Avengers: Infinity War kicked off the 2018 summer movie season a bit early, opening on April 27th and obliterating a slew of box office records. The superhero-packed action film set the bar high for this year’s summer theatrical releases, earning an 84% fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and an A average from ticket buyers, according to Cinemascore. The box office blockbuster paved the way for a summer full of superheroes both animated and live action.
This summer’s films also include a new entry in the Ocean‘s film franchise, although this time the gang pulling off a heist is made up of smart women. Audiences will be able to explore a galaxy far, far away with the arrival of Han Solo’s backstory, and we’ll be treated to the story behind the first purge. A return trip to visit the world of dinosaurs, Tom Cruise tackling another batch of wild stunts, and the sequel to the ABBA-centric musical Mamma Mia! are all on tap for summer movie audiences. Puppets, a Predator, a demonic nun, and a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark will also put in appearances in movie theaters over the hot summer months.
Here’s a look at some of the most anticipated 2018 summer movies, listed in release date order.
2018 Summer Movies Preview:
Deadpool 2 (May 18) starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, and Brianna Hildebrand
The Plot: After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25) starring Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Emilia Clarke
The Plot: Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Adrift (June 1) starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin
The Plot: Adrift is based on the inspiring true story of two free spirits whose chance encounter leads them first to love, and then to the adventure of a lifetime. As the two avid sailors set out on a journey across the ocean, Tami Oldham (Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin) couldn’t anticipate they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.
In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. Adrift is the unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendent power of love.
Hereditary (June 8) starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, and Gabriel Byrne
The Plot: When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.
Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.
Ocean’s 8 (June 8) starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and Sarah Paulson
The Plot: Five years, eight months, 12 days…and counting. That’s how long Debbie Ocean (Bullock) has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it’s going to take—a team of the best in their field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller (Blanchett). Together, they recruit a crew of specialists: jeweler Amita (Kaling); street con Constance (Awkwafina); expert fence Tammy (Paulson); hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna); and fashion designer Rose (Bonham Carter).
The target is a cool $150 million dollars in diamonds—diamonds that will be around the neck of world-famous actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), who will be centerstage at the event of the year, the Met Gala. The plan is rock solid, but everything will need to be flawless if the team is going to get in and get away with the ice. All in plain sight.
Incredibles 2 (June 15) featuring the voices of Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson, Craig T Nelson, Huck Milner, and Sarah Vowell
The Plot: In Incredibles 2, Helen (Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (Vowell), Dash (Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
Tag (June 15) starring Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner
The Plot: One month every year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running in a no-holds-barred game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade—risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take each other down with the battle cry “You’re It!” This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player, which should finally make him an easy target. But he knows they’re coming…and he’s ready. Based on a true story, Tag shows how far some guys will go to be the last man standing.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22) starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, and BD Wong
The Plot: It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.
When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Pratt) and Claire (Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.
With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (June 29) starring Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Jeffrey Donovan
The Plot: In Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the series begins a new chapter. In the drug war, there are no rules – and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict – but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.
The First Purge (July 4) starring Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, and Marisa Tomei
The Plot: Behind every tradition lies a revolution. Next Independence Day, witness the rise of our country’s 12 hours of annual lawlessness. Welcome to the movement that began as a simple experiment: The First Purge. To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6) starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, and Bobby Cannavale
The Plot: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes Ant Man and the Wasp, a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (July 13) featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, and Keegan-Michael Key
The Plot: In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.
Skyscraper (July 13) starring Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Noah Taylor, and Pablo Schreiber
The Plot: Global icon Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Legendary’s Skyscraper as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building…above the fire line.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (July 20) starring Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Dominic Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, and Colin Firth
The Plot: Ten years after Mamma Mia! The Movie grossed more than $600 million around the world, you are invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (July 27) starring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames
The Plot: The best intentions often come back to haunt you. Mission: Impossible – Fallout finds Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team (Baldwin, Pegg, Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong.
Christopher Robin (August 3) starring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, and the voice of Jim Cummings
The Plot: In the heartwarming live action adventure, the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.
The Spy Who Dumped Me (August 3) starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, and Sam Heughan
The Plot: The film tells the story of Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), thirty-year-old best friends from Los Angeles, who are unexpectedly thrust into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend (Theroux) shows up at her apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Much to their own surprise, the duo jump into action, and find themselves on the run in Europe from the assassins and a suspiciously charming British agent (Heughan), as they hatch a plan to save the world.
The Meg (August 10) starring Jason Statham, Winston Chao, and Li Bingbing
The Plot: In the film, a deep-sea submersible — part of an international undersea observation program — has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Bingbing), to save the crew—and the ocean itself—from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon.
What no one could have imagined is that, years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below…bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.
Crazy Rich Asians (August 17) starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh
The Plot: The story follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life.
It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Yeoh) taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.
The Happytime Murders (August 17) starring Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, and Maya Rudolph
The Plot: The comedy is set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives, one human and one puppet, are forced to work together to try and solve who is brutally murdering the former cast of The Happytime Gang, a beloved classic puppet show.
The Nun (September 7) starring Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir, Charlotte Hope, and Bonnie Aarons
The Plot: When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest (Bichir) with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows (Farmiga) are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in The Conjuring 2, as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.
A Simple Favor (September 14) starring Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart, and Rupert Friend
The Plot: A Simple Favor centers around Stephanie (Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean (Golding) in this stylish thriller filled with twists and betrayals, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge.
The Predator (September 14) starring Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, and Yvonne Strahovski
The Plot: From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
The House With the Clock in its Walls (September 21) starring Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, and Kyle MacLachlan
The Plot: The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town’s sleepy facade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.
Life Itself (September 21) starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Annette Bening, and Antonio Banderas
The Plot: Life Itself centers on a couple (Isaac and Wilde) who lead a multi generational love story spanning both decades and continents, from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside, and are all connected by a single event.
Night School (September 28) starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, and Romany Malco
The Plot: Star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer, who partnered for the hit Ride Along and Think Like a Man series, bring their signature style to Night School. The comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.
Serenity (September 28) starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou, Jeremy Strong, and Diane Lane
The Plot: A fishing boat captain’s (McConaughey) mysterious past, in the form of a glamorous woman (Hathaway), crashes up against his simple life on a small island in the Caribbean and ensnares him in a new reality that might not be all it seems.