Sunday, June 23, 2024

The 30 Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2023


Summer is almost here, and with it, a long list of highly anticipated movies. Many are new installments in popular franchises, while others offer a fresh take on old stories. And a number of these films have been teased for months, and in some cases, even years. Tom Cruise’s beloved Mission: Impossible series is getting a seventh installment, with beloved characters returning to the fold; after years of development, the live-action version of the Disney classic The Little Mermaid has finally swum into theaters; and a whole host of indies from auteurs new and old will find their way onto a screen near you. Grab your popcorn, and get ready to be entertained with all the movies you can expect to see this summer.

Fast X is the tenth film in the Fast & Furious franchise, the first part of the two-part saga finale. Dominic “Dom” Torreto is played by Vin Diesel—who recently teased that the final films might form a trilogy—is revving up, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, and John Cena. In this film, the group is up against antagonist Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes who wants to avenge his father’s death from 2011’s Fast Five.

The ocean is filled with wonders, and one of those is Halle Bailey. One half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle, Bailey is starring as everyone’s favorite red-headed mermaid Ariel in the 2023 live-action remake of the classic 1989 Disney film. She appears alongside a stacked cast, including Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

A dramedy from beloved writer-director Nicole Holofcener, You Hurt My Feelings stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as novelist Beth, whose marriage to Don (Tobias Menzias) is on the brink after she accidentally overhears his honest—and not entirely positive—opinion of her latest book.

Past Lives (June 2)

Celine Song’s directorial debut received critical acclaim at Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival. The story follows Nora (Greta Lee) as she reconnects with a childhood crush Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), from before she emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea and eventually married Arthur (John Magaro). As the trailer highlights, the movie explores the Korean concept of “inyeon,” which is akin to providence or fate.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (June 2)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the long-awaited sequel to 2018’s critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The Spider-Verse films, which use a unique comic-books-meets-computer-animation style, center Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a Black and Puerto Rican teen who is bitten by a radioactive spider. The second film, which will be the first of two parts, shows Morales encountering a group of Spider-people across the Spider-Verse, some of whom are voiced by actors like Issa Rae, Oscar Isaac, Daniel Kaluuya, Hailee Steinfeld, and Brian Tyree Henry.

Flamin’ Hot (June 9)

Ever wonder how Flamin’ Hot Cheetos—the spicy version of the beloved snack—came to be? Based on Richard Montañez’s memoir, A Boy, a Burrito and a Cookie: From Janitor to Executive, Flamin’ Hot tells the story of how Montañez, an immigrant who was once a janitor at Frito Lay, created chip, using inspiration from his Mexican heritage. Sources differ on whether Montañez is actually the creator, but this comedy-drama directed by Eva Longoria, which will debut on Hulu and Disney+, goes all in on him being the hero of snack time.

The Perfect Find (June 13)

Netflix has a new rom-com heading your way summer: The Perfect Find, based on the 2016 Tia Williams novel. Set in New York, it follows beauty editor Jenna (Gabrielle Union) who falls in love with her charming, much younger new coworker (Keith Powers)—who also happens to be her boss’ son.

They Cloned Tyrone (June 14)

The satirical sci-fi film They Cloned Tyrone features powerhouse acting trio John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx, who also produced the film. In the mystery caper—which will premiere on Netflix—Foxx’s character uncovers a conspiracy in which the government is using clones to control Black people.

Asteroid City (June 16)

There are two things cinematic auteur Wes Anderson is known for: a distinct directorial style and sprawling—and talented—ensemble cast. We are happy to report that judging from reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival, his latest film, Asteroid City, has both. Tom Hanks, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, and others star in this story of a junior stargazing convention interrupted by “world-changing events.”

The Blackening (June 16)

With the tagline “We can’t all die first,” horror-comedy film The Blackening mocks the trope of Black characters often being the first to die in horror films. The film, directed by Tim Story and written by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) and Dewayne Perkins, sees an all-Black friend group attempting to survive at a cabin in the woods during a Juneteenth getaway while a masked killer is on the loose.

Elemental (June 16)

This opposites-attract movie centers the citizens of Element City, a metropolis inhabited by humanoid figures made of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water). They all follow one rule: Elements cannot mix. Ember (Leah Lewis), who is made of fire, and Wade (Mamoudou Athie), a water citizen, meet through a chance encounter, and they teach each other about how rules are meant to be broken.

The Flash (June 16)

The Flash—the most recent entry in the ever-changing DCEU—has faced a number of challenges: multiple director changes, COVID-19 delays, and a controversial star in actor Ezra Miller. The movie sees Barry Allen aka The Flash get stuck in an alternate universe after he travels back in time to save his mother. He can’t get back alone, so he recruits a younger version of himself, Supergirl (Sasha Calle), and an older version of Batman—played by Michael Keaton, who last appeared as the Caped Crusader in 1992’s Batman Returns.

No Hard Feelings (June 23)

Jennifer Lawrence has always been funny—just watch her on any red carpet or talk show—but moviegoers have never seen her quite like this. In No Hard Feelings, a raunchy coming-of-age comedy, Lawrence gets to be funny on the big screen as an Uber driver who loses her job and agrees to date a 19-year-old in exchange for a new car.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30)

Harrison Ford is putting on his fedora and picking up the whip as Indiana Jones one last time. In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the final installment in the beloved franchise, everyone’s favorite archaeology professor decides to go on one last expedition with his goddaughter, Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). The two are in search of a rare artifact—the Archimedes Dial—and end up facing off with ubervillian Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen).

Joy Ride (July 7)

Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu star in this buddy comedy centered around four Asian-American friends on a mission to help Audrey (Park) locate her birth mother in China. Audrey’s best friend, Lolo (Cola), enlists the help of Audrey’s former roommate Kat (Hsu) and Lolo’s cousin (Wu) to accompany them on the trip. It’s a fast-paced comedy with no shortage of laughs.

Theater Camp (July 14)

This mockumentary-style comedy is about a flailing theater camp in upstate New York where Amos (Ben Platt) and Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon) are instructors. The best friends will do anything to keep their beloved camp alive, especially after its founder falls into a coma. Noah Galvin, Ayo Edebiri, and Patti Harrison are all part of the supporting cast.

Oppenheimer (July 21)

Christopher Nolan’s latest film stars Cillian Murphy as the physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who served as the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, the United States’ initiative to create a nuclear bomb during World War II. The movie is Nolan’s first since 2020’s Tenet, and features Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and Florence Pugh as part of the stacked ensemble.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One (July 12)

For the seventh Mission: Impossible film, Tom Cruise’s agent Ethan Hunt of the Impossible Mission Force operative and his team are tasked with the mission of saving humanity from a dangerous weapon. Filled with Cruise’s signature stunts, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One is the first movie in the two-part finale for the franchise.

Barbie (July 21)

The long anticipated comedy-meets-fantasy film Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, brings the Mattel dolls to life with the first live-action Barbie film. Starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, the pair navigate the real world after Robbie’s character is expelled from Barbieland.

Beanie Bubble (July 21)

Did you collect Beanie Babies in the 1990s? If you did, you’ll appreciate this film, and if you didn’t, this Apple Original Film will serve as a guide. The dramedy follows the origin story of the popular stuffed toys, once valued highly as collectibles. The film stars Elizabeth Banks and Zach Galifianakis, and is based on Zac Bissonnette’s 2015 book The Great Beanie Baby Bubble.

Meg 2: The Trench (Aug. 4)

Meg 2: The Trench, a sci-fi action film, is based on the 1999 novel The Trench by Steve Alten and is the sequel to 2018’s The Meg. Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) and his research team are attempting to survive their journey to the deepest parts of the ocean among all the underwater danger they encounter.

Shortcomings (Aug. 4)


The directorial debut of Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat, Always Be My Maybe), which debuted at Sundance in January, tells the story of a couple working in the film industry in northern California. When one half, Miko (Ally Maki), moves to New York for an internship, the other, Ben (Justin Min), hangs back with his best friend Alice (Sherry Cola) and tries to figure out what he really wants out of life.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Aug. 4)

The teenage turtles are emerging from the sewers for the first time in years, and are hoping to win over the hearts of New Yorkers through heroic acts. Donatello (Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu), and Raphael (Brady Noon) set out on their new mission with the help of their friend, April O’Neil (Ayo Edebiri).

Red, White, and Royal Blue (Aug. 11)

Director Matthew López is adapting Casey McQuiston’s 2019 LGBTQ romance of the same name into a film for Prime Video. The story follows Alex Claremont-Diaz (played by Taylor Zakhar Perez), the First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry of England (Nicholas Galitzine), as they engage in a secret romance. Uma Thurman will play the President, Ellen Claremont, in a high-stakes big for reelection.

Gran Turismo (Aug. 11)

This coming of age film is based on the Playstation racing simulation video game series and the true story of Jann Mardenborough. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, best known for his Oscar-nominated sci-fi film District 9, the film follows a Gran Turismo player who goes from gamer to racer as his success in the video game leads to the opportunity to become a professional race car driver.

Heart of Stone (Aug. 11)

Tom Harper’s spy action thriller follows CIA agent Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) in a role reminiscent of James Bond (minus, maybe, all that misogyny). The film’s official synopsis says she has “a secret even bigger than her career with the MI6: She’s the only woman who stands between an ultra-mysterious, powerful, global, peace-keeping organization the Charter, and the loss of its most valuable—and dangerous—asset, the Heart.”

Strays (Aug. 18)

Strays, a comedy voiced by a star-studded cast including Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx, tells the story of a border terrier named Reggie (voiced by Ferrell) who is abandoned by his owner Doug, who was sadly never fond of the dog. Reggie and his stray friends, including Boston Terrier Bug (played by Foxx), set out to seek revenge on his former owner.

Blue Beetle (Aug. 18)

Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) is a recent college graduate looking for a job—and his purpose in life, more broadly. While on the hunt for a job interview, he is unknowingly given a piece of alien biotechnology known as the Scarab, which provides him with a super-powered suit of armor. This turns him into the titular superhero, the Blue Beetle. Maridueña stars as the DC Extended Universe’s first ever live-action Latine superhero and acts opposite other talented Latine actors including comedian George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, Damían Alcázar, Harvey Guillen, Elpidia Carrillo, and more.

Challengers (Sept. 15)

Director Luca Guadagnino has built a loyal fan base after releasing two Timothée Chalamet-led films, 2017’s Call Me By Your Name and 2022’s Bones and All. Now, the director is pivoting to tennis (as a subject matter, at least), having enlisted Zendaya and West Side Story’s Mike Faist to star. Challengers centers around three tennis players, Tashi (Zendaya), her husband Art (Faist), and Patrick (Josh O’Connor), Tashi’s ex-boyfriend and Art’s former best friend. The three have all known each other since they were teenagers, and Tashi, a player turned coach, sets out to help her husband become a champion as he faces off against his Patrick.

Problemista (TBA)

Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, and Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA star in Torres’ directorial debut Problemista. It follows an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador (Torres) on an expiring work visa facing obstacles as he tries to bring his ideas to life. An opportunity to work as an assistant for an outcast of the art world (Swinton) proves to be his only option to stay stateside. Anyone who knows Torres and his work on Saturday Night Live and Los Espookys knows this movie will be a fun, surreal experience.

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Write to Moises Mendez II at [email protected] and Mariah Espada at [email protected].