Your guide to cinema’s spectacular summer blockbusters

Horrible Histories makes the leap from TV to the big screen and finds that the Britons are revolting

Horrible Histories makes the leap from TV to the big screen and finds that the Britons are revolting Photo: Nick Wall - Credit: Archant

With the school holidays fast approaching and with the British weather being notoriously unreliable when it comes to serving up bouts of sunshine, the cinema remains the go-to place for a reliable supply of summer entertainment.

(L to R) Bill Murray as "Officer Cliff Robertson", Chloe Sevigny as "Officer Minerva Morrison" and A

(L to R) Bill Murray as "Officer Cliff Robertson", Chloe Sevigny as "Officer Minerva Morrison" and Adam Driver as "Officer Ronald Peterson" in writer/director Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die, Photo: Abbot Genser / Focus Features - Credit: Abbot Genser / Focus Features

The bulk of Hollywood's output is poured into it's increasingly lengthy summer season of colourful (and expensive) blockbusters as they seek to entertain audiences with powerful mix of superhero spectacle, family-friendly animated comedy and edge-of-your-seat action-adventure.

But, there is always room for a little quirky counter-programming from indie directors and actors looking for an acting challenge away from their usual CGI-enhanced antics.

This year's mix looks better than ever...welcome to 2019's summer of fun on the big screen.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2)

Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Angourie Rice, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, JK Simmonds

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. Great to see the legendary JK Simmonds back as the cigar-chomping Spidey-hating J Jonah Jameson from the Sam Rami/Toby Maguire movies in the early noughties.

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Vita & Virginia (July 5)

Stars: Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones

It's the fascinating true story about the love affair between socialite and popular author Vita Sackville-West and literary icon Virginia Woolf.

The Dead Don't Die (July 12)

Stars: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi

The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves. Directed by Jim Jarmusch.

The Lion King (July 19)

Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Donald Glover

The photo-real CGI animated re-make of the Disney classic which will combine the feel of the cartoon original with the atmosphere of the best-selling stage show. After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.

The Current War (July 26)

Stars: Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen

The dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world

Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans (July 26)

Stars: Kim Cattrall, Warwick Davis, Nick Frost, Emilia Jones, Derek Jacobi, Rupert Graves, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Lee Mack, Alexander Armstrong

Roman teenager Atti is forced to join the Roman Army when one of his clever schemes falls foul of Emperor Nero. He is sent to "miserable, cold, wet Britain" where "the natives are revolting, quite literally". Things go from bad to worse when Atti is captured by Orla, a feisty teenage Celt desperate to prove herself as a warrior.

Meanwhile, a furious Nero is determined to crush the rebellion, led by Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. Atti rejoins his Roman troops and discovers they are preparing for an historic showdown with the Celts at the Battle of Watling Street. Atti's brains could save the day, but they could also spell disaster for Orla as the two new friends find themselves lined up on opposite sides of the battlefield.

Midsommar (Limited rolling release July 2019)

Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper

A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (August 1)

Stars: Vanessa Kirby, Dwayne Johnson, Eiza González, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

Blinded By The Light (August 9)

Stars: Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams, Dean-Charles Chapman, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon

In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher's Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Directed by Gurinder Chadha

(Bend It Like Beckham).

Playmobil (August 9)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Lambert, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Bateman

First there was The Lego Movie then came Playmobil. Animated feature film inspired by the Playmobil brand toys. Can lightning strike twice? It will all depend on the script. The Lego Movie was smart and irreverent, Playmobil will need to be smarter.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (August 14)

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. The return of director Quentin Tarantino following the film's award-winning premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Informer (August 30)

Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Ana de Armas, Common, Clive Owen, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Sam Spruell

An ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum security prison.

Downton Abbey (September 13)

Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Tuppence Middleton, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith

The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century. Writer Julian Fellowes will have his work cut out to better Gosford Park, Downton's predecessor and you have to wonder whether the series TV audience will turn out all these years later to see these characters revived on the big screen?

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