29 upcoming movie releases heating up the summer

John Wick isn't through getting his revenge, "Parabellum" is among the new movies you'll want to see this spring/summer in NYC. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise

John Wick returns for revenge. Anne Hathaway tries out an English accent. Disney gives us a live-action “Aladdin.”

John Wick isn't through getting his revenge, "Parabellum" is among the new movies you'll want to see this spring/summer in NYC.
John Wick isn’t through getting his revenge, "Parabellum" is among the new movies you’ll want to see this spring/summer in NYC. Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Our box-office offerings are heating up.

Disney is gearing up to bring us a live-action "Aladdin" two months before it drops a "Lion King" remake. Ah, the circle of life. 

Other highly anticipated new movies include "Rocketman" (Taron Egerton becomes, well, The Rocketman), "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (Peter Parker leaves Gotham) and "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (Patton Oswalt steps in for Louis C.K.). 

Here’s when these new movies and more hit theaters: 


‘Long Shot’ (May 3)

Seth Rogen is an out-of-work journalist who meets up with his old childhood crush, Charlize Theron, the Secretary of State and now a presidential candidate. Can an every day schlub and the perfect woman find romance? This is the movies, of course they can!

‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ (May 10)

That sound you hear is every ’90s kid quaking in anticipation of one of the summer’s biggest hits. Justice Smith searches for his lost father with the aid of an adorable “pocket monster” known as Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). Their adventures promise to be a bonanza of Easter eggs for fans of the Japanese manga and games franchise. 

"The Hustle" 
"The Hustle"  Photo Credit: MGM pictures

‘The Hustle’ (May 10)

Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson team up in a gender-swapped remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Hathaway’s got an English accent and no shortage of fabulous gowns in this Riviera romp, and she takes Wilson’s less stylish sister-in-crime under her wing. (You may recall Michael Caine and Steve Martin in the original, which was actually a remake of a David Niven/Marlon Brando film.)

‘Tolkien’ (May 10)

One does not simply walk into writing “Lord of the Rings.” This Nicholas Hoult author biopic details J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years at school, the (ahem) fellowship he finds there and the demons lurking in the trenches of World War I. From Finnish director Dome Karukoski and featuring more special effects than is usual for a movie about a writer.

‘John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum’ (May 17)

The world’s most violent dog lover is back and ready to dazzle audiences with gunplay and martial arts. Keanu Reeves’ assassin Wick is banned from the interconnected underworld of safe havens (the elegant Continental hotels) but never bet against him. A laundry list of outstanding performers like Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane and Jason Mantzoukas collude to round-out this ultrastylized, hard-boiled trilogy.

‘Aladdin’ (May 24)

“Mr. Aladdin, sir, what will your pleasure be?” Well, for starters you can take off that creepy blue face paint! Proving once again that no beloved property shall be allowed to rest, Disney’s live-action remake of the perfect 1992 animated musical, “Aladdin,” raised eyebrows with the release of its trailer. Will Smith-gone-Smurf is the stuff of nightmares and director Guy Ritchie, whose best work is tough-guy crime movies, seems ill-equipped for magic carpet rides. But so long as they leave the songs alone, it’s still going to be a must-see.

‘Booksmart’ (May 24)

A rousing success out of the SXSW festival, Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever (seven seasons of “Last Man Standing”) co-star as two teens who realize they wasted their high school experience on, uch, getting good grades. With one night left before graduation, they realize the time to get into trouble is now. Olivia Wilde makes her debut in the director’s chair.

‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ (May 31)

As the meme says, “Let Them Fight!” Michael Dougherty (“Trick r Treat”) is the master of ceremonies for this battle royale of the so-called MonsterVerse. Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah are all here, and smashing into things. Some humans, like Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown and Bradley Whitford are involved, too, but, really, who cares about them? Bring on the destruction!

‘Ma’ (May 31)

Potentially the most original mainstream movie coming out this summer, Octavia Spencer stars as someone who appears, at first, to be the coolest grown-up in a sleepy suburban town. She opens her basement to high school kids who need a safe space to drink and make out, but is there really something sinister going on? 

"Rocketman" Photo Credit: David Appleby/Paramount Pictures

‘Rocketman’ (May 31)

Taron Egerton dons the bedazzled specs, winged boots and spangled Dodgers uniform to become Elton John in this fantasy-tinged look at his peak creative years. Dexter Fletcher, who was brought in to finish “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is the director and Elton himself approved all the costumes. There will be no shortage of catchy tunes with this one.


‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ (June 7)

There are still some secrets left to tell! With Patton Oswalt taking over voicing duties from Louis C.K., the lovable terrier Max adapts to life with a toddler in the house. Kevin Hart plays a fuzzy bunny with delusions of grandeur. Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Dana Carvey and Harrison Ford round out the cast. There are poop jokes.

‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ (June 7)

Loosely adapted from the 1980 Marvel comics arc “The Dark Phoenix Saga” (which also inspired the maligned film “X-Men: The Last Stand”), this new one is quite likely the last time we’ll see many of our current crop of X-Men performers in the role. (The Disney acquisition of Fox promises something of an overhaul.) But this may launch Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner, who stars as the young Jean Grey, into Hollywood’s A-list. Here’s hoping, because if we’ve learned anything it’s that you don’t want to get Dr. Grey or Sansa Stark mad.

‘Men in Black: International’ (June 14)

The unwelcome guest on the summer slate, this long-past-its-prime franchise is getting revived. Again. Chris Hemsworth in an action-comedy is always welcome and Tessa Thompson looks fierce in the sharp suits, but if you had to bet on one collapsing tentpole, the smart money is on this. Prove me wrong, Agent M and Agent H! Prove me wrong!

‘Shaft’ (June 14)

It’s three generations of bad mutha — shut your mouth! Richard Roundtree, the original John Shaft, Samuel L. Jackson, the last Shaft, and newcomer Jesse T. Usher are three black private dicks who are sex machines to all the chicks. Though the early ’70s swagger is toned down a notch, with the newest Shaft a little more sensitive than his elders. (This is perhaps as much a comedy as an action film.). Still, we can dig it.

‘Toy Story 4’ (June 21)

Remember when “Toy Story 3” ended on the perfect note, with every character finding emotional closure and audiences all leapt to their feet, dabbing their eyes with their hankies? Well, fiduciary concerns will always have their say, and Disney has decided to toss that aside and print out more money. Can you really blame them? There’s no way anyone is going to miss one final romp with Woody and Buzz, and their new pal [checks notes] Forky?

‘Anna’ (June 21)

Luc Besson, the French director of “La Femme Nikita” and “Lucy,” is back with another glossy, stylized film of a gorgeous woman/killing machine. Twenty-six-year-old Russian supermodel Sasha Luss is an assassin who stomps through Paris high culture in gorgeous outfits and whoops all security agents who get between her and her quarry. Expect dazzling fighting sequences and gorgeous hotel suites.

‘Yesterday’ (June 28)

With a premise that sounds like something a stoned kid makes up in a dorm room, Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” looks far too entertaining to pass up. A struggling singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) wakes up one day in a world where no one has heard of The Beatles — or their music! Yet he’s got the whole repertoire memorized. Suddenly he’s being hailed as a genius. (I mean, the songs are good.) But surely this record’s got a scratch in it.


"Spider-Man: Far From Home" 
"Spider-Man: Far From Home"  Photo Credit: Jay Maidment

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (July 2)

Resurrected from Thanos’ snap, Peter Parker is back and hoping for a little less action. Will a class trip to Europe allow him the time to get to know MJ a little better, and maybe start a romance? No time for that! Trouble comes in the form of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) and soon Venice and London (and maybe some other cities) are in peril. Nick Fury appears to fill in for the mentor role Iron Man played in the last one. Queens balladeers The Ramones represent in the trailer. 

"Stuber" Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

‘Stuber’ (July 12)

A buddy comedy with a bodycount, “Stuber” stars Kumail Nanjiani as an Uber driver who picks up a deranged Dave Bautista who claims to be an LAPD officer. They then proceed to zoom around town, mixing it up with baddies and hurling quips at unsafe speeds. Luckily, there is no surge pricing for action and comedy. 

"The Lion King" 
"The Lion King"  Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

‘The Lion King’ (July 19)

Ah, yes, the circle of life. Every Disney animated hit must eventually be transformed into a live action movie. Using the technology from his “The Jungle Book” adaptation, director Jon Favreau recreates the beloved 1994 classic, but this time with the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver and Beyoncé (!) emerging from photorealistic wild animals.

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ (July 26)

The thought of Quentin Tarantino making an epic about late ’60s Hollywood lore evokes images of Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money vault. A stylized version of the Manson Family murders is, in a weird way, the project he was born for. Leonardo DiCaprio is a television actor looking to transition to films and Brad Pitt is his stunt double. Somehow they get mixed up in the gruesome events of the 1969 cult killings, with Margot Robbie as the doomed Sharon Tate. Look forward to everyone having an opinion on this one!

‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ (July 31)

She’s explored the four corners of the globe but there’s one place brave Dora has yet to conquer: high school. But soon she and her new friends (who all think she’s exceptionally weird for bringing flares to class) end up getting kidnapped by baddies looking for the Lost City of Gold. Can she save her friends, rescue her parents and find her monkey pal Boots? I suspect she can, but it’ll be a hoot to watch it happen.


‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ (Aug. 2)

Does the “Fast & Furious” franchise have enough gas in the tank for a spinoff? The box office receipts of the previous entries say yes, so this time it’s just Dwayne Johnson (who didn’t show up in the series until the fifth installment) and Jason Statham racing around, blowing stuff up and, I dunno, fighting crime or whatever it is they do in these movies. British character actor Eddie Marsan is in the mix this time, so when this makes a billion dollars know that it’s all because of him, not the cavalcade of physics-defying vehicular stunts.

‘The New Mutants’ (Aug. 2)

Mixing distinct genres is always risky, but tell that to the X-Men. “The New Mutants,” the first horror-superhero film, has been in development for quite some time, and its August release is not a sign of studio support. That said, it’ll be great to see Maisie Williams (as Wolfsbane) in a post-“Game of Thrones” role. Anya Taylor-Joy (Magik), Charlie Heaton (Cannonball) and Henry Zaga (Sunspot) round out the cast of mutants that don’t quite have the name recognition of Wolverine or Magneto.

‘Artemis Fowl’ (Aug. 9)

Don’t expect a success on the level of “Harry Potter,” but Disney’s adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s successful YA fantasy books might end up a late-summer hit. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, continuing to jump nimbly between Shakespeare and mainstream fare like “Thor,” newcomer Ferdia Shaw stars in the story of a boy genius mixing it up with underworld criminals and powerful fairies. Judi Dench and Josh Gad round out the cast.

‘The Kitchen’ (Aug. 9)

Something of a more lighthearted “Widows,” Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss star as three mob wives in 1970s New York who take over their husbands’ Hell’s Kitchen operations when the boys end up in the clink. Based on a well-received Vertigo comic, this promises to be a must-see for locals. Esteemed character actress Margo Martindale in the cast only seals the deal.

‘Good Boys’ (Aug. 16)

It’s hard to believe that a kid born when “Superbad” was in theaters is coming up on 12 years-old. Just the right age for a crude, inappropriate comedy of their own. “Good Boys,” produced by Seth Rogen, stars Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams getting into the type of trouble that, when filmed, gets a rating that prevents them from seeing it. It is, therefore, a moral imperative that we all sneak kids in to see this “bad” movie.

‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ (Aug. 16)

Director Richard Linklater (“Boyhood,” “Dazed and Confused”) is operating in his crowd-pleaser mode that brought us “School of Rock” for this adaptation of the extremely popular YA novel. Cate Blanchett stars as a mom who seems to have everything, yet one day … disappears. (But in a playful “let’s follow the clues” way, not in an “oh no, let’s call a funeral parlor” way.) A rogues gallery of co-stars include Billy Crudup, Kirsten Wiig, James Urbaniak and Judy Greer.

‘Angel Has Fallen’ (Aug. 23)

Summer has to conclude with a lunkheaded action-adventure film big on splosions and light on plot. It’ll be gross out and you’ll need to sit in air conditioning. So Gerard Butler in the third “Has Fallen” film (what do we call these?) is just what the doctor ordered. And this time Morgan Freeman is the President, so that’s fun.

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