17 summer Hollywood films to watch out for, from 'The Gray Man' to 'Nope'

Big-budget blockbusters are making a comeback this season as audiences return to cinemas

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With Disney and Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness launching the summer box office season with a bang as a film with one of the widest releases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, happy times lie ahead again for cinemas.

A selection of high-profile, big-budget blockbusters are waiting in the wings this season, from anticipated sequels (Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion) to star-studded movies such as The Gray Man and Elvis. There's also another Marvel release in the form of Thor: Love and Thunder.

Here are 17 summer movies to watch out for at the cinema as well as on streaming platforms:

1. 'Along for the Ride'

Cast: Emma Pasarow, Belmont Cameli, Kate Bosworth, Andie MacDowell, Dermot Mulroney

Plot: Adapted from Sarah Dessen's novel of the same name, this drama tells the story of Auden who meets the mysterious Eli, a fellow insomniac. While the seaside town of Colby sleeps, the two embark on a nightly quest to help Auden experience the fun, carefree teen life she never knew she wanted.

Release date:May 6, on Netflix.

2. 'Firestarter'

Cast: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon

Plot: First adapted in 1984, Stephen King's sci-fi horror tale gets a 2022 reboot. In this version, Efron plays the lead as a father who must protect his daughter after she develops pyrokinesis — the ability to create and control fire with the mind — and is hunted by a secret government agency that intends to capture and control her.

Release date: May 13 (US)

3. 'The Innocents'

Cast: Rakel Lenora Flottum, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, Sam Ashraf, Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim

Plot: After making waves at the Cannes Film Festival last year, this Norwegian supernatural thriller gets set for a global run. The film follows a group of children who, during one Nordic summer, gain mysterious powers. But what starts out innocent fun soon takes a dark and violent turn as the children begin to use their powers freely.

Release date: May 13 (US)

4. 'Men'

Cast: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear

Plot: From Alex Garland, the acclaimed director behind films such as Ex Machina and Annihilation, comes this thriller about a woman who goes to the country after a personal tragedy. Instead of peace, she finds a waking nightmare. Buckley, who was nominated this year for an Oscar for her role in The Lost Daughter, plays the lead.

Release date: May 20 (US)

5. 'Top Gun: Maverick'

Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer

Plot: One of the most highly anticipated films, Cruise returns to one of his most beloved roles in this Top Gun sequel that’s more than three decades in the making. After years of working solo as a test pilot, Maverick is called back to train a new batch of fighter pilots, including Goose’s son, played by Teller.

Release date: May 26 (UAE); May 27 (US)

6. 'Benediction'

Cast: Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi

Plot: Known for his biographies, British screenwriter and director Terence Davies helms this biographical drama about the British poet Siegfried Sassoon, who was jailed for being anti-war during the Second World War. He later converts to Catholicism but soon develops a crisis in faith. Both Lowden and Capaldi play Sassoon at different ages.

Release date: May 20 (UK)

7. 'Jurassic World Dominion'

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Plot: The so-called "conclusion” to the Jurassic World franchise melds the Pratt and Dallas Howard films with the stars of the original Jurassic Park — Dern, Neill and Goldblum. Set about four years after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which was released in 2018, the film brings back director Colin Trevorrow at the helm. Trevorrow directed the hit Jurassic World in 2015, helping to revive the franchise after 14 years.

Release date: June 9 (UAE and US)

8. 'Lightyear'

Cast: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Uzo Aduba

Plot: A spin-off of the hit Toy Story franchise, this one focuses on space ranger Buzz Lightyear. Long before landing in Andy’s room, Buzz was a young astronaut trying to get home from a hostile planet, as told in this film-within-a-film origin story. And this time, Lightyear is voiced by Captain America himself, Chris Evans.

Release date: June 17 (US)

9. 'Spiderhead'

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett

Plot: Hemsworth plays a scientist who experiments on inmates, played by Teller and Smollett, with psychedelic drugs in this adaptation of a George Saunders' dystopian short story Escape from Spiderhead.

Release date: June 17, on Netflix

10. 'Elvis'

Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks

Plot: Baz Luhrmann takes a look at Elvis Presley, played by Butler, and his complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Hanks) over the course of 20 years in this music-filled journey. Luhrmann, who has also co-written the film, is known for his musical masterpieces. The Australian director, writer and producer is behind Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby.

Release date: June 23 (UAE); June 24 (US)

11. 'Minions: The Rise of Gru'

Cast: Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Plot: The minions are back in this spin-off that explores what Gru was like before becoming an evil mastermind. Apparently, just a young boy in the suburbs with dreams of world domination.

Release date: June 30 (UAE); July 1 (US)

12. 'Mr Malcolm’s List'

Cast: Freida Pinto, Theo James, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park

Plot: If Bridgerton left you wishing for more Regency-era drama, this one, based on Suzanne Allain's novel of the same name, could be your answer. Set in 1800s England, it follows a young woman who enlists the help of her friend to get revenge on a suitor who rejected her for failing a requirement on his list of qualifications.

Release date: July 1 (US)

13. 'Thor: Love and Thunder'

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista

Plot: Retirement won’t last long for Hemsworth’s god of thunder in this Taika Waititi-directed extravaganza, featuring the return of Portman’s Jane Foster who is now able to wield the magic hammer on her own, and the introduction of a villain played by Bale.

Release date: July 16 (US)

14. 'Nope'

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun

Plot: Horror master Jordan Peele returns to terrify audiences with “a new pop nightmare” in his latest film about some Inland Empire locals, played by Kaluuya, Palmer and Yeun, who witness a chilling event.

Release date: July 22 (US)

15. 'The Gray Man'

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Rege-Jean Page Dhanush, Billy Bob Thornton

Plot: One of Netflix's most expensive movies to date, this spy-thriller comes from former Marvel directors Anthony and Joe Russo. It follows Court Gentry, the CIA's most skilled mercenary, who accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets. A psychopathic former colleague then puts a bounty on Gentry's head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins. South Indian superstar Dhanush makes his big Hollywood action debut.

Release date: July 15, on Neflix

16. 'DC League of Super-Pets'

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne

Plot: It’s the Justice League who needs rescuing in this animated film, featuring the voice of Johnson as Superman’s dog. He assembles a team of shelter pets with special powers who set off on an adventure of lifetime.

Release date: July 28 (UAE); July 29 (US)

17. 'Bullet Train'

Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Logan Lerman

Plot: In David Leitch’s star-studded adaptation of Kotaro Isaka’s novel, Pitt plays an assassin named Ladybug who has one last job collecting a briefcase on a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Unfortunately, he’s not the only assassin on board.

Release date: July 29 (US)

— Release dates are subject to change. Additional reporting by AP.

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