Summer Movie Preview 2016

Get movie critic Peter Travers' recommendations.

— -- There are about a hundred and one new films set to come out from Memorial Day to Labor Day! That's a lot to get through for even the most devoted of movie fans. But don't buy the popcorn or tickets until you've checked out film critic Peter Travers' summer movie preview. Of course, Hollywood studios are pulling out all the stops to compete for your attention.


The biggest blockbuster may already be out there with the release of “Captain America: Civil War.”

"I think at least 90 percent of the Avengers show up. So it’s not just a ‘Captain America’ movie. It’s an ‘Avengers’ movie,” said Travers, host of "Popcorn with Peter Travers." “It’s set up there as the beginning of summer to say to these other movies, 'I dare you. I dare you to beat me. We’re owning this until Labor Day.'"

The film stars hunky hero Chris Evans as Captain America facing off against Iron Man, played by movie tough guy Robert Downey Jr. The action-packed fan favorite has already crossed the billion dollar mark worldwide since its May 6 release.

But more blockbusters are coming! The list includes “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

"The big news here is the villain of the piece, Apocalypse, played by a great actor named Oscar Isaac, who through the whole movie has his skin painted blue-green," Travers said. "It’s an ugly looking thing so you wouldn’t be able to recognize him from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Poe Dameron) or "Ex Machina" (Nathan) or the movies he’s done. And I admire that in an actor."

“Star Trek: Beyond” also finds a place on Travers' list of movies you'll want to see.

"Again, the big news here is the villain. And the villain here is played Idris Elba, one of the great actors that we have,” said Travers. “If you’re gonna make it a summer of sequels, prequels, retreads, get somebody new and make them really, really good. It’s exciting to see somebody like Idris Elba do this.”

There is already big buzz about the all new “Jason Bourne” flick. Hard to believe the first in the film series was released in 2002.

"I’ve only seen pieces of this movie, but to me, it’s the movie I’m most excited about seeing this summer," Travers said. "Matt Damon is back to playing Jason Bourne with director Paul Greengrass, into a whole new world, a whole political world, putting this amnesiac spy into a new context, a current context. Summer is really all about action movies and this is the one I’m most eager to see."

Topping off the must-see summer blockbusters, “Suicide Squad.”

"There is that worry that ‘Batman v Superman’ made a ton of money, but people, the audience seemed to have a bad vibe about it. So they’re worried that 'Suicide Squad' might be too dark. I wouldn’t worry," said Travers. "Jared Leto is playing the joker. I’m anxious about it and at the same time I can’t wait to see it."


Summer is known for comedy. And there's no shortage of films trying to make us laugh. All eyes will be on "Ghostbusters" and its all-female cast. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones will join forces to fight off the supernatural.

Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island group have teamed up for “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” a satire flick about a fake rapper.

"It’s that rarest thing in a summer where everything is something that we’ve seen before. It’s déjà vu all over again, an original screenplay, a way to be funny where nobody went before. I’m amazed," said Travers.

"Central Intelligence," the comedy starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Kevin Hart, is also expected to draw fans.

"It's a sight gag disguised as a movie," Travers said. "The joke is basically Kevin Hart is really short. 'The Rock' is really tall. For some, that’s enough."

“War Dogs” the comedy from director Todd Phillips, who also directed the "Hangover" movies, is also expected to fill theaters. It stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as young arms dealers who land a U.S. military contract during the Iraq War.


According to Travers, this could potentially be a great summer for family friendly films right on the heels of the success of “Zootopia” and “The Jungle Book.” “Finding Dory” is up next in the world of animation.

"Everybody saw “Finding Nemo" and wondered, 'Why can’t there be sequel?'" Travers said. This time Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, will get lost and so begins the quest to find her.

"Pixar, as far as I’m concerned, can do no wrong. They just know what they’re doing," said Travers. "There’s another animated movie out there called 'The Secret Life of Pets.' Because I have a dog and a cat, I believe that when I shut that door in the morning, they have a secret life. And that’s what this movie is based on. You have people like Louis C.K. doing the voices. Who isn’t going to see that?"

The same cast is back for “Alice Through the Looking Glass” with Mia Wasikowski as Alice and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.

"Johnny Depp is so surprising this time as the Mad Hatter. He’s doing this role in ways you can’t imagine,” said Travers. “You’re in for a good time on that one."

“The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) is the newest flick from director Steven Spielberg.

"Mark Rylance, who just won Oscar for “Bridge of Spies,” is playing the giant, but he’s doing it through performance capture," explained Travers. "You know, where they wear those little green buttons and they can be expanded in size to do anything. This has a chance of maybe being the summer’s surprise blockbuster."

“Captain America: Civil War," “Finding Nemo,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” and “The BFG” are Walt Disney Productions, which is the parent company of ABC.

Be sure to watch the full video above for Peter Travers' complete summer preview breakdown. And find out which two actors make his "early Oscars buzz" list for their summer movie performances.