The illustrious summer movie season is finally upon us! While we have a litany of films to feel excitement over like Dunkirk and War for the Planet of the Apes, we equally have many to avoid like Transformers: The Last Knight or The Emoji Movie. Apologies to any fans of the latter two franchises, but summer tends to bring both the best and worst out of Hollywood’s movie industry. Unfortunately last summer generally disappointed on the “big blockbuster” spectrum, so to avoid being left feeling cold despite the seasonal heat, I’ll be including independent pictures you should see as well. Without wasting any more words, let’s kick things off with the 8 most “must-see” May 2017 films!

8. Snatched

Release Date: May 12th

Not everyone is a fan of Amy Schumer these days, but I’ve laughed extensively at every trailer for Snatched I’ve stumbled upon thus far, especially the NSFW one posted above. I’m not expecting a cinematic masterpiece from it; I’m merely a fan of comedy and the theater-going experience of sharing some chuckles with a crowd. In Snatched, Schumer and Goldie Hawn play a daughter-mother combination and get kidnapped while on a vacation in an exotic land. Resulting chaos and shenanigans ensue, and the worst case scenario is an audience giggles through a 90 minute trainwreck of a picture (not the other Schumer movie, Trainwreck, but a literal trainwreck).

7. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Release Date: May 12th

What we have with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is another title in this May 2017 films list that people are polarized about. I’ve loved or liked all of Guy Ritchie‘s past movies, so I assume I’ll enjoy Arthur to some degree since it has his style all over every trailer. However, others I encounter see this trailer and to them it screams “garbage.” Surely even after the epic is released, these differing mentalities will persist. Seeing the cast list, including Charlie Hunnam as the titular lead and Jude Law as the smug villain, excites me. Getting a taste of the outlandish action sequences in the trailers excites me. I’m genuinely excited to see what this movie delivers, even if many aren’t.

6. Alien: Covenant

Release Date: May 19th

I’m starting to feel like every selection will include a justification, as Alien: Covenant carries just as much of a risk as the previous two mentioned May 2017 films. Some liked Prometheus, and some were endlessly frustrated by it (I’m in the latter camp). We haven’t received a truly, unanimously great Alien picture since 1986, so hopes shouldn’t be all that high for Convenant – a direct sequel to the divisive Prometheus. Regardless, the trailers do such a great job instilling that sense of dread and horror reminiscent of the first Alien Ridley Scott helmed, that I can’t help but feel slightly hopeful for this movie. Also, as with Scott’s previous efforts, the cast is a never-ending string of recognizable names and faces. If for nothing else, let’s go watch well-known actors make poor decisions and get demolished by grotesque aliens.

5. Baywatch

Release Date: May 25th

The journey of lows to highs I went on in terms of hype level with Baywatch was erratic. First, it’s announced to a dramatic eye-roll from yours truly. Then I attempt to resist the charms and abundant laughs of the first trailer. By the second trailer, I caved and now I’m completely on board with this seemingly-self-aware 21 Jump Street-style comedic adaptation of the famed TV series. Once again, we shouldn’t expect a life-altering film, but providing some of the heartiest laughs we could get all summer at the theaters would be sufficient.

4. War Machine

Release Date: May 26th

Netflix Original War Machine comes from the obscenely-talented Australian director David Michod (The RoverAnimal Kingdom) as his first foray in the satirical political comedy world. From the first minute I see Brad Pitt wear the dumbest possible face as General Glen McMahon, I’m immediately on board with this picture. Netflix’s selections thus far continue to impress, even if their marketing strategy is questionable or just plain non-existent. Instead of spending a ludicrous amount of money at the theaters, stay at home and stream this potential gem.

3. Wakefield

Release Date: May 19th

The next of these May 2017 films features Walter White himself as a stubbornly reclusive individual. Bryan Cranston stars in Wakefield, based on the E.L. Doctorow short story of a man who hides away in an attic neighboring his own family’s house for a very, very long time. How long? We’ll have to see the movie to find out the exact measurement of time, but the trailer seems to indicate months or years. Intriguing premise aside, Wakefield has extremely positive word of mouth from film festivals accompanying its May release. Step out of your own proverbial attic and hunt for this indie if you can.

2. Berlin Syndrome

Release Date: May 26th

We witnessed the never-ending tension Berlin Syndrome provided first-hand at Dallas International Film Festival this year and couldn’t have been more impressed. We’re excited for this independent thriller to face exposure to the masses, so they can feel that tangible fear Teresa Palmer‘s character feels throughout the feature. For more on the reverse home invasion tale, check out our full review, and unlock your door to venture out to a theater for this one.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release Date: May 5th

The biggest challenge in sorting out this May 2017 films list was locating the trailer I wanted to represent the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. They’re all equally astounding to look at and over-deliver on the fun factor. Regardless, let any one of them act as the evidence for why Vol. 2 is my Vol. 1 out of these selections. Writer/director James Gunn knocked it out of the park with the first and I personally have zero doubts he’ll repeat with the second, especially after our correspondent’s review. Also, Snake Freakin’ Plissken is in it as Star-Lord’s dad! What kind of wild space ride are we in for?!

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