Summer Movie Preview: The big list of films opening through August
Note: For an interactive calendar of films, along with trailers and more information, visit http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/entertainment2/56144745-223/comedy-director-drama-james.html.csp
You'll see a lot of familiar faces and hear some familiar names at movie theaters this summer. There's Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr.'s industrialist/superhero, in "Iron Man 3." Or another Marvel Comics character, Logan (Hugh Jackman), in "The Wolverine." And DC Comics' biggest star, Superman, flies again in "Man of Steel." James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are back in "Star Trek Into Darkness." In "The Lone Ranger," the masked man (Armie Hammer) and Tonto (Johnny Depp) ride into an action-packed adventure. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker hop into new cars for "Fast & Furious 6." Younger versions of James P. Sullivan and one-eyed Mike Wazowski go to college in "Monsters University." The Wolf Pack hit Vegas again in "The Hangover Part III," and amateur superheroes take to the streets in "Kick-Ass 2." And one of literature's greatest characters, the self-made Jay Gatsby, will be given new life by Leonardo DiCaprio in director Baz Luhrmann's flashy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby. But the 92 movies in The Tribune's Summer Movie Preview include a few change-ups and surprises along with the tried-and-true. So get out your calendars and a pencils (because some release dates are likely to change), and start planning a movie-filled summer. Today "The Company You Keep"
Robert Redford directed and stars in this political thriller, playing a former Weather Underground member who goes on the lam and tries to clear his name when he's exposed by a young reporter (Shia LaBeouf). Brit Marling, Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte also star.
Also opening: "The Big Wedding"
Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton play a divorced couple who must fake being married for their son's wedding. Also starring Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams and Katherine Heigl.
Interlocking stories of connecting in a wired world, with a cast that includes Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgard.
"From Up on Poppy Hill"
Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao Miyazaki) directs this animated tale, about Yokohama teens trying to save their clubhouse from destruction in the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
A prison escapee (Matthew McConaughey) enlists boys to help him reunite with his woman (Reese Witherspoon) in this thriller, directed by Jeff Nichols ("Take Shelter").
"Pain & Gain"
Michael Bay directs this action comedy, about Florida bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie) who get entangled in extortion and kidnapping.
May 3 "Iron Man 3"
Robert Downey Jr. again dons the red-and-gold armor to play Tony Stark, industrialist-turned-superhero. This time, Stark must face his demons when a terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), goes after everything that matters to him. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle return; new cast members include Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall.
Also opening: "Gimme the Loot"
Teen graffiti artists go after the ultimate target - the New York Mets' home run apple - in this low-budget crime comedy.
The history and meaning of the ultimate Jewish party song is explored in this documentary.
"To the Wonder"
Terence Malick's latest dream poem of a movie, about a couple (Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko) who fall in love in Europe, but see their relationship fall apart in Oklahoma. Also starring Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.
May 10 "The Great Gatsby"
Director Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge") brings flash and flair - and 3-D - to F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic tale of Jazz Age excess. The casting seems perfect: Leonardo DiCaprio as the self-made Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as the fragile Daisy Buchanan, Tobey Maguire as the observant Nick Carraway, and Joel Edgerton as Daisy's brutish husband Tom.
Also opening: "Bidder 70"
Documentarians Beth and George Gage profile environmental activist Tim DeChristopher, the University of Utah student who became famous - and went to prison - for making fraudulent bids at a Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas leases.
This real-life drama, about explorer Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 Pacific crossing on a balsa wood raft, was a foreign-language Oscar nominee this year.
Craig Robinson ("The Office") plays a working-class guy who aims to propose to his girlfriend (Kerry Washington), but first must pass muster with her imperious dad (David Alan Grier), in this comedy produced by Tyler Perry.
A Neapolitan fishmonger tries out for the Italian "Big Brother" in this comedy-drama.
May 17 "Star Trek Into Darkness"
The U.S.S. Enterprise and its crew - led by Chris Pine's James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto's Mr. Spock - faces a menace from a former Starfleet agent (played by the suddenly ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch). Director J.J. Abrams returns for another movie sure to be filled with excitement and lens flare.
Also opening: "In the House"
A teen student impresses his writing teacher (Fabrice Lucchini), as he insinuates himself in a classmate's house and becomes infatuated with his friend's mom (Emmanuelle Seigner) in Francois Ozon's latest sexually charged drama.
"The Source Family"
The rise and fall of a '70s Sunset Strip communal-living experiment are chronicled in this documentary.
May 24 "The Hangover Part III"
Director Todd Phillips promises this will be the finale of the trilogy of the "Wolfpack" - pals Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Dan (Justin Bartha). This time, they run into criminals (led by John Goodman) who kidnap Dan to force the others to find the coked-out Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong). Wackiness, no doubt, ensues.
Also opening: "At Any Price"
A farming empire is on the line in a dispute between father (Dennis Quaid) and son (Zac Efron) in this drama.
In this computer-animated tale (adapted from a William Joyce book), a teen (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) is shrunk down to the size of a leaf, and becomes embroiled in a battle between good and evil in the forest.
"Fast & Furious 6"
The car-racing franchise returns, with Dwayne Johnson's Agent Hobbs enlisting the gang (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, etc.) to bring a rival gang leader (Luke Evans) to justice.
May 31 "After Earth"
Will Smith and his son Jaden star in this science-fiction thriller, directed and co-written by M. Night Shyamalan. The story tells of a father and son stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The son makes a dangerous journey to get help when the father is injured.
Also opening: "Frances Ha"
An apartment-free New Yorker (Greta Gerwig) pursues her dreams at a dance company in writer-director Noah Baumbach's black-and-white comedy-drama.
"Now You See Me"
Illusionists (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco) have a neat trick: Robbing a Paris bank and, within seconds, giving the money to their Las Vegas audience. Naturally, the cops (Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent) and a gangster (Michael Caine) want to know the secret, in this thriller.
May dates to be determined "The Angels' Share"
A Scottish loser (Paul Brannigan) vows to change his life for his newborn daughter in director Ken Loach's comedy-drama.
Spanish director Pablo Berger's take on "Snow White" centers on a female bullfighter (Maribel Verdu) in 1920s Seville.
A clumsy secretary (Deborah Francois) is groomed by her boss (Romain Duris) to compete in a speed-typing competition, circa 1958, in this French comedy.
"The Reluctant Fundamentalist"
Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding") directs this drama, about a Pakistani (Riz Ahmed) who climbs the ladder of success on Wall Street, until 9/11 changes his life and his colleagues' perceptions of him.
A French drama set in 1915, centering on the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) and his son Jean (Vincent Rottiers), before Jean became a legendary filmmaker - and on the woman (Christa Theret) who inspired them both.
"Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's"
Documentarian Matthew Miele tries to explain the strange aura of the fashion-centric department store Bergdorf Goodman - enlisting such names as Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, the Olsen twins and Joan Rivers for illustration.
"What Maisie Knew"
A modern adaptation of a Henry James novella, about a couple (Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan) and how their 7-year-old daughter (Onata Aprile) views their bitter divorce.
June 7 "The Internship"
"Wedding Crashers" duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite, playing down-and-out salesmen who land an internship at Google and must compete with younger, tech-savvy experts to land a permanent job. Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum" directs this comedy, which will have more uses of the Google logo than an informercial.
Also opening: "Love Is All You Need"
In director Susanne Bier's romantic comedy, a wedding in Italy launches a prickly relationship between the couple's parents: the Danish bride's recently jilted mom (Trine Dyrholm) and the groom's long-absent father (Pierce Brosnan).
Ethan Hawke stars in this drama, leading a family trying to survive in the near future when the land becomes lawless for one night.
June 12 "This Is the End"
Most of young Hollywood is partying at James Franco's house when the apocalypse strikes. With some A-listers killed early, it's up to six survivors - Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson - to hunker down and wait out the end of the world. Rogen and his "Superbad" writing partner Evan Goldberg co-directed this wild comedy, which features big stars playing variations of themselves.
June 14 "Man of Steel"
Superman is back, as director Zack Snyder ("Watchmen," "300") and producer Christopher Nolan bring a new take on the DC Comics character's origins. Henry Cavill ("Immortals") stars as Superman and his mild-mannered alter-ego Clark Kent. The supporting cast includes Russell Crowe as Superman's Kryptonian father Jor-El, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as his adoptive parents the Kents, Amy Adams as ace reporter Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as editor Perry White, and Michael Shannon as the Kryptonian criminal General Zod.
Also opening: "The East"
Brit Marling reteams with her "Sound of My Voice" director/co-writer for this thriller, playing a corporate security expert who goes undercover with an eco-terror group. Alexander Skarsgaard, Ellen Page and Patricia Clarkson co-star.
"Much Ado About Nothing"
During the post-production break on "The Avengers," director Joss Whedon gathered some of his favorite actors to his house to shoot a modern-dress version of the Shakespearean comedy. "Angel" co-stars Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker play the bickering Benedick and Beatrice, with Whedon regulars Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Reed Diamond, Clark Gregg and others also take on roles.
"We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks"
Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side") examines the website that ferrets out information governments and corporations don't want people to know - and its controversial founder, Julian Assange.
June 21 "World War Z"
This adaptation of Max Brooks' apocalyptic novel is being called the most expensive zombie movie ever made. Brad Pitt stars as a United Nations expert criss-crossing the globe in a desperate attempt to stop a zombie epidemic. Directed by Marc Forster ("Quantum of Solace").
Also opening: "Dirty Wars"
The work of investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, exposing bombings and drone strikes committed in secret by the United States, is examined in this documentary.
"The Kings of Summer"
Three Ohio teens abandon their families to build their own clubhouse one summer, in this thoughtful comedy-drama that debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival (under the title "Toy's House").
In this prequel to Pixar's "Monsters, Inc.," we learn how furry James P. Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) and his one-eyed buddy Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) met in college.
June 28 "The Heat"
What makes this buddy-cop movie different? The cops are women: Sandra Bullock as an uptight FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as a temperamental Boston cop. This is directed by Paul Feig, who made McCarthy a star in "Bridesmaids," so it could be fun.
Also opening: "White House Down"
This year's other "terrorists take over the White House" thriller, directed by Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day") and starring Channing Tatum as a Capitol police officer who must protect the president (Jamie Foxx) and save his own daughter (Joey King) when a paramilitary group attacks.
June - to be determined "Before Midnight"
Director Richard Linklater again charts the relationship between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), 18 years after they met in Vienna in "Before Sunrise" and nine years after they reunited in Paris in "Before Sunset."
"The Bling Ring"
Sofia Coppola directs this true-life tale of fame-obsessed girls (led by Emma Watson) stealing from Beverly Hills celebrities.
Andrea Riseborough ("Oblivion") stars in this drama, set in 1990s Belfast, as an Irish Republican Army member who turns informant to save her son. Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson also star.
"Stories We Tell"
Actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley digs into her own family secrets in this documentary.
July 3 "The Lone Ranger"
The summer's big question mark: Will audiences go for a Western classic pumped up to action-movie proportions? Will they accept Johnny Depp as the Native American guide Tonto? Will they swoon over Armie Hammer ("The Social Network") as the masked hero? Will director Gore Verbinski rekindle the magic he made with Depp in the first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies? Will Disney make back its money and forget about the drubbing it took on "John Carter"?
Also opening: "Despicable Me 2"
Reformed bad-guy Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is recruited to battle a new supervillain in this computer-animated sequel.
July 12 "Pacific Rim"
Director Guillermo Del Toro's brawny action movie has produced arguably the coolest trailer of the summer. When monsters enter through a transdimensional portal in the ocean, earthlings battle back by building skyscraper-sized robots to battle them. The results, if the trailer is any guide, is a smarter and tougher version of "Transformers."
Also opening: "Grown Ups 2"
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade and Chris Rock return for more mid-life musings and crude humor.
July 19 "Turbo"
In this animated comedy, a race-obsessed snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) gets caught in a freak accident that gives him super speed - so, of course, he aims to enter the Indy 500.
Also opening: "The Conjuring"
Married paranormal investigators (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) find something nasty in a farmhouse, in this supernatural thriller from director James Wan ("Saw," "Insidious").
"Girl Most Likely"
Kristen Wiig stars in this dark comedy, as a failed playwright whose suicide attempt results in her being put in the custody of her gambling-addicted mom (Annette Bening).
Bruce Willis returns as retired assassin Frank Moses, again gathering his old pals (including John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker) for more explosion-heavy hijinks. Joining the fun this time are Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Ryan Reynolds (again) plays a recently dead police officer who joins other undead cops in the Rest In Peace Department to discover who killed him.
July 26 "The Wolverine"
Hugh Jackman returns as Marvel Comics' metal-clawed hero. This time he's in Japan, facing a new villain, the Silver Samurai (Will Yun Lee) - and encountering a person from his past. (No spoilers here, though the last trailer gave it away.).
July 31 "The Smurfs 2"
The three-apples-high blue creatures return for another movie, reuniting with their human friends Patrick and Grace (Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays) to rescue Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry) from the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria).
July - to be determined "Crystal Fairy"
An obnoxious American (Michael Cera) meets a strange woman (Gaby Hoffmann) in the Chilean desert in this head-scratching drama.
"Fill the Void"
An 18-year-old Hasidic girl is pressured to marry her late sister's ultra-Orthodox husband in this Israeli drama.
In this German drama, Barbara Sukowa plays the title role, the real-life political theorist and philosopher who covered Adolf Eichmann's war-crimes trial for The New Yorker.
In this French biography, Catherine Frot portrays Hortense Laborie, who broke through the culinary boys' club to become personal chef to French President Francois Mitterand.
Mads Mikkelsen (from TV's "Hannibal") plays a lonely teacher trying to regain custody of his son in this Danish drama.
"I'm So Excited"
Pedro Almodovar's latest comedy is set on an airplane headed for Mexico City, and what happens when a life-threatening technical problem prompts the flight attendants to launch a party in the skies. Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz star.
"Stuck in Love"
A divorced father (Greg Kinnear) and his teen children (Lily Collins, Nat Wolff) experience of love and heartbreak in this comedy-drama, which also stars Jennifer Connelly, Kristen Bell and Logan Lerman.
Terence Stamp plays a grumpy widower who gets involved in a senior citizens' choir, in this comedy-drama that also stars Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton.
"The Way, Way Back"
"Little Miss Sunshine" stars Steve Carell and Toni Collette reunite in this comedy, which focuses on a teen (Liam James) who spends his summer break working at a water park.
August 2 "2 Guns"
This buddy-cop action movie has an interesting twist: Both of the guys are undercover federal agents - one (Denzel Washington) with DEA, the other (Mark Wahlberg) with Naval Intelligence - but neither knows that the other one is. Director Baltasar KormÃ¡kur worked with Wahlberg on the effective thriller "Contraband," so this one could be pretty intense.
Also opening: "300: Rise of an Empire"
So what if all 300 Spartans were killed off in the first movie? There's still a sequel, following a different army going up against the Persian god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro).
August 7 "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters"
Teen demigod Percy (Logan Lerman) is back in the second installment based on Rick Riordan's young-adult book. This time he joins his friends (Jake Abel, Alexandra Daddario) on a quest to find the Golden Fleece. Director Thor Freudenthal ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid") employs a cast that includes Stanley Tucci, Sean Bean and Nathan Fillion as Greek gods.
August 9 "Elysium"
Science-fiction fans have been watching eagerly for the next film from director Neill Blomkamp, who wowed with "District 9." His latest is set in the 22nd century, when the super-rich live on a space station while everyone else lives on a ravaged and overpopulated Earth. Matt Damon stars as a man on a mission to infiltrate the space station, and Jodie Foster plays the government official determined to stop him.
Also opening: "Planes"
Disney (but, notably, not Pixar) goes airborne in this semi-sequel to "Cars," in which a cropduster (voiced by Dane Cook) pursues his dreams - and overcomes his fears - to enter an aerial race.
"We're the Millers"
In this comedy, a marijuana dealer (Jason Sudeikis) must use his neighbors - a stripper (Jennifer Aniston) and two teens (Emma Roberts, Will Poulter) - to pose as his family, as he travels to Mexico to try to smuggle a shipment of pot across the border.
August 16 "The To Do List"
If you don't know Aubrey Plaza from TV's "Parks & Recreation" or last year's indie charmer "Safety Not Guaranteed," you might have seen her trying to take a trophy away from Will Ferrell at the MTV Movie Awards. She makes her move toward leading-lady status with this comedy, as a Type-A high-school graduate who wants to make sure she's ready for college - by getting more sexually experienced over the summer. This is the feature debut of writer-director Maggie Carey, who's also married to "Saturday Night Live" cast member Bill Hader.
Also opening: "Kick-Ass 2"
The costumed crime fighters return for more action, as Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) attract a new cadre of citizen superheroes (including Jim Carrey) - and feel the wrath of the evil Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plesse).
August 23 "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"
We don't have "Twilight" to kick around anymore, so Hollywood's search for the next young-adult fantasy franchise has come upon Cassandra Clare's book series about a teen girl ("Mirror Mirror" star Lily Collins) who discovers her family's supernatural secrets. There are five books in the series, so the studio is banking on this one being a hit.
Also opening: "The World's End"
The team of director-writer Edgar Wright, actor-writer Simon Pegg and actor Nick Frost follow up "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" with this comedy, about a pub crawl with apocalyptic overtones.
Adam Wingard, one of the organizers of the "V/H/S" horror anthology series, directs this scary movie - about killers attacking a married couple who's not as defenseless as they think.
August 30 "One Direction: This Is Us"
The British boy-band makes their movie debut in this concert documentary, which all the teen girls undoubtedly will flock to see. The strange element here is the director: Morgan Spurlock, who has both bitten the corporate hand ("Super Size Me") and fed from it (like when he directed a 20th-anniversary tribute to "The Simpsons" for Fox).
Also opening: "Getaway"
Ethan Hawke must follow a mystery man's orders to save his kidnapped wife, in a thriller that co-stars Selena Gomez.
August - to be determined "Blackfish"
This intense documentary chronicles the life of a killer whale who was responsible for the deaths of three people - including a trainer at a SeaWorld resort.
Woody Allen's latest comedy stars Cate Blanchett as a New York housewife in crisis. The Woodman assembles a big cast, as always: Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Louis C.K., Michael Stuhlbarg, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Max Casella and Andrew Dice Clay.
Director Ryan Coogler took the top prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival with this drama (then titled just "Fruitvale"), which examines the final 24 hours in the life of a young man (Michael B. Jordan) shot by a transit cop in Oakland, Calif.
David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") directs this comedy, about two highway road workers (Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch) who spend the summer of '88 away from the city and the women in their lives.
"The Spectacular Now"
Miles Teller ("21 and Over") and Shailene Woodley ("The Descendants") won acting honors at Sundance this year for this strong drama, about a happy-go-lucky teen alcoholic who meets a girl who's not like any he's dated before.
To be determined "Austenland"
Two Utah women, director Jerusha Hess and author Shannon Hale, adapt Hale's comic novel about a Jane Austen-obsessed woman (Keri Russell) who visits a Regency-era theme park. This Sundance hit co-stars Jane Seymour, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie and JJ Feild.
Two mysterious women (Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan) arrive in a seaside resort town with a deadly secret, in this horror-thriller by director Neil Jordan ("Interview With the Vampire").
Michael Shannon stars as real-life hitman Richard Kuklinski, who murdered without his wife or daughters ever knowing what he did for a living.
"In a World..."
Actress Lake Bell makes her debut as a writer and director with this winning comedy, playing a vocal coach who dreams of becoming a voice-over announcer for movie trailers - a job usually reserved for men, like her father (Fred Melamed).