As usual, you will not need your brain for most of the 2017 summer movie season. Assembling this list is an annual exercise in familiarity, as sequels, franchise properties, and R-rated comedies are clearly en vogue with moviegoers. Originality is only welcome in bits and pieces. Not surprisingly, this lighthearted look at what's to come from May through early July begins and ends with the current Gods of the Box Office, Marvel Studios.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) seeks his father with the help of the rest of the Guardians and an awesome soundtrack in this sequel to the breakout 2014 hit. Director James Gunn said there are five post-credit scenes, which seems excessive, but if it's half as fun as the original, we won't be able to get enough.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
On one hand, it's another King Arthur movie. On the other, it's a Guy Ritchie flick, and if he can breathe life into Sherlock Holmes, imagine what he could do with the folklore here.
Goldie Hawn returns to the big screen for the first time since The Banger Sisters (2002) alongside Amy Schumer in this comedy set in South America. The trailers don't look that funny, but Schumer is talented and we know how great Hawn can be. Or was.
- Alien Covenant
Prometheus (2012) was a mess, so here's hoping Alien director Ridley Scott is back on track to keeping the franchise relevant.
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Oh god, another one? Rumor has it this is more of a personal journey for Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), which may help us give a damn. Emphasis on "may."
The TV show gets the big-screen treatment with Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and scores of other hotties. Expect big, dumb action and explosions involving pretty people trying to avoid the worst catastrophe of all: something happening to their faces.
It's an origin story that shows how Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) became a hero. Please, Patty Jenkins (Monster), salvage what you can of the DC Comics Extended Universe. Don't let Zack Snyder (Batman v. Superman) ruin it for all of us.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned thousands of years ago. When an ancient princess is awakened from her tomb, the end of the world is nigh. It's up to Tom Cruise to save the day. This is Universal's attempt to get its Monsters Universe thriving, which perhaps explains why Russell Crowe's character is Dr. Henry Jekyll.
It probably isn't your favorite Pixar franchise (ahem — Toy Story), but the trailer made this look like a serious underdog sports drama as racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) gets in a horrible accident. Intriguing.
This bawdy girl comedy stars Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, and Zoe Kravitz at a bachelorette party in Miami with a dead male stripper. Girls have been bad at bachelorette parties before, but this cast can't help but get you excited.
Transformers: The Last Knight
How have we not had enough of this already? Oh yeah, the four franchise movies have earned more than $1.3 billion domestically since Transformers bowed in July 2007, so expect more of the same bigger, louder, and boom! that director Michael Bay does so well.
- Baby Driver
The buzz on this film, written and directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), is through the roof. It's about a getaway driver whose music becomes the soundtrack to the action scenes, and word is it's an absolute blast. Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, and Jamie Foxx star.
- Despicable Me 3
Despicable Me 3
Gru (Steve Carell) reunites with his long-lost brother Dru (Carell again) to stop an '80s-obsessed villain (Trey Parker). To their credit, it seems like Illumination Entertainment is trying to appeal to adults as well as kids. But that doesn't mean the Minions will not play a prominent role.
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest people alive. Seeing them start an illegal casino in their basement to fund their daughter's college tuition? Yes, please.
And the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps truckin' along. Now our new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) gets his own movie, with Michael Keaton as the villainous Vulture and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) trying to keep him out of the Avengers.