One of the best ways to beat the summer heat is to head to the local movie theater to catch a flick or two. Now that most theaters offer concessions above and beyond the usual popcorn, soda and candy fare, it’s easy to make it a day, or night, of feature film fun. Of course, there is then the quandary of what to actually watch. Fear not, for here is a guide to the movies you want to be sure to catch this summer.
There are the ever-present big budget blockbuster special effects extravaganzas, and there are a few of them coming your way over the next few months. “Jurassic World” (out June 12th) returns us to the world of Steven Spielberg’s resurrected dinosaurs. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D’Onofrio lead the cast of familiar faces in this outing directed by Colin Treverrow. July brings us the timey-whimey “Terminator: Genesys” (July 1st). It’s a reboot/remake/relaunch all rolled into one that sees Arnold Schwarzenegger return to the franchise that made his heavily-accented one-liners a household thing.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe unleashes the next chapter in its super-hero film domination on July 17th with “Ant-Man.” Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas team-up to save the world by hanging out with a bunch of insects. In all seriousness, you’ve already mentally gotten in line for this one, so I don’t need to hype it to you at ll. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are called in for another assignment they can’t refuse on July 31st in “Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation.”
The following month sees four unlikely people become extraordinary heroes as the eponymous “Fantastic Four,” out on August 7th. This one has ruffled a few nerd feathers as it seemingly strays far from its comic book roots. Those of you with open minds and a yearning for more sci in your fi should be in for a treat. “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” the spectacle films on August 14th. This one embraces the 1960s spy franchise it is based on with all the gusto it can muster. I predict this one to be the sleeper hit of the season with many a sequel to come.
For those wanting to take their kids to something a bit more light-hearted, be sure to catch Pixar’s latest instant classic, “Inside Out” on June 19th. Pete Docter directs an inspired cast of voice actors, led by Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader and Lewis Black as they bring emotions to animated life. Despicable Gru’s diminutive yellow hench…beings get their own origin, and film, on July 10th in “Minions.” And when aliens send 8-bit video game characters from the 80s to destroy the planet on July 24th, only a plucky band of retrogamers (Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage and Michelle Monaghan) can save us all from “Pixels.”
If you like your humor a little more on the raunchy side, and plan to leave the kids at home, there are a couple of flicks you don’t want to miss. Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane re-team for “Ted 2” on June 26th. The sequel “Magic Mike XXL” increases things a few sizes from the original film on July 1st. And “Vacation” gets a reboot on July 29th with a gown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) attempting to take his own family on a hijinks-fueled trip to the mythical Walley World.
A quick mention of a couple of independent films you should keep your eyes out for, release dates vary so book mark your favorite art house theater, include the Chris Evans-directed romantic dramedy “Before We Go,” the Mark Ruffalo/Zoe Zaldana starring festival favorite “Infinitely Polar Bear” and the requisite teen coming of age story “Paper Towns.”
As you can see, there is plenty of flicks to while away the hot summer hours, and we barely scratched the surface. These are the ones you should definitely see, but be sure to report back with a gem you may have caught they I missed.