Welcome to Blockbuster Season, everyone! Officially kicked off by Avengers: Infinity War dropping on April 27th, it’s time to buckle in for the start of the summer cinema season. Gratefully, not everything coming out in the month of May is a larger-than-life, city destroying, CGI-laden, ear-drum shattering, feast for the eyes. In several cases – Tully (May 4th), Terminal (May 11th), First Reformed (May 18th), and Feral (May 25th), to name a few – the smaller films dropping in May possess larger emotional stakes than many of the bohemoths lumbering into theaters. So if you’re concerned about superhero fatigue at the cinema, there’s plenty to keep your mind sharp. For those that can’t get enough of the high-octane, thrill-ride of summer cinema, the likes of Deadpool 2 (May 18th) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25th) are just around the corner.
Director: Dean Devlin.
Cast: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Carlito Olivero, and Kerry Condon.
Bad Samaritan is a terrifying cautionary tale of two thieves uncovering more than what they bargained for when breaking into a house they thought would be an easy score. After making a shocking discovery, they must choose to run and hide, or face the killer whose dark secrets they have exposed. (Official synopsis from the Bad Samaritan website.)
Director: Jason Reitman.
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, and Ron Livingston.
A new comedy from Academy Award®-nominated director Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”). Marlo (Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron), a mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass). Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis). (Official synopsis from the Tully YouTube trailer.)
Ghost Stories (Limited)
Director: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman.
Cast: Martin Freeman, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse, and Alex Lawther.
Experience three spine-tingling tales of terror to haunt your dreams. A debunker of all things paranormal, Professor Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman) has devoted his life to exposing phony psychics and fraudulent supernatural shenanigans on his own television show. His skepticism is put to the test, however, when he receives a file of three chilling, inexplicable cases: a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse) haunted by disturbing visions as he patrols an abandoned asylum; an edgy young man (Black Mirror’s Alex Lawther) involved in a hellish car accident deep in the woods; and a wealthy former banker (Sherlock’s Martin Freeman) visited by the poltergeist spirit of his unborn child. Even scarier: each of these macabre stories seems to have a sinister connection to Professor Goodman’s own life. Will they make a believer of him yet? (Official synopsis from the Ghost Stories website.)
Director: Vaughn Stein.
Cast: Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Dexter Fletcher, Max Irons and Mike Myers.
In the dark heart of a sprawling, anonymous city, TERMINAL follows the twisting tales of two assassins carrying out a sinister mission, a teacher battling a fatal illness, an enigmatic janitor and a curious waitress leading a dangerous double life. Murderous consequences unravel in the dead of night as their lives all intertwine at the hands of a mysterious criminal mastermind hell-bent on revenge. (Official synopsis from the Terminal trailer.)
Life of the Party
Director: Ben Falcone.
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, Molly Gordon, Stephen Root, Jacki Weaver, Jessie Ennis, Adria Arjona, Debby Ryan, and Jimmy O. Yang.
When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college…landing in the same class and school as her daughter, who’s not entirely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna—now Dee Rock—embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected. (Official synopsis from the Life of the Party trailer.)
Director: James McTeigue.
Cast: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Seth Carr, and Ajiona Alexus.
Gabrielle Union stars as a woman who will stop at nothing to rescue her two children being held hostage in a house designed with impenetrable security. No trap, no trick and especially no man inside can match a mother with a mission when she is determined on Breaking In. (Official synopsis from the Breaking In trailer.)
Director: Michael Pearce.
Cast: Jesse Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Trystan Gravelle, Shannon Tarbet, and Emily Taffe.
Moll is 27 and still living at home, stifled by the small island community around her and too beholden to her family to break away. When she meets Pascal, a free-spirited stranger, a whole new world opens up to her and she begins to feel alive for the first time, falling madly in love. Finally breaking free from her family, Moll moves in with Pascal to start a new life. But when he is arrested as the key suspect in a series of brutal murders, she is left isolated and afraid. Choosing to stand with him against the suspicions of the community, Moll finds herself forced to make choices that will impact her life forever. (Official synopsis from the Beast trailer.)
Director: Carolie Fargeat.
Cast: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, and Guillaume Bouchède.
Matilda Lutz (Rings) plays a character named Jen whose romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend is suddenly disrupted when his sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. Tension mounts in the house until the situation abruptly — and viciously — intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, she survives and reemerges hellbent on revenge. (Official synopsis from the Shudder YouTube channel.)
Director: David Leitch.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jack Kesy.
After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover. (Official synopsis from the 20th Century Fox YouTube channel.)
Director: Bill Holderman.
Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ed Begley Jr.
Diane (Diane Keaton) is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage, Vivian (Jane Fonda) enjoys her men with no strings attached, Sharon (Candice Bergen) is still working through her decades-old divorce, and Carol’s (Mary Steenburgen) marriage is in a slump after 35 years. The lives of these four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous “50 Shades of Grey,” catapulting them into a series of outrageous life choices. (Official synopsis from the Book Club Facebook.)
Director: Paul Schrader.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, and Cedric Kyles.
Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock. When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence. From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver; American Gigolo; Affliction) comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary. (Official synopsis from the First Reformed website.)
Director: Mark H. Young.
Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Lew Temple, Olivia Luccardi, Renee Olstead, Brock Kelly, Landry Allbright, and George Finn.
Your best friend has just been infected with a horrifying virus that will soon turn her into a rabid, rampaging cannibal-zombie. Do you: a) try to save her? or b) kill her before she kills you? That’s the nightmarish scenario six students find themselves facing when their celebratory camping trip goes terrifyingly wrong. One by one, each falls victim to the “feral” disease, until only Alice (Scout Taylor-Compton, Rob Zombie’s Halloween) and Jules (Olivia Luccardi, It Follows)—two girlfriends testing the waters of their new relationship—are left standing, armed with a shotgun and holed up in a remote cabin. They’ve got a hell of a fight before them if they hope to survive… The Walking Dead’s Lew Temple costars in this grisly blend of survival thriller and contagion shocker. (Official synopsis from the Feral website.)
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard.
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Alden Ehrenreich, Thandie Newton, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo.
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes. (Official synopsis courtesy of the Star Wars website.)
How To Talk To Girls At Parties
Director: John Cameron Mitchell.
Cast: Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, and Ruth Wilson.
From the raucous dual imaginations of fantasy laureate Neil Gaiman (“American Gods,” “Coraline”) and glam-rock multi-hyphenate John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig and the Angry Itch”, “Shortbus”) comes the electrifying and singular pop extravaganza film, How To Talk To Girls At Parties. Enn (Alex Sharp) is a shy suburban London teenager in 1977, sneaking out with his best friends to after-hours punk parties. One night they stumble upon a bizarre gathering of sexy teenagers who seem like they are from another planet. In fact, they are from another planet, visiting Earth to complete a mysterious rite of passage. That doesn’t stop Enn from falling madly in love with Zan (Elle Fanning), a beautiful and rebellious alien teenager who, despite her allegiance to her strange colony, is fascinated by Enn. Together they embark on a delirious adventure through the kinetic punk rock world of 1970s London, inadvertently setting off a series of events that will lead to the ultimate showdown of punks vs. aliens, and test the limits of how far each of them will go for true love. (Official synopsis courtesy of the How To Talk To Girls At Parties webpage.)