50 New Summer Movies to See in 2018

13 minute read

After last year’s popcorn season recorded the worst box office in more than a decade — despite a number of critically lauded blockbusters — there’s hope yet that the 2018 summer movie season can mount something of a comeback. And this year, there are summer movies for everyone. You want Tom Cruise jumping out of an airplane? You got it. An Oceans movie but minus the testosterone? There’s that, too. A chance to relive your awkward youth and the horrors of middle school? Those masochists will be served, as well.

Here’s a look at the 50 new summer movies we’re most excited to see in 2018.


Breaking In (May 11)

In this thriller dropping just in time for Mother’s Day, Gabrielle Union shows that a mother’s love knows no bounds — and sometimes extends to some pretty impressive martial arts moves — when her kids’ lives are threatened by shady criminals.

Life of the Party (May 11)

Melissa McCarthy stars in a comedy she co-wrote with her husband, director Ben Falcone, about a divorcée who goes back to college alongside her daughter — who’s not particularly thrilled about the opportunity for mother-daughter bonding over beer pong.

The Seagull (May 11)

Anton Chekhov’s 1895 play about mismatched love gets a new film adaptation starring Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan and Elisabeth Moss. Fun fact: Bening returns to the same role she played in acting school in her 20s.

Book Club (May 18)

The book club of your dreams — Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen — takes on the Fifty Shades trilogy, but also sex after 60, online dating, overprotective adult children, ex-husbands who remarry women the age of their adult children and more.

Deadpool 2 (May 18)

Ryan Reynolds’ “merc with a mouth” returns with another double dose of snide adolescent humor, this time facing off against Josh Brolin’s time-traveling mutant, Cable, who’s trying to take down a young mutant (played by Hunt for the Wilderpeople‘s talented New Zealand actor Julian Dennison).

First Reformed (May 18)

In this drama from Paul Schrader (best known for writing Taxi Driver and Raging Bull), Ethan Hawke is quietly moving as a pastor whose life becomes enmeshed with the lives of a young couple (Amanda Seyfried and Philip Ettinger) in his congregation.

On Chesil Beach (May 18)

Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle anchor this Ian McEwan adaptation, a 1960s period drama, about the fraught wedding night of a pair of newlyweds in an English seaside town.

Pope Francis – A Man of His Word (May 18)

German filmmaker Wim Wenders convinced the normally press-averse Holy Father to sit for a series of interviews in a documentary that weaves together his candid observations about social justice, poverty and death.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)

In this prequel set before Han Solo’s first encounters with Luke and Leia, Alden Ehrenreich plays the strapping young pilot as he meets Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and faces a new foe in Paul Bettany’s gangster, Dryden Vos.

MORE: Solo’s Paul Bettany on Joining the Star Wars Universe and His Villain Dryden Vos


A Kid Like Jake (June 1)

In a drama from Silas Howard, a director of Transparent, Claire Danes and Jim Parsons balance angst and compassion as Brooklynites struggling to help their gender-nonconforming child find a place in the world while still just being a kid.

Adrift (June 1)

In this true story of survival adapted from a memoir by Tami Oldham Ashcraft, Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin are lovers lost at sea as ominous clouds move in.

American Animals (June 1)

This unconventional crime film, starring standout Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), dramatizes the true story of four young men who attempted to pull off a rare-books heist from a Kentucky university in 2004.

Hearts Beat Loud (June 8)

The latest from writer-director Brett Haley — who has won a following with heartfelt indies like The Hero and I’ll See You in My Dreams — sees Nick Offerman as a wistful dad who starts a band with his talented but reluctant daughter (Kiersey Clemons) in a last-minute attempt at bonding before she heads off to college.

Hereditary (June 8)

In a Sundance horror hit that’s been compared to The Exorcist, a family (led by a terrifyingly effective Toni Collette) unravels after the death of a matriarch reveals dark secrets long hidden in a dusty attic.

Ocean’s 8 (June 8)

Move over, George Clooney, and move over, Rat Pack: the newest installment of the Oceans franchise features the summer’s most star-studded cast. Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Rihanna are just three-eighths of the gang in this new take on the heist caper.

MORE: Could Ocean’s 8 Mark the Return of the Great Glam Caper?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (June 8)

This heartwarming documentary, all but guaranteed to elicit tears from anyone who’s ever watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, goes behind the life and career of beloved entertainer-educator Fred Rogers.

Incredibles 2 (June 15)

The long-awaited sequel to the beloved Pixar superhero movie sees the Parr family fighting a new villain, the Underminer, as mom Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) heads to the front lines and dad (Craig T. Nelson) stays home to battle diapers and adolescent hormones.

Superfly (June 15)

Director X, best known for music videos like Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” remakes Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1972 blaxploitation classic about a dealer trying to escape life on the streets, moving the action from Harlem to present-day Atlanta.

Tag (June 15)

This comedy, based on a true story recounted in a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, stars Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Jake Johnson as old friends engaged in an epic, cross-country game of the titular schoolyard game.

The Catcher Was a Spy (June 22)

Paul Rudd stars in this historical drama about real-life ballplayer Moe Berg, a brainy backup catcher in the major leagues, who left the plate to spy on the Germans during World War II.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22)

Jurassic World still sits pretty at the number four global box office of all time — so of course they made another one. In this next installment, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard try to save the dinos from an impending volcanic eruption by moving them closer to civilization, and a big, bad hybrid T. Rex escapes.

Under the Silver Lake (June 22)

Writer-director David Robert Mitchell follows up his 2014 indie horror hit It Follows with this drama about a man (Andrew Garfield) who becomes obsessed with solving a murder and kidnapping that happen close to home.

Sicario 2: Soldado (June 29)

Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro return (minus Emily Blunt) for a sequel to the 2015 crime thriller. This one is also centered around the drug war at the U.S.-Mexico border, but it ventures further afield to tell a more international tale.

Three Identical Strangers (June 29)

This documentary tells the story of identical triplets separated at birth who reunite as young men. That story alone would have been enough for a compelling film, but where it goes next — which is best left unspoiled — makes for the real drama.

Uncle Drew (June 29)

NBA star Kyrie Irving first showed his acting chops in a series of Pepsi Max ads about an elderly streetball legend. Now the character gets his own feature-length comedy with assists from fellow players Shaquille O’Neal and Reggie Miller and Get Out star Lil Rel Howery.

Woman Walks Ahead (June 29)

Jessica Chastain plays real-life artist Catherine Weldon, who travels from New York to North Dakota in the 1890s to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes). Before long, she’s caught up in the Lakota people’s fight for the right to their land.


The First Purge (July 4)

The prequel to the successful Purge series sees Marisa Tomei as a sociologist who develops a social experiment allowing Americans to commit any crime for one day, but it’s quickly revealed to be a cover for a government plot to wipe out black communities.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)

Paul Rudd returns as the variably-sized superhero, this time teaming up with Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp for a new mission as he balances saving the world with his home life.

Sorry to Bother You (July 6)

Oakland activist and musician Boots Riley makes his directorial debut with this genre-defying sci-fi fantasy comedy about a telemarketer (Lakeith Stanfield) who must decide whether to make the big bucks selling sinister merchandise or joining in his coworkers’ struggle to form a union.

Whitney (July 6)

Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) takes on the life of Whitney Houston, who died at 48 in 2012, in this authorized documentary featuring unreleased recordings and interviews with family members.

Eighth Grade (July 13)

Comedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, a Sundance sensation, stars breakout Elsie Fisher as an Instagram-addicted middle schooler just trying to fit in. The film is a tender and empathetic story about the awkwardness of adolescence in the age of social media — and always.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (July 13)

Joaquin Phoenix plays real-life quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan as he works his way through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, adjusts to life in a wheelchair and hones his offbeat style and politically incorrect sensibility as an artist.

Puzzle (July 13)

Boardwalk Empire star Kelly Macdonald gets a leading role in this indie drama, an English-language remake of an Argentine movie about a put-upon mother and housewife whose midlife revelation is that she’s a prodigy at — you guessed it — competitive jigsaw puzzling.

Skyscraper (July 13)

Fresh off of trying to save Chicago from overgrown zoo animals in Rampage, Dwayne Johnson’s next trick will be to save Hong Kong, or at least the residents of the world’s tallest building (including his family) from terrorists, a raging fire and a host of other threats.

The Equalizer 2 (July 20)

Denzel Washington returns for the sequel to the 2014 crime thriller about a retired CIA operative who fights a bunch of Russian gangsters.

Blindspotting (July 20)

Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs and spoken-word poet Rafael Casal, both Oakland natives, co-wrote and star in this drama about two best friends in that California city, one black and one white, who are forced to confront the ways in which race and privilege have influenced their relationship.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (July 20)

It’s a big moment for ABBA: they just announced their first new music in 35 years and they’re getting another movie built around their music. In the sequel, we see Meryl Streep’s matriarch in flashbacks (played by Lily James) meeting her many suitors, and Cher shows up as the uber-matriarch.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (July 27)

The sixth installment of the Tom Cruise spy-thriller franchise sees the stunt king at odds with the CIA and in the crosshairs of foes and former friends. (Never mind what it’s about — Cruise literally jumped out of a plane at 30,000 feet during filming.)


The Darkest Minds (Aug. 3)

Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson — the first woman to solo-direct a major Hollywood animated feature — takes the helm of her first live-action film, based on a young adult novel about teens (led by Amandla Stenberg) with special powers escaping tyrannical government forces in the aftermath of a plague.

Christopher Robin (Aug. 3)

Ewan McGregor plays author A.A. Milne’s son, who in growing up has lost his sense of wonder and needs some help from a CGI Pooh bear (and friends) to find it again.

John Cho in the movie Searching
John Cho stars as David Kim in Screen Gems' 'Searching'.Elizabeth Kitchens

Searching (Aug. 3)

In this emotional thriller, Star Trek actor John Cho plays a widowed father searching for his missing teenage daughter by diving deep into her web history.

The Spy Who Dumped Me (Aug. 3)

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon play best friends who accidentally become international spies. They fumble their way across Europe when Kunis’ character learns that her now-missing ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux) is in the CIA.

The Wife (Aug. 3)

In this adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 novel, Glenn Close simmers with years of pent-up grievances as the wife of a novelist (Jonathan Pryce) just awarded the Nobel Prize.

Adam Driver stars as Flip Zimmerman and John David Washington as Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, a Focus Features release.David Lee—© Universal Pictures

BlacKkKlansman (Aug. 10)

Spike Lee directs the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in 1979.

The Meg (Aug. 10)

Jason Statham plays a deep-sea diver and ex-military man stuck on an underwater research facility when a megalodon, a 75-ft. prehistoric species of shark, attacks. Think Jaws, but underwater, and three times the shark.

Crazy Rich Asians (Aug. 17)

The first book in Kevin Kwan’s bestselling trilogy, in which an economics professor (Constance Wu) learns that her boyfriend (Henry Golding) is the most eligible bachelor in Singapore, gets the big-screen treatment. It’s the first major film in a quarter of a century with an all-Asian cast.

MORE: Why Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8 Star Awkwafina Is This Summer’s Secret Weapon

Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O'Dowd in Juliet, Naked
Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O'Dowd in Juliet, Naked.Alex Bailey

Juliet, Naked (Aug. 17)

In a mature rom-com adapted from a Nick Hornby novel, a woman (Rose Byrne) bonds with the obscure musician (Ethan Hawke) with whom her boyfriend (Chris O’Dowd) is obsessed.

The Bookshop (Aug. 24)

A purveyor of books (Emily Mortimer) agitates a buttoned-up town with her controversial taste in literature (think Nabokov and Ray Bradbury) in this adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1978 novel.

Kin (Aug. 31)

Two brothers, one an ex-con and one still a child, go on the run from a dangerous criminal, protecting themselves with a mysterious, futuristic-looking weapon.

Tipper Seifert-Cleveland and Oliver Zetterström in <i>The Little Stranger</i>.Nicola Dove

The Little Stranger (Aug. 31)

Lenny Abrahamson (Room) adapts Sarah Waters’ supernatural-horror novel about a country doctor (Domhnall Gleeson) called to a haunted estate.

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com