12 new movies to be the most excited this summer
Good luck planning ahead to see movies this summer; schedules (and theatrical strategies as opposed to streaming strategies) are still changing rapidly. But here are a dozen movies that I watch and hope to see on the biggest screen I can find.
“The dry” (May 21): Based on a wonderfully atmospheric novel by Jane Harper, Robert Connolly’s film stars Eric Bana as an Australian federal agent who reluctantly agrees to investigate a crime in his hometown.
“A Quiet Place Part II” (May 28): The original “A Quiet Place”, in 2018, freaked me out, to say the least. (Don’t watch this movie in an empty house; every subsequent noise will terrify you.) Now, the sequel to John Krasinski’s highly effective horror film, in which he stars with Emily Blunt as a couple who must fend off the apocalyptic monsters. triggered by sound, arrives, with even more silence. Yikes.
“Cruella” (May 28, also streaming on Disney + Premier Access): Do we really need an origin story for ‘101 Dalmatians’ villain Cruella de Vil? Apparently we do! Two ever-gorgeous Emmas – Stone and Thompson – appear in this live-action Disney comedy, with Stone as the young main character who dreams of being a fashion designer. The costumes alone, by veteran Merchant-Ivory Jenny Beavan, seem like a treat. Craig Gillespie (“Me, Tonya”, “Lars and the Real Girl”) directs.
“Vivo” (June 4): It’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s summer at the multiplexes! (And after the year we’ve all been through, we deserve all the L-MM we can get.) First up: this animated family comedy about an adventurous kinkajou traveling from Havana to Miami. Miranda (“Hamilton”, if you need to remember it) wrote the songs; his collaborator “In the Heights” Quiara Alegría Hudes wrote the screenplay with director Kirk DeMicco.
“In the heights” (June 11, also streaming on HBO Max): See above! A year after it was originally scheduled to hit theaters, Miranda’s hit Broadway musical about a Washington Heights bodega owner is finally hitting multiplexes. Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) conducts; expect dancing in the streets.
“Rita Moreno: just a girl who decided to go” (June 18): You might know Moreno from “West Side Story”, or maybe from growing up with “The Electric Company”, or maybe more recently from his wonderful work on “One Day at a Time – Never mind EGOT (Emmy / Grammy / Oscar / Tony Winner) is a show business legend and has long deserved his own documentary.
“Bayou blue” (June 25): The latest from filmmaker / actor Justin Chon (“Gook”) seems timely and moving; let’s hope he doesn’t get lost in a sea of top-notch movies. Chon plays a Korean adoptee living in Louisiana with his wife (Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”) who learns he faces deportation.
“F9” (June 25): Inject this film into my veins immediately, please. Dwayne Johnson may have left this fast-paced and insanely fun driving franchise, but Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez and the rest of the gang are returning – with Helen Mirren, who the trailer says gets her own car this time. time. Bring it on!
“Black Widow” (July 9, also streaming on Disney + Premier Access): The 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has at its center a former KGB assassin Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and introduces the Avenger; it takes place after the events of “Captain America: Civil War”. It has been delayed three times due to the pandemic, but finally hits theaters in mid-summer. And sure, you can stream it, but don’t you want to see this one big?
“Cinderella” (July 16): Billy Porter as fairy godmother? Sign me up. This musical version of the familiar fairy tale also stars recording artist Camila Cabello (in her feature debut) and Idina Menzel as her evil stepmother.
“Old” (July 23): M. Night Shyamalan’s production has been decidedly spotty since “The Sixth Sense,” but hell, we’ve all missed movies, so let’s give this one a try. Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps (“Phantom Thread”) play a horrified couple when their children start to age quickly on a secluded tropical beach. So ok!
“The respect” (August 13): Jennifer Hudson was personally chosen by Aretha Franklin, years before the Soul Queen’s death in 2018, to play her as a young woman in this biopic, which also stars Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige (the latter as Dinah Washington). And yes, of course, Hudson does his own song.