Pass the popcorn

10 Summer Movies Worth Getting A Sitter For

From blockbusters to indie sleeper hits, here are the movies to catch on the big screen this summer.

We watch a lot of movies after the kids are in bed. After all, we can’t really go anywhere and there’s nothing else to do, right? Just kidding! Obviously there’s always something to do — dishes, laundry, pack snacks, remembering to take the wadded up swim suit out of your purse. But you know what’s a lot more fun than the futility of chasing an ever-growing to-do list? Losing yourself for 90 minutes (the ideal movie length, clearly) or up-to-2 hours (the maximum movie length I recognize as acceptable) in a really great movie. After a few years of trickle-out releases, 2023 is shaping up to be a banner year for movies, and the summer 2023 movie release schedule feels notably non-stop awesome.

Sure, it’s tempting to wait until they’re streaming and save yourself the hassle of hiring a sitter. But certain movies demand the big screen. Summer blockbusters, for example, just don’t land in quite the same way without surround sound. And meditative, immersive, moody indies threaten to lose my attention if I try to watch them at home, no matter how gorgeous and powerful they may be. Plus, nothing ensures that a date night actually happens like having spent $25 on movie tickets and the fact that movie theaters have beer now. So, here are the 10 summer movies of 2023 that I’m booking babysitters for right now.


Past Lives

If you’d like to have a really good, feel-everything, cathartic cry in the dark of a movie theater, Past Lives is for you. Beautifully shot, this story spans decades, but the story it tells — a love story, really — is quiet and deeply moving. It’s early for Oscar buzz, but it’s hard not to think that if any movie has it right now, this movie does.

In theaters now.


Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

This Spider-Verse sequel has been topping the box office all month. Beloved for its ground-breaking computer animation style, and hitting a unique sweet spot for both fans of superhero movies and movie dorks, don’t miss the chance to lose yourself in this visual stunner.

In theaters now.


Asteroid City

We called the neighborhood teen that’s allowed to stay up late enough to watch our baby monitor for this one ages ago. Wes Anderson and his usual crew of super famous people — Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston — take to the desert and do their usual Wes Anderson stuff, and I’m into it. If you have to pay someone so that you can go to the movies, it better be worth it, and at least with a Wes Anderson movie, you kind of know what you’re going to get.

In theaters now.


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

If you’re a movie-loving millennial completionist, you’re going to need to see Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Much like with Asteroid City, you know what you’re going to get with an Indy movie — definitely not to be confused with an indie movie — and that’s major summer blockbuster fun and a healthy dose of Harrison Ford. I mean, yeah — sign me up!

In theaters June 30.


Earth Mama

The polar opposite of an action-packed blockbuster, this A24 release looks heart-wrenching and so good. Filmmaker Savanah Leaf makes her feature debut with Earth Mama, the story of a pregnant women with two children in foster care. It has already been called “sublime” and a movie that “defies cliché” and the trailer alone had me entranced. In subject matter and style, it looks fresh and compelling. It’s an indie must see, and — based on the trailer alone — I think it deserves the big screen treatment.

In theaters July 7.


Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

You’ve got to, right? You’re not going to stream a movie like this, right? Sure, it’ll be ridiculous but that’s the whole point. The Mission Impossible movies always promise total escapism, and usually deliver. This is a capital ‘M’ movie, not a film, and you’ve simply got to see it with Red Vines and a large popcorn.

In theaters July 12.



We don’t need to sell you on Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie right? But that feeling in your gut that you should really plan to see this one in the theaters? Yeah, listen to that! Barbie is rated PG-13, so you might even be able to skip a sitter and bring the kids, depending on how old they are. But if you want to catch this one alone and really soak up all that Barbie-has-an-existential-crisis goodness, we say go for it.

In theaters July 21.



Between you, me and Matt Damon, I haven’t booked a sitter for this one quite yet. Why? Because it tops three hours and therefore violates my two-hour maximum movie length rule. However, you just know that this massive movie, loaded with massively famous people, covering a massively important subject, is likely to be all Oscar buzzy and if you try to watch it at home you definitely will — despite Christopher Nolan’s best efforts — fall asleep. So you (and I) had better catch it in theaters. It’s basically homework for grown ups.

In theaters July 21.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Seth Rogan has taken his knack for endless adolescence and channeled it into this reimagining of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and frankly, it looks so awesome. Sure, the animation style is clearly inspired directly by the Spider-Verse movies, but that doesn’t really make it any less mesmerizing. Does this trailer not make you giddy? This is serious fun, and I am planning to soak it up.

In theaters Aug. 4.



If you, like me, will see anything that A24 puts out, and also will see anything that Tilda Swinton is in, Problemista is for you. It looks frantic and odd, bright and funny, and I am slightly worried that if I don’t make a point to catch it in the theater I will forget to watch it and that would be missing out. And what else are you don’t at the end of August, really?

In theaters Aug. 18.

Call in the teens and order a pizza! Mom and Dad are going out.