If you’re spectacularly bad at budgeting, you may have gotten the terrible idea in your head to while the days away at a theater this summer to beat the heat. Clearly even a toddler with a SpongeBob calculator can tell you that at today’s ticket prices, you’d be much better off just buying an air conditioner. But some of us are spectacularly bad at budgeting, and we need a summer movie guide. Here’s all the blockbuster—and lackluster—films hitting the big screen near you this summer.
Tomorrowland – Disney has been uncharacteristically tight with the sneak peeks on this highly anticipated sci-fi adventure from the great Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol). Usually that means the movie will be bad…
Poltergeist – Sure, why not do a remake of the classic Spielberg-produced, Tobe Hooper-directed, 80s horror film. This time Sam Rockwell is in the driver’s seat, and let’s just say he’s no Craig T. Nelson…
San Andreas – Dwayne Johnson has now officially shaken “The Rock” moniker. I can now just call him Dwayne, as his action film catalogue is deep enough to forget the wrestling. This terrible-looking disaster film (co-starring the perennially underrated Carla Gugino) will have you yearning for the halcyon days of the WWE.
Results – This quirky-looking romantic comedy (usually a sentence-opener that means the film will be terrible) stars the immensely talented Guy Pearce and the even more talented Kevin Corrigan in a love triangle of personal trainers. It also has something called a “Coby Smulders,” which I’m going to go ahead and assume is product placement for a butter substitute or something…
Entourage – Let’s not beat around the bush; if you’re planning to go see the big screen adaptation of the execrable and unmercifully long-toothed HBO show of the same name, I straight up hate you. Please email the publisher with your personal address so I can come to your house and fight you.
Spy – Paul Feig will try to spin yarn into gold for the third-straight time in another pairing with Melissa McCarthy, who he put on the map and out of the stratosphere with his previous two theatrical releases, Bridesmaids and The Heat. This one’s an action comedy that has McCarthy going head-to-head with Jason Statham.
Jurassic World – The trailers are making this one look as moronic and terrible as a movie can look. I’m still a little excited for it somewhere down deep. The first Jurassic Park gave birth to modern filmmaking, and I could see this one being surprisingly fun. It stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
The Wolfpack – Maybe the most intriguing film of the summer, Wolfpack is thankfully not a documentary on the making of The Hangover, but rather a fascinating look inside the lives of a hermitic family of New York weirdos obsessed with movies. Watch the trailer and be hypnotized. Look for this one at the Darkside.
The Yes Men are Revolting – The game-changing performance art duo is back for a third film outing that gets a little meta with their brilliant impersonation of corporate honchos to shine a light on corporate greed and malfeasance across the globe. These guys may be the only actor/filmmakers in the world making comedy and actually doing something about real problems simultaneously. Sorry, SNL, but you’re not culturally relevant. It stars Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum.
Dope – This coming-of-age teen comedy about a band of outcast punk rockers growing up in the hood looks a little too cool for school. Don’t get me wrong—it looks sweet and funny, and all that jazz—but it also looks like a Portland hipster’s wet dream about growing up in South Central. It does feature a supporting turn from the incomparable Blake Anderson, from TV’s Workaholics, as well as Forest Whitaker.
Ted 2 – I’d love to be hip enough to pretend that Ted didn’t make me laugh out loud a bunch. I’m not really a Family Guy fan, but Seth MacFarlane can be funny in the right vehicle. This sequel may be the most highly anticipated summer comedy sequel since This Is Forty. And we all know how well that worked out… Mark Wahlberg and MacFarlane return as the stars and are joined this time by Liam Neeson, Patrick Warburton, and Tom Brady, among others.
Big Game – The first English language film by the brilliant Finnish team that brought us Rare Exports, this is the film I may be most excited about for the summer. Samuel L. Jackson stars as the president of the United States, stranded on a mountain in Finland after being betrayed by the Secret Service, and is guided to safety by a young Fin hunter. It’s Escape from New York meets Rare Exports, with a dash of Air Force One in there, too. The trailer had me cheering. It also features Ray Stevenson and Onni Tommila.
Terminator: Genisys – Bring on the sequels, July. This is the fifth entry in the Terminator film series, and probably only the third dumbest looking one. Arnold is back in his old role, and is joined by hot young stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher), and Jason Clarke (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).
Magic Mike XXL – Another hotly anticipated sequel, this is the follow-up to 2012’s Magic Mike, a film I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen, but which is supposedly actually really good, beyond the eye candy. Channing Tatum returns to his starring role as the titular Magic Mike, and is joined by his equally titular stars from the first film (see what I did there?) except Matthew McConaughey, who stayed home to collect residuals from Lincoln.
Minions – A spinoff/sequel to the insanely popular Despicable Me films, I plan to take my niece to see this animated film, and I’ll probably catch a quick nap while I’m in there. If you love the little obnoxious yellow guys from the Despicables, than I anticipate you will spend the whole movie laughing excitedly and looking at your companion to make sure they didn’t miss a second. Also, I hate you.
Ant Man – I was much more excited about this movie when the great Edgar Wright was in the driver’s seat. But I’m still pretty stoked. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas star in this film adaptation of one of the most clever and fun of all the classic Marvel characters. Expect him to be incorporated into future Avengers films.
Trainwreck – Judd Apatow has been on a bit of a cold streak, but I anticipate a big bounce back with this hilarious-looking comedy, written by and starring comedian Amy Schumer. If you’ve ever seen her amazing stand-up or her amazing sketch comedy show, you know the draw. It also stars Bill Hader.
Mr. Holmes – Just when I was going to call Hollywood and beg them to stop making Sherlock Holmes movies, TV shows, and lunchboxes, the brilliant Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) gives us the meditative mystery with Ian McKellen as an old retired Homes. Yes, please.
Pixels – Let me put my dismissiveness as succinctly as possible: Adam Sandler and Josh Gad in a movie where classic eight-bit video game characters come to sack planet Earth. If you’re excited for this, I must urge you to not procreate.
Vacation – A revival of one of the most fondly remembered film franchises of all time sees Rusty Griswold all grown up and taking the family on its own vacation. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprise their roles, and Ed Helms takes the… helm, as Rusty.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation –
The last Mission Impossible was probably the best in the series, and now the incomparable Christopher McQuarrie is writing and directing this one. It looks fabulous, and I’m not being sarcastic at all. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames all return, and are joined this time by Alec Baldwin.
Southpaw – Fresh off the disappointing finish to his TV show Sons of Anarchy, Kurt Sutter brings violence and moroseness to the big screen with this story of a widower boxer trying to regain his form. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, it stars an insanely ripped Jake Gyllenhaal.
Fantastic Four – A reboot of a Marvel property that may just be un-filmable. The source material is extremely close to my heart, but I don’t have high hopes. Miles Teller (Whiplash) stars with Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Kate Mara (House of Cards), and Jaime Bell (Billy Elliott). The trailer looks like it’s about nothing, and then there’s a giant laser beam from the sky… ugh.
Man from U.N.C.L.E. – If you’re not jazzed for this, go call your dad and ask if he is. I guarantee he is, if he’s cool. Guy Ritchie (Snatch) brings the classic TV show to the big screen with Armie Hammer as Ilya Kuryakin and Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo. If you’re not scared of T.H.R.U.S.H. you need to rent the original show, or go back to Sex Ed…
Straight Outta Compton – This is the biopic about legendary rap group NWA that was the site of legendary gangster Suge Knight’s latest crime (a murder). It stars Ice Cube’s real life son as a young Cube, and Paul Giamatti as their first manager Jerry Heller.
Masterminds – A heist movie with Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, and Owen Wilson should get you excited, until you learn it’s directed by the terminally unfunny Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre). But the script is from the dynamite Jody Hill and Danny McBride, so there may be hope yet.
Hitman: Agent 47 – A reboot of the failed film franchise based on the popular video game series about a bald hitman. I’m not kidding at all. This time Rupert Friend (TV’s) is the star, and he’s not nearly recognizable enough to be anchoring a summer action film. So I’m going to go ahead and predict this one will not be challenging Avengers for the box office title…
By Ygal Kaufman