The premiere of a new Marvel movie—Captain America: Civil War hits theaters next week—means that summer blockbuster season has arrived.
It’s that magical time of year when Hollywood rolls out (most of) their big-budget, action epics, with new, hotly anticipated films hitting theaters pretty much every weekend.
From historical dramas and animated adventures to superhero showdowns and alien invasions, here’s our look at 12 summer premieres we can wait to see.
Captain America: Civil War
After Age of Ultron, it’s hard to imagine how Marvel could possibly raise the stakes in a new Avengers story. The only thing left to do at this point is to make them fight each other, and, oh yeah, add Spider-Man to the mix. This one should be a lot of fun.
Last Days in the Desert
In this biblical drama taking place during Jesus’ time fasting in the wilderness, Ewan McGregor plays both Jesus and the Devil in a movie that tackles big questions about Christ and the nature of God. And, the cinematographer is Emmanuel Lubezki, the master behind films including Birdman and The Revenant.
Expect a lot of biblical themes and allegory in this epic about a villain known as Apocalypse.
More than a decade after Finding Nemo, Pixar is finally giving us a sequel to one of their most beloved films. Whether you’re seeing it for the sake of nostalgia or just as a Pixar fan, this is one to look forward to.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Let’s be honest. With the incredible special effects and mass destruction in the trailers, it doesn’t really matter how good the plot is, or that Will Smith isn’t in it. We’re here for the aliens and their building melting lasers.
Free State of Jones
In this true historical epic, Matthew McConaughey plays a Civil War-era farmer who leads a rebellion against the Confederacy.
There have been plenty of nostalgic reboots that have tried to just cash in on ’80s nostalgia (remember Total Recall or Terminator Genisys?), but Ghostbusters—directed by blockbuster comedy mastermind Paul Feig—looks like it’s doing things right. Sure, they’re bringing back some familiar faces (like Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd), but they’ve also reimagined the story by going with a female cast of comedy superstars: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.
We are living in the new golden age of True Crime—and, there’s no True Crime story more tailored for Hollywood drama than the rise and fall of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (just ask fans of Netflix’s Narcos). In this gritty action-drama, based on a true story, Bryan Cranston plays a U.S. Customs official who goes undercover to take down a drug empire.
Let’s just admit it—all Jason Bourne movies are kind of the same. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The spy franchise is everything that James Bond isn’t: Gritty, realistic, timely and morally conflicted.
A film about the founding of the McDonald’s restaurant empire might not sound like the stuff of blockbusters, but with Michael Keaton and Blind Side director John Lee Hancock, the true story of Ray Kroc becomes the stuff of American legend.
Kubo and the Two Strings
This isn’t your average animated movie. Using 3D stop-motion technology (not to mention an all-star voice cast consisting of (Ralph Fiennes Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara and others), the ancient Japan-set adventure is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The modern retelling of the classic novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, is a big-budget action-heavy epic combining the power of modern filmmaking with one of Hollywood’s all-time favorite stories.
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.