Our big guide to summer movies

Friday, 23 June 2017, 04:13:45 AM. Some will bomb. Some will soar. Trying to decide which is never a safe bet.

Summer movies are always a mixed bag.

We get the usual superhero fare (ANOTHER Spider-Man reimagining?), along with some dumb-looking comedies and, oddly enough, the occasional horror movie.

That much we know. What we don’t know, ever, is which films will hit big and which will whiff. And there’s something kind of cool about that.

As always, release dates are tentative.

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May 5:

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (PG-13):The first one was great, non-stop fun. The gang’s all back for the sequel (including writer and director James Gunn). Can lightning strike twice? Here’s hoping.

our-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 2 Gamora (Zoe Saldana, from left), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Star-Lord Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) feature in “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.”  Marvel Studiosour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 3 Now, that's a villain. Jude Law is Vortigern in "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword."  Daniel Smithour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 4 In "Snatched," mother (Goldie Hawn, right) and daughter (Amy Schumer) are stranded on vacation.  Justina Mintz/20th Century Foxour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 5 John Cena (left) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star in "The Wall."  David James/Amazon Studiosour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 6 Katherine Waterston stars in "Alien Covenant."  Mark Rogersour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 7 Charlie Wright (from left), Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott star in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul."  Daniel McFaddenour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 8 Nick Robinson and Amandla Stenberg star in "Everything, Everything."  Doane Gregoryour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 9 David Hasselhoff never looked like this. Dwayne Johnson (left) and Zac Efron star in "Baywatch."  Frank Masiour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 10 The evil Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem) will haunt the heroes in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Disney Enterprises Inc.our-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 11 Harold and George crack up at the sight Captain Underpants "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie."  DreamWorks Animationour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 12 Gal Gadot dons the outfit of "Wonder Woman"  Clay Enos/Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.our-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 13 Kate Mara stars in "Megan Leavey."  Bleecker Street Mediaour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 14 Annabelle Wallis and Tom Cruise star in "The Mummy."  Chiabella Jamesour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 15 In "All Eyez on Me," all eyes are on Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira).  Quantrell Colbertour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 16 They look happy now, but it will be a "Rough Night" for Blair (Zoë Kravitz, from left), Alice (Jillian Bell), Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Frankie (Illana Grazer) and Pippa (Kate McKinnon).  Macall B. Polayour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 17 Laura Haddock and Mark Wahlberg stars in "Transformers: The Last Knight."  Paramount Picturesour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 18 Kyle Mooney stars in "Brigsby Bear."  Sony Pictures Classicsour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 19 Baby (Ansel Elgort) charms Debora (Lily James) in "Baby Driver."  Wilson Webbour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 20 Balthazar Bratt is a character in "Despicable Me 3."  Universal Picturesour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 21 Will Ferrell (from left), Amy Poehler and Jason Mantzoukas star in "The House." Yes, it's a comedy.  Glen Wilsonour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 22 Tom Holland plays the title character in "Spider-Man: Homecoming.”  Columbia Picturesour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 23 The battle continues in "War for the Planet of the Apes."  Twentieth Century Foxour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 24 Joey King (from left), Alice Lee and Ki Hong Lee star in "Wish Upon."  Steve Wilkieour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 25 Fionn Whitehead stars in "Dunkirk."  Melinda Sue Gordonour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 26 Regina Hall (from left) Tiffany Hadish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah star in "Girls Trip."  Michele K. Shortour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 27 Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star in "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets."  EuropaCorpour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 28 Charlize Theron stars in the action yarn "Atomic Blonde."  Jonathan Primeour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 29 Idris Elba stars in "The Dark Tower."  Ilze Kitshoffour-big-guide-to-summer-movies photo 30 Ryan Reynolds (left) and Samuel L. Jackson star in "The Hitman's Bodyguard."  Lionsgate.

May 12:

“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (PG-13): I like to think of a clueless studio executive saying, “Now wait, there’s a sword? And a stone? I like it! Nobody’s doing that!” Charlie Hunnam stars as the would-be king.

“Lowriders” (PG-13): A street artist is caught between his father, his brother and a need for self-exploration. Whatever that means. Who cares? Demian Bichir is in it.

“Snatched” (R):Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer play a mother and daughter who get kidnapped while on vacation, which is not great news for the kidnappers.

“The Wall” (R): A sniper traps Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena in Doug Liman’s war drama. Cena is moving in on The Rock’s territory, no?

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John Cena (left) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star in "The Wall." (Photo: David James/Amazon Studios)

May 19:

“Alien: Covenant” (R): Ridley Scott goes back to the well for another round, with Katherine Waterston, James Franco and Michael Fassbender along for the ride. Let’s hope it makes more sense than “Prometheus” did.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” (PG):The franchise gets the Spider-Man treatment, with a whole new cast bringing Jeff Kinney’s books about a miserable little brat to the screen. With Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott.

“Everything, Everything” (PG-13):A teenager (Amandla Stenberg) allergic to everything falls in love with the boy next door. Based on Nicola Yoon’s novel, though it sounds like “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.”.

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Nick Robinson and Amandla Stenberg star in "Everything, Everything." (Photo: Doane Gregory)

May 25:

“Baywatch” (R): Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and more star in the remake of the TV series famous for women in red bathing suits jogging in slow motion along the beach. Oh, and in case you didn't know, they’re lifeguards.

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David Hasselhoff never looked like this. Dwayne Johnson (left) and Zac Efron star in "Baywatch." (Photo: Frank Masi)

May 26:

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (PG-13): And to think, when the first film, based on a Disney ride, came out, no one believed there would be 126 installments. Seems that way, anyway. Johnny Depp is back, because if he wasn’t, who would go?

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The evil Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem) will haunt the heroes in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." (Photo: Disney Enterprises Inc.)

June 2:

“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” (PG):Dav Pilkey is one of the more imaginative writers of children’s books. Here one of his heroes gets the big-screen animated treatment.

“Wonder Woman” (PG-13): She was the best thing about “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” — sounds like faint praise, maybe, but isn’t — so it’s exciting that Gal Gadot is getting her own movie.

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Gal Gadot dons the outfit of "Wonder Woman" (Photo: Clay Enos/Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.)

June 9:

“It Comes at Night” (Not yet rated):A threat terrorizes the world, but Joel Edgerton has his family safe in a remote home. A young family seeking help will change all that. Maybe they drink all the milk?

“Megan Leavy” (PG-13): Kate Mara plays a Marine corporal who, with her combat dog, saves lives in Iraq.

“The Mummy” (PG-13): Tom Cruise, of all people, has to fend off an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella). One wrapped in gauze, presumably.

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Annabelle Wallis and Tom Cruise star in "The Mummy." (Photo: Chiabella James)

June 16:

“All Eyez On Me” (R): Demetrius Shipp Jr. plays Tupac Shakur in a film based on the rapper’s life.

“Cars 3” (Not yet rated):Was “Cars 2” not bad enough? On the plus side, this film, in which Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) must prove to younger cars that he’s still the fastest, has to be better? Right? Please?

“47 Meters Down” (PG-13):Mandy Moore and Claire Holt, on vacation, wind up trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. Honestly, if this was my vacation, I’d ask for my money back. Assuming I lived.

“Rough Night” (Not yet rated):A male stripper dies during a bachelorette party. Somehow Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz and Kate McKinnon are in this.

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They look happy now, but it will be a "Rough Night" for Blair (Zoë Kravitz, from left), Alice (Jillian Bell), Jess (Scarlett Johansson), Frankie (Illana Grazer) and Pippa (Kate McKinnon). (Photo: Macall B. Polay)

June 23:

“Transformers: The Last Knight” (Not yet rated): Seriously, at this point, insert your own joke here. Cars turn into giant robots. Again. Only this time Anthony Hopkins is involved.

June 28:

“Baby Driver” (Not yet rated): Ansel Elgort plays a young getaway driver facing a doomed heist. For what it’s worth, more people have asked me about this than any other summer movie. Having Edgar Wright as the director will do that.

“Brigsby Bear” (PG-13): Kyle Mooney plays a man with an unusual upbringing who wants to make a movie of the children’s show he grew up watching. It’s way weirder than that, but that’ll have to do for now.

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Kyle Mooney stars in "Brigsby Bear." (Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)

June 30:

“Amityville: The Awakening” (PG-13): Jennifer Jason Leigh moves her family into that house. Bella Thorne, her daughter, begins to suspect something isn’t right. You think?

“Despicable Me 3” (PG): Gru (Steve Carell) turns out to have a twin brother, Dru (also played by Steve Carell, naturally). Not sure the world needs a third installment, but these are kind of charming.

“The House” (R):Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler spend their daughter’s college fund, so they start a casino in their basement. As one does.

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Will Ferrell (from left), Amy Poehler and Jason Mantzoukas star in "The House." Yes, it's a comedy. (Photo: Glen Wilson)

July 7:

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Not yet rated):Another reboot? Hey, why not? Tom Holland, who played Spidey in “Captain America: Civil War” returns; the film picks up where that one left off, only now Peter Parker has to learn to live with his new identity. It probably would make geometry seem pretty boring.

July 14:

“Midnight Sun” (Not yet rated): Bella Thorne plays a young woman confined to her house because of a rare disease (that’s two of them this summer) who falls for a guy. In this case she can go out at night (sunlight is deadly to her).

“War for the Planet of the Apes” (Not yet rated):Caesar (Andy Serkis) wants to avenge horrible losses in a war against the humans. Will we never learn?

“Wish Upon” (Not yet rated):Joey King plays a girl who finds a magical box. This being a horror movie, there’s a down side.

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Joey King (from left), Alice Lee and Ki Hong Lee star in "Wish Upon." (Photo: Steve Wilkie)

July 21:

“Dunkirk” (PG-13):Biggest movie of the summer? We’ll see. Christopher Nolan tells the story of the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk, France, during WWII. With Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance. Oh, and Harry Styles, of course.

“Girls Trip” (R):Four women go to New Orleans for the Essence Festival and go wild. With Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah.

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (PG-13): Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne play special operatives who must save Alpha and the universe from a dark force. Science fiction, in case you wondered.

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Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star in "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets." (Photo: EuropaCorp)

July 28:

“Atomic Blonde” (Not yet rated):Charlize Theron plays an MI6 agent sent to Berlin on a mission during the Cold War. Based on the graphic novel.

“The Emoji Movie” (Not yet rated):Could anything be more inevitable? Gene (T.J. Miller) wants to become a normal emoji. Who can blame him? Best credit of the year: "With Patrick Stewart as Poop."

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” (Not yet rated): The sequel to, not surprisingly, “An Inconvenient Truth.” You can bet about half the country is going to absolutely hate this.

Aug. 4:

“All I See Is You” (R): Blake Lively plays a blind woman whose sight is restored, changing her relationship with her husband (Jason Clarke).

“The Dark Tower” (Not yet rated): Fans of the Stephen King series of novels have been waiting forever for this. Can it live up to expectations? Having Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the cast certainly helps.

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Idris Elba stars in "The Dark Tower." (Photo: Ilze Kitshoff)

“Detroit” (Not yet rated):Kathryn Bigelow’s first feature since “Zero Dark Thirty” tells the story of the police raid in Detroit in 1967 that leads to the largest citizen uprising in U.S. history. She’s a fascinating filmmaker, so hopes are high.

Aug. 11:

“Annabelle: Creation” (R): The “Conjuring” team has gotten more mileage out of this doll than Mattel gets out of Barbie. Yet another sequel, this one the origin story of the possessed doll.

“The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” (Not yet rated):Will Arnett returns as the selfish squirrel Surly, who has to help save the park where he and the other animals live from the development of an amusement park.

Aug. 18:

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (R): Ryan Reynolds has to protect hitman Samuel L. Jackson, his former adversary. Hilarity, presumably of the violent variety, ensues.

“Logan Lucky” (Not yet rated):Now this is intriguing. Two brothers try to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race. What’s so great about that? Well, the cast includes Katherine Waterston, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig and Channing Tatum, with Steven Soderbergh, evidently kidding about that retirement thing, directing.

Aug. 25:

“All Saints” (PG): John Corbett plays a salesman-turned-minister trying to save the church he was told to shut down. Based on a true story.

“Polaroid” (Not yet rated): Whoever gets their picture taken by a haunted camera soon dies. Think they’ve seen “The Ring?”

“Tulip Fever” (Not yet rated):Christoph Waltz hires artist Dane DeHaan to paint his wife (Alicia Vikander). Guess who falls in love?

“Villa Capri” (Not yet rated):Ron Shelton writes and directs a comedy about an ex-FBI agent (Tommy Lee Jones) and an ex-mob lawyer (Morgan Freeman) in the witness-protection program who have to team up to stop a mob hit. Bound to be better than it sounds.

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Reach Goodykoontz at bill.goodykoontz@arizonarepublic.com. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: @goodyk.

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