13 Of The Buzziest Movies To Watch This Summer

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Here’s what we recommend watching this season, whether you’re hitting the theater or the couch.

Movie releases just hit different in the summer. While they don’t quite carry the gravitas of the end-of-year awards season campaign, the appeal is quite simple: they’re just fun. This is the time for Friday night big-screen blockbusters, buzzy streaming hits from the sofa when it’s too hot to go outside, and discovering festival favorites as they begin to reach wider audiences. This year’s slate is especially exciting, with highly anticipated sequels, remakes, book adaptations, and sweet indie titles all in the mix. Here are over a dozen films to look out for in the warmer months ahead.

Halftime movies

Downton Abbey: A New Era


First, it was the royal family; now, Hollywood is taking over Downton. A film shoot takes place at the famous estate—to Mr. Carson’s disbelief—with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) taking on a surprising new role. Meanwhile, in Paris, a fling from the dowager countess’s youth raises questions about the Crawley’s family history. Expect new faces and a handful of biting one-liners from Violet (Maggie Smith) in Julian Fellowes’s follow-up film adaptation of his beloved series. —Erica Gonzales, senior culture editor

In theaters May 20.

Top Gun: Maverick


Can a sequel arriving 30-plus years after its iconic predecessor live up to the hype? In the case of Top Gun: Maverick, the answer is a shocking yes. Tom Cruise’s Pete Mitchell returns to the elite flight academy to train a new class of top pilots for a near-impossible mission, and one of the recruits happens to be the late Goose’s resentful son (played by Miles Teller). Expect more rule-breaking, adrenaline-pumping flight sequences, and pangs of nostalgia. —EG

In theaters May 27.

A queer, modern take on Pride and Prejudice starring Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster? Yes, please. Booster wrote the script inspired by a real trip he and Yang took to New York’s Fire Island Pines, a historic gay hangout, with a copy of Jane Austen’s famous book. The resulting story follows a group of friends who go on a similar vacation to the titular destination, and what happens when Howie (Yang) and and Noah (Booster) get involved with two wealthy visitors. —EG

On Hulu June 3.


Halftime movies

With decades in the business, Jennifer Lopez is far from finished. This documentary from Amanda Micheli shows the actress, singer, producer, mogul, and mom step into her prime (again) as she turns 50, co-headlines the Super Bowl Halftime Show, sings at the presidential inauguration, and more—all while paying homage to her Latina heritage and roots in the Bronx. —EG

On Netflix June 14.

Father of the Bride


During a visit home to Miami, Sofia (Adria Arjona) surprises her parents by announcing that she has proposed to her boyfriend, Adán (Diego Boneta), and that the couple will be starting a new life together in Mexico. Stunned, Sofia’s parents, played by Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan, decide to hide the fact that they’re considering divorcing until after their daughter’s wedding in this latest incarnation of the classic rom-com. —Melissa Giannini, features director

On HBO Max June 16.

Cha Cha Real Smooth


A fresh college graduate, Andrew (writer and director Cooper Raiff) moves back home looking for a job and lands a gig as a party starter for local bar mitzvahs. That’s where he meets and befriends Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt), who open his eyes to a certain kind of life that he thinks he wants. Awkward, charming, funny, and sensitive, Cha Cha Real Smooth is a coming-of-age story for that time in your life when you’re still figuring everything out, including yourself. —EG

On Apple TV+ June 16.

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