It’s time to sit back with a bucket of popcorn and delight in the big screen again.

Before the pandemic, cinema audience numbers were dwindling, in part because at-home streaming services had become so mighty. Then, of course, Covid closed cinemas across the globe, thwarting the few remaining fans of a trip to the flicks. The good news is that we now seem to be heading back to the big screen in droves.

Film critic Mark Kermode said recently in an interview in The Guardian: ‘I feel very positive about the big-screen experience. Even if something is available for somebody to watch on their television, a good number of people will still go and watch it in a cinema.

‘Look at the number of people that went to see that Russell Crowe-in-a-truck film, because, ‘Hey, cinemas are open and Russell Crowe’s in a truck!’’

Quite so. But which movie will lure you back? Here are seven of this summer’s hottest tickets.

Top Gun: Maverick

In this highly anticipated sequel, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reunite, the soundtrack is as blissful as before and the new love interest – Jennifer Connelly – is more wonderful than ever. Expect top-notch cinematography, toned abs and exquisite new aircraft. This movie will please even the most die-hard devotees of 1986’s Top Gun. Trust us. It is the highest-opening non-superhero movie opening since the pandemic began. Kermode says: ‘Top Gun: Maverick offers exactly the kind of air-punching spectacle that reminds people why a trip to the cinema beats staying home and watching Netflix.’

All My Friends Hate Me

In this British comedy horror film, co-written by and starring Tom Stourton, an old group of thirty-something university friends come together at a posh house to celebrate a birthday. Drinking games, fags, profound paranoia – the detail is exquisitely well captured. The LA Times calls it: ‘A razor-sharp ensemble piece that finds humour and terror in a common anxiety: the fear of making a fool of yourself at a party.’

Thor: Love And Thunder

The latest superhero blockbuster from the Marvel stable is blazing its way onto our screens next month. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale and Natalie Portman, it has – like so much else – been delayed by Covid. The result, let’s face it, is that it will be lapped up by impatient fans, whether it is any good or not.


Baz Luhrmann is back. This time he turns his glittering hand to the meteoric rise of Elvis Presley. The performances of Tom Hanks (who plays Elvis’s manager) and 2022’s answer to John Travolta, Austin Butler (The King), are exquisite. A trip to this magical spectacle of a film would be worth it for the soundtrack alone. The Independent says: ‘Luhrmann has delivered an American Fairytale.’

Jurassic World: Dominion

Jurassic World: Dominion is the conclusion to the storyline that started back in 1993 with Jurassic Park. Rather like with Thor: Love and Thunder, it doesn’t matter whether this film has an outstanding plot and whip-smart lines or whether it is a load of old tripe. It’s all about the science-fiction franchise being played out majestically on the big screen. For the last time, in this case, which may please many a parent. Variety magazine said: ‘Of the three Jurassic World movies, Dominion is the least silly and most entertaining.’

Where The Crawdads Sing

There are three major reasons to want to see this murder mystery. The first is that it is an adaptation of a best-selling 2018 novel by Delia Owens. The second is that it stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, with whom we fell in love during lockdown in the hit TV series, Normal People. The third is that Reese Witherspoon produced the film and she is usually spot on. Also, the scenery is stunning and the production features a new song by Taylor Swift. We wish it very well.

Downton Abbey: A New Era

Julian Fellowes’s beloved aristos are back on the big screen, negotiating their way through the pitfalls of a modernising world. We can’t say this sequel is quite as sure a thing as the Top Gun one. Either you will love the glorious scenery, high production values, Hugh Dancy and dose of nostalgia or you won’t get it at all. Know yourself. Hollywood Insider called it: ‘A Delightful Return to Downton.’

By Becky Ladenburg
June 2022

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.