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HomeArts & EntertainmentYour Ultimate Guide to This Summer’s Best Movies (Balck Widow and F9)

Your Ultimate Guide to This Summer’s Best Movies (Balck Widow and F9)

The month ahead will bring the returns of Fast and Furious 9 and Black Widow, a What We Do in the Shadows spinoff from New Zealand, new films from Steven Soderbergh and Questlove, the year's most bizarre dating series, and more. In the gallery on this page, our editors have selected the most interesting TV and movie titles debuting at home in the next month, listed in order by premiere date.

Heading to HBO Max after making its world premiere at Tribeca in June, where critics had mostly good things to say (and a few complaints about an overly complex plot), Steven Soderbergh's pandemic-shot thriller is set in 1954 Detroit, where a group of small-time thieves are hired to steal a document only for their plans to go horribly wrong, causing the group to search for who hired them—and why. The terrific ensemble cast features Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Amy Seimetz, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, and Brendan Fraser, while Ed Solomon (the Bill & Ted films, plus Soderbergh's HBO miniseries Mosaic) provides the screenplay.

A trio of horror films based on a series of R.L. Stine books—Fear Street Part One: 1994, Fear Street Part Two: 1978, and Fear Street Part Three: 1666—will come to Netflix on consecutive Fridays this month after plans for a theatrical release last year were scrapped for obvious reasons. All three films take place in the same town (Shadyside) but in different time periods, and director Leigh Janiak (Honeymoon) has cited different influences for each: Scream for 1994, which centers on a group of teenage friends who accidentally trigger the ancient evil plaguing their town, Friday the 13th (and other slasher classics) for the summer camp-set 1978, and Terence Malick's The New World for the 1666-set origin story that concludes the series.

It might be the best music festival you've never seen. The new documentary Summer of Soul compiles previously unseen footage from the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969—footage that has been sitting in a basement for decades until now in spite of a packed lineup that includes Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B.B. King, and Sly and the Family Stone, just to name a few. Already one of the best-reviewed films of 2021, the directorial debut from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson wowed (virtual) attendees at Sundance early this year, when the film swept the top documentary awards from the festival jury and audience members. If you are willing to brave theaters, you can also catch Soul on the big screen in July in conjunction with its Hulu debut.

Time travel? Check. A battle against invading aliens for the survival of the human race? Check. Chris Pratt? Check. The Tomorrow War would seem to have all the ingredients for a summer tentpole film, save one: movie theaters. Instead, the film is an Amazon exclusive after the streamer purchased the rights from Paramount for a reported $200 million. Yvonne Strahovski, Betty Gilpin, J.K. Simmons, and Sam Richardson also star for first-time live-action director Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie).

The aforementioned Sam Richardson also stars (alongside Milana Vayntrub) in the just-released Werewolves Within, a comedic horror film based on the Ubisoft videogame of the same name, which will be available on VOD and through digital outlets on July 2nd as well.

FX recently announced that its Black Widow will return for its third season on September 2nd watch on web:

It's not often that a former president attempts to remake Schoolhouse Rock, but here you go. Arriving (appropriately enough) on Independence Day, these 10 animated, three-minute-long civics lessons are set to original songs performed by the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Adam Lambert, H.E.R., Brandi Carlile, Andra Day, and Bebe Rexha. The series comes from Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins) and is produced by Barack and Michelle Obama along with Kenya Barris.

The widely praised, Lonely Island-produced sketch comedy series from SNL veteran Tim Robinson returns for a second season a little over two years after it first debuted. Featuring gloriously uncomfortable and often surreal sketches that often hinge on "a character who is gloriously, spectacularly wrong—yet refuses to budge, lest they be humiliated by copping to their own wrongness," in the words of Wired culture writer Peter Rubin, the unique I Think You Should Leave is one of those rare sketch shows that is easy to return to again and again. And now you'll have six new episodes to (re)visit, and they'll find Robinson joined by guests like Bob Odenkirk, John Early, Brooks Wheelan, Tim Heidecker, Paul Walter Hauser, and Robinson's frequent collaborator (and Detroiters co-star) Sam Richardson.

A sequel to the Pixar films Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University, this new Disney+ animated series returns the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Bonnie Hunt, John Ratzenberger, and Jennifer Tilly and adds Ben Feldman, Henry Winkler, Mindy Kaling, Lucas Neff, and Aisha Tyler. The story is set at Monsters, Incorporated where a new employee must recalibrate his expectations after he learns that scaring children is out and making them laugh is in.

The former CW teen soap, which ran from 2007-12, is back as an HBO Max exclusive. This follow-up series comes from Joshua Safran, one of the original show's writers, and centers on a new (and more diverse) group of mostly wealthy students at a private New York high school in the present day. While that means a new cast—you won't see any of the original characters—Kristen Bell does return as the narrator. Half of the 12-episode debut season will air this summer, while the remaining six episodes will stream in the fall. The first episode (but only that one) will also air on The CW on July 9 at 8p.

Available to Disney+ subscribers for an additional rental fee on the same day as its theatrical release, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends a nearly unprecedented two-year gap between Marvel movies. (The only other hiatus of a similar length ran from 2008 to 2010.) The focus of the film's spy story, obviously, is on Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow—though she's not the only Black Widow in the film, which finds Florence Pugh joining the MCU as Yelena Belova and Rachel Weisz possibly playing a third Black Widow (and also Iron Maiden/Melina Vostokoff). David Harbour (Stranger Things), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale), and William Hurt also star for first-time Marvel director Cate Shortland (best known for her Australian indie drama Somersault). Though Shortland was inspired by Thelma and Louise and No Country for Old Men, expect plenty of action in a film whose most obvious inspiration within the MCU itself is Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The latest pop culture retrospective from CNN follows recent looks at movies and, just a few months ago, the history of late night TV. This new eight-part series traces the history of TV comedy, with episodes organized thematically around topics like the American family and the sexual revolution (which happen to both air back-to-back the night of July 11th, followed by weekly installments). In addition to plenty of great clips, the series includes 180 new interviews with sitcom stars and creators such as Norman Lear, Ted Danson, Tina Fey, Carl Reiner, Lisa Kudrow, Chuck Lorre, Tracy Morgan, Jason Alexander, Dick Van Dyke, Jimmie Walker, Dan Levy, Mel Brooks, Tim Allen, George Lopez, and more.

FX recently announced that its Fast and Furious 9 will return for its third season on September 2nd watch on web:

Making its American debut three years after it first aired in New Zealand, this mockumentary-style TV series spinoff from the original What We Do in the Shadows film should appeal to fans of the hit FX TV show also based on that movie. ("Should appeal" is understating things; you'll like this if you liked either version of Shadows.) Three of the movie's stars, Karen O'Leary, Michael Minogue, and Maaka Pohatu, reprise their film roles in Wellington as clueless cops who are members of their city's paranormal policing unit, and the series was created by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, who were also responsible for both the film and its American TV spinoff. Two new episodes air back-to-back on day one, and all episodes will be available to stream on HBO Max the day after they air on The CW.

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