40 of Summer's Most Anticipated Movies

5:30 AM 5/4/2017

by Ashley Lee

Superhero movies, offbeat comedies and a slew of Sundance standouts are hitting the big screen.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    May 5

    Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillen and Michael Rooker, along with the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, return as misfit superheroes in the Marvel sequel. James Gunn again directs the retro-minded follow-up, with additions Kurt Russell, Chris Sullivan and Elizabeth Debicki, and Sylvester Stallone cameo.

  • The Lovers

    May 5

    Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

    Directed by Azazel Jacobs, the A24 dramedy stars Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as a long-married but dispassionate couple who are both seriously involved with other people. When their respective partners pressure them to fully commit, the two amicably resolve to call it quits — a move that ends up leading to their newfound affair.

  • Risk

    May 5

    Courtesy of Praxis Films

    Neon releases the Showtime documentary from Laura Poitras, which has unprecendented access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and those around him. The film has been in production for six years, and shooting filming continued through the presidential election — one that saw headlines hijacked when Assange's WikiLeaks dumped countless emails from the Democratic National Committee.

  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    May 12

    Charlie Hunnam stars as the titular monarch in Guy Ritchie’s gritty take on the medieval legend’s reign. The Warner Bros. reimagining also stars Jude Law, David Beckham and Djimon Hounsou, and was at one point conceived as kicking off a shared universe, as it sets the stage for potential sequels and spinoffs.

  • Snatched

    May 12

    Goldie Hawn makes her first return to the big screen since 2002's The Banger Sisters as an uptight mother to Amy Schumer. However, their vacation to Ecuador goes awry. Jonathan Levine directs the Fox action-comedy, also featuring Ike Barinholtz, Randall Park and Wanda Sykes.

  • The Wall

    May 12

    Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena star as soldiers pinned down by an Iraqi sniper, and their fight becomes as much a battle of will and wits as it is of lethally accurate marksmanship. Doug Liman directs the psychological thriller released by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions.

  • Alien: Covenant

    May 19

    Ridley Scott once again returns to helm the franchise he began with 1979's Alien. It is described as a second chapter in an Alien prequel trilogy (following 2012’s Prometheus), with the colony ship Covenant discovering a paradise world on the far side of the galaxy, only to learn it's actually a dangerous world whose only inhabitant is the synthetic David. Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Carmen Ejogo star in the Fox film, with Prometheus'  Michael Fassbender returning as the android David and Noomi Rapace appearing as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.

  • Everything, Everything

    May 19

    The Warner Bros. and MGM adaptation of the YA novel stars Hunger Games breakout Amandla Stenberg as a teen who has a severe immunodeficiency disease that causes her to be allergic to practically everything, and has therefore spent 17 years hiding in her home — until she falls in love with the boy next door. Nick Robinson and Anika Noni Rose also star in Stella Meghie's romantic drama.

  • Baywatch

    May 24

    Dwayne Johnson stars in the action-comedy inspired by the long-running TV show, playing a leader of an elite group of lifeguards who is forced to team up with a hotshot former Olympian (Zac Efron) to save the beloved bay. Seth Gordon directs the Paramount reboot, also featuring Priyanka Chopra (as a villain originally written as a male character), Alexandra Daddario and Hannibal Buress, plus a cameo by the series’ star, David Hasselhoff.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    May 26

    Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth installment of the hit Disney franchise — this time, attempting to escape the haunts of a ghostly villain played by Javier Bardem and seeking out a legendary artifact that grants its possessor total control over the seas. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg co-direct the fantasy film, also starring Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites, and featuring a cameo by Paul McCartney.

  • Wonder Woman

    June 2

    Gal Gadot plays the titular heroine in the origin story of how Diana Prince, an Amazon princess, leaves her island home to become the DC warrior. Also starring Chris Pine and Robin Wright, the Warner Bros. title is helmed by Patty Jenkins, making her the first woman to direct a studio superhero film.

  • Captain Underpants

    June 2

    Based on Dav Pilkey’s book series, the Dreamworks adaptation centers on two mischievous kids who hypnotize their mean high school principal and turn him into their kind-hearted, elastic-banded comic book creation. Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Ed Helms, Kristen Schaal, Jordan Peele and Thomas Middleditch lend their voices to the David Soren film.

  • The Mummy

    June 9

    Tom Cruise leads the Universal reboot of the zombie-filled adventure, also starring Russell Crowe, Courtney B. Vance, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the fantasy-action flick is set to launch a monster-filled cinematic universe (Javier Bardem is on board for a future Frankenstein film, while Johnny Depp has signed on for The Invisible Man).

  • All Eyez on Me

    June 16

    The long-gestating biopic of late rapper Tupac Shakur from Lionsgate's Summit stars newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as the iconic 1990s rapper. Directed by Benny Boom, the film chronicles his rise to superstardom as a hip-hop artist, actor, poet and activist, as well as his imprisonment and controversial time at Death Row Records. Danai Gurira and Kat Graham also star.

  • Cars 3

    June 16

    Owen Wilson reprises his voice role as Lightning McQueen in Pixar’s automotive threequel, which sees the spiffy red hot-rod attempting to prove to a new generation of racers that he's still the best racecar in the world. . Brian Fee directs the animated film, which also features Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Tony Shalhoub, Lea DeLaria, Paul Dooley, Kerry Washington and Paul Newman in its starry voice cast.

  • Rough Night

    June 16

    Scarlett Johansson, Demi Moore, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and Zoe Kravitz join for the R-rated comedy about a bachelorette weekend that goes awry when a male stripper ends up dead in their Miami beach house. Lucia Aniello directs the Sony film, also featuring Ty Burrell and Dean Winters.

  • The Book of Henry

    June 16

    Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the drama stars Naomi Watts as a single mom whose genius son (Jaeden Lieberher) has plans to save his classmate (Maddie Ziegler) from a family secret. Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace and Dean Norris are also featured in the cast of the Focus release.

  • Transformers: The Last Knight

    June 23

    Mark Wahlberg returns to star in the fifth installment of the Paramount action franchise, which sees Optimus Prime facing off against the villain Megatron. Michael Bay again directs the film, which also features Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro.

  • The Beguiled

    June 23

    Sofia Coppola directs the adaptation of Thomas Cullinan's 1966 novel, starring Colin Farrell as a Union soldier who charms his way into a Confederate girls boarding school. Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman are also among the cast of the Focus release.

  • The Big Sick

    June 23

    Kumail Nanjiani stars in the romantic dramedy based on his real-life romance with writer Emily V. Gordon, with whom he co-wrote the script. In addition to navigating their cultures' clashing, the couple also endured a life-changing twist when Emily contracted a mysterious illness. Zoe Kazan portrays Gordon onscreen, while Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Bo Burnham and Aidy Bryant are also featured in the Lionsgate title, which made a splash at Sundance.

  • Baby Driver

    June 28

    Edgar Wright’s action-crimer musical pic centers on a young and innocent getaway driver, Baby (Ansel Elgort), who gets caught up with a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) and his gang of criminals (Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez and Jamie Foxx, to name a few). Due to an accident, Baby has never-ending tinnitus, and must drown out the noise with constant music.

  • Despicable Me 3

    June 30

    Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig reprise their voice roles in Universal's animated, minion-filled threequel, directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and co-directed by Eric Guillon. Trey Parker — the co-creator of South Park and the Broadway hit The Book of Mormon — voices Gru's newest nemesis: a former child star who has grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ‘80s.

  • The House

    June 30

    Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell star in the Village Roadshow and New Line comedy as a married couple who lose their daughter's college fund. They then team up with their neighbors to start an illegal casino in the basement of their suburban house to earn back the cash. Jason Mantzoukas, Ryan Simpkins, Nick Kroll, Steve Zissis and Allison Tolman are also featured in Andrew J. Cohen's directorial debut, released by Warner Bros.

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    July 7

    Tom Holland steps into the suit of Peter Parker for the character's first solo film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jon Watts directs the Sony movie, also starring Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Donald Glover and Jon Favreau.

  • A Ghost Story

    July 7

    David Lowery directs A24's poetic meditation on time, memory and spiritual connection, in which Casey Affleck is a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost who returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Rooney Mara). However, he discovers that he's become unstuck in time and is forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. He then embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life’s ineffable questions and the enormity of existence.

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    July 14

    Andy Serkis return as the reluctant leader of the genetically-evolved apes in the follow-up to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Matt Reeves again directs the Fox film, also starring Judy Greer, Steve Zahn and Woody Harrelson

  • Dunkirk

    July 21

    Christopher Nolan's WWII drama centers on the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940, one of the biggest battles during the war. Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Harry Styles are among the cast of the Warner Bros. film.

  • Girls Trip

    July 21

    Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish star in Universal's R-rated comedy about four lifelong friends who behave badly while traveling to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, the film also features Kate Walsh, Kofi Siriboe and Larenz Tate.

  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    July 21

    Luc Besson’s passion-filled adaptation of the 1960s-era French comic book stars Dane DeHaan as the titular time-traveling hero. Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Clive Owen and Rihanna round out the cast of the sci-fi thriller, which jumped from EuropaCorp to STX as part of a multi-year deal.

  • Atomic Blonde

    July 28

    Charlize Theron stars in the Focus action flick as an MI6 operative who is called in to Berlin five days before the Berlin Wall falls. She joins a colorful world where spies have gone rogue. Sofia Boutella, James McAvoy, John Goodman and Toby Jones are also featured in the David Leitch film.

  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

    July 28

    Al Gore's documentary follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth comes a decade after the original, this time with a slightly more hopeful tone, though it does focus on some concerns about President Trump's stance on the environment. 

  • The Emoji Movie

    July 28

    The Sony animated comedy stars T.J. Miller as an emoji born with multiple expressions, who teams up with the notorious code-breaker (Ilana Glazer) on an adventure through a teenager's phone. Anthony Leondis directs the mobile-inspired film, also featuring James Corden and Steven Wright in the voice cast.

  • The Dark Tower

    Aug. 4


    The long-awaited Stephen King adaptation stars Idris Elba as a wandering knight who is the last hope of the fallen land of Mid-World. He is charged with finding the Dark Tower while battling his nemesis the Man in Black, played by Matthew McConaughey. Nikolaj Arcel is directing the Sony fantasy film.

  • Detroit

    Aug. 4

    Kathryn Bigelow directs the Annapurna Pictures drama, which tells the gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of 1967. John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter and Jacob Latimore are among the cast.

  • Wind River

    Aug. 4

    Courtesy of Sundance
    Taylor Sheridan makes his feature directorial debut with the Weinstein Co. thriller, which stars Jeremy Renner as a Fish and Game Department employee who stumbles upon the body of a teenage girl frozen in the desolate wilderness. He is enlisted by a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) unfamiliar with the terrain to help find those responsible.

  • Ingrid Goes West

    Aug. 8

    Neon's dark comedy stars Aubrey Plaza as the obsessive and unstable titular woman who secretly moves to Los Angeles to get close to Taylor Sloane, an Instagram "lifestyle guru" played by Elizabeth Olsen. After Ingrid adopts an identity for herself, she works to prove she’s BFF material for her Insta idol, until her facade is threatened by Taylor’s obnoxious brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen). Wyatt Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Pom Klementieff are also featured in the Matt Spicer film.

  • Annabelle: Creation

    Aug. 11

    Miranda Otto is featured in the New Line prequel to the doll-centric 2014 hit. David Sandberg directs the spinoff of the Conjuring franchise, which follows a dollmaker and his wife who, 20 years after the tragic death of their little girl, welcome a nun and several orphans into their home, only to see them targeted by the possessed titular creation.

  • Logan Lucky

    Aug. 18

    Channing Tatum and Adam Driver star as two brothers who set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in an attempt to reverse a family curse. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the heist comedy from Bleecker Street and Fingerprint Releasing also features a starry cast that includes Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid, with Hilary Swank and Daniel Craig (complete with Southern accents).

  • Patti Cake$

    Aug. 18

    Courtesy of Sundance

    Fox Searchlight's suburban rapper comedy stars Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald as an aspiring rapper from New Jersey named Patricia “Killa P” Dombrowski. The feature directorial debut of music video helmer Geremy Jasper, also featuring Bridget Everett, sparked a bidding war at Sundance.

  • Crown Heights

    Aug. 25

    Courtesy of Sundance

    Lakeith Stanfield stars in the prison drama as Colin Warner, who is arrested and wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit. While losing hope, his best friend, Carl King, devotes his life to restoring Colin's freedom, doggedly pursuing every lead for years. First debuted at Sundance, the IFC/Amazon release was written and directed by Matt Ruskin.