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

green book Showtime dceu USA Cannes Cosplay BBC America Spring TV DirecTV vampires Song of Ice and Fire justice league YouTube Red CBS All Access science fiction Reality Competition Year in Review Music foreign Film Family BBC DC Comics technology teaser dragons WGN what to watch Cartoon Network cancelled television composers sequel batman WarnerMedia Holidays historical drama Apple Ovation Pet Sematary Shudder Acorn TV book natural history TLC Hulu Fox News adaptation Christmas Mystery Spike ratings Star Wars anime 007 GIFs travel canceled Peacock Film Festival CW Seed NBC Box Office spy thriller psychological thriller Amazon Prime Writers Guild of America social media CMT Universal TCM Arrowverse ABC VH1 RT History Amazon Prime Video breaking bad 2017 Superheroes Chernobyl strong female leads CBS PaleyFest witnail war ESPN zombie Mary poppins Pirates ABC Family theme song Musical Character Guide crime Elton John streaming Kids & Family Set visit children's TV free movies Watching Series cooking TIFF cults Comedy Central DC streaming service NYCC latino TCA 2017 Summer El Rey Pixar golden globes TV Land romance MCU ghosts Countdown Tarantino Best and Worst cinemax romantic comedy Disney streaming service Food Network New York Comic Con revenge E3 Crackle FOX Awards San Diego Comic-Con FXX Columbia Pictures First Reviews Horror series hist Syfy spanish language Emmys Oscars Stephen King Dark Horse Comics Comic Book PBS true crime animated adventure IFC Films History Musicals dc The Arrangement Television Academy Action supernatural mockumentary Podcast spider-man cats Anna Paquin ITV IFC Martial Arts 2016 Rock SDCC Women's History Month Marvel blaxploitation MTV Trophy Talk 45 jamie lee curtis Trailer doctor who Biopics Logo Rocky Disney Channel award winner Schedule Interview Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt canceled TV shows singing competition Paramount Network police drama The Witch Adult Swim Animation CNN Comics on TV Country transformers Masterpiece LGBTQ Netflix Sci-Fi Lionsgate The Walking Dead slashers Drama quibi sports Extras nature political drama game show Nat Geo festivals The Purge crime drama discovery TBS Tumblr DC Universe DGA Ghostbusters game of thrones Amazon miniseries Winter TV Warner Bros. Sony Pictures halloween Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MSNBC based on movie 24 frames 2018 robots Superheroe SundanceTV Sundance Super Bowl Ellie Kemper Teen cars HBO Max Valentine's Day Certified Fresh HBO cancelled TCA space psycho BET E! boxoffice comic Mindy Kaling Bravo Pop spain Tomatazos USA Network thriller VICE Heroines Lucasfilm comiccon FX zero dark thirty anthology American Society of Cinematographers Disney Plus Mary Tyler Moore Red Carpet spinoff APB LGBT See It Skip It Nominations Rom-Com Toys Epix crossover 21st Century Fox medical drama Disney Binge Guide National Geographic 20th Century Fox Brie Larson harry potter Black Mirror YouTube Premium Opinion joker RT21 Photos sitcom Starz Creative Arts Emmys finale Western television diversity Calendar SXSW stand-up comedy Lifetime A&E First Look Esquire Britbox cancelled TV series 2019 YouTube south america TV renewals Apple TV+ Pride Month Spectrum Originals elevated horror AMC TV 71st Emmy Awards Shondaland movies Election Paramount Sundance Now docudrama Winners serial killer Premiere Dates dramedy cops zombies talk show Comedy period drama Rocketman YA Grammys cancelled TV shows politics toy story Fall TV Star Trek biography Video Games GLAAD video Mudbound 2015 Emmy Nominations Mary Poppins Returns renewed TV shows kids TruTV unscripted disaster mutant Captain marvel richard e. Grant Fantasy aliens Vudu The CW Freeform GoT Sneak Peek OWN Reality Trivia hispanic Polls and Games Awards Tour Marathons Nickelodeon Thanksgiving X-Men tv talk President Walt Disney Pictures crime thriller TNT casting binge Quiz Infographic facebook