The It List summer movie guide: These are the films worth seeing on the big screen

In Entertainment
May 21, 2024

Welcome to the It List Summer Guide edition, where we share staff picks for the best in entertainment as the weather gets warmer. Catch the weekly It List here for the latest releases that we can’t wait to watch, stream, listen to, read and binge.

Summer’s here and the heat is on! What better way to cool off and enjoy larger-than-life stories than grabbing a seat at your local movie theater. With so many new movies to choose from — almost too many — we want to give you the lowdown on which summer flicks demand the big-screen experience.

From visual standouts to dramas, potential awards contenders, thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat and even perfect co-star pairings (looking at you, Ryan and Hugh), we’ve got you covered with our favorites across genres — plus a shortlist of other worthy films fit for the theatergoing experience. Sit back, relax and get carried away.

Illustration: Yahoo News

Illustration: Yahoo News

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Furiosa in the prequel to the Mad Max films.
Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Furiosa in the prequel to the Mad Max films. (Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

🍿 Why you should see it on the big screen:

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  • George Miller’s prequel to the Mad Max films is the origin story of “darkest of angels” Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy), who searches for her family after being kidnapped by the warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) as a child.

  • With action-packed sequences, stunning visual effects and a larger-than-life cast, Furiosa looks poised to pop on the big screen.

  • If its predecessor — 2015’s Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron — tells us anything, the results could even be award-winning.

🗓️ Release date: May 24

🪪 Rating: R

⏰ Run time: 2 hours, 28 minutes

🤩 Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth

🐝Early buzz: Expectations are high after the Oscar success of Fury Road; fans are calling it “powerful” and “mind-blowing.”

Here are more films that are visual feasts for the eyes on our shortlist:

Jodie Comer as Kathy falls for biker Benny (Austin Butler) in The Bikeriders.
Jodie Comer as Kathy falls for biker Benny (Austin Butler) in The Bikeriders. (Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)

🍿 Why you should see it on the big screen:

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  • Based on a ’60s photo book of the same name, the film stars Jodie Comer as a woman drawn to the newest member of a Midwestern motorcycle club (Austin Butler), the Vandals, run by a dangerous leader (Tom Hardy).

  • A tense love story on the open roads, The Bikeriders looks like a revved-up engine of drama on two wheels.

  • Upon meeting Butler while he was being considered for the role, director Jeff Nichols said, “I was immediately struck by the fact that this was the most attractive person I’ve ever met in my life.”

🗓️ Release date: June 21

🪪 Rating: R

⏰ Run time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

🤩 Stars: Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy

🐝 Early buzz: Butler and Hardy have been called “cool personified.” One fan even reportedly drove from Louisiana to Arkansas to catch a glimpse of the actor who also played Elvis at the film’s premiere in Oct. 2023.

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Here are more dramas on our shortlist:

Channing Tatum stars as a tech billionaire who lures a cocktail waitress to his private island in Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut, Blink Twice.
Channing Tatum stars as a tech billionaire who lures a cocktail waitress to his private island in Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut, Blink Twice. (Amazon/MGM Studios)

🍿Why you should see it on the big screen:

  • When tech billionaire Slater King (Channing Tatum) invites cocktail waitress Frida (Naomi Ackie) and a menagerie of people to his private island, strange things start to happen.

  • Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut features not only a seeming palm tree-packed paradise onscreen, but she’s also enlisted a who’s who among the rest of the cast, including Kyle MacLachlan, Christian Slater, Geena Davis, Haley Joel Osment and Alia Shawkat.

  • The first-time director said she wanted to capture a “dark, funny, sexy, frightening” tone in her take on the sinister side of power.

🗓️ Release date: August 23

🪪 Rating: R

🤩 Stars: Channing Tatum, Naomi Ackie, Kyle MacLachlan

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🐝 Early buzz: YouTube commenters who watched the trailer say the film looks like a cross between Knives Out and Saltburn.

Here are more thrillers on our shortlist:

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, left, makes his MCU debut in Deadpool & Wolverine, also starring Ryan Reynolds.
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, left, makes his MCU debut in Deadpool & Wolverine, also starring Ryan Reynolds. (Disney Studios)

🍿Why you should see it on the big screen:

  • In the third installment of the Marvel franchise, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is forcefully taken by the Time Variance Authority and pulled back into his Deadpool persona.

  • He eventually meets up with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and they team up on a mission to defeat a common enemy.

  • With all the real-life banter between Reynolds and Jackman, seeing them go toe-to-toe on the big screen, surrounded by explosive effects and slow-motion fight scenes, should be a huge draw for summer moviegoers.

  • Reynolds said it took “seven years and a lot of begging,” so the stakes are high.

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🗓️ Release date: July 26

🪪 Rating: R

⏰ Run time: 2 hours

🤩 Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman

🐝 Early buzz: Both Reynolds and Jackman have been “scared” to accidentally share any spoilers. Either way, fans are getting hyped.

Here are more films featuring perfect pairings on our shortlist:

Isabel Deroy-Olson, left, and Lily Gladstone star in Fancy Dance.
Isabel Deroy-Olson, left, and Lily Gladstone star in Fancy Dance. (AppleTV+/Courtesy Everett Collection)

🍿 Why you should see it on the big screen:

  • Lily Gladstone follows up her historic awards run as a Native woman caring for her niece while searching for the girl’s missing mom.

  • Native director and writer Erica Tremblay took the opportunity to write an op-ed about Hollywood’s inclusion of Indigenous stories.

  • In this film, audiences will get a “rare glimpse into Native culture.”

🗓️ Release date: June 21

🪪 Rating: R

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⏰ Run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

🤩 Stars: Lily Gladstone, Isabel Deroy-Olson

🐝 Early buzz: Labeled as an “exceptional directorial debut” and “an unvarnished look at life on the rez,” the film offers an opportunity to see modern Native life in the U.S.

Here are more awards contenders on our shortlist:

Looking for more summer fun? Check out our guides:

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