The spring of 2014 blew audiences away with outstanding films such as "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Maleficent," but the summer season promises even bigger blockbusters that are sure to keep audiences packing into theaters from June to August. Of course, behind every great movie is an even better actor, and these five Hollywood icons have defined their respective films with plenty of emotion, character and talent.
5. Cameron Diaz in "Sex Tape"
Cameron Diaz is known for playing the beautiful, sassy love interest, but she and Jason Segel team up to play a bored married couple looking to spice up their love life, and this role is a pleasant change of pace for the seasoned actress. In "Sex Tape," Annie and Jay decide it would be fun to make their own intimate film, but when it is accidentally uploaded to the cloud before they get a chance to delete it, they go on a mad dash to get rid of it before it falls into the hands of their friends and family.
4. Chris Pratt in "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Chris Pratt has been slowly working his way up the Hollywood ladder in TV shows and smaller films, but his role as Peter Quill, also known as Star Lord, in "Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most anticipated performances of the summer. Trailers and early clips reveal Pratt's character to be both tough and humorous, a perfect combination for the actor who has starred in both "Wanted" and "Bride Wars." Pratt's interactions with the rest of the cast should be especially entertaining with stars such as Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana and Lee Pace waiting in the wings.
3. Dwayne Johnson in "Hercules"
Fans of the action star would argue that there is no better actor to fill Hercules' shoes than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the personification of power and fury. From "The Scorpion King" to "Tooth Fairy," the professional wrestler's acting career has landed him some incredibly diverse roles. However, "Hercules" promises to be a career maker for the actor with a legendary story and great directing by Brett Ratner. The film, which hits theaters July 25, follows the Greek demigod as a king and his daughter seek his help in defeating a powerful warlord.
2. Shailene Woodley in "The Fault in Our Stars"
Earlier in 2014, Woodley impressed audiences as the lead character in the sci-fi adventure "Divergent," and her outstanding performance has left viewers eagerly awaiting her summer role in the emotion-ridden dramatic romance "The Fault in Our Stars." In this flick, Woodley plays Hazel, a teenager with cancer who meets and falls in love with a young man experiencing a similar struggle. Shailene Woodley has been rising to prominence with films such as "The Descendants" and "The Spectacular Now," and "The Fault in Our Stars" is the perfect opportunity for the young actress to display both her witty and sentimental sides.
1. Tom Cruise in "Edge of Tomorrow"
Tom Cruise always manages to bring exciting action films to life in a way few other actors can, and his performance in "Edge of Tomorrow" is no exception. In the film directed by Doug Liman, Cruise plays Cage, a soldier trapped in a time loop in which he must fight an alien invasion each day, always dying at the end of a battle. However, as he forms a relationship with a Special Forces fighter named Rita, he begins to understand what is truly happening. Cruise is emotional, passionate and exciting to watch as he performs many of his own stunts.
These five actors vary widely in age, genre and acting experience, but each one has displayed immense talent and promise in their summer performances. As the fall and winter seasons roll around, audiences can expect to see even more of their favorite actors returning to the big screen in a series of incredible films for the 2014 movie year.