It’s tough to think that summer hasn’t even began and we’ve already had the biggest, wildest, record-breaking film open at theaters. I’m not sure any of the summer movies are gonna come anywhere close to the excitement and even quality that AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR brought to the table. Although I still have a lot of faith in my number one. The rest of this list is simply some of the summer’s best potential for a fun time in the theater now that most people’s most anticipated film has passed. I tried to mix it up with some huge blockbusters and a few smaller films. As usual, any decent ten list always goes to eleven.
11. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR (June 8) – Rarely will you see a documentary on a list of most anticipated summer movies, but I think we have that rare exception. Fred Rogers is a national treasure. The PBS show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” influenced millions by not only educating children about basic social skills but also by teaching the importance of kindness. Thankfully, “Daniel Tiger,” based on Fred Rogers work, has picked up that brightly lit torch. I can’t wait to learn more about this selfless man who truly wanted to make the world a better place without all the hatred that I see from both sides of the spectrum in today’s environment.
10. HEREDITY (JUNE 8) – This new horror movie is already getting plenty of poop-your-pants scariness buzz. Not sure how accurate the rumors are, but I’m always excited to see originality in horror films. First time writer and director Ari Aster is said to have created something frighteningly special about a family who inherits a terrifying secret involving their ancestry after the family matriarch passes away. That synopsis doesn’t sound especially unique to the genre, but early buzz is that it’s absolutely terrifying.
9. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (JULY 6) – I’ll be honest, I originally did not have this film on my list. However, after the phenomenal AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, I’ve got a hankering to see more from the Marvel Universe. Sure Ant-Man missed out on the action in that film and supposedly it takes place between CIVIL WAR and INFINITY WAR, but the exquisiteness of the recent AVENGERS film has me locked in. Furthermore, Paul Rudd is always great and I’m happy to see Evangeline Lily in the co-title role.
8. DEADPOOL 2 (MAY 18) – I think most people might have this higher on their list. The first film was hilarious and I have no doubt with Ryan Reynolds leading the way that the sequel will find the same joy in superhero mockery. Lets just hope it’s not a tired old trick after the freshness factor from the first time around. But if the film is half as creative as the marketing, I think we should have nothing to worry about.
7. EIGHTH GRADE (July 13) – The independent movies always have a few with some big splashes in the summer. Comedian Bo Burnham wrote and directed a small film about a teenager struggling through the last week of her eighth grade year before heading into high school. Early word is it’s quite wonderful. I’m a sucker for observational teenage coming of age flicks that can make me both laugh and cry within the same scene. Lets hope EIGHTH GRADE can pull that off.
6. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (JUNE 22) – Of course everyone loves JURASSIC PARK and we are all searching for some of that same Spielberg magic. I had such a blast with JURASSIC WORLD a couple of years ago that I’m truly looking forward to the next chapter of the scary real life dinosaur amusement park where things never go as planned. Sure the trailer doesn’t evoke the highest confidence, but Chris Pratt is pretty great and the dinosaurs always deliver a performance with a bite.
5. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (MAY 25) – It’s a STAR WARS film. What’s not to be excited about? Sure it could crash and burn like the switch of directors midway through could suggest, but the space opera created by George Lucas in 1977 still has a hold of me. I’ll be honest, I keep getting more and more unsure about this one as time gets closer. It was my number two choice but keeps dropping. It’s currently probably ranked to high if I’m being honest with my self. I just hope it’s a funny sustainable expansion on some of our most beloved character and not just a point and wink reference to things we know are meant to come.
4. UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (June 22) – From the writer and director of IT FOLLOWS, David Robert Mitchell has crafted a crime mystery about a guy who meets a girl only to have the girl go missing the next day. Starring Andrew Garfield, the most intriguing aspect is to see Robert Mitchell’s follow up to one of the best horror films in the past decade. Additionally, observing how he incorporates style and tone into the material has me genuinely intrigued.
3. THE MEG (AUGUST 10) – I know this looks dumb and completely ridiculous, but it’s supposed to be. I love these big budget b-movie type of films. Likewise, I’m a fan of shark movies. When you add the fact that it’s about a giant 70 foot Megaladon shark vs. Jason Statham, I can’t help but be overly excited. JAWS is my all-time favorite film and I thought THE SHALLOWS and 47 METERS DOWN were criminally underrated as great summer movies the past couple of years. I think THE MEG should be an absurdly, whomping good time at the movies. What do you think the obligatory funny homage to JAWS line will be? I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat is a bit of an understatement.
2. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT (JULY 27) – The MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise is one of the few that has consistently been great. Tom Cruise is back again as Ethan Hunt in the sixth MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. That’s right SIX! All of them have been worth watching, even John Woo’s poorly aged sequel had elements of entertaining fun. Anyway, no need to ask me if I choose to accept the next impossible mission. Sign me up.
1. INCREDIBLES 2 (JUNE 15) – Not only was the first INCREDIBLES one of Pixar’s best (which is saying a lot), but it’s also still arguably one of the best superhero films ever made. I’m always excited for a new Pixar film, but I’m extra excited for this nuclear family of superheroes. It doesn’t hurt that my daughter is now old enough to join me at the screening, where we can all enjoy Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, and of course little Jack Jack.
MIXED FEELINGS: OCEANS 8 (JUNE 8) – I’m optimistic because of the talented female cast and the love I have for OCEAN’S ELEVEN. I’m pessimistic because the trailer gives the vibe of a straight imitation of the Steven Soderbergh all-male cast version. I just hope they bring something fresh and funny to the heist genre and aren’t repeating the same thing we’ve seen before. While I like the idea, I didn’t even crack a smile during the trailer. The jokes need to land for the heist aspect to work.
Honorable Mentions: LIFE OF THE PARTY (May 11), ADRIFT (June 1), TAG (June 15), SICARO 2: SOLDADO (JUNE 29) THE FIRST PURGE (July 4), SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (July 6), THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME (August 3), CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (August 3)
What did I forget?