2023 summer movie calendar and guide: The best summer movies to watch this season

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures /

It’s about time to be sitting by the pool all day working on our tan. So yes, that means the summer season is arriving, and that is the best time of the year for the world of movies. Do you know which summer movies you’ll be watching this season? Below, I am sharing my annual Summer Movie Calendar.

Whether it’s theaters or streaming, hundreds of movies are released every month. However, when the month of May rolls around, it is time for the big dogs to play. Now, I ain’t excluding the little dogs, because we have some great films releasing, but summer is Blockbuster season. With all that said, I highlight some movies that need to be on your radar this summer.

Summer Movie Calendar: May 2023

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: In theaters May 5

Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Logline: Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own – a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.

The Mother: Streaming on Netflix May 12

Director: Niki Caro
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick, Gael García Bernal, Paul Raci and Lucy Paez
Logline: An assassin comes out of hiding to protect the daughter that she gave up years before, while on the run from dangerous men.

Blackberry: In theaters May 12 

Director: Matt Johnson
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek, Rich Sommer, SungWon Cho
Logline: Every era has its visionaries, and ‘BlackBerry,’ co-written by Director Matt Johnson and Producer Matthew Miller, investigates the brilliance of the individuals that invented the world’s first smartphone. Recounting the Canadian company’s humble yet chaotic rise to market dominance, ‘BlackBerry’ is a darkly comedic telling of the tragic tale of a Canadian company that revolutionized the way we communicate before swiftly plummeting into obsolescence.

Book Club: The Next Chapter: In theaters May 12

Director: Bill Holderman
Cast: Jane Fonda, Andy Garcia, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen
Logline: Follows the new journey of four best friends as they take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had.

Fast X: In theaters May 19

Director: Juel Taylor
Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez,Jason Momoa, Jordana Brewster, Jason Statham, Ludacris, Tyrese
Logline: Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes.

The Machine: In theaters May 26 

Director: Peter Atencio
Cast: Bert Kreischer, Mark Hamil, Jess Gabor
Logline: Bert’s drunken past catches up with him 20 years down the road when he and his father are kidnapped by those Bert wronged 20 years ago while drunk on a college semester abroad in Russia.

KANDAHAR: In theaters May 26

Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Cast: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Travis Fimmel, Elnaaz Norouzi
Logline: In KANDAHAR, Tom Harris (Gerard Butler), an undercover CIA operative, is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. After his mission is exposed, he must fight his way out, alongside his Afghan translator, to an extraction point in Kandahar, all whilst avoiding elite enemy forces and foreign spies tasked with hunting them down.

The Little Mermaid: In theaters May 26

Director: Rob Marshall
Cast: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy
Logline: A young mermaid makes a deal with a sea witch to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress a prince.

You Hurt My Feelings: In theaters May 26

Director: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed, Owen Teague,
and Jeannie Berlin
Logline: From acclaimed filmmaker Nicole Holofcener comes a sharply observed comedy about a novelist whose long-standing marriage is suddenly upended when she overhears her husband give his honest reaction to her latest book. A film about trust, lies, and the things we say to the people we love most.

Summer Movie Calendar: June 2023

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: In theaters June 2

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Logline: Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.

Past Lives: In theaters June 2

Director: Celine Song
Cast: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro
Logline: Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance.

TLC Forever: On Lifetime June 3

Director: Matthew Kay
Cast: Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
Logline: The special documents the revolutionary group that broke boundaries, influenced an entire generation and survived against all odds as T-Boz and Chilli tell their story for the first time in a feature documentary.

Strays: In theaters June 9

Director: Josh Greenbaum
Cast: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Sofia Vergara
Logline: An abandoned dog teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts: In theaters June 9

Director: Steve Caple Jr.
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Ron Perlman, Pete Davidson
Logline: Based on the ‘Transformers’ spinoff ‘Beast Wars’, which features robots that transform into robotic animals.

Flamin’ Hot: Streaming on Hulu/Disney+ June 9

Director: Eva Longoria
Cast: Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Emilio Rivera, Dennis Haysbert, Matt Walsh, and Tony Shalhoub
Logline: Richard Montanez, the son of a Mexican immigrant, who was a janitor at Frito Lay when he came up with the idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. His creation, inspired by the flavors of his community, revitalized Frito-Lay and disrupted the food industry.

The Flash: In theaters June 16

Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Michael Shannon, Michael Keaton, Ezra Miller
Logline: Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family creates a world without superheroes, forcing him to race for his life in order to save the future.

The Blackening: In theaters June 16

Director: Tim Story
Cast: Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Dewayne Perkins, Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls, Jay Pharoah, and Yvonne Orji
Logline: The Blackening centers around a group of Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Forced to play by his rules, the friends soon realize this ain’t no motherf****** game. Directed by Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Barbershop) and co-written by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip, Harlem) and Dewayne Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), The Blackening skewers genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?

Extraction 2: Streaming on Netflix June 16

Director: Sam Hargrave
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa, Daniel Bernhardt and Tinatin Dalakishvili
Logline: After barely surviving the events of the first movie, Rake is back as the Australian black ops mercenary, tasked with another deadly mission: rescuing the battered family of a ruthless Georgian gangster from the prison where they are being held.

Mary J. Blige’s Real Love – June 10 – Lifetime
Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman – June 17 – Lifetime

Director: Juel Taylor
Cast: Ajiona Alexus, Da’Vinchi
Logline: Mary J. Blige’s Real Love follows 18-year-old Kendra (Ajiona Alexus) as she sets off on her own for the first time at an HBCU in North Carolina. Attending on a scholarship, Kendra is determined to focus on school while balancing work-study and keeping things professional with Ben (Da’Vinchi), her photo class partner. Despite disapproving parents, financial hardship, and even an unexpected pregnancy, Kendra and Ben find themselves falling hard for each other and ultimately learning the meaning of “Real Love.” Even when Kendra realizes that in order to pursue her dreams, she must leave Ben behind, it’s certain that their story isn’t over

The story of Kendra and Ben continues in Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman, jumping ahead more than 15 years. Now a successful photographer, Kendra finds herself in a failing marriage and must reckon with the decisions she made for the life she thought she wanted. When Ben unexpectedly comes back into her life, she is forced to a crisis point and must dig deep to find the strength to take control of her life and accept the love Ben may be offering again.

No Hard Feelings: In theaters June 23

Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawerence, Natalie Morales, Matthew Broderick
Logline: A delivery driver desperate for cash accepts a Craigslist ad from a couple seeking someone to date their painfully awkward teenage son.

Asteroid City: In theaters June 23

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Jeff Goldblum
Logline: The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

I Am Keyshia Cole: On Lifetime June 24

Cast: Keyshia Cole, Debi Morgan, Joseph C. Phillips, Tonia Jackson
Logline: Keyshia Cole: This is My Story is a story of childhood trauma, tragedy, the complexity of love, and overcoming obstacles to become the best version of oneself.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – June 30 – In Theaters

Director: James Mangold
Cast: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen
Logline: In 1969, American archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones lives against the backdrop of the Space Race. Jones is uneasy over the fact that the U.S. government has recruited former Nazis to help beat the Soviet Union in the competition to make it to space. His goddaughter, Helena Shaw, accompanies him on his journey. Meanwhile, Jürgen Voller, a NASA member and ex-Nazi involved with the moon-landing program, wishes to make the world into a better place as he sees fit.

Summer Movie Calendar: July 2023

Insidious: The Red Door: In theaters July 7

Director: Patrick Wilson
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
Logline: The Lamberts 10 years after the last installment, as Dalton begins college.

Biosphere: In theaters July 7

Director: Mel Eslyn
Cast: Sterling K. Brown, Mark Duplass
Logline: Billy (Mark Duplass) and Ray (Sterling K. Brown) are lifelong best friends, brothers from another mother – and the last two men on earth. Their survival is largely due to Ray, a brilliant scientist who designed a domed structure with all the systems necessary to sustain life on a planet that could no longer support it. Their custom biosphere is outfitted with basic necessities and creature comforts that make it possible to retain a sense of what life used to be like. A hydroponic garden provides fresh vegetables and a carefully managed fishpond supplies essential protein. Recently, however, fish have begun dying at an alarming rate. With a mere three fish remaining, Billy and Ray face an ominous future. But life may yet find a way.

Joy Ride: In theaters July 7

Director: Adele Lim
Cast: Ashley Park, Stephanie Hsu, Alexander Hodge
Logline: Follows four Asian-American friends as they bond and discover the truth of what it means to know and love who you are, while they travel through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One: In theaters July 12

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Indira Varma, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby
Logline: Seventh entry in the long-running Mission: Impossible series.

Barbie: In theaters July 21

Director: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, John Cena, Emma Mackey
Logline: To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.

Oppenheimer: In theaters July 21

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon
Logline: The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.

They Cloned Tyrone: Streaming on Netflix July 21

Director: Juel Taylor
Cast: John Boyega, Jamie Foxx and Teyonah Parris
Logline: A series of eerie events thrusts an unlikely trio onto the trail of a nefarious government conspiracy in this pulpy mystery caper.

Stephen Curry: Underrated: Streaming on Apple TV+ (and playing in select theaters) July 21

Director: Peter Nicks
Logline: The remarkable coming-of-age story of one of the most influential, dynamic and unexpected players in the history of basketball: Stephen Curry. This feature documentary — blending intimate cinéma vérité, archival footage and on-camera interviews — documents Curry’s rise from an undersized college player at a small-town Division I college to a four-time NBA champion, building one of the most dominant sports dynasties in the world

Talk to Me: In Theaters July 28

Director: Danny and Michael Phillppou
Cast: Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, Chris Alosio
Logline: When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces. Check out my review of the film.

Summer movies coming in August 2023

The Meg 2: The Trench: In theaters August 4

Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Skyler Samuels
Logline: Sequel to the 2018 film ‘The Meg.’

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem: In theaters August 4

Director: Jeff Rowe, Kyler Spears
Cast: Seth Rogen, Ayo Edebiri, Ice Cube, John Cena, Paul Rudd, Rose Byrne,
Logline: The Turtle brothers as they work to earn the love of New York City while facing down an army of mutants.

Back on the Strip: In theaters August 18

Director: Chris Spencer
Cast: Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Wesley Snipes, Gary Owen, J.B. Smoove, Faizon Love, Spence Moore, Bill Bellamy, Raigan Harris, Colleen Camp
Logline: The film follows the story of Merlin, who moves to Las Vegas to work as a magician after losing the love of his life. Unexpectedly, he becomes the front man in a revival of the notorious Black male stripper crew, The Chocolate Chips. The hilarious and heartwarming story sees the out-of-shape Chips overcoming past conflicts and reuniting to save the hotel they used to perform in while helping Merlin win back his girl.

Heart of Stone: Streaming on Netflix August 11

Director: Tom Harper
Cast: Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer, Jing Lusi and Paul Ready
Logline: Rachel Stone is an intelligence operative, the only woman who stands between her powerful, global, peacekeeping organization and the loss of its most valuable — and dangerous — asset.

Blue Beetle: In theaters August 18

Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Cast: Harvey Guillen, Xolo Mariduena, Susan Sarandon
Logline: A Mexican teenager finds an alien beetle that gives him superpowered armor.

White Bird: A Wonder Story: In theaters August 25

Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Ariella Glaser, Orlando Schwerdt, Bryce Gheisar, with Gillian Anderson, and Helen Mirren
Logline: In White Bird: A Wonder Story, we follow Julian (Bryce Gheisar), who has struggled to belong ever since he was expelled from his former school for his treatment of Auggie Pullman. To transform his life, Julian’s grandmother (Helen Mirren) finally reveals to Julian her own story of courage — during her youth in Nazi-occupied France, a boy shelters her from mortal danger. They find first love in a stunning, magical world of their own creation, while the boy’s mother (Gillian Anderson) risks everything to keep her safe.

Lift: Streaming on Netflix August 25

Director: F. Gary Gray
Cast: Kevin Hart, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Vincent D’Onofrio, Úrsula Corberó, Billy Magnussen, Jacob Batalon, Jean Reno and Sam Worthington
Logline: An international heist crew is recruited to prevent a terrorist attack and must pull off the heist on a plane mid-flight.

Summer movies with unlisted dates to look out for

Bottoms – In Theaters

Director: Emma Seligman
Cast: Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, Ruby Cruz, Havana Rose Liu, Kaia Gerber, Nicholas Galitzine, Miles Fowler, Marshawn Lynch, Dagmara Dominiczyk, Punkie Johnson
Logline: Bottoms is a refreshingly outspoken raunchy comedy, follows two unpopular girls in their senior year who start a fight club to try to impress and hook up with cheerleaders.

Problemista – In Theaters

Director: Emma Seligman
Cast: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA, Isabella Rossellini, Larry Owens, Catalina Saavedra, Greta Lee
Logline: Alejandro is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream.

From all the movies listed in our Summer Movie Calendar, which will you be watching if you could only pick one from each month? 

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