The month of March might be the best month for movies in 2017. There are 15 movies — led by Beauty and the Beast, Logan and Kong: Skull Island — that are on the definitely want to see list and another 4 that are on the maybe list. The bottom of the list includes some duds that for some reason — Power Rangers (Nostalgia), The Shack (Octavia Spencer), The Baby Boss (Alec Baldwin) — still feel novel enough to be seen. So, here’s the list of movies headed to theaters in March, ranked by anticipation:
1. Beauty and the Beast (March 17)
Tale as old as time… True as it can be… Barely even friends… Then something bends… Unexpectedly. Just a little change… small to say the least… Both a little scared… Neither one prepared… Beauty and the beast!
2. Logan (March 3)
In what looks like Hugh Jackman’s last stand as Wolverine, this long-awaited R-rated version of the character’s story might be the one to satiate fans. Plus, it looks bad-ass.
3. Kong: Skull Island (March 10)
With a deep cast — Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, Tom Wilkinson, John Goodman — and an iconic movie monster, how can you go wrong?
4. Life (March 24)
Thanks to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, this science fiction horror film featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson is now hitting theaters in March instead of May. Good for March.
5. Ghost in the Shell (March 31)
The controversial adaptation of the Japanese manga to live action film will continue to be mentioned more for its whitewashing (the film has Scarlett Johansson in the lead) than any other reason until it finally hits theaters. Despite criticism, if the film is good, it should do well. There’s little competition during that last week to be overly concerned about.
6. Personal Shopper (March 10)
This is where March gets interesting. The second tier of films to see in the month contains a handful of films which are unlikely to be big box office hits but could really be excellent. This Kristen Stewart psychological thriller was booed at the Cannes Film Festival and given a 4-1/2 minute standing ovation at its official première and has received polarizing early reviews.
7. Wilson (March 24)
Now that he’s drifted away from his companion Chuck, Wilson the Volleyball has his own movie! Wait… this isn’t about Wilson the Volleyball? Oh! But it does have Woody Harrelson in what looks like a very comedic turn. Harrelson has always had a comic knack in many of his roles and that should continue to be a winning formula here.
8. Song to Song (March 17)
If only Terrence Malik films could deliver at the box office like it delivers with star power. This one about a love story set against the Austin music scene features Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender and also adds Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, Benicio del Toro and a handful of artists from music including Patti Smith, Florence from Florence and the Machine, the Black Lips and Iggy Pop somewhere in the mix.
9. Before I Fall (March 3)
The Groundhog Day concept goes to high school. 22-year-old Zooey Deutch plays Samantha Kingston, the high school senior, doomed to live the same day on repeat.
10. T2: Trainspotting (March 17)
Another long awaited sequel hits theaters as the 1996 original gets its follow-up. I somehow never saw Trainspotting which I plan on seeing before the March 17th release date for T2 so this could move up my list. I’ve somehow dodged most Danny Boyle films, too, which is odd since I loved his first — Shallow Grave — and know how many accolades Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours received. I’m also a fan of Ewan McGregor which makes this a no brainer.
11. The Last Word (March 3)
Over the last two years, we’ve been treated to some unexpected solid performances from veteran female actresses in leading roles. In 2015, there was Lily Tomlin in Grandma. In 2016, Sally Field killed it in Hello, My Name Is Doris and Susan Sarandon was excellent in The Meddler. Based on the trailer, Shirley MacLaine might have a similar moment in The Last Word.
12. CHiPs (March 24)
We’ll get a couple of TV-to-big screen adaptations this year. It has worked in the past — 21 Jump Street — and, of course, hasn’t worked — Sgt. Bilko, Wild Wild West, McHale’s Navy to name a few — and isn’t even the TV-to-movie adaptation to release that day as Power Rangers also drops that day. It’s probably not the spectacle that Power Rangers is but it will likely be better. I’m more interested in Baywatch in May.
13. The Zookeeper’s Wife (March 31)
This true story featuring the ultra-talented Jessica Chastain might be a hidden gem. It is unlikely to score big at the box office which makes March an unusual release date but hopefully the film about a zookeeper and his wife who save lives during WWII by hiding people in animal cages at the Warsaw Zoo is intriguing. It feels so Oscar-ish that a March release date waves at least a yellow flag.
14. Table 19 (March 3)
The very funny cast features Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson and Lisa Kudrow. The lesser known talents also are funny and this ensemble cast about a table of outcasts at a wedding who are stuck together for no other reason than the bride & groom were hoping they didn’t show should have at least some laughs.
15. The Belko Experiment (March 17)
This has guilty pleasure written all over it. The movie’s premise: 80 white-collar American workers are locked in an office building in Colombia and are ordered by an unknown voice over the intercom to either kill their co-workers or be executed by a device that was implanted in their body.
16. Burn Your Maps (March 17)
I want to say I’m looking forward to this film originally screened at the Toronto International Film Festival featuring Jacob Tremblay, Vera Farmiga, Virginia Madsen and Suraj Sharma but I can’t find a trailer for it anywhere. So, that’s why it sits at #15 and not higher. The film is about an 8-year-old American boy who tells his parents he’s a Mongolian goat-herder born in the wrong place.
17. Step Sisters (March 31)
Another intriguing film even without a trailer. There’s controversy around this one as it features a black sorority president who is forced to teach the hard-partying girls of a white sorority how to step or lose her dream of attending Harvard Law School. This could be one of those films that moves at the last second considering we’re 5 weeks away and a trailer hasn’t surfaced.
18. Wolves (March 3)
Coming-of-age drama about a white high school basketball player who has earned a scholarship to Cornell but things become dicey thanks to his father (Michael Shannon) who is a gambler and compulsive liar and an injury that could jeopardize everything.
19. The Sense of an Ending (March 10)
Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling star. The trailer looks confusing and early reviews seem to support the confusing tag. However, they also aren’t poor reviews and director Ritesh Batra’s début, 2013’s The Lunchbox, was highly regarded.
20. Raw (March 10)
I really don’t know what to make of this film whose trailer features a string of strange, disturbing images that will likely haunt my nightmares for some time.
21. Power Rangers (March 24)
I want to say, “Go, go Power Rangers!” but I feel like I’ll be saying, “Go away, Power Rangers!”
22. The Ottoman Lieutenant (March 10)
Does this win for worst title of March? I think it might. It’s the love story of an American nurse and Turkish officer during WWI.
23. The Shack (March 3)
The cast — Sam Worthington, Radha Mitchell, Octavia Spencer and Graham Greene — might make this faith-based feature worth half a look. But probably not… Tim McGraw is somewhere in there.
24. The Dark Below (March 10)
Based on title alone, we could save everyone time and call it, “March’s Generic Horror Flick.” The trailer supports this alternate title.
25. The Baby Boss (March 31)
Alec Baldwin’s Trump impersonation should garner him some goodwill from 55-60% of the country. He’s likely to lose that goodwill with this juvenile animated kid’s flick which appears to be mind numbing for parents stuck taking their kids to see it. Typically, DreamWorks Animation gives us 1-2 movies a year. This is one of those movies.