This Friday, May 6, 2016, officially begins the Summer Movie Season with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battling each other in Captain America: Civil War (#TeamCap!). This superhero ensemble film will begin the summer movie season with a bang as the heroes work out their issues. That seems to be a running theme in some of the other high-profile movies of the summer with Matt Damon raging again as Jason Bourne, Idris Elba unleashes fury on the Enterprise in Star Trek Beyond, the Suicide Squad’s anger issues, and some nasty ghouls challenging Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig in Ghostbusters. Thankfully, this summer is also packing plenty of joy and magic, too.
So here is my list of the 10 most anticipated films of this summer.
10) Central Intelligence – June 17
Movie Megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been making a lot of noise in recent years in Hollywood, becoming one of its most bankable stars. Teaming up with one of the funniest men on the planet will seriously test his comedic chops in this action-comedy. Bob Stone (Johnson), a one-time bullied, overweight geek has grown up to be a lethal CIA agent enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” Calvin (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days when they attend their high school reunion that turns into more either of them bargained for. No doubt this movie will be an enjoyable laugh-riot of a film.
9) The BFG – July 1
The first theatrical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel is directed by Steven Spielberg (E.T., The Adventures of Tintin, Jurassic Park) and tells the tale of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who befriends a friendly giant named the BFG (Mark Rylance) as they set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world. This is a return to audiences seeing the childlike imagination of Spielberg and giving children not familiar with his earlier works a showing of the wonders in magic, fantasy, and imagination.
8) Star Trek Beyond – July 22
Justin Lin (Fast and Furious 3-6) assumes the director role of the third installment of the Star Trek reboot series. Little has been revealed about the third film but from the initial teaser trailer, Idris Elba’s big bad Krall is going to take it to the crew of the Enterprise and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) like no one has before. The Enterprise herself looks to face certain doom and the crew seems to be stranded on a planet where they will have to fight to survive. Let’s hope another trailer will come out between now and then.
7) Ghostbusters – July 15
Another reboot is set to launch this summer and…I’m still on the fence about it, personally. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) are Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, two women who co-authored the book about the paranormal but are laughed at for their belief. When ghosts attack Manhattan (gotta love New York!), the two team with a nuclear engineer, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and a subway worker, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), to save the world. I already know that this will be held to the standard of the original Ghostbusters, fair or not, so I might go into this with level expectations.
6) X-Men: Apocalypse – May 27
I should have put this in my top five and I honestly considered it but I tried not to have a competition in judging these films. The X-men film series is one of the most successful film franchises and I have a deep soft spot for these mutants since I was a child. The reboot series has renewed my faith in how 20th Century Fox is handling these Marvel Comics pillars. Now, Professor X (James McAvoy) and Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrenece, in her final X-men film) will lead a young team of fan favorite characters against the greatest and most powerful mutant of all, Apocalypse (Oscar Issac), and must contend with his “four horsemen”, including an all-powerful Magneto (Michael Fassbender). I hope this movie continues to build on the success the reboot series has already made.
5) Finding Dory – June 17
In 2003, Disney/Pixar released a film about a lost clown fish called Finding Nemo. The film became critically acclaimed and a fan favorite with children and adults (speaking personally). It also gave birth to a fan favorite character named Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres). Thirteen years later, DeGeneres reprises her role of the forgetful blue fish in this sequel. Set six months after Finding Nemo, Dory suddenly recalls her childhood memories and sets out to find her family. Albert Brooks reprises his role as the father clown fish, Marlin, who joins his friend along with his son, Nemo. I’m unsure if this movie will meet the same success as its predecessor, but it’s sure sure to be another classic for children and adults to enjoy this summer.
4) Independence Day: Resurgence – June 24
Speaking of long awaited sequels, it seems as though a generation has waited for this one to finally arrive. In 1996, the world witnessed the box office hit, Independence Day. It set the bar for global disaster films to follow and made sci-fi cool again. After languishing in developmental hell in Hollywood for twenty years, we finally see the world after the defeat of the aliens. The Earth is more united and has a global defense force using weapons reverse-engineered from the remains of the alien forces from the previous film. While we had twenty years to prepare, the aliens did as well. And they return to Earth looking for payback with a larger and more powerful battle fleet. The sequel features returning stars Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Vivica A. Fox. It welcomes Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games film series), Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow, CSI: NY), and newcomer Jessie Usher (Starz TV series Survivor’s Remorse) as the adult stepson of Will Smith’s character. This film will most likely be a financial success and while it would have been great to have Will Smith return, I doubt he’s worried since his summer movie slate is already covered.
3) Suicide Squad – August 5
DC Comics is really getting traction on its DC Extended Universe and, depending on how this film goes, it could really get going. Despite how some comic book fans and critics think, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a financial success. Suicide Squad seeks to build on that. A secret government agency, led by Amanda Waller (ABC How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis), assembles Task Force X by recruiting imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops in exchange for clemency and saving the world from an unknown but powerful threat. The trailer has not revealed this threat but we do know the team runs into a lot a danger on this mission. It’s still unknown the purpose that the Joker (Jared Leto) will play but I’m sure it’ll be prominent, especially with Batman (Ben Affleck) making a cameo. The trailers remind me of Marvel’s successful Guardians of the Galaxy whenever I watch it, especially with the music selection. Let’s see if this film, starring a cast that includes Will Smith and Margot Robbie, will be as popular.
2) Jason Bourne – July 29
The name of the movie says it all. After nine years away, Matt Damon reprises his role as the dangerous spy, Jason Bourne. From the first trailer, Bourne has been in hiding since the events of Ultimatum but something bring him out and Jason seems to be as dangerous as ever. The world Bourne is entering is not the one he remembers as the world is faced with unprecedented instability. In my opinion, this world is coming at an excellent time as far as how the society we live in now can affect a person. Julia Stiles returns with Damon and they are joined by an all-star cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel, and Academy Award winning Best Supporting Actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). At first, Damon wasn’t going to make a return without Greengrass and a good script but Greengrass returning as director, I doubt this film will disappoint.
1) Captain America: Civil War – May 6
No surprise here, right? In my opinion, the number one movie of this summer is four days away on May 6. The thirteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, third in the Captain America film series (potentially final), and the beginning Phase Three of this film franchise finds the heroes facing a surprising enemy: themselves. After the events of Age of Ultron, Captain America (Chris Evans) and his team of New Avengers face a government-issued registration act that fractures the team into opposing factions: one being led by Steve Rogers against the act, another led by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) for the act. The trailers have been action packed, showing the standpoint of the two heroes and how we need to prepare of an amazing story of accountability, right and wrong, and friendships, and family. The Avengers, for all intents and purposes, are a family so this will be one reunion that will leave a lasting impression on the Universe. No matter the outcome, I doubt the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be the same ever again.
I hope you all go out to see these movies this summer. If there are any I missed, and I’m sure there are more than a few, please share them in the comments.