Blockbuster film season has arrived, and its first entry will almost certainly be its biggest. Avengers: Endgame opened last week and shattered all kinds of box office records; its reviews have also been extremely strong.
But the rest of the slate of summer movies is just as intriguing: ambitious live-action Disney adaptations, a star-studded Tarantino return, terrifying original horror stories and soundtracks from rock legends. Here are 50 of the biggest summer movies coming to theaters (and, in some cases, streaming in a living room) near you.
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
If you’ve stayed with the Marvel Cinematic Universe for 21 films, you’ll probably be happy to sit through the climactic film’s monstrous three-hour runtime. Those of the Avengers extended family who survived Thanos’ devastating final attack in Avengers: Infinity War—including Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, and Black Widow—are joined by newcomer Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) to turn the tables against him.
Knock Down the House (May 1, Netflix)
In 2018, a record 529 women ran for Congress. This documentary, which won the Festival Favorite Award at Sundance this year, follows four of them, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as they attempt to overcome skepticism and long odds on the campaign trial.
Long Shot (May 3)
For some reason, beautiful and impressive women, from characters played by Katherine Heigl to Rose Byrne to Elizabeth Banks, tend to fall in love with Seth Rogen in movies. The latest to do so is Charlize Theron’s Charlotte Field, the poised and intelligent U.S. Secretary of State running for president who hires Rogen’s schlubby journalist to punch up her speechwriting.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (May 3, Netflix)
This controversial film about Ted Bundy has received mixed reviews since its Sundance premiere, but Zac Efron has drawn raves for his shivering portrayal of the serial killer. Lily Collins plays Bundy’s girlfriend, who witnesses his descent into a steadily darkening place.
Wine Country (May 8, May 10 on Netflix)
A group of SNL pals—Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey—have been taking real-life vacations together for years. Those uproarious, disastrous trips served as the inspiration for this warm comedy, which is Poehler’s directorial debut.
Detective Pikachu (May 10)
The creatures of Pokémon invaded the real world three years ago thanks to Pokémon Go—but they lacked fur, scales or saliva. This quasi-live-action film, in which Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu, imbues Pokémon with all of those physical attributes, making them alternately unsettling and adorable.
The Hustle (May 10)
Scam Season never ends. This remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features one experienced con artist (Anne Hathaway) taking a small-time scammer (Rebel Wilson) under her wing, as they embark on a quest to swindle a tech billionaire. Hathaway slips into her British accent and sillier side.
Poms (May 10)
A group of legendary actresses (Diane Keaton, Pam Grier, Jacki Weaver and Rhea Perlman) play women in a retirement community who shake off rust and bad hips to form a cheerleading squad.
Tolkien (May 10)
The $1 billion Lord of the Rings Amazon series won’t arrive for awhile, but Tolkien fans can bide their time with this biopic starring Nicholas Hoult. The film presumably takes liberties, as many biopics do, with the writer’s life; Tolkien’s family recently issued a statement expressing their disapproval.
A Dog’s Journey (May 17)
In this sequel, a very good boy finds his way home. Josh Gad voices the pup; Dennis Quaid plays his owner.
The Souvenir (May 17)
Two generations of Swintons appear in critical darling Joanna Hogg’s latest film, which premiered to raves at Sundance. A shy film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) enters into a turbulent and destructive relationship which threatens to throw her off her path. Her real-life mother Tilda Swinton plays her buttoned-up mother in the movie.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (May 17)
The legend of Keanu Reeves has only seemed to deepen over time. He returns to play the title character of this cult-favorite franchise, which features plenty of exquisite hand-to-hand combat and canine love.
The Sun Is Also A Star (May 17)
Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi and Riverdale‘s Reggie Charles Melton play star-crossed lovers in this adaptation of the YA novel by Nicola Yoon.
Aladdin (May 24)
Disney hopes that the live-action reboot of its beloved animated take on the Middle Eastern folktale will be a huge hit. For better or worse, much of the recent discourse surrounding the film has centered on Will Smith’s bewildering body paint. “Will Smith as #Aladdin’s genie makes me want to uninvent CGI,” wrote one user on Twitter. Blue paint aside, the film itself looks like a splashy, effects-heavy take on the original.
Booksmart (May 24)
The trope of the Last High School Party has been told time and time again through the years—from Dazed and Confused to Superbad—but very rarely has it been seen through female eyes. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut features two goodie-two-shoes seniors (played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) as they attempt to leave high school with a bang.
Always Be My Maybe (May 29, May 31 on Netflix)
Randall Park and Ali Wong play childhood best friends-turned lovers in this will-they-won’t-they rom-com. Look out for lots of delicious-looking food, a spot-on D’Angelo impression and a hysterical cameo from one of the superstars on this list.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31)
The mythical Japanese monster was given a jolt in 2014, when Gareth Edwards’ film was largely praised (though not in this magazine) for its jaw-dropping visuals and action sequences. The sequel features Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown and an array of leviathans and giant brutes.
Rocketman (May 31)
The latest entry of the classic rock biopic boom traces the life of Elton John, who is imbued with flair and an impressively accurate singing impression by actor Taron Egerton.
Domino (May 31)
The director Brian De Palma celebrates 50 years in cinema with this grisly thriller starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The Game of Thrones alumnus plays a Copenhagen police officer tracking down the killer of his partner.
Ma (May 31)
Octavia Spencer has often been typecast as sweet or wearied characters, perhaps in part due to what she terms her “nurse face.” She is far more sinister in this new psychological thriller, in which she plays a woman who begins to terrorize a group of teenagers in small-town Ohio.
Deadwood: The Movie (May 31, HBO)
Fans of the HBO Western series have been begging for a reboot since the show was abruptly cancelled after three seasons. The film, which has been in development hell for more than a decade, will finally come to fruition and grapple with death and memory loss—themes that creator David Milch has confronted in his real life after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Dark Phoenix (June 7)
Game of Thrones will be wrapped up by early June, but Sophie Turner’s rise is just getting started. The actor who portrays Sansa Stark on the HBO series will lead the latest X-Men installment; she plays Jean Grey, a telepathic mutant struggling with the power of her alter ego, Phoenix.
Late Night (June 7)
Emma Thompson plays a curmudgeonly late-night talk show host opposite Mindy Kaling—who also wrote the movie—as an idealistic writer and the only woman in the writers room. The unlikely pair attempts to lift the show out of white-male mediocrity and prevent a looming cancellation.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (June 7)
Joe Talbot’s directorial debut won rave festival reviews for its wistful portrayal of a rapidly-gentrifying San Francisco. A black San Franciscan named Jimmie Fails plays himself as he attempts to reclaim his childhood home in the Fillmore District.
Secret Life of Pets 2 (June 7)
Patton Oswalt, Tiffany Haddish and Harrison Ford join an already star-studded cast of voice actors for the second installment of this chipper animated franchise. Oswalt takes over for the disgraced Louis C.K. in voicing the protagonist Jack Russell Terrier.
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (June 12, Netflix)
From The Last Waltz to Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese has proven that few directors can match his ability to capture the intimacy and kinetic energy of a rock concert. Here, he turns his focus to Bob Dylan—whose life he explored in the 2005 documentary No Direction Home—and his legendarily freewheeling 1975-1976 tour, which featured appearances from Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez.
Shaft (June 14)
The third generation of “the black James Bond” arrives in the guise of Jessie Usher. He is joined by the Shafts who came before him: his father (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and grandfather (played by Richard Roundtree, the original Shaft). The last Shaft movie, released in 2000, was directed by the late director John Singleton.
Men in Black: International (June 14)
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson showed off a crackling rapport in Thor: Ragnarok. The duo reconvenes in this latest installment of the alien franchise that leaves Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones on the sidelines. In this one, Hemsworth and Thompson take their carbonizers to London.
The Dead Don’t Die (June 14)
Jim Jarmusch, a titan of independent film, wrote and directed a movie populated by what is being billed “the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled”: Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny play police officers who lead the defense against a zombie attack on a small town. They are joined, in living and undead form, by Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez and Iggy Pop, among others.
Wild Rose (June 14)
A brash ex-convict and single mother from Glasgow, played by Jessie Buckley, strives to become a Nashville country star. Buckley has received rave reviews for the role: “As a musician, she’s terrific, but as an actress she’s even better, with ceaselessly mobile features like a changeable Northern sky,” Leslie Felperin wrote in the Hollywood Reporter.
Child’s Play (June 21)
Mark Hamill, who in addition to playing Luke Skywalker is one of the great voice actors in film and television history for his Joker and other roles, lends his pliable vocal cords to another terrifying villain: Chucky. Aubrey Plaza plays a mother who gifts her son that unsettling doll before realizing it has started murdering people.
Toy Story 4 (June 21)
Woody, Buzz and the gang meet a new friend: a plastic spork with googly eyes and an existential crisis. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the talented voice cast return for the fourth installment of this beloved series—as does the voice of Mr. Potato Head, the irascible, late Don Rickles, whose parts were assembled through archival recordings.
Annabelle Comes Home (June 28)
The Conjuring universe continues to expand and terrify. This film—the third of the hugely successful Annabelle subfranchise—takes place between The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 and follows the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they bring home a doll that will soon torment their young daughter.
Yesterday (June 28)
A mediocre singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) is hit by a bus during a global blackout and wakes up to a world in which nobody but him remembers the Beatles. He begins passing their songs off as his own, kickstarting a long and winding road through fame and disillusionment.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2)
Spider-Man: Homecoming served as a welcome reprieve from the weary darkness of much of the rest of the Marvel Universe. In this sequel to that 2017 movie, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) sets off on a European vacation, where Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits him in a fight against Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
Midsommar (July 3)
Director Ari Aster shocked the world last year with his grotesque and exhilarating horror film Hereditary. From the looks of it, his follow-up will be equally unsettling: it follows a summer festival in a small Swedish village that quickly turns into a bloody competition.
Crawl (July 12)
You’ll probably want to stay away from bodies of water after seeing Alexandre Aja’s latest horror flick. The film sees a daughter and father trapped inside a house during a hurricane—along with a teeming horde of alligators from the Florida Everglades.
Stuber (July 12)
Kumail Nanjiani is a nebbish Uber driver; Dave Bautista is a gassed-up cop. They bounce off each other in this 21st-century take on the odd-couple road trip.
The Farewell (July 12)
Awkwafina is best known for her uproarious, scene-stealing turns in Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. But she shows off her range in The Farewell, a sensitive family drama in which her character and her family travel to China from New York City to say goodbye to her dying grandmother.
The Art of Self-Defense (July 19)
In this dark comedy, Jesse Eisenberg takes his twitchy hyper-intensity into a karate dojo, where his character Casey hopes to learn to defend himself. He quickly finds that the classes are filled with brutal mind games and toxic masculinity, led by a terrorizing sensei (Alessandro Nivola).
The Lion King (July 19)
The big cats of this computer-generated, photorealistic remake of Disney’s animated classic have some new and famous voices: Donald Glover will voice Simba, while Beyoncé lends her pipes to Nala. But one voice will remain from the original 1994 film: the deep, reassuring tones of James Earl Jones as Mufasa.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 26)
Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film—he has said he’s retiring after ten—takes place in 1969 Los Angeles as the city reels from the Manson Family murders. Leonardo DiCaprio took a pay cut to star as a washed-up Western actor; Brad Pitt plays his body double and Margot Robbie is Sharon Tate. Al Pacino, Bruce Dern, Lena Dunham and Luke Perry—in his last credited role—also star.
The Nightingale (August 2)
Jennifer Kent’s harrowing follow-up to the global horror phenomenon The Babadook had a successful run at film festivals beginning last summer. The movie, which stars Aisling Franciosi and Sam Claflin, follows a young woman seeking revenge for the murder of her family.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (August 2)
The latest Fast and Furious spinoff knows exactly what it is, and so do you: there will be fast cars, flying fists, hair-raising explosions, sweeping waterfront locales, and grandiose paeans to importance of family. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham frontline this mission against a menacing and cyber-genetically enhanced Idris Elba.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Aug. 9)
Dora, the diminutive explorer, charmed a generation of children on Nickelodeon with her whimsical, low-stakes cartoon adventures. Will those fans follow her into this live-action adventure film? Dora, now in high school, plunges into the jungle to confront a familiar foe (Swiper the fox) with a terrifying new voice (Benicio del Toro).
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (August 9)
Guillermo del Toro loves his monsters, and especially the ones found in this book by Alvin Schwartz. Del Toro stumbled upon the series at a bookstore in Texas and was compelled to produce this adaptation; it will likely feature a handful of the series’ creepiest and most compelling tales.
The Kitchen (August 9)
Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy play mob wives-turned-mobsters in this 1970s period drama. They confront rival gangs, the FBI, and their own criminal husbands with barrage after barrage of gunfire.
Blinded By the Light (August 14)
Sarfraz Manzoor was born thirty years after Bruce Springsteen and grew up more than three thousand miles away. But as a teenager, he came to realize that the existential dread of Thatcherite Britain closely mirrored the “death trap” of Springsteen’s New Jersey. This film, which Manzoor co-adapted from his memoir, Greetings from Bury Park, dramatizes the story of how he turned to The Boss’ music for escape and uplift.
Good Boys (August 16)
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg specialize in the hijinks of juvenile men. But this film, which they produced, might be their first since Superbad in which the characters’ maturity levels properly match their ages. It centers around three middle-schoolers as they enter the agonies and ecstasies of teeangerdom. Jacob Tremblay, who starred in the 2015 Oscar Best Picture nominee Room, gets in on their potty-mouthed humor.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (August 16)
Maria Semple’s 2012 novel about a disappearing mother spent a year on the New York Times‘ bestseller list. Cate Blanchett stars in the titular role; Richard Linklater directs.
Corrections, May 2 and May 28
The original version of this story misstated the relationship of Richard Roundtree’s character to Jessie Usher’s character in Shaft. He plays the grandfather, not the grand-uncle of John Shaft Jr. The original version of this story also misstated whether Jacob Tremblay had been nominated for an Oscar. While his film Room was nominated for several Oscars, Tremblay was not.
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