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15 Movies You Absolutely Need to See This Summer

Spring is in the air, but soon the April showers and May flowers will give way to the sweltering heat of summertime. If you’re anything like me—meaning, you have been called “very indoorsy,” “unconscionably pale,” or “fluorescent white”—then you understand the need to seek refuge from the sun’s punishing rays in the air conditioned haven that is your local cinema. But with escalating ticket prices and popcorn that practically requires you to take out a mortgage to afford a bag, going to the movies is a high-value proposition. You want to get the most bang for your buck. So, with that in mind, on this week’s episode of The Dan Cave I have scoured the cinematic landscape to create a list of 15 movies you absolutely need to see this summer.

Now obviously there are far more than 15 movies coming out this summer, and likewise there are far more than 15 movies that are worth your time. So, with that in mind, here are a few bonus picks that are not included in the video above:

Ellstree 1976 (May 6)

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man I love Star Wars, but I really want to know what it was like for the guy who played Greedo?” If so, there’s a documentary for you. Ellstree 1976 talks to the real heroes of the galaxy far, far away: the bit players, the extras, and the marginalized. People like Greedo actor Paul Blake, for example. And perhaps more excitingly, the man inside Darth Vader’s suit: David Prowse, a controversial and somewhat tragic figure in the Star Wars fandom. So go ahead and theorize as to who Rey’s parents really are; I’m going to take a trip down memory lane and find out who really shot first.

The Shallows (June 24)

Going to the beach is already a stressful experience for me because I go from zero to lobstrosity in about 60 seconds. So you can imagine why The Shallows sounds like my waking nightmare. The film stars Blake Lively as Nancy, a woman who goes on a solo surfing trip and gets attacked by a great white shark. Wounded, panicked, and all alone, Nancy survives the attack and finds herself stranded 200 yards from the shore. The distance may be short, but getting back to safety is going to be a lot harder than one might expect.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

If you saw my spring anime guide episode of The Dan Cave, you already know how I feel about adorable animals rocking out to death metal. (Hint: I love it.) The Secret Life of Pets looks to continue that grand tradition in delightfully silly fashion. A film for all of us who spend an inordinate amount of time wondering what our pets do and think about when we aren’t around.

Phantom Boy (July 15)

This French animated film about an 11-year-old invisible boy on a mission to save New York City before it’s too late looks like Satoshi Kon’s anime work had a weirdo lovechild with the art of Moebius in the best way possible.


Which summer movies are you most excited for? Which do you think belong on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: Disney/Marvel

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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferociousand ask him to share his popcorn.

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