Summer movie highlights

By MOIRA MACDONALD | The Seattle Times | Published: May 2, 2017

Ready, set, go! The summer movie season gets underway May 5 with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and continues through August with plenty of noise, swagger and CGI-and, quite possibly, some interesting movies along the way. Here are some highlights of the summer slate, broken into three helpful categories; note that release dates are tentative and as changeable as Captain Jack Sparrow’s accent.


The sequels. Line ’em up . need I say more?

  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (May 5)
  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” (May 19)
  • “Alien: Covenant” (April 19)
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (May 26)
  • “Cars 3” (June 16)
  • “Transformers: The Last Knight” (June 23)
  • “Despicable Me 3” (June 30)
  • “Amityville: The Awakening” (June 30)
  • “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (July 7)
  • “War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 14)
  • “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” (July 28)
  • “Annabelle: Creation” (Aug. 11)
  • “The Nut Job 2” (Aug. 11)


The (potential) new franchises. Time will tell whether these are one-offs or future franchises; in any case, expect to hear a lot from these flashy new faces.

“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” stars Charlie Hunnam as the sword-pulled-from-the-stone king (May 12).

“Baywatch.” Why do I think this movie, based on the 1990s series, might become a franchise? Because Dwayne Johnson is in it. We’ll see if I’m right. (May 25)

“Wonder Woman” Another origin story, with Gal Godot as the Amazon warrior princess. (June 2)

“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” Dav Pilkey’s popular kids’-book series finally comes to the screen (June 2)

“The Mummy” No sign of Brendan Fraser here; Tom Cruise plays an explorer in this reboot of the monster franchise. (June 9)

“The Emoji Movie.” An emoji named Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) is the star of this animated adventure (July 28).

“The Dark Tower.” Essentially a sequel to Stephen King’s epic fantasy series of books, it stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey (Aug. 4)


Of the dozens of movies coming this summer, here are a handful that looked to be of particular interest.

This summer’s trendlet seems to be the Women’s Road-Trip Comedy, with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn on vacation in “Snatched” (May 12); Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz and Kate McKinnon at a bachelorette weekend gone wrong in “Rough Night” (June 16), and Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah heading to New Orleans for “Girls Trip” (July 21).

Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight,” “Inception”) returns with the World War II epic “Dunkirk,” shot on large-format film and starring Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance. (July 21).

Nicole Kidman, chillingly brilliant on HBO’s “Big Little Lies” earlier this season, returns to the big screen in Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled,” a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film about a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) taken in by a girls’ school during the Civil War. (June 23)

This season’s zippiest trailer might belong to “Baby Driver,” a One Last Heist crime thriller from Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) and starring the snappy cast of Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm. (June 28)

“My Cousin Rachel,” based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier (“Rebecca”), looks to be an elegant costume drama set in Cornwall, with Rachel Weisz starring as the enigmatic title character. (June 9)

Two long-awaited (and very different) film biographies come to screens this summer: Terence Davies’ “A Quiet Passion,” with Cynthia Nixon as the reclusive American poet Emily Dickinson (May 5), and Benny Boom’s “All Eyez on Me,” starring newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as hip-hop artist/activist Tupac Shakur (June 16).

Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) returns with a new based-on-a-true-story drama: “Detroit,” about the 1967 riots in that city, starring John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and Anthony Mackie. (Aug. 4)

David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” sounds like a horror movie, but it’s actually a romantic drama about loss and memory, starring Rooney Mara and Oscar-winner Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”). (July 7)

The action-movie queen of the summer looks likely to be Charlize Theron, currently a multi-braided villain in “Fate of the Furious” and soon to play a spy in Cold War Berlin in “Atomic Blonde.” (July 28).

Summer’s most endearing documentary just might be “Step,” which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this summer; directed by Amanda Lipitz, it follows the fortunes of a Baltimore high-school girls’ step-dance team. (Aug. 4)

©2017 The Seattle Times
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC


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