A wild whirlwind of a mess, without any coherence, without even a guiding principle.
With "Avengers: Infinity War" skyrocketing towards approximately a trillion dollars at the box office, the summer movie season has commenced. For film lovers, it's a weekly serving of mega meals, often with huge casts and even larger special effects, all fighting for our attention.
To cut through the massive list of films headed to a multiplex or art house near you, we're sharing the top ten most enticing movies on the horizon (with all release dates subject to change).
There are also some honorable mentions for the movies that I can't wait for a wider audience to see. That includes Bo Burnham's hilarious coming of age story "Eighth Grade," Lauren Greenfield's in-depth and personal documentary about excess, "Generation Wealth," Christina Choe's disturbing character piece and (excellent star vehicle for Andrea Riseborough), "Nancy," and Joseph Kahn's molotov cocktail of a rap battle movie, "Bodied."
Below is a list of our ten most anticipated titles in what promises to be a very busy summer. We'll be covering these films among many more at RogerEbert.com, so be sure to check back for our reviews.
10. "Solo: A Star Wars Story"
Whether you want to believe the stories behind the scenes or not (including the one about Alden Ehrenreich needing an acting coach on set), the changing of the directors from Phil Lord & Chris Miller to Ron Howard has always left me with plenty skepticism, if for the fact that the previous directors have a more distinct visual style, while the other seems to be more of a workman. But, it's "Star Wars," so of course we'll be seeing it once, if not twice. At the very least, maybe if the movie turns out to be not so good, we can try to get a Lando Calrissian movie starring Donald Glover instead. (May 25)
Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis star in this comedy directed by Susanna Fogel, who also co-wrote the script. Like with the other pairings on this list, that casting seems like it could bring some great work out of the underrated Kunis and McKinnon, who is working her way towards headlining a comedy of her own. (August 3)
David Robert Mitchell made quite a splash with his previous horror movie, "It Follows," and now in his third film "Under the Silver Lake" has a lot of anticipation. His Los Angeles noir, with a running time of about 140 minutes, sounds all the more curious, along with its casting of Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough. We'll know a bit more about this one when it soon plays at the Cannes Film Festival, one of the few American films competing this year. (June 22)
This movie could very well be the horror hit of the summer, especially if the buzz that followed it from last January's Sundance is right. I remember the shattered reactions of those who saw the film the night of its premiere, and I've been very curious about this movie's potential for the scary and the emotional. Plus, there has been a lot of great word about Toni Collette's performance. Coming from the people who made "The Witch" a cool horror movie, "Hereditary" has me ready to be scared. (June 8)
6. "Sorry to Bother You"
I missed this Sundance hit from writer/director Boots Riley when it premiered at the festival, but I'm eager to see what the buzz is about. Lakeith Stanfield stars in the movie (set in "an alternate present-day" version of Oakland) as a man who finds a secret to success. The premise is a strong-enough hook, as complemented with a very intriguing cast that includes Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, David Cross, Steven Yeun, Patton Oswalt and more. (July 6)
5. "Action Point"
Summer is a great time for a studio comedy, but it doesn't look like "Action Point" will have any immediate competitors. Based off a true amusement park that had plenty of engineering problems in real life, "Action Point" looks to bring back that inclusive spirit of the "Jackass" movies, at least with the very specific casting of Johnny Knoxville, who is bound to have pain inflicted on him in numerous ways. While I can only imagine what his insurance deal is for such a movie, I'm very excited at a summer movie about an amusement park that looks like it simply wants to be an amusement park. (June 1)
4. "Ocean's 8"
The best way to bring the "Ocean's" brand of heists is with star power, and why not some new faces? "The Hunger Games" director Gary Ross has co-written a story that leads to an all-star lineup of charismatic women, including Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Akwafina, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and more. Just as Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's" movies were parties, this one has me hoping it's a blast. (June 8)
3. "Uncle Drew"
There's a little nostalgia behind my anticipation for "Uncle Drew," especially how the sports comedy will bring back athletes to jokey roles on the silver screen, in a way that we haven't seen in years. Superstars Kyrie Irving, Shaq, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie are going to wear old-age makeup while playing basketball, a type of cartoonish gag that I hope works as well as it sounds. Added to the mix is "Get Out" scene-steal Lil Rel Howery, sharing the screen with "Girls Trip" scene-stealer Tiffany Haddish. (June 29)
Spike Lee just released the theatrical adaptation "Pass Over," but will soon be adding a new title to his illustrious filmography, "BlacKkKlansman." Produced by "Get Out" writer/director Jordan Peele, this film has incredible promise given its premise (about a black man who infiltrated the KKK, a true story) and the way that it looks ready to enter our country's current discussion about race. (August 10)
1. "Crazy Rich Asians"
It seems fitting that this bonanza of a summer movie season would be capped off with a wedding, especially one that promises lots of extravagance and all-star talent. Jon Chu directs the highly-anticipated film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's novel "Crazy Rich Asians," starring Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Akwafina, Ken Jeong, Jimmy O. Yang, Harry Shum Jr. and more. The romantic-comedy, three families preparing for an extravagant wedding, already has some great buzz after screening at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, which also gives the promise that the film is primed for a lot of cultural discussion. It's also very exciting, however disheartening to point out, that this is the first Western-produced film using an exclusively Asian cast in over two decades. It looks like "Crazy Rich Asians" will give us plenty to celebrate.
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A collection of the reviews given our highest possible grade in 2019.