Summer 2022 Movie Preview

From scary clouds to talking shells, here is your guide to the season’s upcoming films.

Movie seasons don’t abide by the Gregorian calendar. They’re arbitrated by studio spreadsheets, holiday weekends and amorphous concepts like “Awards Season” and “Dumpuary.”

But you know the start of a movie season when you see one, and summer 2022 unofficially begins this Friday with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which marks the return of legendary genre filmmaker Sam Raimi to not only superhero movies, but also, well, movies (he hasn’t directed a feature film since 2013′s Oz the Great and Powerful).

Strange is sure to be filled with Raimi’s reality-busting crash zooms, but there’s much more to anticipate. So let’s look ahead at our 10 most anticipated summer movies.

Pleasure (May 13)

All-in arthousers will soon be able to immerse themselves in Swedish filmmaker Ninja Thyberg’s story of a burgeoning porn performer ascending through the industry by making increasingly daring videos. Newcomer Sofia Kappel joins a cast largely made up of adult film actors, in what’s being hailed as an incisive, firsthand depiction of porn production.

Men (May 20)

After helming the brilliant and baffling big-tech miniseries Devs, director Alex Garland returns to movies with a horror entry he’s calling “aggressive.” Knowing Garland, that probably means that Men will attempt to rupture your psyche and eardrums, as Jessie Buckley navigates a bucolic menagerie of leering, stalking, gaslighting bastards.

Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)

At this point, the Top Gun sequel might as well have been made in the 1980s. Even so, the pandemic’s most famous blockbuster holdout (which was actually filmed in 2018) is finally cleared for takeoff. And no movie star still demands the big screen (literally and figuratively) like Lt. Tom Cruise.

Fire Island (June 3)

Starring and written by breakout standup Joel Kim Booster, this Hulu comedy goes where no mainstream rom-com has before: on a Fire Island vacation for a gay, Asian-led Pride and Prejudice riff. SNL’s Bowen Yang co-stars, alongside Margaret Cho, Conrad Ricamora and endless abs.

Crimes of the Future (June 3)

There’s no summer fun without 79-year-old David Cronenberg grafting ears onto the tops of people’s skulls. After eight years away from the director’s chair, the body-horror master is reteaming with Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises) and bringing Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color, No Time to Die) and Kristen Stewart into the dystopian (skin) fold.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (June 24)

What began as a series of mockumentary shorts, beloved for Jenny Slate’s squeaky, ASMR-esque voicing of a pin-sized seashell, is now a feature—and it’s our choice for most anticipated animated film of the summer (next to Lightyear and Bob’s Burgers). Bringing all the tender existentialism of the shorts, Marcel is now venturing into the great wide world to find his shell family.

Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8)

He’s not the first superhero to quit the cape as a plot point, but Thor is perhaps the first to braid his locks, meditate and goof around at director Taika Waititi’s behest while off the superhero clock. If a return to the irreverence of 2017′s Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t interest you, perhaps Christian Bale playing (*checks notes*) Gorr the God Butcher will.

Nope (July 22)

Jordan Peele’s many producing forays and co-authorship of last year’s Candyman script didn’t fully pan out, but that shouldn’t dim enthusiasm for his directorial follow-up to Get Out and Us. Peele’s third film is set on a dusty horse ranch, which is intruded upon by something real big and ominous up in the sky. We’ll be lucky to watch Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun crane their necks.

Bullet Trail (July 29)

Brad Pitt stars in this adaptation of the Japanese novel Maria Beetle, about an imperiled assassin on a high-speed trip from Tokyo to Kyoto. With stunt guru David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde) directing, it’s likely to be all about claustrophobic carnage and gymnastic fisticuffs. Can’t you just picture the tracking shots now?

Bodies Bodies Bodies (August 5)

Marketed as a satirical cross between Scream and Spring Breakers, this weekend-gone-wrong tale of friends holed up during a hurricane stars Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby), Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Pete Davidson (SNL), Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) and Lee Pace (Halt and Catch Fire). Could be a collection of career-changing performances and/or pure chaos.