From ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to ‘The Happytime Murders’ — these are FSR’s most anticipated movies coming this summer to a theater near you.
We’ve spent much of this week looking at summers past in search of the best the movie season has to offer, and the answer was clear. It’s Jaws. Jaws is the best summer blockbuster. With that debate settled, though, it’s time to look forward to this coming summer which promises movies to satisfy all tastes and interests. Who knows, maybe the next great summer blockbuster will be among them.
We polled our entire staff — from the critics to the columnists, from the interns to the big boss man himself — and the results are below. Keep reading for a look at FSR’s most anticipated movies of summer 2018.
Avengers: Infinity War (4/27)
“The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.”
It should surprise no one that we’re looking forward to a new Marvel film as they’ve succeeded in building something pretty special over the past decade. It’s been a mixed bag, to be sure, but there are enough characters here who we care about to make this a must-see. The risk, of course, is that there are too many characters, but the hope is that Infinity War is more The Avengers (2012) than Age of Ultron (2015).
“In the dark heart of a sprawling, anonymous city, Terminal follows the twisting tales of two assassins carrying out a sinister mission, a teacher battling a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor and a curious waitress leading a dangerous double life. Murderous consequences unravel in the dead of night as their lives all intertwine at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind hell-bent on revenge.”
Writer/director Vaughn Stein is making his feature debut here, but the real draw is the intriguing premise and a cast that includes Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, and Mike Myers. Robbie is hot off of I, Tonya, this is Myers’ first feature since 2010’s Shrek Forever After, and Pegg… well who doesn’t love a little Pegg.
Deadpool 2 (5/18)
“After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.”
The first film has its detractors, but if you’re on its wavelength the movie is just a pure blast of fun. The trailer for the sequel suggests we’re in store for more of the same, which is fantastic, and even better news? Director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick) means the action will be kick-ass too.
On Chesil Beach (5/18)
“Based on Ian McEwan’s novel. In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.”
This one wasn’t really on my radar, but that’s why we do these with group input. McEwan’s most successful adaptation of one of his novels remains 2007’s Atonement, so this marks a reunion of sorts with star Saoirse Ronan. That’s more than enough to make me want to see it.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (5/25)
“During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.”
I’m a bit torn on this one. This latest Star Wars entry just feels like a big bag of meh to me, and I’d prefer they start making “new” stories, but Ron Howard’s made some good movies, and this cast — Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson, Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Clint Howard — is terrific. It just looks so safe and easy, but I hope to be proven wrong.
“Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.”
I haven’t attended SXSW for a few years now, but it wasn’t until Leigh Whannel’s latest premiered that I began to regret that decision. Everything about this one looks to be right up my alley with its blend of action, sci-fi, and bloodletting.
Ocean’s 8 (6/8)
“Debbie Ocean gathers a crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.”
This female riff on the popular Ocean’s 11 films got more votes from our staff than any other film, so yeah, we’re pretty excited to watch some brilliantly talented actors — Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway — alongside the entertaining likes of Mindy Kaling, Katie Holmes, Rihanna, Olivia Munn, and many more in a fun and twisty heist flick.
“When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited as it slowly destroys everything they know.”
Having seen this film at Sundance I can vouch for it being one hell of a horror movie complete with great scares, striking imagery, and a highly memorable ending. Even better, it features two incredible performances by Toni Collette and Alex Wolff that work to raise the emotional stakes to truly affecting levels.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (6/8)
“An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children’s television host Fred Rogers.”
I’d like to blame Chris Campbell for the presence of a documentary in our most-anticipated list for summer 2018, but he wasn’t alone in voting for it. Everyone knows Mr. Rogers was a gift to the world, and this doc promises to confirm that while also clearing out your tear ducts along the way.
The Incredibles 2 (6/15)
“Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.”
It’s probably to be expected that the only animated film to make the cut here is a Pixar release, and it is a sequel to one of their most popular efforts pretty much guaranteed it a spot. I’m more of a Bug’s Life guy, but I’m thrilled at any opportunity to see (or in this case hear) Holly Hunter on the big screen so I’m in for this family’s next adventure.
“A businessman travels West to join his fiancée in the mountains.”
I saw and loved this one at Sundance too, and this synopsis is aces. Fans of Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, deadpan comedy, and 2015’s underappreciated Slow West should avoid any trailers that drop and just seek this one out as soon as it opens.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (6/22)
“When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.”
Meh. I have nothing against the Colin Trevorrow, but after the lackluster Jurassic World, the only thing about this movie that appeals is J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) in the director’s chair.
Under the Silver Lake (6/22)
“Centers on a man named Sam (Garfield) who becomes obsessed with the strange circumstances of a billionaire mogul’s murder and the kidnapping of a girl. Riley Keough as Sarah, Sam’s new neighbor. Topher Grace as Sam’s friend who helps him with an investigation surrounding a missing woman.”
A new film from the director of It Follows and The Myth of the American Sleepover should be on everyone’s must-see list. The fact that it’s a modern-day noir starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough just seals the deal. That said, we can probably assume right now that Topher Grace plays a secret bad guy.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (6/29)
“The drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.”
The absence of Emily Blunt hurts, but I am fully onboard for more violently unapologetic action with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. If nothing else, how can you not be curious why he’s shooting his gun that way?!
The First Purge (7/4)
“The film will be a prequel that will focus on the events that lead up to the very first Purge event.”
The three previous Purge films are a mixed bag with 2014’s Anarchy being the best of the bunch, so it’s anyone’s guess how this entry will fare. The absence of Frank Grillo is unfortunate but understandable seeing as it’s a prequel, but hopefully, the film finds a charismatic performer for audiences to hitch their interest onto.
Sorry to Bother You (7/6)
“In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.”
I missed this one at Sundance like an idiot, but I won’t make the same mistake twice. Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Steven Yuen, Terry Crews, and more fill out what looks to be a crazily inventive comedy about the difficulties of being yourself.
Eighth Grade (7/13)
“A teenager tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth-grade year before leaving to start high school.”
Another one I missed at Sundance only to see it praised endlessly by those who made a better choice! Bo Burnham’s feature debut is apparently a smart, honest, funny, and heartbreaking look at one week in a teen girl’s life, and we’re here for it.
The Equalizer 2 (7/20)
“Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?”
I’m a fan of Antoine Fuqua’s 2014 original (as well as the TV series from the 80s), so I’m looking forward to seeing more of Denzel Washington kicking ass. The two make a great pair (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven), so I’ll happily take a new entry in this franchise every four years. And even if I wasn’t already on board, this trailer makes a compelling case for why I should be.
Hotel Artemis (7/20)
“Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, ‘Hotel Artemis’ follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.”
Is it clearly inspired by John Wick‘s Metropolitan? Sure, but that doesn’t make look any less fun.Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista, Charlie Day, and Jeff Goldblum are all compelling reasons to get excited about this action romp.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (7/27)
“Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.”
It’s gonna be a long-ass summer getting to my own personal most-anticipated film, but I’m fully confident that it will be worth it. Tom Cruise’s epic franchise has already proven itself a must-see in theaters, and the pairing of Cruise with Christopher McQuarrie has only elevated it. From Edge of Tomorrow to M:I – Rogue Nation, these two are great for each other… and for the world.
Hot Summer Nights (7/27)
“A boy comes of age during a summer he spends in Cape Cod.”
Has there ever been a greater disparity between official synopsis and official trailer? Timothée Chalamet is still riding high on his Call Me By Your Name performance, and while he’ll probably be stuck in “coming of age” stories for a few more years this one looks to be an exciting, sexy, and life-filled entry thanks in part to a cast that also includes Maika Monroe, Thomas Jane, Emory Cohen, and William Fichtner.
The Meg (8/10)
“After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.”
If ever there was a movie that brought people from zero interest to full and undivided attention with only the drop of a single trailer… well, this is it. We knew Jason Statham fighting a shark could be a fun diversion, but nothing could have prepared us for how ridiculously entertaining this movie looks.
The Happytime Murders (8/17)
“When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.”
There’s no trailer for this one yet, but the concept has had me sold since the script premiered on the Blacklist a few years ago. Brian Henson’s directing, Melissa McCarthy and Elizabeth Banks are starring, and my butt will be in a seat for it come August.
Individual most-anticipated lists:
Alex Vitti — Damsel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Oceans’s 8, Sorry to Bother You, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Under the Silver Lake
Sophia Stewart — Crazy Rich Asians, Eighth Grade, The Incredibles 2, Ocean’s 8, Sorry to Bother You
Meg Shields — Avengers: Infinity War, Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Deadpool 2, First Reformed, The Happytime Murders, Hereditary, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, The Incredibles 2, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Ocean’s 8, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Sorry to Bother You, Whitney, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Natalie Mokry — Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ocean’s 8, Solo: A Star Wars Story
Emily Kubincanek — Eighth Grade, Hot Summer Nights, Mary Shelley, On Chesil Beach, Terminal, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Rob Hunter — Avengers: Infinity War, Damsel, Deadpool 2, The First Purge, The Happytime Murders, Hereditary, Hotel Artemis, The Meg, Mile 22, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Revenge, Sicario 2: Soldado, Under the Silver Lake, Upgrade
Brad Gullickson — Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hereditary, Hotel Artemis, The Incredibles 2, The Meg, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Sicario 2: Soldado, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Upgrade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Sarah Foulkes — Hereditary, The Incredibles 2, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Ocean’s 8, Solo: A Star Wars Story
Kieran Fisher — Christopher Robin, Deadpool 2, The Equalizer 2, The First Purge, The Meg, Sicario 2: Soldado, Skyscraper, Superfly, Upgrade
Valerie Ettenhofer — Blindspotting, Dog Days, Eighth Grade, Hereditary, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Ocean’s 8, Sicario 2: Soldado
John DiLillo — Eighth Grade, The Happytime Murders, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Sorry to Bother You
Farah Cheded — The Incredibles 2, Ocean’s 8
Chris Campbell — American Animals, Deadpool 2, The Equalizer 2, The Happytime Murders, The Incredibles 2, Leave No Trace, Madeline’s Madeline, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Madison Brek — Damsel, Eighth Grade, Hereditary, Ocean’s 8, Under the Silver Lake
Liz Baessler — Bad Samaritan, Duck Butter, Eighth Grade, Hereditary, Hot Summer Nights, On Chesil Beach, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Sorry to Bother You, Tag, Under the Silver Lake, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?