2017 Summer Movie Preview: 25 Wide Releases We're Excited To See

The summer season is almost upon us and you know what that means: movies are about to get bigger, louder, and more expensive. And, if we're lucky, they'll also be pretty great!

The /Film team examined the list of every single major wide release (our indie and streaming preview arrives next week) hitting theaters this summer and argued, debated, and occasionally agreed on which 25 movies we're most looking forward to watching over the coming months. The staff then voted, ranking them from "movies we want to see" to "movies we want to see right now." So here's our 2017 summer movie preview, which features superheroes, evil dolls, talking cars, pirates, sharks, dead strippers, World War II, and so much more.

25. Annabelle: Creation

Release Date: August 11

Director: David F. Sandberg

Cast: Talitha Bateman, Stephanie Sigman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto.

Synopsis: A dollmaker and his wife open their home to a nun and a group of young children after the local orphanage has been closed. And wouldn't you know it: the dollmaker's evil creation decides to come to life and make things a living hell for everyone involved.

Why We're Excited: The first Annabelle was a spin-off from James Wan's The Conjuring, taking the evil doll introduced in that film's prologue and giving her a solo outing and origin story. And now, we're getting an origin story for that origin story! Weird set-up aside, Annabelle: Creation looks like a self-contained horror tale with plenty of chills, bumps in the night, and yes, jump scares. The draw here is director David F. Sandberg, whose Lights Out was as technically precise and visually intense as any mainstream horror movie in recent memory. This should make for a great time at the movies. (Jacob Hall)

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cars 3 story

24. Cars 3

Release Date: June 16

Director: Brian Fee

Cast: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Kerry Washington, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, John Ratzenberger, Lea DeLaria, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Isaiah Whitlock Jr. and more.

Synopsis: Lightning McQueen isn't the young, fast car he used to be. Recovering from a nasty accident during a big race, Lightning McQueen must go back to the roots of racing in order to get his drive back if he has any chance of defeating Jackson Storm, a new, advanced racer who is dominating the track.

Why We're Excited: Even though Cars isn't among our favorite Pixar movies, there's something about the teaser trailer for Cars 3 that makes this one feel different. With a story that feels a lot like an underdog sports drama in the vein of Rocky Balboa or The Wrestler, this sequel appears to have the kind of heart that has mostly been missing from the Cars franchise. If there's anybody who can figure out how to crack a good story, it's Pixar, and it seems like they have something to prove this time. (Ethan Anderton)

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transformers the last knight trailer

23. Transformers: The Last Knight

Release Date: June 23

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Jerrod Carmichael, Isabela Moner and Santiago Cabrera

Synopsis: Once again, humans are warring with the Transformers, but this time, Optimus Prime has gone rogue. Naturally, it's up to Mark Wahlberg and Bumblebee to save the day.

Why We're Excited: Sure, the Transformers franchise has been diminishing returns since the original film came out a decade ago (has it really been that long?), and this latest installment looks like more of a mess than Dark of the Moon. But I personally believe that any film directed by Michael Bay is worth experiencing on the big screen, and this film was the first to be shot with IMAX 3D digital cameras. Unlike other filmmakers, Bay isn't afraid to push his use of 3D and that alone is worth my visit to the multiplex. I'm personally more interested in the mythology/King Arthur side of this story than I am the Terminator-inspired post-apocalyptic half of the film. (Peter Sciretta)

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captain underpants trailer

22. Captain Underpants

Release Date: June 2

Director: David Soren

Cast: Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peeleand Kristen Schaal

Synopsis: Dav Pikley's bestselling book series come to big screen, with two students hypnotizing their tyrannical principal into thinking he's a superhero named Captain Underpants.

Why We're Excited: Tired of superheroes? Not too excited about this summer's handful of comic book movies? Then does DreamWorks have the hero for you: Captain Underpants (voiced by Ed Helms). Based on Dav Pilkey's books, this superhero's origin story isn't like everyone else's. He gets hypnotized by two young best friends (voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch) and then becomes their not-so-mighty comic book creation. With how many tortured and conflicted superheroes there are up on the big screen these days, every once in a while we need a hero as immature as this one. The trailer has some good laughs, too. Hardly surprising, though, considering Nicholas Stoller, the director behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors, wrote the film. (Jack Giroux)

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King Arthur Legend of the Sword Trailer - Charlie Hunnam

21. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Release Date: May 12

Director: Guy Ritchie

Cast: Charlie Hunman, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, and Aiden Gillen.

Synopsis: After his father is murdered and his crown stolen from him by his uncle Vortigen, Arthur grows up on the streets of Londinium, unaware of his birthright. But when he pulls the sword Excalibur from the stone, he's faced with his destiny and must choose whether to unite the Resistance and take down his tyrant uncle.

Why We're Excited: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword looks at first like another cursory "modern update" of a folklore legend à la Russell Crowe's Robin Hood — all grit and gore, and ultimately joyless. But King Arthur could have some hidden depths. Director Guy Ritchie pleasantly surprised us with his last film, 2015's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a sleek and stylish romp of a movie that was, above all, fun. And Charlie Hunnam has been on the up after his impressive turn as real-life explorer Percy Fawcett in The Lost City of Z, potentially lending more range to the role of King Arthur than just a brooding brow and a handsome face. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

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Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales TV Spot

20. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Release Date: May 26

Director: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin R. McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham and Geoffrey Rush

Synopsis: Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow for the fifth time and once again, he has an undead pirate trying to kill him. This time, it's Captain Salazar and our plucky, lucky pirate captain will have to make use of his wits (and some old friends and new allies) to stay alive.

Why We're Excited: I saw this film at CinemaCon this year and it's better than the last two installments of the franchise. Why should you be excited? It's directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who directed the Oscar-nominated film Kon-Tiki. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a pleasant surprise. Even though none of us were asking for another Pirates movie, I think most fans of the franchise will be happy we got this one. What makes this new Pirates movie good is that they went back to the roots of the series and concentrate on the characters we love and their legacies. The main villain's story is intimately tied to Captain Jack Sparrow's past and the central MacGuffin that everyone is chasing has very personal stakes for the characters involved. The result is a more heartfelt adventure that you actually care about. Dead Men Tell No Tales doesn't worry about building a trilogy of films (there is no cliffhanger) and takes the time to tell its own story on its own terms. (Peter Sciretta)

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47 meters down

19. 47 Meters Down

Release Date: June 16

Director: Johannes Roberts

Cast: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, and Matthew Modine

Synopsis: Two sisters, vacationing in Mexico, are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean, with less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby.

Why We're Excited: I'm always a fan of contained stories like Buried that challenge the screenwriter and filmmaker by placing our hero in the most ridiculous possible situation. Coming off of last year's The Shallows, which was a fun shark thriller, I'm more apt to give this movie a chance. Is there a big chance this will suck? Yes. Is there a chance it could be fun reguardless? Of course. (Peter Sciretta)

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Rough Night Trailer

18. Rough Night

Release Date: June 16

Director: Lucia Aniello

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Illana Glazer, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, and Jillian Bell

Synopsis: A wild bachelorette party weekend goes wrong when the women accidentally kill a male stripper.

Why We're Excited: Dead female strippers have appeared in pop culture so often that it's become an eye-rolling trope, but this movie finally flips the script. Plus, did you see that cast list? ScarJo headlining her first outright comedy would be an occasion for celebration on its own, but the fact that she's backed up by these awesome ladies in front of the camera and some Broad City vets behind it is just icing on the cake. (Keep an eye on that cake – a stripper might jump out.) (Ben Pearson)

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The Hitman's Bodyguard Ryan Reynolds Samuel L. Jackson

17. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Release Date: August 18

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung.

Synopsis: The world's top bodyguard (Reynolds) is hired to guard one of most notorious hitmen (Jackson) as he makes his way to testify at the International Court of Justice. The two former mortal enemies immediately clash, but must rally together to survive when a merciless Eastern European dictator (Oldman) puts a target on their backs.

Why We're Excited: Samuel L. Jackson at his most foul-mouthed facing off against an equally foul-mouthed Ryan Reynolds? What's not to like? Sure, it seems that most of the jokes may have been shown in the trailer, but the premise of two mortal enemies forced together in a bloody buddy comedy is just absurd enough to carry an entire two-hour movie. Both actors have built up their personas as unhinged, violent character actors — Reynolds more recently with his sardonic turn in Deadpool — and basing a movie off of those personas may just work. Plus, we'll get to see Gary Oldman chewing up the scenery again as an evil dictator, so who are we to complain? (Hoai-Tran Bui)

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Snatched Clip

16. Snatched

Release Date: May 12

Director: Jonathan Levine

Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Christopher Meloni,

Synopsis: After a tough break-up, a thirtysomething woman convinces her mother to go on a much-needed exotic vacation that turns into a hilarious nightmare when they end up kidnapped and must work together to survive...if they don't kill each other first.

Why We're Excited: Amy Schumer proved that she's quite the charming leading lady with Trainwreck, and the prospect of teaming her up with Goldie Hawn for an R-rated comedy like this is ample reason to be excited. In her heyday, Goldie Hawn was a top notch comedic actress, but due to Hollywood's artificial standards, her work has been few and far between lately. I love that Amy Schumer is using her popularity and power as a star to get actresses like this on the big screen again. Plus, the red band trailer makes it look like a hilarious break from the usual summer blockbuster spectacle. (Ethan Anderton)

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The House Trailer - Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler

15. The House

Release Date: June 30

Director: Andrew Jay Cohen

Cast: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Andrea Savage, Alison Tolman, Michaela Watkins, Steve Zissis

Synopsis: When two suburban parents realize that they've squandered their daughter's college fund, their best friend convinces them to open an underground casino in their basement.

Why We're Excited: It's hard not to be excited by the prospect of Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler finally co-leading a movie together. Toss in Jason Mantzoukas for good measure in a movie written by the guys who wrote Neighbors and we've got a hopeful summer comedy hit. Sweetening the deal is the promise that this movie will turn into a comedic take on Martin Scorsese films like Casino with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler stepping into the roles of Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone. This is exactly the kind of comedy that I'm happy to see studios give a vote of confidence for by putting it in the busy summer blockbuster season. (Ethan Anderton)

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AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL TRUTH TO POWER

14. An Inconvenient Sequel

Release Date: July 28, 2017

Director: Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk

Cast: Al Gore

Synopsis: A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.

Why We're Excited: We saw this film at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival premiere, and if An Inconvenient Truth was an eye-opening disaster movie, then An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is the heartbreaking post-apocalyptic follow-up. It's more personal and thus more emotional, showing the human face of climate change and how it is currently affecting people all over the world. The climax of the film centers inside the world of political dealmaking, giving us a tense inside look at how our world is run. While itisn't as powerful or as focused as the first documentary, it should still be required viewing for anyone living on this planet. (Peter Sciretta)

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The Mummy Zero Gravity Stunt

13. The Mummy

Release Date: June 9

Director: Alex Kurtzman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance and Russell Crowe

Synopsis: In the first chapter of Universal's new monsters universe, an ancient evil is unleashed upon the world and it's up to Tom Cruise to put an end to it.

Why We're Excited: Universal is confident moviegoers want a Monster Universe, but we'll see whether that's the case come June. Both The Wolfman remake and Dracula Untold attempted and failed to set up future movies, but Alex Kurtzman's film does already have one leg up over those missed opportunities to revive Universal's classic monsters: it's got Tom Cruise. The Mummy is maybe the start of a new universe, but what's more enticing is that it's the next Tom Cruise movie. He'll probably save the world again, but he doesn't look like a completely cool and confident hero in Kurtzman's film. Hopefully, Cruise playing a frightened protagonist out of his depth and completely outmatched by a Mummy ends up being as entertaining as it sounds. (Jack Giroux)

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it comes at night trailer

12. It Comes at Night

Release Date: June 9

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, Christopher Abbott, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Carmen Ejogo.

Synopsis: A man and his family take refuge in their isolated home as some kind of unspecified threat ravages the world at large. The basic order of things is disrupted by a group of survivors who show up their doorstep, seeking refuge. Paranoia and mistrust blossom and things do not go well.

Why We're Excited: Director Trey Edward Shults broke onto the scene with the critically acclaimed Krisha, a tiny indie movie that turned a lot of heads. For his new movie, he's rounded up a cast of recognizable actors and journeyed into a more multiplex-friendly genre...but it certainly looks like he's made the transition without sacrificing his unique voice and his eye for character. The trailer for It Comes at Night paints the picture of an intense, unnerving, and thoroughly upsetting horror movie, the kind of story where the human beings in the house are just as terrifying as the unnatural threats in the darkness outside. Sometimes, the best horror movies come courtesy of filmmakers who approach the genre with something to say and if his past work is any indication, Shults as a lot to say indeed. (Jacob Hall)

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the dark tower trailer

11. The Dark Tower

Release Date: August 4

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Katheryn Winnick, and Jackie Earle Haley.

Synopsis: Based on the beloved book series by Stephen King, Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger, travels between worlds and dimensions to battle the evil Man in Black and protect the Dark Tower, the nexus of all universes.

Why We're Excited: Stephen King fans have been awaiting a film adaptation of the Dark Tower books for years and for good reason: the books are (mostly) terrific, representing the author at his most fantastical and creative. They're a mind-melting blend of fantasy, horror, science fiction, western, and adventure – this is Lord of the Rings for people who prefer robots and mutants to orcs and Ents. And while it remains unknown if Nikolaj Arcel is the right director for this job, it's hard to argue with the casting of Idris Elba as Roland and Matthew McConaughey as Walter, the "Man in Black." At the very least, those two feel like proper embodiments of those characters as written. (Jacob Hall)

Wonder Woman Sequel

10. Wonder Woman

Release Date: June 2

Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner.

Synopsis: Trained as a warrior and raised as princess of the Amazons, Diana of Themyscira (Gadot) is unaware of the outside world and its conflicts, until an American WWI pilot named Steve Trevor crash-lands on her island. Learning of the Great War and believing it her destiny to stop the threat, she leaves home for the first time to fight to protect humanity.

Why We're Excited: To say there's a lot riding on Wonder Woman would be an understatement. Patty Jenkins' film is the first female-led superhero movie of the modern Marvel vs. DC era, and a chance for Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe to redeem itself after the critical clunkers like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. After Diana stole the scenes from the titular male heroes in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and injected some much-needed energy into the broodbath, we've been waiting with bated breath for her solo outing. And it's been oh-so-promising. Flooded with vibrant color and light, Wonder Woman features multiple complex women and humor (!), as well as a frank and refreshing approach to feminism. Most importantly, it features a multilayered depiction of Diana struggling with her own naïveté and hubris — which shows a deeper understanding of this character than we've seen of most of the DC heroes to date. Wonder Woman could set a new tone for DC movies going forward, one that doesn't parade nihilism and grey scale as its be-all-end-all. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

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spider-man homecoming trailer 41

9. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release Date: July 7

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green and more.

Synopsis: Peter Parker struggles with balancing his life as a high school student and his desire to be the superhero that New York City needs as Tony Stark tries to keep him from biting off more than he can chew as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Why We're Excited: After being introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War, this is the first solo film where the new Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) gets to spread his wings (literally and figuratively). With Robert Downey Jr. taking a key role as an influential mentor who isn't very confident in Peter's potential to be a full-fledged member of the Avengers, we're getting a dynamic that we haven't seen Spidey deal with on the big screen before. Combine that with the fact that former Batman franchise star Michael Keaton is taking to the sky again as the villainous Vulture, and this is exactly the kind of comic book spectacle that summer movie season is made for. (Ethan Anderton)

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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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valerian

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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