Feature: Film Guide
Sequels, Superheroes, Sharks, Spirits, Squirrels and Shoot-’Em-Ups
Summer film guide 2017So where will you be spending your hard-earned money this summer movie season? Will it be on superheroes (Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie)? Talking cars (Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Knight)? Cheap, teenage horror flicks (Wish Upon, Polaroid)? Or sequels (yeah, I can’t even list those all)?
Use the following guide to navigate the possibilities available to you at your local cineplex between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (Note: All opening dates are subject to change.)
Friday, May 19
In this followup to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the crew of a colony ship traveling to the far side of the galaxy stumbles across a seemingly perfect planet—but unfortunately, it may be home to the ancient alien beings who created the deadly Xenomorphs.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
In this fourth live-action feature based on the books by Jack Kinney, the Heffley family goes on a road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday, but things go off course thanks to young Greg’s scheme to attend a video game convention.
In this adaptation of the young adult novel of the same name, a teenage girl who lives a sheltered life because she is allergic to everything falls for the boy who moves in next door.
A dispassionate, long-married couple (Debra Winger, Tracy Letts) are both in the midst of serious affairs. But an unexpected spark suddenly reignites their impulsive romance in this indie comedy.
Friday, May 26
Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandria Daddario star in this comic remake of the old David Hasselhoff TV series about lifeguards. Just the thing for fans of the I Spy, Starsky & Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 21 Jump Street and CHIPs remakes.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Javier Bardem is the latest supernatural villain in Disney’s endless pirate series, looking for revenge against Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the mystical trident of Poseidon.
Friday, June 2
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Ed Helms, Jordan Peele, Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch provide the voices for this animated toon based on Dav Pilkey’s kiddy book series about a dimwitted elementary school principal who’s hypnotized into thinking he’s a superhero (in underwear).
DC becomes the first comic book company to hand a feature film over to a female character. No surprise, it’s one of the most legendary. Gal Godot stars as an Amazonian princess, lured into the outside world (and into the middle of World War I) after a pilot (Chris Pine) crash-lands on her tribe’s hidden island.
Friday, June 9
Universal tries for the umpteenth time to reboot one of its monster franchises into some kind of Marvel/DC universe/sequel machine. Here, an ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, and it’s up to expensive Hollywood actor Tom Cruise to stop her.
It Comes At Night
Secure in his isolated home after an unnatural threat brings about the end of the world, a survival-minded husband and father (Joel Edgerton) finds his resolve tested when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge from the horrors of the outside world.
My Cousin Rachel
A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. Sam Claflin and Rachel Weisz star in this costume drama based on a novel by Daphne Du Maurier.
Beatriz at Dinner
A holistic medicine practitioner (Salma Hayek) attends a wealthy client’s dinner party after her car breaks down in this uncomfortable social comedy from director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White (who collaborated on 2000’s Chuck & Buck and 2002’s The Good Girl).
Friday, June 16
After a big crackup on the race track, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) tries to make a comeback against a new generation of high-tech race cars in this animated toon from Pixar.
47 Meters Down
Singer/actress Mandy Moore stars in this nature-based horror thriller about two vacationing sisters in Mexico trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean and running out of oxygen. And probably getting very pruney as well.
Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon and Demi Moore star in this bad-taste comedy about a bunch of ladies who accidentally kill a male stripper at a bachelorette party in Miami. Hijinks ensue.
All Eyez On Me
Newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. stars as Tupac Shakur in this biographical drama about the late raper/actor/poet for music video director Benny Boom.
The Book of Henry
Naomi Watts stars in this offbeat thriller about a small-town woman struggling to raise two kids on her own. One of her kids (the titular Henry) is a genius, who not only takes care of his younger brother and helps his mom—he’s also mapping out an elaborate plan to rescue his next door neighbor/classmate, who hides a dangerous secret.
An arthritic Nova Scotia woman (Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky) works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community. Based on the true story of mid-century folk artist Maud Lewis.
Once Upon A Time In Venice
In this action-comedy, a Los Angeles-based private detective (Bruce Willis) hunts down the ruthless gang that stole his dog. This marks the directorial debut for Robb and Mark Cullen, who wrote Willis’ 2010 flick Cop Out. Mmmm.
Wednesday June 21
Transformers: The Last Knight
The Autobots and the Decepticons are fighting again. Humans are, once again, in the crossfire. Stuff blows up. Michael Bay directs. What did you expect?
Friday, June 23
Colin Farrell is a wounded Civil War soldier who ends up at a sheltered girl’s school in Virginia. The remaining staff and students (Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning among them) nurse him back to health, but rising sexual tensions and old rivalries put him at the center of a very different war. Sophia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation) directs this remake of an obscure 1971 Clint Eastwood film.
The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) star in this comedy about a couple dealing with their cultural differences for director Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter).
Comedian Demetri Martin wrote, directed and stars in this bittersweet indie comedy about a NYC illustrator who falls for an LA woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home in the wake of his mother’s death.
Wednesday, June 28
Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) helms this action comedy about a borderline autistic kid who gets coerced into working as a getaway driver for a crime boss. Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx are among the supporting cast.
Friday, June 30
Amityville: The Awakening
Bella Thorne (“Scream: The TV Series,” The DUFF, “Shake It Up!”) stars as a single mother who stupidly moves into a suspiciously cheap house in Amityville. Surprise! It’s haunted.
Despicable Me 3
Now married with kids, former supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) is trying to go straight when he meets his long-lost twin brother Dru. Plus, there are Minions.
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler star as a married couple who start an illegal casino in their basement after accidentally spending all of their daughter’s college fund.
Friday, July 7
Following his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, the new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) tries to balance life in high school with the life of a new superhero.
A Ghost Story
In this supremely odd indie fantasy-romance from director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), a recently deceased man (Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home as a traditional ghost in a white sheet (no, really) to reconnect with his bereft wife.
Friday, July 14
This remake of a Japanese film centers on a 17-year-old, sheltered since childhood because of a rare disease that makes sunlight fatal, who falls in love with a cute surfer boy. The overexposed Bella Thorne stars.
War for the Planet of the Apes
After suffering unimaginable losses, ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) contemplates revenge on what’s left of the human race in this apocalyptic action flick.
In this cheap horror-thriller, a teenage girl discovers a box that grants magical powers, but exacts a deadly price for using them. Duh. Watch an episode of “Twilight Zone,” why don’t you? Or “Friday the 13th: The Series,” even.
Friday, July 21
Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance star in this epic war drama for writer-director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception). It concerns a bloody incident in World War II in which Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada and France were surrounded by the German Army and were forced to evacuate from the besieged city of Dunkirk.
Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish star in this comedy about four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, an African-American music fest aimed at women. Along the way, drinking ensues, male strippers are ogled and “sisterhoods are rekindled.”
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) directs this fantastical space adventure (based on the French comic book by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières). Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Cara Delevigne (Suicide Squad) star as a pair of “special operatives” who must guard a vast, future metropolis from invading alien forces.
Friday, July 28
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Al Gore returns, a decade after the last groundbreaking documentary, to show just how close we are to a “real energy revolution.”
Charlize Theron stars in this action-packed thriller based on the little-known comic book of the same name. She plays an undercover MI6 agent who must avenge the murder of a fellow spy in Berlin during the Cold War.
Emoji Movie: Express Yourself
Emojis. Those phone icons your kids use. There’s an animated movie about them. Sir Patrick Stewart voices “Poop.” :(
Friday, August 8
A really fat cat tries to be a samurai in this animated comedy “loosely inspired” by Blazing Saddles. Huh? Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Cera, Michelle Yeoh and Mel Brooks offer up voice work.
The Dark Tower
A gunslinger (Idris Elba) wanders an Old West-like landscape searching for the fabled Dark Tower in this long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s offbeat, apocalyptic fantasy series.
This documentary chronicles the senior year of a girls’ high school step dance team in inner-city Baltimore.
Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal, Jeremy Renner and Graham Greene star in this crime thriller about an FBI agent who teams up with a veteran game tracker to investigate a murder on a Native American reservation.
Friday, August 11
Hey, where did that freaky doll from The Conjuring come from anyway? This sequel to the 2014 spinoff, Annabelle, finally answers the haunting question.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature
The thieving squirrels from the first animated film return. This time they’re trying to stop an evil mayor from turning their park into a commercial amusement park. Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph and Jackie Chan provide voices.
The Only Living Boy In New York
Adrift in New York City, a recent college grad’s life is upended by his father’s mistress. Kate Beckinsale, Jeff Bridges and Pierce Brosnan star in this indie drama from director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man, Gifted).
Friday, August 18
The Hitman's Bodyguard
The world’s top bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) is hired to protect a notorious hit man (Samuel L. Jackson) scheduled to testify at the International Court of Justice. Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) directs this action comedy.
Friday, August 25
Styled after The Ring and Final Destination, this teenage horror flick centers on a high school loner who stumbles across a magic camera that shows how people are going to die. Soon. Pretty sure this is a straight-up “Twilight Zone” rip off. Also Goosebumps did it with Say Cheese and Die! Plus ... yeah, there was that cursed camera on “Friday the 13th: The Series.”
An artist in 17th century Amsterdam falls for a young married woman he’s commissioned to paint. Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne (both from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets) star.
Friday, September 1
A team of Navy SEALs discover $300 million in gold hidden in a Bosnian Lake. Luc Besson (The Professional, The Transporter, Taken, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets) co-wrote it.
Friday, September 8
Life for a single mom (Reese Witherspoon) in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her. Writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer is the daughter of noted writer-director Nancy Meyers (Private Benjamin, Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give).
The first half of Stephen King’s popular novel gets remade with Bill Skarsgard (“Hemlock Grove,” Allegiant) as the freaky-ass clown luring children into the storm drains under a small Maine town.