News

10 Stars Who Will Own the Summer 2018 Movie Season

These are the names you'll be talking about come summer's end.

by | May 16, 2018 | Comments

(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough, © Warner Bros. Studios, © Walt Disney Pictures, © A24)

It’s a huge summer for movies. And, yes, that could be said of every summer, but there’s something about 2018. Don’t believe us? Check out the box office receipts. Or check out our summer movie calendar: It’s stuffed full of superheroes and dinosaurs and super spies and master thieves and even the occasional person falling head over heels in love. And it’s stuffed full of big stars — and stars who are about to make it big. This year, we decided to look at the slate of summer movies coming our way and, based on what we’ve already seen (yes, they still let RT into the occasional preview!), and what we’re reading in the movie-season tealeaves (including early Tomatometer scores and reviews), predict which actors are going to own the summer. Some are the headliners of some of the year’s biggest films — while others are headlining a bunch of the year’s biggest films (we’re looking at you, Josh Brolin). Still others are delivering performances in genre flicks that are already drawing awards buzz, and others are about to parlay TV success into a big-screen breakthrough (Constance Wu, step right up). We think you’ll be talking about all of them by the time the season’s over.


Josh Brolin

(Photo by © 20th Century Fox)

Winter, spring, Brolin, or fall, all you got to do is call. Thought the season was called “summer”? Maybe once upon a time it was. But we’ve decided to totally rebrand the sweaty months of this year after Josh Brolin, who has starring roles in some of the season’s biggest films. He’s racked up Certified Fresh scores playing Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Cable in Deadpool 2, and returns in June for Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Think you’re safe at home? Think again. This summer, you can also see him in Netflix’s The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter, the latest comedy from Danny McBride and Jody Hill. Brolin will be back next summer as the rubber-chinned Mad Titan — you know, if you’re craving more of that ashtray-filling bastard. That’s a bunch of tough fellas, so if you’re looking for a softer side to Brolin, you will have to wait for George and Tammy, in pre-production, where he plays George Jones to Jessica Chastain’s Tammy Wynette.


Sandra Bullock

(Photo by Barry Wetcher / © Warner Bros. )

It’s been a while. Sandra Bullock’s last live-action movie, 2015’s Our Brand Is Crisis, might have been a let-down — just 34% on the Tomatometer — but that has not dampened our excitement to have her back on the big screen in Ocean’s 8, the all-female newest installment in the Ocean’s heist series. Bullock chooses her roles sparingly, but when she does show up on screen, it’s usually always an event (hello, Gravity). The Oscar winner leads the Ocean’s 8 ensemble cast, which includes Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, and more, but it’s Bullock who we think the crowds are going to go wild for. Bonus: She may just rule the winter, too. Bullock stars with Rosa Salazar and Sarah Paulson this December in the sci-fi thriller, Bird Box.


Donald Glover

(Photo by Jonathan Olley /© Lucasfilm/ © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures )

Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian dominated social chatter around Solo: A Star Wars Story long before the film’s release. Glover-loving Twitter folks have been asking, “Why wasn’t it Lando who got an origin story?” ever since Disney dropped its first Solo trailer earlier in the year and the world got its first eyeful of that coat. Rotten Tomatoes has seen the upcoming movie, which is currently sitting at 71% on the Tomatometer, and can confirm: Glover is as good as you imagined he’d be as the slick Lando Calrissian. And, yes, the coat is on point. As are the cloaks. Glover is also the Emmy-winning creator and star of Atlanta, which was No. 2 on our Winter TV Scorecard with a 99% Tomatometer score, and which many of us will be rewatching when it’s too damn hot outside. And this month he broke the internet — the kids are still saying that, right? — with his music video for “This Is America.” Next year he will literally rule the summer, starring as Simba in Jon Favreau’s live-action The Lion King, scheduled for July.


Toni Collette

(Photo by James Atoa/Everett Collection)

You know how some actresses just keep plugging away doing such excellent work you kind of take them for granted? Australian actress Toni Collette is that actress. Since breaking out in Aussie classic Muriel’s Wedding — which we just named one of the most essential movies of the ’90s — Collette has been slaying it in movies like Little Miss SunshineIn Her Shoes, and About A Boy and on TV shows like United States of Tara, for which she won an Emmy. She’s also been building a résumé as quite the scream queen, having starred in The Sixth SenseFright NightKrampus, and now, in this June’s Hereditary, the fiendishly scary new family-in-peril flick being released by A24. The movie is sitting at 100% on the Tomatometer with 29 reviews, and critics are singling out Collette for a “staggering performance.” Could this be the second year in a row that an acting Oscar nominee came from a horror movie?


Benedict Cumberbatch

(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Few people agree on who stole the show in Avengers: Infinity War, but few would argue with the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange totally held his own with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the humans-lost-in-space plotline. He had charisma, wit, and felt even more relaxed in the role than he did in 2016’s Doctor Strange. And he probably holds the key to restoring the… OK, we won’t go there with the spoilers. On the small-screen, the British actor landed a one-two punch with April PBS film The Child in Time (80% with 15 reviews) and his now–Certified Fresh miniseries Patrick Melrose on Showtime, a passion project based on the novels of Edward St. Aubyn, about the damaged son of an extremely privileged British family. The prolific actor returns later in the year as the voice of Shere Khan in the Andy Serkis–directed Mowgli, and as the title character of Illumination’s animated take on a Christmas classic, The Grinch. And there’s always hope for a new season of Sherlock, starring Cumberbatch in the role our readers love the most.


Mister Rogers

(Photo by © Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

Yes, Fred Rogers: Summer blockbuster season’s biggest star. The documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which takes an intimate look at the beloved children’s entertainer, may not make that MCU-level cash, but it’s already connecting big-time. Critics have so far given the film a 96% on the Tomatometer, and the internet exploded on the day the first trailer dropped, with fans across the country drying their eyes as they shared stories of how much they loved Rogers. The Rogers love-fest will continue next year, when Tom Hanks plays Rogers in the film, You Are My Friend. We’re investing in red cardigans, stat.


Constance Wu

(Photo by Sanja Bucko / © Warner Bros.)

For four years, Constance Wu has been quietly stealing Wednesday nights on ABC as the hilarious matriarch of the Huang family, Jessica, on Fresh Off the Boat — just renewed for season 5. This summer, she headlines one of the most anticipated romantic comedies of the last few years, starring as one half of the couple at the center of Crazy Rich Asians, based on the hugely popular novel by Kevin Kwan. In the film, Wu’s Rachel Chu travels to Singapore for a wedding and to meet her boyfriend’s parents, and hilarity — and fireworks-punctuated romance — ensues. No word yet on whether the film does the novel justice, but we’re excited to see Wu in her first big-screen leading role and equally excited that we get to see her take this big step in the first American film with an all-Asian lead cast in 25 years.


Denzel Washington

(Photo by Glen Wilson; ©2017 CTMG, Inc.)

Denzel Washington has never done a sequel. Ever. So we sat up and paid attention when it was announced he would return for Equalizer 2, from his frequent collaborator, director Antoine Fuqua. The first flick is just Fresh at 60%, but for fans of the actor, it will always be Certified Fresh in their hearts (no surprises that it has an Audience Score of 76%). The movie also made a healthy $102 million at the box office, so you can expect decent returns. Denzel in controlled and terrifying revenge mode might be our favorite Denzel. On a sidenote, Denzel’s son, John David Washington, is likely to be a breakout star this summer with a starring role in Spike Lee’s BlackKlansman, which just bowed in Cannes to raves and sits at 97% on the Tomatometer.


Tessa Thompson

(Photo by Annapurna Pictures)

Disappointed that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie did not show up in Infinity War? Dry your eyes: The actress can be seen virtually everywhere else. She’s back on HBO in Westworld and does a cameo in season 2 of Netflix series Dear White People (a nod to her leading role in the original 2014 film) — both Certified Fresh. And you can see her online in the “emotion film” accompaniment to Janelle Monáe’s latest album, Dirty Computer. And, if you wanna go there, you can see her on the excellent Twitter handle @tessaasgoats. Thompson will also be back in theaters this July in the big-screen mindf—k that is Sorry to Bother You (currently 92% on the Tomatometer), about a telemarketer who discovers a unique key to doing well at the job. Thompson plays Detroit, a whirlwind of an activist with pink hair and huge laser-cut earrings whose style we expect to be widely imitated when the film opens, and is being singled out by critics for her performance in the movie opposite Atlanta‘s LaKeith Stanfield. Later in the year she will land another 2018 K.O., returning in Creed 2.


Chris Pratt

(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Whether or not you agree that Star-Lord is responsible for the death of half the universe — or restoring perfect balance, depending on your POV — you have to admit it was a blast watching him doing it. Chris Pratt, as Peter Quill, was one of the highlights in Infinity War, particularly when facing off (and voicing off) with the God of Thunder. The actor is back in June as another quip-happy hero in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, seeking out his lovable raptor buddy Blue (not so lovable any more) and running away from exploding volcanoes and such. For sheer being-at-the-center-of-really-really-big-franchises, it’s hard not to give Pratt a laurel for his summer-ownership skills. And speaking of mega franchises, he will reprise his role as blocky everyman Emmet Brickowski in The Lego Movie Sequel next February.

Tag Cloud

elevated horror OWN Paramount Network 1990s what to watch know your critic Pirates Television Academy comic book movie video adenture sag awards true crime HBO BBC America Kids & Family book adaptation Comedy Central Tomatazos women HBO Go Sci-Fi RT21 sitcom golden globes E! technology reviews cancelled Song of Ice and Fire Grammys reboot ABC Signature french adaptation international italian pirates of the caribbean FXX serial killer animated deadpool new york Epix halloween tv Winter TV live action Apple sequels Legendary free movies 2018 21st Century Fox dceu spinoff universal monsters slashers E3 Disney+ Disney Plus Tumblr AMC mcc Podcast Holidays award winner harry potter Food Network miniseries Infographic 2019 blaxploitation ITV biography Film Festival slasher Wes Anderson Shudder dexter Disney Mary Poppins Returns gangster 2016 El Rey Apple TV+ MCU Ghostbusters A24 hispanic crime drama TV One ID renewed TV shows Ovation Awards Tour The Academy robots zero dark thirty children's TV thriller Disney Channel new star wars movies DC Universe Character Guide game of thrones romance Superheroe anthology obituary debate spy thriller TIFF Interview sequel scorecard Premiere Dates telelvision satire Box Office kids ABC Family DC streaming service screenings cars crossover 90s dc feel good Universal Pictures movies rt labs critics edition Netflix popular 45 TLC toy story scary movies Trivia 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards First Look romantic comedy video on demand BBC hispanic heritage month asian-american Nat Geo new zealand History BET Extras Christmas breaking bad blockbuster Teen live event dreamworks Writers Guild of America 007 Crackle Baby Yoda facebook Marathons Winners spain doctor who marvel cinematic universe political drama Columbia Pictures Peacock VH1 stand-up comedy Turner Classic Movies fast and furious Lionsgate child's play WarnerMedia Shondaland LGBT scary biopic Fox News concert high school war classics binge MSNBC TCA justice league marvel comics Sundance TV Toys TCA Winter 2020 witnail Red Carpet AMC Plus rom-coms movie Disney Plus Marvel Studios DirecTV Cosplay young adult Quiz Super Bowl X-Men NBC HBO Max PlayStation disaster Starz razzies Walt Disney Pictures mission: impossible YA action-comedy Classic Film book cops docudrama American Society of Cinematographers social media psycho films hollywood CBS Star Trek independent cancelled TV series documentary USA king arthur Spike 73rd Emmy Awards Amazon Prime Video Video Games cats Mary Tyler Moore finale Martial Arts Rom-Com VOD Instagram Live The Arrangement black Academy Awards mutant USA Network festival aliens Oscars Elton John Freeform Exclusive Video comic books art house Avengers GIFs Sundance Now genre 72 Emmy Awards Calendar Netflix Christmas movies Disney streaming service transformers Amazon Musicals Tarantino 2021 Mystery medical drama Holiday YouTube nbcuniversal nature Acorn TV television parents Adult Swim FX rt archives Syfy politics Sneak Peek Drama LGBTQ die hard trailers mob Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt superman Hear Us Out The Walt Disney Company A&E prank stop motion CW Seed IFC Films Bravo Lifetime Watching Series ABC Nickelodeon 2020 DC Comics TCA 2017 superhero TV Land australia Emmys Ellie Kemper blockbusters nfl richard e. Grant remakes National Geographic Spring TV indiana jones streaming movies rotten comic book movies Stephen King Pop king kong TV renewals Logo comic comics cancelled TV shows Photos james bond hidden camera Crunchyroll documentaries foreign black comedy talk show Funimation GLAAD Binge Guide Hulu NBA Pacific Islander emmy awards theme song kong Marvel stoner dragons streaming Year in Review TNT TruTV spider-verse singing competition aapi Trailer Pixar Opinion TCM New York Comic Con travel 71st Emmy Awards Neflix joker BAFTA Warner Bros. First Reviews ViacomCBS Election Spectrum Originals series Animation Comedy APB Rock worst Awards latino based on movie Pop TV CBS All Access Emmy Nominations supernatural olympics Schedule Rocketman adventure Cannes Pet Sematary Action fresh Showtime spanish YouTube Premium period drama IMDb TV golden globe awards TV movies versus godzilla Western Turner MTV WGN Biopics twilight teaser Creative Arts Emmys NYCC saw 99% Reality Summer Paramount Plus diversity criterion mockumentary Comics on TV Fox Searchlight BET Awards BBC One San Diego Comic-Con laika Amazon Studios japanese royal family Trophy Talk FOX YouTube Red Discovery Channel cooking Heroines critic resources crime thriller Horror sopranos Amazon Prime SundanceTV Anna Paquin critics rt labs a nightmare on elm street Esquire venice archives Endgame boxing sports green book Countdown screen actors guild SDCC CNN chucky 2017 Hallmark Christmas movies news space Lifetime Christmas movies DGA Film all-time worst movies ESPN kaiju Black Mirror lord of the rings Lucasfilm Britbox directors revenge The CW PaleyFest Reality Competition 20th Century Fox halloween zombie RT History anime The Purge dramedy Alien jurassic park Television Critics Association VICE crime TV TBS game show Pride Month comiccon spider-man SXSW Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Tokyo Olympics werewolf jamie lee curtis Universal posters The Walking Dead Image Comics japan christmas movies target 24 frames natural history cancelled television Marvel Television Chernobyl cults wonder woman Rocky rotten movies we love Country Captain marvel basketball police drama OneApp ratings Masterpiece south america batman Sony Pictures Fall TV Star Wars vampires Dark Horse Comics festivals See It Skip It Paramount Valentine's Day Women's History Month discovery comedies unscripted canceled TV shows Superheroes Comic Book Tubi Sundance docuseries legend heist movie Certified Fresh GoT The Witch composers vs. Music dogs hist Mudbound Set visit Family quibi Brie Larson Travel Channel historical drama suspense casting Cartoon Network dark canceled boxoffice monster movies ghosts strong female leads Mindy Kaling Fantasy best Broadway Thanksgiving indie Musical FX on Hulu PBS football Apple TV Plus scene in color Polls and Games Arrowverse franchise toronto 2015 Hallmark 93rd Oscars President cartoon science fiction Nominations CMT Vudu psychological thriller Best and Worst TCA Awards name the review 4/20 Black History Month spanish language tv talk IFC zombies Mary poppins cinemax Comic-Con@Home 2021