Though it seems like summer movies have taken an age to get here (or was that just summer?), they’re coming on in full force. With “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” really opening the floodgates for us, now along comes the comedies, dramas, science fiction and action thrillers summer movies are known for.
This summer we appear to be going light on comedy and animation in favor of adult-oriented sci-fi action thrillers. Think “Jupiter Ascending”, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Transformers,” “Godzilla” and “X-Men.” But we think we're better off for it. Get ready for big action, big explosions and hopefully some new and exciting plot lines.
Continue on to read more about the movies we can’t wait to see in 2014.
Many thanks to Brooke Wylie for her time and wisdom in contributing to this list.
"Guardians of the Galaxy"—Aug. 1
Summer movies promise big action, comedy and two to three hours out of the heat. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a movie that will faithfully check off all those requirements and then some. Though this isn’t what seems to be your typical superhero movie, coming from Marvel, expect it to have all of the clever quips, incredible graphics and impressive storylines we’ve come to expect from the superhero powerhouse. Look forward to Chris Pratt revealing his super-hot bod, John C. Reilly in what seems to be a slightly less comedic role (you have to love when actors take a leap) and a talking racoon superhero. That last one really seals the deal.
"The Fault In Our Stars"—June 6
"The Fault In Our Stars" is an unconventional love story that shares just how beautiful young love can be, though this beauty is juxtaposed with just how hard and unfair young cancer is. Though the love story holds strong, the movie is also about growing up for all characters involved. Look for a powerful performance from Shailene Woodley as Hazel, a girl with thyroid cancer who describes herself as a 'grenade.'
"Dawn of Planet of the Apes"—July 11
In what should be one of many movies to follow 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” we find Caesar’s army being pitted against the humans who survived a deadly virus that was unleashed 10 years ago. Though the two groups reach a peace deal, the trailer ominously tells us that a war is a brewing and ultimately, it will come down to the superior race.
The trailer even hints how it might end up: “You know the scary thing about them? They don’t need power, lights, heat, nothing. That’s their advantage. That’s what makes them stronger.”
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"—June 13
"How to Train Your Dragon 2" picks up five years after we left off in the original story. Following the successful uniting of dragons and Vikings, our two heroes Toothless and Hiccup continue on their adventures together. However, when their adventure takes them to a cave full of unexplored characters and lands, they are tasked with keeping the peace they worked so hard to bring about.
Without too many other animated action movies coming to theaters this summer, this movie is almost assuredly going to be a hit.
Disney’s “Maleficent” turns the tables on one of their oldest movies, “Sleeping Beauty”, shifting the focus from Princess Aurora to one of the most iconic villains of all time. The film promises to show just what turned Maleficent’s heart to stone. Incredible costumes and casting combine with stunning visuals to hopefully produce one of the summer’s biggest films. We look forward to watching Angelina Jolie nail the role of such a complex character.
"Jupiter Ascending"—July 18
The latest science fiction film from the directors of “The Matrix” promises to at least be visually stunning and at first glance, the plot is promising. Jupiter Jones, played by Mila Kunis, is a lowly home caretaker living on Earth. Unknown to her and the other inhabitants on Earth, aliens are real and are using planets for business matters. Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered warrior, is sent to inform Jupiter that she is actually royalty and the heir to Earth. Enter Balem Abrasax, who wants to harvest Earth and thus wants to hunt Jupiter down, and you’ve got a futuristic space chase. As is historically true with Wachowski films, there’s not going to be anything else like this film this summer.
“Chef” looks to be the feel-good comedy that every summer needs, plus it features some delicious-looking eats. A Los Angeles chef, played by director Jon Favreau, leaves his high-end job to get back to cooking food he loves and reunite his family. so he opens a food truck. The story may be a little too “Hollywood” for some, namely those who have actually left their chef positions to start their own food trucks, but it promises to be entertaining all the same.
"The Amazing Spider Man 2"—May 2
“The Amazing Spider Man 2” had the unenviable pressure of kicking off the summer movie season, and while Mark Webb’s second take on the web-slinger has some high-highs (that climactic moment that comics fans have been waiting for and casual fans never saw coming), it is also quite a different picture than many envisioned. If you were counting on more than a handful of minutes with Paul Giamatti’s Rhino, forget it. Like many second installments before it, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” suffers from some growing pains, in this case, it is built around a character defining moment, even as it is forced to act as a bridge between Spidey’s origins and the rise of his allied enemies in “The Sinister Six”.
"Edge of Tomorrow"—June 6
The “Edge of Tomorrow” appears to be “Source Code” set in an alien war zone. Tom Cruise’s character, who has previously never been in battle, is dropped onto the front lines and is killed almost as soon as he gets there. However, a time loop allows him to to hone his skills with the help of Emily Blunt’s Rita. We’re excited to see a strong male-female relationship that doesn’t have to end in a love story, intense action and hopefully the execution needed to make this plot really stick. Here’s hoping it fares better than Cruise’s last futuristic outing, “Oblivion”. That effort was pretty, but left viewers’ brains numb.
We’re truly in a summer of sequels and reboots. What we have to look forward to in the newest “Godzilla” is an end to the absence of American large lizard movies in recent history—the only other version of Godzilla by an American studio was in 1998 with Matthew Broderick––and we can all agree it wasn’t worth remembering.
Luckily, we’re freshening things up a bit with the talent of Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (the latter two will also appear together as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in next year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron), plus a completely reworked plot and revamped Godzilla. This version sees our scaly nemesis going head-to-head with other “"Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism” or muto monsters that threaten our planet. Look forward to Godzilla’s new roar, a new twist on the tale that usually features the lizard haphazardly tearing apart a city and the monster’s pretty scary new look. A little fear factor never hurt any summer blockbuster.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past"—May 23
Whether you’re a fan of James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier or Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, you’ll be satisfied by having both in the latest X-Men. A movie that promises the kind of driving action we’re used to getting in summer movies, X-Men at least appears to have all the makings of a good movie: A uniting of good and evil against a bigger common enemy, a tale of finding yourself and lots and lots of explosions. We’re hopeful that “X-Men: Days of Future Past” rises above its slightly strange name to provide a straightforward story of the triumph of good over evil.
"A Million Ways to Die in the West"—May 30
An incredible cast is what undoubtedly will draw many out to see “A Million Ways To Die In The West”, even if they are a little unsure about Seth MacFarlane’s humor. We’re hoping that, as with “Ted” the storyline can help justify whatever crude inclusions MacFarlane makes. Or—better yet— that MacFarlane wrote a script that doesn’t have to rely on crude humor. Regardless, the movie promises laughs and many quotable moments sure to keep you chuckling randomly throughout the summer.
"Transformers: Age of Extinction"—June 27
Though it doesn’t seem to be that great of a movie, it’s clearly one we’ve been willing to invest in so far. Optimus Prime and his crew of Autobots return as do the Decepticons, but this movie introduces us for the first time to Dinobots. As you might imagine, the final transformed stage for Dinobots resemble dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.
It’s not likely to break any records and it might even be a bit of a flop, but even a good flop can be fun during the summer season. As long as the graphics are well done, the plot doesn’t have too many holes and there’s enough action to keep us engaged, we’re willing to give it a chance. Plus, we get to swap out Shia LeBoeuf for Mark Wahlberg. Marky Mark might have been the less appealing option when this franchise launched, but LeBoeuf has pretty successfully eroded all public sentiment for him thanks to his antics, so we say bring on the head Whalburger.
"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For"—Aug. 22
After a barrage of false-starts and hopes raised only to be dashed by delays fans of Robert Rodriguez’ 2005 adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal “Sin City” graphic novels are finally getting the sequel they deserve. The events of “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” take place before those of the first film according to the chronology of the graphic novels––so we’ll see Josh Brolin replacing Clive Owen as Dwight before he got his new face to evade the law, but otherwise the major players are back in action. Bruce WIllis, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Powers Booth and Jessica Alba are being joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven and more for another dose of heady, hard-boiled adventure.
"Sex Tape"—July 25
“Sex Tape” stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple looking to get back the spark in their love life. After coming up with the great idea to film a sex tape and then carrying out their plan, Annie (Cameron Diaz) decides they should just do away with the evidence. Unfortunately, the video is uploaded into “The Cloud” and comes into the possession of their family, friends, and the mailman. With this cast and the material at hand, the movie is almost guaranteed to be one of this summer’s comedy hits.
"Jimi: All Is By My Side"—May 8
"The Angriest Man in Brooklyn"—May 23
"22 Jump Street"––June 13
"Jersey Boys"—June 20
"They Came Together"—June 27
"Begin Again"—July 4
"Boyhood"— July 11
"A Most Wanted Man"— July 25
"Get On Up"—Aug. 1
"Expendables 3"—Aug. 15