Fasten your seatbelts for thrills in everything from ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’
Finally, Tom Cruise gets to soar again on the big screen.
Not that Mr. Cruise hasn’t done daredevil stunts, such as actually doing his own HALO jump in “Mission Impossible: Fallout” (2018). But it’s been almost 30 years since he played a hotshot fighter pilot in “Top Gun.”
Now he’s back as Maverick in a sequel whose release was delayed by the pandemic: “Top Gun: Maverick.”
That’s among the highlights of a spring movie season that’s full of thrills, such as the magic in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (a sequel or a prequel depending on your perspective) and Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” And there will be reasons for laughs as Sandy Bullock and Channing Tatum stumble around in an adventure in “The Lost City” and Nicolas Cage pokes fun at himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”
Marvel will introduce movie audiences to yet another character in “Morbius,” and families might want to see “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”
Here are the scheduled release dates for movies up on the big screen.
“The Lost City” (rated PG-13): Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star as a romance novelist and her cover model, who end up on an unexpected adventure complete with comedy. Watch for the Brad Pitt cameo.
“Morbius” (PG-13): Is he a hero or a villain? Well, Morbius (Jared Leto) is more of an anti-hero as he does his best to resist his vampiric urges in this Marvel Studios movie.
“Ambulance” (R): Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star as two adoptive brothers who become bank robbers to pay for one brother’s wife’s medical bills. Well, things don’t go according to plan, and they end up with unexpected hostages in an ambulance in a high-speed chase.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (R): The talented Michelle Yeoh — if she’s in a movie, that’s reason enough to see it — stars in this sci-fi comedy as the only one who can save the world. She just has to explore parallel universes. No pressure.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (rating to be determined): This film is a mix of animation and live action, although arguably live action actor Jim Carrey is naturally animated. Mr. Carrey is back as the villainous Dr. Robotnik, who brings his ally Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elbra) to take on the heroes — Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) and Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey),
“Father Stu” (R): Mark Wahlberg stars as Stuart Long, a boxer-turned-priest, in this true story. The film also stars Mel Gibson.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (PG-13): Jude Law plays Dumbledore in a prequel to the “Harry Potter” franchise and a sequel to the previous “Fantastic Beasts” movies starring Eddie Redmayne. Mr. Redmayne, of course, is back as Newt Scamander, who has a magical knack for connecting with animals.
“The Bad Guys” (PG): Mr. Wolf (voice of Sam Rockwell) and his fellow animal buddies set out to prove they don’t have to be stereotypical villains in this animated comedy. But how successful will they be when they try to be heroes?
“The Northman” (rating to be determined): A young Viking tries to avenge his father’s death in this movie starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Alexander Skarsgård and someone who appeared virtually at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Nicole Kidman.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (rating to be determined): Nicolas Cage plays himself in this fictional story that also stars Pedro Pascal and Tiffany Hadish. This action comedy’s adventure begins when Nicolas goes to a billionaire fan’s birthday party.
“Memory” (R): An assassin-for-hire (played by Liam Neeson) refuses an assignment. That doesn’t sit well with the people who wanted to hire him, and he ends up being their target.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (rating to be determined): Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruits help from the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in the latest Marvel Studios epic.
“Firestarter”: Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong star in this remake about a kid who can turn fire into a dangerous weapon.
“Downton Abbey: A New Era”(PG): Dominic West, Laura Haddock and, of course, Maggie Smith star in the latest movie inspired by the PBS series about the upper and lower classes.
“Men” (rating to be determined): Jessie Buckley stars as Harper, who retreats to the countryside, only to find she’s in danger.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” (PG-13): The animated Fox TV series comes to the big screen.
“Top Gun: Maverick” (PG-13): Tom Cruise is back as the hotshot fighter pilot in this long-awaited sequel. And there’s a Santa Barbara County connection with the “Top Gun” franchise. Montecito rocker Kenny Loggins sang the original movie’s signature song, “Danger Zone.”