Now that weíve all had some time to digest all of the exciting moviegoing options for May and June, itís time to dive into the big (and not-so-big) releases of the last two months of summer.
Once again, though, I need to start with my usual disclaimers. Release dates can (and most likely will) change. In fact, theyíll probably change from the time I finish writing this preview to the time I publish it. Films can also be released gradually, over several weeks, in various markets. In almost every case, I list films by week, using Friday as the standard release date. But some may open earlier in the week, so be sure to keep an eye on your local listings before racing out to your favorite theater.
And now...off to the movies.
The Fourth of July may be over, but that doesnít mean that the big releases are behind us. Up first this week, the eagerly-anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first Spider-Man film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland stars as the web-slinging hero, who sets out to balance his hero life and his high school life.
Also this week, writer/director David Loweryís A Ghost Story tells the story of the white-sheeted ghost of a recently deceased man who returns to his home and his widowed wife (played by Rooney Mara). Santoalla follows the true story of a Dutch couple whose plan to start over in a small Spanish village turns into a mystery when the husband goes missing. And Patti Cake$ stars Australian newcomer Danielle Macdonald as an aspiring rapper in New Jersey.
Kristinís Pick: I canít say that Iíve ever been excited about the release of a Spider-Man movieóuntil now. I canít wait to see how Marvel handles the character and his story.
Prepare for a beastly battleóbecause, this week, Cloverfield and Let Me In director Matt Reeves helms War for the Planet of the Apes, which fins Andy Serkisís Caesar fighting against Woody Harrelsonís Colonel for control.
Also this week, a teenage girlís magical wishes turn dark and horrifying in Wish Upon and a young woman finds herself married to an older man in Lady Macbeth.
Kristinís Pick: Admittedly, the Planet of the Apes franchise has lost my interestóso Iíll give my pick to the period drama of literary adaptation Lady Macbeth.
Not too long ago, Christopher Nolanís Dark Knight movies ruled July (I remember this because my daughter was due just days before the release of The Dark Knight Rises, and we had to make a little deal, so I wouldnít miss the screening.) Now, Nolan makes his July return with Dunkirk, which follows the story of the Allied soldiers during a brutal WWII battle.
Director Luc Besson also returns to theaters this week with the sci-fi comic book adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne.
And, for some laughs, thereís Girls Trip, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Tiffany Haddish as four friends on a wild adventure in New Orleans.
Kristinís Pick: Christopher Nolanís most recent films seem to have lost a little bit of their heart and soul, but Iím hoping that Dunkirk will bring it right back.
Our personal messages have been taken over by emojis, so why not our movies, too? This week, the animated comedy The Emoji Movie follows T. J. Millerís Geneóan emoji whoís actually capable of multiple expressionsóas he attempts to become more like the rest of the emojis in Textopolis.
Also this week, Charlize Theron stars as an MI6 agent in stuntman-turned-director David Leitchís spy thriller Atomic Blonde. And Al Gore follows up An Inconvenient Truth a decade later, teaming up with directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.
And, if youíre up for some subtitles, you can try Yiddish drama Menashe, French drama From the Land of the Moon (starring Marion Cotillard), or Catherine Deneuve in another French drama, The Midwife.
Kristinís Pick: Action, spies, and Charlize Theron? Iím seeing plenty of promise in Atomic Blonde.
The month of August is another notoriously slow time for movies. As kids head back to school, theaters are filled with the leftovers. But the first weekend in August shows that the summer isnít ready to go down without a fight.
Up first is the adaptation of Stephen Kingís popular series The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba as The Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black.
For more action, director Kathryn Bigelow takes on another historical battleóthis time, a massive citizen uprising from 1967 in Detroit.
Also this week, the documentary STEP follows the girls of a high school step dance team during their senior year. And actor Taylor Sheridan steps behind the camera, acting as writer and director of crime thriller Wind River.
Kristinís Pick: I still havenít read the Dark Tower books, but Iím still looking forward to the latest big-screen adventure from Stephen King.
This week offers a little bit of something for everyone (though, admittedly, maybe not the best options for everyone).
Up first, a creepy doll continues her deadly adventures with Annabelle: Creation. Meanwhile, Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen team up in the social media dramedy Ingrid Goes West. And Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon experience food and culture as they journey through Spain in The Trip to Spain.
For the kids, thereís another sequel, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, which follows a bunch of animals as they set out to stop the townís mayor from turning their home into an amusement park.
Or, for something completely different, Short Term 12 director Destin Cretton once again teams up with Brie Larson for The Glass Castle, the story of a young woman raised in an eccentric home. And (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb tells the story of a college grad in New York City in The Only Living Boy in New York.
Kristinís Pick: This weekís releases are pretty random and eccentric, but Iím going to give my pick to The Glass Castle, hoping that itíll be as good as Short Term 12.
The summer comes to a grinding halt this week with just one new release: The Hitmanís Bodyguard, a wacky action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a bodyguard whoís sent to get a hit man (played by Samuel L. Jackson) to court on time.
Kristinís Pick: Earlier in the summer, a movie like The Hitmanís Bodyguard would have seemed entirely ludicrous. But, this late in August, it could just be mildly entertaining. At least the cast is fun.
And here we are already: the end of the summer. August comes to an end with one horror flick: Norwegian director Lars Klevbergís debut, Polaroid, which follows a group of teenage girls as they try to escape the deadly powers of a Polaroid camera whose subjects meet a gruesome end.
Also this week, John Corbett stars as a pastor on a mission in All Saints. A Brooklyn teen searches for an escape from his home life in Beach Rats. And a young artist falls for the married woman heís hired to paint in Tulip Fever.
Kristinís Pick: I have a soft spot for Norwegian filmsóand a weakness for anything that points to my Dutch heritage. Iím going to stick with the Dutch and give my pick to Tulip Fever.
And, with that, another summer comes to an end. Thereís so much to look forward to this summeróand there are sure to be plenty of surprises. So fill up your popcorn and buckle up; itís sure to be one wild ride.