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Sept. 26, 2022

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Some of summer’s top movies are led by Latino stars

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The summer movie scene is heating up thanks to some of Hollywood’s top Latino and Spanish stars.

Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz and Ana de Armas are among the big names headlining a loaded lineup of thrillers, comedies and documentaries this season.

The lively summer slate follows an awards season in which Latino-focused movies such as “Encanto” and “West Side Story” won coveted trophies at the Oscars and Golden Globes.

Here are movies to get excited for between now and early August.

“Halftime”

Jenny from the Block is back in this aspirational documentary chronicling the Bronx-born Lopez’s prolific career while looking ahead to her next act.

But the film doesn’t just cover the high notes. It also explores the immense pressure and scrutiny Lopez faced as a superstar dancer, actress and singer — and how her talents came together in an unforgettable performance at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Known for songs such as “Waiting for Tonight” and “On the Floor,” Lopez has sold more than 75 million records, while her films, which include “Selena” and “The Wedding Planner,” have grossed over $3 billion combined.

“Halftime” arrives Tuesday on Netflix.

“Father of the Bride”

This Latino-led adaptation of the classic 1949 novel features the perfect marriage of icons, with Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan putting their own spins on the timeless story.

Garcia stars as the old-school, overprotective Billy, who struggles to accept that his daughter is getting married while dealing with troubles in his own relationship with Estefan’s Ingrid.

In addition to the veteran star power, “Father of the Bride” features one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars in Adria Arjona — daughter of singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona — who plays the bride Sofia. The Puerto Rican-born Arjona starred earlier this year in the Marvel movie “Morbius” and next appears in the live-action “Star Wars” series “Andor.”

“Father of the Bride” debuts Thursday on HBO Max.

“Official Competition”

The hype around this Spanish-Argentine comedy is no joke after it earned rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival last year.

Banderas and Cruz lead the Spanish-language movie about a group of filmmakers enlisted by a billionaire to create an instant-classic flick.

“Official Competition” made its U.S. premiere Tuesday at the Tribeca Festival before hitting theaters today.

“The Gray Man”

Fresh off a scene-stealing turn in last fall’s James Bond epic “No Time to Die,” the Cuban-born De Armas is back in another exhilarating thriller.

De Armas stars alongside fellow action heroes Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in “The Gray Man,” which centers on a former CIA mercenary who becomes his agency’s target after discovering a dark secret.

De Armas previously worked with Gosling on 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049” before earning a Golden Globe nomination for the 2019 mystery movie “Knives Out.”

Directed by Marvel veterans Joe and Anthony Russo, “The Gray Man” arrives in limited theaters July 15 and streams on Netflix on July 22.

“Bed Rest”

The versatile Melissa Barrera adds to her building horror resumé with this freaky flick about a pregnant woman who witnesses paranormal phenomena in her home as she nears childbirth.

Barrera starred earlier this year in the fifth “Scream” slasher movie after striking a chord with audiences as one of the leads of the Manhattan-set movie musical “In the Heights” last summer.

“Bed Rest” creeps into theaters July 15.

“Bullet Train”

Grammy-winning rapper Bad Bunny is approaching movie superstardom at blazing speed, thanks in large part to “Bullet Train.”

The Puerto Rican artist has a supporting role in the Sony action thriller but must have impressed with his performance: He’s since booked the title role in “El Muerto,” which will make him the first Latino actor to lead a Marvel movie.

Bad Bunny appears with Brad Pitt in “Bullet Train,” which follows assassins competing to complete their missions aboard a zooming locomotive.

It zooms into movie theaters Aug. 5.

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