The summer movie season is upon us! The start of 2023 in the world of film has been interesting. Comic book movies are struggling in a way that hasn’t been seen before. The 95h Oscars were solid with Everything Everywhere All at Once dominating as it should. The Super Mario Bros. Movie took a page from Bowser and conquered the world. Several franchises have had series best entries at the box office (John Wick, Creed, Scream).
While that is all exciting the Writer’s Guild of America has called for a strike. The industry as a whole is typically quite unfair to so many sects of production in film and TV, that has only gotten worse since the era of streaming began. They deserve our support, and I hope that an agreement can come sooner rather than later between the guilds and the major production studios.
Back to the good stuff! Below are ten movies that at the moment, I am excited to check out this summer.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 – May 5th
The third entry in the Guardians’ story is finally arriving. It’s been a long time coming between the non-sensical James Gunn firing-rehiring, then the huge Avengers Infinity War and Endgame movies, and then this little thing called the Covid-19 pandemic. Volume 2 was released in 2017, that feels like two lifetimes ago! I’ll be honest the break kind of helps my excitement a bit since Volume 2 didn’t work as well for me as the first one did. This looks to be more of the signature James Gunn style, with a bit more intensity with this being the final entry. The MCU may be fading but I’m excited to get one last taste of what has been a fun ride with these wacky characters.
Fast X – May 19th
Now to the turn-your-brain-off summer movie entry. It was between this and the new Transformers movie. The Fast and Furious movies have been such a ridiculous soap opera of a franchise that is dumb as hell, just as corny, but super entertaining. F9, was a little too dumb even for me, yet they know how to rope me back in with new cast members like Jason Momoa and Brie Larson. Time to see what impossible car stunt they come up with next.
The Boogeyman – June 2nd
Last it was the Black Phone, this year I think the summer horror movie of the year will be this one. Stephen King’s stories are always a solid foundation for any movie. This looks like that excellent mix of a child at the center, a mystery that no one wants to believe, and a monster that is a force of evil. I’m crossing my fingers that this one delivers on a what has been some great trailers.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – June 2nd
The first Spider-Verse movie smashed all expectations I could have had for an animated Spidey movie. It is arguably one of if not the best Spider-Man movies out there. How do you build on a movie that had a bunch of unique Spider-Men and Spider-Women? You dial it up to infinity and take the multiverse concept to its extreme end. A Rick and Morty level of Spider-People. Oh and the villain of the movie? Another Spider-Man. Up those stakes! Where the MCU has had a difficult time making all-around solid movies around this concept, The Sony Animation team has shown that they can be trusted to bring something to the table that won’t just entertain but will have a whole bunch of heart. This will be a fun birthday weekend for me between this and The Boogeyman.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – June 30th
Since The Force Awakens, Harrison Ford has been on this reunion tour of his greatest characters, as well as jumping into new territory, he’s excellent in Apple TV+’s Shrinking. Well following Blade Runner 2049, Ford is giving his final Indiana Jones performance. The trailers have looked great, and while the last movie wasn’t up to par, I have faith in director James Mangold to close out this franchise on a bang. I mean he already pulled it off with Wolverine in Logan, and his follow-up was the excellent Ford v Ferrari. Let the best of Harrison Ford train continue.
Biosphere – July 7th
This is my indie sci-fi entry on the list. Will this movie be good? Super weird that it’s hard to comprehend? The quotes in the trailer make it appear that it’s going to be super wacky. All this is to say, I have no expectations on this one. It has actors I like, a sci-fi premise, and apparently a funny charm to it. If it can execute, this could be my sleeper pick of the summer.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – July 14th
Mission Impossible has been on a roll since its inception but for me, it really clicked when writer-director Christopher McQuarrie took over the reins. Rogue Nation and Fallout are action spy masterpieces. Like others on this list, we are nearing the end of the line for the franchise, and Dead Reckoning Part One looks more than ready to blow my mind with stunts that no other actor in the world would probably get cleared to do by insurance companies. What do you have in store next Mr. Cruise?
Barbie – July 21st
Like June 2nd, July 21st has two movies coming out the same weekend that look like really fun times for their respective genres. This one here is the one that for me has the biggest chance to fail or to surprise the hell out of me. The director and cast are what drew me in well before any trailers. Greta Gerwig’s foray into directing has been nothing but stellar, and now she is taking on a satirical look at Barbie? Alright, and the leads are Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling? But wait the cast has an ensemble feel with the likes of Helen Mirren and Will Ferrell? Okay, yeah this is a must-see for me. If you can’t tell I’m not leaning on this one being a disaster.
Oppenheimer – July 21st
If anyone can counter-program Barbie, it would be the blockbuster auteur Christopher Nolan. His first movie since leaving Warner Bros. behind Oppenheimer looks to continue Nolan’s streak of making massive movies that tackle big ideas. This time the birth of the atomic bomb and what this will mean for humanity. While many a movie fan point to his Batman films as their favorites, I honestly find his more original work or historical stories to be so much more interesting. I can’t wait to see how he brings this massive, human race scale-changing event to the screen.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem – August 4th
Taking a page from the Spider-Verse film’s approach of leaning into finding a unique identity. The production team behind the next adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have appeared to have found their angle. Lean into the TEEN part of things, it helps when you have the likes of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on writing duties. Add in a gorgeous animation style, and another stacked cast of actors, and this movie has a real chance of being the king of August releases this summer.
That’s it! That’s ten movies I’m excited about, but that doesn’t even include several others I didn’t mention that could also be pretty entertaining, like The Flash or No Hard Feelings. This feels like the first year since pre-pandemic that the summer season is filled to the brim with potential entertaining movies. Time will tell how many are actually up to snuff, but the typical approach of throwing more at the wall usually means we are going to come away with more hits than the last several years. Which… please movie studios, stop screwing around and meet the WGA in the middle. None of us want to go back to a barren release schedule again.