(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, ©Sony Pictures Releasing, ©Warner Bros.)
A full three years after we first went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summer movie season has finally returned in a way we could comfortably call “normal.” A lot of noteworthy tentpole releases that were delayed due to COVID-19 concerns are slated to be released this year, and we’ve got everything from big superhero movies to action extravaganzas to horror hits on tap. Read on for a month-by-month breakdown of what’s coming out and start marking your calendars now!
Star-Lord and his merry band of spacefaring companions return for the third — and presumably final — chapter in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, which follows the gang as they embark on another adventure, this time tied to Rocket’s tragic past.
This remake of a 2016 German romantic dramedy (which was itself based on a novel) stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas as a woman grieving her recently deceased fiancé who continues sending text messages to his phone as way to cope. Meanwhile, the journalist who has inherited the number becomes intrigued by her and enlists the help of his latest subject, Celine Dion, to meet the mystery woman sending the texts.
The quartet of BFFs is back for another romantic comedy as they travel together to Italy, where old secrets are uncovered when they embark on a cross-country adventure.
Silicon Valley alumnus Jimmy O. Yang lends his voice to this animated children’s film about a rookie rally racer (of course) who must overcome a variety of obstacles in order to beat the reigning champ and prove he’s worthy of the crown.
Based on a nonfiction book profiling the rise and fall of the once popular BlackBerry mobile phone company, this cheeky biopic stars Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton as the founder and former CEO of the company and tells the remarkable story behind the world’s first smartphone.
Ben Affleck stars in this sci-fi thriller directed by Robert Rodriguez about a detective who inadvertently becomes entangled in a vast government conspiracy involving a series of high-profile heists when his daughter goes missing.
This coming-of-age drama centers on a 17-year-old living in a fundamentalist Christian community in Kentucky who is increasingly at odds with her religious traditions and soon begins a dangerous relationship with a charismatic youth pastor.
Jennifer Lopez leads an impressive cast in this Netflix original action thriller by Niki Caro (2020’s Mulan) about an ex-assassin on the run who risks everything to protect her estranged daughter.
There’s a good reason why we didn’t list all of the familiar names involved in this project above: After nine films expanding the world of the Fast and Furious franchise, there are just too many of them. Suffice it to say they all return here — with the glaring exception of Dwayne Johnson — alongside newcomers like Jason Momoa, who plays a villain from their past out for revenge. At this point, you know what you’re getting into: Expect one-liners and gravity-defying stunts galore.
Jack Harlow makes the leap from rap star to movie star in this Hulu remake of the 1992 Woody Harrelson-Wesley Snipes classic about a couple of streetball hustlers, Jeremy (Harlow) and Kamal (Sinqua Walls), who team up to take advantage of opponents who underestimate them because Jeremy is white.
In something of a thematic cousin to his role in the Meet the Parents franchise, Robert De Niro teams up with Sebastian Maniscalco in this comedy about a man who brings his immigrant father to meet his fiancée’s well-to-do family, only for cultural misunderstandings to erupt in presumably hilarious fashion.
Disney tapped Rob Marshall to helm its next live-action adaptation of one of their classic animated films, with pop star Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Scuttle, among others.
If you’ve been around the internet for a while, you’ve probably encountered stand-up comic Bert Kreischer’s viral so-crazy-it-must-be-true story about an extended encounter with Russian mobsters on a class trip in college. This film is not an adaptation of the tale, but a fictionalized account of what happened to him 20 years after the events of that story.
Celebrated writer-director Nicole Holofcener returns to theaters with his understated comedy about a seemingly perfect married couple played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies whose relationship begins to form cracks when a few white lies come to light.
Yellowjackets star Sophie Thatcher leads the way in this supernatural horror film about a high schooler and her younger sister grieving the death of their mother whose lives are threatened when a malicious presence shows up in their home.
Miles Morales returns in the first chapter of what was originally billed as a two-part sequel to the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This time around, Miles reunites with Gwen and meets Spider-folks from other universes to team up and fight against a new villain who threatens them all.
Thanks to the success of 2018’s Bumblebee, we have another throwback Transformers flick in Rise of the Beasts, which takes place in the 1990s and sees another human ally (played by In the Heights’ Anthony Ramos) teaming up with the Autobots known as Maximals in their war against the Predacons and Terrorcons.
Playing on the trope that the Black characters are always the first to die in horror films, this comedy-thriller centers on an all-Black group of friends on a remote Juneteenth getaway who find themselves terrorized by an unknown killer and struggle to figure out who the most likely targets among them are.
Pixar’s latest animated treat is helmed by The Good Dinosaur director Peter Sohn and takes place in a world where citizens who represent the four elements coexist. Here, a young woman made of fire forms an unlikely friendship with a man made of water, leading them to rethink the way they see the world.
After a number of delays (and rather public behind-the-scenes controversies involving its star), DC finally gives us The Flash, which follows Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen as he uses his powers to change the past, only to realize his actions have had disastrous effects in the future and he must figure out a way to save the world.
Netflix follows up on its early-pandemic hit, the explosive action film Extraction, with a sequel that reunites star Chris Hemsworth with director Sam Hargrave and writer Joe Russo for another go-round of intense set-pieces and edge-of-your-seat action.
Wes Anderson’s latest film features yet another massive collection of impressive A-listers, all gathered together to tell the interlocking stories of the organizers and attendees of a Junior Stargazer convention held in a fictional town.
The Office writer Gene Stupnitsky’s second feature directorial effort (his first was 2019’s Good Boys) taps Jennifer Lawrence as a struggling Uber driver desperate for money answers a Craigslist posting made by wealthy parents looking for someone to date their socially awkward son and break him out of his shell.
Indiana Jones is back for a fifth adventure, this time with James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari) at the helm. Harrison Ford returns to play Indy in the late 1960s as he strives to prevent former Nazis from enacting a nefarious plan related to the ongoing Space Race.
If you need something geared more towards kids, Universal and DreamWorks offer this animated adventure about a seemingly normal 16-year-old girl who accidentally discovers that she’s descended from a long line of sea krakens.
Patrick Wilson makes his feature directorial debut with the fifth (and allegedly final) installment of the Insidious horror franchise, which focuses on the original Lambert family as they attempt to exorcise the demons plaguing them once and for all.
Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Sabrina Wu, and Oscar-nominated Everything Everywhere All at Once star Stephanie Hsu headline this buddy comedy about four friends who travel to Asia in search of one of their birth mothers and end up embarking on a raucous adventure none of them expected.
The first of a two-parter (as its title indicates), the latest installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise sees the return of the IMF team led by Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. We don’t know much about the film’s premise or the nature of this particular impossible mission, but you’ll definitely see Tom Cruise ride a motorcycle off a cliff in it.
Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig directs this long-in-development adaptation of the iconic doll brand in this meta comedy about one particular Barbie (Margot Robbie) who ventures into the real world with Ken (Ryan Gosling).
Christopher Nolan takes on his first true biopic with this look at the life of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by frequent Nolan collaborator Cillian Murphy) and his contributions to the creation of the first atomic bomb.
Debuting on Netflix is this sci-fi mystery starring John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, and Teyonah Parris as a three people who find themselves wrapped up in a government conspiracy after experiencing “a series of eerie events.”
Disney’s latest film based on an amusement park ride is a horror-comedy starring Rosario Dawson as a single mother who moves into a new home, only to be terrorized by unseen forces, and invites a number of people to attempt to exorcise it.
This Australian horror hit out of Sundance centers on a group of friends who unwittingly unleash malevolent spirits when they discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand and take the game too far.
(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)
Release Date: August 4, 2023
Director: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Jason Statham, Sienna Guillory, Cliff Curtis
The sequel to the surprise 2018 hit creature feature The Meg picks up British indie thriller darling Ben Wheatley as director and once again pits action hero Jason Statham against an impossibly big shark. That’s about all we know about the plot so far, but what more do you need?
Thanks to longtime fans Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, we’re getting a new, animated reboot of the Ninja Turtles, this time focusing more on the “teenage” element of the original comics and utilizing a highly stylized animation format similar to the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Don’t be fooled: This is no straight-up video game adaptation. Instead, it’s based on the true story of a teenage gamer whose Gran Turismo skills won him the opportunity to become an actual racecar driver.
André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) brings to life a new angle on the story of Dracula, charting the fates of the people aboard the titular merchant ship that transported the famous vampire’s body from Carpathia to London.
Release Date: August 18, 2023
Director: Chris Spencer
Starring: Spence Moore II, Wesley Snipes, Tiffany Haddish, Faizon Love, J.B. Smoove, Gary Owen, Bill Bellamy, Collen Camp, Kevin Hart
This comedy centers on an aspiring magician who moves to Las Vegas with high hopes, only to be pulled into the world of male strippers, where his natural talents help him whip the old crew he’s joined into shape so they can save the hotel where they perform.
Ready for dogs talking dirty? Will Ferrell leads an all-star voice cast in this decidedly adult live-action animal adventure about a naive border terrier named Reggie who is abandoned by his deadbeat owner and decides to make the trek back home to exact his revenge with a gang of strays by his side.
Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña stars as the titular hero in this DC origin story about a recent college grad who comes into possession of an ancient alien relic that attaches to him and gives him powers beyond his wildest dreams.
In 2017’s Wonder, Bryce Gheisar played Julian, the classmate who was expelled for bullying Jacob Tremblay’s Auggie. This film, based on a spin-off of the novel that inspired Wonder, follows the story of Julian’s grandmother, who offers her own tale of youth when he himself struggles to fit in.
(Photo by Christopher Barr/©Netflix)
Release Date: August 25, 2023 (Netflix)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Kevin Hart, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Vincent D’Onofrio, Úrsula Corberó, Sam Worthington, Billy Magnussen, YunJee Kim, Jacob Batalan, Jean Reno
Action veteran F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) directs this Netflix heist thriller about an international crew who are brought together to pull off a high-stakes job on a plane mid-flight.