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This image released by Universal Pictures shows a scene from the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in theaters on June 22.

Five unavoidable summer blockbusters everyone will see, so you might as well, too

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Disney would very much like you to know that its many Star Wars projects are doing just fine, thank you. Never mind the fact that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story underwent heavy reshoots, with screenwriter Tony Gilroy being called in at the last minute to rectify the “terrible, terrible trouble” the project was in, with middling results. Also, don’t worry that co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were ousted from Solo: A Star Wars Story deep into production, replaced with everyone’s favourite visionary Ron Howard. Star Wars is great, Lucasfilm is great, and this totally necessary Han Solo origin story will surely be a great addition to a franchise that will never, ever deserve to end. (May 25)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The first trailer for this sequel to a pseudo-reboot failed to impress. It seemed the story boiled down to Chris Pratt’s annoying hero and Bryce Dallas Howard’s corporate stooge needing to rescue dinosaurs from the eponymous park before a volcano consumed its island habitat (confirming that this is the most ill-engineered theme park in history). More recent footage further illustrates the story – it’s more about engineering better, bigger, deadlier dinosaurs – but the plot still smells musty, echoing The Lost World, among other been-there-done-that adventures. It will still make $1-billion-plus, so perhaps the only thing extinct is a good idea. (June 22)

Incredibles 2

Pixar – owned by Disney, in case you forgot which studio has a stranglehold on the current box-office landscape – has been doubling down on sequels lately. Of its past 10 projects, six have been sequels – some more warranted (Toy Story 3, Finding Dory) than others (Cars 3, Monsters University). To this familiar roster, add Brad Bird’s sequel to his 2004 adventure, one of the studio’s strongest projects, even if its themes reeked of Ayn Rand-ian objectivism. At least this sequel looks beautiful and features the always lovely voice-actor pairing of Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson. (June 15)

Deadpool 2

Given how meta and clever the title character considers himself, you’d think that studio Fox would come up with a more creative title for this R-rated superhero sequel. Perhaps the Deadpool team is saving their ambitions for the actual film, which promises to be exactly like the first – crass, violent, full of Hugh Jackman jokes – just more so. Prepare to be shocked, if you are 11 years old. (June 1)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Tom Cruise has a death wish. That is the only conclusion audiences will be able to arrive at after watching the star navigate a series of ultra-dangerous stunts in this sixth M:I film. But if Cruise must feel the need to risk his life for box-office glory, at least he does so in the most entertaining fashion possible. (July 27)

Five under-the-radar films that you do not want to miss


John Woo, who invented modern action cinema thanks to his Hong Kong crime films, has been missing in, ahem, action for the past few years. With Manhunt, though, Woo makes an audacious return to the genre he created – although it will take some effort on audiences’ part to seek out this film, as Netflix isn’t exactly pushing its premiere this week. Don’t let that lack of marketing sway you, though: Manhunt is a wildly entertaining mishmash of Woo’s greatest hits. There’s a lawyer framed for murder, a cop who can’t play by the rules, a nefarious corporate villain, orphan-sister assassins, supersoldiers, and approximately three dozen completely bonkers set-pieces. Oh, and doves. So. Many. Doves. At times, Woo approaches self-parody, but that’s just the director having some much-needed fun. The man deserves it – and so do audiences set to be burnt out by the summer’s less-inspired action movies. (May 4)


Director Sebastian Lelio is having, as they say, a moment. His acclaimed drama A Fantastic Woman just won the Academy Award for best foreign-language picture, he’s in the midst of remaking his wonderful 2013 film Gloria for American audiences, and now he’s set to release this provocative, intriguing drama that explores the pains of hiding a same-sex relationship within London’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star. (May 18)


The buzz around Ari Aster’s horror film has been deafening since it debuted at Sundance this winter. Even more impressive, and confounding, is that few who have witnessed it can reasonably describe the plot, other than to say Toni Collette plays a distraught mother and that Aster’s vision is soul-shaking. The film gets bonus terror points for causing a small panic in Western Australia last week, after a local theatre accidentally played Hereditary’s trailer in front of the family film Peter Rabbit. (June 8)

Under the Silver Lake

If it accomplishes nothing else, the latest film from David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) has produced the best trailer of the season, a haunting and propulsive bit of advertising soundtracked to the Violent Femmes’ Add it Up. The film itself should be just as good, given Mitchell’s track record and the killer cast he’s assembled (Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace) to tell the story of a young man who becomes obsessed with a missing neighbour. Under the Silver Lake looks like the best parts of TBS’s brilliant Search Party combined with the only tolerable elements of the Jim Carrey vehicle The Number 23. (June 22)

The Wife

After playing the Toronto International Film Festival this past fall, it seemed that Bjorn Runge’s drama was heading for immediate Oscar success. Yet Sony Pictures Classics decided to hold it back from a crowded 2017 field, paving the way for star Glenn Close to dominate this year’s awards race. If there’s any justice in this world, Close won’t be forgotten in the late-summer melee, as her performance as a betrayed woman is one to savour for seasons to come. (Aug. 10)