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2024 summer movie guide: All the biggest films to have on your radar

Can lightning strike again this summer and give us another “Barbenheimer” — the double wallop of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” that opened on the same day and busted box-office records, covering themselves in Oscar glory?

Not bloody likely, since that jackpot is unprecedented. But wait. When Hollywood ignores the calendar and kicks off summer in May, the first movie out of the gate is “The Fall Guy,” starring two Oscar-nominated “Barbenheimer” dynamos, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. Plus, the movie — call it “Kenheimer” — is a crowdpleaser. So there’s that.

There’s also a parade of popcorn epics to get audiences pumped.

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is a prequel to the multi-Oscar-winning “Mad Max: Fury Road,” featuring Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role previously played (fabulously) by Charlize Theron. No substitutes accepted for Eddie Murphy, who returns to the 1984 role that made him a star in “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.”

There are prequels to “A Quiet Place” and “Alien,” sequels to “Planet of the Apes,” “Bad Boys,” Twister,” and “Despicable Me,” and reboots of “Garfield” and “The Crow.” And it will be hard for anyone to match the teaming of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in “Deadpool & Wolverine,” though I’m rooting for the rematch of two-time Oscar winner Emma Stone and her “Poor Things” director Yorgos Lanthimos in “Kinds of Kindness.”

As for the indie small stuff that wins Oscars (remember “Coda” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once”) A24 — the studio already riding high this year with “Civil War” — delivers a real contender with “Sing Sing,” about an acting program for inmates starring Colman Domingo, who takes another shot at the gold he almost won for “Rustin.”

And get this — “Sing Sing” opens on July 12, the very same date Barbenheimer scored with last summer.

We can’t talk awards potential without mentioning “Dances with Wolves” champ Kevin Costner, who spent his own money to direct, produce and star in “Horizon: An American Saga,” a western saga we’ll see in two parts this summer. Costner has two more “Horizon” epics up his sleeve if these two succeed.

There’s nothing like big risks and out-of-nowhere hits to whet our appetites.

Here’s my list of the 25 movies you don’t dare miss this summer. Let the games begin.

May 3

‘The Fall Guy’

For most audiences, summer is about one thing: entertainment. And this action romcom is insanely entertaining. As stunt guru Colt Seavers, a role created by Lee Majors for TV in the 1980s, Ryan Gosling is having a blast. You will too as Colt returns to film after an accident to work for his ex-girlfriend, a director played by Emily Blunt. The Gosling-Blunt chemistry is off the charts, as are the stunts, done for real (no CGI). Also for real, the fun never stops.

September  calendar  free printable calendar
September calendar free printable calendar

Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling in a scene from the movie ‘The Fall Guy.’


‘I Saw the TV Glow’

The best movie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival hits theaters like a gamechanger you can’t stop talking about. Remember the name Jane Schoenbrun, a blazing new talent to watch. It’s a tale of two teens (Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine, both terrific) who bond over a supernatural TV show, which drops them into the surreal wonderland of gender identity and cultural connection. You have never seen anything like this cinema beauty in your life.

Printable September  Calendar Templates With Holidays
Printable September Calendar Templates With Holidays

Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine starring I Saw The TV Glow.


Printable September  Calendar Templates With Holidays
Printable September Calendar Templates With Holidays

May 10

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’

Set 300 years after 2017’s “War of the Planet of the Apes,” the first of the new trilogy in the simian cinema canon proceeds without Andy Serkis, a motion-capture immortal as ape leader Caesar. His proxy is named, handily, Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand), the latest ape taking on a rival chimp (Owen Teague) and a human hunter (Freya Allan). This stuff never gets old.

20th Century Studios released a teaser image as well as cast and production details for the forthcoming movie “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” via Twitter on Sept. 29, 2022. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” picking up many years after “War for the Planet of the Apes,” starts production next month and stars Owen Teague, Freya Allen, and Peter Macon. Directed by Wes Ball, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” arrives in 2024.

20th Century Studios

May 17


Why do kids, when they grow up, forget their imaginary friends? That’s the premise behind this family film from writer-director John Krasinski, who’s usually scaring us with monsters in quiet places. Mixing live-action and animation, the film stars Cailey Fleming as a troubled girl who teams up with her neighbor (Ryan Reynolds) to figure out why they both see IFs. Do you?

The “If” trailer asks the question, “What if I told you imaginary friends were real?”

Paramount Pictures/YouTube

‘Back to Black’

Music biopics from “Ray” to “Judy,” which won Oscars for Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles and Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, usually score big everywhere. Up now is gifted newcomer Marisa Abela, doing her own singing as Amy Winehouse, the trauma-plagued late icon whose jazzy, blues-tinged voice reflected a life torn by self destruction.

Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse in director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Back to Black,” a Focus Features release.

Courtesy of Dean Rogers/Focus Features

May 24

‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’

Director George Miller, whose “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a time-capsule-worthy classic, doesn’t like de-aging technology. So instead of recasting Charlize Theron in this prequel, he brought in Anya Taylor-Joy to play the young Furiosa, displaced from her birthplace and forced to fight two warlords, played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke, in a battle to get back home. She’s like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” only mad as hell.

Anya Taylor-Joy appears in this screengrab from the new trailer for “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.”

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘Hit Man’

Director Richard Linklater wrote this fact-based script with powerhouse star Glen Powell, who plays an undercover Houston cop who poses as a hit man so he can arrest those who hire him. This mix of mirth and mayhem drew raves at film festivals from in Venice and Toronto and deserves them all.

Glen Powell and Adria Arjona in Hit Man movie official trailer.


June 7

‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’

Will Smith and his co-star Martin Lawrence are back for this third sequel to the Miami cop-buddy comedy that finds detectives Mike and Marcus on the wrong side of the law to clear the name of their late captain (Joe Pantoliano). The guiding rule behind this surefire hit is “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” I can roll with that.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are shown in a scene from the trailer for the movie “Bad Boys: Ride or Die.”

Sony Pictures

June 14

‘Inside Out 2’

Who wouldn’t want a sequel to this Oscar-winning 2015 Pixar animated landmark about a young girl coping with the emotions bickering inside her head? Back then she had Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. Joining the crowd now are Anxiety, Envy, Ennui and Embarrassment, making for another Pixar gem that proves live-action doesn’t have dibs on cinematic art.

Inside Out 2, releases only in theaters Summer 2024.


June 21

‘Kinds of Kindness’

“Poor Things” director Yorgos Lanthimos and star and producer Emma Stone follow up their Oscar-winning hit with another dazzling and deranged fable. This one tells three stories (it’s a triptych) involving a man with an identity crisis, a wife missing at sea and someone destined to be a spiritual leader. The cast also includes Jesse Plemons, Margaret Qualley, Willem Dafoe, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie and Hunter Schafer. Bring it on.

Emma Stone and Joe Alwyn appear in “Kinds of Kindness.”

Atsushi Nishijima/Searchlight Pictures

‘The Bikeriders’

A new movie from Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter,” “Mud,” “Loving”) is always an event, and this look at a dangerous subculture of 1960s Midwestern motorcycle gangs, inspired by the iconic black-and-white photographs of Danny Lyon, delivers the vroom. Jodie Comer stars as a woman caught between two bad boys, powerfully played by Austin Butler and Tom Hardy.

Austin Butler appears in a scene from the new trailer for “The Bikeriders.”

20th Century Studios/YouTube

June 28

‘A Quiet Place: Day One’

This prequel to the first two scarefests from hitmaker John Krasinski brings in a new director (Michael Sarnoski) and a new cast led by Lupita Nyong’o, Djimon Hounsou, Alex Wolff and Joseph Quinn. The scene switches from down on the farm to New York City, the noisiest place possible to begin the story of monsters that kill anything that makes a sound.

Lupita Nyong’o appears in the trailer for the upcoming film, “A Quiet Place: Day One.”

Paramount Pictures

‘Horizon: An American Saga’

If you’re wondering what Kevin Costner has been doing while debating when, if ever, he should return to his TV smash “Yellowstone,” here goes. Costner co-wrote, directed and stars in this epic about the American West during the Civil War. The second part of this saga (Costner intends to create four) opens on Aug. 16. It’s Costner shooting with both barrels, so be there.

Horizon, The American Saga from Warner Bros.

Warner Bros

July 3

‘Despicable Me 4’

Are you ready for Gru Jr.? Big daddy Gru, once again voiced for giggles by Steve Carrell, rounds up his Minions, plus partner Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and adopted daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Madison Skyy Polan), to help bring up baby and take on a new baddie villain in Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell). Family audiences won’t be able to resist.

Despicable Me 4 movie premieres July 3, 2024.


‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’

Leave it to Eddie Murphy to ignite Fourth of July fireworks in his return, after three decades, to the star-making role he first played in 1984. Yup, Murphy is back for the fourth time as Axel Foley, teaming up with his old gang and a new detective partner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) when the life of his estranged daughter (Taylour Paige) is threatened. The heat is on.

Bria Murphy as Officer Renee Minnick and Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.,” 2023.


July 5


Horror movies are summer scorchers, so look for director Ti West and his knockout star Mia Goth to pull out all the stops in the final part of the slasher trilogy that began with “X” and “Pearl.” This time Goth’s Maxine Minx is far away from her Texas farm as a porn star trying to make in legit Hollywood with a serial killer, aka the Night Stalker, on her tail.

Mia Goth and Halsey in “MaXXXine.”

Justin Lubin/A24

July 12

‘Sing Sing’

This is one of the best movies of summer — and the year. “Rustin” Oscar nominee Colman Domingo surpasses himself in this fact-based story as the falsely imprisoned Divine G, who discovers an outlet for free expression in Sing Sing’s theater program. He and another prisoner, superbly acted by Clarence Maclin, join a cast of formerly incarcerated men to find a kind of redemption in the prison’s arts strategy. The result is unmissable and unforgettable.

Colman Domingo, Clarence Maclin in “Sing Sing.”

Courtesy of A24

‘Fly Me to the Moon’

Remember the 1960s when romcoms ruled the box office? Now Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson show why chemistry counts. He’s a NASA honcho prepping to launch Apollo 11. She’s a marketing diva ready to put the space program on the map, even it means faking a moon landing. There’s nothing fake about Tatum and Johansson. Whatever “It” is, they’ve got it.

Kelly Jones (Scarlett Johansson) and Cole Davis (Channing Tatum) in “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Dan McFadden/Sony Pictures

July 19


With warnings of climate change made scarily real in every news report, this timely sequel to 1996’s “Twister” promises more than nerve-jangling tornado effects, especially with gifted “Minari” director Lee Isaac Chung at the helm. Also the cast, led by Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Anthony Ramos, is definitely in it for more than a paycheck. Let’s hope.

Glen Powell stars in new “Twisters” trailer.

Universal Pictures

July 26

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’

If I had to guess which summer epic will wear the box-office crown without inciting poison reviews from critics, I’d bet on the comic-book team of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman as those infamous rivals, the Merc with the Mouth and the moody fan-favorite “X-Men” hero with the retractable claws. They bring mirth, menace and personality for days, as fists fly as fast as insults while these rascally rogues try to save the multiverse. How do you resist that? You don’t.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Marvel Studios’ “Deadpool & Wolverine.”

Disney/Marvel Studios

Aug. 2

‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’

With Deadpool and Wolverine dropping f-bombs, the family audience can relax with this mix of animation and live-action based on the kid-friendly 1955 book by Crockett Johnson. Zachary Levi stars as the grown-up Harold, whose magical purple crayon lets him draw himself off the book’s pages and into the physical world. Life lessons will be taught without spoiling the fun.

Harold and the Purple Crayon caption: Zachary Levi in “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Aug. 9

‘It Ends with Us’

Colleen Hoover’s 2016 bestseller about an abusive relationship hits the screen with Blake Lively as Lily, a florist who marries Ryle, a studly neurosurgeon played by the film’s director, Justin Baldoni. Struggling to escape her abusive husband, Lily turns to former love Atlas (Brandon Sklenar) for safety and support. Will the movie soar on female empowerment or sink in soap-opera theatrics? Stay tuned.

Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni in “It Ends With Us” film.

Sony Pictures


In Eli’s Roth’s adaption of a smash video game, two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett plays a bounty hunter fighting aliens with a pair of certified crazies, Kevin Hart as a mercenary and Jack Black as a sassy robot. What the hell, you may reasonably ask. My advice? Go with Roth, whose work from “Cabin Fever” to “Hostel” has made fans of lots of us, including Quentin Tarantino.

Cate Blanchett as Lilith, Ariana Greenblatt as Tiny Tina, Kevin Hart as Roland, Florian Munteanu as Krieg and Jamie Lee Curtis as Tannis in “Borderlands,” 2024.



Think of a dad who takes his daughter to a Taylor Swift concert and you’ll have some idea of the twists “The Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan has in store. For instance, from the trailer, it appears that the dad is a serial killer, played by comeback kid Josh Hartnett. And unknown to his kid (Ariel Donoghue), the concert headlined by the Swift-like star (the director’s daughter Saleka) is a police trap. I’m so in. You?

Josh Hartnett in “Trap,” 2024.

Warner Bros.

Aug. 16

‘Alien: Romulus’

Cailee Spaeny has been killing it in “Priscilla” and “Civil War.” Now, directed by scare master Fede Álvarez (“Don’t Breathe”), she’s going all Sigourney Weaver as a young, Ripley-like space explorer who comes across an alien facehugger. Romulus, a name symbolizing fresh starts, indicates there may be more here than aliens. Maybe in space no one can hear you scream, but in theaters, especially in summer, screaming your head off is an essential part of the fun.

Isabela Merced as Kay in 20th Century Studios’ “ALIEN: ROMULUS,” 2024.

20th Century Studios