Summer movie preview 2014: The best films to see this season

Summertime is blockbuster time – get ready!

Summertime is blockbuster time and the next few months offer a wealth of Hollywood’s biggest movies.

Lots of toy flicks — “Transformers,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” — the latest Marvel film, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and a new comedy from Melissa McCarthy are among more than 90 films to check out this summer.

‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Tom Cruise stars in this sci-fi film from director Doug Liman about a soldier, fighting a battle against aliens, who is stuck reliving the same day over and over again. So yes, it’s a sci-fi “Groundhog Day.” (June 6)

‘The Fault in Our Stars’

Two teens who are attending a cancer support group fall in love in this adaptation of the best-selling book. Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. (June 6)

‘Obvious Child’

It’s a bad Valentine’s Day for a Brooklyn comic who loses her job and boyfriend and learns that she’s pregnant, all on Feb. 14. Starring Jenny Slate. (June 6)

‘The Sacrament’

Horror director Ti West (“The House of the Devil”) returns with this film about a pair of journalists investigating the disappearance of a friend’s sister at a religious community. (June 6)

‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon’

Mike Myers goes behind the camera for his directorial debut, a documentary about music manager Shep Gordon, who represented talent such as Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross and Alice Cooper. (June 6)

‘Trust Me’

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” star Clark Gregg writes, directs and stars in this new comedy about an agent for child actors who discovers an amazing new talent (newcomer Saxon Sharbino). Also starring Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Amanda Peet and Sam Rockwell. (June 6)


Mark Strong plays a man who can somehow make his way into people’s memories, and now he’s looking into the memories of Anna (Taissa Farmiga), who may be a sociopath. (June 6)

‘Citizen Koch’

This documentary looks into the tea party by following the group’s funding, which ties back to wealthy folks like the Koch brothers. (June 6)

‘Burning Blue’

A pair of Navy fighters find their lives in turmoil because of their relationship. (June 6)

’22 Jump Street’

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are back in this sequel to the comedy hit about a pair of cops undercover in a high school. Here, they’re off to college to take down another drug ring. (June 13)


Aaron Paul plays a negligent father of two children: the older a juvenile delinquent obsessed with motocross and heavy metal, and the younger on the verge of being placed in Child Protective Services. (June 13)

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

The animated world with dragons and Vikings is back, and Hiccup and his dragon Toothless go exploring and discover a secret cave with a lot more dragons. (June 13)

‘Ivory Tower’

This documentary investigates whether higher education is worth the time and money. (June 13)


An estranged son learns that his sick father is planning to take himself off life support. Starring Amy Adams, Garrett Hedlund, Terrence Howard and Richard Jenkins. (June 13)

‘The Rover’

Set in the Australian outback in the near future, a man sets out to get back his stolen car from the gang that stole it. (June 13)

‘The Signal’

This sci-fi puzzler follows a pair of MIT students who are trying to track down a notorious hacker in the desert. Things take a strange turn when they end up in a government facility. (June 13)

‘Life’s a Breeze’

This Irish film follows a family looking for a lost fortune in Dublin. (June 13)

‘Jersey Boys’

Clint Eastwood brings the popular musical to the silver screen. The film chronicles the rise of early rock ‘n’ rollers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Starring John Lloyd Young and Christopher Walken. (June 20)

‘Think Like A Man Too’

The numerous couples are back, meeting up in Las Vegas for a wedding in this sequel to the movie based on a self-help book by Steve Harvey. Starring Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union and many more funny folks. (June 20)

‘Third Person’

“Crash” filmmaker Paul Haggis is back with this film that follows three interlocking love stories — one each in Rome, Paris and New York. Starring Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger and Liam Neeson. (June 20)

‘Venus in Fur’

Director Roman Polanski adapts the Tony-winning play about a theater director and an actress who is trying to land a part. Starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric. In French with subtitles. (June 20)

‘Yves Saint Laurent’

This biopic looks at the life of the famed French designer. Starring Pierre Niney. In French with subtitles. (June 25)

‘La Bare’

Joe Manganiello, star of “Magic Mike,” directs and stars in this documentary about the male strip club La Bare Dallas. (June 27)


Based on a French comic, this sci-fi movie features a world where the planet is in a new ice age and the survivors are living aboard a constantly moving train that is divided by social class. Chaos, as usual, ensues. Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt and Ed Harris. (June 27)

‘They Came Together’

The latest film from “Role Models” director David Wain is a romantic comedy parody starring Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders, Adam Scott, Christopher Meloni, Michael Shannon, Max Greenfield, Michael Ian Black and Ken Marino. (June 27)

‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

Explosion, explosion, dinobot, Optimus Prime, explosion, Mark Wahlberg, pretty woman, explosion. I think you get the gist, right? (June 27)

‘Whitey: The United States of America v. James J. Bulger’

The trial of gangster Whitey Bulgar is chronicled in this documentary. (June 27)

‘Begin Again’

“Once” director John Carney again taps into the music world for this film about a music producer who has fallen on hard times (Mark Ruffalo) and his collaboration with a singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley). Also starring Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine and James Corden. (June 27)

‘Deliver Us From Evil’

Eric Bana plays a New York City police detective who checks out a series of crimes with the help of a priest. Why a priest? There could be possessions! Based on a true story. (July 2)

‘Earth to Echo’

Some kids get mysterious text messages that lead them to an alien. (July 2)

‘Life Itself’

The life of the late film critic Roger Ebert is chronicled in this documentary from Steve James, the director of “Hoop Dreams” (a film Ebert championed). Featuring interviews with Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and many others. My colleague Robert Levin has seen it and says it deserves two thumbs up. (July 4)


Melissa McCarthy stars and co-writes this comedy with her husband/director Ben Falcone about a woman on a road trip with her boozing grandmother. Also starring Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. (July 2)

‘A Long Way Down’

Based on a novel by Nick Hornby, this comic drama follows four people who meet on a rooftop on New Year’s Eve and form a support group. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike, Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots and Toni Collette. (July 11)


A photographer gets lost in the wealthy world of Long Island in 2008. (July 11)

‘And So It Goes ?’

A me-first real estate agent (Michael Douglas) finds his life changed when his estranged son drops off his granddaughter. The agent then turns to his neighbor (Diane Keaton) for some help. (July 11)


Richard Linklater writes and directs this film about a boy (Ellar Coltrane) from ages 5 to 18. What’s unique about this film, which also stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, is that it was filmed annually over a period of 12 years. (July 11)

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

This sequel pits Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his ape forces against the remaining humans. Also starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Judy Greer. (July 11)

‘The Fluffy Movie’

This comedic documentary chronicles stand-up star Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. (July 11)

‘Land Ho!’

Ex-brothers-in-law take a trip around Iceland in this comedy adventure. (July 11)

‘Road to Paloma’

“The Red Road” and “Game of Thrones” star Jason Momoa writes, directs and stars in this drama about a son dealing with the brutal murder of his mother on an Indian reservation. (July 11)


Nicolas Cage plays a man with a criminal past going up against the Russian mob, which has taken his daughter hostage. Also starring Rachel Nichols, Peter Stormare and the line of dialogue “How deep is hell?” It made me chuckle. (July 11)

‘I Origins’

Is the eye the window to the soul? A scientist deals with some very heady scientific theories that could change the world in this thriller. Starring Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey. (July 18)

‘Jupiter Ascending’

The latest sci-fi epic from Andy and Lana Wachowski follows a woman who is being denied her destiny. Starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean. (July 18)

‘Mood Indigo’

A woman is ill from a flower growing in her lung. From writer/director Michel Gondry, of course. (July 18)

‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

More animated planes from Disney. Featuring the voices of Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Ed Harris and Regina King. (July 18)

‘The Purge: Anarchy’

Welcome back to the world of “The Purge” where one night a year, killing is legal. In this sequel, a couple is stuck outside during the murderous event when their car breaks down. (July 18)

‘Wish I Was Here’

Co-writer, director and star Zach Braff (“Garden State”) used Kickstarter to help fund his latest film, about a father, looking for direction, who decides to homeschool his children. (July 18)

‘A Most Wanted Man’

Based on a novel by John le Carré (“The Spy Who Came In From the Cold,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”), this thriller follows an illegal immigrant in Germany who is being pursued by German and U.S. forces for potential terrorist ties. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright. (July 25)

‘Good People’

James Franco and Kate Hudson take the lead in this thriller about a couple who find stolen money in their tenant’s apartment, which rankles the thief who took it. (July 25)

‘Happy Christmas’

From writer/director Joe Swanberg comes this film about a 20-something going to live with her brother and his family. When she arrives, she causes friction with her brother’s wife. Starring Anna Kendrick. (July 25)


The second “Hercules” film this year, this one stars Dwayne Johnson as the Greek demigod as he goes on to fight all sorts of mythic beasts. Despite being directed by Brett Ratner (“X-Men: The Last Stand”), this is probably the better of the two films. (July 25)

‘Magic in the Moonlight’

This new Woody Allen movie is a romantic comedy about a Brit brought in to debunk a spiritualist in the French Riviera in the 1920s. Starring Colin Firth, Emma Stone and others, but not Woody himself. (July 25)

‘Sex Tape’

“Bad Teacher” stars Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz reunite for this Jake Kasdan comedy about a couple looking for their lost sex tape. (July 25)

‘Step Up: All In’

If I have to tell you what a “Step Up” movie is about, then you’ve missed the past 10 years of pop culture. This one features a lot of actors from the previous films. They’re ? “All In” this movie. Jokes! (July 25)

‘Very Good Girls’

Two friends in New York City plan to lose their virginity, except that they both fall for the same guy. Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning. (July 25)’Lucy’Scarlett Johansson is a captured woman turned into an almost otherworldly warrior in this sci-fi flick from writer/director Luc Besson. Also starring Morgan Freeman. (July 25)


A priest threatened during a confession must deal with the troubling situation in his town. Starring Brendan Gleeson and Chris O’Dowd. (Aug. 1)

‘Child of God’

James Franco stars in, directs and cowrites this thriller about a guy who leaves his world of violence to become a cave dweller. (Aug. 1)

‘Get On Up’

Chadwick Boseman (“42”) takes on another biopic, this one about music legend James Brown. From Tate Taylor, the director of “The Help.” (Aug. 1)

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

The Marvel Comics movie franchise heads to space with this film about an odd band of rogues — including Groot, a talking tree creature (part house plant, part muscle), and Rocket, a gun-wielding raccoon: your new favorite characters ever. Looks fun. (Aug. 1)

‘What If’

This rom-com posits: Can your best friend be your true love? Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. (Aug. 1)

‘Cabin Fever: Patient Zero’

There have apparently been a few “Cabin Fever” movies. This is another. Starring Sean Astin. (Aug. 1)

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

An Indian family relocates to France and opens up an eatery across the street from a Michelin-starred French restaurant. Staring Helen Mirren. (Aug. 8)’Into the Storm’

High school students track the catastrophic effects of a tornado. (Aug. 8)

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Producer Michael Bay takes a stab at the popular franchise, producing one of the most “realistic” versions of the mutant turtles. The big question is: Can turtle shells withstand explosions? Starring Megan Fox and Johnny Knoxville. (Aug. 8)

‘The Two Faces of January’

Three people are on the run after a police officer is killed. Starring Oscar Isaac, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen. (Aug. 8)

‘James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D’

Join James Cameron, famed director of “Titanic” and “Avatar,” as he explores the oceans in the Deepsea Challenger submarine. (Aug. 8)

‘Let’s Be Cops’

“New Girl” co-stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. go to a costume party dressed as cops — and decide to keep pretending to be police officers. Hilarity ensues. (Aug. 13)

‘As Above, So Below’

Like in the beginning of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” a pair of archaeologists are on the hunt for treasure in the catacombs under the streets of Paris. Then it becomes a horror movie about the gates of hell, etc. (Aug. 15)

‘Desert Dancer’

A man attempts to open a dance studio in Iran, which has banned dancing. Starring Reece Ritchie and Freida Pinto. (Aug. 15)

‘The Expendables 3’

I’m just going to list the new stars joining Sylvester Stallone’s already star-studded action franchise: Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, Robert Davi and Kelsey Grammer. (Aug. 15)

‘The Giver’

Based on the popular novel by Lois Lowry, this film is about a perfect society where one boy learns about the good and bad of the “real” world from an elder. Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Jeff Bridges. (Aug. 15)

‘Life After Beth’

A man (Dane DeHaan, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) is distraught when his girlfriend dies, but he gets a second chance at love when she comes back from the dead. Also starring Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick. (Aug. 15)

‘The Trip to Italy’

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back together for another epicurean eating trip, this time through Italy. The first one was amazing, and this one looks just as good. Just as good, indeed. (Aug. 15)

‘Dinosaur 13’

This documentary follows the team led by paleontologist Peter Larson, who discovered one of the most amazing dinosaurs in history: one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever found. (Aug. 15)

‘The One I Love’

Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss star as a couple with marital problems who take a weekend getaway to try and work things out. Also starring Ted Danson. (Aug. 25)


A young musician joins up with an eclectic band, including Frank, who wears a giant mask of a human head. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Inspired by a true story. (Aug. 22)

‘Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

Almost 10 years later, you can return to the nearly black-and-white world of graphic novelist Frank Miller in this gritty noir sequel. (Aug. 22)

‘If I Stay’

A young woman (Chloë Grace Moretz) choosing between studying music at Juilliard or being with her boyfriend finds her life in upheaval after an accident. (Aug. 22)

‘Love is Strange’

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina star as a married couple living in New York and dealing with the fallout from one of them losing his job. (Aug. 22)

‘When the Game Stands Tall’

This sports flick tells the story of high school football coach Bob Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel), who helped his team reach a 151-game winning streak. (Aug. 22)

‘The November Man’

A former CIA agent is back in the game to take on his former student. Starring Pierce Brosnan. (Aug. 27)


The players in a foosball game come to life in this award-winning animated comedy. Featuring the voices of Rupert Grint, Anthony Head and Rob Brydon. (Aug. 27)

‘The Congress’

Based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem (“Solaris”), this live action/animated film is about actress Robin Wright (played by Robin Wright), who agrees to a role in an immersive animated dreamlike world after her options for roles in the real world dry up. Also starring Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti. (Aug. 29)


From the producer of “Paranormal Activity, “Insidious,” “Sinister” and “The Purge” — basically 80% of the horror movies produced in the last five years — comes this chiller about a woman who returns to her parents’ home and gets a tarot reading from her deceased mother on a hidden videotape. (Aug. 29)

‘Life of Crime’

In this caper comedy based on an Elmore Leonard book, Jennifer Aniston plays a wife who is kidnapped but her husband, played by Tim Robbins, doesn’t want to pay the ransom. (Aug. 29)

‘The Loft’

When a woman is found dead in a loft that is shared among five pals for their extramarital affairs, they each begin to turn against each other. Starring James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban and Rhona Mitra. (Aug. 29)

‘One Chance’

Tony winner James Corden (for “One Man, Two Guvnors”) stars as a blue-collar worker with a talent for singing opera who wins “Britain’s Got Talent.” Oddly, the trailer never shows him singing. From “The Devil Wears Prada” director David Frankel. (Aug. 29)

‘Starred Up’

A troubled teen meets his dad in prison. (Aug. 29)

‘Behaving Badly’

An 18-year-old has to go through a slew of odd characters to find love. Starring Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez, Heather Graham, Elisabeth Shue, Mary-Louise Parker, Gary Busey, Cary Elwes, Jason Lee, Dylan McDermott and Patrick Warburton. (Aug. tbd)

‘Leprechaun: Origins’

WWE star Dylan Postl, aka Hornswoggle, takes the lead as the Leprechaun in this latest installment in the horror series. (Aug. tbd)

Scott A. Rosenberg