atomic blonde trailer

8. Atomic Blonde

Release Date: July 28

Director: David Leitch (John Wick)

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones.

Synopsis: An english spy is sent to Germany days before the fall of the Berlin Wall to retrieve some vital data. Naturally, no one can be trusted and everyone wants her dead…which means she’s going to have to kick a lot of ass and take a lot of names to get the job done.

Why We’re Excited: I saw this film at the SXSW Film Festival and action fans are going to want to put this one on their radar as soon as humanly possible. Charlize Theron picks up the torch she lit with Mad Max: Fury Road and sprints with it, confirming her place as one of the great modern action icons. Director David Leitch, who co-directed the first John Wick, delivers intense action wrapped up with style (and a killer ’80s soundtrack), proving that he’s the real deal when it comes to this genre. A “one-take” fight scene through an apartment building is one of the best action scenes of the past decade and has to be seen to be believed – it’s worth the price of admission alone. (Jacob Hall)

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7. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Release Date: July 21

Director: Luc Besson

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, John Goodman, and Ethan Hawke.

Synopsis: In a fantastical future, special operatives Valerian and Laureline are sent on a mission to Alpha, the “city of a thousand planets” to track down and stop a force that threatens the universe.

Why We’re Excited: This comic book adaptation has Luc Besson letting his imagination run wild. He’s back in Fifth Element territory, but he’s returned with much, much bigger toys to play with this time. Valerian is The Professional director’s biggest movie to date, but it also looks like one of his most imaginative and exuberant films. Everything we’ve seen so far from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, including last year’s very promising Comic Con footage, teases a huge sci-fi adventure with Besson’s sensibilities and two charming heroes, Agent Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Agent Laureline (Cara Delevingne). Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looks like a huge, playful, and colorful movie we want to run out and see on a hot summer day. (Jack Giroux)

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Alien Covenant Trailer Breakdown 59

6. Alien: Covenant

Release Date: May 19

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride, and Demian Bechir

Synopsis: It’s a new Alien movie, so you know the deal: oozing eggs, jumping facehuggers, terrifying xenomorphs…it’s not looking good for the humans in this one.

Why We’re Excited: Say what you will about Prometheus, but Ridley Scott still knows how to make a sci-fi film look absolutely stunning. That film’s script had some serious problems, but we’re hoping those kinks have been worked out in this sequel, which looks like a real “back to basics” kind of movie for Scott and his team. This shares so many similarities with the original film that you might be able to make a case that it’s a remake in disguise, and if it’s half as good as Scott’s ’79 classic, we’re all in for a treat. (Ben Pearson)

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Detroit Trailer John Boyega Kathryn Bigelow

5. Detroit 

Release Date: August 4

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, John Krasinski, Hannah Murray, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Reznor, and Ben O’Toole.

Synopsis: Based on the true events that took place during the historic Detroit riots in 1967, Detroit recounts the Algiers Motel Incident, in which three black men were killed and nine other people were brutally beaten by city and state police. Boyega plays a black security guard, whose faith in law enforcement is shaken when he witnesses the racially-driven violence up close.

Why We’re Excited: After her last two Oscar-nominated films, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, explored the grim reality of post-9/11 anxiety and violence, Kathryn Bigelow takes her camera to depict an unflinching and timely view of the 1967 Detroit riots. The events of Detroit may be 50 years in the past but it still feels present and visceral today, when issues of police brutality and race are more relevant than ever. Similar to how The Hurt Locker honed in on the experiences of a few ground soldiers in Iraq, Detroit portrays the larger issues through the lens of one particular story: that of three black men brutally killed and nine others beaten by law enforcement during the riots. This is obviously an “important” film, and Bigelow is establishing herself as an important and incisive director, keen on exploring the social and political issues plaguing American society. (Hoai-Train Bui)

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dunkirk trailer

4. Dunkirk

Release Date: July 21

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy

Synopsis: A dramatization of the famous evacuation of 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch troops from the beaches of the seaport Dunkirk as Germany advanced into France during World War II.

Why We’re Excited: Honestly, all we have to say is that Christopher Nolan is directing this movie, and you’d immediately know why we’re excited. Even though there have been dozens of movies about World War II, there’s something about Nolan tackling this moment in history, complete with IMAX cameras at his disposal, that adds some intrigue to an otherwise familiar cinematic setting. The prologue that played before some IMAX screenings of Rogue One and Kong: Skull Island in previous months only heightened our excitement as we saw what he can do with the tension and suspense of war. (Ethan Anderton)

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 trailer breakdown

3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release Date: May 5

Director: James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Kurt Russell, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

Synopsis: The further adventures of Marvel’s space-faring group of misfits, with Peter Quill meeting his mysterious father.

Why We’re Excited: I’m cheating a little because I’ve already seen this film, and while the embargo doesn’t lift for a few more days, trust me when I say that fans of the first Guardians film (which was a minor miracle) will absolutely love this one. Vol. 2 is funnier than most movies that are marketed as pure comedies – I laughed out loud maybe a dozen times here, which is super rare for me – and it has an unexpected poignance and emotional heft that makes these characters even better than they already were. Baby Groot is everything you’re hoping for, Drax is unexpectedly the funniest part of the whole damn thing, and we haven’t even mentioned the fact that Kurt Mother Effing Russell has a huge role…what else do you need? (Ben Pearson)

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Baby Driver Review

2. Baby Driver

Release Date: June 28

Director: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)

Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

Synopsis: A talented young getaway driver sets out on “one last job,” only to learn that getting away from a life of crime isn’t as easy as evading the police after a heist. And it’s a musical. Sort of.

Why We’re Excited: Don’t let the familiarity of that plot synopsis fool you. Like with his past movies, Edgar Wright takes elements we’ve seen a hundred times before and remixes them, offering recognizable ideas prepared in fresh, delectable, and downright intoxicating ways. In this case, Baby Driver is Heat remade as a jukebox musical, with the main character’s personal soundtrack (he’s always listening to music) informing all of the action on screen. A casual walk down the street has the pace of a musical number. Every car chase feels like a music video for the song blasting in the speakers. This movie is a technical marvel, a tribute to the crime movies and a love letter to music. See it in the loudest theater you can find. And then see it again. (Jacob Hall)

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war for the planet of the apes ceasar and woody gun to the head

1. War For the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 14

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer and Terry Notary

Synopsis: In the third chapter of the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, Caesar and his ape tribe find themselves in conflict with an army of human soldiers hellbent on wiping them out.

Why We’re Excited: Has there been a better reboot in modern film history than Fox’s current Planet of the Apes series? If this film is even as good as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, this will probably be the best trilogy of films released since the original Star Wars movies (or the Lord of the Rings films, depending on your tastes). Filmmaker Matt Reeves is back, and the third installment appears to put even more focus on the performance capture ape leads. The film has been pitched as a western starring Caesar as Clint Eastwood, and it will be a darker, larger journey than the first two movies. War For the Planet of the Apes was shot almost entirely using 65mm cameras, which will make this a film that should be experienced on the biggest screen possible. (Peter Sciretta)

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