The summer’s visionary speculations run the gamut from the fanciful to the bleak. The science-fiction romantic comedy “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” (May 25), about teen-age boys who find themselves flirting with aliens, is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman; it stars Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Matt Lucas, and is directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Tessa Thompson and Lakeith Stanfield star in “Sorry to Bother You” (July 6), a metaphysical comedy, directed by Boots Riley, about telemarketers endowed with supernatural powers; Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, and Danny Glover co-star. The director Peyton Reed, whose comedic touch enlivened “Ant-Man,” returns with “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (July 6), in which Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) team up to ward off evil. Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) and Harris Dickinson (“Beach Rats”) star in “The Darkest Minds” (Aug. 3), a dystopian fantasy about a society that imprisons everyone under the age of eighteen and a group of incarcerated teen-agers who rebel against it. Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed.
The summertime blues come to the fore in a variety of teen-centered movies, including “Leave No Trace” (June 29), the director Debra Granik’s drama about a teen-age girl (Thomasin McKenzie) and her father (Ben Foster) who clash with the authorities while living off the grid in rural Oregon. The comedian Bo Burnham’s first feature, “Eighth Grade” (July 13), is a comedy about a thirteen-year-old girl named Kayla (Elsie Fisher) who’s dealing with her impending transition to high school. “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (Aug. 3), directed by Desiree Akhavan, stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a high-school student who is caught by her parents in a relationship with another girl and sent to a conversion-therapy camp. In Josephine Decker’s drama “Madeline’s Madeline” (Aug. 10), Helena Howard delivers an inspired performance as a high-school student struggling with mental illness who seeks a creative outlet by acting in a New York theatre troupe. Miranda July co-stars, as the girl’s mother; Molly Parker plays the theatre company’s director.
Political tales take many forms this season, as in the drama “The Catcher Was a Spy” (June 22), based on the true story of the major-league baseball player Moe Berg (played by Paul Rudd), a graduate of Princeton and Columbia Law School who was recruited by the U.S. Army to do espionage during the Second World War. Ben Lewin directed. Lauren Greenfield,