The Only 10 Movies You Need to Watch this Summer

It’s the summer. Movies are coming out. Here are 10 you need to watch.

Will they all be good? Statistics, and history, suggests the answer will be NO. But whether they have a chance of being great or are just movies you need to see to at least appear relevant at the water cooler, you need to see these movies. Why? Because I say so.

I could have assembled a top 20 list or even a top 30 list. I could have thrown in a bunch of indie films to make me sound more sophisticated. I could have done so many things. Instead, I went through each weekend of the summer and selected one–just one–release. And from that list I stripped out the weaker entries, leaving the list of 10 below. Is it perfect? No. Is it perfect? Yes. Because they were chosen by me.

10. Ghostbusters (July 15)

This movie can’t possibly be good, can it? A long overdue reboot to a still-cherished comedy classic, with all-new characters and an entirely different comedic tone? The first trailer for the film, which stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, was dreadful. So why is Ghostbusters on this list? Partial morbid curiosity, partial blind hope, and partial confidence that writer/director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) knows what the hell he’s doing.

9. Money Monster (May 13)

George Clooney stars as a television host who dishes out financial advice so bad that a crazed man who lost everything takes him hostage on live TV. The movie also stars Julia Roberts and is directed by Jodie Foster, which is enough to raise eyebrows and put the thriller on this list. Its release date–one week after Captain America: Civil War–suggests the studio doesn’t expect it to do much, however.

8. Independence Day Resurgence (June 24)

ID4R is either the sequel we all secretly wanted but didn’t actually ask for, or the sequel we asked for but know we don’t actually need. The original Independence Day was awesome and still holds up pretty well, but 20 years later (holy crap!) there have been enough big-spectacle alien invasion and disaster flicks that it’s challenging to picture what this movie could possibly offer that we haven’t already seen, other than the potential to possibly ruin a 90’s classic. That said, I’ll be there opening day.

Captain America

7. The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

I’m not exactly sure why this concept hasn’t been explored before, at least not so directly: in the vein of Toy Story but probably not nearly as imaginative or riveting, The Secret Life of Pets asks the question, what do our dogs, cats, birds and mice do when we leave for work? In a world where cat videos dominate everything, this one seems like gold. My wife has already labeled it Best Movie of the Year.

6. Captain America: Civil War (May 6)

The second Captain America was great, and with directors Anthony and Joe Russo returning, there’s no reason to suspect that this sequel won’t be just as good. Sadly, this movie essentially looks like it will be a third Avengers flick with another name, and Age of Ultron wasn’t exactly a great movie. While I’m nowhere close to giving up on comic book movies, it’s much more satisfying seeing them in their own movies–and not sharing screen time with two dozen other characters.

Star Trek Beyond

5. Star Trek Beyond (July 22)

Yes, Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t great (though it’s not as bad as some people say), a real letdown from its highly entertaining predecessor. Now that J.J. Abrams has moved on, we get to see whether the franchise can rebound, especially in the hands of director Justin Lin, who is responsible for making the two best Fast & Furious movies.

4. X-Men Apocalypse (May 27)

Some critics don’t watch trailers because they feel it taints the experience. I, on the other hand, love trailers, and X-Men Apocalypse arguably has the best trailers of any movie of the summer, promising plenty of death, destruction and comic book mayhem. Sure, is that much different than what most other comic book movies promise these days? No. But as long as it’s entertaining and stars Jennifer Lawrence, I don’t care.

3. Finding Dory (June 17)

Did Finding Nemo need a sequel? No, absolutely not. Is it getting one? Yes. And anything less than excellent will be considered a disappointment.

Suicide Squad

2. Suicide Squad (August 5)

After the huge disappointment that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Inferior Justice League Movies, Warner Bros. is shooting for a rebound with Suicide Squad, another movie that apparently features Batman in some way or form and is about a bunch of DC villains (including the Joker) who are recruited to do some truly ugly missions. The entertaining trailers appear to be promising some darker blend of Guardians of the Galaxy meets Deadpool, which is great other than the fact that it has to live up to at least one of those highly regarded titles.

1. Jason Bourne (July 29)

The Bourne Supremacy is one of my favorite action movies of all time. The Bourne Ultimatum isn’t far behind. And now Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are returning to the franchise they temporarily left. Give me one reason, other than the boring-as-sin title, not to be excited.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Comic Book Movies