Sizzling Summer Releases

Summer is upon us and that always brings a new slate of films with something for everyone, but especially for those tweeners and post-adolescents (both in age and maturity). This year is the same and somewhat different because of the ripple effect caused by last year’s strikes. It takes longer than you might imagine to get original material from the page to the screen. Nevertheless, Hollywood geared up and has given us a calendar chock full of choices for all. Will any become another juggernaut like Barbenheimer? Too soon to tell, but one thing is for certain, you will not be bored.

Expect sequels of your favorites, remakes and reimaginings of stories from the past.

There are video game adaptations, with starry casts and fun, snarky scripts; family-friendly fare; and imaginative sequels to franchises of yesteryear like “Beverly Hills Cop,” only now Axel has a daughter! Horror is intermingled with thrills in the latest installment of “A Quiet Place.” There are some enticing originals featuring an array of topics, both dramatic and comedic, some with spies, lots with thrills, and what is a summer without superheroes? There’s even an epic Western, presented in two parts, each premiering several weeks apart. For me, I’m looking forward to “Hitman,” premiering exclusively on Netflix, and “Thelma” because who isn’t enchanted by the feisty nonagenarian June Squibb? Lots of movie stars, old and new, from Sean Penn, Kevin Costner and Michel Keaton to Austin Butler and Glen Powell. And there’s a plethora of M. Night Shyamalan. They’re all waiting for you at the box office. (Dates may change.)  

Without further ado, here they are:

June 6

“Hitman,” sure to be action packed and loaded with humor, is directed by Richard Linklater dipping into the well of his Texas roots. The venerable “Texas Monthly” magazine is the source of this material about an undercover policeman posing as a hitman who goes off book. Glen Powell, the breakout star from “Top Gun: Maverick,” leads the cast. (Streaming on Netflix)

 June 14

“Bad Boys 4” reunites Martin Lawrence, who hasn’t been seen in too much lately, and Will Smith, who’s been spreading himself a bit too thin for audience tastes. Still, the supporting cast is surprisingly interesting with Ioan Gruffudd, Eric Dane and Vanessa Hudgens. 

“Inside Out 2” returns us to the brain of Riley, who is facing new and treacherous pathways as her teenage emotions place a stranglehold on her as she tries to negotiate her way through college. Count on Amy Poehler to lead us through her limbic system. 

“Treasure” stars Lena Dunham as the journalist daughter of a Holocaust survivor played by Steven Fry who takes her to the Poland of his youth. The memories of his treatment are still fresh, and there are places he won’t go so he deliberately sabotages those visits. (Limited release)

“The Watchers” is an M. Night Shyamalan-produced film, directed by his daughter Ishana. Stranded in the forest, a young woman is stalked by creatures and surrounded by strangers. “You can’t see them, but they see everything.” Starring Dakota Fanning, there will be shivers. 


Palmi Kormákur and Kôki in “Touch”
Photo by Lilja Jonsdottir, courtesy of Focus Features

July 12

“Long Legs” stars Nicolas Cage, Maika Monroe and Blair Underwood. Director Osgood Perkins gives us a serial killer thriller with a little bit of the occult thrown in for good measure. The FBI heroine must find the killer before he strikes again…sound familiar?

“Touch,” a romantic drama, comes from Iceland and is based on a book of the same name. After his wife dies, a man is determined to find his long-ago first love before he dies; a woman who disappeared 50 years before.

“Twisters” is a sequel or reimagining of the 1996 disaster movie “Twister.” There are high winds a-comin’ for stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, Maura Tierney and Glen Powell (who’s having quite a summer).

July 19

“Thelma” stars the always fun, feisty and fabulous June Squibb as a (very) old lady who has been duped out of her savings. She’s on a mission to get it back and will stop at nothing. The supporting cast includes Malcolm McDowell and the late Richard Roundtree in his last role. This Thelma needs no Louise. (Limited release)


Ryan reynolds as Deadpool in “Deadpool & Wolverine”
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios

 July 26

“Deadpool & Wolverine” (title as of press time, it may change) unites Ryan Reynolds’ snarky mutant mercenary Deadpool and Hugh Jackman’s long-clawed, alpha Wolverine. Who or what is their common enemy or purpose remains under wraps but be assured, there will be mayhem. Directed by Shawn Levy, this unlikely bromance also stars Matthew MacFadyen hot off his run on HBO’s hit “Succession.”

August 2

“Harold and the Purple Crayon” is a live-action movie based on the much-loved children’s book that explores sibling rivalry through fantasy, heroics and a magical purple crayon. Among the very starry cast are Zooey Deschanel, Zachary Levi and Lil Rel Howery. 

“Trap” is another M. Night Shyamalan family production, this time with him directing and his daughter Saleka as one of the stars. He has not divulged much information about the film other than that it is a psychological thriller set at a concert. Among the cast is Josh Harnett and the rarely seen and much-missed Hayley Mills. 

“My Old Ass” is a comedy about how the future impinges on the present when a young girl is visited by her future self and advised against falling in love, especially with someone who spells trouble. You guessed it, the years pass and she falls in love with the one she was warned about. The delightful Aubrey Plaza stars. (Limited release)


The CAst of “Borderlands”
Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

August 9 

“Borderlands” is an arcade to big screen transition of the popular video game of the same name, written and directed by horror meister Eli Roth. Video game series, especially those involving first-person, role-playing, fantasy, science fiction and Westerns would seem daunting. Nevertheless, he has a starry cast to back him up led by Cate Blanchett (always looking to expand her range) with support including Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and a delicious villain played by Edgar Ramirez. This is a built-in series ready for sequels. Although animated films have fared better overall than live-action video game movies, this one seems to be played tongue in cheek.

“It Ends with Us” is based on the bestseller by Colleen Hoover where main character Lily is forced to make some hard choices when her high school sweetheart comes back into her life. Blake Lively stars in this very romantic film co-starring, written and directed by the hunky Justin Baldoni.   

“Speak No Evil,” an English language remake of a very popular Danish film, is a cautionary tale. One nice family meets another, seemingly nice family on vacation and accepts their invitation to come visit. Directed by James Watkins who made “Eden Lake,” all is not what it seems and danger lurks around every corner in this psychological thriller. 

“Flint Strong” is based on the true story of Claressa “T-Rex” Shields who wants to be the first American woman to win a gold medal in boxing at the Olympics. Directed by Rachel Morrison and written by Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning writer/director of “Moonlight,” it features a very strong cast led by Brian Tyree Henry. 


Isabela merced in “Alien: Romulus”
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios

August 16

“Alien: Romulus,” directed by Fede Alvarez, is theoretically a sequel to the other “Alien” movies. A group of young people face an evil force, but this time there’s no Sigourney Weaver to rescue them or Jean-Pierre Jeunet, David Fincher or Ridley Scott at the helm. 

“The Union” is an action comedy/thriller starring Mark Wahlberg as an ordinary Joe roped into spy shenanigans by his ex-girlfriend played by Halle Berry. The supporting cast includes J.K. Simmons, Mike Colter and Jackie Earle Haley. 

“Horizon: An American Saga Chapter 2” is a continuation of “Chapter 1,” which opened on June 28. 


Bill Skarsgård in “The Crow”
Photo by Larry Horricks, courtesy of Lionsgate

August 23

“Blink Twice” marks Zoe Kravitz’s directorial debut in a story about a cocktail waitress who succumbs to a tech mogul’s advances and takes an ill-advised vacation with him and his friends to a private island. Strange things begin to happen, and she has to figure out how to get out alive. This strong cast includes Kyle MacLachlan, Geena Davis, Channing Tatum, Haley Joel Osment and Christian Slater. 

“Slingshot” stars Casey Affleck as an astronaut on a mission to Saturn’s moon, Titan. The flight may be compromised, and he’s in a battle with his consciousness as he tries to maintain a grip on reality. Able support is provided by Laurence Fishburne and David Morrissey

“The Crow” uses the character as a starting point, and Eric Draven, the Crow, has a new look. Still based on the graphic novel series, it has gothic director Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) at the helm and horror stalwart Bill Skarsgård (of the famous acting family, Stellan is his father and Alexander, his brother) and Danny Huston in support. It remains to be seen if it can escape the curse that followed when Brandon Lee (son of Bruce) was accidentally killed on the set of the original film. 

September 6

“Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” is a sequel to the original 1988 movie. Once again, Tim Burton has brought the ghost back to life with Michael Keaton reprising his role as the scarier version of Casper the Friendly Ghost, Winona Ryder returning as Lydia Deetz, the formerly goth teenager who lived in the haunted house all those years ago, and Catherine O’Hara is still her mother, Delia Deetz. New additions are Jenna Ortega as Lydia’s daughter Astrid, and Monica Bellucci as Beetlejuice’s wife. 

Whether you see it as a feast or famine, there’s definitely something here for you. So make a trip to a multiplex near you, load up on popcorn and soda and get ready for some summer entertainment. 

Share Post