ARTEMIS FOWL, on Disney+
The gist: A young genius sets out to find his missing father, who also happens to be a criminal mastermind protecting the world’s magical secrets.
The stars: Ferdia Shaw, Josh Gad, Nonso Anozie, Colin Farrell, Judi Dench
The good: Kenneth Branagh directs, and Dench plays a villain. Could be fun, right?
The bad: Fans of the original book series weren’t impressed with the trailer, which seems to paint the main character as a wide-eyed kid rather than a bad guy in training.
Recommended if you like: Tricked out secret lairs, Men In Black but with steampunk aesthetics, someone saying they’re going to do just one last job and you know that won’t end well
The gist: A secret agent is on a mission to stop another world war—and it looks like time travel is involved?
The stars: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine
The good: Christopher Nolan is back doing mind-bending futuristic thrillers after 2017’s historical war epic Dunkirk.
The bad: His last futuristic jaunt, Interstellar, was confounding and polarizing in its ambition.
Recommended if you like: Serious business dudes walking around with briefcases, Caine offering delicate wisdom across a cafe table, seafaring
The gist: The daughter of an ailing warrior disguises herself as a man to take his place and defend her country.
The stars: Liu Yifei, Jason Scott Lee, Gong Li, Jet Li
The good: The live-action adaptation features an entirely Asian cast and stunning visuals from director Niki Caro.
The bad: Those who loved Disney’s animated version might be turned off by the more serious tone and lack of musical numbers.
Recommended if you like: Horse riding, taking that old heirloom sword down from the mantle, music on the pipa, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fight scenes
THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN
The gist: Spongebob and Patrick set off to find his missing snail pal Gary.
The stars: Voice work from Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke; also featuring Keanu Reeves and Awkwafina
The good: The success of the first two Spongebob movies meant a sequel was almost a given, and this just looks like more silly fun.
The bad: Reeves’ floating head plays a wise sage in a sagebrush, so what could be bad about this?
Recommended if you like: Road trips, hanging out at the roulette table, kelp shakes
WONDER WOMAN 1984
The gist: Our kind-of-immortal hero has left behind World War I for the ’80s, where she faces two new foes.
The stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal
The good: The whole gang is back, including director Patty Jenkins. And it looks like they’ve embraced a lighter tone inspired by the neons and acid washes of the decade.
The bad: We’re not sure about Wiig playing a villain, but OK.
Recommended if you like: Hanging out at the mall, Gadot in ’80s glam, synthesizers, deflecting bullets
THE SECRET GARDEN
The gist: An orphaned girl sent to live with her curmudgeonly uncle discovers a possibly magical corner of the massive estate.
The stars: Dixie Egerickx, Colin Firth, Julie Walters
The good: The set design looks gorgeous. And interestingly, Firth was in a 1987 TV version of the story.
The bad: This retelling looks to lean heavy on the magical fantasy elements, which may mean an overload of CGI.
Recommended if you like: Scrappy youngsters who teach adults the meaning of love and imagination, horticulture, seasonal allergies
The gist: A popular modern-day author gets trapped in what appears to be the South during the slave era.
The stars: Janelle Monáe, Marque Richardson, Gabourey Sidibe, Jena Malone
The good: The trailer’s juxtaposition of plantation scenes over the audio of a 911 call already has us rattled and riveted.
The bad: If there is a bad, it’s the overt usage of “from the producer of Get Out and Us” even though Jordan Peele isn’t directing this one.
Recommended if you like: Creepy kids standing at the far end of a hallway, moss-covered oaks, girls’ night out, a weird feeling of déja vu
WORTH A BINGE
Mini series and new shows to stay home with this summer
Netflix’s Space Force
Steve Carell plays a celebrated pilot who gets tapped to lead the military’s new space branch. This comedy, released in May, was created by Carell’s Office collaborator Greg Daniels and features Ben Schwartz, John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow, Jane Lynch and others.
Hulu’s The Great
Produced by The Favourite writer Tony McNamara, expect plenty of irreverent and sharply dark humor injected into 18th century Russia, with Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hoult as her husband Emperor Peter III. The show’s 10 episodes launched in May.
Merritt Wever plays a woman whose former college boyfriend messages her out of the blue to meet him in New York City. The prospect of a sexy reunion turns out maybe too good to be true as the former sweetheart, played by Domhnall Gleeson, seems to be hiding a dangerous secret. The show’s seven episodes launched in May.
HBO’s Perry Mason
Los Angeles in the 1930s is the setting for this film-noir reboot of the long-running CBS detective drama and the early 20th century books that were its source material. Matthew Rhys takes the lead role along with Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow in a gritty new series that starts June 21.
This article was originally published in the June 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.