Summer Movie Preview: A Guide to Over 40 Key Films from Star Trek Into Darkness to Elysium

  • Publish Date: May 2, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 4 user comments

Notable May releases

For selected major releases below, we have included Metascore forecasts from Metacritic users. These numbers represent the median guesses from over 2,800 predictions submitted over the past two weeks. At the end of the summer (around Labor Day weekend), we'll check back in and see how accurate those predictions turned out to be.

After Earth Watch trailer #1 Watch trailer #2
May 31 | Sci-Fi | Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Also by this director:

64 The Sixth Sense (1999)
62 Unbreakable (2000)
59 Signs (2002)
44 The Village (2004)
36 Lady in the Water (2006)
34 The Happening (2008)
20 The Last Airbender (2010)

Predicted Metascore
50

How low can he go? After launching his career somewhat admirably with The Sixth Sense, director M. Night Shyamalan has managed to receive increasingly negative reviews for each subsequent film, with Metascores dropping accordingly. Presumably, his Razzie-winning 2010 adaptation of the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender was his nadir, though we'll know for sure when he returns to cinemas at the end of the month with After Earth, a sci-fi adventure set on a human-free Earth a thousand years in the future, where a father and son (played by real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith) must survive among native (and alien) life forms after crashing their spaceship. The good news (maybe) is that the idea actually originated with the elder Smith, who enlisted another screenwriter (The Book of Eli's Gary Whitta) before Shyamalan got his turn at crafting the story.

Before Midnight Watch trailer
May 24 LIMITED | Drama | Directed by Richard Linklater

Also by this director:

69 Slacker (1991)
78 Dazed and Confused (1993)
77 Before Sunrise (1995)
62 SubUrbia (1997)
57 The Newton Boys (1998)
82 Waking Life (2001)
71 Tape (2001)
82 The School of Rock (2003)
90 Before Sunset (2004)
65 Bad News Bears (2005)
73 A Scanner Darkly (2006)
64 Fast Food Nation (2006)
73 Me and Orson Welles (2009)
75 Bernie (2012)

This is not necessarily the last time we’ll see Celine and Jesse on screen (as director Richard Linklater recently hinted), but this third film does answer the question of what happened at the end of Before Sunset. When it premiered at Sundance, reviews were universally positive; now, it is up to the public to decide if they like the way Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy have written the next chapter in Celine and Jesse’s story. This time the pair visit Greece, after first meeting in Vienna in Before Sunrise and crossing paths again in Paris nine years later.

The East Watch trailer
May 31 LIMITED | Thriller | Directed by Zal Batmanglij

Also by this director:

67 Sound of My Voice (2012)

The creative pair behind Sound of My Voice—writer-director Zal Batmanglij and writer-star Brit Marling—reunite for a 1970s-style paranoid thriller about a former FBI agent (Marling) who infiltrates an anti-corporation anarchist collective only to find herself falling under the sway of the group's leader. Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, and Patricia Clarkson also star, and early reviews suggest another winner.

Fast & Furious 6 Watch theatrical trailer Watch extended trailer
May 24 | Action/Thriller | Directed by Justin Lin

Also by this director:

67 Better Luck Tomorrow (2003)
37 Annapolis (2006)
46 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (06)
46 Finishing the Game (2007)
45 Fast & Furious (2009)
67 Fast Five (2011)

Predicted Metascore
51

This will be Justin Lin’s fourth and final Fast & Furious movie, and the trailer makes it look like the biggest one yet. Do car stunts get any bigger than a plane being pulled to the ground and bursting into flames? We’ll let James Wan, the director of next summer's Fast & Furious 7 answer that. The action for the sixth in the series picks up where Fast Five left off. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and their crew are scattered around the world, but when Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs makes them an offer they can’t refuse, they get back together to take down a marauding gang of mercenary drivers led by Luke Evans. As teased in the end credits of Fast Five, Michelle Rodriguez is back, but she’s not playing nice.

Frances Ha Watch trailer
May 17 | Comedy/Drama | Directed by Noah Baumbach

Also by this director:

75 Kicking and Screaming (1995)
82 The Squid and the Whale (2005)
66 Margot at the Wedding (2007)
76 Greenberg (2010)

This surprise, small budget, black-and-white collaboration between writer/director Noah Baumbach and writer/star Greta Gerwig enjoyed great reviews when it premiered at film festivals last September. Baumbach and Gerwig previously worked together on the Los Angeles-set Greenberg, but with Frances Ha, Baumbach returns to his native New York, where he found success with 2005’s coming-of-age tale The Squid and the Whale. Frances Ha is a coming-of-age tale of a different sort, exploring what it feels like to be out of college and fumbling through life. Gerwig’s Frances, an apprentice dancer, is our guide as she moves between apartments (Girls’ Adam Driver is one of her roommates) and tries to maintain a relationship with her best friend, played by Mickey Sumner.

The Great Gatsby Watch trailer
May 10 | Drama | Directed by Baz Luhrmann

Also by this director:

72 Strictly Ballroom (1993)
60 Romeo + Juliet (1996)
66 Moulin Rouge! (2001)
53 Australia (2008)

Predicted Metascore
65

While Baz Luhrmann might be the perfect director to capture the opulence of the Roaring Twenties, fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel haven't been universally thrilled by the glimpses they've seen so far, and the always divisive director hasn't done himself any favors by shooting the drama in 3D (why, exactly?) and utilizing an anachronistic, modern-day soundtrack (executive produced by Jay-Z, and streaming now in its entirety at NPR). Production delays (the film was originally set to be released last December) also don't suggest a successful film. Still, this Gatsby boasts a strong cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton, and Luhrmann's films are never boring, so if it's a disaster, it should still be an entertaining one. And it certainly won't be the worst adaptation of the novel ever filmed; even a Francis Ford Coppola-penned 1974 version received a mixed-to-poor reception.

The Hangover Part III Watch trailer
May 24 | Comedy | Directed by Todd Phillips

Also by this director:

55 Road Trip (2000)
47 Bittersweet Motel (2000)
54 Old School (2003)
55 Starsky & Hutch (2004)
44 School for Scoundrels (2006)
73 The Hangover (2009)
51 Due Date (2010)
44 The Hangover Part II (2011)

Predicted Metascore
50

Reuniting its stars and director, the concluding chapter (we hope) in the billion-dollar comedy franchise follows after an unexpected (and quite funny) hit and its disappointing, redundant sequel. Part III mercifully breaks from the established formula—there's no wedding, and no morning-after storyline—though it does return to the Vegas strip, while also taking place partially in Tijuana. Returning stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, and Heather Graham are joined by newcomers John Goodman and Melissa McCarthy.

Iron Man 3 Watch trailer
May 3 | Action | Directed by Shane Black

Also by this director:

72 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Predicted Metascore
67

With good reviews already rolling in (at the very least, better than those for Iron Man 2 57), it looks like Iron Man 3 will be another critical and box office success for Marvel. Their gamble to hire Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black to direct only his second film (the first being the Robert Downey Jr.-starring Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) seems to have paid off, with early praise going to the script that he co-wrote with first-time feature writer Drew Pearce. Picking up after the events of The Avengers, this third Iron Man installment has Tony Stark/Iron Man face off against Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin and Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian. Returning to aid in the proceedings are Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine), and Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan). There’s also that fleet of Iron Men shown in the poster and trailer. They should be of some help, too.

The Kings of Summer Watch trailer
May 31 LIMITED | Comedy | Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Known as Toy’s House when it premiered to good reviews at Sundance earlier this year, The Kings of Summer is a coming-of-age tale about three friends who decide to flee their overbearing parents and spend the summer living in a house they build in the woods. The boys are played by relative newcomers Nick Robinson (who made an impression in just one episode of Boardwalk Empire), Gabriel Basso (The Big C, Super 8) and Moises Arias (Nacho Libre), while the strong supporting cast is filled with TV favorites Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. This is the feature directorial debut of Jordan Vogt-Roberts, whose short Successful Alcoholics can (and should) be watched at Funny or Die.

Something in the Air Watch trailer
May 3 LIMITED | Foreign | Directed by Olivier Assayas

Also by this director:

73 Les destinées (2002)
64 Demonlover (2003)
75 Clean (2005)
47 Boarding Gate (2008)
84 Summer Hours (2009)
94 Carlos (2010)

With films as diverse as Demonlover, Summer Hours and Carlos, it has become hard to predict what Olivier Assayas will take on next. His latest is a more personal project, offering a look at young French activists in 1971 as they riot on the outskirts of Paris and then flee to the Italian countryside. The focus is on Assayas stand-in Gilles (newcomer Clément Metayer) and his more radical girlfriend Christine (Lola Créton of Goodbye First Love, which was directed by Assayas’s wife, Mia Hansen-Løve). Gilles flirts with politics and painting, but he eventually finds film to be the medium that suits him best, much like the director himself.

Star Trek Into Darkness Watch trailer #1 Watch trailer #2 Watch trailer #3
May 15 IMAX / May 17 REGULAR | Sci-Fi/Action | Directed by J.J. Abrams

Also by this director:

66 Mission: Impossible III (2006)
83 Star Trek (2009)
72 Super 8 (2011)

Predicted Metascore
75

The focus of much of the marketing and speculation surrounding Star Trek Into Darkness has been Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured above), previously best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes in the ongoing British miniseries Sherlock. Here, his mysterious villain is named quite plainly—John Harrison—but the name belies the furor that once surrounded his identity, with numerous sources speculating that he was actually legendary Star Trek villain Khan, or perhaps the lesser known Gary Mitchell. As of now, he’s John Harrison, and he’s upset at Starfleet about something, so the crew of the Enterprise attempt to foil his terrorist plot. Chris Pine continues to break the rules and take chances as Jim Kirk. Zachary Quinto continues to use logic as Spock, and Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin will surely get time to shine in their latest 23rd century adventure. After all, it is likely (though not definitely) J.J. Abrams' final voyage as captain before he time travels to “a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away...,” so surely he’ll leave with a bang.

Stories We Tell Watch trailer
May 10 | Documentary | Directed by Sarah Polley

Also by this director:

88 Away from Her (2007)
68 Take This Waltz (2012)

Actress and director Sarah Polley turns the camera on herself and her family in this investigation of memory, truth, and how we tell stories to ourselves and to those we love. Polley’s focus is on her mother and father’s marriage and her relationship to them. While her actress mother (shown in home movie footage) died of cancer when Polley was a child, her father is interviewed by Polley, who also visits with other family members and friends. There's a mystery at the heart of this family story, and the result is a gripping tale that was hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year when it screened in Canada last fall. With Away from Her, Take this Waltz and now her first documentary, Polley will soon be known more for her work as a director than as an actor.

All May releases by date

Friday, May 3

Caroline and Jackie LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA The relationship between two troubled sisters unfolds in a slightly unconventionally structured indie drama.

Desperate Acts of Magic LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Two amateur magicians attempt to get a career boost by entering a magic competition.

Free the Mind LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY A neuroscientist tests the effects of meditation and yoga on returning war veterans and children.

Greetings from Tim Buckley LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Penn Badgley stars as singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley in a look at the days leading up to Jeff's performance at his father Tim's 1991 tribute concert.

The Iceman LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Michael Shannon stars as Richard Kuklinski, the real-life contract killer who reportedly murdered over 100 people while maintaining a seemingly normal family life.

Iron Man 3 See above.

Kiss of the Damned LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR Xan Cassavetes directs this vampire love story.

Love Is All You Need LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Susanne Bier's latest film revolves around an Italian wedding; Pierce Brosnan stars.

Something in the Air LIMITED See above.

Turtle Hill, Brooklyn LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMEDY A 30th birthday party spirals out of control.

What Maisie Knew LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, and Alexander Skarsgård star in an update of Henry James' novel.

Friday, May 10

Aftershock LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR An earthquake is just the beginning of the problems facing a group of partying travelers in Chile in this thriller co-written, produced by, and starring Eli Roth.

The Great Gatsby See above.

Java Heat LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER An American in Indonesia teams up with a Muslim cop to track down a terrorist in a thriller starring Kellan Lutz.

No One Lives LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR A gang of ruthless highway killers kidnaps a wealthy couple, only to discover that nothing is quite what it seems.

Peeples Watch trailer
COMEDY Craig Robinson insists on finally meeting his girlfriend's family—and gets more than he bargained for—in this Tyler Perry-produced, Meet the Parents-style comedy that also stars Kerry Washington and David Alan Grier.

The Second Meeting LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY The pilot of an American stealth fighter meets the Yugoslavian missile officer who shot him down in 1999.

Sightseers LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Kill List director Ben Wheatley tries his hand at comedy (albeit very dark comedy) for his third film, which follows a tourist couple who blend their sightseeing with a bit of murder while driving across England.

Stories We Tell LIMITED See above.

Venus and Serena LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY A look at the lives of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

Wednesday, May 15

Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX See above.

Friday, May 17

Black Rock LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Katie Aselton directs and stars alongside Kate Bosworth and Lake Bell in a thriller (penned by Aselton's real-life husband and The League co-star, Mark Duplass) about a camping trip that turns into a fight for survival.

The English Teacher LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Julianne Moore stars as a teacher whose life is disrupted when a former student comes back home after failing as a playwright in New York; Craig Zisk's feature debut also features Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, Nathan Lane, and John Hodgman.

Erased LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Ex-CIA agent Aaron Eckhart is caught in an international conspiracy when his wife and daughter are taken kidnapped.

Frances Ha LIMITED See above.

Pieta LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN DRAMA Ki-duk Kim (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring) directs this intense and violent crime drama that won the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

Populaire LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY This lighthearted rom-com is set in 1950s France and centers on a woman who enters a speed-typing contest.

Star Trek Into Darkness See above.

State 194 LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY Israeli filmmaker Dan Setton examines Palestine's recent efforts to gain UN recognition as an independent state.

Friday, May 24

Before Midnight LIMITED See above.

Epic Watch trailer
ANIMATION/FAMILY The team behind Ice Age returns with a loose adaptation of William Joyce's forest-set children's fantasy book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs; the vocal cast includes Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Aziz Ansari, Beyonce, and Chris O'Dowd.

Fast & Furious 6 See above.

Fill the Void LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN DRAMA An 18-year-old Israeli girl is pressured by her ultra-Orthodox family to marry the husband of her late sister.

The Hangover Part III See above.

The Penguin King 3D LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY While March of the Penguins may have set the high water mark for penguin documentaries, this David Attenborough-narrated film adds stunning 3D photography to the formula.

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY The latest doc from Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Client 9) examines the history of the controversial website and its founder, Julian Assange.

Friday, May 31

After Earth See above.

The East LIMITED See above.

The Kings of Summer LIMITED See above.

Now You See Me Watch trailer
THRILLER Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) directs this crime thriller about a group of magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco) who pull off a series of daring bank heists; Mark Ruffalo plays the FBI agent who pursues them.

Shadow Dancer LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER In Belfast during the early 1990s, a mother betrays the IRA by becoming an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son. It's slower paced than American audiences may be accustomed to, but critics are finding James Marsh's film (which stars Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen) effective so far.

Triumph of the Wall LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY This humorous documentary looks at an ordinary Canadian man who attempts to build a 1,000-foot stone wall in eight weeks, only to have the project take eight years.

Notable June releases

The Bling Ring Watch trailer
June 14 LIMITED | Drama | Directed by Sofia Coppola

Also by this director:

76 The Virgin Suicides (2000)
89 Lost in Translation (2003)
65 Marie Antoinette (2006)
67 Somewhere (2010)

Predicted Metascore
62

Sofia Coppola has a way with stories about the rich and famous, even if they live in 18th century France, or, like her last film, spend most of their time in an expensive Hollywood hotel. In her latest, the perspective shifts to those who aspire to be like that actor from Somewhere. In this ripped-from-the-headlines story, the crush of celebrity culture and the desire to be famous drives Emma Watson and her gang of friends to rob the homes of celebrities like Paris Hilton, who allowed Coppola to shoot in her home where the actual crime took place. Leslie Mann plays Watson’s mom, while Bush’s Gavin Rossdale plays the helpful dealer of the gang’s stolen goods. Newcomers Israel Broussard, Taissa Farmiga, Katie Chang, and Claire Julien play the other fame-obsessed teens.

The Heat Watch trailer
June 28 | Action/Comedy | Directed by Paul Feig

Also by this director:

47 I Am David (2004)
43 Unaccompanied Minors (2006)
75 Bridesmaids (2011)

Predicted Metascore
50

The rare buddy-cop action-comedy to feature female leads (for that, you'll likely have to thank the female-centered summer comedy hit Bridesmaids, which Paul Feig also directed), The Heat stars Sandra Bullock as a no-nonsense FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as her industry-standard "loose cannon" partner. Feig also wrote the script—though he allowed his stars to improvise as well—while his cast also includes Michael Rapaport, Tony Hale, and Kaitlin Olson. It's also the rare case where a release date delay might be an encouraging sign—the film was moved from April into the heart of summer—and a sequel is already in development.

I'm So Excited (Los amantes pasajeros) Watch trailer
June 28 LIMITED | Comedy | Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Also by this director (last 20 years):

75 The Flower of My Secret (1996)
69 Live Flesh (1998)
87 All About My Mother (1999)
86 Talk to Her (2002)
81 Bad Education (2004)
84 Volver (2006)
76 Broken Embraces (2009)
70 The Skin I Live In (2011)

Though in recent years his name has become synonymous with award-winning dramas, there was a time early in his career when prolific Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar was known for directing irreverent, sexually charged comedies. I'm So Excited, then, is a return to his roots, as it's an extremely lightweight comedy set almost entirely on board an overlong commercial airline flight, where boredom causes crew and passengers to go off the rails. Cameos from Almodóvar regulars Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz add further ties to the director's past.

The Internship Watch trailer #1 Watch trailer #2
June 7 | Comedy | Directed by Shawn Levy

Also by this director:

36 Big Fat Liar (2002)
28 Just Married (2003)
46 Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
38 The Pink Panther (2006)
48 Night at the Museum (2006)
42 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
56 Date Night (2010)
56 Real Steel (2011)

Predicted Metascore
50

Shawn Levy (still looking for his first good film) directs Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in this comedy about two unemployed salesmen who get into the Google internship program despite being just a little bit older than the average intern. Once inside the Googleplex, it’s old school vs. new school as they match wits with the brilliant and much more tech-savvy generation represented by Max Minghella, Dylan O’Brien, Josh Gad, and B.J. Novak. John Goodman plays their former employer, and Aasif Mandvi plays their new boss. Anyone hoping that this reunion of Vaughn and Wilson reaches the comedic heights of Wedding Crashers probably hasn't watched the trailers, but there's always hope.

Man of Steel Watch trailer #1 Watch trailer #2 Watch trailer #3
June 14 | Action | Directed by Zack Snyder

Also by this director:

58 Dawn of the Dead (2004)
51 300 (2007)
56 Watchmen (2009)
53 Legend of the Guardians... (2010)
33 Sucker Punch (2011)

Predicted Metascore
72

When producer Christopher Nolan announced that Zack Snyder would direct Man of Steel, Superman fans expressed their trepidation. The director’s work has been spotty, with his first film, Dawn of the Dead, holding his highest Metascore and his last film, Sucker Punch, possessing his lowest. Similarly, lead actor Henry Cavill, relatively unknown at the time of his casting, hasn’t inspired excitement in his recent lead performances in Immortals and The Cold Light of Day (though maybe we can blame that on the material). But recent trailers have provided renewed hope that this fresh take on Superman could possibly stand beside the first two Christopher Reeve films in the comic book movie pantheon. There’s no question the supporting cast is solid, with Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Ma and Pa Kent, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.

Monsters University Watch trailer
June 21 | Animation/Family | Directed by Dan Scanlon

Predicted Metascore
73

This prequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc. 78 checks in with John Goodman’s Sulley and Billy Crystal’s Mike Wazowski in college as they train to become professional scarers. Even though their nemesis Randall Boggs (voiced by Steve Buscemi) is back, they spend most of their time fighting each other. As they prepare to try out for the scare program, the pair’s toughest opponent turns out to be Dean Hardscrabble, voiced by Helen Mirren. The story nods to many of the college classics familiar to older viewers while providing plenty of laughs for the kids and more than a few new monsters for their parents to buy. Look for fraternity initiations and the monster version of the Greek Games from Revenge of the Nerds. Maybe there will be a belching contest or monsters named Booger and Ogre.

Much Ado About Nothing Watch trailer
June 7 LIMTED / June 21 WIDE | Comedy | Directed by Joss Whedon

Also by this director:

74 Serenity (2005)
69 Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

Predicted Metascore
61

After shooting the $220 million blockbuster The Avengers, Joss Whedon invited some friends to his Santa Monica home and, in less than two weeks, filmed this no-budget, black-and-white adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy which retains the original play's language while transporting the setting to the present day. You'll spot plenty of Whedon regulars in the ensemble, including Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Alexis Denisof, Tom Lenk, and Reed Diamond. Most critics found the film funny and entertaining when it screened at Toronto last fall, and audiences will finally get to see it on June 7 (and in even more theaters on June 21).

This Is the End Watch red-band trailer Watch green-band trailer
June 12 | Comedy | Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Predicted Metascore
57

One of multiple end-of-the-world comedies hitting the big screen in 2013, this End marks the directorial debut of Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who previously wrote the screenplays for Superbad 76, Pineapple Express 64, The Green Hornet 39, and The Watch 36. (We're hoping that Shyamalan-esque Metascore decline ends here.) Rogen stars alongside James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson, and they all play fictionalized versions of themselves as a global apocalypse intrudes on a Hollywood party (at Franco's house, naturally) they're attending. Expect lots of cameos, with Aziz Ansari, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Rihanna among the names revealed so far.

White House Down Watch trailer
June 28 | Action/Thriller | Directed by Roland Emmerich

Also by this director:

59 Independence Day (1996)
32 Godzilla (1998)
63 The Patriot (2000)
47 The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
34 10,000 BC (2008)
49 2012 (2009)
50 Anonymous (2011)

Predicted Metascore
50

Because destroying the White House once is not enough, we get this latest orgy of action from director Roland Emmerich, the man who seemingly has a clause in his contract that the White House must suffer some unfortunate fate in all of his films. In a variation on Olympus Has Fallen (a similar film released earlier this year which you may already have forgotten), Channing Tatum plays a cop who wants to be a Secret Service agent. While touring the White House with his daughter (Joey King), an attack occurs, and Tatum must become his daughter's bodyguard as well as the president’s. Jamie Foxx plays the president, who is threatened by Jason Clarke’s crew of mercenaries while Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods and Richard Jenkins play supporting roles.

World War Z Watch trailer #1 Watch trailer #2
June 21 | Horror/Action | Directed by Marc Forster

Also by this director:

63 Everything Put Together (2001)
69 Monster's Ball (2001)
67 Finding Neverland (2004)
41 Stay (2005)
67 Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
61 The Kite Runner (2007)
58 Quantum of Solace (2008)
43 Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

Predicted Metascore
55

The troubled production of World War Z has been the story instead of “Brad Pitt stars in a zombie movie based on a best-selling novel," but that’s the way it goes in Hollywood when your movie requires multiple rewrites (in this case, by Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard) and reshoots. In the end, it might just be a bump on the road to a successful release (remember all the negativity surrounding Men in Black III, which went on to make $624 million worldwide), but the studio will be holding its breath until opening weekend. The film stars Pitt as a family man and former U.N. employee who travels the globe looking for a solution to a fast-moving zombie epidemic. The Killing's Mireille Enos plays his wife, and Marc Forster (Machine Gun Preacher, Quantum of Solace) directs.

All June releases by date

Friday, June 7

Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY The chain-smoking 1980s TV host is profiled.

The Internship See above.

Much Ado About Nothing LIMITED See above.

Passion LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Brian De Palma remakes the 2010 French revenge thriller Love Crime; Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace star.

The Purge Watch trailer
THRILLER What if the government sanctioned a 12-hour period during which all criminal activity was legal? Helping to answer that question are Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.

Rapture-Palooza LIMITED Watch red-band trailer
COMEDY A young couple attempts to defeat the Antichrist after a religious apocalypse in a comedy starring Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, and John Francis Daley.

Syrup LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Amber Heard, Brittany Snow, and Kellan Lutz star in an adaptation of Max Barry's darkly comedic novel about the advertising industry.

Tiger Eyes LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA A teen girl moves to a new town after the murder of her father in this adaptation of Judy Blume's 1981 novel directed by her son, Lawrence Blume.

Violet & Daisy LIMITED Watch trailer
ACTION/COMEDY Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel star as teen assassins in this unconventional directorial debut for Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher that received a mixed reception at TIFF back in 2011; James Gandolfini and Danny Trejo also star.

The Wall LIMITED
FOREIGN/DRAMA Martina Gedeck (The Lives Of Others) stars in an adaptation of Marlen Haushofer's 1963 feminist novel about a woman who becomes cut off from the rest of civilization by a mysterious wall.

Wednesday, June 12

This Is The End See above.

Friday, June 14

The Bling Ring LIMITED See above.

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY This partially animated documentary examines the seven-decade career of the subversive French children's book author and illustrator.

A Hijacking LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN/THRILLER A cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates in this Danish hostage thriller directed by frequent Thomas Vinterberg collaborator Tobias Lindholm.

Man of Steel See above.

Stuck in Love LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Formerly known as Writers, this dramedy looks at one divorced family's tangled relationships; Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, and Kristen Bell star.

Twenty Feet from Stardom LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on career backup singers, including recent The Voice contestant Judith Hill.

Vehicle 19 LIMITED Watch trailer
THRILLER Paul Walker stars as a foreign traveler who picks up the wrong rental car—one that makes him the target of a corrupt local police force.

Friday, June 21

The Attack LIMITED
DRAMA A successful Palestinian surgeon living in Israel is shaken when he learns that his wife committed a suicide bombing in this drama from Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri.

Maniac LIMITED Watch red-band trailer
THRILLER A remake of Bill Lustig's 1980 graphic slasher film, with a twist: it's shot entirely from the killer's (Elijah Wood) point of view.

Monsters University See above.

Much Ado About Nothing EXPANDS NATIONWIDE See above.

Unfinished Song LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY/DRAMA A grumpy retiree (Terence Stamp) reluctantly joins the local choir where his late wife was a performer, which helps him rebuild his relationship with his estranged son; Christopher Eccleston, Gemma Arterton, and Vanessa Redgrave also star.

World War Z See above.

Friday, June 28

Byzantium LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR/THRILLER The latest from director Neil Jordan stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother-daughter vampire duo; the film failed to impress critics when it debuted on the festival circuit last fall.

Copperhead LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Billy Campbell stars in a Civil War drama based on a 19th century story by Harold Frederic; it's the third film about the war directed by Ronald F. Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals).

The Heat See above.

I'm So Excited LIMITED See above.

Laurence Anyways LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA This nearly 3-hour Canadian drama examines a decade in the relationship between Fred and Laurence, a period in which the latter transitions from male to female.

White House Down See above.

Notable July releases

Blue Jasmine
July 26 LIMITED | Comedy | Directed by Woody Allen

Also by this director (last 10 films only):

43 Anything Else (2003)
54 Melinda and Melinda (2005)
72 Match Point (2005)
48 Scoop (2006)
49 Cassandra's Dream (2008)
70 Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
45 Whatever Works (2009)
51 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)
81 Midnight in Paris (2011)
54 To Rome with Love (2012)

Predicted Metascore
60

Allen returns to the United States for the first time since 2009's Whatever Works, splitting time between San Francisco and Manhattan for the story of a fashionable New York housewife (Cate Blanchett) whose husband (Alec Baldwin) falls for a younger woman. The ensemble also includes Sally Hawkins, Louis C.K., Peter Sarsgaard, Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, and Michael Stuhlbarg. Don't worry; the director is heading back to Europe for next year's project, which will be set in the south of France.

Despicable Me 2 Watch trailer
July 3 | Animation/Family | Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Predicted Metascore
63

Gru and his scene-stealing minions are back in this sequel to the 2010 hit Despicable Me 72. Steve Carell returns as Gru, who attempts to balance fatherhood with a new mission to defend the world against a criminal mastermind, voiced by Al Pacino. Our hero is recruited by Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) of the Anti-Villain league, but don’t expect their relationship to end there. Gru can probably learn a thing or two from Agent Wilde that could help him with his three young adopted daughters.

Fruitvale Station
July 26 LIMITED | Drama | Directed by Ryan Coogler

Winner of both the “U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic” and the “Audience Award: Dramatic” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (where it was known simply as Fruitvale), Ryan Coogler’s debut feature tells the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African-American gunned down by Oakland transit cops on New Year’s Day in 2009. Early reviews for the film have been good, but praise for Michael B. Jordan (Friday Night Lights, The Wire) as Grant has been stellar. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer co-stars as Grant's mother, and Melonie Diaz plays his girlfriend.

Grown Ups 2 Watch trailer
July 12 | Comedy | Directed by Dennis Dugan

Also by this director (past 20 years only):

31 Happy Gilmore (1996)
27 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
41 Big Daddy (1999)
22 Saving Silverman (2001)
31 National Security (2003)
25 The Benchwarmers (2006)
37 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (07)
54 You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008)
30 Grown Ups (2010)
33 Just Go with It (2011)
23 Jack and Jill (2011)

Predicted Metascore
30

Yet another excuse for Adam Sandler to goof around with pals like director Dennis Dugan and co-stars Chris Rock, Kevin James, and David Spade and make money at the same time (the first Grown Ups grossed over $270 million worldwide), Grown Ups 2 is actually the first sequel in Sandler's storied career of critically reviled films. Plot details are irrelevant (it's once again a group of overgrown kids acting like idiots); the real suspense revolves around whether Sandler can pick up his third Razzie worst picture nomination in three years.

The Lone Ranger Watch US trailer Watch international trailer
July 3 | Western/Action/Adventure | Directed by Gore Verbinski

Predicted Metascore
55

The ghost of Disney’s John Carter haunts the studio's latest expensive action blockbuster—especially as budget concerns delayed production and pushed the film's release back by half a year. But eventually Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, the team behind The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, made the necessary cuts to get this revisionist take on the Lone Ranger legend to the big screen. While the film is titled The Lone Ranger, don’t expect Depp's Tonto to be a mere sidekick. The story, which recounts how John Reid (Armie Hammer) became the legendary masked man, is told from Tonto’s perspective, and the decision to put the majority of the heavy lifting on Depp’s Native American spirit warrior may be a good idea considering that Hammer has yet to prove himself as a reliable member of the summer action crowd.

Only God Forgives Watch red-band trailer Watch trailer #2
July 19 LIMITED | Drama/Thriller | Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Also by this director:

61 Fear X (2005)
76 I'm the Angel of Death: Pusher III (2006)
71 Bronson (2009)
61 Valhalla Rising (2010)
79 Drive (2011)

Predicted Metascore
70

Film fans (like us) who felt that Drive was one of the best films of 2011 have been looking forward to this similarly brooding, stylish action-thriller that reunites Drive's director (Nicolas Winding Refn, here writing the script as well) and star (Ryan Gosling), the latter a last-minute replacement for Luke Evans. Gosling trained in the art of Muay Thai for his role as an American criminal living in Bangkok on a mission to avenge the death of his brother. Giving him those orders is the true leader of the crime organization: his mother, played by a reportedly terrifying Kristin Scott Thomas. Fans of Drive have one more bit of good news: Cliff Martinez is returning to score this film as well. Prior to its American release, Only God Forgives will screen in competition at Cannes.

Pacific Rim Watch trailer
July 12 | Sci-Fi/Action | Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Also by this director:

70 Cronos (1994)
55 Mimic (1997)
77 The Devil's Backbone (2001)
52 Blade II (2002)
72 Hellboy (2004)
98 Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
78 Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Predicted Metascore
64

Guillermo del Toro’s first film as director in five years looks to be a robots vs monsters extravaganza on a giant 3D and IMAX-ready scale. Why did it take so long for del Toro to return to the big screen? Well, after deciding to move on from The Hobbit, his backup plan, a big-screen adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, fell through as well. Luckily, this story of a washed-up pilot (Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam) and a trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) who are teamed up to drive an outdated robot known as a Jaeger against the gigantic monsters known as Kaiju seems to fit del Toro’s sensibilities perfectly. The unlikely lead pair of Hunnam and Kikuchi get support from Idris Elba, Charlie Day, and del Toro regular Ron Perlman.

RED 2 Watch trailer
July 19 | Action/Comedy | Directed by Dean Parisot

Also by this director:

45 Home Fries (1998)
70 Galaxy Quest (1999)
47 Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

Predicted Metascore
50

2010‘s RED 61 was a surprise success for Summit, making almost $200 million worldwide, so naturally the sequel system started churning. Out came this story about Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his motley crew of retirees getting back together for yet another one last time, this time in Europe. Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Brian Cox also return, as do the original film’s screenwriters, Erich and Jon Hoeber. Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) takes over as director for Robert Schwentke (who’s busy with R.I.P.D.), and he’s brought along new cast members Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, David Thewlis, and Neal McDonough. Hopkins plays the main villain, an imprisoned physicist. Maybe he can share a nice chianti with fellow Hannibal Lecter Brian Cox.

The Smurfs 2 Watch trailer
July 31 | Animation/Family | Directed by Raja Gosnell

Also by this director:

60 Never Been Kissed (1999)
33 Big Momma's House (2000)
35 Scooby-Doo (2002)
34 Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (04)
38 Yours, Mine and Ours (2005)
41 Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
30 The Smurfs (2011)

Predicted Metascore
37

There's no smurfing way this could possibly be good. But thanks to a whopping $563 million worldwide gross (most of that outside the U.S.) for the first Smurfs big-screen adventure, your third-favorite blue folk (behind the Na'vi and Tobias Fünke, naturally) are heading back to cineplexes this summer. Much of the action (CGI and live) takes place in Paris, where ever-evil Gargamel (Hank Azaria) is holding Smurfette (Katy Perry) captive, presumably to make the storyline more sexist. Also returning from the first film are Neil Patrick Harris, Sofia Vergara, Fred Armisen, John Oliver, and Alan Cumming, while newcomers include Christina Ricci, J. B. Smoove, and Brendan Gleeson. It's also the final film performance for the late Jonathan Winters (returning as the voice of Papa Smurf), who will be spared from appearing in Smurfs 3, already set for a July 24, 2015 release.

The Way, Way Back Watch trailer
July 5 LIMITED | Comedy | Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

You may know Nat Faxon and Jim Rash from their starring roles on TV sitcoms Ben & Kate and Community, respectively, or perhaps from their Oscar win (along with Alexander Payne) for writing the adapted screenplay for The Descendants 84. Here, in addition to writing the script, they step behind the camera for the first time with an Adventureland-esque coming-of-age story set at a water park. The 14-year-old protagonist, played by Liam James (The Killing), gets a job at the park to escape a terrible summer vacation with his mother, her boyfriend, and his daughter. Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Amanda Peet, Maya Rudolph, and Rob Corddry also star. Critics at Sundance (where it premiered in January) found it overly familiar, though not without its charms.

The Wolverine Watch trailer
July 26 | Action | Directed by James Mangold

Also by this director:

75 Heavy (1996)
64 Cop Land (1997)
51 Girl, Interrupted (1999)
44 Kate & Leopold (2001)
64 Identity (2003)
72 Walk the Line (2005)
76 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
46 Knight and Day (2010)

Predicted Metascore
56

This will be Hugh Jackman’s sixth feature film appearance as Logan/Wolverine (counting the cameo in X-Men: First Class), but it was a long time coming. X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit theaters in May 2009. When Darren Aronofsky was announced as the sequel’s director, fans went crazy. Unfortunately, Aronofsky dropped out. The production was further delayed by the horrible earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. Eventually, production began with James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma and Knight and Day) in the director’s chair, and the result is a smaller-scale story that takes Logan/Wolverine to Japan, where he confronts his past and a possible new future with love interest Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto). While in Japan, Logan won’t have an easy time as he deals with Silver Samurai (Will Yun Lee) and Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova).

All July releases by date

Wednesday, July 3

Despicable Me 2 See above.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain LIMITED Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY The comedian performs at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in 2012.

The Lone Ranger See above.

Friday, July 5

Hammer of the Gods LIMITED Watch trailer
ACTION This stylized Viking tale from Britain comes from TV director turned first-time feature helmer Farren Blackburn.

The Way, Way Back LIMITED See above.

Friday, July 12

Crystal Fairy LIMITED
COMEDY This Sundance entry from Sebastián Silva (The Maid) stars Michael Cera as an American who seeks to travel through Chile in a drugged-out haze, picking up a less-than-helpful companion (Gaby Hoffman) in the process.

Grown-Ups 2 See above.

The Hot Flashes LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Susan Seidelman's comedy finds a group of middle-aged Texas women challenging the high school state champs to a basketball game for charity; Brooke Shields, Wanda Sykes, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen, and Camryn Manheim star.

Pacific Rim See above.

V/H/S 2 LIMITED Watch trailer
HORROR Like its predecessor, this second V/H/S film (originally to be titled S-VHS) is a horror anthology with segments from multiple directors, including Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), and Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project).

Wednesday, July 17

Computer Chess LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY Shot on authentic 1980s-era video equipment, this Sundance-entered period comedy focuses on a weekend chess tournament pitting man against machine.

Turbo Watch trailer
ANIMATION/FAMILY A garden snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) receives the gift of freakish speed and seeks to enter the Indy 500 in this 3D animated racing comedy that already has a TV spinoff (coming to Netflix) in production.

Friday, July 19

The Conjuring Watch trailer
HORROR Based on the files of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, this 1971-set haunted house tales comes from James Wan, creator of the Saw series and director of 2011’s Insidious; Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Patrick Wilson, and Vera Farmiga star.

Evidence LIMITED
HORROR A detective (Radha Mitchell) hunts down a killer using video footage shot by the victims of a massacre at an abandoned gas station.

Girl Most Likely LIMITED
COMEDY Formerly known as Imogene, this comedy from Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor) stars Kristen Wiig as a failed playwright forced to move back home with her mother Annette Bening).

Only God Forgives LIMITED See above.

RED 2 See above.

R.I.P.D. Watch trailer
ACTION/SCI-FI/COMEDY Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds star as members of an undead police force in this adaptation of the Dark Horse comic Rest In Peace Department by director Robert Schwentke (RED, but not its sequel, which is also out this week).

Friday, July 26

Blue Jasmine LIMITED See above.

Fruitvale Station LIMITED See above.

Stranded LIMITED Watch trailer
SCI-FI/HORROR Four astronauts stranded on a space station after a meteor storm become (justifiably) paranoid when a supernatural force begins targeting them; Christian Slater stars.

The Wolverine See above.

Wednesday, July 31

The Smurfs 2 Smurf above.

Notable August releases

300: Rise of an Empire
August 2 | Action | Directed by Noam Murro

Also by this director:

57 Smart People (2008)

Predicted Metascore
50

A new director and a mostly new cast take center stage in this belated sequel to the 2007 CGI-enhanced action hit 300 51. The original film's director, Zack Snyder, co-wrote the screenplay for Rise of an Empire, which is based on Frank Miller's upcoming graphic novel Xerxes and depicts a series of naval battles between the Persians and Athenians occurring before, during, and after the events of the first film. Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) and Eva Green head a cast that does feature return appearances by Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro.

Elysium Watch trailer
August 9 | Sci-Fi | Directed by Neill Blomkamp

Also by this director:

81 District 9 (2009)

Predicted Metascore
72

Writer/director Neill Blomkamp has created another unique world for his second feature, which follows his politically charged 2009 sci-fi film District 9. Here, the year is 2159. The wealthy have moved to a pristine space station called Elysium, leaving the rest of humanity to fight for survival on a nearly ruined Earth. One of those trying to scrape by on the surface is Matt Damon’s Max de Costa, an ex-con who finds himself in need of special medical procedures to cure his cancer. Unfortunately, those procedures are only available on Elysium, so he decides to go through a dangerous experiment to transform himself into someone capable of breaking into the well-guarded space station. Trying to stop him are Jodie Foster as a government official and District 9 lead Sharlto Copley as a hired gun.

The Grandmaster Watch trailer
August 23 LIMITED | Action/Drama | Directed by Wong Kar-Wai

Also by this director:

69 Dung che sai duk [Ashes of Time] (1994)
69 Happy Together (1997)
71 Fallen Angels (1998)
85 In the Mood for Love (2001)
78 2046 (2005)
52 My Blueberry Nights (2008)

After being highly anticipated in each of the last two years, Wong Kar-Wai’s martial arts epic will finally make it into U.S. theaters this summer. The film opened in China in January and showed at the Berlin International Film Festival as well, where it received mostly positive reviews. It has been almost six years since My Blueberry Nights and the story of legendary martial arts master Ip Man has been on the director’s mind for more than a decade, so it’s no surprise that the original cut of this mostly invented biography was four hours long. The film, starring Tony Leung as Ip Man and Zhang Ziyi as his rival/love interest, has been edited down to just over two hours, a difficult task according to the film’s director and stars. While the result might be a less cohesive narrative, beautifully crafted sequences will no doubt be in abundance.

In a World ...
August 9 LIMITED | Comedy | Directed by Lake Bell

Actress Lake Bell (Childrens' Hospital, Boston Legal) makes her feature writing and directing debut and stars in this comedic tale of a struggling vocal coach who dreams of breaking into the voice-over biz. The film, which also features her Childrens' Hospital co-stars Ken Marino and Rob Corddry, plus Tig Notaro and Demetri Martin, charmed audiences at Sundance when it premiered there in January, with critics praising its humor and originality.

Kick-Ass 2 Watch green-band trailer Watch red-band trailer
August 16 | Action/Comedy | Directed by Jeff Wadlow

Also by this director:

39 Cry_Wolf (2005)
39 Never Back Down (2008)

Predicted Metascore
63

Kick-Ass and Hit Girl get a little help from a few friends in this sequel to 2010’s Kick-Ass 66. Joining Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz are Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes, Donald Faison as Doctor Gravity, Clark Duke as Battle Guy, and many other cleverly named good guys. They will face off against Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s Red Mist, who now goes by the moniker The Mother F#!%*r. While they fight crime (and the law) in their spare time, our costumed heroes find it can be just as dangerous going to high school. Matthew Vaughn opted not to return, so Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) directs in his stead.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Watch trailer
August 23 | Action/Adventure | Directed by Harald Zwart

Also by this director:

46 One Night at McCool's (2001)
41 Agent Cody Banks (2003)
36 The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
61 The Karate Kid (2010)

Predicted Metascore
50

Beautiful Creatures and The Host failed to replicate the box office success of the young-adult phenomena that are the Twilight and Hunger Games sagas, so it’s up to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to reverse the trend. In this adaptation of the first book in Cassandra Clare’s series, Lily Collins stars as Shadowhunter Clary Fray and Jamie Campbell Brown plays Jace Wayland, Collins’ romantic interest/gateway to the ways of demon hunting. Harald Zwart (last seen remaking The Karate Kid) directs, and the supporting cast includes Lena Headey as Clary’s mother, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the main antagonist, Valentine Morgenstern, and Jared Harris as the Shadowhunter’s tutor, Hodge Starkweather. (Somewhere out there, a film critic is changing his name to Grump Harshworder.)

Planes Watch trailer
August 9 | Animation/Family | Directed by Klay Hall

Predicted Metascore
50

If that looks like a Cars knockoff, well, it is ... and it isn't. Disney itself is exploiting its own animated hits with this airborne spin-off, though Cars originator Pixar has nothing to do with Planes, which was originally destined for a straight-to-video release. The animated film, from first-time director Klay Hall, centers on a crop-dusting plane named Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook), who wants to compete in a famous aerial race but must first get over his fear of heights. Other voices are provided by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, and Val Kilmer.

The Spectacular Now
August 2 LIMITED | Comedy/Drama | Directed by James Ponsoldt

Also by this director:

62 Off the Black (2006)
71 Smashed (2012)

Director James Ponsoldt (Smashed) takes another look at the impact that alcohol can have on someone’s life in this high school coming-of-age dramedy adapted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer) from Tim Tharp’s novel. After premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley won a “Special Jury Prize: Dramatic” for their performances as Sutter Keely, the popular senior with a drinking problem, and Aimee Finicky, his quiet, less popular but smarter classmate. Their blossoming relationship is at the center of a film that features supporting turns by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Teller’s sister, Jennifer Jason Leigh as his hardworking mother, and Kyle Chandler as his absentee dad.

The To Do List Watch red-band trailer
August 16 | Comedy | Directed by Maggie Carey

Set in 1993, this raunchy R-rated comedy stars Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza as Brandy Clark, an overachiever who has underachieved in the sexual realm who puts together a to-do list of exploits she wants to complete before college. Aiding her in this pursuit are Donald Glover, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Scott Porter, Rachel Bilson, and Alia Shawkat, while Clark Gregg and Connie Britton play her parents. This strong cast should help Maggie Carey (a frequent Funny or Die contributor and wife of SNL's Bill Hader) as she makes her feature writing and directing debut.

The World's End
August 23 | Comedy | Directed by Edgar Wright

Also by this director:

76 Shaun of the Dead (2004)
81 Hot Fuzz (2007)
69 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Predicted Metascore
65

What began with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz will end at The World’s End. Collectively, the three films make up Edgar Wright’s Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy (aka The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy). As with the first two films, The World’s End was written by Wright and Simon Pegg and stars Pegg and Nick Frost. This installment is a sci-fi comedy that follows five friends (Pegg, Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan) as they try to repeat an epic pub crawl they attempted 20 year prior. The night involves stops at twelve pubs with names like The Two Headed Dog, The Mermaid, The Beehive, and last, but surely not least, The World’s End. The names do pertain to what takes place at each stop, so let your imagination run wild.

All August releases by date

Friday, August 2

2 Guns Watch trailer
ACTION Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg star in an adaptation of Steven Grant's graphic novel about two undercover law enforcement agents who team up after a bank robbery, though neither knows the other is also working undercover.

300: Rise of an Empire See above.

Cockneys vs Zombies LIMITED Watch red-band trailer
HORROR/COMEDY A group of East Enders band together to save the local retirement home from a growing zombie apocalypse.

Drift LIMITED Watch trailer
DRAMA Sam Worthington heads the cast of a drama chronicling the rise of Australia's surfing industry in the 1970s.

The Europa Report LIMITED Watch trailer
SCI-FI Sharlto Copley is among a group of astronauts sent to Jupiter's moon Europa in search of extraterrestrial life.

The Spectacular Now LIMITED See above.

Wednesday, August 7

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Watch trailer
FAMILY/FANTASY This 3D sequel to 2010's The Lightning Thief centers on the resurrection of Kronos and the search for the Golden Fleece; returning star Logan Lerman is joined by Nathan Fillion and Stanley Tucci.

Friday, August 9

Elysium See above.

In a World... See above.

Lovelace LIMITED
DRAMA Amanda Seyfried stars as troubled porn star Linda Lovelace in a biopic also starring Peter Sarsgaard and Juno Temple. Reviews out of Sundance weren't very strong, though Seyfried was praised.

Planes See above.

Prince Avalanche LIMITED Watch trailer
COMEDY/DRAMA Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch spend a summer painting traffic lines on burned-out Texas roads in this remake of the Icelandic film Either Way by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express); reviews were mostly positive when the low-budget (and secretly made) film debuted at Sundance.

We're the Millers
COMEDY In-over-his-head drug dealer Jason Sudeikis enlists a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a homeless woman (Emma Roberts), and a neighbor kid (Will Poulter) to pose as his family and head off with him on an RV road trip to transport a huge shipment of marijuana across the Mexican border.

Friday, August 16

Ain't Them Bodies Saints LIMITED
DRAMA Praised at Sundance for its cinematography, this 1970s Texas-set story depicts the intertwined relationship between a robber (Casey Affleck), his wife (Rooney Mara), and a cop (Ben Foster).

Austenland LIMITED Watch clip
COMEDY Jerusha Hess, wife to director Jared Hess and co-writer on his three films (including Napoleon Dynamite), makes her directorial debut with this comedy about a young woman (Keri Russell) who takes her obsession with the world of Jane Austen all the way to a working theme park that promises an Austen-like romance. Reviews were only so-so out of Sundance.

Haute Cuisine LIMITED Watch trailer
FOREIGN/COMEDY This comedic French tale is based on the life of the former personal chef to President François Mitterand.

Kick-Ass 2 See above.

Paranoia
THRILLER Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Liam Hemsworth star in a tale of corporate espionage and blackmail from director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde).

The To-Do List See above.

Friday, August 23

The Colony LIMITED Watch trailer
SCI-FI/THRILLER Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton are among the lucky survivors living underground after a new ice age hits, only to be greeted by some unwelcome visitors.

Drinking Buddies LIMITED
COMEDY The latest no-budget film from indie director Joe Swanberg stars Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson as co-workers at a brewery who would be perfect for each other if they weren't already in relationships with other people (Ron Livingston, Anna Kendrick).

The Grandmaster LIMITED See above.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones See above.

The World's End See above.

You're Next Watch trailer
HORROR/COMEDY A family reunion turns violent in this darkly comedic horror tale (think Scream) from director Adam Wingard, a Fantastic Fest favorite in recent years.

Wednesday, August 28

Closed Circuit LIMITED
THRILLER Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarán Hinds, and Jim Broadbent star in a thriller about a terrorism trial written by Steve Knight (Eastern Promises).

Friday, August 30

Getaway
THRILLER Ethan Hawke enlists a young hacker (Selena Gomez) to help him find his kidnapped wife.

One Direction: This Is Us Watch trailer
DOCUMENTARY Morgan Spurlock (yes, of Super-Size Me fame) directs this 3D behind-the-scenes look at the British boy band.

What do you think?

Which summer films are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments section below. For a frequently updated listing of all upcoming film releases by date, including films arriving later in 2013, visit our Movie Calendar.

Comments (4)

  • TheFineBro  

    My most anticipated SUMMER movies are: 10) Star Trek 2, 9)Despicable Me 2, The Worlds End, 7) The Hunger Games 2, 6) tHE hobbit2, 5) Pacific Rim, 4) This is the END, 3) Only God Forgives, 2)Elysium, 1) Man of Steel

  • Critic2012  

    White House Down isn't getting much anticipation after Olympus' weak appearance, but I think it'll do better. I can't wait for "Man of Steel", but other than that I don't see many movies worth wating for. Now You See Me looks fantastic, RIPD looks goofy but entertaining. Shouldn't be a bad summer.

  • ChuckPalantine  

    At first I thought the "also by this director" section was ranked from best to worst then I realized M. Night Shyamalan's movies just got progressively worse

  • jsp41  

    Some of these scores shouldn't be this low

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