Entertainment

15 Movies Coming Out This Summer That Both Kids And Parents Will Enjoy

What are some of your favorite films to watch as a family?

Grab some popcorn, because the summer movie season is here! When school’s out, movie theaters are packed with people ready to see the biggest blockbusters of the year. But with so many to choose from, how can you tell what’s worth your time (and ticket)? We’ve gathered up the most-anticipated movies of the summer for kids, tweens and teens to help you figure it out.

This year is all about superheroes, from the action-packed Pixar sequel “Incredibles 2” to the animated fun of “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.” There’s also plenty of inspiring documentaries that even kids will enjoy, chronicling luminaries such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fred Rogers, and the Pope himself. And don’t forget popular sequels and spin-offs like “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” and “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.”

This guide is here to help you make the most of your summer trip to the movies. And be sure to check out Common Sense Media when the movies are released for full reviews.  

1. “RBG”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “RBG” is a biographical documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Using interviews with Ginsburg herself as well as with others who know or follow her, it tells her life story, from her early legal battles to becoming a political (and pop cultural) force on the Supreme Court. Expect some salty language and complex themes, but overall this looks like an inspiring pick about a real-life role model for girls and women.

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2. “Lu Over The Wall”

Target age: Kids and tweens

What’s the buzz? “Lu over the Wall” puts an anime twist on a classic fairy tale as a tween musician forms a bond with a singing mermaid. Lonely middle schooler Kai (voiced by Michael Sinterniklaas) forms a rock band with two of his classmates, only to be surprised during band practice by a young mermaid girl named Lu (Christine Marie Cabanos) whose tail turns to legs when she hears the music. Expect some action, peril, and intense themes in this colorful animated movie.

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3. “Pope Francis — A Man of His Word”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word” is a documentary about the current head of the Catholic Church. It looks at his approach to both faith and facing the challenges of the modern world. Featuring interviews with Pope Francis himself (subtitled from his native Spanish), the film looks at the popularity of the inclusive messages that he brings to the world. It’s likely safe to expect very little iffy content, but the subject and themes may not interest younger kids.

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4. “Show Dogs”

Target age: Kids

What’s the buzz? “Show Dogs” is a family-friendly comedy that looks to answer the question of what you’d get if you combined “Miss Congeniality” with “Best in Show.” Macho police dog Max (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) — with the help of his human partner, Frank (Will Arnett) — must go undercover at a prestigious Las Vegas dog show.

This looks like it will have plenty of rude humor, suggestive language, and action sequences but ultimately will be kid-friendly. Alan CummingStanley TucciNatasha LyonneRuPaulGabriel Iglesias, and Shaquille O’Neal co-star.

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5. “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a stand-alone prequel directed by Ron Howard that, like “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” takes place before “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” It tells the story of a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich, in the role that Harrison Ford made famous).

Although plot details are being kept quiet, we know that Han was originally an intergalactic smuggler — and a good one. Expect familiar characters like Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to make appearances. And there will likely be lots of action violence, as well as some language and innuendo, but nothing a Star Wars fan can’t handle.

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6. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Target age: Big kids, tweens, and teens

What’s the buzz? “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” promises to be a gentle documentary about Fred Rogers and the creation and legacy of his classic children’s TV show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

Although the TV series is intended for preschoolers, this documentary is better for older viewers who remember the show but can handle the film’s somewhat heavier themes and occasional strong language. But expect a touching, inspirational movie about the power of creativity and compassion, especially for kids.

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7. “Incredibles 2”

Target age: Kids and tweens

What’s the buzz? “Incredibles 2” is Pixar’s long-awaited superhero sequel about the Parr family: Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), Helen (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and baby Jack-Jack. The original movie had more action violence than most animated kids’ movies, although everything was still cartoonish. But it was also a beautifully animated, hilarious take on superhero movies.

You can probably expect a lot of the same here. It could be too intense for very young or sensitive kids, but it will surely be a fun summer movie for many families.

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8. “Fireworks”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “Fireworks” is an anime teen romance from the producers of “Your Name.” Friends Norimichi and Yusuke both have a crush on their classmate Nazuna, and try to impress her by competing in a swimming race. After Norimichi loses, he finds a magical ball that reverses time, so he goes back and tries to see what would happen if he won the race.

This looks like an emotional, romantic drama that will appeal to mature tween/teen anime fans who can handle the romance and language. Keep an eye out for gendered stereotypes.

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9. “Ant-Man And The Wasp”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is the sequel to Marvel’s 2015 clever sci-fi superhero movie “Ant-Man.” Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is dealing with the consequences of getting caught up with the Avengers and balancing his role as a dad, when he’s recruited for a new mission alongside Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), aka the Wasp.

The original Ant-Man had lots of action, language, violence, and romance, so expect more of the same here. But, like most Marvel films, it will likely be fine for tweens and up who can handle the action.

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10. “Eighth Grade”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “Eighth Grade” is a coming-of-age dramedy directed by internet star Bo Burnham. It centers on Kayla (Elsie Fisher), who’s trying to get through her last week of middle school and manage the overwhelming nerves and self-consciousness that go along with being 13. This looks best for middle schoolers; expect some swearing, discussion of romance and sexuality, and heavy but relatable themes.

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11. “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”

Target age: Kids

What’s the buzz? “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” is the third in the series of family-friendly monster movies about hotel owner Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and his quirky family. In this installment, Dracula’s daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), surprises everyone with a family vacation on a luxury cruise ship for monsters. The first two films had plenty of kid-friendly laughs but also rude humor, some potty language, and romance, so expect the same here.

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12. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”

Target age: Tweens and teens

What’s the buzz? “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is the sequel to “Mamma Mia!,” the hit movie musical based on songs by ABBA. The story picks up after a now pregnant Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) invites three former lovers of her mom, Donna (Meryl Streep), to her wedding. But it also flashes back to the past, telling the tale of a young Donna (Lily James) and the Dynamos.

“Here We Go Again” promises to have plenty of music and dancing — this time with a ’60s twist and likely a fair number of sexual references and a bit of nudity. Overall, this looks to be a fun summer movie for musical fans, especially those who like the original.

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13. “Teen Titans Go! To The Movies”

Target age: Kids

What’s the buzz? “Teen Titans Go! to the Movies” is an animated superhero comedy based on the cartoon series “Teen Titans Go!,” which follows five sidekicks and minor heroes in the DC Universe. The TV show is hugely popular, so kids will likely want to see their favorite characters on the big screen. But expect lots of potty humor, rude language, and cartoonish action violence and plenty of references to other DC superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman.

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14. “Christopher Robin”

Target age: Kids and tweens

What’s the buzz? “Disney’s Christopher Robin” is a part live-action, part animated “sequel” to the classic story of Winnie the Pooh. Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), now all grown up, is reunited with his old friend Winnie the Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings). Pooh needs Christopher Robin’s help to find his lost friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, but he also might be exactly what Christopher Robin needs to rediscover the joys of childhood.

This Disney movie looks like a feel-good, family-friendly option, but be ready for some sad moments and possibly some potty humor.

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15. “Dog Days”

Target age: Tweens

What’s the buzz? “Dog Days” is an ensemble dramedy about a group of people in Los Angeles whose lives become intertwined thanks to their dogs. The movie stars Nina DobrevVanessa HudgensFinn WolfhardEva LongoriaTig NotaroRob Corddry, and several canine actors. It will likely be fine for tweens, but expect some romance and heavy themes.

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Written by Frannie Ucciferri for Common Sense Media.