We live in an amazing time for movies. Little by little more independent, less franchise based films are coming out, and while not all of them are binaries hits, it’s a start in the struggle for Hollywood to find a new footing that doesn’t depend on already existing properties. That being said, summer has nearly always been a place for the biggest of the big, or rather, films that are guaranteed to get butts in the seats while also building on the stories told in precious blockbusters.
This list is comprised mostly of well-known properties that are sure to make a lot of money, but we’ve included some surprises that we think will have people talking in the months and years to come.
ADRIFT (out June 1)
We’ve seen films like this before, but Adrift looks poised to build a story that’s not only compelling on a romantic level, but on a level of what it takes to survive against ungodly elements during a massive storm. The cast, led by the amazing Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games series) sees a pair of sailors stuck in a middle of a monstrous storm that they were gravely unprepared for. It’s based on a true story, and while I don’t know how it turned out in real life, this looks to be a story of potential survival that everyone can get behind.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (out now, see our review here)
After so many years, all the end credit teases, after blood and sweat has been shed, and after more destruction than can be remembered has been brought to human and alien worlds alike, the big moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally come: Thanos has arrived. It was first teased all the way back in the first Avengers, but it’s finally here. Now Thanos isn’t just your run of the mill bad guy. He’s literally the destroyer of works and his eyes are fixed not only on the Infinity Stones(which will give him unbridled power over the galaxy) but also on the Avengers. This is part one of a two-part sequel story, and well, I guess we’ll see how Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Spider-Man and literally every other member of the MCU will fate when he gets for what he desires most, ultimate power.
DEADPOOL 2 (out now, see our review here)
Many were surprised all the staying power the first Ryan Reynolds led film had a few years back, but with its irony-filled jokes, in your face meta qualities and well, Ryan Reynolds in a role that no one else could do justice, it’s not hard to see why people are excited for this. Will this be another solid entry in the franchise, or will it struggle to find the same energy the original had? It’s hard to say as of now, but based on the trailers we’ve seen, it seems like it will be as enjoyable as the first one. Also helping is the addition of the future assassin known as Cable, being played by Josh Brolin. Expect tons of tongue in cheeks jokes, adult action sequences and plenty of other gems when Deadpool 2 leaps into theaters.
THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS (out August 17)
This one looks to be both wildly entertaining and very out there in terms of novel, original ideas, which is why it’s in this list. The plot is basic enough. Two partners have to navigate their way through an investigation after a friend of one of the lead detectives start turning up dead. The catch: this is a world where puppets and humans coexist and work together, and the murders are being perpetrated against those same puppets. With a cast featuring Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and Joel Mchale among others, this will hopefully be as fun and engaging as the concept is. It’ll be released in August, but don’t be surprised if this ends of being a powerhouse movie with an engaging story many will feast upon. However, it could also be setting itself up for cult movie status, based on the things I’ve seen and heard. Cult movie status though isn’t a bad thing at all though, considering the company it will be keeping it makes it there.
THE INCREDIBLES 2 (out June 15)
Probably among the films we’re most excited for this year is the long, long-awaited return to the world of the Par family with the sure to be amazing Incredibles 2. In usual Pixar manner, not much of the plot has been revealed, but that’s never hindered enormous amounts of people from diving headlong into their creations. The first entry is easily my favorite Pixar film, and with all the original cast returning, and the allure of FINALLY finding out what gifts Jack-Jack possesses, this will be, um, an Incredible movie going experience for everyone who embarks on it.
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (out June 22)
Sure the first Jurassic World was slightly heavy on a similar plot from the others and fan service, but it was an unabashedly fun and wild ride. That being said, Fallen Kingdom has me intrigued. The island is swarming with dinosaurs just trying to exist, but another colossal existence ending tragedy is about to unfold, and not surprisingly it’s up to Chris Pratt to save whatever he can. I’m not expecting a sobering thought-provoking film, but I am expecting some big, goofy and fun for all of the popcorn eaters to marvel at as we watch creatures out of their element try once again to survive and thrive in this Fallen Kingdom.
THE NUN (out September 7 due to rescheduling)
The last few years have seen a reemergence if sorta when it comes to an engrossing horror film, especially when you consider the Conjuring and all the other offshoots we’ve seen from that team. In this fifth installment of the series, the main antagonist is simply referred to as, you guessed it, The Nun. Glimpsed for the first time in The Conjuring 2, she was terrifying and mystical enough for writers Dauberman and James Wan to give her her own full-length horror fest. If you remember from the previous film Valak was the main baddie messing with everyone, and he seems to figure prominently in this one too, having taken the form of the nun in question. It’s up to one investigative lady of the church to solve this diabolically evil crime, and if previews are any indication, this looks to be another solid entry in the world that encapsulates the horror that we’ve come to appreciate from the minds behind the Conjuring.
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES (out July 27)
So I’ll just come out and say this from the jump: I have almost no education in the world of the Teen Titans, but based on the trailer and the number of jokes it features, this seems to aim to be a film that will be enjoyed by kids massively while putting just enough in that will make parents not want to sleep through it. Starring young versions of Robin, cyborg and other D.C. comic stars, the gang will have to match wits and strength against Slade as they fight not only for justice, but also the struggle to become yet the next group of comic heroes to get their own movie. Clearly, they’re upset about that, but this looks fun and cute.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (out May 25)
Han Solo, is without a question one of the major powers of the Star Wars universe, even if he doesn’t possess the force abilities of the other two main protagonists. His wit, slimy charm and daring movements among the stars and craters of the galaxy are second to none. That being said, I’m cautiously optimistic. Rumor has it early test screenings haven’t gone well, and one could argue you don’t really need a prequel film for Solo because of how well his mystique works in Episodes four five and six, but Disney clearly wants to flesh out the early years on this character and let’s face it, this will likely make a lot of money, even if it doesn’t end up being something that’s comparable to the original trilogy. The newest Star Wars films of the last few years haven’t had the universal love many expected, but this will likely be very fun and engaging.
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR (out June 8)
During the closing moments of the amazing trailer, you hear Fred Rogers say “the greatest thing we can do is to show a person that they’re loved, and that they’re capable of loving.” That basically sums up the devoted nature of the subject matter behind this upcoming documentary about one of America’s fondest and likable personalities. We’re betting this is going to be a tear-jerker of sorts, and already it’s been widely praised as a beautiful, uplifting piece of cinema when we as a country should be tearing down barriers and promoting the ideas that Rogers helped to push for during his time in the spotlight.