Movies are portals to other worlds. They have the power to transport you, to move you, to bring people together, and to inspire you to act. I love movies—like, really love movies. I’ve been an extra in six feature films, studied filmmaking in college, and wrote movie reviews for six years for my local newspaper. You could say I’m obsessed. However, I’m not some sort of film snob who only watches movies that no one has ever heard of. I love all movies. And I usually love them even more if the title is accompanied by a colon and the number two, or volume two, or the words “the sequel.” There are lots of movies this summer with colons and even more remakes, but that’s OK, because this summer looks like one to remember. Here are the 10—trust me, it was hard to narrow it down—movies I’m most excited to see this summer. Let’s head to the cinema!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Release Date: May 5
Starring: Chris Pratt, Kurt Russell, Zoe Saldana
Director: James Gunn
What to expect: In my nerdy mind, Marvel can do no wrong (though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ant-Man), and the first Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the best Marvel movies to date—and the most fun. What’s not to love about a ragtag bunch of antiheroes causing havoc in the galaxy and a tree-like creature named Groot who only says, “I am Groot,” all set to the groovy tunes of the 1970s? Yes, I just said groovy. This next installment promises to be just as—if not more—fun, chaotic, and adventurous, and it will set up part one of Avengers: Infinity War, scheduled for release in May 2018, which will feature all our beloved Marvel characters in one gigantic, epic film.
Side note: Baby Groot may be the cutest thing to come out of the movies in … ever.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Release Date: May 12
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana
Director: Guy Ritchie
What to expect: This one could either go really well or horribly wrong. Guy Ritchie is the innovative mind behind the gritty but entertaining street-smart films Snatch; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; and Sherlock Holmes. It’s safe to say that this take on King Arthur will be just as gritty, with its portrayal of pre-king Arthur as a man from the streets. Hopefully it won’t take itself too seriously, though, which is the problem that plagued previous King Arthur adaptations such as the way-too-adult Excalibur and King Arthur starring Clive Owen as a brooding and very dull king.
Release Date: May 19
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride
Director: Ridley Scott
What to expect: I admit, Ridley Scott may have made a bit of a misstep with his last Alien outing, Prometheus, but I have high hopes this is a return to form for him. Just watch the trailer; it’s frightening, it’s loud, it’s brutal. Look at the poster; it’s a shadowy alien head with only one ominous word: “Run.” This is exactly what fans want in an Alien film. Covenant follows the crew of a ship who stumble upon an uncharted paradise, where they meet David (a synthetic being who was ripped apart in the last movie but somehow found a home on this new planet, logic be damned). Cue hostile aliens. Let’s hope Scott ratchets up the horror this time around—we want to be scared.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Release Date: May 26
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush
Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
What to expect: I know most of the Pirates films after the very first one—released over 15 years ago!—are downright silly, but I’ve always been a sucker for pirate movies. And I know there are lots of people out there like me, which is why this movie made the list. The plot goes like this: Jack Sparrow must find the trident of Poseidon so he can send his nemesis, Captain Salazar, back to the Devil’s Triangle. This is honestly the plot. Also, can someone please tell me who those two directors are? I’m not sure what prompted Disney to ask for this fifth Pirates outing, but it’s here nonetheless, and I’m hoping for a rollicking and mindless evening of fun at the cinema. Or, we may need to bring a bottle of rum to get through it. Either way, I’ll enjoy myself.
Side note: Pirates won our Twitter poll for the May release you’re most excited for. This was surprising seeing as how it was up against Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Release Date: May 26
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario
Director: Seth Gordon
What to expect: This is the only comedy making the list, as there is a decided lack of funny movies coming out this summer. I was skeptical when they first announced they were making a movie based on the weird TV show Baywatch, but then Dwayne Johnson came on board, and he has proved his comedy chops over and over. Then Zac Efron, who was hilarious in the Neighbors films and who has properly shed his High School Musical image, attached his name. Then a host of beautiful actresses like Priyanka Chopra and Alexandra Daddario signed on—and even David Hasselhoff. So far so good. Next, the trailers came out, and all fears were put to rest. This movie looks like it’s going to be a wild, raunchy, R-rated thrill ride up there with the Jump Street films, which I positively love.
Release Date: June 2
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis
Director: Patty Jenkins
What to expect: The Batman v Superman movie got a lot of hate, and rightly so—it was a train wreck. However, if there was one thing the fanboys could agree on, it was that Wonder Woman was badass and almost saved the awful movie. Well, the movie execs heard your cries, and now she has her own movie, which looks surprisingly funny. This is a great step for DC Comics movies because, unlike Marvel, they just can’t seem to do anything right ever since Christian Bale hung up his Batman cowl. Their movies are humorless, lifeless, and excessively long. Thankfully, Wonder Woman looks fun, action-packed, and hopefully a bit shorter than Batman v Superman’s 151-minute run time.
Release Date: June 9
Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella
Director: Alex Kurtzman
What to expect: Contrary to what I initially thought, The Mummy is not a reboot of the immensely fun Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser. This is a stand-alone film and the first of Universal’s huge monster movie plan, which includes movies featuring the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein’s monster, and more. There’s even the possibility of an Avengers-like crossover movie. Being a big monster movie fan, I can say I’m excited, but The Mummy will also be a telling sign of what to expect for the future. So far, getting bankable star Tom Cruise and putting Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote two of the new Star Trek movies and the underappreciated TV show Fringe, in the director’s chair was a solid first move on Universal’s part.
For a great article on the future of these monster movies, click here.
Release Date: July 7
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Michael Keaton
Director: Jon Watts
What to expect: Every few years we get a new Spider-Man; it’s as sure an occurrence as the sun rising every morning. First, we had Tobey Maguire for three outings, who promptly went viral in meme format because his Peter Parker was a crybaby (see below). Then we had Andrew Garfield for two movies as an emo, angst-ridden Peter Parker, who also wasn’t asked to return following the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was amazingly painful. Now, following his star-making turn in Captain America: Civil War, we have Tom Holland, who is exactly the Peter Parker fans have been waiting for. Add in some Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Michael Keaton as the Vulture and, by Jove, I think we may finally have an amazing Spider-Man movie.
Release Date: July 21
Starring: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles
Director: Christopher Nolan
What to expect: I couldn’t just have this list populated with pirates and superheroes—thus, Dunkirk. Does it count that it’s directed by Christopher Nolan, who also made the Batman trilogy? This is the story of the beaches of Dunkirk during World War II where Allied troops became trapped and the subsequent rescue mission that evacuated an estimated 330,000 troops to safety. My one qualm with this movie is that, for some reason, Nolan cast One Direction member Harry Styles in a lead part. Nolan says it’s because out of the thousands who auditioned, Styles “had it.” Let’s hope he’s right.
The Dark Tower
Release Date: August 4
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Katheryn Winnick
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
What to expect: This film is being kept tightly under wraps, and even though its release date is set for August, there hasn’t even been a teaser trailer. Nonetheless, I am really excited for the Stephen King novel-based movies coming out (especially It, whose trailer smashed the record for the most views in a single day with 197 million). A movie based on King’s Dark Tower novels has been a long time coming, and with Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the twisted Man in Black, it should prove worth the wait.
What I’m dreading:
Transformers: The Last Knight: Please, for the love of all that’s good, someone stop Michael Bay.
Cars 3: I’m the biggest Disney Pixar fan you’ll ever meet, but the Cars movies are always such a weird letdown.
The Emoji Movie: Why? Oh, god, why?
Despicable Me 3: Again, must I ask why?
Snatched: For one, Amy Schumer is probably the least funny “comedian” out there, and making a comedy about two women being captured in a foreign country just seems to be in poor taste.
Which of these Summer movies did you like the best?
For more movies, check out what we loved best in 2017.