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Summer Movie Preview: The big list of films opening through August


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"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.

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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.

"Shadow Dancer"

  • 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"


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  • 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).

"Red 2"

  • 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.

"R.I.P.D."

  • 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.

"Hannah Arendt"

  • 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.

"Haute Cuisine"

  • 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.

"The Hunt"

  • 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.

"Unfinished Song"

  • 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 Kormákur 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.

"You're Next"

  • 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.

"Blue Jasmine"

  • 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.

"Fruitvale Station"

  • 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.

"Prince Avalanche"

  • 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.

"Byzantium"

  • 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").

"The Iceman"

  • 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).
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