Movies

New Summer Movies 2022 Coming Out This Season: “After Ever Happy,” “Elvis,” & More

Teen romance, sharp satire, big budget theatrical releases, and more.

Summertime means the livin' is easy — which also means more time to kick back and enjoy all the best summer movies 2022 has to offer.

After two years of lower theater attendance due to the pandemic, the summer blockbuster is trying to make a big cinema comeback. But for those who are not yet able or comfortable being fully #outside again, the 2022 summer movie roster offers a nice balance between theater and home streaming releases to cater to all of our viewing preferences. The slate of movies coming out this summer is an awesome mix of brand new stories, reimagined favorites, and exciting final chapters. With so many options — dramas, horror, biopics, romance, comedies, action flicks, and animated family fun — making a choice for movie night might actually be a bit overwhelming this season.

But Teen Vogue has got your back. Below, we've curated a guide to the summer movies 2022 lineup, including all of our most eagerly-awaited picks. Dim the lights and grab a snack!

Sneakerella

Release date: May 13

Where to watch: Disney+

Heartwarming and inventive, Sneakerella takes the classic fairytale and sets it in the world of sneaker obsessives. El (Chosen Jacobs) is a sneakerhead and budding designer who dreams of sharing his kicks with the world. “If you put enough of yourself into a design,” he says, “it's gonna hit.” Enter Lexi Underwood's Kira, the daughter of a sneaker mogul who is looking for the next creative who can breathe life into a stalled company. The role cements Lexi as a Disney princess, and the movie as a whole is a fun addition to the Cinderella story mythology, reminding us all that our wildest dreams are sometimes just a fairy godparent away.

Emergency

Release date: Prime Video

Where to watch: May 27

Prime Video's upcoming satire Emergency's tagline is: “It's not what it looks like.” Soon-to-be college graduates and best friends Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and Sean (RJ Cyler) have a plan to party all night in a last gasp of college fun — the plan is thwarted when they start their pregame, only to find a girl passed out on the floor of their house. With no way to find her friends or who she is, their options are limited: if they call the police or drop her at the hospital or back at the party she came from, they risk police violence or being framed for crimes they didn't commit. Meanwhile, her sister (Sabrina Carpenter) is searching for her and tracking her phone, convinced they've kidnapped her. 

Emergency is a sharp commentary on police brutality, the cruelty of neighbors (even and especially the ones with Black Lives Matter signs on their front lawn), and the failures of police and systems ostensibly meant to keep people safe. But underneath is also a story about friendship, and history, and figuring out who you can trust to look out for you when the world won't.

Lightyear

Release date: June 17

Where to watch: Theaters

If you're in need of a dose of nostalgia this summer, Disney's Pixar has got you covered — the animation studio is bringing Toy Story hero Buzz Lightyear back to the big screen in his own spin-off movie. Lightyear will tell the “origin story” of the fictional astronaut who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure in the Toy Story films.

In Lightyear, Buzz (the man, not the toy) must find a way back home after he and his crew are accidentally marooned on a hostile planet. But when he takes a test flight he hopes could save them, he winds up time traveling decades into the future, coming face-to-face with a threat to the entire universe. Actor Chris Evans is a hero once more as the voice of Buzz Lightyear, and is joined in the voice cast by Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, James Brolin, Peter Sohn, and Orange Is the New Black actors Uzo Aduba and Dale Soules. (If you ever wondered what Buzz Lightyear's hair looked like under his helmet, this is your chance to find out!)

Elvis

Release date: June 24

Where to watch: Theaters

Elvis could potentially be Baz Luhrmann's Baz Luhrmann-iest film yet, and that's something to celebrate. He's a master of music-centric storytelling (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby's excellent soundtrack), which could be a great sign for the highly anticipated Elvis biopic. Austin Butler plays the titular role, busting out Elvis's iconic southern accent that he couldn't shake (rattle, roll) at the Met Gala, which he attended with Priscilla Presley (played in the film by Olivia DeJonge). The trailer is a compelling one, tying together threads of rock ‘n roll (and its roots in Black culture), 1950s and ‘60s politics and the Civil Rights Movement, and Elvis’s own history and rise to fame.

The Princess

Release date: July 1

Where to watch: Hulu

What can't Joey King do? In the first-look photos released by Hulu of The Princess, the actress takes on the titular character and is transformed into a blood-stained, sword-wielding warrior. Per IMDB, here's the official storyline of the new adventure film: “When a beautiful, strong-willed princess refuses to wed the cruel sociopath to whom she is betrothed, she is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower of her father's castle. With her scorned, vindictive suitor intent on taking her father's throne, the princess must protect her family and save her kingdom.” Though a trailer has yet to be released for the fantasy-action flick, it's evident from the few photos that have been dropped: Joey will definitely be kicking many butts and taking many names as The Princess.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Release date: July 6

Where to watch: Netflix

Adapted from Jennifer E. Smith's YA novel, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between is a feel-good romance about young love and imagining what your life is going to look like in five years, or 10, or 20. The film stars Jordan Fisher as Aidan and Talia Ryder as Clare — two high school sweethearts and graduates facing an uncertain future in their relationship. They're going to two different colleges, and the night before they leave their hometown, it's time to choose whether or not to break up. What ensues is a romantic, heartbreaking evening spent reminiscing on the moments that brought them together, and the ones that might break them apart for good.

Thor: Love and Thunder

Release date: July 8

Where to watch: Theaters

Though most superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe only get three standalone films, Thor is clearly the special exception. One extra for good luck, right? Thor: Love and Thunder is a follow-up to 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, which received critical acclaim for its storyline, acting, and action sequences under Taika Waititi's direction. Waititi has returned to lead the fourth installment of Thor's tale, and co-wrote the screenplay with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, most known for her work as the creator of the 2019 Netflix rom-com Someone Great (which makes sense when you think about the fact that Taika has described the new superhero film as a “full-blown love story”).

Here's the plot: following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Thor's journey to inner peace is interrupted by villain Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who has set out to eliminate all the gods. Thor is then forced to snap back into hero-mode alongside Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Waititi), and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) — who has taken on the mantle of Mighty Thor — to defeat evil one last time.

Thor: Love and Thunder will feature many familiar and favorite faces, including Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster character and the entire Guardians of the Galaxy crew. As one of the most highly anticipated films of the MCU's Phase Four, Thor: Love and Thunder promises surprises, laughs, and overall good time.

Nope

Release date: July 22

Where to watch: Theaters

Jordan Peele's next social thriller is almost here, and in true vague Jordan Peele fashion, we know almost nothing about the film — but that doesn't mean we're not excited! Nope stars Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Barbie Ferreira, and Brandon Perea, and according to the official logline, follows “the residents of a lonely gulch in inland California [who] bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.” The theories and predictions about what this “chilling discovery” is have already begun, with most people believing that the horror film's title is actually an acronym holding a major hint: could Nope stand for Not Of Planet Earth

While presenting an extended trailer for the film at Cinemacon 2022 in April, Jordan Peele said he wants to keep the mystery alive as long as possible, and wants folks to just "enjoy the damn movie." "I love a rapt audience saying, ''Nope!' or, 'Get out the house!' I love to encourage that interaction because that's what's giving the audience a unique experience," the filmmaker said at Cinemacon, per Entertainment Weekly. "Rollercoasters aren't fun alone. Being scared isn't fun alone. You need that energy." The trailer alone already has us yelling “nope” at our screens.

House Party

Release date: July 28

Where to watch: HBO Max

Written by Atlanta's head story editor Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, House Party is a fresh take on the 1990 cult-classic comedy of the same name starring Hip Hop duo Kid n' Play. This House Party for a new generation stars Jacob Latimore and Tosin Cole. According to HBO Max, the synopsis for House Party reads as follows: “When a pair of down on their luck house cleaners discover they're assigned to clean the mansion of Lebron James while he's overseas, they decide to make a life-changing decision to throw a giant party in a quest for immortality and some cash. As the party gets out of control and one of Lebron's championship rings goes missing, they will be launched into a wild night that they will never forget.” There's no official trailer for the comedy yet, but the first-look photos hint that House Party's bash will truly be an epic night.

Bullet Train

Release date: July 29

Where to watch: Theaters

Described by Sony Pictures as a "fun, delirious movie event," Bullet Train is one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the summer. Based on Japanese novel Maria Beetle by Kōtarō Isaka, the action-comedy-thriller follows five assassins aboard a bullet train heading from Tokyo to Kyoto, Japan, who soon come to realize that each of their missions are connected. Bullet Train boasts a star-studded ensemble cast, including Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Bad Bunny, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Logan Lerman, Andrew Koji, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Sandra Bullock. The bright and chaotic trailer has us ready to grab the popcorn.

Purple Hearts

Release date: July 29

Where to watch: Netflix

This YA novel adaptation of the book by Tess Wakefield is another one for the romance lovers. Sofia Carson plays an aspiring singer-songwriter named Cassie, who in the books is in dire need of healthcare and funds to pay down medical debt. Her solution is marriage, and a Marine named Luke (Nicholas Galitzine) might just be the one to make it work. If you love a fake relationship turned real relationship trope — with very real commentary about the state of the healthcare system in the U.S. — then Purple Hearts is one to watch.

After Ever Happy

Release date: August 24 (Europe) and September 7 (U.S.)

Where to watch: Netflix

The fourth installment of Tess (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin)'s epic love story arrives in August or September depending on where you live. After Ever Happy brings Hessa to a concluding point — at least until they become parents in future planned spinoffs. There's still plenty of drama to unpack before they get to that point: family scandals, pregnancy struggles, bar fights, and more.

"I thought we had a love that was out of a novel, and no matter how hard it was, we would survive to tell the story,” Tessa says in a voiceover in the trailer. Hardin is adamant, replying, “We can, we can survive.” “I don't wanna survive,” Tessa says. “I wanna live.”

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