2016 Summer Movie Preview

With the weather getting warmer, the movies are getting bigger. The year’s four-month annual dose of sun and giant blockbusters is almost upon us. For each of the next four months, we’ve picked five movies you can’t miss and ranked them in our level of excitement. Here are some of the biggest, and smallest, movies of the summer.



MV5BMTkxNzk3NzMwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc3ODQ4NzE@._V1_UY268_CR0,0,182,268_AL_5. A Bigger Splash

It’s a simple story. A couple are on a supposed quiet vacation when some unwelcome guests show up and start to wreak all kinds of quirky havoc on the vacationers. But here we have Tilda Swinton playing a David Bowie-esque rock star and Ralph Fiennes as her annoying peace interruptor. Do you need more? (May 4)


MV5BMjcwNDA5MDYyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjg0NDkzNzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_4. The Nice Guys

Another movie I should barely have to explain to you for you to get excited. It’s the ’70s. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling play an enforcer and a private eye, respectively, in a crime comedy from Shane Black, the writer of Lethal Weapon and director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3. The trailer speaks for itself. (May 20)


MV5BNDQ1NDE5NzQ1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzA5OTM2NTE@._V1_UY268_CR3,0,182,268_AL_ (1)3. The Lobster

Set in a dystopian future where there’s a city where people have 45 days to find someone they love before they turn into an animal, The Lobster is a bizarre little sci-fi indie that’s had its US released delayed in the past few months. But we’re finally getting the well-reviewed festival darling in the early summer. Colin Ferrell and Rachel Weisz star. (May 13)


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3385516/?ref_=nv_sr_12. X-Men: Apocalypse

The longest running continuous superhero franchise ever is showing up alive and well once again this summer for what looks to be its biggest outing yet. Oscar Isaac plays the iconic titular foe, also joined by newcomers Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as younger versions of some of the most iconic X-Men. But the true question here as this prequel trilogy of sorts finishes up is can the X-Men franchise stick the landing and prevail where Star Wars and The Hobbit failed? (May 27)


MV5BMjQ0MTgyNjAxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzMDkyODE@._V1_SX214_AL_1. Captain America: Civil War

It really says something of the Marvel product that last year’s modest yet perfectly fine Avengers: Age of Ultron was considered a disappointment. But then, perhaps this film is the Avengers sequel we wanted all along. The Russo brothers return after their tremendous Captain America: The Winter Solider to pit the Marvel heroes against each other for a reason the trailers already justify way better than a single moment of Batman v. Superman did. Oh, and Spider-Man is in it. (May 6)




MV5BMjMwNzM3NzY0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODMwMjQ1ODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_5. Genius

Stuffy biopics are rarely the stuff of summer, but John Logan’s adaptation of the relationship between Thomas Wolfe and Maxwell Perkins dares to be a notable exception. Jude Law and Colin Firth play the leads, respectively, and are joined by Nicole Kidman, Dominic West, Guy Pearce, and Laura Linney. (Jun. 10)


MV5BMTgwMzcwNDkyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODgyMDM1ODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_4. Swiss Army Man

If you followed Sundance this year, you might know this movie as the one where Daniel Radcliffe plays a farting corpse. A bizarre looking indie destined to divide audiences received some warm reception out of the festival. But then, this is one of those movies you probably just should see for yourself. If you’re not opposed to excessive flatulence, that is. (Jun. 17)


MV5BNzg4MjM2NDQ4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzk3MTgyODE@._V1_SX214_AL_3. Finding Dory

Pixar sequels are hit and miss. There are your Cars 2s and your Toy Story 3s. But even if Finding Dory end sup being a bit of a disappointment, the animation looks to be, once again, top notch. Considering Finding Nemo is now over a decade old, there’s also the nostalgia factor that the studio is likely hoping to bank on. But the director hasn’t changed and he went on to make Wall-E, arguably Pixar’s best feature. (Jun. 17)


MV5BNjIxNTI5MTA1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjIzNzM2NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_2. Free State of Jones

Rarely the type of blockbuster that finds its way in summer these days, Matthew McConaughey stars in the civil war drama from the director of Seabiscuit and The Hunger Games. Looking stylish in nature, the film hopes to be a true American epic just in time for the Fourth of July. Also starring Keri Russell, Free State of Jones dares to be a summer blockbuster without a franchise to back it up. (Jun. 24)


MV5BMTAyMDYzMDExNTReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDM3NjY5MTgx._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_1. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

So, The Lonely Island made a movie. Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone star and wrote the films, with the latter two also directing. Judd Apatow threw his name on as producer, but he barely needed to. This thing has the biggest chance of being the comedy hit of the summer. Featuring endless cameos in a mockumentary style, this is a comedy that you don’t want to miss. (Jun. 3)




MV5BMTYzMjA4MTE4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTI3Mjg0NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_5. Star Trek Beyond

J.J. Abrams may have left the director’s chair open in this franchise to go helm another space opera, but the Star Trek reboot is hardly over. Little is known about the plot of Beyond, but it reunites the phenomenal cast of the last two films, with the addition of Idris Elba, and for many, that might be enough. Justin Lin of the Fast & Furious franchise directs. (Jul. 22)


TI_DAY010_LD_2084. The Infiltrator

Coming off his Oscar nominee for Trumbo, Bryan Cranston plays Robert Mazur, a real life DEA agent who went undercover in the ’80s to infiltrate the money laundering organization run by Pablo Escobar (so he’s playing Hank instead of Walt this time around). Cranston’s film career has been fun to watch since Breaking Bad ended, with this latest choice pointing the most back to his yesteryears in Albuquerque. (Jul. 15)

Note: No trailer or poster has been released yet. 


MV5BNzAzODQ1NTk4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIwOTIwODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_3. Ghostbusters

Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones will lead the all-female reboot from Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids. As one of the most anticipated films of the year, there’s a lot of pressure to satisfy fans from a lot of people who usually get a lot more creative freedom. That said, the trailers are funny and this cast couldn’t be better for capturing the spirit of the original. (Jul. 15)


MV5BMjI5MjI4NTEzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM2Nzg3NzE@._V1_SX214_AL_2. The BFG

July 4th is one of the biggest holiday weekends at the box office of the year. Many of the films actually released then are disappointments. But in 2016, Steven Spielberg is directing a big budget fantasy about giants, based on the famous children’s novel of the same name. And as the years, no, decades have proven, you can’t go wrong with Spielberg. (Jul. 1)


MV5BMjA0MDQzNjY2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE1NjU5NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_1. Jason Bourne

Easily the most mysterious blockbuster of the summer, the fifth film in this beloved franchise reunites star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass after they both sat out 2012’s The Bourne Legacy. With our only look at the film being the 30-second Super Bowl spot, we know next to nothing about the sequel, which makes it all the more exciting and anticipated. New cast members include Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, and Tommy Lee Jones. Julia Styles reprises her role. (Jul. 29)




MV5BMjQxNzE4ODU1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDA4Njk0ODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_5. Hands of Stone

Of all the sports in the world, boxing probably has the best history at the cinema. Up and comer Edgar Ramirez plays Roberto Duran, with the raging bull himself, Robert De Niro, as his trainer, Ray Arcel. With a relatively untested director at the helm behind these two stars, expect a film that works differently from your typical boxing flick. (Aug. 26)


MV5BMTc3NDA5MjMyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODUwMTU4NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_4. Nine Lives

Kevin Spacey plays a cat. It’s directed by Barry Sonnenfeld of Men in Black fame. It’s French. Christopher Walken is there for some reason. I count two options. First, this thing is a wall-to-wall riot. Second, it’s so bad it’s good. Either way, we kind of win right? Whatever, YouTube metrics show us you’ll pay to see it anyway. (Aug. 5)


MV5BMTY1Mjg2NDIxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjY0MDM4NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_3. Kubo and the Two Strings

From the same studio that delivered Coraline and ParaNorman comes this animated tale set in ancient Japan about a boy trying to find his father’s Samurai armor. Sporting gorgeous animation, the voice cast includes Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, and George Takei. Pixar may have to move over this summer in terms of sheer quality. (Aug. 19)


MV5BMTg5NzUxNzIyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTY1MTQ0ODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_2. The Founder

Michael Keaton’s revitalized career will bring him under the two famous, or infamous, golden arches this summer. Playing Ray Kroc, the man who would take McDonald’s from a family restaurant to a global phenomenon, Keaton has another chance for glory this year. From the director of Saving Mr. Banks and The Blind Side, as well as the writer of Big Fan and The Wrestler, the film also stars Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, Patrick Wilson, and Linda Cardinelli. (Aug. 5)

Note: No trailer has been made available yet.


MV5BOTY1MzU1MDQ1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjAzMjY3NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_1. Suicide Squad

Batman v. Superman was a major letdown. There’s no question of that. But don’t write off the DC Extended Universe yet, at least until you get to see the very first supervillain movie. Deadshot, Joker, Harley Quinn, and a slew of other DC villains will hit the screen this summer in a movie that Zach Snyder has absolutely nothing to do with. And Margot Robbie looks perfect as Harley Quinn, marking the character’s big screen debut. (Aug. 5)


What other movies are you excited for this summer? Let us know in the comments below!


By Matt Dougherty

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