2022 Summer Movie Preview: ‘Maverick,’ ‘Elvis’ and more on the way during the sunny season

When school’s out and the temperatures soar, that’s when dinosaurs, crawdads and a Gosling emerge.

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Looks like Tom Cruise finally will take to the skies again when “Top Gun: Maverick” arrives in theaters May 27.

Paramount Pictures

Hope springs eternal for our annual Summer Movie Preview, in that there’s a strong chance each of these films will actually meet their projected release dates and will not be delayed due to another mass shutdown of theaters nationwide.

Before we get to my choices for the 15 most anticipated movies headed our way this summer, a gentle reminder of the rules for those of you who are just beginning to launch yourselves from your sofas and head to the local cineplex:

  1. Prove to the world and to yourself that you’re not a child and you have the willpower to turn off your phone for two hours and never turn it back on, not once. You can do it!
  2. Please don’t talk during the movie.
  3. Please don’t talk during the movie.
  4. Please don’t talk during the movie.
  5. Please don’t talk during the movie.

Thank you! See you at the movies.

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ (May 6)

Feels like there’s a multiverse of multiverses these days, and I fully expect to get lost in the weeds at some point during this latest chapter from the Marvel catalog—but with Benedict Cumberbatch once again suiting up as the Sorcerer Supreme, we know there’s going to be some legit Shakespearean acting amidst all the mind-bending twists and dazzling CGI. Expect to see at least a couple of high-profile MCU cameos in this story, which picks up a few months after the events of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

‘Emergency’ (May 20)


RJ Cuyler (left) and Donald Elise Watkins in “Emergency.”

Amazon Studios

Already clocking in at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes after a triumphant Sundance showcase, “Emergency” is a buddy comedy with a social conscience, starring Donald Elise Watkins and RJ Cyler as college seniors who get mixed up in all sorts of hijinks straight out of a 1980s romp. The darkly funny slapstick material is said to also contain a good measure of biting and insightful commentary on the state of our country in 2022.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (May 27)

After nearly three years of postponements, the long-awaited sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” is finally here! We think. We hope. We’re sure of it! Tom Cruise’s Maverick is joined by his old rival/buddy Iceman (Val Kilmer), and new cast members include Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly and Miles Teller.

‘Hustle’ (June 8)

When Adam Sandler commits to a vehicle that’s more challenging than comedies in which he lazes around in baggy shorts and cracks wise with his buddies, he can be an electric presence onscreen, e.g., “Uncut Gems.” This would appear to be the latter sort of vehicle. In “Hustle,” Sandler plays one Stanley Sugarman, a down-and-out basketball scout who recruits a troubled but phenomenally talented street ball player. The supporting cast includes Robert Duvall, Queen Latifah and Ben Foster—and cameos from a number of NBA stars, including Trae Young and Seth Curry.

‘Jurassic World Dominion’ (June 10)

For me, nothing in the 30+ years of the “Jurassic” franchise has topped the pure rollercoaster-ride thrills of the original 1990 classic, but I’m keen to see this “Greatest Hits” edition, which teams more recent “Jurassic” stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with the original trio of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. I’m guessing the plot will have something to do with dinosaurs who are docile and manageable and totally under control—until they’re not!

‘Lightyear’ (June 17)

I love this idea from Pixar. We know Buzz Lightyear as an action figure from the “Toy Story” movies, but this is the origin story for the “real” test pilot/astronaut character, now voiced by Chris Evans. The voice cast also includes Keke Palmer, James Brolin, Taika Waititi and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

‘Elvis’ (June 24)

You might say we hardly need another Elvis movie and I would be inclined to agree with you—except this is a sure-to-be-lavish musical bio from the fertile mind of Baz Luhrmann (“Romeo + Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge”), with the on-the-verge-of-stardom Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker. That’s one for the money, two for the show!

‘The Black Phone’ (June 24)

Director Scott Derrickson’s 2005 film “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is one of the best supernatural horror movies of this century, so I hold great optimism for this Blumhouse Productions, 1970s-set chiller about a predator magician known as The Grabber (Ethan Hawke) whose latest kidnapping victim (Mason Thames) is somehow able to communicate with The Grabber’s past victims, even though they’re no longer of this world. The poster alone for this one is scarier than a lot of so-called horror films.

‘The Forgiven’ (July 1)


Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain in “The Forgiven.”

Roadside Attractions

Recent Oscar winner Jessica Chastain and the always compelling Ralph Fiennes play a married couple who accidentally strike and kill a local in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, leading to film noir repercussions.

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ (July 15)

Prestige Project Alert! Olivia Newman directs this adaptation of the hugely popular psychological thriller/murder mystery of the same name by Delia Owens. Set in the mid-20th century in the marshlands of North Carolina, “Where the Crawdads Sing” stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Taylor John Smith and features David Strathairn, who instantly improves any movie the moment he appears onscreen.

‘The Gray Man’ (July 15)


Ryan Gosling in “The Gray Man.”


Brothers Anthony and Joseph Russo are best known as the directors of four of the biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, including “Avengers: Endgame,” but as they proved with “Arrested Development” prior to their MCU run and with last year’s Tom Holland-starring “Cherry,” they can deftly handle all kinds of material. This time around, they’re helming an action thriller with a blockbuster cast, including Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Regé-Jean Page. Too bad they couldn’t find any good-looking stars.

‘Nope’ (July 22)

Jordan Peele has delivered two masterful horror films in “Get Out” and “Us,” creating great anticipation for “Nope,” which seems to have a kind of M. Night Shyamalan vibe (in a good way). Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer play a couple who own and run a ranch that trains horses for Hollywood productions. One night, something mysterious appears in the sky above the farm, and …

Can’t wait to find out. 

‘Not Okay’ (Aug. 5)


Zoey Deutch in “Not Okay.”

Searchlight Pictures

The wonderful Zoey Deutch stars in this satire as a rather lost young soul who fakes a trip to Paris to ramp up her social media presence. Real worlds and imaginary worlds reportedly collide in this comedy from actress/filmmaker Quinn Shephard.

‘Emily the Criminal’ (Aug. 12)


Aubrey Plaza in “Emily the Criminal.”

Roadside Attractions

Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for this thriller starring Aubrey Plaza as a college grad who is buried in debt and gets involved in a credit card scam.

‘Samaritan’ (Aug. 26)


Sylvester Stallone stars in “Samaritan.”


Yo! Sylvester Stallone is an iconic superhero named Joe Smith who went missing after losing an epic battle some 20 years ago and is thought to be retired—but a young boy named Sam (Javon Walton) believes Joe is alive and well and is hiding in plain sight among Earth’s mere mortals. If and when they do find Joe, I hope he doesn’t have to fight Clubber Lang or Ivan Drago again.

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