I Watched 40 Summer Movie Trailers So You Didn’t Have To

Summer movie season 2023 is officially here, and I am happy to be your guide through it. We’ve got blockbustin’ franchises. We got animated family fun. We got some artsy indies. We even have a decent number of movies that are under 2 hours, a change I find particularly exciting. So… let’s get started.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (May 5)

Directed by: James Gunn
Famous people involved: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillian, Vin Diesel
One sentence summary: Gamora is back, but like not really, and I guess the other three guardians besides her and Chris Pratt are in here somewhere, though you can hardly tell from the trailer.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Nope. Marvel managed to have a pretty solid ending with Avengers: End Game and in my mind that was… well. The End. I have little interest in watching their continual parade of new reasons why some plot point from a prior movie kinda still matters, but also doesn’t really count because they still owe Daddy Disney a movie that’s not too different from the last one, and God forbid we have to live with any ramifications of our own creative choices. Plus, for this movie’s runtime, I could listen to Rainbow’s timeless bop “Since You Been Gone” approximately 45.7 times without any Guardians interrupting it.

2. Love Again (May 5)

Directed by: Jim Strouse
Famous people involved: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nick Jonas, Celine Dion Sam Heughan
One sentence summary: It’s kinda like “You’ve Got Mail” but with Celine Dion playing herself as the wise older friend who teaches the younger cynic to follow their heart.
Where you can watch it: Theaters (Welll… at least theoretically. I’m publishing a few weeks later than intended and I’m not sure if it’s still around or not).
Do I give a shit?: It looks cute enough, and depending on how long it sticks around in theaters, I might see it if I get bored on a Tuesday. (That’s discount movie ticket day at most theaters by me!) I’m all for the romcom becoming a thing that gets theatrically released again, so I’m rooting for this movie even if I only have a moderate amount of excitement to see it myself.

3. Book Club: The Next Chapter (May 12)

Directed by: Bill Holderman
Famous people involved: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steemburgen, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Craig T. Nelson
One sentence summary: Jane Fonda plays a woman, presumably from Book Club: The First Chapter, who has decided to get married so the gang goes on a bachelorette trip to Italy.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I mean… the short answer is no, but also 80 for Brady was a fun time and I can see this offering a similar appeal. I’d have to see Book Club first.

4. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (May 12)

Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Famous people involved: Michael J. Fox (well, obviously)
One sentence summary: It’s a doc about Michael J. Fox, and how Parkinson’s disease has affected his life and career.
Where you can watch it: Apple TV+
Do I give a shit?: I’m looking forward to this one! Michael J. Fox is such a charismatic dude with a great onscreen energy, and the trailer makes this look a nice balance of that fun charisma, plus some more serious reflection on his life and condition.

5. Fast X (May 19)

Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Famous people involved: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Jason Momoa, John Cena, Jason Statham, Rita Moreno, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Cardi B
One sentence summary: Jason Momoa has some beef with Vin Diesel who can’t stop talking about family, and along the way, there are a lot of things that are presumably driving someone’s car insurance rates through the roof, though I’m not entirely sure whose.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I really didn’t even know The Fast and the Furious was such a big deal until there were already too many movies for it to be worth my time to catch up. The whole thing just kinda passed me by, but from my understanding, passing people by is like the whole objective of these movies so I’m happy for them.

6. Master Gardener (May 19)

Directed by: Paul Schrader
Famous people involved: Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver
One sentence summary: It’s about a gardener who takes on a young apprentice, and also I guess he’s an assassin too?
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I’m intrigued. I haven’t seen any of Paul Schrader’s more recent offerings but ya know, the dude who wrote Taxi Driver will ALWAYS be the dude that wrote Taxi Driver.

7. White Men Can’t Jump (May 19)

Directed by: Calmatic
Famous people involved: Jack Harlow, Lance Reddick, Teyana Taylor, Vince Staples
One sentence summary: A white guy and a black guy team up to hustle some people and enter a tournament to maybe win some money without hustling.
Where you can watch it: Hulu
Do I give a shit?: I love sports movies and I love Friendship Cinema, and with this being a straight-to-Hulu release I’ll likely give it a shot.

8. About My Father (May 26)

Directed by: Laura Terruso
Famous people involved: Robert De Niro, Kim Catrall
One sentence summary: A dude brings his Italian father on a trip to meet his girlfriend’s parents, and cultures clash
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: This one looks charming! I love the more comedic side of De Niro, and this feels like a refreshing spin on Meet the Parents.

9. The Little Mermaid (May 26)

Directed by: Rob Marshall
Famous people involved: Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina,
One sentence summary: It’s The Little Mermaid but with less animation, though not entirely devoid of animation because fish still gotta talk somehow.
Where you can watch it: Theaters.
Do I give a shit?: So thus far, I’ve given very few shits about these live action Disney remakes, but ya know, I do like spiting racists they’re wrong so I might have to show up for this one.

10. The Machine (May 26)

Directed by: Peter Atencio
Famous people involved: Mark Hamill, Bert Kreischer
One sentence summary: Bert Kreischer the standup comic and his father, played by Mark Hamill, get dragged into some weird plot with a Russian gangster or something after the Russians see his standup bit and realize he was “The Machine” from 20+ years ago.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Kind of. The standup bit that it’s based on is funny enough, and the premise of adapting a standup bit is intriguing enough. I feel like this is either exceptionally fantastic, or exceptionally terrible, with very little possibility of it being somewhere in between and there’s something thrilling about that.

11. You Hurt My Feelings (May 26)

Directed by: Nicole Holofcener
Famous people involved: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins
One sentence summary: An author who’s never quite achieved the success she wanted overhears her husband saying something unkind about her work, and that sends her spiraling.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes! I love movies about writers, and I also love stories that explore more lived-in relationships while the rest of Hollywood is too focused on the butterflies of falling in love.

12. The Boogeyman (June 2)

Directed by: Rob Savage
Famous people involved: Chris Mesina, Sophie Thatcher from Yellowjackets, based on the work of Stephen King
One sentence summary: Scary stuff… horror… yada yada yada
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: No, but also horror isn’t really my thing.

13. Past Lives (June 2)

Directed by: Celine Song
Famous people involved: No one particuarly famous… yet.
One sentence summary: A woman reunites with a childhood crush and tries to figure out what kind of relationship she can still have with him now that she’s married someone else.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes! This one emerged as one of the most buzzed-about films of this year’s Sundance, and A24 distributing it only gives me more faith in it. I honestly wanted to see it even before I saw the trailer, and now that I have, I’m even more excited. It seems like one of those movies that we’re always lamenting “they just don’t make anymore” so I hope it goes well.

14. Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse (June 2)

Directed by: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson
Famous people involved: Oscar Isaac, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jasoon Schwartzman, Rachel Dratch
One sentence summary: Uhh… it’s like Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse but with a different preposition.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I remember the first one being a decent amount of fun, and this franchise hasn’t worn out its welcome yet, so I’m excited to see what this one has in store.

15. Flamin’ Hot (June 9)

Directed by: Eva Longoria (Yes, that Eva Longoria!)
Famous people involved: Tony Shaloub
One sentence summary: A janitor invites flamin’ hot cheetos to help save the FritoLay factory where he works.
Where you can watch it: Hulu or Disney+
Do I give a shit?: I mean… it’s probably fine? And with a straight-to-streaming release it might be easier to justify giving it a chance. That said the “how this popular product came to be” stories are starting to get stale for me.

16. Strays (June 9)

Directed by: Josh Greenbaum
Famous people involved: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Will Forte, Islan Fisher, Randall Park, Josh Gad, Harvey Guillén
One sentence summary: A dog mistakenly believes he has an owner but the human is perpetually trying to get rid of him, so after meeting a squad of other of rag-tag strays and plots revenge on his ex-owner by biting his dick off.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: This one looks funny, and to reiterate, I’m all for major studios releasing comedies in theaters again, so hopefully I’ll find time for it.

17. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June 9)

Directed by: Steven Caple Jr. (FYI, that’s the dude who directed Creed II)
Famous people involved: Michelle Yeoh, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Cristo Fernández (FUTBOL IS LIFE/Danny Trejas), Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Anthony Ramos, and Cristo Fernández, a.k.a Danny “Football is Life” Trejas from Ted Lasso.
One sentence summary: Things turn into other things?
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I have given not one iota of shit about any Transformers movie thus far, and somehow I give even fewer shits about this one.

18. Carmen (June 14)

Directed by: Benjamin Millepied
Famous people involved: Paul Mescal
One sentence summary: A white marine who lives near the U.S./Mexico border falls in love with a (possibly undocumented) Latina woman and also it’s a musical?
Where you can watch it: Theaters (but probably the weird arthouse theater)
Do I give a shit?: I want to see it. The trailer makes it look one of those movies that doesn’t gets appreciated when it first comes out, but then the director goes onto make something more successful 2-3 films from now, and I want to be on the right side of history. Also apparently it’s directed by a ballet choreographer who’s married to Natalie Portman, which only heightens my intrigue. In the U.S. “dance films” are usually things like Step Up or broadway adaptations, so the idea of dance movie + gritty, dramatic romance sounds really cool if done well.

19. The Blackening (June 16)

Directed by: Tim Story
Famous people involved: Jay Pharoah of SNL
One sentence summary: Imagine Jumanji, but made by black people.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Seems like the kinda thing where I see the trailer, say “oh yeah, this looks fun!” and then before I know it, it’s out of theaters and I missed it.

20. Elemental (June 16)

Directed by: Peter Sohn
Famous people involved: Mamoudou Athie, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Catherine O’Hara
One sentence summary: In a magic world of elements that practices strict segregation between the elements, a fire teenage girl and a water teenage boy fall in love.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Meh. The trailer alone makes this look like the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but make it Inside Out, with a dash of Meet the Parents sprinkled in for good measure. That’s a tad disappointed since I usually associate Pixar with outside-the-box concepts that no one saw coming, rather than feeble attempts to recreate past movies. That said, Pixar has still gotten it right a hell of a lot more times than they’ve gotten it wrong, so I’ll probably see it.

21. Extraction 2 (June 16)

Directed by: Sam Hargrave
Famous people involved: Chris Hemsworth, and the movie is also produced by the Russo Brothers, i.e., the people who made Avengers: End Game
One sentence summary: Chris Hemsworth beats people up
Where you can watch it: Netflix
Do I give a shit?: Was… was Exctraction 1 a real movie? Have you people heard of it?

22. The Flash (June 16)

Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Famous people involved: Ben Affleck, Michael Shannon, Michael Keaton, Kiersey Clemons, Ezra Miller, Ron Livingston, Saoirse-Monica Jackson (i.e. Erin from Derry Girls)
One sentence summary: DC shamelessly trying to do all that multiverse bullshit that’s already kinda annoying and stale when Marvel does it.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Not only do I not give a shit, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve been actively rooting for a movie to flop the way I’m rooting for this one to flop. This goes beyond just “I’m tired of superhero movies at this point.” It’s also “if studios are going to insist on making their superhero movies, can they at least make interesting ones that aren’t trying to be carbon copies of their competition?
It’s especially odd to me when things like Todd Phillips’s Joker or Matt Reeves’ The Batman were both fairly successful, and I’d argue they were successful precisely because they weren’t trying to be MCU movies, and reveled in the artistic freedom that allowed them.

That’s not even getting into the Ezra Miller of it all, and frankly I’ve already talked too much about it, we’re still only in mid-June. Time to move on.

23. Asteroid City (June 23)

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Famous people involved: Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks, Scarlet Johannssen, Jeffrey Wright, Matt Dillon, Maya Hawke, Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Hong Chau and possibly some others I missed but dammit I tried and there’s too damn many of them.
One sentence summary: There’s a city where an asteroid hit and so they celebrate “Asteroid Day” and meanwhile Tom Hanks and his son-in-law go from disliking each other, to understanding each other without necessarily liking each other.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes! I don’t always come around to full-on “liking” Wes Anderson’s work, but I always find it interesting!!

24. No Hard Feelings (June 23)

Directed by: Gene Stupnitsky
Famous people involved: Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Morales, Matthew Broderick, Hasan Minhaj
One sentence summary: Parents hire Jennifer Lawrence to date their awkward son to bring him out of his shell.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: So this is the kind of thing that is 100% my shit when it’s executed well, but the trailer alone isn’t making me confident that it was executed well. It’s a “wait and see what the buzz is like” situation for me.

25. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30)

Directed by: James Mangold
Famous people involved: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies
One sentence summary: Indiana Jones is trying to find a McGuffin again, this time with Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I’ve never been a huge fan of the Indiana Jones franchise, but Phoebe Waller-Bridge alone might be enough to make me give this one a chance.

26. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (June 30)

Directed by: Kirk DeMicco and Faryn Pearl
Famous people involved: Jane Fonda, Toni Collette, Annie Murphy, Will Forte, Sam Richardson, Lana Condor, Colman Domingo, Nicole Byer, Jaboukie Young-White
One sentence summary: Underwater Monsters Inc., but make it about a teenage girl.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I’m sure “underwater Monsters Inc., but make it about a teenage girl” sounds like an insult to some people, but I love Monsters Inc., I love teen comedies, and “underwater” has historically been a fun playground for animators, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

27. Biosphere (July 7)

Directed by: Mel Eslyn
Famous people involved: Sterling K. Brown, Mark Duplass
One sentence summary: Uhh…. two people… live in a sphere… of biology?
Where you can watch it: Theaters (though again, this has the vibes of something that might be hard to see theatrically outside of LA or NYC, so we’ll see.)
Do I give a shit?: This trailer doesn’t give you much, but then a lot of great movies have trailers that don’t give you much. If anything, I think too many trailers give too much of the movie away these days. I love when sci-fi takes the form of intimate psychothriller vs. shoot-em-up action thriller, and Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass should be an interesting combination too. So hopefully I get a chance to see it!

28. Joy Ride (July 7)

Directed by: Adele Lim (a co-writer on Crazy Rich Asians)
Famous people involved: Stephanie Hsu, Ashley Park (produced by Seth Rogen)
One sentence summary: A Hard young Chinese woman who was adopted by white Americans travels back to China with her childhood best friend to look for her birth mom, and hijinks ensue.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: This was one looks like a ton of fun, and I want good things for Stephanie Hsu! A Hard R* Comedy that’s under 100 minutes? Sign. Me. Up.

*The MPAA rating still isn’t listed on iMDB but the trailer has Hard R energy.

29. IMission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (July 14)

Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Famous people involved: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Cary Elwes, Simon Pegg
One sentence summary: BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM… doo doo doo…. doo doo doo…. sorry I know there’s a plot and characters and what not, but also the score tells you all you need to know.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes. I’m not altogether caught up on the Mission Impossible franchise, but I like the ones I’ve seen and I’ve heard great things about the ones I haven’t. Plus, these are the kind of movies where if you’re going to see them at all, you might as well see them in a theater.

30. Theater Camp (July 14)

Directed by: Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman
Famous people involved: Ben Platt, Amy Sedaris (and also the guy who played Dylan Maxwell in American Vandal who I’m not sure is full-on famous yet, but I’m excited to see him in more things!)
One sentence summary: A bunch of people running a children’s theater camp take their jobs too seriously, making for Office-like deadpan comedy.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes! I was always a wannabe theater kid, and it looks like the comedy that knows how to make fun of its chosen topic while still having great affection for its comedic punching bag!

31. Barbie (July 21)

Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Famous people involved: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Helen Mirren, Will Ferrell, Rhea Perlman, Emma Mackey, Nicola Coughlan, Michael Cera, Simu Liu, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Dua Lipa, Issa Rae, John Cena,
One sentence summary: Barbie somehow leaves Barbie world and goes to the real world, and also Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu, have a dick measuring contest (which presumably goes quite poorly since as we know, barbie and ken dolls do not have genitalia)
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes! This one looks like a fun time, and Greta Gerwig hasn’t let me down yet.

32. Oppenheimer (July 21)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Famous people involved: Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, David Krumholtz, Robert Downey Jr., Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Kenneth Branah, Rami Malek, Matthew Modine
One sentence summary: A guy named Oppenheimer does some science and ta da, the atomic bomb is born.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Yes! I always make a point of seeing all the big Oscar movies, and this feels like the first one of the year that will definitely be part of that conversation. Also, idk, Christopher Nolan is kind of hit and miss for me personally, but he is one of the few people that actually makes it worth my while to invest in a proper IMAX experience, so I have that to look forward to.

33. They Cloned Tyrone (July 21)

Directed by: Juel Taylor
Famous people involved: John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, Kiefer Sutherland, David Alan Grier
One sentence summary: Presumably someone named Tyrone gets cloned, but the trailer still leaves that point open to interpretation.
Where you can watch it: Netflix
Do I give a shit?: I mean… no. It might be good, Netflix just has kind of a spotty track record, and I can already see this coming and going without me noticing.

34. The Haunted Mansion (July 28)

Directed by: Justin Simien
Famous people involved: Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, Winona Ryder, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, Dan Levy, Tiffany Haddish, LaKeith Stanfield, Hasan Minhaj
One sentence summary: People move into a mansion that turns out to be haunted.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I’ve had 20 years to watch the Eddie Murphy one and still haven’t gotten to it, so I can’t say the 2023 version is high on my to-watch list.

35. Talk to Me (July 28)

Directed by: Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou
Famous people involved: n/a
One sentence summary: A teenager uses supernatural forces to talk to communicate with here dead mom, and surprise, things go awry.
Where you can watch it:
Do I give a shit?: Not really, but that’s just because generally horror doesn’t excite me. You horror fans, have fun, this looks decent enough and it’s A24. They know what they’re doing.

36. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (August 4)

Directed by: Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears
Famous people involved: Giancarlo Esposito, Paul Rudd, Rose Byrne, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, John Cena, Maya Rudolph, Ice Cube, Hannibal Buress, Post Malone (and produced by Seth Rogen)
One sentence summary: The teenage mutant ninja turtles do ninja stuff and eat pizza… again.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Nope. It’s a nostalgia play for something I don’t have nostalgia for.

37. Meg 2: The Trench (August 4)

Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Famous people involved: Jason Statham, Sienna Guillory
One sentence summary: It’s like if Jaws was made in the era of too much CGI.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: I already forgot The Meg was a movie, so it’s probably a no from me. Though I will say you get to see a Meg eat a T-Rex in the trailer, and as cool as that is, I can’t imagine anything cooler happening in the movie.

38. Grand Turismo (August 11)

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Famous people involved: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom,
One sentence summary: A bunch of people who are good at playing Gran Turismo try to be actual racecar drivers and realize it’s hard.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: Not really.

39. The Last Voyage of the Demeter (August 11)

Directed by: André Øvredal
Famous people involved: n/a
One sentence summary: In approximately 1700-whatever, Dracula terrorizes a ship at sea.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: This is one of those movies I could be talked into giving a shit about if the buzz is good, but I don’t know that the trailer alone gets me there.

40. White Bird: A Wonder Story (August 25)

Directed by: Marc Forster
Famous people involved: Helen Mirren, Gillian Anderson
One sentence summary: Helen Mirren teaches her grandchild not to be a bully, because if you’re not nice to people, the Holocaust might happen.
Where you can watch it: Theaters
Do I give a shit?: You know, I could’ve sworn I already included this in my Fall 2022 trailer round up post, and I didn’t give a shit then and I don’t give a shit now.


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