Ten long-awaited new movies to watch over summer break

As movie theaters continue to recover from COVID-19 pandemic closures, this summer promises to bring film lovers a range of options. Arts Reporter Charlie Hickman chose 10 picks for most popular and less known exciting new releases for May, June, and July.


Matt Sindt

Film Scene is seen in downtown Iowa City on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.

Charlie Hickman, Arts Reporter

This summer will mark an exhilarating time for the film industry with several highly anticipated releases. These 10 picks are some of the most popular and less well-known movie premieres of May, June, and July.

Up first is “Fast X” directed by Louis Leterrier. Promising to be one of the biggest blockbusters this summer, the 10th entry of the “Fast and Furious” series follows Vin Diesel’s fan-favorite character Dominic Toretto leading his crew against a hidden enemy, played by Jason Momoa, from their past looking for revenge.

Next is “The Little Mermaid” directed by Rob Marshall, to premiere in theaters on May 26. Disney’s latest live action remake of the 1989 animated classic stars Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. This reimagining will not only include new renditions of the original songs but also four new songs with lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Just one week later, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson releases in theaters, including Iowa City’s FilmScene June 2. The highly anticipated sequel to the 2018 film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” will see the return of Miles Morales as an established superhero. He will be reunited with Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy and alternate dimension Spider-Man Peter B. Parker, who needs his help to save the multiverse.

Almost a year after their last film, Pixar’s “Elemental” directed by Peter Sohn, releases June 16. The film takes place in a city where anthropomorphic water, fire, air, and land people live together but are forbidden to intermingle. When Wade, a water being, and Ember, a fire being, meet, an unforeseen connection is made.

For a more low-key but stylistically unique film, consider “Asteroid City” directed by Wes Anderson, coming to FilmScene and premiering June 16. This new film by Anderson will follow the citizens of an American desert town hosting a Junior Stargazer and Space Cadet convention circa 1955. Unexplainable, world-changing events disrupt the convention and leave characters spiraling.

If you’re looking for a classic summer adventure, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” directed by James Mangoldmay might be exactly what you’re looking for. The film releases June 30, 15 years after the last “Indiana Jones” movie. Harrison Ford returns to the role for one last adventure. Accompanied by his goddaughter, played by “Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, he seeks a historic artifact with the power to alter history.

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Missing those classic comedies from the early 2010s? “Joy Ride” is directed by Adele Lim and will debut at Film Scene July 7, looking to restart the family comedy trend thanks to producer Seth Rogen. Featuring an all-Asian American leading cast, this comedy follows four friends as they discover their roots and learn what it means to love yourself as they travel across Asia in search of their birth mothers.

The longest running (and personal favorite) action movie franchise returns July 12 with “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One,” directed by Christopher McQuarrie. The seventh installment in the Tom Cruise-led “Mission Impossible” series is set to be the beginning of the end. As per usual for these films, the massive stunts and action set pieces will take the spotlight. The plot is currently being kept secret, but the first part of this action-packed finale promises to be the biggest entry in the franchise yet.

After four years since her last film, Greta Gerwig will return with “Barbie” coming to FilmScene July 21. The long-awaited eccentric film will star Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling with a massive all-star cast including Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Dua Lipa, and more. The film follows Barbie and Ken who go on an adventure to the real world after being kicked out of Barbie Land for being less than perfect.

To end this list with a bang, Christopher Nolan’s newest historical epic “Oppenheimer” releases July 21. Starring Cillian Murphy as the atomic bomb inventor, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the film follows the Manhattan Project and its devastating aftermath. The perfect film for history lovers, it also boasts a massive cast including Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, and Matt Damon.