Summer Sizzle: 'FJI' previews the hot-weather season’s coming attractions

Movies Features

The temperature will be hot and the movies hotter, as highly anticipated films like Wonder Woman,Dunkirk and The Dark Tower finally make their way to the big screen. Which films will scorch and which will sizzle? Check back in with us in a few months.

May Highlights

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and the gang—former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), brutish Drax (Dave Bautista), talking tree Groot (Vin Diesel) and smart-aleck raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper)—are back in action in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The Guardians: saving the galaxy and listening to some cool tunes while doing it. (Walt Disney; May 5)

Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon star in Gaby Dellal’s 3 Generations, about a teenage trans boy (Fanning) who decides to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. (The Weinstein Company; May 5)

Guy Ritchie takes the grit-tinged action template he used on his Sherlock Holmes movies and applies it to the legend of the Once and Future King in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Charlie Hunnam plays the titular Arthur, with Jude Law as his nemesis Vortigern. Djimon Hounsou and Eric Bana also star. (Warner Bros.; May 12)

Eleanor Coppola makes her narrative directorial debut with Paris Can Wait, a semi-autobiographical road-trip romance about a woman (Diane Lane) married to a successful but distant movie producer (Alec Baldwin). Coppola previously contributed documentary footage to the Emmy-winningHearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, about her husband Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. (Sony Pictures Classics; May 12)

Goldie Hawn makes her grand return to the silver screen in Snatched, a comedy/actioner about an overly cautious mother (Hawn) and freewheeling daughter (Amy Schumer) who are kidnapped while on vacation in an ostensible island paradise. 50/50 and Warm Bodies’ Jonathan Levine directed. (20th Century Fox; May 12)

Ridley Scott returns to the Alienverse for the first time since 2012’s Prometheus with Alien: Covenant, in which a group of settlers find their proposed colony planet a lot more dangerous than expected. Michael Fassbender reprises his Prometheus role as the android David; Katherine Waterston, James Franco, Guy Pearce, Billy Crudup, Demián Bichir, Danny McBride and Carmen Ejogo also star. (20th Century Fox; May 19)

The Diary of a Wimpy Kidfranchise (Don’t know it? Ask a kid.) gets a third installment with David Bowers’ Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. This time around, wimpy kid Greg (Jason Drucker), brother Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and parents Susan (Alicia Silverstone) and Greg (Tom Everett Scott) go on a road trip that, of course, goes hilariously wrong. (20th Century Fox; May 19)

A teenage girl (Amandla Stenberg) who’s lived an isolated existence due to severe allergies falls in love with the boy next door (Nick Robinson) in Stella Meghie’s teen romance Everything, Everything. (Warner Bros.; May 19)

If there’s anyone who can save summer, it’s Dwayne Johnson. The megastar (swim)suits up in Paramount’s Baywatch reboot, directed by Horrible Bosses and “The Goldbergs”’ Seth Gordon. Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and Priyanka Chopra also star. (Paramount; May 26)

Six years after On Stranger Tides, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise gets its fifth installment with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns, this time hunted by the pirate-hating Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem. Orlando Bloom, absent from the fourth film, is back again as Will Turner. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg of the Oscar-nominated Kon-Tiki directed. (Walt Disney; May 26)

Also in May

Directors Tim Marrinan and Richard Dewey examine the life and work of artist Chris Burden—whose performance-art history includes a piece where he was crucified on the back of a VW bug—in Burden. (Magnolia Pictures; May 5)

Director Philippe Falardeau tells the true story of the man who inspired the Rocky series in Chuck, formerly titled The Bleeder. Liev Schreiber, Ron Perlman, Elizabeth Moss, Jim Gaffigan and Naomi Watts star. (IFC Films; May 5)

Oren Moverman of The Messenger and Rampart directs Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny and Adepero Oduye in The Dinner, about parents grappling with a violent crime committed by their sons. (The Orchard; May 5)

The painter/filmmaker behind Basquiat, Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly gets a documentary tribute with Pappi Corsicato’s Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait. (Cohen Media; May 5)

Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a married couple on the verge of divorce whose relationship is unexpectedly rekindled in writer-director Azazel Jacobs’ (TV’s “Doll & Em”) The Lovers. (A24; May 5)

Mark and Jay Duplass executive produce crime caper Take Me, about a man in the “simulated abduction” business. “Orange is the New Black”’s Taylor Schilling co-stars with Pat Healy, making his directorial debut. (The Orchard; May 5)

The Measure of a Man’s Stéphane Brizé directed and co-wrote the Guy de Maupassant adaptation A Woman’s Life, about a French aristocrat (Judith Chemla) navigating the realities of life in 19th-century France. (Kino Lorber; May 5)

Cate Blanchett plays 13 different characters in Manifesto, a feature adaptation of a multi-screen installation art project by Julian Rosefeldt. (FilmRise; May 10)

A young woman must figure out a way to drive a wedge between the serial killer couple that’s kidnapped her in Ben Young’s Hounds of Love. (Gunpowder & Sky; May 12)

A man suffering from extreme clinical depression ventures into the Amazon jungle for a (hopefully) life-changing journey in Raz Degan’s doc The Last Shaman. (Abramorama; May 12)

A young graffiti artist in East L.A. (Gabriel Chavarria) struggles between his dreams of being a professional artist and his father’s (Demián Bichir) wish that he become a mechanic in Ricardo de Montreuil’s Lowriders. Eva Longoria, Theo Rossi, Melissa Benoist and Tony Revolori co-star. (BH Tilt; May 12)

German actress Maria Schrader (Aimee & Jaguar) steps behind the camera for Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe, about the 1936-1942 exile of famed Austrian Jewish writer Zweig (Josef Hader). (First Run Features; May 12)

Alexi Pappas and Jeremy Teicher co-directed Tracktown, about a long-distance runner (Pappas, an Olympic distance runner herself) preparing for the Olympic trails who must do something unthinkable when she twists her ankle: take a day off. (Orion Pictures-Samuel Goldwyn Films; May 12)

Director Doug Liman follows up 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow with psychological war thriller The Wall, about two soldiers (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena) pinned down by an enemy sniper. (Roadside Attractions-Amazon Studios; May 12)

A woman (Noa Kooler) has 30 days to find a groom after her fiancé breaks up with her in the Israeli romantic comedy The Wedding Plan. (Roadside Attractions; May 12)

Documentarian Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) tells the story of a family of Chinese immigrants whose small banking operation was the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges after the 2008 financial crisis in Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. (PBS Distribution; May 19)

Boguslaw Linda stars as Polish avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski in the biopic Afterimage, the final film of late director Andrzej Wajda. (Film Movement; May 19)

Danish director Thomas Vinterburg (The Hunt) returns to his home country following a stint in England for 2015’s Far from the Madding Crowd with The Commune, about the struggles faced by the members of a commune in 1970s Copenhagen. (Magnolia Pictures; May 19)

Actor Amber Tamblyn makes her directorial debut with Paint It Black, about two women (Alia Shawkat and Janet McTeer) suffering from grief who are drawn together into a twisted relationship. (Imagination Worldwide; May 19)

Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club) directs Bryan Cranston in Wakefield, about a family man who has a nervous breakdown and takes to secretly living in the attic, observing his family from afar. (IFC Films; May 19)

A woman recently released from prison vows revenge on the former lover who framed her in Lav Diaz’s The Woman Who Left. (Kino Lorder; May 19)

A prima ballerina wrestles with retirement in Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger’s documentary Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan. (Abramorama; May 24)

Two women escape from a psychiatric institution in Human Capital director Paolo Virzì's Like Crazy. (Strand Releasing; May)

Martin Scorsese executive produces Grateful Dead doc Long Strange Trip, by The Tillman Story andHappy Valley director Amir Bar-Lev. (Amazon Studios; May)

Brett Berns, with co-director Bob Sarles, pays tribute to his music hit-maker father in Bang! The Bert Berns Story. A songwriter and producer, pere Berns launched the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond in addition to penning “Piece of My Heart,” “Twist and Shout” and more. (Abramorama; Spring)

Director Kitty Green crafts a stylized exploration of the JonBenét Ramsey murder and the frenzy it inspired in Casting JonBenet. (Netflix; Spring)

June Highlights

Ed Helms voices the eponymous briefs-clad superhero in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, based on the best-selling children’s graphic-novel series by Dav Pilkey. Jordan Peele, Kevin Hart, Kristen Schaal, Nick Kroll and Thomas Middleditch also contribute to the voice cast. (20th Century Fox; June 2)

The world’s most famous superheroine gets her first solo theatrical outing in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot stars in the World War I-set actioner, with Chris Pine joining her as love interest Steve Trevor. (Warner Bros.; June 2)

An immigrant (Salma Hayek) ends up at a fancy dinner party hosted by a billionaire real estate tycoon (John Lithgow) in the Miguel Arteta comedy Beatriz at Dinner. (Roadside Attractions; June 9)

Universal kicks off their planned monster-themed cinematic universe with The Mummy, directed by Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness writer Alex Kurtzman. Tom Cruise stars as the only man standing between an ancient Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella) and global annihilation. (Universal; June 9)

Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow goes from big-budget dino capers to family drama with The Book of Henry, about a single mother (Naomi Watts) raising a child genius. Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace and Maddie Ziegler co-star. (Focus Features; June 16)

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is back in the races and under threat from a high-tech up-and-comer (Armie Hammer) in Pixar’s Cars 3. Brian Fee, a Pixar animation alum who worked on Wall-E, Ratatouille,Monsters University and the first two Cars movies, makes his directorial debut here. (Walt Disney; June 16)

Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) yearns to become an artist despite crippling arthritis in Aisling Walsh’s biopic Maudie. Ethan Hawke co-stars. (Sony Pictures Classics; June 16)

A drug-fueled bachelorette weekend goes wrong in a big way when a male stripper accidentally gets killed in Lucia Aniello’s (“Broad City”) Rough Night. Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Zoë Kravitz, Ilana Glazer and Jillian Bell star. (Columbia Pictures; June 16)

A couple (Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan) cope with cultural differences and a potentially fatal medical diagnosis in Michael Showalter’s romantic comedy The Big Sick, based on the real life of co-star Nanjiani. Holly Hunter also appears. (Amazon Studios & Lionsgate; June 23)

Michael Bay makes what is supposed to be his final foray into the Transformers franchise with Transformers: The Last Knight. Franchise alumni Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Stanley Tucci must save the world from evil robots yet again, joined this time around by newcomers Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins. (Paramount; June 23)

Writer-director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) teams with Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, Lily James, Kevin Spacey and more for Baby Driver, about a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who gets wrapped up in a doomed-to-fail heist. (TriStar Pictures; June 28)

Jennifer Jason Leigh dips her toes back into the horror genre in Amityville: The Awakening. This time around, Leigh’s character and her three children—Belle (Bella Thorne), comatose James (“Shameless”’ Cameron Monaghan) and young Juliet (McKenna Grace)—inadvisably move into one of cinema history’s most haunted houses. (The Weinstein Company; June 30)

An injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) takes refuge at a Confederate boarding school only to find himself on the wrong side of its headmistress (Nicole Kidman) and students in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled. Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst and The Nice Guys’ Angourie Rice co-star. (Universal; June 30)

Gru (Steve Carell) must defeat an ’80s-obsessed supervillain (“South Park” co-creator Trey Parker, skewing decidedly less R-rated here) in Despicable Me 3. (Universal; June 30)

A mother and father (Amy Pohler and Will Ferrell) discover they have less money to pay for their daughter’s college education than they thought they did—and start up an illegal gambling den in their house to make up the difference, as one does—in Andrew J. Cohen’s The House. (Warner Bros.; June 30)

Also in June

Errol Morris directs The B-Side, a documentary tribute to the life and work of photographer Elsa Dorfman. (Neon; June 2)

Brian Cox jowls up for the starring role in Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill, about the life of that U.K. Prime Minster in the 24 hours leading up to D-Day. Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Ella Purnell and James Purefoy also star. (Cohen Media Group; June 2)

A cartoonist travels back to his hometown after the death of his mother in the dramedy Dean, the feature directorial debut of writer/star Demetri Martin. (CBS Films; June 2)

Two sisters investigate the mystery of their father’s experiences during World War II in the ’70s-set Israeli drama Past Life. (Orion Pictures-Samuel Goldwyn Films; June 2)

Grieving from the death of her wife, Jo (Laura Heisler) gets involved in a love triangle and enlists her late wife’s brother to be a sperm donor in the Los Angeles-set comedy As Good as You. (First Run Features; June 9)

A Marine veteran returning from Afghanistan must grapple with the violent life he left behind when he joined the service in Ari Issler and Ben Snyder’s 11:55. (Gravitas Ventures; June 9)

Sam Elliott plays an aging western icon forced to confront his own mortality following a cancer diagnosis in Brett Haley’s Sundance hit The Hero. Laura Prepon, Nick Offerman, Krysten Ritter and Katharine Ross co-star. (The Orchard; June 9)

Blackfishdirector Gabriela Cowperthwaite turns from docs to narrative with Megan Leavey, based on the true story of a Marine corporal (Kate Mara) and her beloved combat dog. Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Ramón Rodríguez, Bradley Whitford, Common and Tom Felton co-star. co-star. (Bleecker Street Media; June 9)

Late—though that’s debated in some corners—rap legend Tupac Shakur gets a long-awaited biopic with Benny Boom’s All Eyez On Me. Demetrius Shipp, Jr. plays the rapper, who was gunned down in 1996 at the age of 25. Danai Gurira of “The Walking Dead” plays his mother Afeni. (Lionsgate; June 16)

Mild-mannered family man Toshio (Kanji Furutachi) invites ex-con childhood friend Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano) to stay in his workshop, only for Yasaka’s presence to start stirring up past conflicts, in Kôji Fukada’s Harmonium. (Film Movement; June 16)

The art of the film score gets its own cinematic tribute in Matt Schrader’s Score: A Film Music Documentary. Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and more contribute their thoughts. (Gravitas Ventures; June 16)

Ana Lily Amirpour follows up her critically acclaimed debut A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night with dystopian cannibal romance The Bad Batch, starring Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Keanu Reeves and Giovanni Ribisi. (Screen Media Films; June 23)

A canoer swept off-course during a bird-watching expedition undergoes a journey both sexual and spiritual in Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues’ The Ornithologist. (Strand Releasing; June)

July Highlghts

Tom Holland (The Impossible) follows in the red and blue spandex-clad steps of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: Homecoming, a Columbia Pictures/Disney co-production released by Sony. This time around, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man faces off against the Vulture, played by superhero-movie vet Michael Keaton. (Columbia Pictures; July 7)

A young Englishman (Sam Claflin) falls under the spell of his beautiful, mysterious and possibly murderous cousin (Rachel Weisz) in My Cousin Rachel, a Daphne du Maurier adaptation helmed by Notting Hill and Venus’ Roger Michell. (Fox Searchlight; July 14)

Apes and humans continue their planet-wide showdown in Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis returns as the ape leader Caesar, with Woody Harrelson filling the requisite human baddie role as a Colonel Kurtz-esque military man. (20th Century Fox; July 14)

Christopher Nolan tackles the famous Dunkirk evacuation, which saw civilians take off across the English Channel in any seafaring vessel they could find to rescue Allied troops trapped on the French coast by incoming German forces, in the war drama Dunkirk. Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy make up part of the large ensemble cast. (Warner Bros.; July 21)

Four best friends (Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish) have a wild time in New Orleans during the annual Essence Festival in The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday director Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip. (Universal Pictures; July 21)

The Fifth Element’s Luc Besson returns to the world of wacky sci-fi with French graphic-novel adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as special agents sent to investigate a sprawling space metropolis where a dangerous evil is supposedly brewing. (STX Entertainment; July 21)

John Wickco-director David Leitch helms Atomic Blonde, about an MI6 agent (Charlize Theron) who must locate a missing list of double agents in the waning days of the Cold War. James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella and John Goodman co-star. (Focus Features; July 28)

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in Nikolaj Arcel’s The Dark Tower, an adaptation of the first book in Stephen King’s classic fantasy-western series of the same name. (Columbia Pictures; July 28)

Also in July

Amanda Lipitz’s documentary Step, about a high-school step-dance team in inner-city Baltimore, gets a theatrical debut after its buzzed-about bow at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (Fox Searchlight; July 7)

Cartel Landdirector Matthew Heineman turns from the drug trade to a small group of activists combating the ISIS takeover of their homeland in City of Ghosts. (Amazon Studios & IFC Films; July 14)

A young bride (Florence Pugh) yoked to an uncaring husband (Paul Hilton) more than twice her ages uses any means necessary—manipulation, deceit, even violence—to escape her dreadful situation in William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth. (Roadside Attractions; July 14)

Bella Thorne plays a teen kept indoors her whole life due to a severe allergy to daylight in Scott Speer’s romance Midnight Sun. Patrick Schwarzenegger co-stars. (Open Road Films; July 14)

A teenage girl (Joey King) learns the old adage about being careful what you wish for first-hand when she discovers a box that grants wishes in Annabelle director John R. Leonetti's Wish Upon. (Broad Green Pictures; July 14)

Marion Cotillard plays a passionate woman trapped in a loveless marriage in 1950s France in Nicole Garcia’s From the Land of the Moon. (IFC Films; July)

August Highlights

Sir Patrick Stewart, T.J. Miller, James Corden and Maya Rudolph voice the ubiquitous emojis in Anthony Leondis’ The Emoji Movie. (Sony; August 4)

2014 horror hit Annabelle gets its inevitable sequel, Annabelle: Creation, wherein the eponymous possessed doll wreaks havoc yet again. Original director John R. Leonetti is replaced by David F. Sandberg, who previously helmed critically acclaimed low-budget thriller Lights Out. (Warner Bros.-New Line; August 11)

A group of thieves plan a heist during a NASCAR race in Steven Soderbergh’s crime comedy Logan Lucky. Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, Katherine Waterston, Riley Keough, Sebastian Stan, Katie Holmes, Macon Blair and Hilary Swank star. (Fingerprint Releasing/Bleecker Street Media; August 18)

Also in August

Blake Lively plays a blind woman who regains her sight, which in turn leads to revelations about her relationship with her husband (Jason Clarke), in Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace and World War Z director Marc Forster’s dramatic thriller All I See Is You. (Open Road Films; August 4)

Matt, a boy with one eye (Thomas Mann), and Jill, an overweight girl (Lily Mae Harrington), strike up a relationship that’s challenged when Jill loses weight in the indie romance Some Freaks. (Good Deed Entertainment; August 4)

Factory worker Xolani (Nakhane Touré) guides a young boy (Niza Jay Ncoyini) through an ancient Xhosa rite of passage ritual in John Trengove’s The Wound. (Kino Lorber; August 16)

A bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) must keep a hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) from being killed before he can testify against a dictator (Gary Oldman) in The Expendables 3 director Patrick Hughes’ action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard. (Lionsgate; August 18)

Squirrel Surly (voiced by Will Arnett) and his friends, including dog Precious (Maya Rudolph) and mouse Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan), must save their home from being turned into an a tree-less amusement park in The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. (Open Road Films; August 18)

Trey Edward Shults, director of the 2015 critically acclaimed indie Krisha, tackles horror with It Comes at Night, starring Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough and Christopher Abbott. (A24; August 25)

A retired FBI agent (Tommy Lee Jones) and former mob lawyer (Morgan Freeman) must join forces to fend off a mob hit in Villa Capri, the latest from Tin Cup and Bull Durham writer-director Ron Shelton. (Broad Green Pictures; August 25)

A 13-year-old boy (Devin Blackmon) grieving the death of his older brother joins a gang in first-time director Amman Abbasi’s Dayveon. (FilmRise; Summer)

Labor Day

A team of Navy SEALS discover treasure in a Bosnian lake in the long-delayed Renegades. Steven Quale directed a script by Luc Besson and Richard Wenk; Sullivan Stapleton, J.K. Simmons and Ewen Bremner star. (STX Entertainment; Sept. 1)