Summer is just around the corner, which means theaters are about to packed with new, exciting releases. Of course, the big battle this summer will center on July 21, when Greta Gerwig’s whimsical Barbie debuts on the same day as Christopher Nolan’s intense Oppenheimer. Which one will come out on top? It’s too soon to tell. But until then, there’s plenty of other films to keep us busy in the meantime.
Here’s our top five summer movie suggestions:
Master Gardener – May 19
Paul Schrader’s latest film presents a spine-tingling tale about a reformed neo-Nazi (Joel Edgerton) who’s striving to make amends for his past mistakes, or at the very least, lead a more purposeful and nurturing life. Schrader’s known for combining spiritual themes with cultural commentary into his films, from The Last Temptation of Christ to First Reformed. In Master Gardener, Schrader seems to have done it again by exploring redemption and forgiveness in an incredibly complex story.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – June 2
The follow-up to the wildly successful Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is swinging its way into theaters, and it promises to be even more trippy and fantastic than the first one. Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), the web-slinging hero we all know and love, is back at it again, journeying through endless dimensions filled with countless versions of Spider-people. And this time, he’s got some new friends tagging along, including Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Oscar Isaac and Jason Schwartzman, who joins the fray as a new supervillain. But get this: there’s also a Spider-baby. That’s right, a Spider-baby! We don’t know how it works, but we’re here for it.
Asteroid City – June 16
Wes Anderson is back with another star-studded adventure that takes on his most out-of-this-world plot yet. he story revolves around a group of student astronomers who may or may not be invaded by aliens. And with a cast that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood — Tom Hanks! Scarlett Johansson! Jeffrey Wright! Margot Robbie! Edward Norton! Maya Hawke! Tilda Swinton! — Anderson’s latest film promises to be a whimsical and wacky ride that only he could dream up.
Barbie – July 21
Do you even need an introduction for this? Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has been major news since it was first announced back in 2021. Starring Margot Robbie as the titular doll and Ryan Gosling as her devoted companion Ken, Barbie promises to be a summer blockbuster like no other. Not content to just stick to the usual Barbie tropes, Gerwig has promised a subversive take on the material that sees the famous doll venture outside of her neon pink Barbieland and into the human world. Along for the ride are a star-studded supporting cast that includes Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Hari Nef, Simu Liu, Alexandra Shipp and even Dua Lipa (because why not?).
But if you’re not interested in a story about beloved childhood toys…
Oppenheimer – July 21
Christopher Nolan is back with his latest epic, and it’s about time. Oppenheimer tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist who helped lead the Manhattan Project during World War II, but found himself embroiled in controversy and political intrigue in the years that followed. Leading the charge is Cillian Murphy, Nolan’s frequent collaborator, who brings his trademark intensity and nuance to the role of Oppenheimer. Sure, there are plenty of fireballs and atomic swirls in the trailers, but Oppenheimer promises to be much more than a standard explosion-fest. With Nolan at the helm, you know you’re in for a deep, thought-provoking exploration of one of the most complicated figures in American history.