Release date: June 7

Niche genre: “Emma Thompson playing a legendary late-night talk show host in a scenario we wish were real life”

FYI: The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was purchased by Amazon for a whopping $13 million—the largest sum of this year’s festival.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Release date: June 7

Niche genre: “Films whose trailers alone should probably win Oscars”

FYI: Directed by Joe Talbot and starring Jimmie Fails as himself, the film tracks Fails’ attempt to reclaim the childhood Victorian home that his grandfather built. Like Late Night, it premiered at Sundance, where it won multiple awards including Best Directing.


Release date: June 28

Niche genre: “There’s only one person in the world who remembers a famous band in a cinematic concept that will probably be cool once but we hope Hollywood doesn’t milk forever”

FYI: The cost of licensing The Beatles’ music made up a large chunk of the film’s overall budget. Director Danny Boyle wrote letters to surviving band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as widows Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono. He said he received “lovely” letters back from Starr and Harrison.


Release date: July 3

Niche genre: “Horror films that take place entirely during the daytime at a picturesque Swedish countryside retreat”

FYI: Director Ari Aster’s follow-up to last summer’s horror hit, Hereditary, Midsommar stars Florence Pugh as a young woman roped into attending what looks like Fyre Festival for cannibals. The film will look to revive the lost art of “daylight horror” that was popular in the 1970s.

The Farewell

Release date: July 12

Niche genre: “Films that make you realize their normally comedy-centric lead performer is capable of doing drama”

FYI: Another Sundance Hit, The Farewell went to indie distributor A24 after a bidding war that also included Netflix and Amazon. It currently has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 42 reviews. Look for Awkwafina at the Oscars next year.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Release date: July 26

Niche genre: “Leonardo DiCaprio deigning to do comedy,” “Hollywood movies about how great Hollywood is”

FYI: The Quentin Tarantino film received a seven-minute standing ovation at its Cannes premiere, which sounds like a lot, but was actually pretty average for the prestigious French film festival. It also stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and everyone else who has ever acted in a film.

Good Boys


Release date: Aug. 16

Niche genre:Superbad, but with 12-year-olds”

FYI: Quartz was in attendance at the film’s raucous SXSW premiere in March. Produced by Seth Rogen and directed by The Office writer Gene Stupnitsky, Good Boys could continue the trend of successful R-rated studio comedies, following recent movies like Game Night and Blockers.

Other films to watch this summer:

“Kumail Nanjiani is an Uber driver” (Stuber, July 12)

“The Rock and Jason Statham smash things with their bodies” (Hobbs & Shaw, Aug. 2)

“Those books that scared the crap out of millennials when they were kids” (Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, Aug. 9)

“Cate Blanchett wearing cool sunglasses” (Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Aug. 16)

“The scary clown is back, but this time Bill Hader is in it” (It: Chapter Two, Sept. 6)

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.