37 of Summer's Most Anticipated Movies

5:00 AM 4/11/2016

by Ashley Lee

Grab your popcorn for superhero tentpoles, raunchy comedies, animated animal tales and buzzy Oscar contenders.

The upcoming movies of summer 2016 include 'Finding Dory', 'Southside With You', 'Captain America: Civil War', 'Central Intelligence' and 'Suicide Squad'

  • 'Captain America: Civil War'

    May 6

    The latest installment of the Marvel series pits hero against hero as Captain America and Iron Man square off. Captain America: The Winter Soldier co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo return for the most hero-filled Marvel movie to date, uniting Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Rudd, and introducing Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spider-Man.

    Read the review

  • 'Money Monster'

    May 13

    The Sony thriller stars George Clooney as Lee Gates, the Wall Street newsman who offers stock advice on his hit show and gets held hostage onscreen by an irate investor (Unbroken's Jack O'Connell) after one of his tips turns out badly. Directed by Jodie Foster, the Cannes-premiering film unfolds in real time as Gates and his producer (Julia Roberts) must figure out how to deal with their captor and Wall Street's lies.

    Read the review

  • 'The Angry Birds Movie'

    May 20

    Can mobile games translate to the big screen? The animated flick based on the popular app promises to reveal why the birds are so angry. Distributed by Sony Pictures, it features a voice cast led by Jason Sudeikis as Red, a hot-headed bird with a sarcastic attitude, and also includes Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Keegan-Michael Key, Tony Hale, Sean Penn, Blake Shelton and Peter Dinklage. Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis direct the film.

    Read the review

  • 'Neighbors 2'

    May 20

    Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz and Liz Cackowski are back in the neighborhood for the Universal sequel to the 2014 breakout hit. Directed again by Nicholas Stoller, the comedy welcomes Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons and Beanie Feldstein as sorority sisters who make it very difficult for Rogen and Byrne's characters to sell their home.

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  • 'The Nice Guys'

    May 20

    Set in the '70s, the Warner Bros. comedic thriller stars Ryan Gosling as a private investigator and single father who teams with Russell Crowe as a hired leg-breaker on sleaze-ridden quest to track down a missing girl and solve the case of a porn star's death. Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley and Ty Simpkins also star in the film directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3).

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  • 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'

    May 27

    The Disney sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland sees Mia Wasikowska returning as Lewis Carroll's title character to help the Mad Hatter, again played by Johnny Depp. Directed by James Bobin (and with the first film's helmer Tim Burton as a producer), the fantastical follow-up also features Sacha Baron Cohen, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen and Rhys Ifans, as well as an original song by Pink.

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  • 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

    May 27

    This time around, it's not Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique who's walking the line between good and evil, but Michael Fassbender's Magneto who falls under the thrall of the mysterious Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Directed by Bryan Singer, the latest X-Men installment from Fox also stars James McAvoy, Alexandra Shipp, Ben Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne and Evan Peters, with Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Lana Condor and Kodi Smit-McPhee joining the cast as new(-ish) mutants Cyclops, Jean Grey, Jubilee and Nightcrawler.

    Read the review

  • 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping'

    June 3

    From making industry-skewing music videos for Saturday Night Live, the Lonely Island comedy troupe — Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer — is getting the big-screen treatment, directed by Judd Apatow with Schaffer and Taccone as co-directors. The Universal comedy takes aim at the fluffy music documentaries of recent years such as Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never and Katy Perry’s Part of Me. It centers on a rapper whose latest album bombs and he must do the unthinkable: a reunion concert with his former boy band.

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  • 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'

    June 3

    Paramount's follow-up to the 2014 reboot doesn't just bring Megan Fox, Will Arnett and William Fichtner back together — not to mention Johnny Knoxville, Noel Fisher, Alan Ritchson, Stephen Amell and Jeremy Howard as the Turtles themselves, and Tony Shalhoub as the voice of their wizened rat sensei, Splinter — but it introduces other fan-favorite characters from franchise, including Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) and villainous henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady (Gary Anthony Williams and Stephen "Sheamus" Farrelly). Dave Green takes over for Jonathan Liebseman to direct the PG-13-rated flick, with Michael Bay as a producer.

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  • 'The Conjuring 2'

    June 10

    The Warner Bros. and New Line sequel, directed by James Wan, offers a second round of horror — this time in London. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles as real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren, who investigate the case of the Enfield Poltergeist in England. Based on true events, the Warrens encounter a single mother whose young daughter, Janet, is having a particularly haunting experience with demons.

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  • 'Now You See Me 2'

    June 10

    The Lionsgate sequel brings back the magical antics of the Four Horsemen — Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco, with Lizzy Caplan replacing Isla Fisher. Alongside fellow familiar faces Mark Ruffallo and Morgan Freeman, the Jon M. Chu follow-up introduces Daniel Radcliffe as a tech prodigy who tricks the Horsemen, landing them in China where they attempt to pull off yet another giant heist in the hopes of clearing their names. A third installment is already in the works.

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  • 'Warcraft'

    June 10

    Duncan Jones' long-awaited big-screen adaptation of the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft centers on Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and Durotan (Toby Kebbell), a human and orc attempting to bring their races together and avoid outright war for control of the world of Azeroth. Also featuring Paula Patton, Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper, the Universal release of the Legendary film will test whether a pricey video game adaptation can lure fans.

    Read the review

  • 'Central Intelligence'

    June 17

    The Warner Bros. and New Line buddy comedy pairs up Kevin Hart and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as former high school classmates — with very different daily workout regimens — who reconnect via Facebook and must work together in order to get back encryption keys to a U.S. spy satellite program. Also featuring Aaron Paul and Amy Ryan, the title is helmed by We’re the Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber.

    Read the review

  • 'Finding Dory'

    June 17

    Ellen DeGeneres reprises her role as the famously forgetful fish in the Pixar sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo as she tries to find her own parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy). Albert Brooks is also back as Marlin, and Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell and Kaitlin Olson voice underwater characters. The film sees Dory learning that she was born at the Marine Biology Institute of California, a large rehabilitation facility for marine life, and was freed into the ocean at a young age. Emulating Dory's memory, the film's flashbacks are in 2D animation.

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  • 'Swiss Army Man'

    June 24

    The A24 release first made a stir at Sundance when it became known as the Daniel Radcliffe-Paul Dano "farting corpse" movie. Written and directed by the music video-directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as "the Daniels"), the absurd R-rated dramedy follows Hank (Dano), a suicidal castaway who is stranded on a tiny deserted island. One day a dead body (Radcliffe) washes ashore, and Hank realizes it may be his last opportunity to escape certain death, so the duo go on an epic adventure to bring Hank back to the woman of his dreams. The survivalist tale nabbed the Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance.

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  • 'Free State of Jones'

    June 24

    Based on a true story, the Civil War drama stars Matthew McConaughey as Newt Knight, a farmer and one-time Confederate soldier who ultimately deserts and leads a rebellion consisting of other farmers and slaves against the Confederacy in Jones County, Miss. Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross, the STX release also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali.

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  • 'Independence Day: Resurgence'

    June 24

    Fox's follow-up to the 1996 flick takes place 20 years after the first extraterrestrial invasion fought off by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. With Roland Emmerich back to direct, the sequel stars Jessie Usher as Smith’s son along with Liam Hemsworth and returning stars Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Bill Pullman and Vivica A. Fox.

  • 'The BFG'

    July 1

    Steven Spielberg helms Disney's fantasy-adventure adaptation of the popular novel by Roald Dahl, which centers on a young Londoner named Sophie and the mysterious giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Mark Rylance plays the titular "Big Friendly Giant" opposite newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie. Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall and Olafur Olafsson also star.

    Read the review

  • 'The Legend of Tarzan'

    July 1

    David Yates juggles the directing duties of J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Warner Bros.' 3D retelling of the ape-man adventure tale, with Alexander Skarsgard as the vine-swinger and Margot Robbie as Jane. Also featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, the mega-budgeted fantasy film sees the titular character — who has been living a London life with his wife — returning to his roots in the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament. However, Tarzan is unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge.

  • 'Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates'

    July 8

    The Fox comedy — which is based on a true story — sees Zac Efron and Adam DeVine placing an ad for dates to their sister's wedding and meeting their match, if not their superiors, in Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick. Jake Szymanski, an Adam McKay protege who hails from Funny or Die, directs the raunchy comedy.

  • 'The Secret Life of Pets'

    July 8

    The Universal animated feature offers a peek into what dogs, cats and other household pets do once their owners leave the house. Directed by Despicable Me's Chris Renaud, the comedy features characters voiced by Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Louis C.K., Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Steve Coogan, Hannibal Buress, Albert Brooks, Dana Carvey and Bobby Moynihan.

  • 'Ghostbusters'

    July 15

    Sony's reboot of the 1984 film puts the proton packs and particle throwers in the hands of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Chris Hemsworth, Michael Kenneth Williams and Cecily Strong also star in the Paul Feig comedy. If it's a hit, it could pave the way for similar female-fronted remakes (despite some initial backlash to such castings).

  • 'Ice Age: Collision Course'

    July 22

    The fifth installment of the hit Fox animated franchise sees Scrat's acorn pursuit accidentally setting off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the herd's world. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego and the rest of the characters must leave their home and embark on a new adventure. Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes and Jennifer Lopez return to voice characters in the Mike Thurmeier film, and are joined by Adam DeVine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Melissa Rauch, Michael Strahan and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  • 'Star Trek Beyond'

    July 22

    Justin Lin takes on the long-running science fiction franchise, as J.J. Abrams, who helmed the previous two Star Trek films, serves as executive producer. The Paramount release stars Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban.

  • 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie'

    July 22

    After years of rumors, Edina and Patsy are hitting the big screen, with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprising the roles they made famous on the original hit BBC '90s TV series. The comedy from BBC Films and Fox Searchlight sees the pair forced to flee to the French Riviera after being blamed major incident at a fashionable launch party. The rest of the original cast — includes Julia Sawalha as Saffy, Jane Horrocks as Bubble and June Whitfield as Mother — returns, with Mandie Fletcher directing.

  • 'Bad Moms'

    July 29

    The female-centric comedy stars Mila Kunis as an overworked and under appreciated mom who teams up with her friends to rediscover herself. Also featuring Kristen Bell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Christina Applegate, the STX release hails from writers-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the duo responsible for the original Hangover screenplay.

  • 'Jason Bourne'

    July 29

    Matt Damon is back as the amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, and is being directed by Paul Greengrass, who helmed the Universal franchise's second and third installments. Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel and Tommy Lee Jones are among the new additions to the cast, with Julia Stiles returning for the fifth film.

  • 'The Founder'

    Aug. 5

    Michael Keaton portrays top McDonald's executive Ray Kroc in the John Lee Hancock drama, which details the rise of the fast-food empire. Laura Dern, B.J. Novak and Nick Offerman are also featured in the Weinstein Co. film telling the true story of how Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to wrest the company away from the brothers and created a billion-dollar empire.

  • 'Suicide Squad'

    Aug. 5

    Warner Bros.' all-star action movie features DC Entertainment supervillains, with Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Jared Leto as the Joker. Also in the Task Force X mix are Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood and Common.

  • 'Ben-Hur'

    Aug. 12

    The long-gestating reboot of the epic 1959 William Wyler film sees Jack Huston stepping into Charlton Heston's iconic sandals as the nobleman-turned-slave who seeks vengeance on his usurping adoptive brother, played by Toby Kebbell. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the Paramount and MGM release also stars Morgan Freeman as Ilderim, who sponsors and trains the title character for the monumental race.

  • 'Sausage Party'

    Aug. 12

    Hailing from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the R-rated, animated survival story gives life to food products sold at a supermarket. Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll and Jonah Hill are among the Sony release's voice cast, which also includes some surprise cameos. Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon direct from a script by Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir.

    Read the review

  • 'Pete's Dragon'

    Aug. 12

    Disney continues its newfound remake trend with a fresh take on its 1977 classic children's movie, following an orphaned boy whose best friend is a dragon named Elliott. Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford and Oona Laurence also star in the live-action and CGI feature, directed by David Lowery.

  • 'Southside With You'

    Aug. 19

    The Miramax and Roadside Attractions release chronicles the first date of future President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Robinson (played by Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter, respectively). Based on true events, the film sees Obama, a then-Harvard Law summer associate, ask out an attorney from the prestigious corporate law firm where they both work. On the historic date, the two talk about politics and activism. The love story also marks the feature debut for writer-director Richard Tanne.

    Read the review

  • 'War Dogs'

    Aug. 19

    What if frat bros were to supply an international war effort? Based on a Rolling Stone article, the Warner Bros. action-comedy follows two twenty-somethings who secure a multi-million dollar contract from the U.S. government to supply arms to the Afghan military. The Hangover helmer Todd Phillips directs Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, who play the wise-cracking, cocaine-sorting, Porsche-owning, gun-running duo.

  • 'Kubo and the Two Strings'

    Aug. 19

    The Laika and Focus Features release features a voice cast of Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro. Game of Thrones' Art Parkinson voices the kindhearted title character whose humble and quiet life in ancient Japan is disrupted when a spirit from the past catches up with him to enforce an age-old vendetta. The 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid was written by Marc Haimes and ParaNorman writer-director Chris Butler, and also marks the directorial debut of Laika CEO Travis Knight.

     

  • 'Hands of Stone'

    Aug. 26

    The Weinstein Co. drama stars Edgar Ramirez as real-life boxer Roberto Duran — a Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50 — and Robert De Niro as his mentor and trainer. In June 1980, Duran defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (played by Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no mas” ("no more"). Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin and John Turturro also star in the drama, directed by Venezuelan helmer Jonathan Jakubowicz.

     

  • 'The Light Between Oceans'

    Sept. 2

    Real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in Derek Cianfrance's adaptation of M.L. Stedman's best-selling debut novel. Set on a remote island off the coast of Western Australia just after World War I, the wrenching drama follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby who is alive. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating. Disney's Dreamworks release also stars Rachel Weisz.

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