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What We’re Watching This Summer

Whether you’re planning to stay home and fire up the streaming services, or head out to a movie theater, this summer is packed with viewing options for mystery and thriller fans. Here are some of the movies and TV series we’re most excited to watch this season.

 

Bosch: Legacy

Fans of the long-running Amazon Prime Video series starring author Michael Connelly’s signature detective character Harry Bosch may have been disappointed when the series ended with its seventh season. But Bosch: Legacy, streaming on Amazon’s Freevee, is essentially just the next season of the original Bosch. Titus Welliver returns as Harry Bosch, who’s now working as a private investigator in LA but is still the same irascible, tenacious crime-solver. Mimi Rogers and Madison Lintz also return, with new arcs for their characters. It’s everything viewers love about Bosch, in a slightly different package. The first season is now streaming on Freevee. Read our review of Bosch: Legacy.

 

The Lincoln Lawyer

Michael Connelly is having quite a year, and this Netflix series brings his other signature character, defense lawyer Mickey Haller, to the small screen. Previously played by Matthew McConaughey in a 2011 movie, Mickey is played here by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, who stars alongside Neve Campbell and Becki Newton as Mickey’s ex-wives. As the title indicates, Mickey does most of his business out of his car, with his assistant Izzy (Jazz Raycole) driving him around town to meet with clients. The first season adapts Connelly’s 2008 novel The Brass Verdict and is now streaming on Netflix. Read our review of The Brass Verdict.

 

Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes’ time-spanning serial killer novel gets a screen adaptation in this Apple TV+ miniseries. Elisabeth Moss stars as newspaper researcher Kirby Mazrachi, who teams up with reporter Dan Velazquez (Wagner Moura) to track a murderer (Jamie Bell) with the ability to travel through time. After surviving her own attack, Kirby now experiences time shifts, making her question her sense of reality. Series creator Silka Luisa makes other changes to the source novel, while keeping Beukes’ core theme of forgotten women fighting back against a system that ignores them. The complete limited series is now streaming on Apple TV+. Read our review of Shining Girls.

 

Dark Winds

Tony Hillerman’s mystery novels about Navajo Tribal Police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee have been bestsellers since the 1970s, with previous adaptations as a 1991 feature film and a 2002 series of PBS TV movies. But this new TV series brings in an entirely Native American creative team, led by showrunner Graham Roland. Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon star as the main characters, and the series is set in the 1970s, the same time period as Hillerman’s early novels. The six-episode first season premieres June 12 on AMC and AMC+.

 

The Black Phone

Following a detour into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to direct the first Doctor Strange movie, filmmaker Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) returns to his horror roots with this movie based on a Joe Hill short story. Derrickson also reteams with Sinister star Ethan Hawke, who takes on a rare villain role as a serial killer known as the Grabber. The Grabber kidnaps a young boy who discovers a phone that connects him to the voices of the killer’s past victims, communicating from the afterlife to help the boy escape. The Black Phone opens in theaters on June 24.

 

Black Bird

The late Ray Liotta has one of his final roles in this true-crime miniseries, based on the memoir In With The Devil by James Keene. Taron Egerton plays James Keene, a young man serving time on a drug charge who’s given the chance at early release if he can befriend and coax a confession out of a suspected serial killer (Paul Walter Hauser). Liotta plays Keene’s father, and the supporting cast also includes Greg Kinnear and Sepideh Moafi. Crime novelist and TV veteran Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, The Wire) created the six-episode series, which premieres its first two episodes July 8 on Apple TV+.

 

Nope

After the critical and commercial success of Get Out and Us, filmmaker Jordan Peele can reel in audiences for his next horror movie without any information at all. Much of Nope’s plot remains mysterious, but trailers indicate that it involves an alien invasion. Chances are that, like Peele’s previous movies, Nope will subvert familiar genre elements, mixing in sharp social commentary with the terror. Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya star, and Peele shot the movie with IMAX cameras, making it perfect to see on the big screen. Nope hits theaters July 22.

 

Bullet Train

Brad Pitt plays an assassin pulling the proverbial one last job, acquiring a mysterious briefcase on a high-speed train between Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan. The problem is that the train is full of other criminals, all of whom want the briefcase for their own purposes. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Zazie Beetz, and Bad Bunny play some of the protagonist’s rivals, with Sandra Bullock as his handler. Director David Leitch delivered blockbuster action with Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw, but this looks closer to his non-franchise work on the underrated Atomic Blonde. Bullet Train races into theaters August 5.

 

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He’s the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and the former TV comedies guide for About.com. He has written about movies, TV, and pop culture for Syfy Wire, Polygon, CBR, Inverse, Crooked Marquee, and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.