Deadpool will <em>say anything</em> to get you to see his movie this summer. Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Deadpool will say anything to get you to see his movie this summer. Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Summer Movie Preview 2018

From action blockbusters to heartfelt documentaries, our film critic picks the summer’s must-see films.

Deadpool 2

In 2016’s Deadpool—a refreshing whiff of unfiltered R-rated sarcasm—Ryan Reynolds got to merge his tongue-in-cheek image with an antihero character who could break the fourth wall and mock other Marvel Comics franchises. The sequel has—somewhat alarmingly—parted ways with Deadpool director Tim Miller (subbing in Tim Leitch, of the listless Atomic Blonde), but Reynolds appears to be in charge. Josh Brolin—also doing megavillain duty in Avengers: Infinity War—plays the bad guy. If the movie is half as inventive as its marketing campaign (which included an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine “guest-edited” by Deadpool), we’ll be fine. (May 18)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Here’s an experiment: Play the trailer for this documentary about Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and see how many seconds pass before you burst into tears. Prediction: probably fewer than it took to read that sentence. This film about the beloved TV pioneer, directed by 20 Feet from Stardom Oscar-winner Morgan Neville, won raves on the festival circuit and seems likely to stand as one of the documentary success stories of the year. Old clips (Rogers died in 2003) and new interviews chronicle how such a decent man could have become a TV success, and recall Rogers’ testimony to politicians seeking to defund public broadcasting. Expect sales of cardigan sweaters to skyrocket. (June 8)

Incredibles 2

After 14 years, director Brad Bird returns for another chapter in the lives of the superhero family (voiced by a just-right cast led by Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson). The twist is that musclebound blowhard Mr. Incredible must play stay-at-home dad while wife Elastigirl basks in the crime-fighting limelight. Given the first Incredibles’ crack comic timing and delirious animation, this one has a good chance at creating sustained bliss. (June 15)

Under the Silver Lake

I’m looking forward to this one because writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows was one of the most assured horror pictures in years. The mood shifts here as we venture into noir territory, with Andrew Garfield obsessing over a murder case involving a billionaire, and also over attractive neighbor Riley Keough (from Logan Lucky) who suddenly goes missing. It sounds like an L.A. mood piece with slanted comedy thrown in, so look for a stylish Chinatown- junior vibe going on. (June 22)

Sorry to Bother You

The Sundance buzz on this indie comedy was giddy, which suggests an ideal piece of non-blockbuster summer programming. Lakeith Stanfield (indelible as a dazed vessel in Get Out) stars as a telemarketer who learns that putting on his “white voice” opens a whole new world. Director Boots Riley takes a slightly surreal approach to something that might have been a one-joke comedy—not a bad tactic, given the success of Get Out. Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer co-star. (July 6)

Mission: Impossible—Fallout

I realize the American box office has moved past Tom Cruise’s superstardom, but the fact is some of his recent films have been among his best, and he’s shown a dogged insistence on aligning himself with interesting filmmakers (we’ll ignore The Mummy). Here, Cruise cranks out another M:I chapter, teaming up again with M:I—Rogue Nation writer/director Christopher McQuarrie. The story probably has something to do with international espionage … but does the plot really matter, when even the marketing is about Cruise’s willingness to perform unbelievably risky stunts? Superman actor Henry Cavill, who was really born to be in a spy movie (we’ll ignore The Man from UNCLE, too), turns up, and Rebecca Ferguson makes a welcome return to the M:I world. (July 27)

Next rung of anticipation: Solo: A Star Wars Story (gut feeling is that Alden Ehrenreich exceeds expectations as Harrison Ford), How to Talk to Girls at Parties (teen sci-fi punk from author Neil Gaiman and Hedwig director John Cameron Mitchell), and First Reformed (Ethan Hawke as a grieving priest in a well- reviewed Paul Schrader film).

More in Film

Golden Goal

On the Seventh Day takes an atypical sports movie approach while addressing immigrant issues.

‘The King’ explores the idea of Elvis as a symbol of America. Photo courtesy Oscilloscope Laboratories
‘The King’ of the U.S.A.

A new documentary on Elvis Presley tries to make the rock icon the embodiment of America.

Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), live outside of society 
in Leave No Trace. Image courtesy SIFF
Off the Grid

‘Leave No Trace’ weaves a poignant tale about a father running from society and a daughter who yearns for it.

Dino-Might

While peppier than its predecessor, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom still feels very calculated.

Image courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
‘2001’ in 2018

As Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece returns to theaters for its 50th anniversary, have moviegoers betrayed its legacy?

Through their partnership with Dandelion Africa, Extend the Day supplied solar lights to 9,000 children in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Extend the Day
‘Into the Light’ Cuts Through the Darkness

A documentary about local non-profit Extend the Day shows what it’s like for over 1.2 billion people throughout the world who lack electricity.

Evan Peters preps for a heist in American Animals. Image courtesy The Orchard
‘American Animals’ and How to Not Get Rich Quick

The heist film delivers on-screen thrills, and illustrates a potential future path for MoviePass.

Movies at Marymoor is just one of many local outdoor film offerings. Photo by Erinn J. Hale
Seattle Outdoor Movie Calendar 2018

Journey from Wakanda to a galaxy far, far away with this year’s summer film slate.

Get lost in the desert with ‘Little Tito and the Aliens.’ Photo courtesy SIFF
SIFF 2018 Picks: Final Week

From an isolated scientist to an always-connected teen, we highlight the fest’s offerings from June 4–10.

Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson star in SIFF’s Centerpiece film, <em>Sorry</em><em> to Bother </em><em>You</em>. Photo courtesy SIFF
SIFF 2018 Picks: Week 2

A wide variety of comedies highlight the fest’s offerings from May 29–June 3.

Han-deled Well

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ plays it pretty safe, but still manages to be a fun space adventure.

The Primal Attraction of ‘Beast’

Arresting lead performances give this British psychological thriller an alluringly dangerous sexual energy.