40 Hottest Movies of Summer 2024: ‘Furiosa,’ ‘Twisters,’ and More

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images/Disney/Universal/Warner Bros/A24/Focus Features/Paramount
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images/Disney/Universal/Warner Bros/A24/Focus Features/Paramount

In a year where the season’s earliest blockbusters are underperforming, there is a beautiful, nostalgic scent hanging low in the air. Take a deep inhale, do you smell it? That’s potential.

While this summer promises your typical popcorn movie fare with animated favorites like Despicable Me 4 and Garfield, as well as franchise staples like Bad Boys: Ride or Die and the MCU’s summer staple Deadpool & Wolverine, we won’t be seeing as many exhausting cinematic regurgitations as we usually do when the temperatures start to peak. Instead, 2024 boasts plenty of original ideas to get butts in theater seats, starting with this month’s brazen and bold Furiosa, all the way to August’s Trap.

Of course, this summer will still have plenty of sequels and prequels, but even selections like Alien: Romulus and Twisters have plenty of potential. Writers and directors can feel audience fatigue, and have responded by giving rebooted intellectual property a jolt of much-needed electricity. Moviegoers exhausted? Throw in another xenomorph, or a second tornado. It might not seem like much, but when considered with the exciting slate of dramas, comedies, sci-fi, and horror, we’re in for one of the most exciting summer movie seasons in recent memory. Sorry, Barbenheimer!

The Garfield Movie

May 24 in theaters

The orange tabby cat returns for more lasagna in The Garfield Movie. Following The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Chris Pratt continues his career in animation as the voice Garfield. Nicholas Hoult, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ted Lasso stars Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein are also in the voice cast. What in the world will Garfield and Odie get up to this time? (Hint: A heist is involved. Ocean’s 11: Garfield Edition?) —Fletcher Peters

Furiosa: A Mad Max Sequel

May 24 in theaters

George Miller returns to the world of Mad Max with Furiosa, a prequel that dives into the action-packed world of Charlize Theron’s character from Fury Road. Anya Taylor-Joy now plays the scrappy action heroine, who falls into a biker gang led by Chris Hemsworth at the beginning of the film. With stunning reviews out of Cannes, Furiosa may be the very first big hit of the summer. —FP

Hit Man

May 24 in theaters, June 7 on Netflix

We’ve established that Glen Powell is our favorite leading man of the moment thanks to Anyone But You. He returns in Hit Man, Richard Linklater’s action comedy that lands on Netflix this June. It seems like we’ve got another unconventional rom-com on our hands, too: Hit Man follows Gary, a professional killer who falls out of line to protect a desperate woman who needs his help. Sounds a little bit like When Barry Met Sally, no? —FP


May 24 on Netflix

Jennifer Lopez can do anything: slap Jane Fonda, save her wedding from gun-toting gangsters, be her, now. Memorial Day weekend, we’ll learn if she can pilot a giant robot to save humanity from an army of AI overlords in Netflix’s Atlas. This is J.Lo’s first proper sci-fi movie since 2000’s excellent mind-bender The Cell. With some topical, tech-forward themes, and the biggest streamer in the world behind it, the superstar’s latest film has the potential to cause a real ruckus.

—Coleman Spilde

Gaga Chromatica Ball

May 25 on HBO

The concert film from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica Ball tour has been in the works for two years. Now, Little Monsters all over the world will finally have the chance to either relive Gaga’s sold-out tour or experience it for the first time. Expect a trippy, expansive show, sprinkled with the alien elements from Gaga’s 2020 Chromatica, non-stop choreography, and the staggering live vocals that have become Gaga’s signature.


Robot Dreams

May 31 in theaters

For those lamenting the dearth of originality in animation, there is Robot Dreams, a tender, thoughtful ode to the power of close friendship. Join the bipedal canine Dog and his store-bought BFF, Robot, for a journey through 1980s New York City. But don’t get too comfortable, either. An unexpected change in Dog and Robot’s relationship makes Robot Dreams unexpectedly emotional, turning this movie into a tale of perseverance and forgiveness you simply cannot miss. —CS

Summer Camp

May 31 in theaters

If you’re seeking the perfect summer matinee for your parents or grandparents, look no further than Summer Camp, the latest in the spunky-seniors go-to-fun-places subgenre. Here, Diane Keaton (dressed in her usual black-and-white garb; that contract clause must be iron-clad), Kathy Bates, and Alfre Woodard star as old camp buddies, who go back for one last summer of mischief and mingling with coeds at a camp reunion. —CS

Jim Henson Idea Man

May 31 on Disney+

Why are there so many songs about rainbows? We might get some answers in the new Disney+ documentary Jim Henson Idea Man, which is set to follow the legendary Muppets creator as he brainstorms the furry little puppets. Directed by Ron Howard, Idea Man will chronicle the life of Henson, who created Kermit the Frog, Sesame Street, and The Dark Crystal. The doc features interviews with Henson’s closest collaborators, including his family members and fellow puppeteer Frank Oz. —FP

In a Violent Nature

May 31 in theaters

Summer may be hot, but there’s plenty of chills headed your way with In a Violent Nature, which stunned and sickened Sundance audiences with its story from a serial killer’s POV. Though it may be grisly, the movie is perfect for horror fans burnt out by their favorite genre, seeking something unique to sink their teeth (and blades) into. But beware: Even horror aficionados might find this one to be bloodier than they’re expecting.—CS

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

June 7 in theaters

The titular naughty men return for Bad Boys: Ride or Die. Detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are back in action when they discover corruption lurking beneath the Miami PD, prompting an investigation. Unfortunately, their work turns them into fugitives, meaning they’ll have to go against the law to fix the law. Eric Dane, Tiffany Haddish, and Melanie Liburd join this installment as new cast members. —FP

I Used to Be Funny

June 7 in theaters

We’ve come to know Rachel Sennott as one of this generation’s funniest performers, someone we can look to for biting humor and expert comic timing. But in I Used to Be Funny, Sennott pivots to dramedy, showing off her chops as a young comic struggling with PTSD, who has to weigh whether or not she wants to join the search for a missing girl she used to babysit. The role may be a new move for Sennott, but her dramatic turn has already generated raves. —CS


June 7 in theaters

I can’t tell what’s more chaotic about this movie: The fact that there’s a girl named Tuesday (Lola Petticrew), or that one of the characters is a talking bird who knows everything about death. Also starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tuesday follows a mother and her terminally ill daughter as they work to understand mortality thanks to the help of a chatty macaw who visits them from the great beyond. This sounds like the type of movie you’d see in an SNL sketch, which kind of makes me want to see it more? —FP

Inside Out 2

June 14 in theaters

Riley (Kensington Tallman) and her jumbled emotions are back for more tears, anguish, and excitement in Inside Out 2, Pixar’s big summer release. As the amateur hockey player enters high school, she faces an array of new emotions—like, for example, Anxiety (Maya Hawke), which kind of rules everything in high school. There’s also Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser). Dang, it’s a full house in this brain! —FP

The Watchers

June 14 in theaters

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter, Ishana Shyamalan, The Watchers is a dread-filled thriller set in the Irish wilderness, where a group is stalked by eerie creatures every night. Led by Dakota Fanning, the film promises the twisty excitement that the Shyamalans are known for, plus a performance from the oft-overlooked older Fanning that will remind you that those sisters are one of Hollywood’s most talented sibling pairs. -CS

Cora Bora

June 14 in theaters

If you’ve seen one of Meg Stalter’s viral videos, you’ll probably have a good sense of what Cora Bora’s humor feels like. The film, which stars Stalter in her first lead role, is kooky and ever-so-slightly off-kilter, with Stalter starring as down-and-out Los Angeles musician Cora, who decides on a whim to go visit her long-distance girlfriend Justine (Jojo T. Gibbs) in Portland, only to discover that Justine started moving on long before Cora arrived. -CS

The Bikeriders

June 21 in theaters

You loved Mike Faist in Challengers (or you loved to hate him). Now, get ready to see him again in The Bikeriders. An added plus: Austin Butler, aka Elvis in Elvis and Feyd Rautha from Dune, is set to lead this greased-up thriller. Directed by Jeff Nichols, The Bikeriders will follow a Midwestern motorcycle gang over the course of a decade as they try to keep another gang from bringing them down. Stay gold, Art Donaldson. —FP

Kinds of Kindness

June 21 in theaters

After Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone dominated two separate Oscars ceremonies with 2018’s The Favourite and last year’s Poor Things, the pair are primed to rock your world again with Kinds of Kindness, their third feature-length collaboration and—from early reviews—their most brutal. Bizarre, sexy, and often bizarrely sexy, the star-studded Kinds of Kindness will make anyone who thought Stone and Lanthimos’ first two films were over-the-top faint in their theater seat. -CS

Fancy Dance

June 28 on Apple TV+

Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone is back with another Apple TV+ hit this summer, Fancy Dance. The drama will follow Jax (Gladstone), a woman living on the Seneca-Cayuga Nation Reservation who must care for her niece Roki (Isabel DeRoy-Olson) after the mysterious disappearance of her sister. When Jax loses the custody battle to keep Roki, the pair set out to find her mother before they must part ways. —FP

A Quiet Place: Day One

June 28 in theaters

With A Quiet Place parts one and two, we got to see what the fallout of an alien invasion looks like hundreds of days after the fact. But in A Quiet Place: Day One, we’ll get an inside look at what happened on the first day the creatures crashed down on planet earth. To make matters even more frightening, Day One takes place in the loudest city on earth: New York City. Lupita Nyong’o will need to stay silent if she wants to escape the Big Apple in one piece. —FP

A Family Affair

June 28 on Netflix

Hollywood already remade The Idea of You—it’s called A Family Affair and it hits Netflix this summer. Zara (Joey King) is hired to be the assistant for huge movie star Chris Cole (Zac Efron). This is a huge moment in her young career…until Chris falls in love with her much older mother, played by Nicole Kidman. There may be no boy bands, but this movie sounds a lot like a Wario version of the Hathaway/Galitzine story. —FP


June 28 in theaters

For those nostalgic for the kinds of movies whose trailers you couldn’t skip on DVD, there is Daddio, a simple two-hander about a woman and a cabbie who spend their car ride dissecting the most important relationships in their lives. Daddio may seem modest, but it’s got Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn to bolster it despite all that diffidence. Besides, maybe Ms. Madame Web could use a straightforward drama after a rough winter. —CS

Janet Planet

June 28 in theaters

A heartwarming and appropriately complicated drama about mothers and daughters, Janet Planet sees the serial dating Janet (Juliette Nicholson) trying to reconcile her own need for male attention with the love she has for her 11-year-old love for her daughter, Lacy (Zoe Ziegler). Together, Janet and Zoe ride out the sticky summer of 1991, each teaching the other how to grow up in only ways that daughters and mothers can. —CS

Despicable Me 4

July 3 in theaters

Banana! The minions return for more evil goodness in Despicable Me 4, which shows the world that Gru (Steve Carrell) canonically…has…intercourse. I don’t want to think about that, but how can I not? Gru and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are expecting a little baby Gru. The girls are not pleased to have a brother. Aren’t the minions enough? —FP


July 5 in theaters

Do you want to be a star? Well, so does Maxine Minx, and if it comes down to the two of you for a role, good luck making it out alive. The third and final film in Ti West’s X trilogy sees Mia Goth reprising her role as Maxine (after a quick detour prequel in 2022’s excellent Pearl), now an aspiring actress looking to make it big in Hollywood. That is until a serial killer starts picking off starlets, prompting Maxine to wonder if proving her chops might get her chopped. —CS


July 12 in theaters

The cryptic, sinister marketing for Longlegs has kept horror fans in suspense for months, and even with the release of a proper trailer just this week, no one has any idea what to expect from director Oz Perkins’ frightful tale of the occult. In the movie, an FBI agent played by Maika Monroe falls down a rabbit hole of ritualistic murder before realizing she has a connection to the killer, jumping into action before they strike again. Expect to be as unnerved as you are enthralled, and to see Nicolas Cage pop up in a yet-to-be-disclosed role that will probably haunt your dreams forever. —CS

Fly Me to the Moon

July 12 in theaters

THE MOON LANDING WAS A FAKE!!! I saw a movie all about it! Or, at least that’s what conspiracy theorists used to say before they made QAnon and vaccines their causes du jour. Fly Me to the Moon, however, wonders: What if there was some truth to those theories? In this comedy, Scarlett Johansson’s marketer Kelly Jones is tasked with devising and filming a fake moon landing, should astronaut Cole Davis’ (Channing Tatum) lunar mission go awry. —CS

Sing Sing

July 12 in theaters

Colman Domingo was just nominated for an Oscar for Rustin, and chances are, he’s about to earn another nom for Sing Sing—and maybe a win this time, too. The A24 movie follows the theater department at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, who are looking to put on their very first comedy show. With an original play ranging from ancient Egypt to Hamlet, the charming fellows at Sing Sing really know how to put on a life-changing play. Bring tissues! —FP


July 19 in theaters

“You don’t face your fears…you ride them.” I have been saying this in months anticipating Twisters, which is sure to be the cinematic event of the summer. A spiritual sequel to Twister, Twisters asks: Well, what if there were twin tornadoes? Glen Powell stars as a man who simply loves to chase cyclones. You love to see it. —FP


July 21 in theaters

What better way to bring attention to senior-targeting online scams than making the situation a little more comedic? In Thelma, June Squibb’s titular grandma is on the hunt after being swindled by an online crook. With the help of her grandson, Daniel (Fred Hechinger), Thelma sets out on a defiant journey to get her money—and maybe her groove—back. —CS

Deadpool & Wolverine

July 26 in theaters

Marvel has been struggling to come out with a hit recently, but maybe their big summer movie will bring back the glory days. Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman team up in Deadpool & Wolverine, which seems about as gory, explicit, and sexual as movies come these days. (Uh, no pun intended?) Deadpool brings pegging to Disney. Jackman and Reynolds bring their feud to the big screen. And Disney is hoping you will bring your money to see this one on the big screen, keeping the Marvel dream alive. —FP

My Old Ass

August 2 in theaters

The Fallout director Megan Park has another coming-of-age hit on her hands: My Old Ass, which follows 18-year-old Elliott (Maisy Stella) on the wildest shroom trip of her life. While tripping on the drug, Elliott is confronted by her 39-year-old older self (Aubrey Plaza), who makes her promise not to become romantically involved with one specific guy. The mushroom effects wear out, and who does Elliott find herself falling in love with? The one guy she shouldn’t be seeing. —FP


August 9 in theaters

Ah, the German Alps! The gorgeous, mountain-dotted vacation spot of the rich and famous, and the residence of plenty of wealthy families. What could go wrong in this secluded, snowy paradise? If you’re Hunter Schafer, a lot! In Cuckoo, Schafer stars as Gretchen, a teenage girl plagued by visions and odd occurrences at a German resort. Gretchen soon realizes that things are not what they appear, and that her family may be wrapped up in something more menacing than she ever could’ve imagined. —CS


August 9 in theaters

Based on the best-selling video game, Borderlands sees esteemed actress Cate Blanchett teaming up with… violent horror icon Eli Roth? In the world of Borderlands, anything is possible! The film—about a young girl who teams up with a rag-tag group of misfit heroes to battle monsters and bandits—promises plenty of surprises in the same vein as its casting, which also includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart, and Ariana Greenblatt. —CS


August 9 in theaters

M. Night Shyamalan is bringing us another horror mindf*ck in Trap. Set at a huge concert for one of the biggest (fictional) pop-stars of all time, Trap follows a father (Josh Hartnett) leading his daughter (Ariel Donoghue) into an extremely dangerous situation. There’s a serial killer rumored to be at the show tonight. The trailer shows us the first twist—that the murderer is the dad!—but who knows what other shocking events are to come? —FP

It Ends With Us

August 9 in theaters

Colleen Hoover’s bestseller It Ends With Us lands on the big screen this summer. Lily Bloom (Blake Lively) is a florist—with a name like Lily Bloom, you have to be a florist—in love with two different men at once. There’s Ryle (Justin Baldoni), an intriguing new man in her orbit. But there's also Atlas (Brandon Sklenar), her old best friend and first love. I’m less concerned about who she’ll pick, and more baffled by these wild name choices. —FP

Alien: Romulus

August 16 in theaters

From its teaser trailer alone, the seventh installment in the Alien franchise will be packed with gnarly thrills and face-hugging extraterrestrials. Set between the events of 1979’s Alien and 1986’s Aliens, Alien: Romulus finds Priscilla and Civil War star Cailee Spaeny reckoning with something far more gruesome than Elvis Presley or violent American combat: the man-eating Xenomorph. Make sure there’s enough room in your hazmat suit—the one you’ll wear to avoid any flesh-eating acid—for popcorn! —CS

The Crow

August 23 in theaters

A remake of 1994’s nu-goth classic of the same name, The Crow features Bill Skarsgård as the undead Eric, who returns from the grave after he and his soulmate Shelly (FKA Twigs) are brutally murdered. Eric is hellbent on exacting revenge, and given Skarsgård’s ripped abs, anyone who crosses his path will need to say every prayer they know to make it out alive. —CS

Blink Twice

August 23 in theaters

Originally titled Pussy Island, Blink Twice is Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut. Think of Epstein Island as a thriller movie: Blink Twice follows a billionaire who lures a bunch of unsuspecting women out to his massive beach house in a secluded paradise. Some weird behavior leads the girls to believe they’re in danger. Channing Tatum, Adria Arjona, Naomi Ackie, and Alia Shawkat are set to star. —FP

The Supremes at Earl’s-All-You-Can-Eat

August 23 on Hulu

This one’s for the moms and all of the gay men who love them! The Supremes at Earl’s-All-You-Can-Eat follows a group of four lifelong friends—Odette, Barbara, and Clarice—who used to call themselves The Supremes in the ’60s, meeting again at their favorite diner to address life’s hardships. Infidelity, family life, and emotional scars all need a little tender, loving care. Nothing the pie of the day and a side of fries can’t fix. —CS


August 30 in theaters

This one really speaks for itself: Reagan is a biopic about Ronald Reagan starring Dennis Quaid as the late president. Um, take your dad, I guess? He’s going to need something after Yellowstone ends. —FP

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