Movie News & Reviews

Here are the latest movies to watch over Fourth of July weekend

Fourth of July weekend offers movie lovers plenty of big-screen fireworks.

Many of the summer’s top films are now playing in theaters, including high-profile new releases just in time for the summer celebration.

There are also great new streaming options for those who would rather beat the heat by staying home.

Here are the movies we recommend watching over the long weekend.

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’

As the weekend’s biggest new release, this origin tale for the yellow Minions is poised to make a lot of green at the box office.

That’s because the family-friendly film has something for everyone, from chaotic comedy to a star-studded voice cast including Steve Carell, Michelle Yeoh and Taraji P. Henson.

The fifth installment to the “Despicable Me” movie franchise offers a backstory for Carell’s villain-turned-hero Gru and his hilarious henchmen.

The animated film finally arrived in theaters Friday following two years of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘The Princess’

This isn’t your typical fairy-tale princess.

Emmy-nominated actress Joey King loved putting a modern spin on the fantasy genre with her action-packed movie “The Princess,” starring as a royal with secret fighting skills who doesn’t wait around for a prince to rescue her.

The movie, which premiered Friday on Hulu, picks up with King’s character being held hostage in a feudal tower, and follows her escape mission as she brawls with hulking mercenaries.

“I love that we’re just immediately onboard with the princess being like, ‘Yeah, I don’t need a man. I know how to fight, and I’m just going to do it on my own,’ " King told the Daily News in June.

‘The Forgiven’

Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes portray a vacationing couple who must face Moroccan customs and their own guilt after accidentally killing a local boy with their car.

“You’re in that heat,” Fiennes recently told the Daily News about shooting the film in Morocco. “You’re in that light. You’ve got the grit of the sand in your eye. You just behave differently. You behave as you would in that place ... We went to the local town, and that is Morocco. That’s the place. God knows we could have gone to Spain or southern Italy or somewhere, but it wasn’t. It was the real f--king desert.”

Released Friday in theaters, “The Forgiven” comes three months after Chastain won her first Oscar for her portrayal of the title televangelist in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

“I’m excited to tell stories that portray women as human,” Chastain said.

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

Audiences seeking Marvel magic need to look no further than this superhero sorcerer spectacular, which recently began streaming on Disney+.

For stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” conjures up an epic story that changes the trajectory of the Marvel movies forever.

“It’s not only the gateway to the next chapter or phase in the [Marvel Cinematic Universe], but it’s a pretty personal one by the end of the film,” Cumberbatch, 45, told the Daily News in May.

It’s still playing in theaters, too.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’

There’s a good chance you’ve seen “Top Gun: Maverick,” considering it’s the highest-grossing film of 2022 with a global haul exceeding $1 billion.

But what’s stopping you from zooming to a cinema and seeing it again?

To make “Top Gun: Maverick” soar, the movie’s stars entered the danger zone, taking part in a rigorous flight training program set up by Tom Cruise so they could authentically portray their pilot characters.

“You watch this movie, and you cannot have the emotional effect of caring about these aviators in these jets without shooting practically,” actor Glen Powell told the Daily News in May. “The (G-Force) on a face. ... The ground rush of mountains going by and cliffs streaking past canopies. It’s something you can’t fake.”


Director Baz Luhrmann is ready for a little more conversation about Elvis Presley.

The Australian filmmaker hopes his “Elvis” biopic, now playing in theaters, showcases the King of Rock 'n' Roll’s full story by depicting the highs and lows of his prolific life and career.

Luhrmann’s research included repeated visits to the Graceland mansion where Presley lived, and meeting early on with family members such as Elvis’ wife, Priscilla Presley, whom the director says wrote him an effusive letter after seeing the movie.

“She said, ‘I’ve had to put up with a lifetime of people impersonating, and my husband was not an impersonation. He was a person.’ I thought that was the most telling thing,” Luhrmann told the Daily News in June.


Stars Keke Palmer and Uzo Aduba believe “Lightyear” takes the “Toy Story” franchise to infinity and beyond by reflecting heroes of all kinds.

Disney and Pixar’s latest animated movie, now in theaters, serves as an origin story for the fan-favorite Buzz Lightyear. But the actors agree their new characters’ journeys are just as pivotal.

“It’s ‘to infinity and beyond’ for all of us,” Palmer told the Daily News in June.

“Leaders, heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and I think that’s the thing that ‘Lightyear’ is also writing for. That is the future. ‘To infinity and beyond’ with that. Yes, Buzz is a hero, but so are all of the faces that you are going to meet along the course of the journey.”

‘Jurassic World Dominion’

Life finds a way — and so did “Jurassic World Dominion” director Colin Trevorrow.

The filmmaker says it felt special to bring back actors Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum in their first movie together since Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original “Jurassic Park.”

“I remember taking a picture, just on my phone, of the three of them in a Jeep together. I sent it to Steven Spielberg and it really moved him,” Trevorrow told the Daily News. “It was surprisingly emotional seeing the three of them back together again, and that made me feel like we’ve done something meaningful for somebody who I respect and care about.”

Now in theaters, “Dominion” serves as the epic conclusion to Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World” trilogy and is the sixth film overall in the “Jurassic Park” franchise.


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This story was originally published July 1, 2022 4:30 AM.

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