The dog days of summer are quickly approaching. For every BBQ and beach visit over the next few months, there still is no better summer tradition than a visit to your local movie theater.
The last few years have seen the typical Hollywood blockbusters stretching out over the entire calendar, with hits such as Deadpool and Star Wars both opening in the winter. But the movie studios have reserved more than a few films designed to entertain and give reason to escape the heat for this summer of 2016.
With a slew of comic book movies heading your way this season, the film that looks to be the best among them kicked things off on May 6. Captain America: Civil War keeps the Marvel cinematic universe train rolling along. With the inclusion of (almost) every Avenger, Civil War is sure to be the most bang for your buck this summer.
May 20 sees the release of The Nice Guys staring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling playing a pair of down-on-their-luck types working together to solve a mystery. The chemistry on display in the trailer between the two leads is infectious, and with Shane Black behind the camera, writer/director of the supremely underrated Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, expectations are through the roof. As an added bonus, feel free to bring your kids to the theater as the app-inspired Angry Birds opens the same day.
Speaking of twofers, the next opportunity to make both the parents and the kids happy comes on June 17, as Central Intelligence and Finding Dory make their way into theaters. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart team up for Central Intelligence, providing a one-two punch of action and humor. On the flip side, Finding Dory continues the esteemed pedigree of Pixar releases that seem to please the kids year in and year out.
One of the biggest summer blockbusters of all time gets a sequel on June 24, when Independence Day: Resurgence zooms into theaters. Will Smith decided to sit this one out, but Roland Emmerich is back in the director seat for this brawl with alien invaders. While the trailer didn’t have that “wow” moment of the White House blowing up, it certainly wasn’t lacking on the spectacle front.
Steven Spielberg returns with The BFG on July 1, to the children’s fantasy genre that he helped bring to prominence back in the summer of 1982 with E.T. Based on a story by Roald Dahl, The BFG tells the tale of a 10-year-old girl discovering the world of giants. Playing the titular role of the big friendly giant is Mark Rylance, coming off an Oscar win for best supporting actor in last year’s Bridge of Spies, also directed by Spielberg.
A lot has been said already about the next big film, Ghostbusters, opening on July 15. The casting of four female leads created yet another Internet dust-up over the silly notion that only men should be handling the proton packs and containment units of the original movie. While some were overjoyed to see this pigeonhole lifted, many viewers less happy when the trailer for the film failed to elicit much excitement. Many expected the combination of Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy to produce ample belly laughs, only to be left cold by the trailer. But there are still high hopes that we have only just begun to see what this sorta-sequel to one of the greatest movies of all time has to offer.
Star Trek: Beyond goes into warp speed on July 22. Coming off the heels of a divisive second film in the franchise, Beyond injects a little Fast and Furious action into the proceedings by bringing on Justin Lin to direct. With returning cast member Simon Pegg, pulling double duty as co-writer, the film promises to stay true to the scientific and adventurous spirit of the original show. A motorcycle chase in the middle of a Star Trek film may prove distracting for some. But as long as the prime directive is followed, a little high-octane fun could take this film where no man has gone before.
Finally, it’s fair to say that not every summer blockbuster has to be filled with huge SFX and talking turtles. August 5, sees the usual summer mayhem toned down for The Founder, based on the real-life story of Ray Croc’s purchase of a small hamburger restaurant and turning it into the behemoth we know today called McDonald’s. Michael Keaton stars under direction from John Lee Hancock.
That’s just a small taste of all the films that will heat up the theaters this summer. Leaving the beach can be difficult, but some of these movies might just make it worth the trip.