Summer movies — a cold theater, a big screen, a loud sound system, a questionably entertaining escapist film. Are they back?
It’s possibly coming true: with less worry about COVID-19 and more releases in store that actually look appealing compared to the last few years, it’s feasible that the 2022 summer may see a lot more moviegoers, well, going to the movies.
In part, Hollywood could give us a reason to go to the cineplex for the first summer in a while. The last time we wrote a movie preview was in 2019, and things have only gone downhill. But that light at the end of the tunnel just may be the projector firing up for a big, badass blockbuster or three.
Let’s break down where we stand with some promising offerings.
Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (May 6)
The release of Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness — whose name, by the way, is entirely too long — kicks off the whirlwind of 2022 summer movies, continuing the move for the summer movie season to come a little earlier than the calendar suggests (though Avengers: Endgame did hit theaters in late April). With Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man) in the director’s chair and fun surprises surely to be in store (X-Men?), this movie will serve nicely as a beginning to movie season as well as introduce more complexities to the MCU.
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)
This film was sitting solidly in my “maybe” category until early review started rolling in. Mike Ryan, writer at Uproxx, may have said it best.
The Black Phone (June 24)
We need the one, great, truly frightening horror movie of the summer, and this seems to be the one. The trailer suggests that it takes a real-world, horrific scenario and ups the ante. Ethan Hawke has been killing it lately. Forgive the pun. I’m there for it, though getting my wife to join me may be the challenge.
Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8)
The only thing Marvel Studios have satiated fans with so far is a teaser of Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s one of the longest stretches they’ve done without a full trailer for a movie. But, c’mon: Taika Waititi is back as director, and perhaps more importantly, Natalie Portman is back as Dr. Jane — this time, wielding the hammer. Just let me know when to buy tickets.
Nope (July 22)
More like “Yep!” amirite?! Okay. Thanks. But of course we’re here for the Jordan Peele mind benders. And what a trailer.
Men (May 20)
Summer 2022 may play out to be the season of the psychological and/or horror movie. Alex Garland as director and Jessie Buckley as lead makes this one intriguing as well as the fact that it’s an A24 production, which makes stellar and thought-provoking films. I may wait on a review for it, though it’s still high on my list.
Jurassic World Dominion (June 10)
Let’s be honest, here. The Jurassic Park franchise has some excellent and fun entries, but how many of them are variations on the exact plot? Yet you tell me that Colin Trevorrow is back along with Laura Dern, Sam Neil, and Jeff Goldblum? You buy the popcorn and my arm is twisted.
Lightyear (June 17)
This will run away with the box office receipts, but as for me, I’m having to stop myself from asking: did I really care about Buzz Lightyear’s origins as a real man before he became a toy?
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande (June 17)
In a truly different sort of romantic comedy and summer movie, Emma Thompson hires a younger sex worker to help her through the troubles of late adulthood. Thompson is rarely not working at the top of her skill set and it’s a sex-positive bit of film making.
Elvis (June 24)
The true embodiment of a “maybe” movie. Could it be interesting? Maybe. Can Austin Butler carry the heavy weight of the King? Perhaps. Will Tom Hanks lift the movie to another level? He could. Will I be there? Possibly! Baz Luhrmann gives another fine example of a hit-or-miss director. We’ll see.
Where the Crawdads Sing (July 15)
Where the Crawdads Sing certainly has the serious film look to help break the overindulgence of pure popcorn movie inhalation and Daisy Edgar-Jones could break through as one hell of an actress, but it also has a feel of a movie that could bust with a couple of bad reviews. The book certainly had its devotees, so there’s that.
Firestarter (May 13)
Zac Effron stars in another Stephen King adaptation, which will also stream on Peacock on the same day of its theatrical release. None of that sounds promising.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie (May 27)
Though Bob’s Burgers has a well deserved fanbase, the question remains: does it need a full length movie?
Bullet Train (July 29)
Brad Pitt is such a safe bet that he’ll usually get me in the theater by headlining a film, but not here. None of this looks appealing, from the “Staying Alive” soundtrack in the trailer to the lame attempt to make Bad Bunny a movie star. Oh, and that’s one of the Deadpool directors at the helm? Say no more. I’ll be seeing Nope instead.