Summer movie season is here and we have so much to get excited about. ‘Tis the season to ease into that movie theater chair, cuddle up with a big bucket of popcorn, let the air conditioning blast you in the face, and get transported to a world far away from the oppressive heat and mindless days of the season. And with plenty of sequels to beloved franchises, reboots of iconic characters, and originals destined to become classics, there’s something for everyone to look forward to this year.
We’ve narrowed our list down to the 15 films we’re most excited to check out this summer. Take a look and mark your calendars now! Summer movie season kicks off this week with…
Release Date: May 10
That’s right, the cuddly, beloved, and very yellow Pokémon makes his live-action debut with this fun family film. Ryme City comes to life in an adventure that places Pikachu and the son of his owner in the middle of a giant mystery. We found the movie super satisfying and can’t wait for the masses to check it out and fall in love, too!
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Release Date: May 17
The third installment in the beloved John Wick series, this sequel finds our titular hero (played by the great Keanu Reeves) on the outs with the High Table and on the other end of a $14 million bounty. If this one is anything like the previous two, we’re in for a special treat of beautiful action composition, impressive world-building, and a whole lot of ass-kicking fun.
Release Date: May 24
We weren’t sure how to feel about this one based on the early trailers, but our interests are definitely piqued. Who can deny the power of a live-action Disney musical? Even with some wonky blue-genie-ness, Will Smith in the role is a pretty inspired idea, and director Guy Ritchie is great with fun, poppy action movies. (See: Sherlock Holmes and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) We’re sure by the time it comes out, we’ll be singing along to the new version of “A Whole New World” with full hearts in our eyes.
Release Date: May 24
The buzz around Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is super positive and for good reason: We saw Booksmart at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and it’s deserving of every single accolade. The Superbad-esque story about two high school good girls who let loose for one final night of partying pre-graduation is hilarious, heartfelt, progressive, and an ode to positive female friendship. What’s not to love?
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Release Date: May 31
The trailers for this thing have been absolutely fantastic, and have gone a long way to hype us up for the next installment in this rebooted Kaiju franchise. How can we not be excited about a movie that sees Godzilla facing off against his most famous enemies, from Mothra to Rodan to the king bad guy, Ghidorah? May 31 cannot come fast enough.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Date: June 7
Reshoots and rumors have plagued the legacy of this film, the last X-Men film before Disney bought Fox. The iconic comic book storyline gets a new interpretation, with Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner in the lead role of Jean Grey. Can the cast pull it off one last time? We’re eager to see how this one plays out.
Men in Black: International
Release Date: June 14
The beloved Men in Black franchise is getting the sequel treatment this summer, and this time it’s taking over the world. Thor: Ragnarok duo Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth team up as a pair of agents tasked with uncovering a mole in the Men in Black offices. The globe-trotting trailers make this one look like a fun, breezy adventure flick perfect for summer. It’ll be worth it for Thompson and Hemsworth’s excellent chemistry.
Release Date: June 21
Horror reboots are all the rage these days, to varying degrees of success. We’re definitely intrigued by this one, a remake of the first Chucky film, which reimagines the murderous red-headed doll as an AI. Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry star, which lends this an extra bit of prestige. Oh yeah, and Mark Hamill is playing the voice of Chucky. If you weren’t sold before, you probably are now.
Toy Story 4
Release Date: June 21
We’re always skeptical of unnecessary sequels, and the Toy Story films felt like a perfect trilogy. But leave it to Pixar to hook us back in, because Toy Story 4 looks like a genuine delight. We love the characters too much to give this one a pass, and knowing the magic Pixar is able to conjure, this could be a major movie of the summer.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release Date: July 2
What happens to the MCU after Endgame? We’re eager to find out, and luckily we don’t have to wait long. The next Spider-Man film will answer a lot of our questions, namely: What does the world look like after Tony Stark and how are people dealing after being returned from Thanos’ snap? Throw in Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, and we really just can’t contain our excitement.
Release Date: July 3
Ari Aster stunned—and divided—audiences with his feature film debut, Hereditary. That polarizing horror film is unforgettable if nothing else, and showed the early promise of a man who could become the next big name in the genre. The trailers for Midsommar look like another cerebral, visually beautiful, and emotionally complex horror film, about a cultish summer gathering and the odd things that happen there.
The Lion King
Release Date: July 19
Jon Favreau killed it with his “live action” take on The Jungle Book, so we have every reason to assume he has another monster hit on his hands. The trailers for this take on the classic Disney tale are goosebumps-inducing, and the graphics look out-of-this-world gorgeous. Throw in the impressive voice talent—like Donald Glover and Beyoncé—and we’re totally sold. We have a feeling this one is gonna be huge.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26
It’s been four years since Quentin Tarantino’s last film hit theaters, so we’re positively chomping at the bit for this one. Not only is it his first new film in a while, but it also tackles a year in Hollywood—1969—that is ripe with culture, color, and horror. The film is set in Tinseltown during the year the Manson murders took place. How will those horrific events be incorporate into the film? Will Tarantino go his revisionist history route? We have no idea what’s in store, but with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie at the helm, we’re expecting magical things.
Hobbs & Shaw
Release Date: August 2
Fans of the Fast & The Furious franchise will get a load out of this spinoff film starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprising their characters from the F&F films. The talent, the brand, and the fast cars are all we need for some cinematic summer fun.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Release Date: August 9
Taking us into fall season is this Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film based on the seminal children’s horror books. The trailers have us spooked, the stories have haunted our psyches for years, and we can think of no better way to say “summer is over” than with a giant spider crawling out of a girl’s face.
Images: Sony Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Annapurna Pictures