Summer Movies Preview
7 must-see new movies
for the summer season

B.J. Quinn

The summer movie season is back! After two pandemic-plagued years filled with setbacks and delays, the movie business is right back on track. And if the box office successes of Spider-Man: No Way Home and – the film that kicked off the summer blockbuster season – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are anything to go by, audiences are chomping at the bit to return to the big screen. So, if you’re looking for a refuge from the unrelenting sun, here’s your guide to the must-see movies coming out this summer.

Good Luck to You Leo Grande (June 17)

Dublin’s own Daryl McCormack plays the title role in this charming comedy. The Peaky Blinders star will feature alongside Oscar winner Emma Thompson. The film, directed by Sophie Hyde, follows Nancy Stokes (Thompson), a 55 year-old widow who is yearning for some adventure, human connection and some sex, good sex. She hires a good-looking young sex worker named Leo Grande (McCormack), in the hope of enjoying a night of pleasure and self-discovery after an unfulfilling married life.

Good Luck to You Leo Grande debuted at Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, with much praise going towards Thompson’s performance as well as Katy Brand’s script: a provocative and refreshing study of female pleasure.

Lightyear (June 17)

Chris Evans trades in his Captain America cowl for a space helmet in Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear origin story. The animated feature, co-starring Taika Waititi and James Brolin, follows the legendary space ranger through intergalactic adventures alongside a group of ambitious recruits and his robot companion, Sox.

Pixar has a stellar track record, so we can’t help but be intrigued by this Toy Story spin-off. But recasting Tim Allen, who is the only Buzz Lightyear in most people’s minds, will take some getting used to. Evans will have to go to infinity and beyond if he wants to match Allen’s iconic performance.

Elvis (June 24)

Here’s one that was faced with considerable pushbacks – it was during filming that Tom Hanks caught COVID-19 and everyone finally took the virus seriously as a result. Director Baz Luhrmann, best remembered for Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, delves into the complex dynamic between Presley (Austin Butler) and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks). Spanning over 20 years, the story follows Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.

The trailer alone has us All Shook Up; it’s clear that Baz is up to his old tricks again, packing the frame with opulent reds and golds, and, yes, rhinestone jumpsuits aplenty. If you’re still not convinced, though, Priscilla Presley’s glowing endorsement might win you over, writing on Facebook that the film is “a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered.”

Flux Gourmet (June 24)

The director of arthouse hits such as Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy looks set on giving us one of the wildest movies of the year. In what’s being billed as a culinary satire, Flux Gourmet centres around a collective that finds itself embroiled in power struggles, artistic vendettas and gastrointestinal disorders. In this universe, music is made with food and youngsters dream of culinary ambitions rather than becoming pop stars.

Asa Butterfield and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie lead a cast that also includes Ariane Labed and Richard Bremmer, who you might remember as Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival back in January to positive reviews, Screen Daily noting, Flux Gourmet “feels a culmination of Strickland’s fascinations and themes to date.”

Thor Love and Thunder (July 8)

Thor: Ragnarok is one of the best movies to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so, six years later, the pressure is on for its follow-up to deliver. Director Taika Waititi returns for the fourth Thor movie, which sees the blonde beefcake go on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods.

Along for the ride are Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Natalie Portman, returning as ex-girlfriend Jane Foster after a near ten-year Marvel-hiatus. If the trailer is anything to go by, this looks like a bonafide summer blockbuster, with a kickass 80’s rock soundtrack to boot.

Nope July 22

There’s little doubt that Jordan Peele’s third film, Nope, is the most highly anticipated movie of the summer, if not the whole year. The director is back with another Daniel Kaluuya-led film – their first collaboration, Get Out, topped Sight & Sound’s best films of 2017 list. Plot details have been kept under wraps, but the teaser trailer hints to an extraterrestrial affair, as residents in a lonely gulch of inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. My money is on space aliens, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The Forgiven (August 26)

Premiering at the Toronto Film Festival last year, The Forgiven, John Michael McDonagh’s adaptation of Laurence Osborne’s novel, sees Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain as a wealthy couple who are involved in a tragic accident with a local teenage boy, after speeding through the Moroccan desert to attend an old friend’s lavish weekend party.

For those of you tracking the British-Irish director’s career, a body of work which features critical darlings The Guard and Calvary, The Forgiven looks like a convincing return to form after 2016’s underwhelming War on Everyone. Alongside Fiennes and Chastain, the film boasts a strong supporting cast with Christopher Abbott, Matt Smith and the ever-fantastic Caleb Landry Jones.

All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons