Summer at the movies is traditionally Hollywood blockbuster time. It's the season when sharks snack on innocent beach-goers and Avengers assemble. There are, however, always a few summer movies based on real events to satisfy the less fantastical among us. The upcoming summer 2017 movies based on true stories run the gambit from subdued documentaries to actual action movies, so if you're looking for a vacation from all the summer blockbusters and superheroes (and don't mind crying about real life tragedies in the middle of the movie theater), here are seven summer 2017 movies based on true stories to look out for.
Warning: if you're looking for heartwarming, rags to riches stories to act as a two-hour refuge form the summer heat, you probably won't find those this summer. The movies based on true stories hitting theaters in the summer of 2017 are more on the more depressing side. That doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom, though, as some summer movies based on true stories will offer fans an opportunity to celebrate their favorite stars, like Heath Ledger and Tupac Shakur. Others will give audiences a glimpse into past tragedies, like the Dunkirk evacuation and the Detroit riots — you know, light summer entertainment.
1'I Am Heath Ledger' — May 3
The documentary I Am Heath Ledger will have fans of the actor sobbing and celebrating his life all at the same time. The film features interviews with a handful of Ledger's co-stars and co-workers — Emile Hirsch, Naomi Watts, and Ang Lee to name a few — and Ledger's own family members.
2'Megan Leavey' — June 9
Continuing the tradition of dog movies that make you cry, Megan Leavey plans on reducing audiences everywhere to puddles. The movie is based on the true story Megan Leavey, a former US Marine, and the dog, Rex, who worked with her in Iraq.
3'All Eyez On Me' — June 16
The highly anticipated Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me will finally hit theaters this summer on June 16, Tupac Shakur's birthday. The film will cover Shakur's entire life, focusing on his rise to fame in the early '90s.
4'Dunkirk' — July 21
Harry Styles will make his big screen debut in Christopher Nolan's WWII drama, Dunkirk. The movie is based on real events, though the story (characters, relationships, etc.) don't appear to be based on any soldiers in particular.
5'An Inconvenient Sequel' — July 28
Since when do documentaries have sequels, you ask? Well, since Trump's election, I guess. If the trailer is anything to go by, An Inconvenient Sequel, the sequel to the explosive documentary An Inconvenient Truth, will focus on what Donald Trump's policies will mean for climate change in the coming years. (Hint: it's nothing good.)
6'Step' — Aug 4
Step looks to be one of the most memorable documentaries of the summer. The movie follows five teenage girls, all seniors in high school, trying to translate their success on their school Step team into success for the future. Expect awesome dance moves and girl power.
7'Detroit' — Aug 4
Director Kathryn Bigelow is back for another "based on a real story" drama, this time tackling the Detroit riot of 1967. Coming later in the summer, Detroit promises to take the post-superhero movie box office crown with some help from Star Wars breakout John Boyega.
Summer 2017 will be full of stories ripped from the headlines (or the history books, as it were), so get ready to learn a thing or two — and watch some pretty great movies.