Summer Guide

Summer at the Cinema

Beat the heat in a nice cool theater this summer

When the sun hangs high and you need a little escape, hitting a movie theater for entertainment and popcorn therapy provides unparalleled relief. Hiking is for nerds; swimming’s for the birds—here’s what’s coming to the big screen in the summer of 2024.

JUNE

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

June 7, not-yet-rated, but probably R

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up for the bazillionth time to fight crime in Miami—Bad Boys style, which is to say with zero regard to institutional procedure, due process and/or citizens’ rights. Oh wait, though, it looks like they’re actually framed for crimes this time and have to do fugitive stuff. Gangsta co-directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah helm this one.

The Watchers

June 7, PG-13

M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter Ishana Night Shyamalan follows in her dad’s footsteps with this seemingly baffling Dakota Fanning-led thriller about a stranded group of people stalked by mysterious forces in a forest. Honestly? Looks pretty creepy and weird and it can’t be worse than M.’s Avatar adaptation. The Watchers feels worth a watch.

I Used to Be Funny

June 14, NR

The fantastically talented and funny Rachel Sennott (Bottoms, Shiva Baby) plays Sam, a no-name stand-up struggling with PTSD who must decide if she wants to help find a missing kid for whom she once served as a nanny. As you consider whether or not to view this new dramedy, know that Sennott can do no wrong.

The Bikeriders

June 21, R

Hank the Cowdog podcast director Jeff Nichols gets into the feature film directing game with this Austin “Can’t Stop Talking Like Elvis” Butler film about a Midwest motorcycle club and the seedy underbelly found therein. Tom Hardy and a love story with Jodie Comer (Alone in the Dark the video game) also factor in the film.

Kinds of Kindness

June 21, R

Poor Things/The Favorite auteur Yorgos Lanthimos reunites with Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe and brings on Jesse Plemons (Killers of the Flower Moon), Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) and Mamoudou Athie (Elemental) for his newest—an anthology-esque character study that reportedly cuts closer to his earlier work like Killing of a Sacred Deer. Hopefully, we had you at “Poor Things/The Favorite auteur Yorgos Lanthimos…”

Janet Planet

June 21, PG-13

Playwright Annie Baker transitions to the silver screen in both writing and directorial roles for Janet Planet, a coming-of-age tale set in early-’90s rural Massachusetts. Word is tBaker’s skills are undeniably brilliant and should make anyone with a heart feel something. Newcomer Zoe Ziegler stars alongside Dream Scenario alum Julianne Nicholson.

Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1

June 28, R

In his quest to only direct oversized films, Waterworld creator Kevin Costner returns with the first of a reportedly two-part historical movie, this time about expansion in the American West before and after the Civil War. This is the kind of movie that’ll make you think, “Wow, Sam Worthington still exists?” A Love Song’s Dale Dickey is in it, though, and she’s a gem; same goes for Sienna Miller and Michael Angarano. Costner also co-wrote Horizon.

JULY

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

July 3, R

Eddie Murphy joins Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kevin Bacon and, of course, Judge Reinhold for the next in the previously dormant Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Yes, it’s been 30 years since the last BHC, but chances are this will be fun as hell if you can forget how often cops do terrible things in the real world and…actually, does ACAB include Murphy’s Axel Foley?

Sing Sing

July 12, R

Fear the Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo stars in this drama about a wrongfully incarcerated man who finds hope in a jailhouse theater group. The full credited cast clocks in at under 10 people, so expect intimacy and vulnerability and, most likely, to shed a few tears.

Twisters

July 19, PG-13

A sequel to the 1996 movie Twister about people who engage with twisters (or tornados for the semantics). What the hell else can anyone say about it other than Glen Powell seems kind of sad? Wait a sec—Michael Crichton is credited as a co-writer for this thing, which is a pretty neat trick for a guy who died in 2008. Expect tornadoes and people shouting stuff like, “Look out for that twister!”

Deadpool & Wolverine

July 26, R

Normally at this point in human history, yet another Marvel movie would be enough to make anyone barf, but stalwart Deadpool actor/defender Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place) is counting on collective American nostalgia to make it work. And you know what? He’s gonna get it! This movie looks so fun, and Hugh Jackman (Les Miz) is back as Wolverine from the freaking X-Men. Step aside, indie art and foreign films—this is cinema (say it with a hard “ch” at the beginning, even).

AUGUST

The Instigators

August 2, R

Matt Damon re-teams with Bourne Identity director Doug Liman and brings along his best bud’s little bro Casey Affleck for a thriller-esque work about a botched robbery and the would-be robbers’ subsequent quest to get the heck outta there. No one has said anything about it being set in Boston but, like, don’t you just feel like it’ll be set in Boston? Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire), Ving Rhames (Mission:Impossible series) and Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) co-star. No word on exactly who instigates what, though.

Borderlands

August 9, not yet rated, but probably PG-13

Yes! Director Eli Roth adapts the most excellent Borderlands video game series from developer Gearbox about a gaggle of gun-loving weirdos on the hunt for treasure. Before you movie snobs turn your nose up at the video game part, look to recent successes like The Last of Us and Fallout as examples of game-to-screen badassery. Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart star; Jack Black lends his voice; Jamie Lee Curtis—a known game nerd—pops in, too; and Ariana Greenblatt (Barbie) tackles Ashly Burch’s iconic Tiny Tina. And if you don’t get that bit about Ashly Burch and Tiny Tina, don’t sweat it—that one’s for the nerds.

Trap

August 9, not yet rated, but probably PG-13

Oh, God, M. Night Shyamalan does have a movie out this year, too, alongside his daughter’s The Watchers. Dear old dad’s movie is about a dad (Josh Harnett) who takes his daughter to a pop concert only to find that something evil is going down. Like most post-Sixth Sense/Unbreakable Shyamalan movies, it’ll likely be gripping as hell right up until the lackluster revealing ending.

The Crow

August 23, not yet rated, but probably R

Actor Bill Skarsgard and director Rupert Sanders piss off all your goth and rave and rave-goth friends with a reboot of the 1994 Brandon Lee/Alex Proyas cult classic of the same name—the very same film that cost Lee his life during a tragic shooting accident. Like the original, this The Crow follows a murdered musician who returns from beyond the grave to exact goth-flavored revenge. Expect music from Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails, probably. FKA Twigs is in it, too.

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