Another summer movie season, another summer spent full of air conditioning and Hollywood blockbusters.
Per usual, May is packed with huge four-quadrant fare (like Disney’s Aladdin and Warner Bros.’ Detective Pikachu) and big genre spectacle, like the highly anticipated Godzilla sequel. There is pretty much something for everyone as Summer 2019 kicks off – here’s a breakdown of all the wide releases hitting theaters in May.
‘Long Shot’ – May 3
Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, Andy Serkis
Director: Jonathan Levine
Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron make for an unlikely but hilarious pairing in Long Shot, a new comedy that finds Rogen’s character, struggling reporter, reuniting with his old babysitter (Theron) while she is on an important political campaign trail. The two actors are never not engaging, and this comedy could be a fun alternative to the CG-explosions and kick-punching that will occupy most of our summer moviegoing experience. (Note: This movie used to be called Flarsky and was retitled to Long Shot, so if you’re looking for Flarsky and can’t find it, this is it.)
See it with: Comedy fans and folks that love the idea of a Rogen-Theron pairing.
‘The Intruder’ – May 3
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Meagan Good, and Michael Ealy
Director: Deon Taylor
Just when you thought it was safe to buy a home and start a family… Dennis Quaid plays Charlie, a stage-five clinger with psychotic tendencies that suffers a new kind of buyer’s remorse when he sells his long-time home to the Russells (Meagan Good and Michael Ealy). As soon as our young couple moves into their new home, the troubles start and they quickly find themselves in a literal life-or-death struggle against its previous owner. The Intruder is basically a 2019 take on 1990’s similarly-plotted thriller, Pacific Heights, starring Michael Keaton as an obsessive landlord and we are here for it.
See it with: Those that love a guilty pleasure thriller
‘UglyDolls’ – May 3
Cast: Kelly Clarkson, Emma Roberts, Gabriel Iglesias, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monae, Nick Jonas
Director: Kelly Asbury
Just because you’re weird doesn’t mean you’re not special. That’s the message behind UglyDolls, based on the toy line of the same name. The animated musical revolves around UglyDoll Moxy (Clarkson) who lives in Uglyville but wonders what life is like beyond its borders. When she and a group of friends come across the flawless, conventional town of Perfection, with all its beautiful residents, Moxy and her friends have to deal with what it feels like to be different – and embrace the fact that different can be beautiful.
See it with: The kids
‘POKÉMON Detective Pikachu’ – May 10
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Suki Waterhouse, Bill Nighy, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, and Rita Ora
Director: Rob Letterman
The first-ever live-action Pokémon movie has been a long time coming and, judging by the internet’s reaction to the film’s first trailers, people are very excited for it. Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu, the fuzzy Pokémon who teams up with Tim (Justice Smith) to find Tim’s dad, who has gone missing in Ryme City – home to a mix of both Pokémon and humans. This movie promises to be a good time for fans of the franchise and for those who just like a good time at the movies.
See it with: Pokémon super fans, friends, and family
‘The Hustle’ – May 10
Cast: Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson
Director: Chris Addison
Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway teams up with Rebel Wilson for this female-led remake of ’80s comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Hathaway and Wilson play two rival con artists who combine their unique grifting talents to take down the “dirty rotten” men that made the mistake of messing with them. The Hustle could be this summer’s Ocean‘s 8.
See it with: Your girl gang, and family and friends who love a good (and funny) caper
‘Poms’ – May 10
Cast: Diane Keaton, Pam Grier, Jacki Weaver, Rhea Perlman
Director: Zara Hayes
Could this end up being the sleeper comedy of the summer? It very well could be. Poms is the hilarious and uplifting story about a group of women who prove age is just a number. When terminally ill Martha (Keaton) moves into a retirement community, she decides to upend the status quo and do something meaningful with her remaining time by starting a cheerleading squad with her and the rest of the aging women in her neighborhood. It looks to be as heartwarming as it is funny, so get out the gang and head to the theaters.
See it with: Your mom, grandma, aunt, or older gal pals
‘Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon’ – May 14
Cast: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Kate Harbour
Directors: Will Becher and Richard Phelan
Shaun the Sheep is back for another wacky adventure courtesy of Lionsgate. When a mysterious alien visitor accidentally crashes near Mossy Bottom Farm, it’s up to Shaun the Sheep and his friends to get her back to her intergalactic home before she’s captured by a ruthless and sinister organization. Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon is the latest installment in the beloved franchise, and anyone who loves animation and family-frendly movies is sure to be delighted by this one.
See it with: Your family and all your British friends
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – May 17
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Lawrence Fishburne, and Ian McShane
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
First, they killed his dog. Then, he shot back. Now, he’s on the run through New York City with a price on his head. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is another bullets-heavy day in the life of master assassin John Wick, who never met a bad guy who couldn’t inventively take out with his fists or a small arsenal.
With a $14 million contract out on Wick, members of the elite club of assassins Wick used to belong to are now gunning for him as he struggles to stay alive by way of epic action scenes. This time around, Wick is joined by Halle Berry, who plays a former ally/friend of Wick’s.
See it with: Friends, action fans, die-hard Keanu Reeves superfans
‘The Sun Is Also A Star’ – May 17
Cast: Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton, Faith Logan, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and Camrus Johnson
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Based on the popular YA novel of the same name, The Sun Is Also a Star looks to attract the same audiences that fell for similar stories in such movies as Crazy Rich Asians.
Teen Natasha (Yara Shahidi) and her family have less than 24 hours before they are scheduled to be deported from New York to Jamaica. Natasha’s struggles get that much harder when she falls in love with Daniel, the son of Korean immigrants. This one is rumored to be a tearjerker, so bring a few boxes of tissues with you to the theater while you watch these star-crossed lovers try to overcome the barriers that separate them.
See it with: Your best friend, family. Anyone you can share a good public cry with
‘A Dog’s Journey’ – May 17
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Betty Gilpin, Abby Ryder Fortson, Josh Gad
Director: Gail Mancuso
Not to be confused with the similarly-titled A Dog’s Way Home that was released by Sony earlier this year, A Dog’s Journey follows the story of Bailey, a dog who experiences a multitude of lives while always finding his way back to his beloved owner. This one will unsurprisingly tug at the heartstrings, to be prepared with tissues.
See it with: Anyone who loved A Dog’s Way Home, your animal-loving friends and family
‘Aladdin’ – May 24
Cast: Will Smith, Nasim Pedrad, Mena Massoud, Marwan Kenzari, Naomi Scott, and Numan Acar
Director: Guy Ritchie
Look, the whole Will Smith-Geniegate thing aside, there isn’t a ’90s kid on the planet – or one of their kids – who isn’t going to see this live-action remake of the Disney classic twice on opening weekend. The only question is will this version of Aladdin be as good as the original animated hit? We’ll soon find out.
See it with: The whole family
‘BrightBurn’ – May 24
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner, Jennifer Holland
Director: David Yarovesky
What if Superman crashed on Earth and was evil? That’s the inspired (and disturbing) premise behind Sony’s BrightBurn, which stars Elizabeth Banks as this movie’s version of Ma Kent. Produced by James Gunn, and co-written by his brother, this dark take on superhero origin stories aims to subvert the genre with a movie that fans expect to be both action-packed and truly unnerving.
See it with: Horror fans and fans of comic book movies, especially those that go outside the box.
‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ – May 31
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Director: Michael Dougherty
Dougherty’s follow-up to Krampus is this Godzilla sequel, which has been five years in the making. The trailers make it seem like the wait for Godzilla: King of the Monsters was totally worth it, as our favorite kaiju is forced to protect Earth from three of the most famous monsters to ever appear on screen with Japan’s most popular monster. Fans will finally see Mothra, Rodan and, finally, the three-headed King Ghidorah. This movie’s monster mash, battle-royale is going to make the first film look like a square dance. Can’t. Wait.
See it with: Family, monster movie and comic book fans
‘Ma’ – May 31
Cast: Octavia Spenser, Luke Evans, Missi Pyle, Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, McKaley Miller, Diana Silvers, Dominic Burgess
Director: Tate Taylor
Blumhouse, the folks responsible for Get Out, Oscar-winner Octavia Spenser, and her The Help director Tate Taylor have teamed up to give you a permanent case of night terrors that offers a terrifying twist on home invasion.
Spenser plays a lonely, middle-aged woman who is eager to make friends with a local group of teens. She opens up her home to them so they can have a party there and, well, things quickly go from “too-good-to-be-true” to nightmarish when their host starts to terrorize them.
See it with: Friends who will hold your hand during all the scary parts
‘Rocketman’ – May 31
Cast: Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jamie Bell
Director: Dexter Fletcher
This biopic about the rise of Elton John looks to be this summer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Taron Egerton stars (and sings) with direction from Dexter Fletcher, who stepped in to finish Rhapsody following that film’s production troubles. Rocketman could net Fletcher some long overdue awards attention, and you can bet Egerton will be in the running for his performance. All of the trailers make this movie look can’t-miss and welcome alternative to the normal summer movie fare.
See it with: Family and folks you can car-sing to “Tiny Dancer” with on the drive home.