7 New Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies to Watch in July 2022
Summer blockbuster season is bringing a slew of highly anticipated science fiction and fantasy titles to theaters and streaming this July. As studios release their big-name movies to audiences eager for bombast and action, fans are sure to be delighted by the selection. The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, Thor: Love and Thunder, has already been stealing the spotlight, while Hulu’s been pitching its genre-mashup The Princess as a feminist, action-packed twist on fairy tale tropes. Audiences will even get the latest Jordan Peele horror movie, Nope, this summer, offering up something spookier for interested fans.
July is also delivering some more under-the-radar genre fare. DC’s superhero movie this month focuses on pets, while Netflix is also releasing an animated sea monster epic The Sea Beast. The sci-fi horror Rubikon delivers standard genre conventions with the classic end-of-the-world scenario, while The Deer King is poised to be July’s sweeping fantasy epic, ensuring there’s something for every type of fan this month. Here are all of the science-fiction and fantasy movies fans should watch out for in July.
The Princess Reinvents Fantasy Tropes
Too many high fantasy stories have featured the damsel in distress, writing women off as plot points for traditionally male heroes to come and save. Hulu’s The Princess aims to change that story. When she’s offered in marriage to a sociopath, this princess (Joey King) refuses. Her would-be husband (Dominic Cooper) locks her in a tower and imprisons her family until he can claim the throne as his own, but the princess breaks out and fights her way to save herself, her family and her kingdom from the ruthless man’s grasp. This action-packed, feminist take on the traditional fairy tale brings fresh blood to a standard genre and offers fantasy fans a bloody romp through familiar stories.
The Princess is streaming now on Hulu.
Try to Save Humanity in Rubikon
A more standard entry for July, Rubikon follows the crew of a space station as they witness an apocalyptic catastrophe on Earth. After a toxic fog covers the planet, leaving all of humanity without air, the crew of the Rubikon must decide whether to remain safe in space or take their supply of oxygen-generating algae back to the planet. Focused on the three survivors, Rubikon presents a claustrophobic rescue film tinged with the horror of the unknown and the psychological thriller of survivors turned against each other. Rubikon lacks the media coverage of some of the more well-known July movies, but it promises a more conventional sci-fi horror that will likely appeal to more hard-core fans of the genre.
Rubikon is available now in theaters and as a VOD.
Thor: Love and Thunder Introduces a New Thor
Helmed by Thor: Ragnarok‘s Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder sees the titular god (Chris Hemsworth) reclaim his identity after the events of Avengers: Endgame to go up against Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). Alongside him this time are his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who now wields a version of his hammer, Mjolnir, Waititi’s own Korg and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), the king of New Asgard. This latest Thor film has been eagerly anticipated by audiences, especially given the success and divergent tone of Waititi’s previous Thor movie. While it’s slated to be the summer MCU blockbuster, Thor: Love and Thunder is sure to give genre fans a superhero comedy they can love.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.
Capture Monsters in The Sea Beast
In a world plagued by vicious, giant sea monsters, the ships that hunt these beasts and keep the ports safe are considered heroes. Netflix’s The Sea Beast follows Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator), a young girl intent on joining one of these hunting crews like her hero, the legendary figure Jacob Holland (Karl Urban). When Maisie stows away aboard Jacob’s ship, he tries to protect her from the dangers of these sea creatures, but Maisie has different ideas about what these beasts truly are. The Sea Beast showcases high-stakes animated water battles, but the movie looks like it will showcase a different message entirely, one about viewing monsters in a different way.
The Sea Beast will stream on Netflix beginning July 8.
Get Lost in the Fantasy Epic The Deer King
Based on the acclaimed novel series, The Deer King tells the story of a former soldier and a young orphan girl who band together after being attacked by a pack of plague-carrying dogs. As the pair are chased down, the soldier vows to protect the little girl, giving his life a new meaning but also to work to find the true cause of the deadly disease that is ravaging the country. The fantasy anime epic The Deer King offers a quieter entry into the genre for this summer, delivering a beautiful film without the bombast behind many other releases this month.
The Deer King hits select theaters July 15.
Nope Doles Out Alien Horror on the Ranch
The latest from acclaimed horror director Jordan Peele, Nope follows siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) as they attempt to capture video of aliens on their ranch. After losing their father to alien intervention, the pair enlist the help of a tech expert and a documentarian to get the money shot, but nothing goes as planned. As their risk increases and more and more dangerous things start happening around them, OJ and Emerald may just hope to make it out alive. After the success of Get Out and Us, viewers are ravenous for Peele’s latest horror movie. While he’s always leaned on sci-fi conventions as the basis for these spooky stories, Nope promises a menacing alien presence that’ll make the film enjoyable and relatable for genre fans.
Nope is set to premiere in theaters on July 22.
DC League of Super-Pets Lets Dogs Save the Day
While Thor: Love and Thunder might be the big superhero release this month, DC League of Super-Pets is providing a different spin on the classic comic book action. Superman’s dog, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), must save the Justice League from the claws of the evil hairless guinea pig (Kate McKinnon) that has taken them captive. By his side is a team of superpowered shelter pets ready to use their speed and strength to rescue the heroes from this pet gone wrong. With an all-star cast, DC League of Super-Pets showcases a new point of view for a superhero story. The cute animation and focus on found family and humor will surely win the hearts of viewers looking for a feel-good, puppy-filled story.
DC League of Super-Pets comes to theaters July 29.