Summer Movie Preview 2017: Superheroes, Sexy Lifeguards and Bridesmaids Gone Wild, Oh My!
By John Boone
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Summer may not officially start until the end of June, but with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2now in theaters -- complete with its ragtag band of intergalactic superheroes and talking raccoon and Kurt Russell -- it's safe to say summer movie season began a bit early this year. There are plenty more heroes where that came from, too, plus swashbuckling pirates, ancient monsters and some murderous bridesmaids for good measure.
So, while it might not be time to bust out your beach towel and sunscreen just yet, you can get your calendar ready with 20 movies you'll absolutely want to check out this summer.
Who: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack, Wanda Sykes
What: If you loved Schumer in Trainwreck, you'll love her in Snatched, playing a similarly delusional woman-child. And this time we meet the mom behind the madness, played by the incomparable Goldie Hawn in her first movie role in 15 years. Their mother-daughter trip takes a turn when they are kidnapped, and it's no spoiler to say hijinks ensue.
When: May 12
Who: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario
What: Like that show about lifeguards running in slow motion? Yup -- except this isn't your horny aunt's Baywatch. First of all, this thing is packed with explosions, slo-mo be dammed. Plus, David Hasselhoff got quite the upgrade in the form of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. (If all that isn't enough to entice you: There's a Pamela Anderson cameo!)
When: May 25
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Who: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites, Javier Bardem
What: By now, you know what to expect from one of Captain Jack Sparrow's romps on the high seas: Action! Adventure! Scenery chewing! This one does something no Pirates of the Caribbean film has done since 2007, though: It stars Keira Knightley, returning once more as Elizabeth Swann.
When: May 26
Who: Brad Pitt, Topher Grace, Scoot McNairy, Tilda Swinton, Ben Kingsley
What: Brad Pitt?! On my Netflix?! The streaming service-turned-powerhouse studio could be on its way back to the Academy Awards -- or at least the Golden Globes -- via Pitt's turn as a general sent to Afghanistan to win an unwinnable war. If that sounds heavy, know this is a satire where his character is referred to as "the man who kicked al-Qaida in the sack."
When: May 26
Who: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright
What: After a scene-stealing introduction in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gadot's take on Diana, Princess of Themyscira, gets her own solo outing in this origin story, which sends Wonder Woman back to WWII. It may be unfair to say that our faith in the future of DC's cinematic universe is resting on Wonder Woman's shoulders, but...
When: June 2
Who: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Courtney B. Vance, Jake Johnson, Russell Crowe
What:The Mummy is many things. Yes, it is a reboot of the Brendan Fraser franchise, albeit with no Brendan Fraser in sight. (We miss you, Brendan Fraser!) It's also the beginning of a shared Monsterverse that will (finally?) bring together the likes of Frankenstein, Wolf Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Finally, it's a new franchise opportunity for Cruise, who has never met a franchise he didn't like.
When: June 9
The Book of Henry
Who: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Maddie Ziegler
What: Suburban mom-turned-sniper is our favorite genre of Naomi Watts film. The Book of Henry comes courtesy of Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, who previously made the equally wild -- and great! -- Safety Not Guaranteed, and features Ziegler, of Dance Moms and every Sia music video, and should-be Academy Award nominee Jacob Tremblay.
When: June 16
Who: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Kerry Washington, Nathan Fillion
What: From the studio that gave us Cars (yay), Cars 2 (oof) and the spin-off Planes (meh) comes Pixar's hope at redeeming Lightning McQueen: Cars 3! The threequel seems darker and grittier than you'd expect from a Pixar movie, but how D&G can things really get with Kerry Washington in a starring role? She's a delight.
What: Here's a recipe for success: mix two parts Comedy Central stars (Bell of Workaholics, Glazer of Broad City), the best part of SNL (McKinnon), a sprinkle of Big Little Lies (Kravitz), and Scarlett Johansson. Bake in an accidentally murdered stripper and serve with plenty of cocaine. Bon appétit.
When: June 16
Who: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning
What: From Sofia Coppola, the director of The Virgin Suicides and The Bling Ring, comes a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film in which he plays a Civil War solider who tells an almost-13-year-old that she is "old enough for kisses" within the first two minutes. Not to be crude, but we would be S H O C K E D if this doesn't end in a blood orgy.
When: June 23
The Big Sick
Who: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter
What: This Sundance gem is the real-life story of a Pakistani guy whose parents want his marriage to be arranged, unaware that he has a white girlfriend in a coma. Suffice it to say, it's a love story. And also a comedy. The Big Sick is written by and stars Silicon Valley'sNanjiani, directed by Wet Hot American Summer creator Michael Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow.
When: June 23
Transformers: The Last Knight
Who: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci
What: We know what you're thinking, "ANOTHER Transformers?? How many of these are there going to be?? Wasn't Age of Extinction punishment enough??" To which we say: yes, who knows, and it should have been. But hear us out: This one's got Autobots in medieval times! And Marky Mark! And, with Michael Bay directing, some lady's cleavage, probably!
When: June 23
Who: Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Lily James
What: Introducing your new favorite cult classic. From writer-director Edgar Wright, the mastermind behind Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Shaun of the Dead, comes a rip-roarin' good time starring Elgort (aka DJ Ansolo aka the dead kid from The Fault in Our Stars) as your titular getaway driver named, yes, Baby.
When: June 28
Who: Ahn Seo-hyun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton
What: This is the type of spectacle you'd expect to see on the big screen in the summer -- a young girl tries to prevent an evil corporation from capturing her best friend, a mysterious creature named Okja -- but this is another Netflix offering. If you still need convincing, stop what you're doing and watch director Bong Joon-ho's last film, Snowpiercer.
When: June 28
Who: Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell
What: Comedy juggernauts Poehler and Ferrell play a suburban married couple who start an illegal casino in their basement to pay their daughter's college tuition. The real fun will be seeing which supporting players manage to steal scenes from them: Jason Mantzoukas! Lennon Parham! Jeremy Renner? Sure, Jeremy Renner.
When: June 30
Who: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Zendaya
What: Sure, this is essentially the third Spider-Man reboot in a decade. But it's the first one from Marvel Studios, if that helps! Holland's debut as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War managed to get us sufficiently excited for another friendly neighborhood web-slinger, even before they cast Birdman as a comic book villain called The Vulture.
When: July 7
War For the Planet of the Apes
Who: Andy Serkis, Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson
What: It's all there in the title: The Planet of the Apes rose! The Planet of the Apes dawned! Now, war is coming to the land of mo-cap monkeys. Caesar (Serkis) must take on a ruthless colonel (Harrelson) dead set on "saving" "humanity. We're supposed to be rooting for the apes, right?
When: July 14
Who: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella
What: If you were disappointed that the most action Theron saw in The Fate of the Furious was an intense computer hack-off, this is your remedy. Theron, playing an undercover MI6 agent during the Cold War, kicks more ass in the Atomic Blonde trailer than Vin Diesel does in all his movies combined.
When: July 18
Who: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Harry Styles
What: Or, as it's known in One Direction circles, the movie that is going to win Harry Styles an Oscar!!!! Styles is indeed among the ensemble, making a rather impressive acting debut in the World War II drama from director Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Inception and Interstellar).
When: July 21
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Who: Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan, Ethan Hawke, Rihanna
What: To cap off a summer of sequels and threequels, reboots and remakes, director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) offers up something new: Delevingne and DeHaan play alien-interrogating, planet-hopping space police. Rihanna costars as some sort of intergalactic showgirl, fulfilling your Rihanna quota until Ocean's Eight hits theaters in summer 2018.