4 Blockbusters Worth Getting Excited About This Summer

Whether you love Hollywood blockbusters or prefer the nuance of more modest fare, there’s no question that the summer months offer an abundance of the former. In spite of the occasional surprise (ie. Don’t Breathe), summer 2016 was a largely uninspired wasteland of noisy superhero movies (Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse), unnecessary sequels (Alice Through the Looking Glass, Independence Day: Resurgence, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), and predictable family films (The Angry Birds Movie, The Secret Life of Pets), leaving serious movie buffs with little to chew on.

Fortunately, the two months ahead look to be a very different story for those who prefer their blockbusters intelligent and carefully crafted. Here are four of the most promising prospects:

Baby Driver (June 28)

Like director Edgar Wright’s last two movies (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The World’s End), Baby Driver was originally buried late in the summer, but a rapturous response at March’s South by Southwest got it moved to prime time. Coming off the debacle of Ant-Man—Wright left the movie at the last possible minute due to interference from Marvel—the director has a lot to prove, and all signs suggest that this music-fuelled heist movie delivers.


War of the Planet of the Apes (July 14)

The latest incarnation of the Planet of the Apes franchise got off to a dicey start, but director Matt Reeves turned everything around with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, arguably the standout release three summers ago. (DC recently hired Reeves to give the Batman franchise a similar makeover.) Having now earned greater creative freedom, Reeves is likely to reach for even greater heights on this trilogy-ender.


Dunkirk (July 21)

In 2017, it’s almost unheard of for a studio to get behind an ambitious, reality-based drama, but Christopher Nolan’s amazing run at Warner Bros. has earned him support for just about anything. Based on the trailer alone, it seems very possible that Dunkirk could earn Nolan his first Oscar nomination for directing—and probably much more.


Detroit (August 4)

Speaking of reality and Oscars, director Kathryn Bigelow’s last two films were true stories that ultimately received nominations for Best Picture. (Zero Dark Thirty lost, The Hurt Locker won.) After a five-year absence, she reunites with the writer of those films (Mark Boal) to tell the story of the 1967 Detroit riot. While this is not an obvious blockbuster, the presence of Bigelow and Star Wars regular John Boyega guarantees that Detroit will get some much-deserved attention when it arrives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event it depicts. This timely exploration of racial discord in the USA might even propel Detroit to the kind of surprise success recently enjoyed by films like Get Out and 2015’s Straight Outta Compton.