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Summer Movie Preview: Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, Man Of Steel, and More

It’s been a slow year at the cinemas so far, with only a handful of films crossing the $100 million threshold—but all that will change on May 3, when Iron Man 3 flies into theaters and kicks off the summer movie season. And there’s plenty more to be excited about, including Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer The Great Gatsby, Superman reboot Man of Steel, and the highly anticipated sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness. There are also new movies by celebrated filmmakers Richard Linklater (Before Midnight), Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring), and Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine). Check out all the must-see films of the summer in our epic summer movie preview!   By Marlow Stern.

It’s been a slow year at the cinemas so far, with only a handful of films crossing the $100 million threshold—but all that will change on May 3, when Iron Man 3 flies into theaters and kicks off the summer movie season. And there’s plenty more to be excited about, including Leonardo DiCaprio as The Great Gatsby, Superman reboot Man of Steel, and the highly anticipated sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness. There are also new movies by celebrated filmmakers Richard Linklater (Before Midnight), Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring), and Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine). Check out all the must-see films of the summer in our epic summer movie preview!   By Marlow Stern.

‘IRON MAN 3’ (May 3)

Jon Favreau has been replaced in the director’s chair by Shane Black, the Lethal Weapon scribe who kick-started Robert Downey Jr.’s comeback tour with the 2005 film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. In the third installment of the Marvel superhero franchise, set shortly after the events of The Avengers, billionaire genius-cum-superhero Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) dons his Iron Man suit to do battle against a villain known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who is responsible for a series of terrorist bombings. Iron Man is once again joined by his Girl Friday, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), as well as franchise newcomers Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). Be sure to stick around ‘til the closing credits for a special treat…

Millennium Films

‘THE ICEMAN’ (May 3)

Michael Shannon will follow up his award-worthy performance as “sorority rant” girl Rebecca Martinson in director Ariel Vromen’s drama, based on the life of Mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, who claims to have murdered 100 men between 1948 and 1986. The film, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, features Shannon at his unhinged best, and also stars Winona Ryder as his wife, Deborah, Chris Evans as a rival hitman, Ray Liotta as Kuklinski’s employer, and a brief cameo by James Franco as a goofy target.

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘THE GREAT GATSBY’ (May 10)

Based on the celebrated novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this 3D drama reunites Romeo & Juliet star Leonardo DiCaprio with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, known for his ornately decorated films. The Great Gatsby follows the life and times of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), a millionaire World War I veteran-cum-bootlegger who is known for throwing lavish weekly parties at his Long Island mansion. He is hopelessly in love with socialite Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), and the story is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a neighbor and confidant of Gatsby’s. The film was scheduled to open in Dec. 2012, but was pushed back to this summer due to production difficulties.

‘STORIES WE TELL’ (May 10)

This documentary by actress-turned-filmmaker Sarah Polley (Away From Her) uses interviews with her siblings, narration from brother Michael Polley’s memoir, as well as Super 8 footage shot to look like home movies, to tell the story of Polley’s family, including the shocking revelation that she was the product of an extramarital affair. Stories We Tell has received rave reviews and was named best Canadian film at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

‘STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS’ (May 15)

In the long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Star Trek, J.J. Abrams’s sequel brings back all the officers aboard the USS Enterprise, including Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), who must face off against John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a former member of Starfleet who bombs the Starfleet Archives in London, and subsequently kills Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood). Kirk must travel to the Klingon home planet, Kronos, to find Harrison.

‘FRANCES HA’ (May 17)

Written and directed by acclaimed indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), this black and white dramedy stars Greta Gerwig (who also co-wrote the film) as Frances, a 27-year-old dancer who is enjoying a carefree existence along with her best friend, Sophie (Mickey Sumner), with whom she shares a Brooklyn apartment. When Sophie gets engaged and moves out, Frances’s life is thrown into chaos and she must learn how to live on her own. The film also features Adam Driver, the star of HBO’s Girls, as a friend of Frances’s.

Giles Keyte

‘FAST & FURIOUS 6’ (May 24)

The sixth entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise is set shortly after the events of Fast Five, which was far and away the best action film of 2011. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew are all wealthy men following their Brazil heist but cannot return to the U.S. due to their criminal records. Diplomatic Security Service agent Hobbs (The Rock) offers the crew full pardons if they help him catch Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a former special ops soldier who heads a heist gang, as well as his second-in-command, Toretto’s former flame, Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez). The whole gang from Fast Five is back, and is joined by newcomer Gina Carano (Haywire) as a member of Hobbs’s team.

‘BEFORE MIDNIGHT’ (May 24)

This sequel to 2004’s Before Sunset is the third film in the Before Sunrise trilogy, and is directed by Richard Linklater from a screenplay by Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy. Set nine years after the conclusion of Before Sunset, American Jesse (Hawke) and Frenchwoman Celine (Delpy) are now married with twin girls living in Paris. Jesse is struggling to maintain a relationship with his teenage son, Hank, from his previous marriage, and the relationship problems between Jesse and Celine bubble to the surface during the family’s summer vacation in Greece. The film received rave reviews when it made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and is—in this writer’s opinion—utterly brilliant.

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘THE HANGOVER PART III’ (May 24)

Despite a poor critical reception, The Hangover Part II, released in 2011, grossed over $581 million worldwide, making it the highest-earning R-rated comedy in history. The third film in the franchise sees the trio of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and Stu (Ed Helms) return to their original stomping grounds of Las Vegas for more R-rated hijinks. Heather Graham will reprise her role from the first Hangover film as Stu’s ex-flame, Jade, and John Goodman and Melissa McCarthy will join in on the fun.

‘WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS’ (May 24)

Having tackled the financial crisis (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), the war on terror (Taxi to the Dark Side), and the Catholic Church (Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God), arguably the world’s most prolific documentary filmmaker, Alex Gibney, has decided to focus his lens on the shadowy organization WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. While the film does not include an interview with Assange—who refused to participate in its production—the film does include interviews with a variety of people associated with the organization, and dedicates a great deal of time to the case of Bradley Manning, the army private who leaked the Afghan war diary and Iraq war logs to WikiLeaks.

Columbia Pictures.

‘AFTER EARTH’ (May 31)

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this sci-fi blockbuster stars real-life father-son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith as Cypher and Kitai Raige, two members of the planet Nova Prime, which was established 1,000 years after humanity abandoned Earth. Cypher is in the Ranger Corps, a peacekeeping organization, and decides to take his troublemaking son on a mission trip to Earth. Unfortunately, their ship crash lands on Earth, killing everyone onboard except the father and son, who must embark on a journey across the perilous planet filled with evolved creatures and a mysterious alien creature. 

‘THE EAST’ (May 31)

Marking the second collaboration between filmmaker Zal Batmanglij and actress-writer Brit Marling after 2011’s critically hailed Sound of My Voice, The East is a far more polished effort that stars Marling as an operative for a private intelligence firm who infiltrates an anarchic eco-terrorist group known as The East. She soon begins to sympathize with the hippies, including the boisterous Izzy (Ellen Page), and falls for their charismatic leader, Benji (Alexander Skarsgard).

‘SHADOW DANCER’ (May 31)

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker James Marsh (Man On Wire), this riveting British-Irish drama is set in 1990s Belfast at the height of The Troubles. Colette McVeigh (Andrea Riseborough) is an Irishwoman who lives with her mother and brothers, all high-ranking members of the IRA. After a botched attack in London, Colette is arrested and given a choice by Mac (Clive Owen)—go to jail for 25 years and lose her young son, or become an informant and spy on her family for the MI5. The outstanding cast is rounded out by Game of Thrones’s Aiden Gillen, up-and-comer Domhnall Gleason (the son of actor Brendan Gleason), and Gillian Anderson.

Steve Dietl

‘NOW YOU SEE ME’ (May 31)

Directed by The Incredible Hulk’s Louis Leterrier, Now You See Me centers on a group of magicians known as The Four Horsemen. They are led by Michael Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) and perform a pair of high-tech magic shows, including robbing a bank on another continent and robbing a white-collar criminal and transferring his funds into audience members’ bank accounts. FBI Special Agent Dylan Hobbs (Mark Ruffalo) teams with an Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent), as well as magic debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), to take down the Robin Hood-like criminals. The all-star cast also includes Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Michael Caine.

Phil Bray

‘THE INTERNSHIP’ (June 7)

The Wedding Crashers duo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson has reteamed to star in this comedy from director Shawn Levy (Date Night). They play a pair of hapless salesmen who are let go by their boss (John Goodman). Starting fresh, they talk their way into a highly coveted internship at Google where they compete with the nation’s best and brightest tech whiz kids. The film also stars Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, and Joanna Garcia.

‘MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING’ (June 7)

Directed, written, and produced by Joss Whedon (The Avengers), this black and white adaptation of the Shakespeare classic is a modern retelling set at a vacation home that focuses on two pairs of silver-tongued lovers with two dramatically different approaches towards romance. The film stars Whedon regulars Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, and Franz Kranz.

Columbia Pictures

‘THIS IS THE END’ (June 12)

Marking the directorial debut of writing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who penned the hits Superbad and Pineapple Express, the disaster-comedy film stars real-life pals James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson, whose raging house party is interrupted by alien invaders who have taken over Los Angeles. The film also features appearances by Jason Segel, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Aziz Ansari, The Backstreet Boys, and an ass-kicking Emma Watson.

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘MAN OF STEEL’ (June 14)

Produced by Christopher Nolan (the Batman reboot) and directed by Zach Snyder (The Watchmen), this $175 million-budgeted reimagining of the Superman franchise stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, a Kryptonian sent to earth as an infant by his parents, including father Jor-El (Russell Crowe), who grows up to become the journalist-cum-superhero, Superman. He is forced to do battle with General Zod (Michael Shannon), a Kryptonian general with the same powers as the titular Man of Steel. The film also stars Amy Adams as Superman’s love interest Lois Lane, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as his adoptive parents, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, the editor of The Daily Planet, where Kent works.

‘THE BLING RING’ (June 14)

Based on the real life ‘Bling Ring’—a gang of young thieves who stole over $3 million in merchandise from the L.A. mansions of celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, and Audrina Partridge—this film is written and directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation). The gang of fame-obsessed teens is led by Rebecca (Katie Chang), and also includes Marc (Israel Broussard), Nicki (Emma Watson), Sam (Taissa Farmiga), and Chloe (Claire Julien), who use the Internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts, and then rob their homes when they’re off on location shooting a film. The movie also stars Leslie Mann and Gavin Rossdale, and includes cameos by Paris Hilton and Kirsten Dunst as themselves.

Pixar

‘MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’ (June 21)

This prequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc. is the latest film from the Pixar dream factory. Directed by Dan Scanlon, the story artist for Pixar films Cars and Toy Story 3, the film is set about 10 years before the events of Monsters Inc. Monster Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal), is a 17-year-old who enrolls in Monsters University, where he majors in scaring. There, he befriends Sulley (voiced by John Goodman), a large, goofy member of the same fraternity who soon becomes his rival. The film also features the voice talents of Steve Buscemi, Alfred Molina, John Krasinski, Charlie Day, and Helen Mirren as Dean Hardscrabble, the stern headmistress of Monsters University.

‘WORLD WAR Z’ (June 21)

This zombie horror film is directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) and stars Brad Pitt as United Nations employee Gerry Lane, who travels the world interviewing survivors of the zombie apocalypse, known as World War Z, to try and discover the secret to stopping the zombie pandemic. The film also stars The Killing’s Mireille Enos as Lane’s wife and mother of their two children, Matthew Fox, and Bryan Cranston. It was supposed to come out last year, but was delayed so that they could do reshoots, and hired Cabin in the Woods scribe Drew Goddard to do script rewrites.

Gemma La Mana

‘THE HEAT’ (June 28)

In what will probably be the comedy smash of the summer, Bridesmaids director Paul Feig and reteamed with Melissa McCarthy for this action-comedy starring McCarthy as a no-nonsense, break-all-the-rules detective who teams with a by-the-book FBI agent (Sandra Bullock), to take down a Russian mobster. The Boston-set film also stars Marlon Wayans, Tony Hale, and Demian Bichir.

Reiner Bajo

‘WHITE HOUSE DOWN’ (June 28)

Following the similar-themed Olympus Has Fallen, the latest disaster film from director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) once again sees the filmmaker destroy the White House. Stenz (Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke) plays the head of a group of mercenaries who takes over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum), a Secret Service reject, is the only one who can rescue the president of the United States (Jamie Foxx). The action film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a Secret Service agent, Richard Jenkins as the Speaker of the House, and James Woods as head of presidential security detail. And since it’s an Emmerich film, expect plenty of explosions/mayhem.

‘I’M SO EXCITED’ (June 28)

Written and directed by acclaimed auteur Pedro Almodovar, I’m So Excited (Los amantes pasajeros) is a light comedy set almost entirely aboard an airplane headed for Mexico City. When the flight attendants and crew realize that the plane will crash due to technical failure and the end is near, they try to make the flight as enjoyable an experience as possible for the passengers. The R-rated Spanish language comedy features lots of sex, and includes Javier Camara and Cecilia Roth, and also includes cameos by Almodovar regulars Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.

Peter Mountain

‘THE LONE RANGER’ (July 3)

The Lone Ranger reunites Johnny Depp with his Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski. Based on the American Old West serials of the same name, the action-comedy centers on Tonto (Depp), a Native American spirit warrior brings John Reid (Armie Hammer) back from the brink of death, and helps him transform into a legendary lawman fighting corruption in the Wild West, including greedy businessman Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson). The film also stars William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, and Helena Bonham Carter, and cost a whopping $250 million to produce. I’m still not entirely sure why there’s a bird on Johnny Depp’s head in the film, however.

‘DESPICABLE ME 2’ (July 3)

The 3D computer-animated film Despicable Me was a huge hit for distributor Universal in 2010, grossing over $543 million worldwide. In the sequel, which is also computer animated and presented in 3D, the super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help them fight a new villain named Eduardo (voiced by Al Pacino). The film also features the voices of Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, Gru’s gadget man; Kristen Wiig as Anti-Villain League agent Lucy Wilde; and Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, head of the Anti-Villain League.

Claire Folger

‘THE WAY, WAY BACK’ (July 5)

The Way, Way Back was the priciest acquisition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, purchased by Fox Searchlight for a reported $9.75 million. Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the Oscar winning screenwriting team behind The Descendants, the film tells the tale of 14-year-old Duncan (Liam Jones), a loner whose loving mother (Toni Collette) is dating asshole Trent (Steve Duncan). Duncan comes out of his shell when he meets the gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), the manager of Water Wizz Water Park who hires Duncan as a worker there one summer. With his confidence improved, he even begins to spark up a romance with his fetching next-door neighbor, played by AnnaSophia Robb.

Kerry Hayes

‘PACIFIC RIM’ (July 12)

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the imaginative filmmaker behind the Hellboy movies and the brilliant Pan’s Labyrinth, this $150 million sci-fi 3D blockbuster is set in the near future as giant monsters dubbed “Kaiju” rise from a crevice in the Pacific Ocean and wage on war on the human race that costs millions of lives. To combat them, the humans have created massive robots—called “Jaegers”—to prevent the apocalypse. The film stars Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam as a fighter pilot and Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi as a trainee who man one of the last Jaegers, as well as Luther’s Idris Elba, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day, and Ron Perlman.

‘THE HUNT’ (July 12)

Directed by Dogme 95 co-founder Thomas Vinterberg, whose 1998 film Festen is a classic, this Danish drama is set in a small Danish village around Christmastime. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is an upstanding member of the community. A former secondary school teacher, he is relegated to teaching kindergarten after losing his job. One day, one of the young girls he teaches falsely accuses him of showing her his genitals. Lucas is immediately viewed as a guilty sexual predator, and the entire community turns on him—including his girlfriend, Nadja, and his best friend, Theo, who is the father of the child accuser. The film is beautifully lensed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, and features a fantastic performance by Mikkelsen as the embattled teacher.

Dream Works Animation

‘TURBO’ (July 17)

This 3D computer-animated sports comedy from DreamWorks centers on Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), a garden snail who dreams of being one of the world’s greatest racers. When a freak accident leaves him with the power of incredible speed, he goes off to achieve his dream of racing against the best IndyCar drivers on the planet. The film also features the voice talents of Maya Rudolph, Paul Giamatti, Snoop Dogg, and Samuel L. Jackson as Whiplash, the leader of the snails, and is directed by first-time filmmaker David Soren, who worked as a storyboard artist on Shrek, Shark Tale, and Over the Hedge.

‘ONLY GOD FORGIVES’ (July 19)

This neo noir reunites the Drive team of filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling. Julian (Gosling) runs a boxing club in Thailand as a front for his evil mother’s (Kristen Scott Thomas) drug smuggling operation. When gangsters murder his brother, he is forced by his mother to bring the perpetrators to justice—which leads to a Muay Thai boxing showdown with the Angel of Vengeance, played by Vithaya Pansringarm. The film, which was filmed on location in Thailand in both English and Thai, will reportedly be Ryan Gosling’s last film for a while.

‘GIRL MOST LIKELY’ (July 19)

Directed by Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini, the filmmaking duo behind American Splendor, the movie stars Kristen Wiig as Imogene, a playwright who stages a suicide attempt in an effort to win back her ex, but instead ends up in the custody of her wild, gambling-addict mom, played by Annette Bening. The comedy-drama also stars Matt Dillon, Glee’s Darren Criss, and Natasha Lyonne, and marks Wiig’s first lead role since the megahit Bridesmaids.

Scott Garfield

‘R.I.P.D.’ (July 19)

Directed by Robert Schwentke (Red), this 3D sci-fi action-comedy stars Ryan Reynolds as Nick Cruz Walker, a policeman who’s shot dead in the line of duty. Instead of being sent to heaven or hell, he joins a team of undead cops in the Rest in Peace Department—including veteran Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges)—to solve crimes and bring the man who killed him to justice. The film also stars Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker.

Jan Thijs

‘RED 2’ (July 19)

Due to the success of the 2010 action-comedy film RED, which grossed almost $200 million worldwide against a $58 million budget, the sequel RED 2 will be released this summer. Directed by Dean Parisot, the film sees retired mercenaries Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), Victoria (Helen Mirren), and the kooky Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) return for more mayhem. While Morgan Freeman will not return, the sequel, which is set in London, Paris, and Moscow, adds Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, and David Thewlis.

‘BLUE JASMINE’ (July 26)

Written and directed by the great Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine centers on the trials and tribulations of a fashionable New York City housewife (Cate Blanchett). While details of the plot are top secret, what is known is that the film is set in New York and San Francisco, and also stars Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Stuhlbarg. 

Ben Rothstein

‘THE WOLVERINE’ (July 26)

This sequel to the X-Men spinoff series X-Men Origins: Wolverine, sees Hugh Jackman reprise his role as Logan/Wolverine, a buff mutant with adamantium claws and superhuman healing powers. Directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma), the film sees Logan travel to Japan to do battle with the Yakuza, led by new character Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada). Famke Janssen will also reportedly star as Jean Grey in the film, which is based on the graphic novel Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.

‘FRUITVALE STATION’ (July 26)

Originally titled Fruitvale, Ryan Coogler’s debut feature tells the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old young man who was shot to death by a police officer at the BART station in Oakland, Calif. The film recreates Grant’s (Michael B. Jordan) last day, including his interactions with his girlfriend, Wanda (Melonie Diaz), his mother (Octavia Spencer), and their young child. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, and later competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. And it features a star-making performance from Jordan, who is best known for his roles in the superhero flick Chronicle and the television series Friday Night Lights.

A24

‘THE SPECTACULAR NOW’ (Aug 2)

Directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed), and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who penned (500) Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now is a brilliantly acted comedy-drama starring Miles Teller as Sutter Keely, a whiskey-sippin’ high school senior who’s the life of the party. After being dumped by his girlfriend (Brie Larson), he comes to realize how much of a loser he really is, and how dim his future prospects are. But with the help of kindhearted nerd Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley), perhaps he can right his ship. The film, which received rave reviews out of Sundance, also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sutter’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his bourgeois sister, and Kyle Chandler as his estranged father.

‘2 GUNS’ (Aug 2)

Directed by Baltasur Kormakur (Contraband), 2 Guns stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as a DEA agent and naval intelligence officer investigating one another for stealing money from the mob. When they realize that the CIA set them up, they team up against those that wronged them. The action-comedy, based on the graphic novel 2 Guns by Steven Grant, also stars Paula Patton, James Marsden, Bill Paxton, and Edward James Olmos.

‘ELYSIUM’ (Aug 9)

Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s long-awaited follow-up to his 2009 sci-fi hit District 9 is set in the year 2154, where the uber-wealthy live on the space habitat Elysium, while the rest of the human race lives on ruined earth, which is plagued by crime and overpopulation. Armed with state-of-the-art technology, Max De Costa (Matt Damon) travels to Elysium to square off against their anti-immigration mayor, Secretary Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster), in order to save the billions of people left on planet earth. The $90 million sci-fi film also stars District 9’s Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, and Diego Luna.

‘PLANES’ (Aug 9)

Despite being a spin-off of the 2006 animated film Cars, this film is not produced by Pixar—but rather DisneyToon Studios. Directed by Klay Hall (Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure), this 3D computer animated film centers on Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook), a cropdusting plane that dreams of competing in an aerial race. The only problem? He’s afraid of heights. With the help of his mentor, Skipper (voiced by Stacy Keach), Dusty fights to overcome his fear and compete with the big boys. The film also features the voice talents of Val Kilmer, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, and Brad Garrett, and was originally intended as a direct-to-video feature before Disney decided to release it theatrically.

Michael Tackett

‘WE’RE THE MILLERS’ (Aug 9)

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball), We’re the Millers is about a pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) who hires a fake family to use as a cover to help him transport two tons of weed from Mexico to Colorado. He hires a sassy stripper (Jennifer Aniston) as his wife, a homeless teen (Emma Roberts) as his daughter, and a sarcastic British kid (Will Poulter) as his son. The comedy also stars Ed Helms, Kathryn Hahn, and Nick Offerman.

‘KICK-ASS 2’ (Aug 16)

This sequel to the 2010 R-rated superhero action flick is directed by Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) and stars Aaron Johnson as Kick-Ass, who teams up with a group of other masked superheroes, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), and the retired Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) to do battle with the scheming Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who’s now known as The Mother Fucker. The violent flick also stars Donald Faison, Clark Duke, and John Leguizamo.

Steve Dietl

‘AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS’ (Aug 16)

Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara) and Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) are a pair of Bonnie & Clyde-like outlaws from Texas who are wanted for a string of bank robberies. When the police corner them, Bob is arrested while the pregnant Ruth is set free. Years later, Bob escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas badlands to reunite with Ruth and the daughter he’s never met. Meanwhile, Ruth has struck up a friendship with a cop (Ben Foster), who had a role in Bob’s arrest. Marking the feature directorial debut of David Lowery, this riveting film was one of the best movies at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and features an outstanding turn by Mara.

Laurie Sparham

‘THE WORLD’S END’ (Aug 23)

This British sci-fi comedy is directed by Edgar Wright and features the comedy duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). It’s about five friends who reunite to reenact a pub crawl from their youth, only to learn that there may be far more at stake then getting wasted—namely, the end of the world. The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan. 

Rafy

‘THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES’ (Aug 23)

Based on the Mortal Instruments series of YA fantasy novels by Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones centers on Clary Fray (Lily Collins), a teenage girl who one night witnesses a murder at a nightclub, and returns home to find out that her mother (Lena Headey) has been kidnapped by the evil Valentine Morganstern (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), who is in search of the Mortal Cup. She comes to realize that she, like her mother, is a Shadowhunter—a half-human and half-angel warrior with special powers. She teams up with fellow Shadowhunters, including Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) and Alec (Kevin Zegers) to find the Mortal Cup and free her mother from the clutches of Valentine.

Corey Ransberg

‘YOU’RE NEXT’ (Aug 23)

Directed by Adam Wingard (V/H/S), this horror film centers on the Davison family whose home is invaded on the night of the parents’ wedding anniversary by a gang of mysterious killers in animal masks. The intruders, however, soon realize that one of the guests that night has a knack for killing, too. The film stars Sharni Vinson and up-and-comer Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color), as well as filmmakers Ti West (The House of the Devil) and Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs).

‘DRINKING BUDDIES’ (Aug 23)

This entirely-improvised comedy was written and directed by Mumblecore filmmaker Joe Swanberg, and stars New Girl’s Jake Johnson and Olivia Wilde as a pair of co-workers at a craft beer brewery in Chicago who spend their days drinking and flirting with each other. Despite their attraction to one another, they are each in relationships with other people (played by Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston). Are they indeed perfect for one another, or are they destined to be just drinking buds? The film received solid reviews after premiering at the 2013 South By Southwest festival.

Jay Maidment

‘CLOSED CIRCUIT’ (Aug 28)

Directed by John Crowley, who helmed the underrated 2003 Irish comedy Intermission, this thriller is about a pair of lawyer-lovers, played by Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, who find themselves in hot water when they join the legal defense team of an international terrorist. The film, which will be distributed by Focus Features, also stars Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds, and Riz Ahmed, who gave a dazzling performance in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

TriStar Pictures

‘ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US’ (Aug 30)

This 3D concert film is directed by famed documentarian Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me)—really—and provides an “all access pass” to the world tour of the British boy band One Direction, comprised of members Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne. The combination of Spurlock and a U.K. boy band just seems far too weird to pass up.