For film fans, the approach of summer doesn’t just mean warm weather and vacations; May heralds the start of the summer movie season. This summer is packed with high-profile titles from a variety of film genres. Below are 20 noteworthy films releasing summer 2017, organized by categories and rated based on name recognition and level of promise.
The summer kicks off on May 5 with “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2”. The entire crew from 2014’s smash hit “Guardians of the Galaxy” returns for new adventure in this sequel. “Volume 2” promises the same level of fun action and great characters as the original, with the addition of Kurt Russell’s Ego the Living Planet to emotional stakes for the Guardians, led by Starlord (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana)
On June 2, the DC Cinematic Universe (“Man of Steel”, “Batman V. Superman”, “Suicide Squad”), aims for its first universally acclaimed film with “Wonder Woman”. Directed by Patty Jenkins (“Monster”, “The Killing”), the film stars Gal Godot as the iconic heroine in a film set during WWI.
The summer’s final comic book film is “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, released on July 7. After the web-slinger’s first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Captain America: Civil War”, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) returns to his New York High School to take on The Vulture (Michael Keaton). Robert Downey Jr. also stars as Tony Stark/Iron Man, in Spider-Man’s first solo film since 2012.
Blockbuster Action Films
On May 12, Guy Ritchie (“Snatch”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”) directs this latest cinematic telling of the King Arthur Myth. The trailers for the film have not revealed much concrete plot, but the film appears to be blending various elements of the Camelot legend into one story of revenge. On July 14, the rebooted “Planet of The Apes” trilogy concludes in epic fashion in “War for the Planet of The Apes”. On July 21, director Christopher Nolan tackles his first war with “Dunkirk”.
Honorable Mentions: On May 22 and June 23, two action franchises each premiere their fifth installments: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, and “Transformers, the Last Knight”.
On May 25, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron star in “Baywatch”, based on the popular 90’s TV Show. The film offers a satirical take on the show’s inherently silly premise.
“The House”, starring Will Ferrell as a dad running an underground casino to pay for his daughter’s tuition, premieres on June 30. Amy Poehler also stars in the film; it suits a film with such a wacky premise to star two actors who can embrace absurdity while also playing it straight.
June 28 brings director Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) presents “Baby Driver”, about a getaway driver who’s coerced into working for the mob. Like most Edgar Wright films, the trailer offers few big laughs, but lots wit, charm, and clever dialogue.
Honorable Mentions: “Rough Night”, an ensemble comedy starring Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon, about a ladies’ night gone wrong. Allison Brie and Aubrey Plaza star in the raunchy and blasphemous comedy “The Little Hours”, about a convent of deviant nuns the Middle Ages. The trailer is hilarious, if you can look past the sacrilege of foul-mouthed nuns seeking pleasure and otherwise acting very impiously.
On May 19, Director Ridley Scott (“Alien”, “The Martian”) brings the “Alien” franchise back to its horror roots with “Alien: Covenant”, his sequel to “Prometheus”. On June 9, Tom Cruise headlines “The Mummy”, Universal Studio’s attempt to launch a cinematic universe based on its classic horror franchises like “Dracula” and “Frankenstein”. On June 30, “Amityville: The Awakening” looks to bring the scares in mid-summer.
Honorable Mention: The film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower “on August 4 is probably more of a thriller, but most Stephen King films have elements of horror.
After the financial success of “Boss Baby”, Dreamworks Animation looks to keep their momentum going on June 2 with “Captain Underpants”, based on the beloved series of children’s books. On June 30, Gru (Steve Carell) and the Minions return in “Despicable Me 3”. On June 16, Pixar presents “Cars 3”, the third film in Pixar’s franchise of kid-friendly talking cars movies. This third film features a more mature premise, as series lead Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), recovers from a devastating crash which changes the course of his racing career.
So make sure after lounging at the pool or enjoying the summer the sun to run to your local movie theater this summer and check out these flicks.