If you scare easily, you might want to stay home this summer, because the season's movie lineup is chock-full of the kind of thrillers that will make you grateful for the extra daylight hours. I've rounded up 20 of the movies hitting theaters before fall returns and ranked them according to the ones I want to see the most. Without further ado, here's my summer movie guide.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold, August 9
Admit it, there is a little part of you that really wants to see what Dora the Explorer will be like in the flesh, as a teenager. No? Just me? Fine.
Good Boys, August 16
I can't help that sometimes I really identify with the humor of middle school boys. In this movie, a set of barely pubescent middle schoolers put their manhood on the line, and I'm ready for all their ill-informed sex jokes.
Firecrackers, July 14
When I saw the trailer for this film, it looked like it had the same energy as the 2003 coming-of-age drama Thirteen. It's about two wild teenagers, ready to move to New York City and start completely new lives but an abusive boyfriend is standing in the way.
The New Mutants, August 3
Another installment to the X-Men film franchise, The New Mutants is sure to attract high school crowds to the theater, which I normally loathe. But Maisie Williams is in it, and wherever Arya Stark goes, I follow.
Brahms: The Boy II, July 27
I'm intrigued by this sequel for two reasons. First of all, there seemed to be no room for a sequel at the end of The Boy. So how are they going to continue the story line? I want answers! And, I want to see Katie Holmes too.
Spider-Man: Far From Home, July 3
*Sees Avengers: Endgame once and is now ready to watch every single Marvel Studios film the day they arrive in theaters*
Where’d You Go Bernadette, August 16
Based on the best-selling book, this film centers around a grown woman—with a child and a husband—running away from home. Only, there are no unfit mom narratives here; instead, it purports to be about a woman finding her voice. Count me in.
Child’s Play, June 21
Chucky has found an eyebrow lady and learned how to contour in the next iteration of this killer doll franchise. Seriously, I've never seen him so polished. Unfortunately, he will still stab you to death.
Annabelle Comes Home, July 3
The Conjuring universe has proven itself to be vast and apparently never-ending, which is good news to anyone like me who considers themselves a horror buff. Annabelle Comes Home is the seventh movie to come out of that world and the third one that focuses on the possessed doll. Hopefully, they can get rid of her once and for all this time.
The Farewell, July 12
Don't sleep on podcasts. A single story told on just one episode of This American Life is now getting the feature film treatment with Awkwafina as its leading lady in her first dramatic role. In The Farewell, Chinese-American Billi returns to China with her parents to spend time with her terminally ill grandmother. The only catch is that her grandmother doesn't know she's terminally ill, and so Bill must grieve her, without actually showing it. Bring your tissues for this one.
Share, July 27
Director Pippa Bianco is here to challenge what you think about sexual assault and the "right thing to do after it happens." When Mandy (Rhianne Barreto) wakes up on her lawn with bruises and finds out there's a mysterious video of her being spread around the school, she tries to figure out what the hell happened.
The Kitchen, August 9
In this comic book adaptation, a trio of mob wives has to get their hands dirty when their husbands go to prison. And, even though it's being billed as a drama, I wouldn't put it past Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss to make us all pee our pants with laughter.
Hustlers, September 14
I've been excited about this stripper scammer flick since the moment I heard about it. It's based on the true story of a group of women who were charged with drugging and robbing men for tens of thousands of dollars. Icons. When I found out J. Lo, Cardi B, and Lizzo were all starring in the film—J. Lo is also producing—I lost it. The twerk scenes are going to be epic, and I can't wait.
Men In Black: International, June 14
Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are updating this futuristic tale of alien-busters. Hemsworth and Thompson are top-tier performers, and I can't wait to drool over the latter in a suit. I hope this film gets a really dope title track like the original with Will Smith did.
It: Chapter 2, September 6
I will not be joining the "Is Pennywise hot?" debate this year (he's not). But I will be claiming my seat in the theater to watch the killer demon clown terrorize the citizens of Derry once again.
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, August 9
Did I mention I was a sucker for horror films? This movie is based on Alvin Schwartz's children's book series of the same name. But with Guillermo del Toro as one of the co-writers, the movie is likely to make a child out of me when I have to sleep with the lights on after watching it.
Toy Story 4, June 21
Woody (Tom Hanks) is having a midlife crisis as he tries to save a fork-turned-toy named Forky (Tony Hale). This sounds absurd, I know, but writer Andrew Stanton has already gotten us to be heavily invested in the lives of a band of playthings, so I expect nothing but excellence from this film.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, July 27
Quentin Tarantino's ninth film is ostensibly a story about an actor and his stunt double, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, respectively, but there's also a Charles Manson plot thrown in for good measure. DiCaprio and Pitt are enough Hollywood excellence to make any project worthwhile, but if you need more convincing, Margot Robbie is playing Sharon Tate and Dakota Fanning is a member of the Mason Family.
Midsommar, July 3
Hereditary was the scariest movie of 2018. Period. Now its writer and director is following it up with another film that looks just as creepy and witchy. Midsommar is about a Swedish festival that is revealed to be a ritual for a pagan cult. It comes complete with flower crowns and lots and lots of terror.
Lion King, July 14
No, I am not ready to relive the trauma of poor Simba finding his father dead at the hands of his hating ass uncle. Damn that Scar! But my six-year-old self won't let me sit this live-action remake out. My 31-year-old self won't pass up an opportunity to hear Donald Glover and Beyoncé sing "Can You Feel The Love Tonight." There will be tears and lots of them.