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The best cinema blockbusters this summer: the plots, the big-name stars and when they're on the big screen

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Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

When the pandemic hit back in 2020, the release of several movie blockbusters got pushed back. Life wasn't still quite back to normal the following year, which means that summer 2022 is jam-packed with several eagerly awaited releases.

Here are the best movies to look forward to in the coming months, and when you can expect them in cinemas.

Top Gun: Maverick – in cinemas now

Tom Cruise returns in one of his most iconic roles as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. He'll be training a young group of elite aviators for a special mission – among them is "Rooster" (Miles), the son of his late friend "Goose". Take the highway to the danger zone and jet off to see this on the biggest screen possible.

Jurassic World Dominion – in cinemas now

For the third Jurassic World instalment, the filmmakers are delivering on all the nostalgia of 1993's Jurassic Park that you've been waiting for. Alongside leads Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the brat pack of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are back, navigating a new world where dinosaurs roam free.

Lightyear – in cinemas on June 17

Toy Story 3 broke our hearts, and in something of a surreal and meta twist Lightyear tracks the origins of the fictional astronaut character that Buzz Lightyear is based on (if that makes sense). Voicing Buzz is Chris Evans as Pixar releases its first feature in cinemas since 2020's Onward (the films in between released straight on Disney+).

The Black Phone – in cinemas on June 24

It seems a little early to be Halloween-themed, but you'll find that most summer seasons come with at least one major horror release as audiences who love their thrills and chills want creepy flicks outside of October too. Starring a transformed Ethan Hawke in an uncharacteristically sinister role, the film follows a child who tries to escape from a serial killer after he is abducted.

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Elvis – in cinemas on June 24

Having worked on such music-filled spectaculars as Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby, it only makes sense that Baz Luhrmann should be the guy tasked with directing an Elvis biopic. But will Austin Butler be up to the task of playing the King of Rock and Roll? Opposite him, Tom Hanks plays the seedy and conniving Colonel Tom Parker.

Thor: Love And Thunder – in cinemas on July 8

Even non-Marvel fans thoroughly enjoyed Thor Ragnarok, so hopes are high for its follow-up, penned and directed by the brilliantly funny Taika Waititi. Chris Hemsworth reprises the titular role as he gathers a number of allies, including ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), to fight Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). Expect plenty of action and laughs.

Where The Crawdads Sing – in cinemas on July 22

Daisy Edgar-Jones has played some interesting roles since Normal People, between indie horror-comedy Fresh and sci-fi series War of the Worlds. But Where the Crawdads Sing, based on the international bestselling novel, marks her first big blockbuster role. She plays Kya, a young woman raising herself in the marshes of the Deep South who faces an accusation of murder.

Bullet Train – in cinemas on August 3

No list of summer blockbusters would be complete without a big, dumb, action movie to round the whole thing off – and you can tell that's what you're getting just from the title here. Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde), the movie is led by Brad Pitt, who plays one of five assassins that butt heads aboard a bullet train.

Nope – in cinemas on August 12

Following on from his inimitable and instantly iconic features Get Out and Us, the latest from Jordan Peele sees him team up once more with Daniel Kaluuya. In typical enigmatic Peele style, the plot for this is being kept under wraps – all we know is "The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery."


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