Best family films out this summer
Summer is here and with it, some sunshine but more importantly – family cinema trips galore! From brilliant blockbusters with great female leads (for a change) to heartfelt animations for both kids and adults, here are the family films to watch in summer 2017
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (U) – out 26 May
The book series has been a practical god-send for parents of reluctant readers everywhere, and Mumsnetters have even admitted to enjoying the films as much as their kids. In this fourth installment of Greg and the gang's adventures, the Heffley family embark on a road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party. However, Greg's plan to attend a video gaming convention en route means that hilarious mayhem ensues.
2. The Red Turtle (PG) – 26 May
A man finds himself shipwrecked on a deserted island. Battling for survival and attempting escape, he encounters a red turtle, who won't let him leave. This seemingly simple tale has no dialogue but promises beautiful animation, a soaring score and understated magic. If you, like many Mumsnetters, are a fan of Studio Ghibli films, this is an absolute must-see. And if not, hopefully this will ignite your delight for the Japanese animation maestros.
3. Wonder Woman (12A) – 1 June
Yes it's a big 'un but it's not every year that there's a strong female lead in a superhero film. After Gal Gadot's appearance in last year's very missable male standoff Batman vs Superman, we've been anxiously awaiting Wonder Woman's own film. The story follows her origins as Diana, princess of the Amazons, in training to be the ultimate warrior. When a pilot crashes on her home island, she is forced to engage with the outer world's struggles and fight alongside man in an attempt to end all wars.
4. My Life as a Courgette (PG) – 2 June
After losing his mother, a young boy is sent to live in a foster home and must negotiate a new life with his fellow orphans, including a crush on recent arrival Camille. This French-Swiss stop motion film received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and looks to be a thoughtful and witty look at life, loss and growing up.
5. Gifted (12A) – 16 June
As parents, we often believe our children to be gifted and talented – but what if your child was actually a prodigy? This is the life of single man Frank Alder (Chris Evans), raising his seven-year-old niece Mary, who has a remarkable way with numbers. While Frank wants to adhere to his sister's parting wish for Mary to have a normal upbringing, his mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) has other plans, which don't involve Frank. From the director of the charming 500 Days of Summer, Gifted looks to be a compelling and heartstring-tugging portrayal of parenting.
6. The Book of Henry (12A) – 23 June
And if one film about a precocious pre-teen wasn't enough, here's another – this time with the genders reversed. 11-year-old Henry has taken up a role as protector and supporter of his younger brother Peter (Jacob Tremblay) and single mum Susan (Naomi Watts), including making sure bills are paid on time. When Susan suspects that there is something not right with the next-door-neighbour family, she and Henry devise an ingenious plan to help.
7. Okja (15) – 28 June
For 10 years, young Mija has looked after and been best friends with Okja – a large animal in the mountains of South Korea. But when a huge cooperation run by CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) decide to take Okja for their own use, Mija must set out to rescue her friend. A Netflix Original (but possibly with limited cinema release), Okja looks to be a throughly thought-provoking, compelling and wacky look at the depth of a relationship between girl and beast.
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming (12A) – 5 July
The latest string to Marvel's bow (and the third reincarnation of the spider/man superhero in the space of 15 years) works to its ensemble strengths and takes up where Captain America: Civil War left off. In the film, we see young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) finding his feet, with the help of Tony Stark aka Iron Man, and facing up to new villain the Vulture (aptly played by Birdman's Michael Keaton). Whilst this sounds like your typical macho Marvel film, we look forward to seeing Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) with allegedly a bigger role than previous Spidey films.
9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (12) – 2 August
When a dark force threatens Alpha, a huge metropolis home to thousands of species, special operatives Valerian and Laureline must seek out the villain and protect their home, and the universe. Based on an iconic comic book series, the film is directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) and stars Cara Delevingne as the female lead in this sci-fi action flick.
10. Maudie (U) – 4 August
Set in 1930s Nova Scotia, and based on a true story, Maudie follows an arthritic woman down on her luck (Sally Hawkins) who finds work as a housekeeper to gruff and reclusive fish peddler Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawkins). There, she begins to explore her hidden artistic talents, and eventually becomes a local figure of fame and adoration. This biopic about a remarkable woman looks tender and inspiring, and has already picked up several international film festival awards.
11. Kingsman: Golden Circle (TBC) – 29 September
“A sequel with more of an action plot would be great”. Mumsnetters' prayers to the film gods have been answered and the cast of the surprise hit Kingsman: The Secret Service are back, including Taron Egerton and even Colin Firth reprising his role as Harry Hart. This time the Kingsman team up with allied American spies the Statesman against a vicious common enemy. Can they save the world – again? One to take your older teenager to.
All certifications and release dates correct at time of publication