From The Lion King to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: the 10 most exciting films of summer 2019

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Credit: Andrew Cooper

Tarantino vs Almodóvar, The Rock vs The Stath: our critics pick the 10 cinematic highlights of July and August

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Tom Holland’s web-slinger runs afoul of cosmic ructions in London, Berlin and Venice, in a gap-year-ish Marvel adventure.

In cinemas from July 2

Never Look Away

This three-hour bildungsroman from The Lives of Others director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is loosely based on the shocking history of painter Gerhard Richter’s life in the Nazi era.

In cinemas from July 5

Vita and Virginia

Elizabeth Debicki is both Woolf and quarry in this literary biopic about the lesbian affair that inspired Orlando, based on the author’s private correspondence. Gemma Arterton co-stars as the vivacious Sackville-West.

In cinemas from July 5

The Dead Don’t Die

Danny Glover, Bill Murray and Adam Driver in Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die Credit: Frederick Elmes

Middle America eats itself alive in this half-droll, half-bleak satirical roundelay from Jim Jarmusch, in which Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver and Selena Gomez are beset by zombie hordes.

In cinemas from July 12

The Lion King

Is that a savannah-shaking roar, or just the ongoing rumble of the Disney remake juggernaut? Either way, here’s a meticulous, all-star CGI re-do of the studio’s 1994 hit, directed by Jon Favreau.

In cinemas from July 19

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

While the high-octane summer franchise pauses to refuel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham barrel on regardless, in a spin-off that pits the beefy twain against a part-cyborg Idris Elba.

In cinemas from August 2

Playmobil: The Movie

Daniel Radcliffe and Anya Taylor-Joy are among those lending their voices to Playmobil: The Movie Credit: Handout

It worked for Lego; now Playmobil jumps on the injection-moulding blockbuster bandwagon. Anya Taylor-Joy and Daniel Radcliffe voice the plastic people on a mission.

In cinemas from August 9

Blinded by the Light

Take Bend it Like Beckham, swap football for Bruce Springsteen, and you’ve got the gist of Gurinder Chadha’s coming-of-age comedy, adapted from Sarfraz Manzoor’s 2007 memoir.

In cinemas from August 9

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino delivers a flamboyant nostalgia trip, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt winking out a commentary on star power, before the timeline brings them bumping up against the 1969 Manson Family murders and things get very, very dark.

In cinemas from August 14

Transit

A German Jew plots his escape from an advancing fascist force in Christian Petzold’s eerie contemporary restaging of Anna Seghers’s Marseilles-set 1944 novel.

In cinemas from August 16

Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas stars in Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory Credit: Handout

Antonio Banderas rightly won Best Actor in Cannes for his portrait of a filmmaker swimming through faded memories, in Pedro Almodóvar’s mirror-gazing take on a painful upbringing healed by the therapeutic processes of art.

In cinemas from August 23

The Souvenir

In Eighties London, a naive film student is seduced by a chalk-striped civil servant. Joanna Hogg’s formally dazzling period piece is superbly acted; its breath-catching intimacy belies its state-of-the-nation oomph.

In cinemas from August 30

What summer films are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments below