Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)
The sequel to the original surprise hit of summer 2014, this follow-up by director James Gunn is expected to open to double the numbers the original did. With a story that’s vital to the plot of “Avengers: Infinity War” in 2018, it looks to be another stellar entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Alien: Covenant (May 19)
This latest entry in the long-running “Alien” franchise, is the third film in the series to be directed by Ridley Scott after the original 1979 film and the 2012 prequel “Prometheus.” With a host of frightening imagery and freaky visuals, the film should greatly expand on the mythology of the revered science fiction series and thrill both existing and new fans when it opens.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26)
Despite the previous “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels meeting with mixed reception among critics and fans, they made massive amounts of money at the box office. This film seems closer in tone to the original “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” and sees Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) clashing with an old adversary known as Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) as he tries to track down an ancient artifact that will grant him control of the seas. With a record $320 million budget behind the film, the latest entry in this adaptation of the Disneyland ride looks to be the most thrilling “Pirates of the Caribbean” yet.
Wonder Woman (June 2)
Even amid highly polarizing critical reception, the films in the DC Extended Universe have made huge amounts of money. This adaptation of the revered DC Comics superheroine should easily build on the success of her portrayal in last year’s “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.” If all else fails, it’s hard to imagine the film being worse than the infamous live-action “Catwoman.”
Spider-Man Homecoming (July 7)
Following the massive success of last year’s “Captain America: Civil War,” this film will mark the official entry of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film will follow Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as he tries to balance the pressures of high school life with the responsibility of being Spider-Man. On top of that, he clashes with supervillains such as the Vulture (Michael Keaton) and tries to win the heart of Mary Jane Watson (Zendaya). With the direction of Tom Watts and a supporting role from Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the film should easily be a welcome new take on the wall-crawler after the disappointing reception to “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in 2014.
Dunkirk (July 21)
Since the breakout hit of the film “Memento,” director Christopher Nolan has been able to make a myriad of great films in a wide range of genres. With this film, he will deliver a retelling of “Operation Dynamo” during World War II. Featuring frequent collaborating actors such as Cilian Murphy and Tom Hardy as well as acclaimed figures such as Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh, Nolan’s talents as a filmmaker should easily grant the conflict the scope and scale it demands.
Detroit (August 4)
In light of many challenges we are facing in the present, a good way to gain perspective on them is to examine how similar ones played out in the past. This film from director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) is a historical drama about the Detroit riots of 1967. Featuring a compelling story set in a turbulent time and a cast that features promising young actors such as John Boyega and Anthony Mackie, the film will be a great way to look at the parallels of the issues we face now from the perspective of the past.
Review by Steven Pryor