The time is upon us when superheroes fly, monsters roar, cars drive fast, and little movies surprise. This Friday marks the beginning of the Summer Movie Season.
Each summer we are offered a mix of hit-or-miss studio franchises, broad comedies, and elite dramas. And, for every hit like The Dark Knight there is a miss like last year's R.I.P.D. This summer looks promising, though, as the superhero world gets its sequels to The Amazing Spider-Man and the X-Men franchises, plus the remake of Godzilla looks incredible, as does the plethora of original films set to be released, like Boyhood, Neighbors and Tammy.
Here's a complete month-by-month look at the May-August season every studio hopes will see dollar signs and every fan feels is worth the expensive popcorn they're bound to buy.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
(Dir. Marc Webb)
Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx
"Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him"
(Dir. Amma Asante)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Felton
"An illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle."
(Dir. Nicholas Stoller)
Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne
"A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house."
(Dir. Gia Coppola)
James Franco, Emma Roberts
"A dark drama centered on a group of teens with a penchant for finding trouble."
(Dir. Jon Favreau)
Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johannson
"A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family."
MILLION DOLLAR ARM
(Dir. Craig Gillespie)
Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin
"A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Asian cricket players to play Major League Basbeball."
(Dir. Gareth Edwards)
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe
"The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence."
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
(Dir. Bryan Singer)
Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
"The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants."
(Dir. Frank Coraci)
Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Bella Thorne
"After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship."
(Dir. John Curran)
Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver
"A young woman goes on a 1,700 mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with her four camels and faithful dog."
COLD IN JULY
(Dir. Jim Mickle)
Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson
"A 1980s East Texas, two fathers pitted against each other in revenge must band together to uncover a darker truth."
(Dir. Robert Stromberg)
Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley
"A vindictive fairy is driven to curse an infant princess only to realize the child may be the only one who can restore peace."
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST
(Dir. Seth MacFarlane)
Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris
"As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival."
Other Releases: Beneath the Harvest Sky; Decoding Annie Parker; Now: In the Wings on a World Stage; Walk of Shame; The Double; Fed Up; God's Pocket; Mom's Night Out; The Immigrant; The Angriest Man in Brooklyn; Words and Pictures; Filth; Lucky Them; Night Moves; We Are the Best!
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
(Dir. Josh Boone)
Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
"Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group."
(Dir. Gillian Robespierre)
Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross
"Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant just in time for the worst/best St. Valentine's Day of her life."
EDGE OF TOMORROW
(Dir. Doug Liman)
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
"A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way."
22 JUMP STREET
(Dir. Phil Lord and Chris Miller)
Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill
"After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college."
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
(Dir. Dean DeBlois)
Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler
"It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. The discovery of a new ice cave with hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider."
(Dir. David Michod)
Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson
"A loner tracks the gang who stole his car from a desolate town in the Australian outback with the forced assistance of a wounded guy left behind in the wake of the theft."
(Dir. Clint Eastwood)
John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken
"The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons."
THINK LIKE A MAN TOO
(Dir. Tim Story)
Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson
"All the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas, but plans for a romantic weekend go awry with their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event."
(Dir. Paul Haggis)
James Franco, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger
"Three interlocking love stories involving three couples in three cities: Rome, Paris, and New York."
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
(Dir. Michael Bay)
Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer
"An automobile mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down the Autobots and Decepticons - and a paranoid government official - on them."
(Dir. Joe Manganiello)
"An insider's look at the history, lives, and culture of the most popular male strip club in the world, La Bare Dallas."
THEY CAME TOGETHER
(Dir. David Wain)
Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders, Christopher Meloni
"When Joel and Molly meet, it's hate at first sight: his big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie shop."
Other Releases: Burt's Buzz; Ping Pong Summer; The Sacrament; Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon; Trust Me; Hellion; The Signal; Venus in Fur; Yves Saint Laurent; Snowpiercer; Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
(Dir. Ben Falcone)
Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates
"After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother."
(Dir. John Carney)
Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine
"A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan."
(Dir. Richard Linklater)
Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane
"The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18."
AND SO IT GOES
(Dir. Rob Reiner)
Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins
"A self-centered realtor enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home."
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
(Dir. Matt Reeves)
Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell
"Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar's growing forces."
WISH I WAS HERE
(Dir. Zach Braff)
Zach Braff, Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, Mandy Patinkin
"The story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father, and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity."
(Dir. Andy and Lana Wachowski)
Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum
"In the future, a young destitute human woman gets targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe and begins her destiny to finish the Queen's reign."
THE PURGE: ANARCHY
(Dir. James DeMonaco)
Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez
"A young couple works to survive on the streets after their car breaks down right as the annual purge commences."
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT
(Dir. Woody Allen)
Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden
"A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue."
A MOST WANTED MAN
(Dir. Anton Corbjin)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright
"A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror."
(Dir. Brett Ratner)
Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell
"Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord."
(Dir. Jake Kasdan)
Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper
"A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts."
Other Releases: Deliver Us From Evil; Earth to Echo; Life Itself; Affluenza; The Fluffy Movie; Land Ho!; A Long Way Down; Road to Paloma; I Origins; Mood Indigo; Planes: Fire and Rescue; Happy Christmas; Rich Hill; Step Up All In; Very Good Girls
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
(Dir. James Gunn)
Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
"In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan."
GET ON UP
(Dir. Tate Taylor)
Chadwick Boseman, Octavia Spencer, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis
"A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history."
(Dir. Michael Dowse)
Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan
"Medical school dropout Wallace has been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. He meets Chantry, an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben, and they form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship."
CHILD OF GOD
(Dir. James Franco)
James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson
"A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation."
THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY
(Dir. Lasse Hallstrom)
Helen Mirren, Manish Dayai
"A story centered on an Indian family who moves to France and opens a restaurant across the street from a MIchelin-starred French restaurant."
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
(Dir. Jonathan Liebesman)
Megan Fox, Will Arnett
"Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from police to politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise out of the sewers and discover their destiny."
(Dir. Luc Besson)
Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton
"A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic."
LET'S BE COPS
(Dir. Luke Greenfield)
Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Nina Dobrev
"Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted 'heroes' get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line."
(Dir. Philip Noyce)
Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift
"In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the 'real' world."
THE EXPENDABLES 3
(Dir. Patrick Hughes)
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford
"Barney, Christmas, and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks, who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney."
IF I STAY
(Dir. R. J. Cutler)
Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos
"Mia Hall thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Julliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life. When a carefree family drive changes everything, she's caught between life and death for one revealing day."
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
(Dir. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller)
Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson
"The town's most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants."
WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL
(Dir. Thomas Carter)
Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michel Chiklis
"The journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport."
Other Releases: Calvary; Into the Storm; As Above, So Below; The Trip to Italy; Love Is Strange; Underdogs; Jessabelle; Life of Crime; The Loft; One Chance; Starred Up; James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge 3D; Two Night Stand