Viggo Mortensen is a literate Danish cowboy (and his own director) in The Dead Don’t Hurt. Photo by Marcel Zyskind

The conceptual problem with these movie previews is that the summer movie season typically starts at the beginning of May while we run our summer issue at the end of the month. There are solid reasons for the latter, but it means that a good chunk of the blockbusters are already out by the time this annual feature runs. Even so, there’s still a great deal to look forward to at the multiplexes as the summer heat bears down on us.

Sequels always dominate in the summer, and this year’s season has no shortage of them, starting with Furiosa, the Mad Max prequel that’s out this week. Another prequel is A Quiet Place: Day One, starring Lupita Nyong’o as a woman visiting New York on the day the super-hearing aliens invade. Bad Boys: Ride or Die, the fourth film in its series, has Will Smith and Martin Lawrence going from cops to fugitives when they’re framed for their boss’ murder from the third movie. This will be the first real test of Smith’s box-office power since he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. On a similar note, Despicable Me 4 has Gru and his family on the run from a new supervillain, voiced by Will Ferrell. Mia Goth reprises her role as the porn actress aiming for bigger Hollywood stardom in MaXXXine, the final film in the trilogy that included X and Pearl. And possibly the most anticipated sequel is Deadpool & Wolverine, which brings together both the Deadpool and X-Men franchises and also has the Merc with a Mouth referring to himself as “Marvel Jesus.”

Pixar’s Inside Out 2 finds the original film’s core five emotions joined by a host of new feelings led by Maya Hawke’s Anxiety. A new crop of tornado chasers (presumably armed with some 21st-century tech) takes to the plains in Twisters, a sequel to the 1996 disaster blockbuster. The most out-of-the-blue sequel figures to be Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever, Ole Bornedal’s follow-up to his 1994 Danish horror film that has Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reprising his role from the original as a man still haunted by his brief stint as a morgue security guard in Copenhagen.

the blok rectangle

Elsewhere, Harold and the Purple Crayon brings the beloved children’s book to live action, and the odd couple of Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart star in Borderlands, Eli Roth’s film version of the popular video game. The Garfield Movie, an animated version of the comic strip about the lasagna-loving cat, also comes out this week.

If you’d prefer original content, the summer’s horror movies have you covered. In a Violent Nature is a retro-1980s slasher about a murdered man whose corpse returns to take revenge on the living. The Watchers is adapted from A.M. Shine’s novel (see: our books section this week) about a group of survivors hiding in a glass cage in the forest from mysterious entities, and it marks the directing debut of Ishana Night Shyamalan, the daughter of M. Night Shyamalan. Meanwhile, the elder Shyamalan has his own horror film coming out called Trap, with his other daughter Saleka Shyamalan co-starring and Josh Hartnett as a serial killer. Hunter Schafer stars as a teenage girl stalked at a remote German resort in Cuckoo, and Longlegs stars Maika Monroe as an FBI agent tracking Nicolas Cage’s occult-obsessed serial killer.

Maybe you’re like me and you’re looking for the highbrow fare. Maya Hawke portrays the great American short-story writer Flannery O’Connor in the biopic Wildcat, which her father Ethan Hawke directs. Alicia Vikander, who has been off our screens for a while, returns to star in Firebrand as Catherine Parr, the wife of King Henry VIII who actually survived the experience. A scant half a year after Poor Things, Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos re-team for Kinds of Kindness, a film set in contemporary America with a plot about cannibal sex cults. On a lighter note, Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson star in Fly Me to the Moon as two filmmakers in 1969 who film a staged version of the Moon landing to be broadcast in case the real one doesn’t work out. Sean Wang’s indie drama Dìdi is drawing raves in advance for its story about a 12-year-old Taiwanese-American boy growing up in the early aughts. Recent Oscar nominee Colman Domingo stars in Sing Sing as an incarcerated man who starts a theater program for his fellow prison inmates.

Then there’s the unusual number of Westerns coming to our screens. Viggo Mortensen directs himself in The Dead Don’t Hurt as a Danish immigrant who enlists in the Union Army during the Civil War while his wife has to defend herself on the plains. Kevin Costner climbs back into the director’s chair for Horizon, a six-hour epic split into two films that both come out this season. And Charlie Plummer portrays a construction worker who falls in with a group of gay rodeo cowboys in National Anthem. As always, the season offers something for every taste imaginable.

If your kids need a little less screen time and more activities this summer, The Fort offers many opportunities to expand those tiny horizons at summer camp. Read about a few places to take them in our So Campy article here.