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2018 Top 20 Summer Movie Preview!

The summer movie season is upon us and, like every year, we start filling out our dance card for which ones get a theatrical visit (or perhaps repeat visits) and who gets ignored or put on the "wait till video" list. Take a look at our Top 20 films we can't wait to see this summer and the accompanying video below, where Chris Bumbray and Paul Shirey go in-depth on all our picks! Which ones are making your theatrical viewing list?

1. Avengers: Infinity War (April 27th)

And, it looks like this year, the first movie of the summer is also the biggest, with the Russo bros wrapping up ten years of marvel films with their huge film, which involves pretty much every character from the canon – and it promises to be a huge event. I got to have an early look at this one, and I can promise fans that it lives up to the hype in a big way. - Chris Bumbray

2. Deadpool 2 (May 18th)

After blowing the roof off expectations AND the box office with the first film, Deadpool 2 is primed to do more of the same this summer. Ryan Reynolds returns to the role he was born to play as Marvel’s psychotic & hilarious Merc With A Mouth, Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool, alongside newcomers Josh Brolin as the time-traveling fan-favorite Cable and Zazee Beetz as Domino, both of whom were introduced in the X-Force comics in the 90’s. Director Tim Miller is out and John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch is in with what promises to be a fittingly bonkers and action-packed sequel that’s sure to make box office gold. - Paul Shirey

3. Mission Impossible - Fallout (July 27th)

Tom Cruise returns with a direct follow-up to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, with Christopher McQuarrie back at the helm, making him the only director to be behind the camera for more than one installment. Rebecca Ferguson is back, with the trailers suggesting that she somehow ends up at odds with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, along with Superman himself, Henry Cavill, sporting the mustache that sunk JUSTICE LEAGUE! The last movie’s baddie, Solomon Lane, played by Sean Harris is also back, as is Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and in a cool twist, Michelle Monaghan as Julia, the woman Hunt fell in love with and married in the third film - Chris Bumbray

4. Sicario 2: Soldado (June 29th)

We never anticipated we’d see a follow up to Taylor Sheridan’s brilliantly written Sicario, directed by the equally brilliant Denis Villeneuve, but sometimes we get lucky. I say lucky because although we don’t have Villeneuve directing, we do have Sheridan scripting, which makes a world of difference after his hat trick of Sicario, Hell or High Water and Wind River. Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin return as the shady government agents that disrupt and cause chaos in the drug cartel world and this time it seems their mission is to do amp that mission up to 11. If anything, we’re hoping for something as dark, violent and powerful as the first and with Sheridan writing our chances are very good. - Paul Shirey

5. Incredibles 2 (June 15)

A long-awaited Pixar sequel, with Brad Bird directing his first film since TOMORROWLAND. This sees him in familiar territory, with the title family battling a couple of new villains, while baby Jack-Jack comes into his own with some unpredictable new powers. One thing that’s nice about animated movies – sequels can come year later and no one ages. I’m shocked this hasn’t happened sooner. - Chris Bumbray

6. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25th)

After a troubled production that saw the firing of original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Solo: A Star Wars Story was put back on track with the zero-hour hiring of Ron Howard, who reportedly reshot 70 percent of the film in order to complete it. Alden Ehrenreich stars as the young Han Solo and while he doesn’t appear to be mimicking Harrison Ford’s performance he could pull off the embodiment of the character at a young age and make it work. Thus far the trailers have made this look like a fun space caper type film, which is fitting for the character. Joining the fray is Chewbacca, of course, as well as Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and some more star power from Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Paul Bettany as the main villain. - Paul Shirey

7. Ant Man & the Wasp (July 6th)

Many think this Marvel sequel will handily out gross the original, which suffered from the 11th hour sacking of Edgar Wright, who was replaced by Peyton Reed, who returns for the sequel. Without that bad buzz, this looks to have an easier time gaining an audience, with Rudd’s titular hero now having a full-fledged partner, with Evangeline Lily’s Hope van Dyne becoming The Wasp. Michael Douglas and Michael Pena also return, with Michelle Pfeiffer joining as Hope’s long-lost mother, and Walton Goggins on-board as the baddie. - Chris Bumbray

8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22nd)

Jurassic World made a mountain of money and reenergized the Jurassic Park franchise, even if that film, well, isn’t really very good. Original director Colin Trevorrow is out and The Impossible and A Monster Calls director J.A. Bayona is in, which is the biggest bonus this sequel has going for it. Stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are back, as are Jurassic Park alums Jeff Goldblum and B.D. Wong, which should make for a nice connection to the overall Jurassic franchise. While expectations are idling with most just anticipating some simple dino action, there’s a good chance that this one could elevate and push beyond the hum-drum of the first, especially with Bayona at the helm, who has made me cry with his last two films. Will I cry at a dinosaur movie this summer? We’ll see.- Paul Shirey

9. The Equalizer 2 (July 20th)

Denzel Washington reteams with director Antoine Fuqua for a follow-up to THE EQUALIZER, which was a remake of the popular eighties show. This time, Pedro Pascal joins in, in a part that’s rumored to be a villain, although the trailer makes it seem more like his an ally in McCall’s quest to avenge the death of his former handler, played by Melissa Leo. This one looks like more of a spy adventure than the last one, but the action seems to be just as brutal – possibly more so. - Chris Bumbray

10. Skyscraper (July 13th)

Dwayne Johnson returns to the big ol’ adventure romp genre, which seems to be his bread and butter these days, with Skyscraper. After Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Rampage flexing his box office muscles (and actual muscles), Johnson heads into a big skyscraper to fight terrorists in order to save his family. No, this isn’t a Die Hard sequel in disguise. More like Towering Inferno lite, I’d say, and sure to have the growing Dwayne Johnson fanbase on their toes with delight as the big man leaps from buildings, fights fires and surely beats the crap out of bad guys. It may not be anything wholly original, but Johnson has transitioned to not needing to do much more than show up to make for a fun ride. We’ll see if audiences buckle up for this one. - Paul Shirey

11. The Meg (August 10th)

Jason Statham fights a giant, prehistoric shark. Need I saw more? Based on Steve Alton’s novel, a film of which has been in development hell for over a decade, this seems like a big stab at a new international franchise, heavily sprinkled with talent designed to appeal to the Chinese market. This looks like a fun, dumb summer action flick, but hopefully the emphasis will be on the fun part, not the dumb part. - Chris Bumbray

12. Hereditary (June 8th)

From writer-director Ari Aster, Hereditary has been fueling nightmares since its debut at Sundance and will be making its way into your own when it releases wide this summer. Starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byre, Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro, the film dives into the dark secrets and trauma of a family dealing with a loss. It's the kind of slow burn, art house horror film that's been making the genre shine for some time, much like its predecessors It Follows, The Babadook and The Witch. Could it be the horror hit of the summer? - Paul Shirey

13. Ocean's 8 (June 8th)

The all-female continuation of the Ocean’s 11 franchise, this one stars Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean’s jailbird sister. Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulsen, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna and more co-star in what looks to be a fun caper comedy, with my only worry being that without Steven Soderbergh at the helm, it may not be quite as stylish as we’re used to. Having SEABISCUIT/ HUNGER GAMES director Gary Ross as director seems like an odd fit, but we’ll see. - Chris Bumbray

14. Under the Silver Lake (June 22nd)

From It Follows director David Robert Mitchell comes this twisted mystery tale about a man (Andrew Garfield) obsessed with finding his missing neighbor. The further he goes and deeper he gets in uncovering what really happened turns his world upside down and based on the trailer alone this looks to be an absolute blast. It's got all the David Lynch-like feels mixed with Mitchell's sensibility, which makes for one hell of an intriguing film. Let's hope it unravels as well as it promises. - Paul Shirey

15. Action Point (June 1st)

Jackass fans, rejoice. Johnny Knoxville is back in another hybrid narrative/reality film, ACTION POINT. Semi-based on a real amusement park that existed in the seventies, Knoxville stars as the owner of said park, who opts to turn it into the most dangerous amusement park in the world in order to attract visitors. The narrative is scripted, but the stunts are all real, with Chris Pontius co-starring. - Chris Bumbray

16. Mile 22 (August 3rd)

From director Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, Lone Survivor) comes Mile 22, which is being set up as the first part of an ongoing franchise for Mark Wahlberg, who plays an Elite American Intel Officer who is tasked with getting an informant out of the country. Joining Wahlberg in this action venture is The Raid's Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey, The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan and John Malkovich. It's tough for a straight-up action franchise to wedge its way between superheroes and animated films in the summer months, but perhaps this will be just what we need for a little variety. - Paul Shirey

17. Alpha (August 17th)

I feel like I’ve been seeing trailers for this one for about a year now. Albert Hughes, of The Hughes Brothers, helms this IMAX 3D adventure set during the ice age, with The Road’s Kodi Smit McPhee as a young man who finds himself separated from his tribe, and helped to survive by a wolf he’s able to tame, making this, in effect, “First Dog”, which is the title I would have given it. - Chris Bumbray

18. Christopher Robin (August 3rd)

Much like Steven Spielberg did with 1991's Hook, Christopher Robin takes the titular human character and imagines what his life would be like when he grew up. And, apparently, becoming an adult with responsibilities and a job and a family isn't exactly running around a forest with talking animals. Ewan McGregor plays the grown-up Christopher Robin and as his life careens into uncertainty, he's reunited with his old pal Winnie The Pooh and his cohorts, who are sure to remind him of who he was and who he needs to be to make it all right. It's the kind of heartwarming adventure that fits nicely into a summer of explosions and fanfare, that looks to rest alongside films like Hook or Paddington. Let's just hope the box office is brighter for it. - Paul Shirey

19. Tag (June 15th)

If you’ve been wondering where the heck Jeremy Renner has been during the AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR brouhaha, he’s been shooting the action-comedy TAG. One of the summer’s few big comedy gambles, this is apparently based on a true story, where a group of friends organize an extreme, cross-country game of tag. Renner co-stars with Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher and the great Jon Hamm. While a comedy, Renner apparently broke at least two bones making this, so maybe it’ll be a little more high-voltage than it looks? - Chris Bumbray

Captive State (August 17th)

Set a decade after an alien occupation on Earth, this little sci-fi tale is ripe with intrigue. Starring John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, Madeline Brewer, Alan Ruck, Kevin J. O'Connor and D.B. Sweeney, the film "explores the lives on both sides of the conflict - the collaborators and dissidents." Directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) this one could be the smart sci-fi thriller of the summer, akin to something like Arrival or Blade Runner 2049 if they play their cards right. - Paul Shirey

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