It’s summertime, and that means the kids are out of school and spending their days and nights playing video games, running around outside, and begging you to take them places. So when exactly does mom or dad time start? It might be vacation time for the kids but parents sometimes need a break from that summer vacation.
If you can only manage to score a few free hours during the hectic summer months, you should consider checking out one of the fun or thought-provoking summer films that have already debuted or will show up on big screens in over the next three months. Here are some movies you should check out in theaters this summer — just remember to leave your little bundle of headaches at home.
Ghostbusters (July 15)
This had to be our first choice. Even if the movie can’t live up to the original, it’s a franchise that deserves our undivided attention, and that’s easiest to give when you don’t have children hanging off you throughout the entire film. Ghostbusters has been retooled to feature four of the funniest women in comedy at the moment — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. I mostly want to see this movie because there are cameos from Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts.
Jason Bourne (July 29)
It’s a scientific fact that every movie is at least 10% better if Matt Damon is the star. This time around he returns for another chance to blow stuff up and get revenge on his former handlers. In this update to the popular series, Jason Bourne ditches his amnesia completely and remembers everything about his past. That can’t be good for his enemies but it will surely make for a really fun summer blockbuster. Our prediction — best action thriller of the summer.
The next movie on our list stars Batman. You’re welcome.
‘The Founder’ (Aug. 5)
Michael Keaton. Michael Keaton. Michael Keaton. I’m sure I just sold you on this movie using just six words. Keaton stars as Ray Kroc, the guy who turned McDonald’s into a multi-billion dollar juggernaut. Kroc was struggling to sell milk-shake machines before he met the McDonald Brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch). This movie is directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks). If you’ve read about the life of Ray Kroc you at least know this movie will be one worth watching, just to see his incredible rise to power and fame.
We even have a movie that is perfect for bookworms who want to put down their favorite text and watch an engaging movie about — you guessed it — books.
Genius (June 10)
If you love to read then why not check out a movie that’s all about burying your head in a good book? The movie stars Colin Firth in the role of famous Scribner Books editor Max Perkins. He was the man whose job it was to work with such famous authors as Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce) and Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West). We can expect a strong performance from Nicole Kidman, who co-stars as Aline Bernstein, Perkins’ colleague.
Check out the next movie before it disappears… I apologize for this joke ahead of time.
Now You See Me 2 (June 10)
The first Now You See Me movie introduced us to a group of Robin Hood-type magicians, and this time around original cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Caine, make their return to the thriller-comedy. Daniel Radcliffe also makes an appearance. Just the IMDB synopsis has us stocked for this one: “The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet.”
If we had to guess our next movie selection will be just alright. Alright. Alright.
Free State of Jones (June 24)
Matthew McConaughey does a great job in every movie he appears in these days, and flicks focused on the past are his forte. This time around he stars as an 1860s Mississippi farmer who leads a small army of Southerners who opposed the Civil War. His army includes deserters, runaway slaves, and women. We were sold at McConaughey.
If you’re a baseball fan the next movie should be high up on your list. Plus, Paul Giamatti co-stars.
The Phenom (June 24)
No summer is complete without catching at least one movie about baseball. This summer’s movie about America’s favorite pastime deals with some deep issues about an abusive father who is played by the always wonderful Ethan Hawke. The young major-league pitcher who is struggling to find his game is portrayed by Johnny Simmons, and his unconventional sports psychologist is played by the incomparable Paul Giamatti. Not a lot of “stealing second” in this movie but it might just steal your heart.
The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)
I have to admit that I’m incredibly excited to see Alexander Skarsgård take on the role of Tarzan, but in an entirely different light. After living for years in London, the loinclothed hero is sent back to his jungle homeland to help deal with a major crises. Actress Margot Robbie joins him as his love interest and sidekick — Jane. There are a bunch of wonderful additions to the cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent.
Captain Fantastic (July 8)
An original idea in Hollywood? This movie stars Viggo Mortensen who insists on raising his six children in an untouched sylvan glade of the Pacific Northwest. A family tragedy forces him to give up his idea of paradise and deal with the society he has long shunned. We can expect some great appearances from Steve Zahn, Kathryn Hahn, and Frank Langella. Definitely not a film your children are going to love — so leave them at home.
Next up is a film starring Bryan Cranston, so you know it’s good.
The Infiltrator (July 13 )
We’ve watched Bryan Cranston really come into his element over the last decade and his turn as a real-life DEA undercover cop seems like the perfect fit for the actor. He plays Robert Mazur, the man who infiltrated drug czar Pablo Escobar, and helped bring him to a gruesome end. Walter White saving the day by taking down the biggest drugpin in the world? We’re looking forward to this 180-degree move.
Tulip Fever (July 15)
Judi Dench in a love story? I’m pretty sure that has become a summer ritual for some adults. This time around, she stars alongside Christoph Waltz and Zach Galifianakis in a story about a forbidden love between an artist and his married subject. It’s also a period piece that takes place in the 17th-century.
Gleason (July 15)
Here’s a different type of sports story — a real life journey through the life of New Orleans Saints NFL star Steve Gleason. At just 34-years-old he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Variety called this film “an emotional powerhouse of a documentary.”
The next movie on our list is absolutely fabulous. No joke here — it really is.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (July 22)
OMG. How can you not want to sit in a theater and enjoy the comedy stylings of the famous BBC series “Absolutely Fabulous.” This movie follows Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders as they are forced to go on the lam after crashing a London bash and killing Kate Moss. The premise is just as absurd as the original TV series, and that’s absolutely fabulous for fans and even for newbies to these characters.
Indignation (July 29)
If you are an adult and you want to practice adulting, you should watch everything writer James Schamus is involved with. He’s the guy who brought us Brokeback Mountain. He’s 56 years old and directing his first movie, which at least makes this for an interesting experience. The script is based on Philip Roth’s novel about a young Jewish man who is trying to get his bearings at a small Ohio College. I have a feeling your kids would fall asleep if you brought them to this one.
The next movie is sure to have some of the worst singing you have ever heard on a soundtrack.
Florence Foster Jenkins (Aug. 12)
Meryl Streep has a great voice but in real life, Florence Foster Jenkins was known for “entertaining” Manhattan audiences with her horrible singing voice throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Jenkins was convinced throughout her life that her pitch was perfect. The movie also co-stars Hugh Grant and we haven’t heard much from him in a while. Grant plays Streep’s longtime manager and companion.
Cafe Society (Aug. 12)
Another Woody Allen film will be gracing the big screen soon, and this time Jesse Eisenberg steps up to the coveted Allen-created leading role. Eisenberg plays a young man trying to make it in the film industry while navigating the town’s literary elite and falling in love. It’s a Woody Allen film, so of course the cast is huge. This one features Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Parker Posey, Jeannie Berlin, and Kristen Stewart. If that’s not enough to excite you, three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro is ditching his Apocalypse Now mantle to film this indie flick.
Southside With You (Aug. 19)
He’s not even out of office yet, and there is already a biographical romance about President Obama debuting this summer. The movie is focused on the 1980s, the time when Barack and Michelle began to date. Obama apparently wooed his future first lady during dates around Chicago’s South Side area. If nothing else, this movie reminds us that U.S. Presidents are just people who once went on dates and traveled around gritty parts of the city.
Hands of Stone (Aug. 26)
After vaccination supporters recently knocked out anti-vaxxer Robert De Niro, he’s decided to step back into the ring, this time in his fourth boxing flick since the famed Raging Bull. He plays Ray Arcel, a trainer who helped train Robert Duran, played by Edgar Ramirez. Ellen Barkin also stars as Ray’s wife.
The Hollars (Aug. 26)
John Krasinski is one of our favorite summer stars. This time around he takes on the lead role and also directs this comedy-drama about a struggling artist in New York City. His character, John Hollar, rushes back to his Midwest hometown after his mother (Margo Martindale) undergoes brain surgery. His dad is played by Richard Jenkins, and Anna Kendrick co-stars as John’s eight-months-pregnant girlfriend. This is a summertime cast that will surely deliver big laughs and all the feels.
The Light Between Oceans (Sept. 2)
Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) is the keeper of a remote lighthouse off the coast of Western Australia. The movie takes place just after World War I and focuses on his wife Isabel (Alicia Vikander), who constantly prays for, but cannot conceive, a child. When a dinghy carrying a dead man and a crying baby washes ashore, they see it as a sign from above. The movie is based on M.L. Stedman’s melodramatic best-seller.