Does it seem like many of this year’s movie titles came out of the same batch? Both The Circle and The Square mine shapes to get their names, while horror finds a new pronoun to fear in both It and It Comes at Night. Still, no word is getting more of a workout in this year’s movie titles than “wonder,” since five notable movies will grace 2017 with wonder-ful names. How are you supposed to keep all these films straight and figure out which Wonder movie is right for you? From Wonder Woman to Wonderstruck to Wonder Wheel, we’ll help you get your bearings.
What’s it about? The world’s most famous female superhero makes her way to the front lines of World War I to defeat a violent God. Along the way, she comes to crucial conclusions about ice cream and the fallibility of man.
Is there an inspiring woman in it? There are several! Gal Gadot inhabits Wonder Woman so thoroughly that you can sense a star being born before your eyes. And if, like me, all you’ve ever wanted from a movie is to watch Robin Wright smile while killing dozens of men, there’s no way you’ll walk away from Wonder Woman unsatisfied.
Is the leading man strong and soulful? Yes. Have you met Chris Pine’s eyes?
Who is the film for? To judge from its phenomenal box-office receipts, just about everybody whose name is not James Cameron.
What’s it about? In this Todd Haynes follow-up to Carol, two hearing-impaired children who are separated by decades make their way to New York City and discover an unexpected link.
Is there an inspiring woman in it? Julianne Moore plays two different roles and in one of them, I’m pretty sure she’s wearing Nicole Kidman’s nose from The Hours. So, you tell me!
Is the leading man strong and soulful? There’s not really a leading man so much as there’s a leading boy, but the little kid’s name is Oakes Fegley, which is very strong as far as child-actor names go.
Who is the film for? Cineaste parents, people who still complain that Carol wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, and AC/DC fans who headbang and shout “You’ve been wonder-struuuuck!” every time they see an ad for this movie.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
What’s it about? The man who created the character of Wonder Woman, Dr. William Moulton Marston, led a pretty juicy life: He and his wife invited another woman into their marriage and Marston mined many aspects of their polyamorous relationship for his famous character. (That lasso ain’t just a lasso, if you get my drift.)
Is there an inspiring woman in it? If you’re inspired by tall British actresses with gamine haircuts (and who isn’t?), Rebecca Hall plays Marston’s open-minded wife.
Is the leading man strong and soulful? The film hasn’t screened yet but let’s hope so, since Luke Evans (who plays Marston) was the best thing about the recent live-action Beauty and the Beast.
Who is the film for? People who want to go, “Well, actually …” when Wonder Woman is brought up at parties.
What’s it about? Set in the 1950s, Woody Allen’s newest drama follows a restless wife (Kate Winslet), her estranged daughter (Juno Temple), and a lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) who becomes involved with them both.
Is there an inspiring woman in it? Kate Winslet is (a) an Oscar winner, (b) married to a man whose last name is “Rocknroll,” and (c) the only woman over 40 that Leonardo DiCaprio regularly speaks to. I’d read her memoir!
Is the leading man strong and soulful? The leading man is Justin Timberlake.
Who is the film for? Fans of scenery-chewing actress monologues, Selena Gomez.
What’s it about? Anxious parents Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson fear their son (Jacob Tremblay) will have a difficult life because of his facial deformity.
Is there an inspiring woman in it? Here is what Julia Roberts said at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Tribute to Tom Hanks in April 2009: “I have to pee. Everybody fucking likes you. I had lunch today with Rita and her tits were here and her waist was here and her ass was like that. So, what can I tell you that is new? Tom Hanks, what the fuck?” Legend.
Is the leading man strong and soulful? His dad is!
Who is the film for? People who try to look up the other four Wonder films on streaming and land on this one first.