Summer is around the corner and that familiar, unforgiving, Phoenix heat is coming with it. While lounging by a pool is always an option, sometimes only the power of a movie theater’s industrial air conditioner can cool everyone down. The only questions are, what’s playing now? What’s coming out? Will they be family-friendly? We’ve compiled a list of current and upcoming blockbusters the whole family can enjoy.

NOW IN THEATERS

Shazam!

Released April 5

PG-13

Warner Bros. Pictures

Superhero movies are reliant on big spectacle and large budgets, but this modest DC film is a funny and heartfelt take on the genre. The movie stars Asher Angel — a Scottsdale native who spent much of his early acting career performing at the Desert Stages Theatre — as Billy Batson, a young teen who can turn into a powerful superhero (Zachary Levi) by shouting “Shazam!” It’s very much like the movie “Big” but with superheroes and monsters. What makes this movie stand out is the emphasis on the importance of familial bonds, which isn’t something we see as often in superhero films. If the movie theater’s AC unit can’t cool you down, the film’s winter setting definitely will.

 

Avengers: Endgame

Released April 26

PG-13

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

This isn’t just a superhero movie, but rather a superhero epic. Worthy of comic legend Stan Lee’s great imagination, it’s another entry in the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here the Avengers work together to try and fix what the mad titan, Thanos, did in “Avengers: Infinity War.” The original Avengers return, along with many characters that have been introduced over the course of the franchise’s 23-film saga. Expect over-the-top action scenes, a heavy use of CGI and that trademark MCU wit. It’s easy to see why this movie has already crossed the $2 Billion mark worldwide. Be warned though, “Avengers: Endgame” clocks in at just over three hours, and there’s no great time to go to the bathroom.

 

Detective Pikachu

Released May 10

PG

Warner Bros. Pictures

This movie is based on the Japanese phenomenon Pokémon that became popular in the ’90s. “Detective Pikachu” is a quirky film starring Ryan Reynolds as the titular character. He works with up-and-coming actor Justice Smith to solve a mystery in Ryme city, a land where humans and the adorable, magical animals live together in harmony. While a much smaller film in scope, it’s sure to be a hit with young kids and fans of the property. 

 

COMING SOON

Aladdin

Release date: May 24

Rated PG

Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Here we have a live-action remake of the 1992 Disney animated masterpiece. “Aladdin” brings aboard the charismatic Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin. Purists might say that this new film can never compare to the original classic, but Disney has been successful with its other live-action remakes. This movie serves as a great excuse to introduce the Disney Renaissance to younger audiences.

 

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Release date: May 31

PG-13

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Godzilla franchise has come a long way from a man in a rubber costume wrecking a model of Tokyo. Its newest entry looks to be explosive and fun, joining all of the famous Toho monsters to duke it out. Starring Millie Bobby Brown from the hit show “Stranger Things,” this new Godzilla movie looks to be the epitome of the summer blockbuster.

 

The Secret Life of Pets 2 

Release date: June 7

PG

Universal Pictures

“The Secret Life of Pets 2” is a sequel, continuing the 3D-animated hit story of a dog named Max. Max and his friends, who are also pets, lead secret lives after their owners leave for work or school each day. Filled with great comedic talent like Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, this funny sequel looks to be a hit with kids and pet lovers alike. 

 

Men in Black: International

Release date: June 14

PG-13

Sony Pictures Releasing

Reuniting the chemistry of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson for another science fiction action adventure, “Men in Black: International” brings back the bizarre franchise of secretive government agents who fight aliens. This film seeks to expand the franchise’s in-story universe by taking Hemsworth and Thompson around the world to battle a gang of mischievous aliens.

 

Toy Story 4

Release date: June 21

G

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Pixar is reuniting all the classic toys from their first film to continue the story of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest. This time the gang embarks on a road trip with their owner, Bonnie, and a new toy named Forky. Tom Hanks, Woody Allen, Joan Cusack and most of the original cast return, along with a few new voices such as Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Keanu Reeves. JN

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