225’s summer 2022 movie preview: Horror, heroes and animation dominate blockbluster season

Summer movie season is officially in full swing.

April already introduced us to a new view at the multiverse in Everything Everywhere All the Time, the return of Nicholas Cage playing his most difficult and comedic role yet—himself—in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and a brutal retelling of the original story that inspired Hamlet in The Northman.

So far in May, Marvel Studios and Sam Raimi dove into the multiverse and schlocky horror with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But there’s still plenty to come this summer, with studios offering a little something for everybody—whether you’re a superhero fan or you’re looking for a scare or a laugh.

May 13


The gist: A remake of the 1984 horror-classic starring a 9-year-old Drew Barrymore, Firestarter tells the story of a father fending off a secret government organization hunting his daughter, who has develops pyrokinetic powers, intending to use her as a weapon.

The stars: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben

What to look out for: Zac Efron shows his acting chops as he becomes a father fighting for his daughter’s survival. Plus, horror legend John Carpenter, known for his scores and directing on films like The Thing and Halloween, returns to the genre with his synth-heavy score on this film.

Recommended if you like: A little girl using destructive powers to fight a secret government organization a la Stranger Things; reimagined horror films from the masters at Blumhouse Productions like Halloween (2018) and The Invisible Man, especially if you’re looking for a break from the paranormal horror that’s been in style over the past few years.


On the Count of Three

The gist: A dark comedy about two friends making a suicide pact with each other, the film takes a left turn when the two decide to live one last day together doing whatever they want before they die.

The stars: Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott, Tiffany Haddish, Henry Winkler, J.B. Smoove, Lavell Crawford, Jared Abrahamson

What to look out for: This is a movie about very serious subject matter, plain and simple. But it attempts to find the beauty in life, even from people who are prepared to take their own. The film is built on the foundation of performances from its leads, with the story unraveling like a bucket list of things men in their mid-20s would want to do before they die, learning from each other and themselves over the course of the day.

Recommended if you like: Black comedies with heart. Sharing similarities with Superbad, it is a darker, more tragic analysis of male friendship than the seminal 2000s comedy.

If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or just need someone to talk to, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours at 800-273-8255.

May 20


The gist: British filmmaker Alex Garland returns to tell the story of a woman retreating into the English countryside following a personal tragedy. Hoping to find solace and a place to heal, she instead finds something stalking her. Slowly, her dream of solitude becomes a nightmare that dredges up dark memories and fears.

The stars: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, Paapa Essiedu, Gayle Rankin

What to look out for: Garland, known for his environmental horror in films like Annihilation and Ex Machina, is bound to craft a story that is more than your average horror film. Garland’s films attempt to leave you unsettled, not just scare you in the moment; so if you can’t handle some existential horror to follow you home, maybe skip this one.

Recommended if you like: The higher-concept horror of movies like Get Out or Us that attempt to scare you more with what the film is saying about humanity than a demon jumping out to grab you.

May 27

The Bob’s Burgers Movie

The gist: It’s essentially a feature-length version of the animated Fox sitcom about the Belcher family’s escapades in and around their family-owned burger shop. In this outing, the Belcher’s must contend with a sinkhole that threatens to ruin their business over the summer. While their kids attempt to solve the mystery around the sinkhole, parents Bob and Linda struggle to maintain the business and hijinks ensue.

The stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Zack Galifianakis, Kevin Kline, David Wain, Sam Seder, Aziz Ansari, David Herman, Gary Cole, Brian Huskey, Jenny Slate, Ross Lynch, Stephanie Beatriz

What to look out for: More of the series’ wacky slapstick is bound to occur in this feature-length adventure. It’s a bit weirder than your typical sitcom, but under it all, there’s still a great amount of heart. Most of Bob’s comedy comes from immature humor but done in a mature way with some hilarious delivery from the main cast and its guest stars—something the movie is bound to continue.

Recommended if you like: The series, streaming right now on Hulu. Fans of shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy will certainly be satisfied with both the series and the movie, but since the movie is an extension of the series, it’s highly recommended you at least watch a few episodes before the movie.

Top Gun: Maverick

The gist: Picking up over 30 years after the original, this film follows Tom Cruise’s John “Maverick” Mitchell as he trains a new generation of aviators. Facing specters of his past, Maverick develops a tenuous relationship with the son of his former wingman, Goose, as they prepare for a new mission after purposefully dodging promotion for the past three decades.

The stars: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Monica Barbaro, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis, Manny Jacinto

What to look out for: Not out of the ordinary for Cruise’s films, the action here is almost all practical, with real jets being used, a rarity in modern action-cinema. Early reviews are also proclaiming it to be better than the original, with praise lobbied toward handling the cheesy source material in a mature manner that deals with loss and accepting one’s place in the world.

Recommended if you like: Fast planes and pilot banter. If you’re a fan of the original, this is a no-brainer. And if you’re not, Lady Gaga made a song for the film that may sweeten the deal.

June 3

Crimes of the Future

The gist: Set in a future where humans augment their bodies in bizarre and horrific ways, a performance artist showcases how he has metamorphosed his organs into grotesque art. David Cronenberg, known for his body horror in films like The Fly, returns to the genre he helped pioneer as he pulls the curtain back on the next phase of human evolution.

The stars: Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux, Viggo Mortenson, Scott Speedman, Tanaya Beatty, Yorgos Karamihos, Nadia Litz, Lihi Kornowski, Giorgos Pyrpassopoulos

What to look out for: Themes of trans-humanism accented by scenes of body horror that will leave the audience with nightmares. This high-concept horror, science fiction genre meld holds a mirror up to the human condition, pondering the limitless potential and horror that genetic engineering and biological sculpting will have.

Recommended if you like: The art of horror. David Cronenberg seeks to find the beauty, and the horror is mutating the human body to forms hitherto undreamt of. But if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing, maybe skip this one.

Neptune Frost

The gist: Set in an Afrofuturist world, this sci-fi musical by musician Saul Williams and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda is a cosmic romance between an intersex hacker and a miner that seeds a revolution in a Rwandan village. Offering a glimpse into another time and another dimension, the film grapples with the aftermath of colonization and genocide and the brutalities of the global extraction industry, all sounding the beat of anti-colonial struggle that connects music to an uprising.

The stars:  Cheryl Isheja, Elvis Ngabo, Bertrand “Kaya Free” Ninteretse, Eliane Umuhire, Dorcy Rugamba, Rebecca Uwamahoro, Trésor Niyongabo, Eric Ngangare “1Key”, Natacha Muziramakenga, Cécile Kayirebwa, Diogene “Atome” Ntarindwa

What to look out for: A meditation on the world from a perspective that audiences are not used to, this is a film about creativity. Its unabashed message of love can be appreciated by anyone, regardless of culture. Even its structure defies convention, regenerating with every scene, creating an aesthetic opposition between each set piece.

Recommended if you like: Atypical stories with atypical methods of telling that story. This is not for everyone, that is for sure. But as the Toronto International Film Festival describes it, “this is cinema as an ecological gift to the dispossessed. Generously creative and unafraid, Neptune Frost is here, now.”

June 10

Jurassic World Dominion

The gist: After the destruction of the original island that housed Jurassic Park, dinosaurs now live among humans. The world is reshaped into a new world where mankind is no longer the apex predator. Reuniting the cast of the original Jurassic Park and bringing them together with the cast of Jurassic World, this finale to the Jurassic era has been 65 million years in the making.

The stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Justice Smith, Scott Haze, Campbell Scott, Isabella Sermon

What to look out for: Unlike the previous films that followed a pretty strict formula of bringing humans to where the dinosaurs are and then they get out, the dinos are brought to the humans in this one. And that means the action in this picture is much more diverse, with dinosaurs in the city streets and on snowcapped mountains. The returning cast members also offer the first chance to see some of the characters since 2001’s lackluster Jurassic Park III.

Recommended if you like: Fans of dinosaurs, young or old, are bound to find some level of enjoyment here. What else can you ask for beyond velociraptors chasing someone on a motorcycle through the streets?

June 17


The gist: If you think you know Buzz Lightyear, think again. This isn’t a story about the toy from Toy Story; it’s the story of the man that inspired the toy. Presented as the movie that Andy watched that made him obsessed with the space ranger, this is a galaxy-spanning adventure that introduces audiences to an all new cast of characters, as well as familiar villains in Zurg and his robots.

The stars: Chris Evans, James Brolin, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, Dales Soules, Uzo Adula, Efren Ramirez, Tim Peake, Isiah Whitlock Jr.

What to look out for: The first Pixar film released in theaters in over two years, the visuals in Lightyear are stunning. Telling a decade-spanning story more akin to Star Wars than Up is a first for Pixar, but the heart the studio is known for seems to be at the forefront, with Buzz being reconceived as a rookie hotshot with a heart of gold.

Recommended if you like: Oddly enough, movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey are major inspirations for this animated kids film. Inspired by the high concept science fiction of the 1970s and ’80s, fans of both Toy Story and Lost in Space are likely going to walk away satisfied.

June 24


The gist: Baz Luhrmann, whose distinct style brought controversial adaptations of The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet to the big screen, sets his sights on Elvis Presley and his life story. Focusing on the king of rock-and-roll from his discovery and rise to stardom, Luhrmann closes in on the complex relationship the king had with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

The stars: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Alton Mason, Kobi Smit-McPhee, Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett, Yola

What to look out for: This biopic doesn’t shy away from the fact that Elvis was heavily inspired by Black musicians who taught him the blues. As a result, this film is firmly set in the ’50s and ’60s with a genuine effort to rewrite the historical wrong that Elvis invented rock-and-roll. Combined with the stylings of Luhrmann, Austin Butler’s Elvis will wield the stage presence of the king himself.

Recommended if you like: Historical biopics closer to the grippingly stylish Rocketman over the more standard Bohemian Rhapsody. And for fans of Tom Hanks, he plays the rare antagonist in the form of Tom Parker here.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

The gist: Springing from a web series of the same name, Marcel is a one-inch-tall shell that lives a colorful life with his grandmother and pet lint. The shells are the last members of their community, living alone after a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them, Marcel becomes a sensation, with millions supporting their journey to find their lost family.

The stars: Jenny Slate, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Isabella Rossellini, Dean Fleischer-Camp, Lesley Stahl, Conan O’Brien, Brian Williams, Andy Richter, Nathan Fielder, Jessi Klein, Peter Bonerz

What to look out for: Wholesome and tearjerking in the best way possible, Marcel’s journey is a stop-motion one about the power of community. Expect moments where your faith in humanity is restored, especially after years of political strife and emotional turmoil brought on by the pandemic.

Recommended if you like: Movies like Paddington and Fantastic Mr. Fox welcome Marcel the Shell with Shoes On with open arms to the family of wholesome films with a message about the good in the world. In a summer full of horror films, we need a film like Marcel to brighten our spirits.

Black Phone

The gist: When a 13-year-old boy is kidnapped and held in a soundproof basement by a sadistic masked killer, a disconnected phone starts to ring and he begins to hear the murderer’s previous victims. Over the course of Scott Derrickson’s newest film, the 13-year-old is guided by the voices of the dead as he faces Ethan Hawke’s The Grabber.

The stars: Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames, Jeremey Davies, Gina Jun, Madeleine McGraw, James Ransone

What to look out for: Harkening back to movies like Saw, this horror-thriller is a claustrophobic nightmare in which the scares don’t come from what’s happening, but what isn’t.

Recommended if you like: The works of Stephen King inform his son, Joe Hill, and his story, which the film is based on. Fans of true crime and other films about serial killers like Saw are bound to enjoy this thriller.

July 1

Minions: The Rise of Gru

The gist: Telling the origin of Gru from the Despicable Me franchise, this heavily delayed sequel to the spinoff iis set in the 1970s and sees Gru proving himself, with the help of his yellow friends, as one of the premier supervillains on the planet.

The stars: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Alan Arkin, RZA

What to look out for: Expect more of the slapstick, crass humor that made the Despicable Me films so popular. While lacking the emotional core of the original films, this movie is set to introduce audiences to a zany new crew of characters that kids are sure to fall in love with.

Recommended if you like: Kids who love the Despicable Me films are going to adore this one, even if Gru is not the recognizable middle-aged man they remember. The minions, of course, are still here and remain to be a recognizable cultural touchstone, for better or worse.

July 8

Thor: Love and Thunder

The gist: Following Thor in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, Taika Waititi’s sophomore effort at the God of Thunder brings Thor’s arc of self-discovery full circle. Rolling with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor attempts to grapple with what it means to be a god and find inner peace in a world where he is without his family. But the past catches up to him when Jane Foster, his ex-girlfriend, mysteriously returns wielding Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor. The two Thors must face a new foe together, Gorr the God Butcher, from eliminating all gods.

The stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Tessa Thompson, Chris Pratt, Jamie Alexander, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Jeff Goldblum

What to look out for: Combining the comedy of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarök with an epic, realm-spanning story straight off the pages of Jason Aaron and Esad Ribić’s Thor: God of Thunder comic series, Thor’s return to the big screen shows how far Marvel has come from 2008’s Iron Man. The tragic story of Gorr the God Butcher, as portrayed by Christian Bale, is bound to impress even the most cynical of moviegoers, with the return of Natalie Portman as the Mighty Thor creates the potential for the most mythic version of the Marvel universe to date.

Recommended if you like: Heavy metal album covers complete with flying goats and mythological beings inform the film’s visual style. Fans can also expect a “Rocky”-style workout montage to get Thor back in shape from his slump in Endgame just in time for the adventure of the summer!

July 15

The Gray Man

The gist: A cat and mouse game, this film follows the CIA’s most skilled mercenary as he is hunted by a former colleague after he discovers dark secrets. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo of Avengers: Endgame fame, this action thriller holds the title of the most expensive film produced by Netflix, which releases the film on July 22 after a limited release in theaters.

The stars: Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Michael Gandolfini, Billy Bob Thornton, Dhanush, Alfre Woodard, Regé-Jean Page

What to look out for: Similar to the military thriller Joe Russo wrote, Extraction, The Gray Man is set to be a violent, action-packed spectacle that is a far cry from the more friendly fare the duo is used to directing.

Recommended if you like: Fans of characters like James Bond, Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne will find a more realistic action film more in line with espionage thrillers than the more supernatural, heroic fare Hollywood is saturated with today.

Where the Crawdads Sing

The gist: An adaptation of the 2018 novel of the same name and filmed nearby in Houma, the film follows a young girl in the 1950s. At a young age she is abandoned to survive on her own in the marsh. She falls for a friend after he teaches her to write, but he leaves her too when he departs for college. Eventually, she falls for another man, but not long after is framed for his murder.

The stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer Jr., David Strathairn, Jayson Warner Smith, Garret Dillahunt, Ahna O’Reilly, Eric Ladin

What to look out for: This is a tragic tale that is bound to leave not a single eye dry in the theater. Much like the book it is based on, it is bound to resonate with audiences for the perseverance of its main character. Produced by Reese Witherspoon, this film is also a passion project for the actor-turned-producer, who showcased the book on her book club a few years back.

Recommended if you like: Fans of historical dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird will find a similar tragic tales on the screen when Where the Crawdads Sing hits theaters.

July 22


The gist: The third film from Jordan Peele, not much has yet been revealed about the plot of this one. So far, we know it’s a horror film set on the only Black-owned horse ranch in Hollywood. But as seen in the mysterious trailers, a force of nature is beginning to affect human and animal behavior in strange ways.

The stars: Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Barbie Ferreira, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Donna Mills, Jennifer Lafleur, Andrew Jackson Ralston, Keith David

What to look out for: Like his past films from Monkeypaw Productions, Peele’s newest is bound to shine a mirror on society in some profound way. With performances that bring both horror and comedy from Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya, the only thing moviegoers can really expect from this one is a rollercoaster ride through one of the most original horror movies of the year, as it was with Get Out and Us.

Recommended if you like: Peele’s past films are really good litmus tests if you’ll like his latest. If you’re into horror metaphors about society, you’re bound to love this one.

July 29

DC’s League of Super-Pets

The gist: Telling the story of Krypto the Super-Dog, Superman’s best friend with his same powers, this animated film flips the script and makes man’s best friend the hero. After the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto puts together an unlikely team of animals with newly developed powers, including Ace the Bat-Hound, to save the Justice League and the world.

The stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Keanu Reeves, Marc Maron, Ben Schwartz, Thomas Middleditch, Jameela Jamil

What to look out for: Don’t go into this one expecting the stereotypical depiction of DC characters in previous years—a darker, more serious fare. Here, audiences can expect jokes about the superhero genre in a loving homage to super heroics that isn’t afraid to make fun of itself. Think more Despicable Me, less Joker.

Recommended if you like: Kids who love The Secret Life of Pets are going to love this one. And for those who remember the Krypto the Super-Dog TV series in the early 2000s, this is going to be a cute trip down memory lane.


The gist: In the directorial debut of B. J. Novak, best known as Ryan on The Office, follow a New York radio host as he travels to the South to investigate the murder of his girlfriend.

The stars: B. J. Novak, Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher, Boyd Holbrook, Dove Cameron, Isabella Amara, Lio Tipton, J. Smith-Cameron

What to look out for: Novak brings together an all-star cast to dive into the real life horror of murder, free of any monsters or supernatural elements. Performances from Issa Rae, best known for her role in The Hate You Give, and Boyd Holbrook, recent villain of Logan, are sure to stun.

Recommended if you like: True crime documentary and podcast fans will be satisfied by the setup here, but as with most thrillers of this ilk produced by Blumhouse Productions, it’s bound to have plenty of twists and turns.

Aug. 5

Bullet Train

The gist: Stunt coordinator and “John Wick” director David Leitch adapts a Japanese novel in this film about five assassins trapped on a bullet train ride from Tokyo to Morioka with missions that are more connected that they initially thought. It’s a pretty simple story with close quarters action.

The stars: Brad Pitt, Bad Bunny, Sandra Bullock, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Logan Lerman, Karen Fukuhara

What to look out for: For fans of the director’s previous work, the superb action here is going to be no surprise, as well as the comedic tone Leitch’s Deadpool 2 took. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief for action scenes set to Japanese covers of songs almost entirely set in a moving metal tube. Leave logic at the door for the characters too, with accents galore and everyone giving their performance a sense of gravitas.

Recommended if you like: High-octane action like John Wick and the Fast and Furious franchise are perfect primers for this fast-paced action thriller. If you’re a fan of any of the star-studded cast, there’s bound to be at least one fist pumping moment for their character here.

Bodies Bodies Bodies

The gist: When a group of 20-somethings play a game at a house party during a hurricane, friendships are tested as loyalties and psyches are broken between the already disparate friend group. But after the murder mystery game turns into a real murder mystery, the groups has to search for a real murderer in the dark mansion while full of drugs and regrets.

The stars: Amandla Stenberg, Pete Davidson, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, Conner O’Malley

What to look out for: Like all good horror this summer, the director shines a light on society in a satirical fashion, parodying both modern youth culture with references to “safe spaces” and “cancellation” and the slasher genre. It’s also a dark comedy, so expect some laughs, even if they’re over some uncomfortable subject matter.

Recommended if you like: Coming less than a year after the return of Scream, this feels like Scream to the next level. Instead of parodying horror films exclusively, it points a mirror at Generation Z and its proclivities. Definitely a must see for horror fans, especially those looking for a twisted laugh.

Aug. 31

Three Thousand Years of Longing

The gist: From the mind of Mad Max and Babe director George Miller, Three Thousand Years of Longing tells the story of a scholar that encounters a genie. Through their conversation in Istanbul, the pair’s relationship leads to consequences neither could have foreseen.

The stars: Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton, Kaan Guldur, David Collins, Ayla Browne, Angie Tricker, Jason Jago

What to look out for: Not much is yet known about this film, except for its fantastical romance lending to an epic love story that strikes directly at the heart of mankind.

Recommended if you like: Philosophical films about the implications of freewill. A genie is confronting his mortality—of course it’s a bit philosophical!

Where to watch and save

Check out these films and more at any of Baton Rouge’s movie theaters. We’ve included deals to make the movies even more affordable:

AMC 15 Mall of Louisiana ($5 Tuesdays with AMC Stubs)

9168 Mall of Louisiana Blvd.

AMC 16 ($5 Tuesdays with AMC Stubs)

16040 Hatteras Ave.

Celebrity Theaters (Discount Tuesdays)

15365 George O’neal Road

Cinemark Perkins Rowe (Discount Tuesdays)

10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 125

Movie Tavern Citiplace ($5 Tuesdays)

2610 Citiplace Court