Dark, air-conditioned and, in theory, peaceful. We’ve all felt like retreating to a place like that over the summer in Abu Dhabi.
For many, the cinema is the ultimate escape, and we don’t mean just from the soaring temperatures. No, going to the movies offers people the opportunity to leave their real lives behind for a few hours and immerse themselves in another world.
But, even if you don’t buy that, and just want somewhere to hide from the midday sun, at least there are some awesome snacks on offer.
Either way, here are the biggest films on the silver screen over the next few months.
Released: Out now
Elsewhere in this issue, you can read our big interview with director Dexter Fletcher, but even if you haven’t got round to it yet, this is one movie that can’t have escaped your attention. The fantasy-musical-biopic of Elton John, it stars Kingsman’s Taron Egerton as the singer-songwriter. The film covers the legend’s young life all the way through to his years as a superstar.
The Dead Don’t Die
Released: Out now
Indie director Jim Jarmusch’s films (Broken Flowers, Paterson) are often rambling art-house shaggy dog stories starring a mix of cult actors and musicians. This one doesn’t appear to be that different, it stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tom Waits and Iggy Pop, after all. However, this time around, Jarmusch has moved into the zombie-horror realm, albeit in his usual allegorical style. An interesting diversion in a fascinating career.
Men In Black: International
Released: June 20
This fourth Men In Black film is a spin-off from the previous trilogy. This time around, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok) are agents from the London branch of the MIB network, who are trying to save the world from a series of alien attacks. Directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), it also stars Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson and Rafe Spall in supporting roles. There’s not a whole load to say about this one – it looks like more of the same, with a steady hand behind the camera and a whole load of charisma in front of it.
Toy Story 4
Released: June 20
Surely one of the most hotly anticipated movies on this list, it has taken nine years to follow up the frankly superb third Toy Story instalment. And, for those fact hunters out there, it’s a seriously confusing 24 years since Woody and Buzz Lightyear first appeared on the big screen. This time out, the gang are heading out on a road trip with their new pal, a spork. Yes, you reads that correctly – the new character is a spoon/fork combo. Forky is the product of the toys’ new owner Bonnie’s (who Andy gave Woody and Buzz to at the end of Toy Story 3) arts and crafts efforts. Look, whatever it’s about, and whoever is in it, we know it’s going to be a massive hit and totally brilliant.
Released: June 27
Actress Olivia Wilde (A Vigilante, The Change-Up, House) gets behind the camera for directorial debut. Already receiving rave reviews around the world, this high-school comedy tells the tale of two hard-working students (Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein) who, on the night before their graduation, realise they should have had more fun at school. Cue a wild night and plenty of japes.
Spiderman: Far From Home
Released: July 4
Tom Holland is back as Spidey in the follow-up to Spiderman: Homecoming. The previous film rebooted the Spiderman franchise brilliantly, putting Peter Parker in school, giving the teenager a much more naïve, playful sense of humour. However, since then he’s been through Avengers: Endgame. That doesn’t mean he can skip school, though, and this time he’s recruited by Nick Fury to carry out a mission while on a field trip to Europe. It looks like great fun once more, and Holland seems born to play the role of Parker.
Released: July 18
There can’t be many people who want to see this ‘live action’ version of the classic Disney film that haven’t already seen the 1994 animated original. Is it really live action? Well, no. It’s a more realistically animated take on the same story – with trailers suggesting it could actually be a shot-for-shot remake. It’s directed by Jon Favreau, who also did a similar job on 2016’s The Jungle Book. Man-of-the-moment Donald Glover is Simba, Seth Rogan is Pumbaa and Chiwetel Ejiofor is Scar. It’ll probably be massive, but we don’t think we could love anything more than the original.
Released: August 1
Glaswegian cleaner and part-time country singer Rose-Lynn Harlan dreams of Nashville stardom in a drama that promises plenty of toe-tapping tunes and loads of raw emotion. It’s A Star Is Born with a hoover, and is a brilliant showcase for the substantial talent of actress-musician Jessie Buckley in the lead role. This might not be a blockbuster like some of the others being released this summer, but it is definitely one to watch.
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
Released: August 1
Is an IMAX screen even big enough to fit Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham on it? Add Idris Elba into the mix and you have one muscle-bound line-up. This The Fast and the Furious spin-off is set in London, and sees Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw facing off against a new terrorist threat. Car chases and cheesy lines ahoy!
Angry Birds 2
Released: August 8
Who’d have thought you could get one movie out of the incredibly simple mobile phone game, never mind two? It stars the voices of Jason Sudekis (also in Booksmart, above), Bill Hader (who’s in the new IT sequel, see below), Peter Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) and more big name actors. And Nicki Minaj. It doesn’t really matter what the plot is, does it? One for kids.
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood
Released: August 15
It might be decades since Quentin Tarantino made his name with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, but despite the big audiences having deserted him, each new film the director releases is still met with plenty of fanfare. This time, however, that could be deserved, as any film that brings together Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio is going to hit headlines. Set at the tale-end of 1960s Hollywood, producers have been keen to distance the film from early suggestions it was about the Charles Manson murders. It’s true that it’s set in the same timespace, and Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate, one of the Manson Family victims, but it’s actually much more of a buddy movie. It is Tarantino, though, so the easily offended should probably still tread carefully.
Released: August 29
The main talking point ahead of this film based on the writer of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings is that its star, Nicholas Hoult, has aged since he was a child actor. Now 29, that’s kind of what happens over the course of time, so we’re not sure what the big deal is. If you want to know what influenced old J.R.R., this is the film for you.
IT: Chapter Two
Released: September 5
The evil clown is back. We were scared when the original TV series of the Stephen King novel was released in 1990, and we’re scared of, well, it now. That version included the full story of a bunch of adults who encountered the sinister Pennywise as children. The 2017 movie told just the youngsters section and this, the follow-up, sees the grown-ups’ part. It stars Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and more, as the group who reconvene 27 years after the events of the first film. Proper good summer viewing.
Rambo: Last Blood
Released: September 19
John Rambo is back, again. Sylvester Stallone may be 72, but 37 years since the title character first appeared in First Blood, it seems he has one more Rambo film in him. While it might seem ridiculous for a septuagenarian to take on the role of an all-action hero, the last movie in the series (2008’s Rambo) was actually pretty good. The trailer for this one only landed a few days before writing, but fans of grunting, gun-toting, bloodshed and explosions look to be in for a treat.