Your 2017 Summer Movie Preview

Jun 07, 2017, 07:52 PM

The summer-movie season may feel like it starts earlier and earlier every year, but it is now truly upon us, which means franchise-starters, epic revivals, and superheroes galore almost every week. On top of the big-budget fare, there are plenty of indie sensations waiting to be discovered—read on for a comprehensive look at the most exciting projects coming over the next three months.

The Mummy (June 9)

What It Is: This straightforward-looking monster movie, the umpteenth attempt at reviving the vengeful Egyptian villain of Hollywood yesteryear, pits Tom Cruise against Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who is kicking up the requisite sandstorms and clouds of evil birds in an attempt to destroy the world.

If You Need Convincing: This is the first in a never-ending series of monster movies Universal Studios has planned, which it’s dubbing the “Dark Universe.” Russell Crowe plays Dr. Jekyll here ahead of a planned spin-off, and we’re also going to get Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and many more. Considering the stars they’ve recruited so far—Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Javier Bardem—this “universe” is making a big play for international dollars, like so many other franchises.

It Comes At Night (June 9)

What It Is: A post-apocalyptic horror movie set entirely within a desolate home, It Comes At Night follows a family who take in some desperate strangers to protect them from the horrors that lurk outside. Unsurprisingly, paranoia begins to set in. Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott, and Riley Keough are among the cast, and the film has drawn praise at horror festivals.

If You Need Convincing: Krisha, the debut film from this movie’s director/writer Trey Edward Shults, was a micro-budget phenomenon in 2015, earning raves for the way it racked up tension at a seemingly normal Thanksgiving gathering. It Comes At Night should be just as assured, but with a professional cast and more money up on the screen.

Rough Night (June 16)

What It Is: A bawdy, gender-flipped remake of R-rated ’90s comedies like Very Bad Things from writers Paul Downs and Luica Aniello, who have scripted several episodes of Broad City and the (similar ’90s throwback) miniseries Time Traveling Bong. It follows a bachelorette party that goes horribly wrong when a male stripper is accidentally murdered.

If You Need Convincing: The cast is a solid mix of comic talent (Ilana Glazer, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon) and stars having fun (Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz, Demi Moore). The movie looks like a 2017 update of Weekend At Bernie’s, with more cocaine. Surely that’s appealing to someone?

Cars 3 (June 16)

What It Is: The third in an increasingly surreal series of Pixar movies about a world populated by sentient cars. This time, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) tries to get back on the racing circuit after a potentially career-threatening crash, aided by a trainer called Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonso).

If You Need Convincing: The first Cars came out 11 years ago; Pixar now seems to be playing for a slightly more mature audience (the trailers have been weirdly dark), hoping that the films’ original audience, having grown up a little, will be eager to return for another adventure. Others may sigh at the studio’s increasing reliance on sequels.

Transformers: The Last Knight (June 21)

What It Is: The fifth (yes, fifth!) Transformers movie unites an Arthurian legend, Anthony Hopkins, a purpose-built Stonehenge, Mark Wahlberg, and robots that turn into cars for one last epic hurrah. Just kidding—Paramount is already planning a sixth movie and a spinoff about the yellow robot Bumblebee.

If You Need Convincing: The director Michael Bay promises this is his last go-round with the giant, profitable toys. Of course, he said that after the third and fourth movies, too.

The Big Sick (June 23)

What It Is: A rom-com starring Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) as a Pakistani comedian who falls in love with an American ...