As we cross the halfway point of the year and we're coming into the end of the blockbuster season, studios are slowly beginning to ramp up for the awards season.

Although we originally published this article back in June, we're updating it with new trailers and announcements out of Venice, Telleuride and Toronto - not to mention the fact that some of the films in our original piece have since been released - all with pretty strong reviews to boot.

Here's eleven films you'll want to keep on your schedule for the remainder of the year.


11. LADY BIRD (Late 2017)

Saoirse Ronan's no stranger to the Academy Awards, and the early word on her latest effort is that she's a shoe-in for an nomination for Best Actress. Greta Gerwig directs a semi-autobiographical drama about a teenager on the cusp of college and adulthood who spends a year in Northern California with her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf. Like much of Gerwig's own acting work, it's replete with pop culture references and a cracking soundtrack to boot.


10. BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 (Late 2017)

Vince Vaughn's transition from comedy to serious roles may have spluttered somewhat with the second season of True Detective, but all that's about to change with Brawl On Cell Block 99. Directed by Bone Tomahawk's S. Craig Zahler, the film has a real '70s crime thriller-meets-exploitation drama to it. Why's that, you ask? For one, Philadelphia soul icons The O'Jays are doing an original song on the soundtrack. Not only that, just look at that title again and tell us you didn't think this was a John Carpenter film.


9. THOR: RAGNAROK (October 27th)

After that spectacular trailer debuted online, any lingering doubts people had about how Taika Waiti would approach the runt of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were laid to rest. Although it does appear to be borrowing somewhat from Guardians of the Galaxy's heavy smattering of comedy, Waiti has form in the area. Last year's Hunt For The Wilderpeople was a masterpiece of comedy and some of that genius has to rub off on Thor: Ragnarok.



Off the back of strong reviews from Cannes, Yorgos Lanthimos' follow-up to The Lobster looks like a complete departure. Sinister, bleak and with an unsettling central premise, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer might just be one of the most unsettling films of the year and will very likely catapult our own Barry Keoghan into the A-list in the process.


7. JUSTICE LEAGUE (November 17th)

With Zack Snyder backing away from the film to deal with his family issues, Joss Whedon has stepped in to help bring Justice League in for its release date - and the word is that there's been some hefty changes to the feel of the film. Even if Snyder hadn't left, there's no denying that the DCEU needed a significant course correction - and Wonder Woman's joyous, uplifting nature just further proved that point. Let's hope Justice League continues on from Wonder Woman's good will.


6. BATTLE OF THE SEXES (October 20th)

Steve Carrell and Emma Stone square off against one another as Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King respectively in this sports biopic about the famed Battle of the Sexes tennis match. Directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, the creative minds behind Little Miss Sunshine, this could be a dark horse for Best Picture or garner another Best Actress gong for Emma Stone.


5. THE DEATH OF STALIN (October 20th)

Armando Iannuci's often associated with the likes of prescient, modern political comedies like Veep and The Thick Of It, so to see him going in for a period piece about the restructuring of the Soviet Union following Stalin's death is an interesting one. Yet, when you watch the trailer and see the talent he's got lined up - Michael Palin (!), Jason Isaacs, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor - you know it's going to be business as usual.



4. SUBURBICON (November 24th)

Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac, Julieanne Moore in a film directed by George Clooney and co-written by the Coen Brothers. That not enough of a reason to be excited for this? According to early reviews, Suburbicon is being compared to the likes of Fargo for its messed-up blending of humour and violence.



Jaoquin Phoenix has been known for taking on fascinating work in recent years. Inherent Vice and The Master were both poles apart in terms of story, and Phoenix's performances really helped to bring both films forward. You Were Never Really Here, however, seems to be blinding the stylised violence of Nicolas Winding Refn with the deeply disturbing subject matter you'd expect from Lynne Ramsay, the director of We Need To Talk About Kevin. Expect this one to be a much talked-about film.


2. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (December 14th)

Leaving aside all the hub-bub surrounding Han Solo, Ron Howard and Lord / Miller, The Last Jedi is coming in nicely and the first teaser gave just about everyone chills with its sweeping cinematography, soaring soundtrack and the fact that Mark Hamill actually has dialogue. Rian Johnson's managed to keep leaks and plot information off the Internet - which really is a feat in this day and age - and the little bit we've seen so far does appear to have his own particular visual stamp on it. The only question is whether or not it can repeat the same numbers as The Force Awakens and push the whole trilogy on without retreading the same steps as before.


1. BLADE RUNNER 2049 (October 6th)

1982's Blade Runner was just as seminal, formative and enduring as Star Wars for a lot of people - ourselves included - and to see one of the strongest directors working today taking it on is pretty damn exciting. Not only that, you've got Ridley Scott overseeing as executive producer, original screenwriter Hampton Fancher returning, Harrison Ford and Edward James Olmos back in action, and you've got cutting-edge special effects used in a tasteful way. The trailers and featurettes released so far would make your eyes water, they're that good-looking. The expectation for this one is high, but if anyone's got a shot at meeting them, it's Denis Villeneuve.