35 Movies We're Excited to See in 2022

Superheroes, dinosaurs, and a familiar guy named Buzz will be waiting at a theater near you.

summer movies 2022
Design by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist

Following the runaway box-office success of Spiderman: No Way Home, The Batman, and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it's tempting to declare that the movies are "back." At the very least, people are returning to theaters to see their favorite comic-book heroes on the biggest screen possible, and earlier this spring the science-fiction action-comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once showed that a relatively "smaller" film can still break through if enough people tell their friends to go see the funny movie with the hot-dog fingers.

As we approach the summer, typically the height of blockbuster season, there will be plenty of movies to see, both on streaming and in theaters. Tom Cruise's return to the sky, Top Gun: Maverick, one of the most frequently delayed movies of the pandemic, will finally see the light of day, along with a whole new roster of thrillers, comedies, remakes, dramas, Marvel superhero flicks, non-Marvel superhero flicks, and, yes, even a movie about the "origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on."

These are the movies to see in 2022.

ALSO READ: The Best Movies of 2022

tom cruise in top gun maverick
Paramount Pictures

Top Gun: Maverick

Release date: May 27 in theaters
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm
Director: Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion)
Why we're excited: Do you feel the need... the need for speed? After years of flying helicopters, racing motorcycles, and leaping off of buildings in the increasingly adrenaline-obsessed Mission: Impossible series, daredevil movie star Tom Cruise returns to the cockpit of a fighter jet for this long-rumored sequel to his 1986 Tony Scott flight school adventure. Miles Teller will play Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards' Goose from the original, so expect lots of life lessons, barroom sing-alongs, and, yes, some beach volleyball. Take us back to the danger zone, ASAP. —Dan Jackson
(Watch the trailer)

Crimes of the Future

Release date: June 3 in theaters 
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart
Director: David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises)
Why we're excited: Even if we didn't know anything about this movie we'd be excited for David Cronenberg's return to filmmaking after eight years, but we do know what it's about so we're very pleased to say the master of body horror has returned to what he's greatest at. The film follows two surgical performance artists living in the future who tattoo and remove organs in front of an audience, and discover a strange conspiracy involving humans growing new strange body parts where they shouldn't be. Sounds good to us!! —Emma Stefansky
(Watch the trailer)

Fire Island

Release date: June 3 on Hulu
Cast: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, Margaret Cho
Director: Andrew Ahn (Spa Night)
Why we're excited: Loosely inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this romantic comedy follows two best friends, played by stand-up comic Joel Kim Booster and SNL breakout Bowen Yang, on a trip to New York's legendary gay vacation party spot. Expect plenty of decadent laughs, but also a high level of style and grace courtesy of director Andrew Ahn, who emerged with the tender indie features Spa Night and Driveways. —DJ
(Watch the trailer)



Release date: June 8 on Netflix
Cast: Adam Sandler, Ben Foster, Robert Duvall, Queen Latifah
Director: Jeremiah Zagar (We the Animals)
Why we're excited: If there's one thing Adam Sandler loves it's basketball, and we're thrilled that he's once again in a movie that unites his passions. We the Animals director Jeremiah Zagar helms this Netflix film that casts Sandler as a 76ers scout who wants to coach one day. He finds a street ball player in Spain who might finally elevate his career. Expect many cameos from ball stars and Sandler at his most hangdog. —Esther Zuckerman
(Watch the trailer)

sam neill laura dern jurassic world
Universal Pictures

Jurassic World Dominion

Release date: June 10 in theaters
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, some dinosaurs
Director: Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World series)
Why we're excited: Everyone who loves both the original Jurassic Park movies and the Jurassic World series will find something to get hype about with this next installment, whether it's the period-accurate dinosaurs in the already released prologue, the original cast returning, or the concept of a world once more overrun by giant reptiles. —ES
(Watch the prologue)


Release date: June 17 in theaters
Cast: Chris Evans, Taika Waititi
Director: Angus MacLane (Finding Dory)
Why we're excited: Did you know that the Buzz Lightyear toy from the Toy Story movies wasn't just an action figure, but a fictional property from a popular sci-fi movie? Well, apparently, he is, and Lightyear essentially acts as the film young Andy saw that made him want a Buzz of his own so badly. Even if Disney nowadays is over-bloated with original stories and spinoffs, the Pixar animation looks gorgeous in an intergalactic Space Ranger landscape, and Chris Evans is sure to take us to infinity and beyond. —Sadie Bell
(Watch the teaser)


Release date: June 17 on Netflix
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Journee Smollett
Director: Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion)
Why we're excited: Netflix is adapting a classic George Saunders short story about a group of convicts serving out their sentences in a facility that tests various medications. Some of them are pleasant, making the subjects talkative or flirty, and some are more dangerous, causing psychosis and depression. When one of the inmates discovers what they're really testing, he makes it his mission to escape, whatever the cost. —ES
(Watch the trailer)

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Release date: June 17 in theaters and Apple TV+
Cast: Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann
Director: Cooper Raiff (Shithouse)
Why we're excited: Cooper Raiff's second feature after his low-key college movie Shithouse was a mild sensation out of this year's all-digital Sundance Film Festival. The movie stars Raiff himself as an aimless post-grad who finds a career as a Bar and Bat Mitzvah hype man where he repeatedly encounters Dakota Johnson, a young mother with an autistic daughter. Raiff operates with overwhelming sweetness that pervades this slyly sad film. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)


Release date: June 24 in theaters
Cast: Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge, Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Director: Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)
Why we're excited: Baz Luhrmann hasn't made a feature film since 2013's The Great Gatsby, but he's back with this biopic about The King starring Austin Butler, who had a brief appearance in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Luhrmann is a master of excess, so we can only assume he'll go overboard here, and it could be just the kind of shiny treat we're craving. Or it could be another Australia. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

ethan hawke in the black phone
Universal Pictures

The Black Phone

Release date: June 24 in theaters
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Davies, James Ransone
Director: Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still)
Why we're excited: In movies like The Purge and Sinister, Ethan Hawke displayed a gift for bringing depth and psychological nuance to twist-filled horror tales. This '70s-set adaptation of a short story from author Joe Hill comes from the director of Sinister and finds Hawke in the villain role, playing a serial killer known by the creepy moniker "The Grabber." Spooky! —DJ
(Watch the trailer)

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Release date: June 24 in theaters
Cast: Jenny Slate, Isabella Rosselini, Dean Fleischer-Camp
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
Why we're excited: Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate bring their beloved internet character Marcel, the tiny shell who wears shoes, to the big screen. The narrative they've crafted for their ingenious little guy is one about family and loss in the form of a mockumentary as Marcel and his Nana Connie (Isabella Rosselini) grapple with their missing community. It's adorable and tear-jerking. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

Thor: Love and Thunder

Release date: July 8 in theaters
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale
Director: Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok)
Why we're excited: Who isn't excited for another Thor movie? By far the weirdest and most fun of the Marvel heroes (barring maybe the Guardians of the Galaxy), Thor is always up to something bizarre, and this time it looks like Natalie Portman's Jane Foster will be picking up the fabled hammer. —ES
(Watch the trailer)

Where the Crawdads Sings

Release date: July 15 in theaters
Cast: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Harris Dickinson, and Taylor John Smith
Director: Olivia Newman (First Match)
Why we're excited: This may sound like the title of a fake drama discussed on 30 Rock (think The Rural Juror), but it is in fact a real movie based on Delia Owens' bestselling novel of the same name. Daisy Edgar-Jones' career has really taken off since 2020's Normal People, and yet this will be her first major starring role on the big screen (her Sundance movie Fresh debuted on Hulu). She leads this thriller as Kya, a young woman who grew up in the North Carolina marsh in the '50s and '60s and becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a hometown hero (Harris Dickinson) with who she was once involved. (Swifities out there will also be excited to know that Taylor Swift contributed an original song to the soundtrack.) —SB
(Watch the trailer)

The Gray Man

Release date: July 15 on Netflix
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Dhanush
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Why we're excited: The directors of various Avengers movies are taking on a potential new franchise: The novels of author Mark Greaney, who collaborated with Tom Clancy on his Jack Ryan novels and wrote his own series about a CIA operative known as the Gray Man. Gosling stars as Court Gentry, a CIA assassin who goes on the run after he discovers incriminating information about the agency, and Evans plays the agent leading the manhunt to catch him. —ES
(Watch the trailer)

daniel kaluuya nope
Universal Pictures


Release date: July 22 in theaters
Cast: Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott
Director: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Why we're excited: We really don't know that much about the plot for Jordan Peele's latest, but we know it's called Nope, which rules, and we know it's got a great cast including Peele's Get Out collaborator Daniel Kaluuya. All signs point to this ruling, and the creepy, mysterious trailer only has more intrigued. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

House Party

Release date: July 28 on HBO Max
Cast: Jacob Latimore, Tosin Cole, Karen Obilom, and DC Young Fly
Director: Calmatic
Why we're excited: There are a lot of very cool people involved with this HBO Max-exclusive remake of the '90s cult comedy House Party, which originally starred hip-hop duo Kid 'n Play. LeBron James is among the producers, Atlanta writers Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori are behind the screenplay, and it marks the feature-film directorial debut of Grammy-winning music video director Calmatic. (The "Old Town Road" video? Yep, that's him, as are videos from Anderson .Paak, Vince Staples, and others.) You can guarantee the contemporary take on the movie about a high schooler (Latimore) sneaking into his friend's house party will be very stylish and have a great updated soundtrack. —SB

Bullet Train

Release date: August 5 in theaters
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Zazie Beets, Joey King, Michael Shannon
Director: David Leitch (Deadpool 2)
Why we're excited: Fresh off his Oscar win for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Brad Pitt gets his own John Wick-like action vehicle from David Leitch, the co-director of John Wick and other action throw-downs like Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2. As you probably guessed from the title and the talent involved, Pitt plays an assassin on a bullet train. Do you really need to know anything else? —DJ
(Watch the trailer)

Bodies Bodies Bodies

Release date: August 5 in theaters 
Cast: Maria Bakalova, Pete Davidson, Myha'la Herrold, Lee Pace, Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Sennott, and Chase Sui Wonders
Director: Halina Reijn
Why we're excited: Who doesn't love a summer teen slasher? This one written by playwright Sarah DeLappe, based on a short story by "Cat Person" writer Kristen Roupenian, looks like an A24-ified, extremely Gen Z take on the horror-comedy genre. The ensemble cast is populated by some of the trendiest names in young Hollywood right now, like Shiva Baby breakout and comedian Rachel Sennott, and also Lee Pace, who plays somebody's much older boyfriend. It follows a group of 20-something friends staying at a family mansion during a massacre who are one dark party game away from everything going very, very wrong—meaning it looks like we're in for a modern Slumber Party Massacre and a bloody fun time. —SB
(Watch the trailer)


Release date: August 5 in theaters
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth
Director: Andrew Semans
Why we're excited: One of the best films out of this year's Sundance was this wonderfully bugnuts thriller from director Andrew Semans starring Rebecca Hall in what is sure to be one of the best performances of the year. (She does a one-take monologue that is absolutely staggering.) Hall plays a woman who is unsettled when a man from her past (Tim Roth) reappears. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Release date: August 31 in theaters
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba
Director: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Why we're excited: Any new film from master of his craft George Miller is reason to get excited, and this time the director is following up what is arguably his masterpiece, Mad Max: Fury Road. Three Thousand Years of Longing is, ostensibly, on a smaller scale, but leave it to George Miller to make a story that takes place in a hotel room an epic. Swinton plays a narratologist in Istanbul for a conference on storytelling. In a bazaar she purses a blue bottle that she comes to learn contains a Djinn (Idris Elba in his best work to date). He wants her to ask for three wishes so he can be set free; she's reluctant as she knows what comes of wishing. He tells her the story of his life, taking the viewer back in time. It's sumptuous and romantic and deeply weird. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Release date: August TBA
Cast: Masako Nozawa, Toshio Furukawa, Yūko Minaguchi, Ryō Horikawa, Mayumi Tanaka
Director: Tetsuro Kodama
Why we're excited: After the record-breaking 2019 hit Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the Dragon Ball franchise is getting its 21st movie. Not only will there be a team of (evil) superheroes in Super Hero, Goku and his boys sport some Wes Anderson-approved hipster eyewear before going super saiyan. Kamehameha, bitches!! —Leanne Butkovic
(Watch the trailer)

Salem's Lot

Release date: September 9 in theaters
Cast: Lewis Pullman, Bill Camp, Spencer Treat Clark, Alfre Woodard
Director: Gary Dauberman (Annabelle Comes Home)
Why we're excited: The writer of the Conjuring movies definitely knows his way around horror, so we aren't surprised to see him taking on one of Stephen King's best and most well-known novels. When a writer returns to his hometown of Jerusalem's Lot, he discovers that its residents are living under the pall of a sinister vampiric force. —ES

viola davis the woman king
Sony Pictures

The Woman King

Release date: September 16 in theaters
Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega
Director: Gina Prince-Blythewood (The Old Guard)
Why we're excited: Viola Davis is THE Woman King in Gina Prince-Blythewood's historical saga set in West Africa's once-powerful and long-reigning Kingdom of Dahomey. Davis, in a movie she calls her "magnum opus," plays Nanisca, the general of the kingdom's all-woman military unit, and The Underground Railroad's Thuso Mbedu stars as Nawi, an eager young recruit. They fight off threats to save their people and homeland. —LB

Don't Worry Darling

Release date: September 23 in theaters
Cast: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan
Director: Olivia Wilde (Booksmart)
Why we're excited: Olivia Wilde is following up her acclaimed comedy Booksmart with a genre pivot, this time bringing us a sexy thriller starring Florence Pugh as a 1950s housewife. Harry Styles is also entering the mid-century in his biggest film role since Dunkirk. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

Catherine Called Birdy

Release date: September 23 in theaters
Cast: Bella Ramsey, Joe Alwyn, Billie Piper, and Andrew Scott
Director: Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture)
Why we're excited:Girls was and forever will be an incredible TV show, so we're always keeping an eye out for more directorial work from Lena Dunham. To follow up her shocking Sundance sex comedy Sharp Stick, the filmmaker is going a much different route with an adaptation of Karen Cushman's medieval-set YA novel about a cunning 14-year-old trying to defy her father's greedy plan to marry her off. It's long been a passion project of Dunham's, and it'll be interesting to see how she brings the story about an adventurous, ahead-of-her-time girl living in a harsh 13th-century world to the screen. —SB
(Watch the teaser)


Release date: September 30 in theaters
Cast: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Bowen Yang
Director: Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors)
Why we're excited: Billy Eichner, who co-wrote Bros with director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), plays a podcaster tasked with writing a "relatable" gay rom-com by a major movie studio while his own real-life gay rom-com plays out. Very meta! Very funny! And, as the first film from a major studio starring a predominately LGBTQIA+ principal cast, very gay! —LB
(Watch the trailer)

Halloween Ends

Release date: October 14 in theaters
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Andi Matichak
Director: David Gordon Greene (Halloween Kills)
Why we're excited: Admittedly, the most recent Halloween sequel, Halloween Kills, was a letdown after David Gordon Green's first reboot, spending too much time with dull ancillary characters and locking Jamie Lee Curtis in a hospital for too much of its runtime. But hopefully the creative team was just stalling so they can deliver a barnburner of a three-quel and send everyone's favorite jumpsuit-wearing serial murderer Michael Myers out in style. At least, until he gets inevitably gets resurrected again. —DJ

Black Adam

Release date: October 21 in theaters
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Shahi, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan)
Why we're excited: Not to be outdone by the heroic Shazam, antihero Black Adam is getting his own spinoff. First a comic book villain, Black Adam, with his abilities centered in the mythology of ancient Egypt, is now more concerned with clearing his name. —ES

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Release date: November 11 in theaters
Cast: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman
Director: Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)
Why we're excited: With the first Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler, along with the film's wildly gifted cast and crew, reinvented and expanded what a "Marvel movie" could be. Arriving so soon after the tragic death of star Chadwick Boseman, this sequel will reportedly not recast the main role, which presents a series of creative challenges. What is a Black Panther movie without Boseman? That's the question Wakanda Forever will inevitably attempt to wrestle with. —DJ

The Menu

Release date: November 18 in theaters
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Ralph Fiennes, Judith Light, John Leguizamo
Director: Mark Mylod
Why we're excited: Firm details about The Menu are scant, but these are the major selling points: Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult play a foodie couple who travel to a remote island to eat a high-end restaurant's tasting menu; Ralph Fiennes is the famous, eccentric chef in charge of the meal, which is surely full of strange and shocking surprises; and Succession director/executive producer Mark Mylod helms it while Adam McKay executive produces. It could be a great dark satire about the food industry's elitism or a McKay clunker, but we're choosing to remain hopeful. —LB

Creed III

Release date: November 23 in theaters
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Phylicia Rashad
Director: Michael B. Jordan
Why we're excited: Creed II was a solid but not exactly remarkable sequel to 2015's franchise reinvigorating Creed. This new entry in the series is directed by star Michael B. Jordan and will reportedly not feature Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa, which could at least point the movie in a new, potentially exciting direction. —DJ

The Fablemans

Release date: November 23 in theaters
Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Paul Dano, Gabriel LaBelle
Director: Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)
Why we're excited: Spielberg reunites with Tony Kushner following West Side Story for what is set to be his most personal work to date, a semi-autobiographical story which will plumb his relationship with his own family. Much of the director's work has wrestled with the ideas of parents and children, but here he gets explicit. —EZ

avatar 2
20th Century Studios

Release date: December 16 in theaters
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Sigourney Weaver
Director: James Cameron (Avatar)
Why we're excited: It's been 84 years… well, technically just 12, but it feels like a lifetime since we first saw the far-off moon of Pandora and its blue-skinned extraterrestrials. Jakesully and Neytiri have made a family amongst the Na'vi, but when trouble strikes the group has to head to different regions of the world to fight off the returning human threat. —ES
(Watch the teaser)

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Release date: December 21 in theaters
Cast: Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler
Director: David F. Sandberg (Shazam!)
Why we're excited: The first Shazam was a pleasant surprise: a goofy, clever superhero tale that didn't overstay its welcome. As is often the case with comic book movies, this sequel will likely attempt to expand on and top its predecessor with more villains, more jokes, and more action, but we hope returning director David F. Sandberg and star Zachary Levi help it retain some of the relatively low-key charm of the original. —DJ


Release date: December 25 in theaters
Cast: Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Samara Weaving
Director: Damien Chazelle (First Man)
Why we're excited: Damien Chazelle is returning to La La Land with his next project, a starry take on the Hollywood of yore. Margot Robbie is apparently playing silent film icon Clara Bow, and we're all in. —EZ

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