As the weather gets hotter, the movies always seem to get a little cooler. This summer’s list of most anticipated movies include existential superheroes, killer animals, unsettling horror, family comedies, weird arthouse fare, inspiring documentaries, stranger-than-fiction biopics, and the return of the Tom Cruise blockbuster. Whether you’re heading to an air-conditioned movie theater in the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, or relaxing in the comfort of your own home, these are the 46 films you’ll want to keep an eye out for this summer.
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)
Take another ride into the danger zone with Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Thirty years after the events of the first film, Maverick is is training the best pilots the Navy has to offer for some of the riskiest missions in the world. These new recruits include his late partner Goose’s son, played by Miles Teller.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie (May 27)
Skip the family BBQ to hang out with the Belchers—Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise—as they try to solve the mystery of the sinkhole that is blocking the door to their restaurant. Expect burger puns with a side of mayhem.
Crimes of the Future (June 3)
Director David Cronenberg returns to his body horror roots with his first new feature in nearly a decade. The futuristic and masochistic film follows a man (played by Cronenberg favorite Viggo Mortensen), who turns organ harvesting into performance art. This makes him an interesting specimen for an investigator with the National Organ Registry (Kristen Stewart) and a fringe group looking to use his fame to promote the next phase of humanity.
Fire Island (June 3)
Joel Kim Booster is a new kind of Elizabeth Bennet in this queer adaptation of Pride and Prejudice set in the barrier island off of Long Island. SNL’s Bowen Yang and Margaret Cho co-star in the modern rom-com headed to Hulu.
Phantom of the Open (June 3)
Mark Rylance plays the “world’s worst golfer” in this heartfelt comedy based on the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a middle-aged English shipyard crane operator who, in the late ‘70s, decided to become a professional golfer—and a very bad one at that.
Watcher (June 3)
It Follows star Maika Monroe plays a young actress who swears she’s being watched by her noisy neighbor. Yet no one seems to believe her in this paranoid thriller that will make you want to shut the curtains for good.
Halftime (June 14)
This Netflix documentary looks at how Jennifer Lopez went from Jenny From the Block to the headliner of the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show by showing the multi-hyphenate pop star in action. It also features appearances from those who know her best, including her fiancé Ben Affleck.
Hustle (June 8)
Struggling basketball scout Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler) believes he has found the next great NBA player in this Netflix drama. Now all he has to do is convince everyone else that his elite prospect from Spain has got what it takes to make it in the big leagues.
The Janes (June 8)
The timely HBO documentary takes a closer look at the underground group that helped women access safe abortions in a pre-Roe v. Wade world—and were deemed outlaws for doing so.
Jurassic World Dominion (June 10)
Hold onto your butts, the OG Jurassic Park gang of Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum are back to help Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) save the dinosaurs in the final installment of the Jurassic era.
Father of the Bride (June 16)
The HBO Max adaptation of the 1991 comedy of the same name starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, which in turn was inspired by the 1950 original with Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett, casts Andy Garcia as the father who is not quite ready to walk his daughter down the aisle. Or tell his kids that he and their mother (played by Gloria Estefan) are getting a divorce.
Cha Cha Real Smooth (June 17)
Cooper Raiff wrote, directed, and stars in this Apple TV+ rom-dram about a recent college grad who becomes a prolific party DJ in his New Jersey hometown and quickly strikes up a relationship with a young mom (played by Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter. Think Garden State for the Bar Mitzvah crowd.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (June 17)
This insightful indie, streaming on Hulu, stars Emma Thompson as a strait-laced teacher who, after the death of her husband, decides to hire the titular sex worker (played by Daryl McCormack) to help her sow her wild oats.
Jerry and Marge Go Large (June 17)
In this feel-good Paramount+ film, Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening play Jerry and Marge Selbee, the real-life “Lottery Hackers,” who took advantage of a loophole in the Massachusetts lottery to rake in millions.
Lightyear (June 17)
Go to infinity and beyond with this Pixar film that tells the true story of Buzz Lightyear: the man, the myth, the legend who inspired those space ranger dolls. He also happens to sound a lot like Captain America himself, Chris Evans.
Official Competition (June 17)
Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas co-star in this biting Spanish-language satire about a team of pretentious filmmakers looking to make an Oscar-winning movie.
Spiderhead (June 17)
Chris Hemsworth plays a narcissistic pharmaceutical genius in this Netflix sci-fi thriller based on a George Saunders short story in which prisoners of a not-so distant future are given emotion-altering drugs in exchange for reduced sentences.
Civil: Ben Crump (June 19)
It’s likely you’ve seen civil rights attorney Ben Crump on television representing the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. In this Netflix documentary, he pulls back the curtain on his life and a career that earned him the nickname “Black America’s attorney general.”
Read More: Inside Ben Crump’s Quest to Raise the Value of Black Life in America
Elvis (June 24)
There’s a whole lot of shaking going on in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, which stars Austin Butler as the King of Rock and Roll and Tom Hanks as his overbearing manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley has already given it two thumbs up, calling the film “nothing short of spectacular.”
Flux Gourmet (June 24)
Peter Strickland’s bizarre dark comedy of food, fine art, and flatulence looks at a troupe of experimental performance artists (played by Fatma Mohamed, Ariane Labed, and Sex Education’s Asa Butterfield) who excel in the art of “sonic catering,” or the disturbing sounds certain foods make. Word to the wise: eat dinner after this movie, not before.
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (June 24)
The delightful little mollusk shell (voiced by Jenny Slate) makes his full-length film debut more than a decade after first delighting the internet. In this stop motion feature, Marcel, with a little help from 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl, embarks on a cross-country journey to find his family. Viewers might find themselves searching for the tissues.
The Black Phone (June 24)
Ethan Hawke gives It’s Pennywise a run for his money in this horror movie about a creepy mask-wearing black balloon-carrying sadist who kidnaps local children for fun.
Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 1)
The silly sequel to 2015’s Minions looks at how Despicable Me’s Gru (Steve Carell) became the super villain he is today. No surprise, these little yellow guys had a lot to do with it.
Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8)
Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is having a bit of an existential crisis following the events of Avengers: Endgame and is now on a mission to find his rightful place in this crazy world where his ex-girlfriend Jane (Natalie Portman) suddenly has the ability to wield his hammer.
Don’t Make Me Go (July 15)
When single dad Max (John Cho) learns he has a brain tumor, he hits the road with his teenage daughter (Mia Isaac) to meet the mother who abandoned her in this Amazon Prime Video tearjerker.
The Gray Man (July 15)
When Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling), a skilled CIA assassin, uncovers the agency’s darkest secrets, he finds himself on the run from his psychopathic former colleague Lloyd Hansen (a mustachioed Chris Evans) who will stop at nothing to bring him back dead or alive. Though, Lloyd might prefer the latter in this action thriller from the Russo brothers. See the most expensive film in Netflix history in theaters or stream it on July 22.
Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down (July 15)
The documentary from RBG directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West looks at the former Arizona congresswoman’s recovery after surviving a failed assassination attempt and mass shooting in 2011, which turned her into an outspoken gun control activist.
Persuasion (July 15)
Netflix’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s posthumous final novel stars Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliott, a 28-year-old woman who is stuck living with her snobby family as she pines for the one who got away. When he unexpectedly returns, she is faced with a difficult decision: put the past behind her or give love a second chance.
Where the Crawdads Sing (July 15)
Under the Banner of Heaven’s Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as a reclusive North Carolina woman who is accused of murdering a former lover in this Southern-fried crime thriller based on the controversial Delia Owens novel of the same name.
Nope (July 22)
Jordan Peele reunites with his Get Out leading man Daniel Kaluuya for a mysterious sci-fi thriller that just might make you believe in aliens.
Vengeance (July 29)
The Office’s B.J. Novak makes his directorial debut with a comedy-mystery about a true-crime podcaster (played by Novak) who travels to West Texas to investigate the death of a woman he once dated.
Bodies Bodies Bodies (Aug. 5)
A teen game night becomes a savage whodunnit in this tongue-in-cheek horror flick in which anyone in the cast featuring Amandla Stenberg, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson could be the murderer.
Bullet Train (Aug. 5)
In this action comedy based on the 2021 novel of the same name, Brad Pitt plays a hesitant assassin tasked with retrieving a briefcase from a Japanese bullet train. It appears to be a simple mission until he realizes he’s not the only one onboard looking to steal that particular attaché. Bad Bunny, Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Zazie Beetz, and Sandra Bullock round out the ensemble cast.
Easter Sunday (Aug. 5)
Comedian Jo Koy plays a struggling actor heading home for the holiday he calls “the Filipino Super Bowl” in this heartfelt dysfunctional family comedy starring Tiffany Haddish, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Wayne’s World’s Tia Carrere.
I Love My Dad (Aug. 5)
In order to reconnect with his estranged son, the desperate Chuck (Patton Oswalt) catfishes him by pretending to be a waitress that he inevitably falls for. The real twist might be that the film is inspired by the film’s writer, director, and star James Morosini’s relationship with his own dad.
Resurrection (Aug. 5)
Rebecca Hall plays Margaret, a woman who seems to have it all together until she meets a mysterious man from her past (played by Tim Roth). The less you know about this slow-burn psychological thriller, the better.
They/Them (Aug. 5)
This Blumhouse-produced slasher movie takes place at a conversion therapy camp where it’s unclear who’s scarier: the unidentified killer or the staff trying to scare queer kids straight. Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky, and Carrie Preston star in the horror film streaming on Peacock.
Day Shift (Aug. 12)
Pool cleaner by day, vampire hunter by night. Jamie Foxx stars in this Netflix action-comedy about a single dad who is way cooler than he appears.
Emily the Criminal (Aug. 12)
Saddled with student loan debt, Emily (Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza) turns to a life of credit card scamming in this tense Sundance thriller from director John Patton Ford.
Beast (Aug. 19)
It’s Idris Elba vs. a bloodthirsty lion in this killer-animal thriller that should confirm whether this big cat gone rogue is the real king of the jungle.
Me Time (Aug. 26)
Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Hart play former best friends who decide to have their first guy’s night out in years. Let’s just say things get real rowdy real quick in this Netflix comedy that is basically Date Night for girl dads.
Breaking (Aug. 26)
This Dog Day Afternoon-esque thriller is based on the true-story of Brian Brown-Easley, a struggling former Marine who, in 2017, held up a Wells Fargo in Atlanta out of desperation for a missing disability check. John Boyega, Connie Britton, and the late Michael K. Williams star.
Three Thousand Years of Longing (Aug. 31)
Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller returns with this magical tale of a lonely scholar (Tilda Swinton), who, while on vacation in Istanbul, meets a genie (Idris Elba) that is willing to give her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. The only problem is, she can’t think of a single thing to wish for.
Fire of Love (TBD)
The celebrated Sundance doc about volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft asks the question, would you die for science?
Lena Waithe tackles the music industry with this Netflix film that questions whether an artist can ever really maintain their unique voice and identity once they sign a record contract.
Directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee take a closer look at the Black maternal health crisis in the U.S. by telling the stories of 30-year-old Shamony Gibson and 26-year-old Amber Rose Isaac, both of whom died from the complications of childbirth. The documentary is slated to stream on Hulu and Disney+.
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