Advertising
Film, Action and adventure

War for the Planet of the Apes

Opens July 13

What's it about?
The third chapter of the ‘Apes’ franchise continues to build on the growing mythology of Caesar (Andy Serkis), who is now forced into a conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). The bloody fights drive Caesar to seek revenge, resulting in an epic battle that will determine the future of the apes and mankind.

Iain says... SPLURGE
Go for whichever option provides you with the least interrupted viewing experience. The ‘Planet of the Apes’ revival has been entertaining, smart and even touching at times. This latest should prove riveting and you wouldn’t want any distractions.

Advertising
This page was migrated to our new look automatically. Let us know if anything looks off at feedback@timeout.com