Summer Movie Preview: Superheroes and Dinos Are Coming

It’s (almost) summer!

And while recent summers at the multiplex have felt downsized (and understandably), this summer feels full speed ahead, with the likes of Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone and even Buzz Lightyear.

Here’s a preview of what’s to come. (Release dates are subject to change.)

May 20

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” In the second feature film based on the hit TV series, the Crawley family embark on a grand journey to the south of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa. Everyone is back, including Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern.

MAY 27

Top Gun: Maverick Tom Cruise feels the need for speed again in this long-awaited sequel to the iconic 80s blockbuster. Also starring Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller and “Iceman” Val Kilmer (who also starred in the original).

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” Feature film based on the hit animated television series, where a burst water main creates a huge sinkhole right outside Bob’s Burgers restaurant, causing chaos. Would you like fries with that?


“Observer” A young woman moves into a new apartment with her fiancée only to be tormented by an unseen observer in an adjacent building. With Maika Monroe (“It Follows”) and Karl Glusman (“Love”).


“Jurassic World Dominion” The future of humanity hangs in the balance (as always) when humans and dinosaurs coexist after the destruction of the island Isla Nublar. The stars of the very first “Jurassic Park” – Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum – return alongside current cast members Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Oh, and that damn T-Rex.


“Light year” Everyone’s favorite toy astronaut – Buzz Lightyear – gets an origin story in the latest Pixar. But just pretend the toy never existed, because it was the “real” Buzz who spawned the toy. Yeah, I have a headache too. Chris Evans stars as the voice of Buzz.


“Elvis” Flashy Baz Luhrmann directs this look into the life of legendary rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley. Starring relative newcomer Austin Butler as the King, Tom Hanks and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

“The Black Phone” After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy begins receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims. I bet roaming charges still apply. With Ethan Hawke and Jeremy Davies.


“Minions: The Rise of Gru” Another origin story, of sorts, as a young Gru attempts to join a group of villains called the Vicious 6. When the interview turns to disaster, Gru and his Minions go on the run. Whenever I think of Minions, I want a Twinkie.

“Shotgun Wedding” Literally. A couple’s extravagant destination wedding is hijacked by criminals, with, you guessed it, shotguns! With Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Coolidge.


“Thor: Love and Thunder” It is a direct sequel to “Thor: Ragnarok”, the fourth film in the Thor saga and the 29th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Have you got all that?) Oscar-winning actress Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”) is directing again, with returning stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. Plot details are tighter than Hemsworth’s abs, but we do know that Christian Bale steps in as the villainous Gorr the God Butcher.


“Where the Crawdads Sing” A woman who grew up in the deep south swamps becomes suspicious in the murder of a man she was involved with. Based on the popular novel.


“Nope” Director Jordan Peele (“Get Out,” “Us”) returns with this tale of the inhabitants of a lonely ravine in interior California who bear witness to a strange and chilling discovery. Yeah, it’s as vague as it gets, and on purpose. But we know movie stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun.


“High-speed train” It sounds like fun, as five assassins aboard a high-speed train discover that their missions have something in common. With Brad Pitt, Zazie Beetz and Joey King.

“DC League of Super-Pets” Animated comedy where Superman’s dog, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), forms a team of shelter animals with superpowers: a dog named Ace (Kevin Hart), who becomes super strong and indestructible, a pig named PB (Vanessa Bayer ), who can grow to giant size, a turtle named Merton (Natasha Lyonne), who gets super fast, and a squirrel named Chip (Diego Luna), who gains electrical powers.


“Secret Headquarters” A boy discovers a secret headquarters under his house that appears to belong to a superhero. He shares it with his friends, and they begin to believe that his estranged father might be having a secret double life. With Owen Wilson and Michael Pena.


“The Man from Toronto” Comedy where the deadliest assassin in the world and the biggest failure in New York are mistaken for each other in an Airbnb rental. With Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart.


“The beast” A father and his two teenage daughters are chased by a huge rogue lion in the African desert. I bet it wasn’t in the travel brochure. With Sharlto Copley and Idris Elba.


“Samaritan” A young boy learns that a superhero who disappeared after an epic battle 20 years ago may still be around. With Sylvester Stallone and Martin Starr.

Contact Rod Pocowatchit at [email protected]

This story was originally published May 14, 2022 2:53 a.m.

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