Summer Movie Preview: 37 Movies to Watch Out For

Dwayne Johnson, Spider-Man, Tessa Thompson, and Simba are all sure to be heroes this summer.
Dwayne Johnson, Spider-Man, Tessa Thompson, and Simba are all sure to be heroes this summer.
Image: Universal, Sony, Disney

It’s going to be a hell of a summer.

Hollywood’s biggest season just got underway with the record-shattering release of Avengers: Endgame, and Disney alone is following that up over the next few months with Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, and Artemis Fowl, some of which are sure to be among the most popular films of the summer. But that’s just the start. Pokémon, Godzilla, Chucky, John Wick, the Men in Black, Spider-Man, the Fast and the Furious, zombies, crocodiles, the Beatles, and many more are all along for the ride. Summer 2019 seems to have a little something for everyone.


Below, here’s some info on 37 genre films you can’t miss this summer.

In theaters now

Avengers: Endgame

Even though it’s already in theaters, if you’re talking the summer of 2019 you have to mention Endgame, a fantastic and massively successful (already) sequel to Avengers: Infinity War and the culmination of 22 movies over 11 years. Click here for a ton of additional content.



The first animated film by mini-major film studio STX is taking the bright, weird, popular children’s plush doll line and turning it into a major musical featuring the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull, Nick Jonas, and others. When a group of UglyDolls leave the confines of their hometown, it’ll challenge their notice of the world itself, with a lot of singing along the way. (May 3)

Dead Trigger

Dolph Lundgren. Zombie apocalypse. Elite team of soldiers armed to the teeth trying to save the world. You get the idea with this one? (May 3)

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

One of the world’s most popular brands finally gets the live-action Hollywood treatment fans have been waiting for. Ryan Reynolds voices the popular yellow creature Pikachu who teams up with a wannabe Pokémon trainer (Justice Smith) to find his missing father. Plus, fans of the video game series will get to see all their favorite characters populating an entirely new world blending humans and pokemon together. (May 10)


The man who wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien, gets his very own biopic starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins. Tolkien’s genius will be brought to life by blending his real-world experiences, including his time spent at school and at war, with the imaginary fantasy elements that would eventually spawn an entire fandom and become one of the most well-recognized franchises in the world. (May 10)

A Dog’s Journey

For some reason, people really like seeing a bunch of dogs die. So much so that there’s already a sequel to 2017’s A Dog’s Purpose, a movie about dog reincarnation where a bunch of dogs died. This time around, good boy Bailey is on a mission to protect his master’s granddaughter, CJ. Presumably, more dogs will die. (May 17)

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

Speaking of dogs...Keanu Reeves is back (with his dog) for some more ass-kicking as assassin-on-the-run John Wick. If you’ve seen the first two films you probably know the drill by now and are up for more outlandish and creative fight scenes. The returning Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne are joined by Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, and Game of Thrones’ Jerome Flynn. (May 17)


The last thing you want to happen as you leave life on Earth to move to Mars is to have the ship knocked off course and just float away into deep space for infinity. But that’s what happens in this foreign sci-fi film with a disturbingly awesome trailer. (May 17)

See You Yesterday

Spike Lee produced this Netflix sci-fi film about a young woman who fights police brutality and murder with a brand new weapon: time travel. (May 17 on Netflix)

Ad Astra

Ad Astra is the latest project from director James Gray (The Lost City of Z). It stars Brad Pitt as an Army Corps engineer named Roy McBride who goes on a dangerous mission through the solar system to find his father—who disappeared 20 years ago on a one-way trip to Neptune, in search of extraterrestrial life. There have been some notable production delays on this film, and though it’s still technically on the release schedule, there’s little chance this first Fox, now Disney, project will be released this summer. (Not May 24)


Disney continues its live-action craze with Aladdin. Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), this version stars Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott in the iconic roles of Aladdin, the “street rat” who summons the powers of a magic lamp, and his love, Princess Jasmine. And, of course, there’s Will Smith as the Genie. That image will be haunting us forever. (May 24)


So, like, what if Superman, but evil? That’s the general premise behind Brightburn, the James Gunn-produced horror project about a superpowered child from the stars (Jackson A. Dunn) who crash-lands on Earth. His adoptive parents, played by Elizabeth Banks and David Denman, try to get him to use his powers for good…but the forces of evil are just too tempting, and he eventually becomes humankind’s greatest threat. Gunn suggests it’s the perfect Memorial Day movie, for what it’s worth. (May 24)


Rim of the World

Netflix dips its toe into sci-fi action in this McG (Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation)-directed action-adventure film about a group of kids who are at summer camp when aliens invade the world. Seems kind of Attack the Block meets Friday the 13th. (May 24 on Netflix)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

The things that have always set Toho’s Godzilla films apart from their Hollywood counterparts is the abiding reverence the films’ humans have for the kaiju and the deep mythos that situates Godzilla in a larger pantheon of awe-inspiring beasts. King of the Monsters is poised to show Godzilla and the other kaiju in their full glory, battling it out for global domination as the world’s population of humans are helpless to do much else other than watch in wonder (and pray they survive the war). (May 31)


You’d think that a bunch of teenagers would know better than to hang out with a strange, middle-aged woman they don’t know who invites them to come binge drink in the basement of her house on the outskirts of town, but what good would a horror movie be if there weren’t dumb kids around to make bad decisions? Ma draws on elements of old, racist, stereotypical ideas about black women’s relationships with white youths and flips the script by turning the titular maternal figure into a symbol of rage, vengeance, and from the looks of it, terror. (May 31)



Dark Phoenix

Fox’s X-Men cinematic universe is coming to an end, but not before Xavier and his student body face off against one of their own who’s finally fulfilling her destiny of becoming more powerful and dangerous than any of them could have imagined. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Dark Phoenix Saga adapted to the big screen, but unlike in X-Men: The Last Stand, Jean’s set to take center stage this time around in a story that’s wholly about her fall from greatness and descent into cosmic madness. (June 7)

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The moment you leave your pets at home, you’re not consigning them to a few hours of unsupervised time alone, you’re giving them a chance to be their truest selves—the one they keep hidden when you’re around and bothering them with new outfits for that mildly-profitable Instagram sponsorship you’re hustling. In The Secret Life of Pets, Max the Jack Russell terrier finds himself becoming overly protective of his family’s new baby and realizing that when babies start growing up, they’re meant to leave the house, meaning he’s gotta tag along to make sure that everyone stays safe. (June 7)


Project Ithaca

This interesting little indie sci-fi flick seems sort of reminiscent to Saw in space, as a group of strangers wake up on a spaceship and have to work together to figure out why they’re there. Things get a little more psychological than gory, it seems, but we still love the concept. (June 7)

Men In Black International

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, two people known for cutting sharp figures in businesswear, do what they do best in Men In Black International, which is play off of one another’s excellent comedic sensibilities all while kicking ass and looking damned good doing in. When the MiB is infiltrated by shape-shifting aliens with plans to topple the organization, hotshot Agent H teams up with newcomer Agent M to investigate a series of globe-spanning incidents that, if left unchecked, could result in the destruction of the world. (June 14)

The Dead Don’t Die

Indie auteur Jim Jarmusch’s unique style brought a whole new perspective to the vampire genre in 2013's Only Lovers Left Alive; now, he aims to do the same for zombies with The Dead Don’t Die. The movie’s first trailer suggests a low-key comedy about a police force realizing they’re the only line of defense between a small town and the newly-risen undead, elevated by an incredibly eclectic cast: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, and more. (June 14)

Child’s Play

Between the in-the-works Syfy TV series from original film creator Don Mancini, and this unrelated cinematic reboot, it’s a good time to be a Chucky fan, The film stars Aubrey Plaza as an unfortunate mom who buys her son a “Buddi” doll, which comes equipped with face-scanning smart technology and, of course, homicidal urges. To be totally honest, we were kinda so-so on this movie until the news dropped that Mark Hamill would be voicing the sinister toy; no disrespect to Brad Dourif, but we can’t wait to hear what he does with the character. (June 21)

Toy Story 4

Can you believe it’s been nine years since we last checked in with Woody, Buzz, and the gang (in a theater, anyway)? The latest entry in the beloved Pixar franchise looks poised to enchant fans old and new with a tale that sees the toys taking a road trip with Bonnie’s family and exploring the outside world. Fan favorite Bo Peep returns for the first time since 1999's Toy Story 2, and there’ll be a crafty new character, Forky, who needs a bit of help embracing his true toy identity. (June 21)

Annabelle Comes Home

June 2019's second cursed-doll movie is the third film to explore the porcelain-faced menace first introduced in The Conjuring—but it’s the first Annabelle movie to feature Conjuring stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who reprise their roles as demon hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren. This installment will see Annabelle taking her place behind a locked door in the Warrens’ haunted-object collection, but rest assured she’ll still be spreading plenty of evil around. (June 28)


Rather than a James Bond movie, we’re getting this Richard Curtis-scripted fantasy from director Danny Boyle instead, about a musician (Himesh Patel) who wakes up after an accident in a world that seems exactly the same...except that nobody has heard of the Beatles. Can you blame a struggling artist for appropriating a musical legacy that never existed? And will there be any consequences beyond Ed Sheeran suggesting “Hey Jude” be re-titled “Hey Dude”? (June 28)



Spider-Man: Far From Home

How on earth does the Marvel Cinematic Universe pick itself up again after the incredible, audacious saga that is Avengers: Endgame? By sending Peter Parker (Tom Holland) on a summer vacation all across Europe with his school pals. Spider-Man: Far From Home isn’t all rest and relaxation though—when a bunch of elemental bad guys start showing up to cause havoc, Peter finds himself recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) himself to work alongside the, err, mysterious new superhero about town, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Can Peter balance great power, great responsibility, and a great vacation? We’ll find out! (July 2)


Ari Aster’s Hereditary appeared seemingly out of nowhere last year to blow our minds and give us lasting nightmares, but we’re a little bit more prepared with what to expect from his latest film. Or are we? The cryptic trailer for Midsommar suggests a kind of Wicker Man-style vacation from hell, as a couple traveling in Sweden encounters a pagan festival in a small town. Florence Pugh, who’ll co-star in Marvel’s Black Widow movie, stars along with The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper. (July 3)



Horns’ Alexandre Aja returns to horror, but with a less fantastical bent—because instead of supernatural antics, this time the threat facing a young woman (Kaya Scodelario) is drowning to death in the middle of a Category 5 hurricane wreaking havoc on Florida. Oh, and also the deadly alligators brought in by the tumultuous amounts of water. Pretty bad situation to be in all around, really. (July 12)

The Lion King

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Disney’s taking one of its animated ‘90s classics and giving it a slick, CG-enhanced coat of paint this year. Jon Favreau returns fresh off having done pretty much exactly the same thing to The Jungle Book to bring us a new version of Hamlet, but with lions. Young Simba (played by both JD McCrary and Donald Glover) finds himself thrust into the uneasy position of reclaiming the leadership of Pride Rock when his father Mufasa (the returning James Earl Jones) finds himself betrayed by his brother, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor)—setting the little lion on a quest that...well, you saw in 1994. At least Beyoncé is in this one? (July 19)


Brahms: The Boy 2

Brahms is back! You know, Brahms, porcelain star of the decidedly mixed 2016 horror movie The Boy, which somehow now has a sequel? This time it’s Katie Holmes facing the threat of the creepy doll—not to be confused with this summers’ two other creepy doll horror movies—as she and her young family move into the Hillshire Mansion, unaware of the legacy of either it or the mysterious doll her youngest son finds there. (July 26)

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Dora the Explorer’s latest adventure is a globetrotting jump to live action, with Transformers star Isabela Moner in the title role for a movie that’s a little less “preschooler educational cartoon” and a little more “What if Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider starred a tween?” Dora finds herself shipped back to a normal life in the U.S. while her explorer parents continue their hunt for an ancient Incan civilization, but an encounter on a school field trip with a mercenary group sees Dora recruit a ragtag bunch of her new friends to save her parents and uncover the fabled lost city of Gold. (July 31)



Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw

The Fast and Furious series has spent its time rapidly growing into one of the wildest blockbuster sagas around, but it’s reaching a whole new level with this new spinoff saga based around Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s characters from the long-running car-racing-based super-franchise. Now it’s actually going full-on superhero, as Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) find themselves forced to work together to stop the evil, genetically enhanced supersoldier Brixton (Idris Elba) from unleashing a bioweapon on the world. How will Hobbs and Shaw stop a man who literally calls himself “Black Superman?” With fancy cars, among other things, presumably. (August 2)

The New Mutants

Will we finally get to see Josh Boone’s horror take on the X-Men franchise, or will Disney postpone this one even longer and/or drop it on its new streaming service? Either way, we’re still keen to see Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams and Glass’ Anya Taylor-Joy as mutants. Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton also stars in this film about...well, they’ve been through a lot of reshoots, we’re not really sure anymore. That’s okay, the actors don’t know either. (August 2, hypothetically)

Artemis Fowl

Eoin Colfer’s young adult fantasy series is finally making its way to the big screen thanks to this adaptation from Kenneth Branagh. The YA film trend has been in a downward spiral over the last few years so only time will tell if audiences will care to relate to a criminal teenage millionaire going through some family drama. At least it’s got Dame Judy Dench, fairies, and some dynamic visuals? (August 9)

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

The children’s horror series that’s just as famous for those creepy illustrations as it is for its terrifying words has finally been turned into a movie. Based on the books by Alvin Schwartz with a screen story by Guillermo del Toro, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark combines several of Schwartz’s folklore-inspired tales into a saga surrounding the mystery of the Bellows family. A group of teenagers discover the secret tome of Sarah Bellows, turning her “scary stories” into a tale that’s all too real. (August 9)

The Angry Birds Movie 2

War is coming to the world of the Angry Birds franchise. In this sequel, the pigs are out for revenge following an epic battle with the birds that leaves the porcine homeland in shambles. Of course, fighting is what these pigs and birds do, and so there’s only but so much pure bloodthirst that you can read into their fight with one another. But things take a turn for the strange when a mysterious new bird shows up with plans to eliminate everyone so that she can claim the land for her own. (August 14)

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

A sequel to the surprisingly successful 2017 survival horror film, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged tells the story of four teenagers who find themselves trapped in a labyrinth of caves inside a giant underwater city—being chased by ferocious sharks, because obviously. (August 16)

Playmobil: The Movie

One of the latest in the toys-turned-into-films trend, Lino DiSalvo’s directorial debut looks to be another enjoyable adventure romp for kids. Anya Taylor-Joy and Gabriel Bateman play brother and sister—who are very much real people—who get turned into CGI-animated Playmobil characters. This one will also feature the voices of Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan, and Kenan Thompson. (August 30)


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The whole premise of Yesterday — that the Beatles’ music is utterly transcendental and enduring, and would be massively popular in any time period, regardless of the underlying socioeconomic/political conditions — is the height of Boomer cultural myopia.

And I like the Beatles.

The Kinks are fucking timeless tho.