The Black Phone (in theaters June 24)
Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Finney Shaw
What It’s About: Abducted by a serial killer (Hawke), a kid (Shaw) tries to escape before he becomes the latest victim — with some help from a mysterious phone and some voices from beyond.
Why It’s Worth Leaving the House For: After parting ways with Marvel ahead of the second Doctor Strange movie, Derrickson reunited with the team who previously worked together on Sinister and, like that film, this looks creepy as hell.
Crimes of the Future (in theaters sometime in June)
Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Viggo Moretensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart
What It’s About: Set in the near future, David Cronenberg’s first film in eight years — and his first from an original story in a couple of decades— features performance artists, rapidly evolving bodies, and a lot of scenes sure to make even the hardiest moviegoer squirm. (We’re guessing on that last detail, but it’s a pretty safe guess.)
Why It’s Worth Leaving the House For: It’s Cronenberg. This is sure to be a movie you won’t forget soon, even if you hate it.
Thor: Love and Thunder (in theaters July 8)
Director: Taika Waititi
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale
What It’s About: The God of Thunder (Hemsworth) faces his biggest threat yet in the form of Gorr the God Butcher (Bale), a serial killer specializing in divine beings.
Why It’s Worth Leaving the House For: There used to be a pattern to Marvel movies. You star in three solo adventures, you appear in whatever other Marvel films need your character, you get out. (See: Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans.) Apparently nobody told Hemsworth, however, who’s back for an unprecedented fourth Thor movie. The story’s at least partly about passing the torch: Thor finds that his ex, Jane Foster (Portman), can now wield the hammer that previously only he and Captain America could lift. Plus: Christian Bale!
Nope (in theaters July 22)
Director: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun
What It’s About: Do we know much about Peele’s latest beyond what’s suggested in its creepy trailer, featuring a horse ranch, some bizarre weather patterns, and Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips (Part 2)”? Nope. Should that matter? Nope.
Why It’s Worth Leaving the House For: Peele has quickly established himself as a director of terrifying, widely resonant horror films. There’s no reason to think his latest will break that pattern and, as with Get Out and Us, it might be best to go into this knowing as little as possible.
Bullet Train (in theaters July 29)
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry
What It’s About: A bunch of assassins — including a pair at opposite ends of their careers (Pitt and King) — tangle on a bullet train traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto.
Why It’s Worth Leaving the House For: A stunt double (for Pitt, among others) turned filmmaker, Leitch helped redefine the modern action movie with John Wick. Follow-ups like Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 suggest he’s the right man to direct a funny/violent thriller set aboard a train. And with Pitt involved, it’s almost guaranteed to at least be fun.
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