Coming this summer to theaters near you are dozens and dozens of movies. Some are big-budget summer blockbusters, some are independent art-house movies, and a few are somewhere in between. As usual, there will be many half-billion-dollar enterprises that are the same recycled garbage as always, but there are a few films that one should keep an eye out for.
Dunkirk, the newest film by director Christopher Nolan, will be released July 21, and by all accounts will be fantastic. Featuring perhaps the best trailer in the last 20 years, Dunkirk is a cinematic recounting of the famous Dunkirk evacuation, which took place during the summer of 1940 when Allied forces were cornered by the Germans in Dunkirk, France. Over the course of eight days, more than 300,000 soldiers were transported across the English Channel. Nolan has described the film as a story of suspense and survival, and that it doesn’t focus on the war. As evidenced by films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Insomnia, Nolan is very capable of building a mood that permeates the entirety of his films. In addition to the talented direction and writing of Nolan, Dunkirk stars acting heavyweights such as Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy. All four of these actors have carried movies from good to great on the strength of their acting alone. Mix them all together and Dunkirk will definitely be vying for best movie of the summer.
A film that will be very different from Dunkirk, but will likely be more fun to watch, is Baywatch. This upcoming summer comedy is a film adaptation of the widely-watched ’90s television series of the same name. With a rumored feature of Pamela Anderson, Baywatch will star Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, and the man who turns almost everything he touches into heart-warming gold, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The story focuses on a team of lifeguards who must put aside their personal differences to stop a drug-trafficking scheme. Because it contains The Rock, Baywatch will most likely be funny, fun, and—with an R rating—suitably raunchy. The Rock has recently expanded his acting scope, with dramas like Ballers, comedies like Central Intelligence, and family movies like Moana, in which he steals the show. Paired with the comedic ability of Efron, as well as the untapped acting potential of Daddario, Baywatch will be more than just a phone-in remake.
The long-awaited film adaptation of the beloved Stephen King book The Dark Tower will finally be hitting theaters on August 4. The Dark Tower is based on The Gunslinger, the first book in King’s The Dark Tower series. The film stars Idris Elba, and is set in a Old West-like future landscape. Elba, as the Gunslinger, pursues the Man in Black, played by Matthew McConaughey. Fans of the books know that if The Dark Tower can capture even half of the power felt by the first lines of the book, it will establish itself as the anchor for the next epic fantasy series. “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
At the end of summer, director Edgar Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) new movie Baby Driver will be released. Baby Driver is a crime movie starring Ansel Elgort as the titular Baby, working as a getaway driver for a crime boss. While Elgort has usually found himself in young-adult movie adaptations, the actor has talent. Under the direction of Wright, who always adds his characteristic spin to his movies, Elgort has the potential to shine. Baby Driver also features Jon Hamm, an acting legend in his own right, and Jamie Foxx. These two have a high capacity for serious roles, as well as the skill to insert elements of comedy. Wright’s Baby Driver will be the great and likely underseen movie of the summer, similar to The Nice Guys of 2016 or The Man from U.N.C.L.E. of 2015.
There are many other movies coming out this summer, like Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but these movies and others like them are getting more coverage than they probably deserve. Dunkirk, Baywatch, The Dark Tower, and Baby Driver will be the better and more unique movies of their respective genres.