2018 summer movie guide: The 40 must-see films

Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo Movies

The summer movie season starts earlier than usual this year. But such is the superpower of the Avengers — when they move their release date up (from May 4 to April 27), the entire idea of what constitutes summer films moves with it. Avengers: Infinity War will kick things off with a bang, but beyond just a handful of other titles (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ocean’s 8, Deadpool 2, Jurassic World: Fallen KingdomIncredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout), the season is surprisingly light on tentpoles.

That’s all well and good, since it will give moviegoers more bandwidth to catch some decidedly lower-budget but just as promising fare like the Sundance breakouts Hereditary; Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot; and Sorry to Bother You, comedies like Tag, Action Point, and The Happytime Murders, and the sure-to-be-acclaimed bio-docs Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Pope Francis, and Whitney.

Read on for our countdown of the most anticipated summer movies.

<p>Read on for our countdown of the most anticipated summer movies. </p>
2018 Summer Movies Guide

Read on for our countdown of the most anticipated summer movies.

<p>Four years after its predecessor grossed a healthy $101 million domestically, Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua reunite for another episode in the life of former CIA badass Robert McCall. Although plot details remain scarce, we know that Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo will also return as McCall colleagues who aid him in his vigilante endeavors. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/6yAhnrTdhRv" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Sony) </p>
40. The Equalizer 2 (July 20)

Four years after its predecessor grossed a healthy $101 million domestically, Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua reunite for another episode in the life of former CIA badass Robert McCall. Although plot details remain scarce, we know that Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo will also return as McCall colleagues who aid him in his vigilante endeavors. | Watch trailer (Sony)

<p>An internet meme becomes a cinematic movie monster in director Sylvain White’s (<em>Stomp the Yard</em>) film about a gaunt specter in a black suit who lives in the woods and preys upon kids by getting inside their heads — a mission that Sony hopes is successful enough to launch a horror franchise. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/5LTVb872yhq" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Sony) </p>
39. Slender Man (Aug. 24)

An internet meme becomes a cinematic movie monster in director Sylvain White’s (Stomp the Yard) film about a gaunt specter in a black suit who lives in the woods and preys upon kids by getting inside their heads — a mission that Sony hopes is successful enough to launch a horror franchise. | Watch trailer (Sony)

<p>In one of a handful of high-profile docs about American icons hitting theaters this summer (read on for more), co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen look at the life and groundbreaking career of 84-year-old Supreme Court justice and feminist hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka “the Notorious RBG.” The verdict from Sundance was a 100 percent fresh rating on <a href="https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/rbg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rotten Tomatoes" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rotten Tomatoes</a>. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/4YkxaDpGX97" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Magnolia) </p>
38. RBG (May 4)

In one of a handful of high-profile docs about American icons hitting theaters this summer (read on for more), co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen look at the life and groundbreaking career of 84-year-old Supreme Court justice and feminist hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka “the Notorious RBG.” The verdict from Sundance was a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. | Watch trailer (Magnolia)

<p>A double award winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, <em>Searching </em>gives John Cho a too-rare leading role as a father desperately searching for his missing daughter through some intensive computer research. The entire film takes place on a computer screen, with Cho navigating all avenues of the World Wide Web — from social media sites to surveillance cameras — to crack the case. (Screen Gems) </p>
37. Searching (Aug. 3)

A double award winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Searching gives John Cho a too-rare leading role as a father desperately searching for his missing daughter through some intensive computer research. The entire film takes place on a computer screen, with Cho navigating all avenues of the World Wide Web — from social media sites to surveillance cameras — to crack the case. (Screen Gems)

<p>Not to be confused with the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114467/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:1996 Anna Nicole Smith Die Hard rip-off of the same name" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">1996 Anna Nicole Smith <em>Die Hard </em>rip-off of the same name</a>, this all-new <em>Die Hard </em>rip-off stars Dwayne Johnson as an FBI agent turned security expert for a towering Hong Kong high-rise. When terrorists seize control of the building — and hold Johnson’s family hostage — he has to follow John McClane’s example and ride to the rescue like Roy Rogers. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/15I77HOvzch" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Universal) </p>
36. Skyscraper (July 13)

Not to be confused with the 1996 Anna Nicole Smith Die Hard rip-off of the same name, this all-new Die Hard rip-off stars Dwayne Johnson as an FBI agent turned security expert for a towering Hong Kong high-rise. When terrorists seize control of the building — and hold Johnson’s family hostage — he has to follow John McClane’s example and ride to the rescue like Roy Rogers. | Watch trailer (Universal)

<p>It’s a divisive time in America right now, so this Independence Day, let’s all try to… uh, <em>purge </em>our differences and unite around this prequel to the popular horror franchise. Marisa Tomei joins in the carnage, although the real star of the ad campaign so far is the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYYMnkoFtjM" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:red baseball cap" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">red baseball cap</a> favored by a certain POTUS. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/3oWg7MYyILw" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Universal) </p>
35. The First Purge (July 4)

It’s a divisive time in America right now, so this Independence Day, let’s all try to… uh, purge our differences and unite around this prequel to the popular horror franchise. Marisa Tomei joins in the carnage, although the real star of the ad campaign so far is the red baseball cap favored by a certain POTUS. | Watch trailer (Universal)

<p>Melissa McCarthy returns to the big screen for the first time in two years, playing a divorced housewife who decides to restart her life by getting her college degree… at the same school as her undergrad daughter. Like her comedies <em>Tammy </em>and <em>The Boss, </em>this one is produced by McCarthy and directed by her husband, Ben Falcone. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/life-party-trailer-185118158.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (WB) </p>
34. Life of the Party (May 11)

Melissa McCarthy returns to the big screen for the first time in two years, playing a divorced housewife who decides to restart her life by getting her college degree… at the same school as her undergrad daughter. Like her comedies Tammy and The Boss, this one is produced by McCarthy and directed by her husband, Ben Falcone. | Watch trailer (WB)

<p>An adaptation of Sarah Waters’s acclaimed Gothic novel, <em>The Little Stranger </em>tells the spooky story of an English country doctor (Domhnall Gleeson) who becomes obsessed with a decaying Victorian mansion, the family who lives there (Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson, and Will Poulter), and the terrifying history that still haunts it. Lenny Abrahamson, nominated for an Oscar for <em>Room,</em> directs. (Focus Features) </p>
33. The Little Stranger (Aug. 31)

An adaptation of Sarah Waters’s acclaimed Gothic novel, The Little Stranger tells the spooky story of an English country doctor (Domhnall Gleeson) who becomes obsessed with a decaying Victorian mansion, the family who lives there (Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson, and Will Poulter), and the terrifying history that still haunts it. Lenny Abrahamson, nominated for an Oscar for Room, directs. (Focus Features)

<p>Peter Berg and muse Mark Wahlberg turn from three stories of real-life heroism (<em>Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day</em>) to what they hope <a href="http://www.slashfilm.com/mile-22-trilogy-coming-from-peter-berg-and-mark-wahlberg/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:will be a true action trilogy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">will be a true action trilogy</a>. This (fictionalized) tale follows a CIA operative tasked with transporting a witness through a treacherous Indonesian stretch. (STX) </p>
32. Mile 22 (Aug. 3)

Peter Berg and muse Mark Wahlberg turn from three stories of real-life heroism (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day) to what they hope will be a true action trilogy. This (fictionalized) tale follows a CIA operative tasked with transporting a witness through a treacherous Indonesian stretch. (STX)

<p>On paper it might sound a little hokey: Jason Statham and friends battle a Megalodon <span>— a </span>dino-size, (supposedly) extinct shark. But you really have to <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/5OCly8cOqdN" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:watch the trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">watch the trailer</a> for this summer actioner and tell us you’re not excited by the potential of its glorious B-movie bombasticism. (WB) </p>
31. The Meg (Aug. 10)

On paper it might sound a little hokey: Jason Statham and friends battle a Megalodon — a dino-size, (supposedly) extinct shark. But you really have to watch the trailer for this summer actioner and tell us you’re not excited by the potential of its glorious B-movie bombasticism. (WB)

<p>New Jersey’s Action Park (aka Traction Park) was notorious for its unbelievably hazardous water rides (a reputation we can personally confirm was justified), so it’s the perfect subject for Johnny Knoxville’s latest, which will employ real <em>Jackass</em>-style stunts for its fictionalized story about the venue. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/5YxfFVTSmVp" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Paramount) </p>
30. Action Point (June 1)

New Jersey’s Action Park (aka Traction Park) was notorious for its unbelievably hazardous water rides (a reputation we can personally confirm was justified), so it’s the perfect subject for Johnny Knoxville’s latest, which will employ real Jackass-style stunts for its fictionalized story about the venue. | Watch trailer (Paramount)

<p>We’ll forgive that its premise (a woman, played by Jodie Foster, runs a hospital for criminals in a dystopian near-future where all patients must abide by a list of rules) sounds like it may have ripped off a <em>John Wick</em> subplot. Especially with a stellar ensemble cast that includes Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Jenny Slate, Dave Bautista, and Charlie Day. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/9V3NJmaDASh" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Global Road) </p>
29. Hotel Artemis (June 8)

We’ll forgive that its premise (a woman, played by Jodie Foster, runs a hospital for criminals in a dystopian near-future where all patients must abide by a list of rules) sounds like it may have ripped off a John Wick subplot. Especially with a stellar ensemble cast that includes Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Jenny Slate, Dave Bautista, and Charlie Day. | Watch trailer (Global Road)

<p>Earning raves at January’s Sundance Film Festival, this indie from writer-director Bo Burnham charts the efforts of an eighth-grade girl to cope with all manner of tumultuous social and personal obstacles. Headlined by potential breakout star Elsie Fisher, it is the coming-of-age teen film to see this summer. | <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8lFgF_IjPw" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (A24) </p>
28. Eighth Grade (July 13)

Earning raves at January’s Sundance Film Festival, this indie from writer-director Bo Burnham charts the efforts of an eighth-grade girl to cope with all manner of tumultuous social and personal obstacles. Headlined by potential breakout star Elsie Fisher, it is the coming-of-age teen film to see this summer. | Watch trailer (A24)

<p>Four older women (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen) who are members of a book club have their lives — and romantic fortunes — re-energized after reading E.L. James’s <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em> in this second-chance comedy, which also stars Andy García, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Craig T. Nelson as their paramours. | <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDxgPIsv6sY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Paramount) </p>
27. Book Club (May 18)

Four older women (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen) who are members of a book club have their lives — and romantic fortunes — re-energized after reading E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey in this second-chance comedy, which also stars Andy García, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Craig T. Nelson as their paramours. | Watch trailer (Paramount)

<p>Rapper Boots Riley got Sundance audiences all hot and bothered with his wild directorial debut, featuring an all-star cast headed up by Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. By sampling a little science-fiction, a little gonzo comedy, and a lot of timely thoughts about contemporary race relations, Riley orchestrates a film packed with new sights and sounds. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/3rkt2urtPHB" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Annapurna) </p>
26. Sorry to Bother You (July 6)

Rapper Boots Riley got Sundance audiences all hot and bothered with his wild directorial debut, featuring an all-star cast headed up by Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. By sampling a little science-fiction, a little gonzo comedy, and a lot of timely thoughts about contemporary race relations, Riley orchestrates a film packed with new sights and sounds. | Watch trailer (Annapurna)

<p>Spy comedies have become a time-honored tradition in Hollywood, but none have had as intriguing a pairing as Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis. They’re a duo of (seemingly) average women roped into the world of high-stakes espionage when it’s revealed Kunis’s ex (Justin Theroux) is a spy. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/spy-dumped-teaser-trailer-mila-194710703.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (Lionsgate) </p>
25. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Aug. 3)

Spy comedies have become a time-honored tradition in Hollywood, but none have had as intriguing a pairing as Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis. They’re a duo of (seemingly) average women roped into the world of high-stakes espionage when it’s revealed Kunis’s ex (Justin Theroux) is a spy. | Watch trailer (Lionsgate)

<p>In what is being called screenwriter Diablo Cody’s best work since her Oscar-winning breakout, <em>Juno</em>, Charlize Theron plays a depressed middle-class mother who reluctantly agrees to let her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass) staff her with a night nurse (Mackenzie Davis) to ease the burden of an unplanned third child’s arrival. Moms everywhere identify. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/72i02EABQ4e" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Focus) </p>
24. Tully (May 4)

In what is being called screenwriter Diablo Cody’s best work since her Oscar-winning breakout, Juno, Charlize Theron plays a depressed middle-class mother who reluctantly agrees to let her wealthy brother (Mark Duplass) staff her with a night nurse (Mackenzie Davis) to ease the burden of an unplanned third child’s arrival. Moms everywhere identify. | Watch trailer (Focus)

<p>Emily Blunt is gone, but Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin are back for this eagerly anticipated follow-up to the 2015 thriller, which finds the two covert government agents starting a war between rival Mexican drug cartels — all in an effort to stop the organizations from smuggling terrorists into the U.S. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/5sLemlov8WG" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Sony) </p>
23. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (June 29)

Emily Blunt is gone, but Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin are back for this eagerly anticipated follow-up to the 2015 thriller, which finds the two covert government agents starting a war between rival Mexican drug cartels — all in an effort to stop the organizations from smuggling terrorists into the U.S. | Watch trailer (Sony)

<p>Come for the wall-to-wall ABBA that blankets this sequel-prequel hybrid; stay to solve the mystery of whether <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/mamma-mia-again-trailer-wait-170000817.html" data-ylk="slk:Meryl Streep’s character is alive or dead;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Meryl Streep’s character is alive or dead</a>. And don’t worry: If Streep is pushing up the daisies and you’re in need a shoulder to cry on, Cher’s got you, babe. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/2ZMB0rF3db4" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Universal) </p>
22. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (July 20)

Come for the wall-to-wall ABBA that blankets this sequel-prequel hybrid; stay to solve the mystery of whether Meryl Streep’s character is alive or dead. And don’t worry: If Streep is pushing up the daisies and you’re in need a shoulder to cry on, Cher’s got you, babe. | Watch trailer (Universal)

<p>A year after Nick Broomfield’s acclaimed yet little-seen “unauthorized” doc <em>Whitney: Can I Be Me</em> comes another look at the life of Whitney Houston, reportedly made with the blessing of the pop star’s family. This take is directed by Kevin Macdonald, the filmmaker whose long alternated narrative features (<em>Last King of Scotland</em>, <em>State of Play</em>) with docs (<em>Touching the Void</em>, <em>Marley</em>). (Roadside) </p>
21. Whitney (July 6)

A year after Nick Broomfield’s acclaimed yet little-seen “unauthorized” doc Whitney: Can I Be Me comes another look at the life of Whitney Houston, reportedly made with the blessing of the pop star’s family. This take is directed by Kevin Macdonald, the filmmaker whose long alternated narrative features (Last King of Scotland, State of Play) with docs (Touching the Void, Marley). (Roadside)

<p>Famed music video helmer Director X updates the classic 1972 blaxploitation film for the modern era (including by relocating his story’s action from Harlem to Atlanta) with this crime saga about a hustler looking to stay on top. With a soundtrack by Future, it should have style and swagger to burn. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/1ioJgyFfETA" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Sony) </p>
20. Superfly (June 15)

Famed music video helmer Director X updates the classic 1972 blaxploitation film for the modern era (including by relocating his story’s action from Harlem to Atlanta) with this crime saga about a hustler looking to stay on top. With a soundtrack by Future, it should have style and swagger to burn. | Watch trailer (Sony)

<p>Hollywood hopes you still like Pooh. While 2017’s <em>Goodbye Christopher Robin</em> starring Domhnall Gleeson came and went without a trace, Disney has its own biopic of the Winnie the Pooh creator on the way (this time played by Ewan McGregor), and maybe the story just needs a little Mouse House magic to find an audience. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/39wylqGhY9s" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Disney) </p>
19. Christopher Robin (Aug. 3)

Hollywood hopes you still like Pooh. While 2017’s Goodbye Christopher Robin starring Domhnall Gleeson came and went without a trace, Disney has its own biopic of the Winnie the Pooh creator on the way (this time played by Ewan McGregor), and maybe the story just needs a little Mouse House magic to find an audience. | Watch trailer (Disney)

<p>He is widely considered the most progressive pope ever to head the Catholic Church, so it’s not surprising Hollywood is giving the Argentinian-born Pope Francis the doc treatment. Three-time Oscar nominee Wim Wenders follows the pontiff around the globe for a film “intended to be a personal journey” rather than a pure biographical look. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/48KQlAjCe20" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Focus) </p>
18. Pope Francis – A Man of His Word (May 18)

He is widely considered the most progressive pope ever to head the Catholic Church, so it’s not surprising Hollywood is giving the Argentinian-born Pope Francis the doc treatment. Three-time Oscar nominee Wim Wenders follows the pontiff around the globe for a film “intended to be a personal journey” rather than a pure biographical look. | Watch trailer (Focus)

<p>Jon M. Chu stepped up to helm this highly anticipated adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling 2013 novel, starring Constance Wu and Henry Goldring as a longtime couple whose relationship is challenged when they’re exposed to the lifestyles of Singapore’s rich and famous. Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, Fiona Xie, and Pierre Png round out the ensemble of pan-Asian stars. (WB) </p>
17. Crazy Rich Asians (Aug. 17)

Jon M. Chu stepped up to helm this highly anticipated adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling 2013 novel, starring Constance Wu and Henry Goldring as a longtime couple whose relationship is challenged when they’re exposed to the lifestyles of Singapore’s rich and famous. Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, Fiona Xie, and Pierre Png round out the ensemble of pan-Asian stars. (WB)

<p>Inspired by real events, Spike Lee’s latest joint stars John David Washington — son of frequent Lee collaborator Denzel Washington — as an African-American cop who did an undercover stint in the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s. In case that incendiary premise or the promise of Lee working with another Washington doesn’t excite you, try this on for size: The film is produced by <em>Get Out </em>mastermind Jordan Peele. (Focus) </p>
16. BlacKkKlansman (Aug. 10)

Inspired by real events, Spike Lee’s latest joint stars John David Washington — son of frequent Lee collaborator Denzel Washington — as an African-American cop who did an undercover stint in the Ku Klux Klan in the ’70s. In case that incendiary premise or the promise of Lee working with another Washington doesn’t excite you, try this on for size: The film is produced by Get Out mastermind Jordan Peele. (Focus)

<p>You don’t have to wait until Oscar season for the year’s craziest “based on a true story” tale. That’ll come with this broad comedy about longtime friends (Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, and Jake Johnson) who carry on an epic game of tag from their youth into adulthood, disrupting one another’s weddings, childbirths… and emotional stability. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/8aahjtgd4xT" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (WB) </p>
15. Tag (June 15)

You don’t have to wait until Oscar season for the year’s craziest “based on a true story” tale. That’ll come with this broad comedy about longtime friends (Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, and Jake Johnson) who carry on an epic game of tag from their youth into adulthood, disrupting one another’s weddings, childbirths… and emotional stability. | Watch trailer (WB)

<p>Writer-director Paul Schrader has been wandering in the cinematic wilderness since his ill-fated <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxw1uQPGOog" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Exorcist prequel" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>Exorcist </em>prequel</a>, but our continued faith in the <em>Taxi Driver </em>scribe is rewarded with this universally acclaimed psychodrama. Ethan Hawke plays a grieving cleric whose already-shaky beliefs threaten to slip away entirely when he plays marriage counselor to a troubled young couple. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/0SJVq8uFKCk" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (A24) </p>
14. First Reformed (May 18)

Writer-director Paul Schrader has been wandering in the cinematic wilderness since his ill-fated Exorcist prequel, but our continued faith in the Taxi Driver scribe is rewarded with this universally acclaimed psychodrama. Ethan Hawke plays a grieving cleric whose already-shaky beliefs threaten to slip away entirely when he plays marriage counselor to a troubled young couple. | Watch trailer (A24)

<p>The Jim Henson Company is behind one of the year’s most daring feature ideas: a dark, neo-noir satire about a puppet private eye (Bill Barretta) tracking a serial killer in a world where humans and puppets live side by side. The film’s nonpuppet stars include Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and Elizabeth Banks. (STX) </p>
13. The Happytime Murders (Aug. 17)

The Jim Henson Company is behind one of the year’s most daring feature ideas: a dark, neo-noir satire about a puppet private eye (Bill Barretta) tracking a serial killer in a world where humans and puppets live side by side. The film’s nonpuppet stars include Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and Elizabeth Banks. (STX)

<p>The Phoenix is landing. In between March’s <em>You Were Never Really Here</em>, his first film released in two years, and the much-delayed <em>Mary Magdalene </em>(possibly out this fall?), Joaquin Phoenix stars as wheelchair-bound cartoonist John Callahan in this Gus Van Sant biographical dramedy that drew raves at Sundance. Jonah Hill and Rooney Mara co-star. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/dont-worry-wont-far-foot-131521148.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (Amazon) </p>
12. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (July 13)

The Phoenix is landing. In between March’s You Were Never Really Here, his first film released in two years, and the much-delayed Mary Magdalene (possibly out this fall?), Joaquin Phoenix stars as wheelchair-bound cartoonist John Callahan in this Gus Van Sant biographical dramedy that drew raves at Sundance. Jonah Hill and Rooney Mara co-star. | Watch trailer (Amazon)

<p>Already a contender for feel-good movie of the year, this documentary from Morgan Neville (<em>20 Feet From Stardom</em>) tells the <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tagged/wont-you-be-my-neighbor" data-ylk="slk:inspiring life story of Fred Rogers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">inspiring life story of Fred Rogers</a>, star and creator of the long-running children’s television series <em>Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.</em> | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/watch-mr-rogers-documentary-trailer-remember-taught-everything-know-150735130.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (Focus) </p>
11. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (June 8)

Already a contender for feel-good movie of the year, this documentary from Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) tells the inspiring life story of Fred Rogers, star and creator of the long-running children’s television series Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. | Watch trailer (Focus)

<p>For his follow-up to <em>It Follows</em>, writer/director David Robert Mitchell enlists Andrew Garfield for a Thomas Pynchon-style mystery involving a loner who embarks on a crazy conspiracy theory-driven mission to find Riley Keough’s beguiling beauty. All signs point to it being a new neo-noir gem. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/7AA9bsga2oD" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (A24) </p>
10. Under the Silver Lake (June 22)

For his follow-up to It Follows, writer/director David Robert Mitchell enlists Andrew Garfield for a Thomas Pynchon-style mystery involving a loner who embarks on a crazy conspiracy theory-driven mission to find Riley Keough’s beguiling beauty. All signs point to it being a new neo-noir gem. | Watch trailer (A24)

<p>The dynamic <em>Rogue Nation </em>duo of director Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise re-team for the sixth installment in the <em>M:I </em>franchise and bring <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/henry-cavill-mourns-controversial-mustache-hilarious-instagram-tribute-152550152.html" data-ylk="slk:Henry Cavill and his famous mustache;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Henry Cavill and his famous mustache</a> along for the ride. The list of Cruise’s crazy stunts this time include dangling from a helicopter, motorcycle racing through Paris, and <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tom-cruise-apos-apos-mission-181500053.html" data-ylk="slk:making some ankle-breaking rooftop-to-rooftop leaps;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">making some ankle-breaking rooftop-to-rooftop leaps</a>. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/3XpSR5WmZPw" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Paramount) </p>
9. Mission: Impossible — Fallout (July 27)

The dynamic Rogue Nation duo of director Christopher McQuarrie and star Tom Cruise re-team for the sixth installment in the M:I franchise and bring Henry Cavill and his famous mustache along for the ride. The list of Cruise’s crazy stunts this time include dangling from a helicopter, motorcycle racing through Paris, and making some ankle-breaking rooftop-to-rooftop leaps. | Watch trailer (Paramount)

<p>After terrifying audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, Ari Aster’s feature directorial debut comes to theaters this summer. The<a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tagged/Hereditary" data-ylk="slk:buzzy horror film" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> buzzy horror film</a> follows an artist (Toni Collette) whose mother’s death reveals long-buried secrets and plunges her family into a living nightmare. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/toni-collettes-mother-cant-escape-past-first-trailer-sundance-horror-hit-hereditary-153035992.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (A24) </p>
8. Hereditary (June 8)

After terrifying audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, Ari Aster’s feature directorial debut comes to theaters this summer. The buzzy horror film follows an artist (Toni Collette) whose mother’s death reveals long-buried secrets and plunges her family into a living nightmare. | Watch trailer (A24)

<p>Set before, but released after, <em>Avengers: Infinity War</em>, the second solo adventure for these pint-size heroes (Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly) will also introduce former Catwoman Michelle Pfeiffer into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While returning director Peyton Reed <a href="https://www.empireonline.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:insists the film isn’t a rom-com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">insists the film isn’t a rom-com</a>, we’re still expecting to see some (tiny) sparks fly between this odd couple. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/Aivb79H7VAz" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Disney) </p>
7. Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6)

Set before, but released after, Avengers: Infinity War, the second solo adventure for these pint-size heroes (Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly) will also introduce former Catwoman Michelle Pfeiffer into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While returning director Peyton Reed insists the film isn’t a rom-com, we’re still expecting to see some (tiny) sparks fly between this odd couple. | Watch trailer (Disney)

<p>It was no <em>Jurassic Park</em>, let’s face it, but that didn’t stop 2015’s <em>Jurassic World</em> from becoming one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Expectations are dino-sized, then, for this follow-up that has Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on a rescue mission, and franchise torchbearer Jeff Goldblum reprising his beloved role as Dr. Ian Malcolm. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/6kZJTwePJjc" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Universal) </p>
6. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22)

It was no Jurassic Park, let’s face it, but that didn’t stop 2015’s Jurassic World from becoming one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Expectations are dino-sized, then, for this follow-up that has Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on a rescue mission, and franchise torchbearer Jeff Goldblum reprising his beloved role as Dr. Ian Malcolm. | Watch trailer (Universal)

<p>The backstory of Harrison Ford’s scruffy-looking nerf herder comes to light in<a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tagged/solo" data-ylk="slk:this Star Wars prequel" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> this <em>Star Wars</em> prequel</a> starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. The comic space western features Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke as Han’s pre-Leia love interest. The film has been riddled with <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/spotless-falcons-kessel-runs-8-things-revealed-solo-teaser-trailer-182849242.html" data-ylk="slk:production;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">production</a> <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/lucasfilm-unsatisfied-alden-ehrenreich-performance-han-solo-report-154036007.html" data-ylk="slk:problems;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">problems</a> — but then again, so was <em>Rogue One, </em>which turned out better than fine. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/han-chewie-lando-aboard-solo-star-wars-story-offers-super-bowl-sneak-peek-235854739.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (Disney) </p>
5. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)

The backstory of Harrison Ford’s scruffy-looking nerf herder comes to light in this Star Wars prequel starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. The comic space western features Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke as Han’s pre-Leia love interest. The film has been riddled with production problems — but then again, so was Rogue One, which turned out better than fine. | Watch trailer (Disney)

<p>Ryan Reynolds’s foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking Marvel antihero became a cultural phenomenon with his 2016 debut (the second-highest-grossing R-rated film <em>ever</em>). And for his sequel, he’ll be getting back together with his outrageous friends, forming his own team (X-Force), and going toe-to-toe with Josh Brolin’s fearsome time-traveler Cable — all courtesy of <em>Atomic Blonde</em> director David Leitch. | <a href="https://www.go90.com/videos/96oivKvbxsW" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watch trailer</a> (Fox) </p>
4. Deadpool 2 (May 18)

Ryan Reynolds’s foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking Marvel antihero became a cultural phenomenon with his 2016 debut (the second-highest-grossing R-rated film ever). And for his sequel, he’ll be getting back together with his outrageous friends, forming his own team (X-Force), and going toe-to-toe with Josh Brolin’s fearsome time-traveler Cable — all courtesy of Atomic Blonde director David Leitch. | Watch trailer (Fox)

<p>Pixar’s <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tagged/incredibles-2" data-ylk="slk:beloved superhero family" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">beloved superhero family</a> picks up where it left off in 2004, battling villains in a world where superpowers have been banned — except this time, wife and mother Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) leads the fight against evil while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays home with teenage Violet (Sarah Vowell), 10-year-old Dash (Huck Milner), and baby Jack-Jack. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/incredibles-2-teaser-shows-superhero-tough-common-core-math-tougher-163916415.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (Disney) </p>
3. Incredibles 2 (June 15)

Pixar’s beloved superhero family picks up where it left off in 2004, battling villains in a world where superpowers have been banned — except this time, wife and mother Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) leads the fight against evil while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays home with teenage Violet (Sarah Vowell), 10-year-old Dash (Huck Milner), and baby Jack-Jack. | Watch trailer (Disney)

<p>This <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/sandra-bullock-assembles-star-female-heist-squad-first-oceans-8-trailer-142945147.html" data-ylk="slk:gender-swapped Ocean’s 11 spin-off;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">gender-swapped<em> Ocean’s 11</em> spin-off</a> boasts the year’s most exciting ensemble cast. Sandra Bullock stars as a criminal mastermind (and sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean) who enlists Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, and rapper-comedian Awkwafina in a plot to rob a wealthy actress (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala. | <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/sandra-bullock-assembles-star-female-heist-squad-first-oceans-8-trailer-142945147.html" data-ylk="slk:Watch trailer;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link" class="link rapid-noclick-resp newsroom-embed-article">Watch trailer</a> (WB) </p>
2. Ocean’s 8 (June 8)

This gender-swapped Ocean’s 11 spin-off boasts the year’s most exciting ensemble cast. Sandra Bullock stars as a criminal mastermind (and sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean) who enlists Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, and rapper-comedian Awkwafina in a plot to rob a wealthy actress (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala. | Watch trailer (WB)

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