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Summer Movie Preview: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Godzilla,’ ‘22 Jump Street,’ and More (PHOTOS)

From blockbusters like ‘Godzilla’ and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ to R-rated comedies ‘Neighbors’ and ‘22 Jump Street,’ here are the most anticipated movies of summer 2014.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Now that the winter and spring months—aka movie purgatory—are behind us, it’s time to get excited about going to the cinema again, and this summer has plenty to offer moviegoers. There are loud blockbusters sequels, like Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Transformers: Age of Extinction; rowdy R-rated comedies such as Neighbors, 22 Jump Street, and Sex Tape; or films by celebrated auteurs, e.g. Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer, Richard Linklater’s 12-year project Boyhood, and the Woody Allen dramedy Magic in the Moonlight. Without further ado, here are the most anticipated movies of summer 2014.

Niko Tavernise/Columbia Pictures


Director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) and the original cast of The Amazing Spider-Man have returned for this supercharged sequel, presented in IMAX 3D. This time, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) will shield his lady love, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), from the clutches of Jamie Foxx’s Max Dillon, a meek Oscorp employee with a corporate vendetta who falls into a tank of radioactive eels and transforms into Electro—a terrifying blue creature with the power to harness and control electricity. The web-shooting hero will also square off against his ex-pal Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan), who transforms into the flying, bomb-chucking Green Goblin. Expect plenty of in-your-face explosions and web-swinging through New York City.

Jaimie Trueblood/Focus World, via AP


In this R-rated comedy from Steven Brill (Mr. Deeds), Elizabeth Banks stars as Meghan Miles—a journalist who dreams of becoming a news anchor. But, after a drunken one-night stand with Gordon (James Marsden) leaves her stranded in downtown Los Angeles with no phone, money, car, or ID, and with only eight hours to go until an interview for her dream anchor job, Meghan must embark on a crazy odyssey to get there. The comedy also stars Gillian Jacobs, Sarah Wright, Ethan Suplee, and Kevin Nealon.

Tribeca Film


This is—believe it or not—one of the most surprisingly good films of the year. Marking the feature filmmaking debut of Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola and niece of Sofia Coppola, and based on a series of short stories by the actor James Franco, this atmospheric drama centers on a group of troubled kids navigating the perilous drug-, alcohol-, and sex-fueled terrain of high school. There’s April (Emma Roberts), the class virgin who’s in love with skater boy Teddy (Jack Kilmer, son of Val); Fred (Nat Wolff), the troublemaking pal of Teddy’s who’s constantly leading him astray; Mr. B (James Franco), the school soccer coach who preys on his starting striker, April; and a coterie of other actors, including Val Kilmer, Chris Messina, and Colleen Camp.

Merrick Morton

CHEF (May 9)

The latest from blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Cowboys and Aliens) is a decidedly smaller passion project that stars Favreau as Carl Casper, a once-great chef who’s seen his talents wasted at a cheesy Los Angeles restaurant owned by Riva (Dustin Hoffman). After receiving a negative review from a snobby food critic (Oliver Platt), Carl goes on a Twitter tirade that goes viral, and subsequently quits. With nowhere left to turn, he decides to start over down in his hometown of Miami and, with the help of his young son (Emjay Anthony) and ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), starts a food truck selling Cubano sandwiches, with the hope of one day opening his own restaurant in L.A. The film also features cameos from Favreau’s Iron Man pals Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.

Glen Wilson/Universal


This is, without question, one of the funniest films of the year (or the past few years). In this R-rated comedy from Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as young parents with a baby who square off against a gang of out-of-control frat boys (led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco) that take over the house next door. What starts out as a mild feud soon snowballs into an all-out war filled with sight gags galore. The hilarious gross-out comedy also stars Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lisa Kudrow, and The Mindy Project’s Ike Barinholtz.

Kimberley French


British filmmaker Gareth Edwards’s (Monsters) reimagining of Godzilla will—hopefully—make us all forget Roland Emmerich’s disastrous ’98 version with Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno. In this highly anticipated $160 million reboot, featured in IMAX 3D, the iconic Japanese monster will do battle with a series of other creatures who emerge following a series of nuclear tests courtesy of the Janjira nuclear plant. Edwards’s film will star Aaron Taylor-Johnson as U.S. Navy Lieutenant Ford Brody; Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ichiro Serizawa, a scientist; Elizabeth Olsen as Ford’s wife, a nurse; Bryan Cranston as Ford’s father—and a nuclear physicist; as well as recent Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins as Dr. Vivienne Graham, a scientist alongside Serizawa.

Ron Phillips/Disney


From the producers of Invincible and Miracle comes this biographical sports drama by filmmaker Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) that tells the real-life story of sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm), who travels to India in search of baseball pitchers, and ends up recruiting a pair of cricket players—Dinesh Patel (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku Singh (Suraj Sharm)—using a reality show competition called Million Dollar Arm. The film is written by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent), features music by A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), and also stars Bill Paxton, Lake Bell, and Alan Arkin.

Anne Joyce


The Immigrant marks the third collaboration between filmmaker James Gray and star Joaquin Phoenix, after We Own the Night and Two Lovers. In this historical drama set in 1921 New York, a pair of Polish Catholic sisters—Ewa (Marion Cotillard) and Magda (Angela Sarafyan)—arrive at Ellis Island, New York, where Magda is held because she’s sick. Meanwhile, Ewa is forced to work as a burlesque performer for Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) and prostitute herself to make enough money to spring Magda. During her journey, she crosses paths with Bruno’s cousin, Emil (Jeremy Renner), aka Orlando the Magician, who hopes to save Ewa from the clutches of Bruno.

BFI London Film Festival

TRACKS (May 23)

Directed by John Curran (The Painted Veil), this adaptation of Robyn Davidson’s memoir of the same name is set in Australia, and tells the tale of Davidson (Mia Wasikowska), an adventurer who, in 1977, travels from Alice Springs across 1,700 miles of Australian deserts to the Indian Ocean with only her dog, four camels, and National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Girls’ Adam Driver), who is there to document her perilous journey. Curran’s film drew raves following its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and was subsequently acquired by Harvey Weinstein.

Alan Markfield/Marvel


The Bryan Singer sexual abuse scandal notwithstanding, this superhero blockbuster sees Singer, who directed the original X-Men and X2: X-Men United, return to the Marvel franchise and combine the casts of his previous X-Men films with that of the rebooted X-Men: First Class for an epic battle set across two time periods where the present-day mutants band together with their younger selves. The $225 million film boasts an insane cast that includes Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James McAvoy/Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Michael Fassbender/Ian McKellen (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), and newcomers Peter Dinklage (Boliver Trask, creator of the Sentinels), Omar Sy (Bishop), and Evan Peters (Quicksilver).

David Bloomer/Warner Bros.

BLENDED (May 23)

Between the Grown Ups films, Jack and Jill, and That’s My Boy, comedy star Adam Sandler has had a very rough go of late. So, he’s decided to reunite with his good luck charm, Drew Barrymore (see: The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates) for this comedy about a man and woman who, after a disastrous blind date, find themselves trapped together at a family resort with their respective kids. The film also stars Terry Crews, Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Kevin Nealon.

Neil Davidson/Magnolia Pictures

FILTH (May 30)

Whether it’s Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia or Professor X in X-Men: First Class, Scottish actor James McAvoy is used to playing good guys, so it’s exciting to see him play a very, very, very bad one in this raunchy adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name. McAvoy is Bruce Robertson, a detective sergeant in Edinburgh who’s investigating the brutal murder of a Chinese boy, while also angling to become the next detective inspector. Unfortunately, his mission is continually derailed by a carnival of cocaine, booze, prostitutes, foul plots, and bizarre hallucinations. It’s one of the best performances of McAvoy’s career, and Jon S. Baird’s indie also features an excellent ensemble that includes Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, and Shirley Henderson.

Frank Connor/Disney


The self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil” from 1959’s animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty is being given her own Wicked-style spin-off. In Maleficent, directed by effects artist Robert Stromberg and written by veteran Disney scribe Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King), Angelina Jolie stars as the titular horned villainess with the fantastic cheekbones in a tale that explores the events leading up to Sleeping Beauty from the antagonist’s perspective—namely, the curse she places on a child, Aurora (Elle Fanning), to protect her forest kingdom from mankind. The $200 million horror-fantasy flick also stars Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, and Miranda Richardson.

Tipping Point/Cinedigm


Kelly Reichardt is one of the most criminally underrated filmmakers around. Whether it’s the touching road movie Old Joy, the Michelle Williams-starrer Wendy and Lucy, or the Oregon Trail-set western Meek’s Cutoff, every Reichardt film is a thing of beauty. Her latest is the eco-drama Night Moves, which centers on a trio of environmentalist crusaders who band together to destroy a hydroelectric dam, and features a stellar cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, and Alia Shawkat.

Lorey Sebastian/Universal


Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to his $500 million-plus grossing blockbuster Ted, as well as his controversial Oscars hosting stint, is this western spoof. Set in 1882 Arizona, it centers on Albert (MacFarlane), a callow sheep farmer whose beautiful girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) dumps him after he backs down from a duel. As luck would have it, the down in the dumps herder soon meets another mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) who gives him the confidence to become the man he always thought he could be. Things get dicey, however, when her estranged husband (Liam Neeson), a notorious criminal, returns to town with a score to settle. The flick also stars Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Giovanni Ribisi, and—in a fun nod to Back to the Future III—Christopher Lloyd.

Warner Bros. Entertainment


In the wake of box office disappointment Oblivion, Tom Cruise returns to the sci-fi genre with this futuristic flick based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill. Fortunately for Cruise, he has filmmaker Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) guiding the ship. The IMAX 3D film centers on Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise), who, after being killed during a battle with a race of vicious aliens known as Mimics, finds himself in a time loop where he’s forced to relive the slaughter over and over again. With the tutelage of Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), Cage is able to exploit the ripple and learn more and more about his nemeses with the hopes of saving mankind.

James Bridges/Twentieth Century Fox


Break out your hankies. Directed by Josh Boone from the celebrated YA novel of the same name and scripted by the team behind The Spectacular Now and (500) Days of Summer, this is a summer weepie. Teen Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and is constantly accompanied by an oxygen tank. She enters a Cancer Kid Support Group where she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a sick boy with a prosthetic leg, and the two fall madly in love. But things get complicated when they’re forced to confront Hazel’s mortality. The romantic drama also stars Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Nat Wolff, and comedian Mike Birbiglia.

Glen Wilson/ Columbia Pictures

22 JUMP STREET (June 13)

One of the biggest movie surprises of 2012 was 21 Jump Street, the film remake of the cheesy ’80s sitcom about undercover cops posing as high school students best known for launching Johnny Depp’s career. Stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, along with The Lego Movie filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, return in this R-rated action-comedy sequel—only this time, they’re infiltrating the college frat scene. The film will also star Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Nick Offerman, and a rumored cameo by Hill’s Moneyball co-star Brad Pitt.

DreamWorks Animation


The first installment of this 3D animated film, released in 2010, became an unexpected box office smash, grossing close to $500 million worldwide. Set five years after the events of the first film, this sequel will feature teen Viking Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his dragon-pal, Toothless, finding themselves in the middle of a potential war between the Vikings and dragons. How to Train Your Dragon 2 will see Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Gerard Butler, and America Ferrera reprise their voice roles, and includes the addition of Kit Harrington, Djimon Hounsou, and Cate Blanchett to the talent roster.


LULLABY (June 13)

Written and directed by first-time director Andrew Levitas, this drama centers on Jonathan (Garrett Hedlund), a rebellious young man who’s been estranged from his aristocratic New York family for years. When he learns that his terminally ill father (Richard Jenkins) is going to be taken off life support, he pays a long-awaited visit—one that forces the family to address all their ghosts in the closet. The film also stars Amy Adams, Jessica Brown Findlay, Terrence Howard, Jennifer Hudson, and Anne Archer.

A24 Films

THE ROVER (June 13)

Directed by Animal Kingdom filmmaker David Michôd from a story by him and actor Joel Edgerton, this futuristic western is set in the Australian Outback and stars Guy Pearce as Eric, an ex-soldier who’s lost his farm and his family. When a gang of Aussie criminals snatches his last worldly possession—his beloved car—he sets off to find them and seek revenge. Along the way, he comes across Reynolds (Robert Pattinson), a naïve American and former member of the gang, who agrees to help him. The $12 million future-western has been billed as a more menacing version of Mad Max.

Keith Bernstein


With the exception of Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood the director has been in a bit of a rut of late with the kidnap saga The Changeling, that weird psycho-tsunami flick Hereafter, and the snooze-inducing J. Edgar. His follow-up to that strange display of aging prosthetics is a film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, which chronicles the rise of the musical group The Four Seasons (led by Frankie Valli). The film sees John Lloyd Young reprise his role as Valli from the Broadway musical, with actors Erich Bergen (Bob Guadio), Vincent Piazza (Tommy DeVito), and Michael Lomenda (Nick Massi) rounding out the music group. And, in a brilliant bit of casting, Eastwood’s film will also include Christopher Walken as Gyp DeCarlo, a shady member of the Genovese crime family.



This romantic comedy spoof is a Wet Hot American Summer reunion of sorts, with stars Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, and filmmaker David Wain banding together 13 years after that cult classic. They Came Together follows Joel (Rudd), an executive whose corporation threatens to shut down a sweet little candy shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, run by Molly (Amy Poehler). Before you can say You’ve Got Mail, the two start falling for each other. The absurdist flick also stars Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Christopher Meloni, Michael Shannon, Melanie Lynskey, Max Greenfield, and Bill Hader.

Industrial Light & Magic/Paramount


Explosion-happy filmmaker Michael Bay decided to ditch Shia LaBeouf in favor of his Pain and Gain star Mark Wahlberg—as a protective Dad to stunning newcomer Nicola Peltz—for the fourth installment of this robot franchise pitting the Autobots against the Deceptacons in in-your-face IMAX 3D. There will be plenty of explosions. 


Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, this highly anticipated sci-fi film marks the English language debut of acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host). It’s set in a dystopia where global warming has ravaged the Earth, and the only survivors are those aboard “Snowpiercer”—a massive train. The passengers have installed a rigid class system on the train, with the rich occupying the front cars and the poor squished in the tail. One day, Curstis (Chris Evans) leads the tail inhabitants to revolt against the elites, led by Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton). The critically lauded flick also stars Kang-ho Song, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris. 

Patrick Wymore/ Relativity Media


Marking the feature directorial debut of Dave Green, this sci-fi film—shot in the first-person—centers on three very close childhood friends who begin receiving a series of strange text messages on their phones after a construction project breaks ground in their neighborhood. They do some investigating and discover that the signal is an SOS coming from a tiny, stranded alien, and embark on a daring mission to rescue him. 

Saeed Adyani/Warner Bros.

TAMMY (July 2)

Remember the mustachioed air marshal in Bridesmaids that Melissa McCarthy’s character relentlessly hits on? That’s her real-life husband, Ben Falcone, and his debut feature behind the camera is Tammy. The film stars McCarthy (also co-writer) as the titular protagonist who’s having a hell of a day. She totals her car, gets fired from her job at a fast-food joint, and finds her hubby, Greg (Nat Faxon), having sex with their neighbor (Toni Collette) in their house. Tammy needs to book town, so she hops in a car with her thorny grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), for a road trip to Niagara Falls. The rowdy road comedy also stars Sandra Oh, Dan Aykroyd, Kathy Bates, Mark Duplass, and Gary Cole.

Andrew Schwartz/ The Weinstein Company


Back in 2006, a little indie film called Once, a heartrending Irish musical-love story, became a crossover hit, and has spawned an award-winning Broadway musical. The director of that film, John Carney, is back with Begin Again—the crowd-pleasing closing night film of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. It’s centered on lovers/songwriting partners Gretta (Keira Knightley) and Dave (Adam Levine), who move to New York. But after Dave cheats on Gretta, she’s left on her own. Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a washed-up record exec, stumbles upon Gretta performing at an East Village dive, and the two join forces to try to make it in the music biz. Carney’s film is co-produced by Judd Apatow, and also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, and Cee Lo Green.

IFC Films

BOYHOOD (July 11)

Shot off-and-on over the course of 12 years, with filming beginning in the summer of 2002 in Houston, Texas, and completed in October 2013, this vérité-style film from eclectic writer-director Richard Linklater traces the evolution of Mason Jr. (newcomer Ellar Coltrane), the 6-year-old child of divorced parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette), from first grade (age 6) to 12th grade (age 17), and examines his complicated relationship with his parents as he grows up. Linklater’s film received raves when it premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Twentieth Century Fox


Filmmaker Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes caught a lot of moviegoers by surprise with its engaging story and riveting motion-capture ape performance, courtesy of mocap maestro Andy Serkis. The sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has a different filmmaker in the director’s chair (Cloverfield’s Matt Reeves), and ditched the stars of the first film (James Franco, Freida Pinto) in favor of a new cast, including Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, and Gary Oldman, who find themselves caught in the middle of an epic showdown between a pack of genetically-evolved apes, led by Caesar (Serkis), and mankind.

Fox Searchlight

I ORIGINS (July 18)

Georgetown classmates Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, who collaborated on the acclaimed sci-fi indie Another Earth, are back with another entry in the sci-fi canon: I Origins. Directed by Cahill, the film centers on a young molecular biologist, Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), who, along with his trusty lab partner (Brit Marling, co-writer), make a shocking discovery that may change the fabric of society. The film also stars Archie Panjabi, Cara Seymour, and William Mapother, who featured in Another Earth.

Kevin Horan


The latest documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) is an adaptation of Life Itself: A Memoir by celebrated film critic Roger Ebert. James’s film, which is executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, tells the story of how the Chicago-based writer grew to become the most famous film critic of all time. Funding for the film was completed thanks to a crowdsourcing campaign, and it reportedly had audiences in tears following its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. 

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


Whether it’s a hit (The Matrix) or miss (Speed Racer), the filmmaking duo of Andy and Lana Wachowski always tend to churn out compelling, ambitious works of art. Their follow-up to the time-bending sci-fi thriller Cloud Atlas is Jupiter Ascending. It tells the tale of Jupiter (Mila Kunis), a lowly janitor who is targeted for termination by Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered intergalactic assassin. After the two realize that she’s the heir to Earth’s throne, they pair up to stop Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne), an alien royal who wants Earth all to himself. The $150 million sci-fi blockbuster will be presented in IMAX, and also stars Sean Bean, Douglas Booth, and James D’Arcy, and features a cameo by filmmaker Terry Gilliam (a nod to Brazil).

Focus Features


Filmmaker Zach Braff caused quite an online stir when he put this, his long-awaited follow-up to Garden State, on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter seeking $2 million in backing. They project ended up receiving $3,105,473 from 46,520 backers, and was later acquired for $2.75 million by Focus World at Sundance. It tells the story of Aidan Bloom (Braff), a 35-year-old struggling actor, father, and husband, who’s still searching for a purpose in life. Low on funds, he decides to home-school his two children, and along the way, rediscovers why life is worth living. The film also stars Kate Hudson, Jim Parsons, Josh Gad, and Mandy Patinkin as his father, Saul Bloom.

Drafthouse Films


Every movie by visionary filmmaker Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is a feast for the senses, and his latest, an adaptation of the 1947 Boris Vian novel Froth on the Daydream, looks to be quite the visual spectacle. It tells the surreal tale of pals Colin (Romain Duris) and Chick (Gad Elmaleh). Colin falls for Chloe (Audrey Tautou), who becomes ill on the couple’s honeymoon, and whose health begins to deteriorate, as Chick’s relationship with his flame, Alise (Aissa Maiga), begins to fall apart. The $21 million French language film also stars Omar Sy.

Sony Pictures Classic


Given the fairly recent sexual abuse allegations by his stepdaughter, Dylan Farrow, the press tour for this upcoming Woody Allen romantic comedy might be more interesting than the film. Nevertheless, this film, set in the South of France, centers on an Englishman (Colin Firth) who’s tasked with solving a con job. The ensemble cast also includes the lovely Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver, and Hamish Linklater.

Kerry Brown/Paramount Pictures

HERCULES (July 25)

This $110 million blockbuster, directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), hopes to succeed where stinker The Legend of Hercules failed. This historical epic is based a series of graphic novels by Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya, and stars the biggest actor in the biz, Dwayne Johnson, as the titular Greek demigod. After completing his 12 labors, Hercules is hired by the King of Thrace (John Hurt) and his daughter (Reece Ritchie) to save their kingdom against a tyrannical warlord, played by Ian McShane. The film also stars Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell, and former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Irina Shayk.

Claire Folger/ Columbia Pictures

SEX TAPE (July 25)

This raunchy, R-rated comedy reunites Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan with stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. In Sex Tape, the two play a bored, married couple who, after 10 years and two kids, decide they need to do something out-there to spice up their relationship. So they record a sex tape. Things get messy, however, when they accidentally upload it online. The film also stars Rob Corddry, Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper, and Jack Black.

D Stevens/Universal Pictures

GET ON UP (Aug. 1)

Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and produced by Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger, Get On Up is a biopic of James Brown, chronicling his rise from extreme poverty to legendary singer. The crooner-and-shaker will be portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, who played baseball star Jackie Robinson in 42, and he’ll be joined by Viola Davis as his mother, Susie Brown; Octavia Spencer as his Aunt Honey; Jill Scott as one of his wives, Dee-Dee Jenkins, and Tika Sumpter as Brown collaborator Yvonne Fair.

Fox Searchlight

CALVARY (Aug. 1)

Brendan Gleeson turned in a hilarious performance as a wacky cop opposite Don Cheadle’s FBI straight-laced FBI agent in filmmaker John Michael McDonough’s solid 2011 debut feature, The Guard. For his follow-up, he’s reteamed with Gleeson for a philosophical comedy that tackles Catholicism. Gleeson plays Father James, who one day, is told by a man that he’s going to be killed because he is without sin. Given a week before his murder, Father James sets out to make peace with God, and his troubled family, and also try to narrow down the list of suspects. The film also stars Kelly Reilly (Flight), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), and Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones).

AP Photo/Disney/Marvel


They’re the anti-Avengers. Based on the bizarre Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, this IMAX 3D flick is directed by James Gunn (Super), and centers on Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), an American pilot who finds himself on the run from assassins after swiping an orb coveted by the supervillain Ronan (Lee Pace). To combat the threat, he teams up with a group of wacky misfits, including a green alien, Gamora (Zoe Saldana); a genetically engineered raccoon/expert marksman, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper); a tree-like humanoid, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel); and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a giant warrior. The sci-fi blockbuster also stars Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Benicio Del Toro, and Djimon Hounsou.

Universal Pictures

LUCY (Aug. 8)

Written and directed by French action pro Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita), this sci-fi actioner stars Scarlett Johansson as Lucy, a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, who’s forced into working as a drug mule for the Chinese mob. After accidentally ingesting one of the drugs she’s tasked with carrying, she transforms into a superhuman creature who’s able to move objects with her mind and is impervious to pain. Scarlett Johansson kicking ass? Sign us up. The crazy action flick is also set in Paris and New York, and Johansson is joined by Morgan Freeman and Oldboy star Choi Min-sik.

ILM/Paramount Pictures


Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) and produced by Michael Bay, this action-comedy reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series, about a gang of turtles who are doused with toxic ooze and transform into giant pizza-loving, high-kicking crime fighters, features a combination of live-action and CGI (the turtles). Reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) team up with the Turtles to do battle against the evil Shredder (William Fichtner) and his notorious Foot Clan. The film also stars Johnny Knoxville as the voice of Leonardo, Tony Shalhoub as the voice of Splinter, and Whoopi Goldberg. No word yet on a Vanilla Ice cameo…

Francois Duhamel/ DreamWorks


Talk about star wattage. This story about an Indian family that moves to France and finds themselves among stiff competition when they decide to open an Indian restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred French one is directed by Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules), produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, written by Steven Knight (Locke), and adapted from the novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais. It also stars Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, and Om Puri. Expect plenty of food porn.

20th Century Fox

LET’S BE COPS (Aug. 13)

This wacky, R-rated action-comedy is directed by Luke Greenfield, who helmed the underrated 2004 flick The Girl Next Door, and stars New Girl co-stars (and real-life pals) Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. as a pair of friends who dress up like police officers for a costume party and find themselves on a wild journey filled with coeds, mobsters, and shady cops when the whole neighborhood mistakes them as the real deal. The flick also stars Andy Garcia, Nina Dobrev, and Rob Riggle.

Phil Bray


The third entry in Sylvester Stallone’s ensemble bloody-insane action franchise sees Sly vacate the director’s chair in favor of Aussie filmmaker Patrick Hughes (Red Hill). In this ultraviolent flick, the titular gang of mercenaries squares off against Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), a brutal arms dealer—and co-founder of the Expendables. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all reprise their roles from the previous film, and are joined by newcomers Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Victor Ortiz, and Kellan Lutz. That’s a lot of testosterone.

The Weinstein Company

THE GIVER (Aug. 15)

Directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt) and adapted from Lois Lowry’s bestselling 1993 novel of the same name, this sci-fi film is set in a future perfect world where all is happy. There is no racism, war, sickness, or conflict of any kind. Sixteen-year-old Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is selected as the community’s Receiver of Memories, and enters into mental training with a wise old man known as The Giver (Jeff Bridges). During this, he learns all about the pain and suffering of the “real world,” and comes to realize that this “perfect world” he lives in is nothing but a fantasy. The movie boasts a stellar supporting cast that includes Meryl Streep (Chief Elder), Alexander Skarsgard (Jonas’s father), Katie Holmes (Jonas’s mother), and pop star Taylor Swift (Rosemary).


The long-awaited sequel to 2005’s Sin City is based on the second graphic novel in Frank Miller’s Sin City series, and is co-directed by Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It consists of intersecting stories: “A Dame to Kill For,” starring Josh Brolin as Dwight McCarthy, who’s seduced by Ava Lord (Eva Green) into helping her be freed from her abusive billionaire husband; “Just Another Saturday Night,” focusing on Marv (Mickey Rourke); “The Long Bad Night,” about a cocky gambler (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who attempts to destroy Sin City’s biggest villain at his own game; and an untitled original story focusing on Nancy (Jessica Alba), struggling to recuperate following Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) suicide. The film also stars Rosario Dawson, Jeremy Piven, and Lady Gaga.