Summer Movie Preview: 30 Great Movies To Watch

Yes, Virginie, there will be a summer movie season this year.

It won’t be quite what it was before the pandemic, when blockbuster after blockbuster after blockbuster scrambled for space on a crowded schedule. But with vaccines widely available, the easing of mask mandates, and the lifting of restrictions on businesses, normalcy is on the cards. Barring another crisis, long-delayed tentpoles such as Universal’s “F9” (June 25) and Disney-Marvel’s “Black Widow” (July 9) will finally hit theaters.

But will the public venture to see them? Jitters on COVID-19 Protocols – Are Masks Still Necessary? Are the theaters well ventilated? – can get people to play it safe and stay at home. After all, thanks to a series of complex trade deals, much of what gets shown on the big screen can also be seen on small screens. Warner Bros. is making all of its theatrical releases this year available on HBO Max, while Disney is putting several major theatrical titles on its own Disney + platform. As for streaming services, which thrived last year delivering content to captive audiences, they’re not about to let go now. Netflix, for example, has a huge list of 70 movies this year.

All of this has changed – at least temporarily – our definition of what “summer movie season” means. Whether in theaters, on demand, digitally or in combination, here are 29 great films coming this summer.

CRUELLA (May 28, cinemas and Disney + with Premiere Access)

Before becoming the skunk-haired villain of “101 Dalmatians”, she was Estella (Emma Stone), an aspiring clothing designer in 1970s London. Emma Thompson plays the ruthless fashionista Baroness von Hellman. Craig Gillespie, of “I, Tonya”, directs.


(May 28, theaters) John Krasinski returns as writer-director of this sequel to his 2018 horror hit about Monsters That Hunt By Sound. With Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy.

CONJURATION: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (June 4, theaters and HBO Max) The horror franchise continues with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The story revolves around a murder suspect who claims demonic possession as a defense.

UNMATCHED SPIRIT (June 4, theaters) An animated adventure about a city girl transplanted to a small town who makes an unlikely new friend – a Mustang named Spirit. The voice cast includes Isabela Merced and Julianne Moore.

IN THE HEIGHTS (June 11, theaters and HBO Max)

Director Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) adapts Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical (“Hamilton”). It’s an ode to the multicultural Manhattan neighborhood in Washington Heights. With Anthony Ramos and Leslie Grace.

HITMAN’S WOMAN RAILING (June 16, theaters) In this sequel, Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds’ team of bloody buddies take on a new addition: Salma Hayek as a crafty artist.

PATERNITY (June 18, Netflix) Kevin Hart is a widower struggling to raise a child on his own. Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”) conducts.

LUCA (June 18, Disney +)

Pixar’s latest follows two boys from the Italian Riviera who have a secret: they’re sea monsters. With the voices of Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan.

PETER RABBIT 2: THE TRACK (June 18, theaters) The 2018 computer animated film sequel finds the furry hero from Beatrix Potter’s tales doing more harm. With the voices of James Corden, Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson.

RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO (June 18, theaters) A documentary about the farm girl of Puerto Rican descent, raised in Valley Stream, who became the first Latina actress to win an Oscar, for her role of Anita in “West Side Story”.

F9 (June 25, theaters)

In the tenth movie “Fast and Furious”, racing driver Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) meets his match in a new villain: his brother, Jakob (John Cena). Justin Lin, who did installments three through six, returns.

ZOLA (June 30, theaters) A waitress from Detroit (Taylour Paige) and her new friend (Riley Keough) are heading to Florida for a weekend that goes from wild to bizarre. Based on a series of tweets from A’Ziah-Monae “Zola” King.

THE PURGE FOREVER (July 2, theaters) Remember that murderous frenzy that takes place once a year in dystopian America? Some people want it to work around the clock. This is the fifth and allegedly last film in the allegorical horror franchise. With Ana de la Reguera.

SUMMER OF SOUL (July 2, theaters and Hulu)

The Roots drummer Questlove makes his film debut with a 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival documentary starring Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, BB King, The 5th Dimension and more .

THE WAR OF TOMORROW (July 2, Prime Video) A group of soldiers and civilians must travel to 2051 to save humanity. With Chris Pratt, JK Simmons and Betty Gilpin.

BLACK WIDOW (July 9, cinemas and Disney + with Premiere Access)

Spy turned superhero Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is embroiled in a conspiracy that stretches back to her dark past. With Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz.

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (July 16, theaters and HBO Max)

LeBron James himself stars in a live / animation hybrid on a basketball team with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and other Looney Tunes regulars. It’s a sequel to the 1996 film. Malcolm D. Lee (“Girls Trip”) is directing.

TRANSYLVANIA HOTEL: TRANSFORMANIA (July 23, theaters) Adam Sandler is the voice of the friendly vampire Drac, replaced by Brian Hull. The plot is about a strange invention that turns humans into monsters.

OLD (July 23, theaters) M. Night’s latest Shyamalan is about a family vacationing on a tropical beach who mysteriously ages them at a frightening rate. With Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps.

SNAKE EYES: GI JOE ORIGINS (July 23, theaters) The dormant GI Joe franchise wakes up with Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) leading the way. He plays a solitaire who joins an ancient Japanese clan called Arashikage.

JUNGLE CRUISE (July 30, cinemas and Disney + with Premiere Access)

A researcher (Emily Blunt) hires a skipper (Dwayne Johnson) to pilot her across the Amazon in search of a miracle plant. Based on the popular Disney Park Walk.

STILL WATER (July 30, theaters) An oil rig worker (Matt Damon) goes to France on a mission to exonerate his daughter for murder. With Abigail Breslin. Tom McCarthy (the Oscar-winning “Spotlight”) co-wrote and directed.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD (August 6, theaters and HBO Max)

Several incarcerated supervillains accept a deadly mission in exchange for their freedom. James Gunn’s sequel to Zack Snyder’s “Suicide Squad” (2016) stars Margot Robbie, John Cena, Pete Davidson and Viola Davis.

FREE GUY (August 13, theaters) Ryan Reynolds plays a bank teller who discovers he’s actually a background character in a massive video game. With Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery and Taika Waititi.

THE RESPECT (August 13, theaters)

Jennifer Hudson plays soul-gospel legend Aretha Franklin in this biopic, which also features Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, and Marc Maron.

CODA (August 13, Apple TV +) Ruby, 17, child of deaf adults – a CODA – must choose between her family and the love of music. This Sundance hit sold to Apple for $ 25 million, a festival record. With Emilia Jones and Marlee Matlin.

THE PROTECTED (August 20, theaters) A woman (Maggie Q) who was saved as a child by an assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) swears to track down her murderers. With Michael Keaton.

REMINISCENCE (August 20, theaters and HBO Max) Hugh Jackman is Nick Bannister, a “mind private investigator” who helps people access lost memories; Rebecca Ferguson is a new client who has passed away. Written and Directed by Lisa Joy, of HBO’s “Westworld”.

THE BEATLES: COME BACK (August 27, theaters) Director Peter Jackson compiles over 60 hours of never-before-seen footage from the set of the 1970 Beatles documentary “Let it Be”, including the entire group’s famous rooftop final performance. Edited by Jabez Olssen (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”).

CANDYMAN (Aug 27, theaters) A couple’s new luxury condo turns out to be the former site of a haunted public housing project. Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) co-wrote the screenplay, which builds on the 1992 film of the same name. With Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

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