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Jason Statham (left) and Wesley Snipes compare knives in the action thriller "The Expendables 3." It opens nationwide on Aug. 15. Phil Bray | Courtesy Lionsgate
Photo gallery: August summer movie preview
First Published Apr 28 2014 02:26 pm • Last Updated Apr 28 2014 02:47 pm

It’s summer time, and Hollywood knows what you want — the same thing it gave you last summer.

That includes big-budget superhero spectaculars, robots and monsters, dragons and apes, and action aplenty. There also will be some comedy, a bit of romance and something for the kids among the 79 movies arriving through August.

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Here’s a look at the movies opening in August. (Some release dates are tentative.)

Aug. 1

"Guardians of the Galaxy" » James Gunn ("Slither") directs Marvel Comics’ space-going adventure about a mismatched group of criminals — led by the wise-cracking Peter Quill, alias "Star Lord" (Chris Pratt), and including an alien assassin (Zoe Saldana), a thieving raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a tough tree (voiced by Vin Diesel). Also starring John C. Reilly, Benicio Del Toro, Lee Pace and Karen Gillan ("Doctor Who").

Also opening:

"Calvary" » Brendan Gleeson plays a priest who’s told in confessional that one of his parishioners plans to kill him, in this comedy-drama by writer-director John Michael McDonagh that also played at Sundance ’14.

"Get On Up" » Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in "42," plays a very different icon in this biography: soul singer James Brown. Directed by Tate Taylor ("The Help").

Aug. 8

"Lucy" » Until Marvel gives Black Widow her own movie, this is the next best thing: Scarlett Johansson kicking butt as an unwilling drug mule who discovers — when the drugs start leaking into her body — that she has unlocked incredible mental powers. Morgan Freeman also stars.

Also opening:

"The Hundred-Foot Journey" » An Indian family moves to Paris, and opens a restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred restaurant, in this family drama. Helen Mirren stars, and Oprah Winfrey is among the producers.

"Into the Storm" » Massive tornadoes strike a city in this disaster thriller.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" » The pizza-loving crime-fighting reptiles are back. Megan Fox plays intrepid TV reporter April O’Neil.

Aug. 13

"Let’s Be Cops" » Buddies (Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.) dress up as policemen for a costume party, and then get caught up in real crime, in this action comedy.

Aug. 15

"The Giver" » Lois Lowry’s dystopian teen novel is adapted to film, with a young man (Brenthon Thwaites, from "Oculus") receiving the memories of his society from The Giver (Jeff Bridges) and learning the secret that could change it all. Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgård also star.

Also opening:

"As Above, So Below" » In this thriller, archaeologists digging in the catacombs under the streets of Paris uncover secrets the dead don’t want revealed.

"The Expendables 3" » Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham and pals are back for more action — with Mel Gibson as Stallone’s former partner, seeking to destroy the group. Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford also join in.

"What If" » Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in this romance as best friends who wonder what would happen if they got serious.

Aug. 22

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" » Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller join forces again, directing this anthology of hard-boiled tales (based on Miller’s graphic novels). The cast includes Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Lady Gaga and returning "Sin City" combatants Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba and Bruce Willis.

Also opening:

"When the Game Stands Tall" » Jim Caviezel stars in this biography of Bob Ladouceur, a high-school football coach whose teams set a record 151-game winning streak.

Aug. 27

"November Man" » Pierce Brosnan plays an ex-CIA operative who returns to the spy game — and finds himself up against his old protégé (Luke Bracey).

Also opening:

"Underdogs" » In this animated tale, a soccer fanatic (voiced by Rupert Grint) is challenged to a game — which he might win when his arcade-game foosball players to come to life .

Aug. 29

"One Chance" » Tony-winning British actor James Corden stars in this inspirational true-life story, playing Paul Potts, a shop assistant who became an opera star after appearing on "Britain’s Got Talent." David Frankel ("The Devil Wears Prada") directs.

Also opening:

"Jessabelle" » A young woman (Sarah Shook), recovering from an accident, has a run-in with something spooky — and connected to her dead mother — in this horror thriller.

"The Loft" » In this thriller, five guys (including Karl Urban and James Marsden) sharing a loft for extramarital affairs start suspecting each other when a dead woman is found there.

Also in August

"Gabrielle" » Gabrielle Marion-Rivard plays the title role in this French-Canadian drama as a woman with Williams syndrome (a genetic disorder that affects development) who falls in love and seeks to establish her independence.

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