The summer movie season always has lots of great flicks to offer, and the summer of 2023 is no exception. From massive franchise blockbusters to the return of studio comedies, cinephiles around the world should be excited about this summer’s offerings. The year in movies so far has been quietly impressive, with films like Creed III, John Wick: Chapter 4, Infinity Pool, Rye Lane, Skinamarink, Air, and Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves setting up a promising year in theaters. Now, the summer schedule is looking to keep it rolling.
To celebrate the coming summer movie season, let’s take a look at our top 10 most anticipated movies of the season. With only 10 spots available, it’s inevitable that some very exciting movies will be left off the list. A few honorable mentions include Blue Beetle, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Gran Turismo, Haunted Mansion, and Fast X.
10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
The Turtle brothers are returning on August 4 in an animated romp through a mutant-infested New York City. The movie, which follows the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they try to win over the hearts of New York, is executive produced by Seth Rogen, and it seems to promise some classic TMNT antics. Together with their new friend April O’Neil, the young turtles’ attempts to take down a mysterious crime syndicate result in all-out chaos as an army of mutants is unleashed upon Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.
Mutant Mayhem features a wildly star-studded cast including Rogen, John Cena, Paul Rudd, Giancarlo Esposito, Jackie Chan, Maya Rudolph, Ice Cube, Ayo Edebiri, Post Malone, and Rose Byrne. The turtles themselves are voiced by Nicolas Cantu, Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., and Brady Noon. The animation style of the upcoming flick is exceedingly unique, a blend between comic book and street-art styles that results in somewhat of a mash-up between Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Mitchells vs the Machines.
9. Joy Ride
With Joy Ride and the upcoming Jennifer Lawrence-led No Hard Feelings, some moviegoers have hope that we might be seeing the rebirth of the studio comedy. The 2000s held countless comedy hits, but the genre has slacked in recent years as studios refocus on franchise opportunities. However, with Joy Ride, it seems Lionsgate is bringing some funny levity back to theaters.
Joy Ride follows four Asian American friends as they travel through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers. The R-rated film will see Stephanie Hsu return to the spotlight after her Oscar-nominated performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once, but she surely won’t be destroying multiverses this time around. Hsu is joined by co-stars Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Debbie Fan, Desmond Chiam, and Alexander Hodge. Joy Ride, which is directed by first-time director Adele Lim, looks to be a hilariously profane comedy that is sure to provide great fun at the theaters. You can see Joy Ride in theaters on July 7.
8. The Flash
It’s yet to be seen if The Flash will be the greatest superhero movie ever made, but there’s no doubt that the hype surrounding the DC project is real. The superhero movie sees Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen in a Flashpoint-inspired story of time travel chaos. After the Flash travels back in time to save his parents, he accidentally becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned to Earth. Barry must now team up with Batman, Supergirl, and his own alternate self to try to right his wrongs.
The Flash, which will hit theaters on June 16, has been making headlines for years now due in large part to the film’s star. Miller has been involved in numerous legal troubles, from accusations of assault to grooming minors. The film also comes in the middle of a tumultuous time in the DC universe as new co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran have begun to hit the reset button on the entire franchise. Nevertheless, The Flash has continually been touted for its quality, with some calling it the best superhero movie of all time. Even if it’s not deserving of such a lofty crown, The Flash‘s implications on the future of DC as well as the return of Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight make this film an intriguing one.
It’s almost unbelievable that a movie about Barbie dolls has as much high-level talent as it does, but Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has everything you could want and more. The movie is directed by Gerwig, who co-wrote the script with her husband and fellow auteur Noah Baumbach. It stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. It also stars Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Emerald Fennell, Issa Rae, Rita Aryu, Helen Mirren, Nicola Coughlan, Ncuti Gowda, Alexandra Shipp, John Cena, Emma Mackey, Sharon Rooney, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Scott Evans, Ana Cruz Kayne, and Michael Cera. Oh, and Dua Lipa and Hari Nef star as Barbies, too. It almost doesn’t even matter what Barbie is about; what more could a cinephile ever wish for?
Gerwig is well-known for her work on Little Women and Lady Bird, so her decision to take on one of America’s most iconic toys is an outstanding choice. Barbie follows Robbie’s Barbie and Gosling’s Ken as they leave Barbieland and embark on a journey to the human world to find true happiness. July 21 is sure to be an absolute treat for moviegoers, as both Oppenheimer and Barbie will be hitting theaters on the exact same date. If some brave souls see both movies on the same day, it will be the strangest double feature ever.
6. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Indy is back! More than 15 years after his last adventure in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, everyone’s favorite spelunking archaeologist is returning to the big screen. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny follows Indy as he races against time to retrieve a legendary dial that holds immense power. Alongside his goddaughter, Indiana Jones squares up against Jürgen Voller, a former Nazi who works for NASA, as he gets back to his roots of punching Nazis in the face.
While Indiana Jones 5 will not be directed by Steven Spielberg nor written by George Lucas for the first time in the franchise’s history, it will still be interesting to see how James Mangold’s vision of Indiana Jones plays out. Mangold has previously had success directing films such as Logan and Ford v Ferrari, so let’s hope that Dial of Destiny can capture that classic Indiana Jones vibe. The film hits theaters on June 30 and will, of course, star Harrison Ford as the daredevil archaeologist. Phoebe Waller-Bridge also stars in the film alongside Mads Mikkelsen as the villainous Voller.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
James Gunn’s final entry in his beloved Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy is coming out soon, and it seems that the film is going to be an emotional journey that will leave many Marvel fans shook. The film follows the Guardians as they team up once more to defend the universe from The High Evolutionary, a cruel and powerful being that created Rocket. While Guardians 3 will dive into Rocket’s past immensely, the entire film will likely have a lot of emotion in store for the MCU’s goofy space defenders.
Thanks to his transition to lead DC, the movie will also likely be the last time the MCU will see a movie from Gunn. His previous films were widely admired by fans and critics alike for their playfulness yet emotional weight, and his presence will definitely be missed at Marvel. It’s unclear what exactly is in store for the Guardians after this movie, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
4. Asteroid City
Wes Anderson’s newest entry into his filmography will see the beloved director team up with faces new and old. Set in 1955, Asteroid City brings Anderson’s trademark style to a sci-fi story of aliens, family, and unexpected twists in a quiet desert town. Here in Asteroid City, stargazing is all the craze, but, during a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention designed to unite students and parents, a world-changing event takes place. Now, an ensemble of characters must deal with the chaos that has descended on this sleepy town.
The movie reunites Anderson with Jason Schwartzman, who has starred in many of Anderson’s biggest hits, from Moonrise Kingdom to Rushmore. Tom Hanks is also in Asteroid City, marking the first time the revered actor has worked with Anderson. The rest of the cast for the film is something that truly has to be seen to be believed; alongside Schwartzman and Hanks, Asteroid City stars Margot Robbie, Hong Chau, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Willem Dafoe, Scream 6‘s Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Ethan Lee, Jeff Goldblum, and Rita Wilson. Combining a cast like that with a mind like Anderson’s is sure to be a treat.
3. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 1
The Mission: Impossible movies have proven time and time again that it is one of the greatest action franchises out there, and I don’t expect Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One to let fans down one bit. The seventh entry in the MI series sees Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt back in action again with Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Rebecca Ferguson as the IMF takes on a new global threat. While not much is known about the plot of the movie, some sneak peeks have showcased some high-level stunts that will likely leave jaws agape everywhere.
The upcoming movie is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the mind behind the previous two entries to the MI franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. McQuarrie and Cruise’s mind-blowing action set pieces have astonished critics and fans alike for years now, so it’s easy to understand why the hype for MI 7 is real. What hair-raising stunts will Cruise have in store for us this time around? We’ll have to wait for July 12 to know that answer.
Christopher Nolan is back in the director’s chair, and his newest entry looks to be something fantastic. Oppenheimer follows the true story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer’s contributions to the Manhattan Project led to the creation of the atomic bomb that would change the world forever, for better or for worse. Universal is betting on Nolan with all they have, dashing out a reported $100 million budget for Nolan’s nuclear epic. Nolan’s dedication to practical effects, especially the explosion of the bomb itself, will result in something that has to be seen to be believed.
The reportedly three-hour movie stars Cillian Murphy as the titular Oppenheimer, a role that very well may land the actor an Oscar nod. Alongside Murphy, Oppenheimer stars Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Jack Quaid, Dune: Part Two‘s Florence Pugh, Kenneth Branagh, Gary Oldman, Rami Malek, Alden Ehrenreich, and many more. Oppenheimer will explode into theaters on July 21.
1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The highly-anticipated sequel to 2019’s Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is swinging into theaters soon, and we couldn’t be more excited. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse takes place a few years after the original movie, and Miles Morales is more experienced as the friendly neighborhood web-slinger. Now, Miles finds himself in uncharted waters after he catapults across the multiverse, landing amongst a team of Spider-People committed to protecting the multiverse’s very existence. Miles, though, is causing some trouble in the multiverse, and the futuristic Spider-Man 2099 isn’t too happy about it. Now, Miles must forge his own path to determine what it takes to be a hero.
The original Spider-Verse movie was acclaimed for its inventive art techniques, and it seems that the newest entry to Miles’s saga is upping the ante even further. Across the Spider-Verse brings back many of our favorites from the first movie, including Hailee Steinfeld’s Gwen Stacy and Jake Johnson’s Peter B. Parker. If Across the Spider-Verse can capture what made the first movie so great, viewers should be in for another soulful adventure through the multiverse.