The Summer Blockbusters We're Most Excited For This Year

The summer of 2019 sounds a lot like classic rock. The music of the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and Elton John are the backbone for three of the season's most anticipated movies. In 50 years, let's hope we get three movies devoted to Cardi B, Lorde, and Ariana Grande.
So if the summer of 2019 sounds like dad music, what does it look like? Superhero school trips, CGI Simbas, blue genies! Oh my, indeed. Avengers: Endgame, out in late April, set the tone for the rest of the summer: Expect many reboots and franchise continuations. The fandoms will get to flex.
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But don't let the indies get lost amid the blockbusters. We've highlighted the best indie movies to support this summer as well.
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Wild Rose
Release Date: 12th April
Director: Tom Harper
Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo

Fresh out of prison, Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) wants her first destination to be Nashville, where she’ll finally become a famous country singer. But there are complications. Following A Star is Born, Her Smell, and Vox Lux, Wild Rose is another fascinating portrait of a woman whose ambitions for stardom are somewhat impeded by earthly obligations.
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Avengers: Endgame
Release date: 26th April
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Cast: Literally everyone who has ever been in an MCU movie.

What better way to kick off summer than with the biggest blockbuster of the year? Avengers: Endgame picks up where Avengers: Infinity War left off: Thanos has snapped his Infinity-stone-clad fingers and wiped out half the universe. Avengers: Endgame is a fittingly epic conclusion to the series, and to an era in the MCU. The movie will reward those who already are familiar with the franchise's 22 movies — though it's enjoyable for newbies, too.
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Long Shot
Release Date: 3rd May
Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, with Bob Odenkirk, and Alexander Skarsgård

Journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is unqualified for the role of boyfriend to Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), one of the world's most accomplished women politicians. He's also unqualified for being her speechwriter when she decides to run for president. But Charlotte feels kinship with Fred, since their relationship stretches back to childhood. Long Shot is a satisfying and unconventional rom-com.
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Detective Pikachu
Release date: 10th May
Director: Rob Letterman
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Kathryn Newton, Rita Ora, all of your favourite Pikachu

A noir mystery featuring a CGI-animated Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds? Yeah, Detective Pikachu is the kind of movie you have to watch to understand. But we guarantee one thing: You’ll have a blast.
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The Hustle
Release date: 10th May
Director: Chris Addison
Cast: Rebel Wilson, Anne Hathaway

The Hustle argues that there’s a grifter within us all, if we can only fake a British accent well enough. This gender-swapped Dirty Rotten Scoundrels catches Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as two con-women in competition to win over a wealthy (but hoodie-clad) tech mogul.
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Wine Country
Release date: 10th May
Director: Amy Poehler
Cast: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, and Paula Pell

Mix Girls Trip with the hey-day of aughts SNL, and you get Wine Country, Amy Poehler’s directorial debut landing on Netflix. After a long reunion, six friends travel to Napa Valley to celebrate a 50th birthday. The only way this movie could get wilder is if Cersei Lannister showed up with a sneer and a goblet of red.
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John Wick 3: Parabellum
Release date: 17th May
Director: Chad Stahelski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Lawrence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Asia Kate Dillon

John Wick is the kind of stylish, off-kilter action franchise that appeals to people who usually avoid (or fall asleep) during action movies. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired hit-man pulled back into the criminal underworld after a Russian crime boss killed his pet beagle. By the third instalment, he’s still doing what he does best: assassinating. Come for the visuals, stay for the fun (and Keanu Reeves on a horse).
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See You Yesterday
Release Date: 17th May
Director: Joanna Hogg
Cast: Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow, Brian “Stro” Bradley

Black Lives Matter meets Back to the Future in this out-of-the-box drama. CJ Walker (Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian (Crichlow) are two teenage geniuses who invent a time machine. When CJ's brother is murdered by the police, she becomes fixated on using the time machine to change the past — but as any time travel movie would tell you, that's not possible.
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Aladdin
Release Date: 24th May
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Nasim Pedrad, Naomi Scott

The movie’s not even out yet, but people already have opinions about the live-action version of Aladdin. Namely, that Will Smith’s Genie is low-key nightmare-fodder. Still, we’re excited for another foray into Agrabah. It probably won’t be a whole new world, but rather a return to an old favourite.
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Booksmart
Release Date: 24th May
Director: Olivia Wilde
Cast: Beanie Feldstein, Billie Lourd, Kaitlyn Dever

We’re calling it now: This big-hearted, raunchy teen comedy will be the movie that stays with you long past the summer. Right before they graduate, two high-school overachievers try to make up for all those years spent studying. They’re going to do it. There's a lovely symmetry to this movie as well: In 2007, Jonah Hill starred in Superbad, a movie that redefined teen comedies; his sister, Beanie, is set to do the same with Booksmart.
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The Perfection
Release Date: 24th May
Director: Richard Shepard
Starring: Allison Williams, Logan Browning

There are enough disjointed images in this trailer to write a thesis. After watching, it's hard to know precisely what The Perfection is about — but the movie's creepy mood is palpable. In The Perfection, musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out a friendship with Elizabeth (Logan Browning), her old academy’s current star student.
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Ma
Release Date: 31st May
Director: Tate Taylor
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans, Missi Pyle, Juliette Lewis

Octavia Spencer said she was searching for something “fucked up” for her next project. Enter: Ma. Like the 2019 movie Greta, the villain of Ma is a lonely middle-aged woman whose desire to give maternal affection curdles into something awful. Ma’s house becomes the new hotspot for a teenage friend group's parties. But the teenagers are playing into her trap.
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Rocketman
Release Date: 31st May
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Taron Edgerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard

Watch the formation of an iconic pop star as he travels from Reginald Dwight, a shy kid in an English village, to Elton John, the sparkle-clad, piano-playing singer who has captivated stadiums from the ‘70s to this day. Incidentally, Rocketman is directed by Dexter Fletcher, who was tasked with finishing Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired. Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, this portrayal of a gay pop star will actually get sexy. We think it’s going to be a long, long time before we get over this biopic.
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Always Be My Maybe
Release Date: 31st May
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Starring: Randall Park, Ali Wong, Keanu Reeves

Fifteen years after splitting up, former high school sweethearts Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) are tempted to hit the reset button. But their drastically different socioeconomic situations cause obstacles.
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Dark Phoenix
Release Date: 7th June
Director: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy

Sophie Turner is trading in her Sansa Stark all-black uniform for that of Jean Grey, one of the most powerful members of the X-Men. Actually, too powerful: She loses control of her powers and unleashes “Dark Phoenix,” an alter ego.
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Late Night
Release Date: 7th June
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Starring: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson

Imagine a world in which a woman hosts a long-running late night talk show. Gasp! That world exists in Late Night, but it's no feminist paradise. Host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) has always been reluctant to hire a woman writer. Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling) is brought on — and she brings her big ideas along with her.
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The Dead Don’t Die
Release Date: 14th June
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Simply everyone. Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloe Sevingy, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez, Tom Waites

The zombie movie genre has reached its natural climax: A star-studded satire which features Tilda Swinton as a sword-wielding fighter with a Scottish Accent. The Dead Don’t Die appears to be an American Shaun of the Dead.
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Men In Black: International
Release Date: 14th June
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Fergusen, Kumail Nanjiani

From fellow Asgardians in Thor to fellow alien-hunters in Men in Black: International, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have quite a cinematic history. The new MIB movie exists in the same universe as the Will Smith trilogy, but follows different characters — and features a whole new sleek aesthetic. It’s a perfect entry point for people who never got around to the originals.
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Shaft
Release Date: 14th June
Director: Tim Story
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Hall, Jesse T. Usher

Shaft has been a 1971 blaxploitation film, 2000 noir reboot, and now, a 2019 action movie with slightly comedic undertones. John Shaft Jr. (Jesse T. Usher) is an FBI agent who calls upon his legendary cop father, John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson) to investigate his friend’s death. The next chapter in the Shaft franchise has, perhaps, the most amusing tagline of the summer: “More Shaft than you can handle.”
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The Last Black Man In San Francisco
Release Date: 14th June
Director: Joe Talbot
Starring: Jimmie Falls, Danny Glover, Jonathan Majors

San Francisco is no longer the city Jimmie Falls (Jimmie Falls) and Montgomery (Jonathan Majors) grew up in. As the city changes, all Jimmie wants is to refurbish the old Victorian house his grandfather built. The Last Black Man in San Francisco garnered exuberant reviews out of Sundance — the kind of reviews that make you buy tickets for opening weekend, just to see for yourself.
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Toy Story 4
Release Date: 21st June
Director: Josh Cooley
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele

Andy’s grown up, but Woody (Tom Hanks) & Co. are forever in the landscape of childhood. Their latest human companion is a little girl named Bonnie. Allegedly one of Bonnie’s new toys, fashioned from a fork, has an “existential crisis” about being a toy. Utensils in crisis mode? Sign us up for another foray into the interior lives of objects.
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Child’s Play
Release Date: 21st June
Director: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Brian Tyree Henry, Gabriel Bateman

Unfortunately for people terrified of dolls, this is a summer full of movies about sentient, murderous ones. As in the original Child’s Play, a boy’s (Gabriel Bateman) life goes haywire when he’s given a Chucky doll (here, voiced by Mark Hamill of Star Wars). Will Child’s Play be able to compete with Annabelle Comes Home, out a week later? Play nicely, kids.
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Yesterday
Release Date: 28th June
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Brian Tyree Henry, Gabriel Bateman

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) wakes up in a world that doesn’t know the Beatles. So, he does what any struggling singer-songwriter would do: Pass off their songs as his own. Next thing he knows, he’s the most popular singer in the world. Such is the magic of Lennon/McCartney. Written by Love Actually’s Richard Curtis, Yesterday is poised to be a nostalgic, joyous ode to the impact one band has had on shaping the world as we know it.
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Annabelle Comes Home
Release Date: 28th June
Director: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Mckenna Grace, Patrick Wilson

Annabelle Comes Home will unite the Annabelle and Conjuring series in one grim symphony. The Warrens, the paranormal hunters in The Conjuring, lock Annabelle the doll in a room, along with other haunted possessions. For a truly damaging double feature, watch Child’s Play and Annabelle Comes Home back-to-back. Side note: After starring in this and The Haunting of Hill House, is young Mckenna Grace impervious to fear?
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Midsommar
Release Date: 5th July
Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter

With Hereditary, Ari Aster elevated the horror genre forever. He’s back with, Midsommar, a horror movie that takes place at a Swedish midsummer festival. Aster called it a “breakup movie,” but it looks like a cult movie to us.
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Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release Date: 2nd July
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) thinks he can take a break from his Spider-Man duties while on a school trip to Europe. He thought wrong. While swinging off of Venetian bridges, Peter comes to terms with the fact that being a superhero is a lifetime job. Spider-Man: Far From Home will also expand the MCU universe’s scope exponentially by introducing Mysterioso (Jake Gyllenhaal), a superhero from one of the other Earth’s in the multiverse.
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The Farewell
Release Date: 12th July
Director: Lulu Wang
Starring: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen

A year after Crazy Rich Asians, Awkwafina stars in another movie featuring a large all-Asian ensemble cast — but The Farewell is decidedly more bittersweet in tone. Billi (Awkwafina) objects when her family decides not to tell her grandmother (Zhao Shuzen) that she has terminal cancer. The movie, which is based on director Lulu Wang’s real life, garnered ecasatic reviews out of Sundance.
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The Lion King
Release Date: 19th July
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keean-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, John Oliver

The story of The Lion King is crowned with the voice of Beyoncé and cutting-edge technology. But is CGI animation necessarily an upgraded version of storytelling? We’ll see.
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The Nightingale
Release Date: 2nd August
Director: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Harry Weaving, Baykali Ganambarr

There are few heroines tougher than Clare (Aisling Franiosi), an Irish ex-con who tracks down her husband and son’s murderers through the Tasmanian Outback. The Nightingale is the sophomore feature-length film from Jennifer Kent of Babadook fame. If The Babadook is any indication, Kent won't shy away from exposing the ugly, brave, extraordinary actions women are capable of taking in The Nightingale.
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Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Release Date: 2nd August
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Eiza Gonzalez, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren

Fast cars. Villainous speeches. Men cracking jokes during action sequences. Mystifyingly, Helen Mirren. For fans of Fast and the Furious movie franchise, Hobbs & Shaw will be more of the same beloved formula, plus some upgrades (by the name of Idris Elba). In this spin-off, Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) will have to work together to battle a genetically enhanced villain.
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The New Mutants
Release Date: 2nd August
Director: John Boone
Starring: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton

The Stark sisters are each getting their own X-Men movie this summer. Sophie Turner headlines Dark Phoenix, and Maisie Williams gets The New Mutants, a genre-bending movie set at a facility where five teenage mutants are forced to undergo experimentation. It seems terrifying.
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Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Release Date: 9th August
Director: André Øvredal
Starring: Soe Margaret Colletti, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Javier Botet, Natalie Ganzhorn

The books that kept you awake at night as an elementary schooler become the movie that keeps you awake at night as an adult. In 1968, a group of kids in rural America discover a book of scary stories written by a troubled woman. The movie features some of Scary Stories' greatest hits, like "The Red Spot" and "The Big Toe." Guillermo del Toro serves as a producer, so we can expect a movie that blends horror with generous imagination.
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Matt Baron/Shutterstock
The Kitchen
Release Date: 9th August
Director: Andrea Berloff
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss

When their husbands are incarcerated, three wives take over their business and become Hell's Kitchen mobsters themselves. Girl power, indeed.
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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Release Date: 14th August
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: A sun-kissed bunch — Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Austin Butler, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, James Marsden, Lena Dunham, Margaret Qualley, and the late, great Luke Perry

Once upon a time in Hollywood...an awful crime happened that we can’t stop retelling. Tarantino’s ninth movie joins the long list of works about the Charles Manson murders to come out in 2019. Technically the movie is about a TV actor (Pitt) and a stunt double (DiCaprio) trying to make it in Hollywood, but Sharon Tate (Robbie), the actress murdered by Manson’s cult-members, factors into the action.
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Blinded by the Light
Release Date: 14th August
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, Hayley Atwell

When Sarfraz Manzoor discovered Bruce Springsteen in 1980s England, he found his wings out of his dead-end town. Blinded by the Light is an exuberant, unabashedly sentimental movie adapted from Manzoor’s memoir, and directed by Bend it Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chadha (also a Springsteen super-fan). In the movie, the music of Springsteen helps initiate a young Pakistani Muslim boy's awakening. The music we love as teenagers stays with us forever. It often defines who we are.
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Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Release Date: 14th August
Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Kristin Wiig, Judy Greer, Troian Bellisario, Emma Nelson, Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup

Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) was once an award-winning architect. Now, she's a house-bound stay-at-home mom. When Bernadette dips out of the competitive Seattle suburb and runs away, her daughter, Bee (Emma Nelson) goes on a cross-continental journey to find her.
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47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Release Date: 16th August
Director: Johannes Roberts
Starring: John Corbett, Nia Long, Sophie Nélisse, Sistine Rose Stallone, Brianne Tju

This sequel to 47 Meters Down takes the ingredients of the 2017 horror movie starring Mandy Moore (terrifying sharks, women trapped in cages) and multiplies them (more sharks, more women trapped in cages). The trouble begins when four girls go diving in an "underground city" and encounter sharks. The clear lesson: Just stay out of the water.
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The Souvenir
Release Date: 30th August
Director: Joanna Hogg
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Honor Swinton Byrne

In The Souvenir, a young woman (Honor Swinton Byrne) finds herself sublimated by an intense relationship with an older man. It’s a story you’ve heard before — or maybe even lived. Yet it’s rarely depicted with such ferocity, seriousness, and emotional accuracy. Tilda Swinton acts alongside her real-life daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne.
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It: Chapter Two
Release Date: September 6
Director: Andrés Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgard, James McAvoy

Twenty-seven years after the events of It, the Losers Club is all grown up — but their problems haven't gone away. Specifically, their problem is a shape-shifting alien that preys on the children of Derry, ME. They beat It once. They’re going to beat It again. The first It movie was a miraculous blend of terrifying and warm and hilarious. Our expectations are high.
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