Summer movie preview

Clockwise (from top): Angelina Jolie in “Maleficent”; (from left) Amanda Sey-fried, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth MacFar-lane, and Charlize  Theron in “A Million Ways to Die in the West”; Mickey Rourke in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”: Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Dimension Films
Clockwise (from top): Angelina Jolie in “Maleficent”; (from left) Amanda Sey-fried, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth MacFar-lane, and Charlize Theron in “A Million Ways to Die in the West”; Mickey Rourke in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”: Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow.”


LOCKE Tom Hardy, who was confined inside a mask as Bane, in “The Dark Knight Rises,” is confined inside a car. He plays a British civil engineer driving home from a very difficult and complex building project when things start getting a lot more difficult and complex.

NEIGHBORS A couple and their newborn move in next to a frat house. Did Bluto Blutarsky ever explore possibilities in the field of baby-sitting? Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are the couple. Zac Efron, Dave Franco, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are among the fraternizers.

BELLE A based-on-fact story of the mixed-race daughter (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of a Royal Navy admiral. She helps influence her great-uncle (Tom Wilkinson), Britain’s lord chief justice, to outlaw slavery.


FED UP Katie Couric is an executive producer of this advocacy documentary that takes a highly critical look at the US food industry, health, and obesity.

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FOR NO GOOD REASON In this documentary, Johnny Depp leads a tour of the life, mind, and art of illustrator Ralph Steadman, Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite Gonzo partner in journalistic crime.

LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN An animated feature in which Dorothy Gale decides to leave Kansas (again) for you-know-where. Voices include Lea Michele (Dorothy), Dan Aykroyd (Scarecrow), Kelsey Grammar (Tin Man), and Bernadette Peters (Glinda).

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT Hollywood’s first Mother’s Day comedy? Three moms plan on a night on the town, leaving the dads in charge of hearth, home, and young folk. Not a good idea, as it turns out. Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, and Patricia Heaton star.

MAY 12

SHORT PEACE In this Japanese animated feature, a visitor to a decrepit shrine finds himself confronted with spirits past, present, and future.

MAY 16


GODZILLA Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen play the leads, and what a supporting cast (Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn). But face it, all that matters is that big guy in the title.

CHEF Jon Favreau, who wrote and directed, stars as a self-destructive LA restaurateur who goes home to Miami to start a food truck business. Contributing to his journey are Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Sofia Vergara, and Dustin Hoffman.

THE DOUBLE Richard Ayoade directed this quirky comedy-drama based on the Dostoevsky novel about a civil servant whose new colleague looks exactly like him — and is his exact opposite in personality. Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star.

GOD’S POCKET “Mad Men” star John Slattery makes his big-screen directorial debut with this drama about a man (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) trying to find a way to bury the body of his very unpopular stepson after he dies on a construction site.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM A based-on-fact story about a sports agent who signs an Indian cricket star (Aasif Mandvi) to play baseball in the big leagues. It’s “Mad Men” at the movies week: Jon Hamm plays the agent.


PALO ALTO Gia Coppola, Francis’ granddaughter, adapted James Franco’s short story collection and directed this tale of teens in the California college town. Franco, Emma Roberts, and Val Kilmer head the cast.

AFTERNOON OF A FAUN: TANAQUIL LE CLERCQ A documentary about the legendary New York City Ballet dancer whose career was ended by polio.

THE IMMIGRANT Newly arrived in New York from Poland in 1920, Ewa (Marion Cotillard) falls under the spell of Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix). He wants to turn her into a streetwalker. Can Bruno’s cousin (Jeremy Renner) rescue her?

MANAKAMANA This documentary about pilgrims visiting the famous Nepalese temple comes courtesy of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Laboratory.

MAY 23

X-MEN: DAYS OF THE FUTURE PAST Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) gets sent into the past. The movie features both Magnetos (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender) and both Professor Xaviers (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy). Does that make it XX-Men?

BLENDED First there was “The Wedding Singer.” Then there was “50 First Dates.” Now Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are up to their old rom-com tricks again. This time the two star as single parents who endure the worst kind of blind date, then have to endure each other for an extended hotel stay when their families are thrown together on vacation.

COLD IN JULY One hot night in 1989, Michael C. Hall accidentally kills Sam Shepard’s son. What they find out is that something much worse than murder is going on in their East Texas town.

TEENAGE Adolescence has always been with us; that’s a biological condition. Teenage is relatively new; it’s a social construct. Matt Wolf’s offbeat documentary traces the emergence of this sociological phenomenon.

TRACKS In 1977, a young Australian woman, Robyn Davidson, did a 1,700-mile walkabout, alone but for four camels (yes, camels) and a dog. Mia Wasikowska plays Davidson in this drama about her trek.

MAY 30

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST Director and co-writer Seth MacFarlane tackles the Wild West in this comedy in which he stars, along with Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Sarah Silverman.

MALEFICENT In this reworking of “Sleeping Beauty,” Elle Fanning is the beauty and Angelina Jolie (boo! hiss!) is the villainess who casts a spell on her. Note Jolie’s kudu-worthy headgear.

FILTH No one will mistake James McAvoy’s character here for Prof. Xavier. He plays a racist, druggie, manic-depressive cop — during the holiday season, no less — trying to get promoted and win back his wife and daughter. It’s a comedy.

LUCKY THEM Rock journalist (Toni Collette) gets an unusual assignment: find her ex-husband (Thomas Haden Church). Will a reunion tour take place? This, too, is a comedy.

WE ARE THE BEST! Three 13-year-old girls decide to form a punk band in Stockholm in the early ’80s. Based on Coco Moodysson’s graphic novel.


EDGE OF TOMORROW It’s the future. Aliens are attacking Earth. Uh-oh. Don’t worry, though. Tom Cruise is on the case. So’s Emily Blunt. Except — uh-oh again — there’s this matter of a time loop Cruise gets caught in. . . .

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS John Green’s best-selling YA novel about a teen recovering from cancer comes to the screen. Shailene Woodley is the patient. Ansel Elgort is the young man who makes this particular patient impatient.

THE HORNET’S NEST This documentary about the war in Afghanistan is a family affair. It features journalist Mike Boettcher and his son, Carlos.

IDA A Polish drama about an orphan who’s about to take the veil in 1962. Her religious identity turns upside down when she discovers a family secret.

WHAT IS CINEMA? Chuck Workman, that master of filmic brevity, attempts to answer that title question from the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Bresson (in archival interviews) and Mike Leigh, David Lynch, and Jonas Mekas (in new ones).

WORDS AND PICTURES Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche play teachers who set up a competition between their students to determine which matters more: text or image. Maybe it will turn out that romance matters, too. Fred Schepisi directed.


22 JUMP STREET Cops Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have graduated from going undercover at their old high school to going undercover at a college. If there’s a “23 Jump Street,” expect them to go to grad school.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 So there’s this secret ice cave. Inside are hundreds of untrained dragons. This is one sequel that can’t be accused of lacking any fire in the belly.

THE GREAT FLOOD A documentary about the catastrophic consequences when the Mississippi River overflowed its banks in 1927.

LIFE’S A BREEZE If your family is searching for a lot of money it’s lost, Dublin’s not the worst place to have to look. Kelly Thornton, Fionnula Flanagan, and Pat Shortt star.

OBVIOUS CHILD Female comedians who live in Brooklyn have all the (bad) luck. Heroine Jenny Slate has to deal with a breakup, getting fired, and learning she’s pregnant, all on — when else — Valentine’s Day.

THE SACRAMENT Accompanied by journalist friends, a fashion photographer visits his sister at a commune. This latest addition to the found-footage horror genre takes the mass suicides in 1978 at Jonestown for inspiration.

THE SIGNAL A couple of MIT computer hackers are driving across Nevada with the girlfriend of one of the guys. A rival hacker lures them into the middle of nowhere. Soon enough, getting hacked is the least of their troubles.

SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON Mike Myers (yes, that Mike Myers) makes his directing debut with a documentary about industry insider Gordon, who began managing music acts and moved on to celebrity chefs.


JERSEY BOYS The Broadway musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons comes to the screen. John Lloyd Young plays Valli, Christopher Walken is mobster Gyp DeCarlo, and Clint Eastwood directed. Yes, that Clint Eastwood.

VENUS IN FUR Roman Polanski directed this French-language version of David Ives’s play, in which an actress (Emmanuelle Seigner) doesn’t hold back in showing a director (Mathieu Amalric) that’s she’s just right for his upcoming production.

IVORY TOWER Filmmaker Andrew Rossi (“Page One: Inside the New York Times”) turns his cameras on higher education and the impact of skyrocketing costs. Yes, Harvard, he’s looking at you.

CITIZEN KOCH That’s “Koch” as in Koch brothers, the conservative billionaire activists. Carl Deal and Tia Lessin’s documentary takes an angry look at the consequences of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.

THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL: A FILM ABOUT OF MONTREAL That’s not a misprint. We’re talking Of Montreal, the musical group, not of Montreal, the city. Jason Miller’s documentary focuses on Kevin Barnes, the band’s frontman.

THE ROVER The Australian Outback. A stolen car. A gang. A loner. A wounded man. A pursuit. Guy Pearce. Robert Pattinson. Get the picture?

THINK LIKE A MAN TOO As you might guess, a sequel to “Think Like a Man” (2012). This time the four couples are in Las Vegas.


YVES SAINT LAURENT Clothes make the man — unless the man makes the clothes. Pierre Niney stars as YSL, in this French biopic.


TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Autobots and Decepticons are up to their old tricks for this fourth go-round in Michael Bay’s toyapalooza money-making machine. No Shia LaBeouf this time. Mark Wahlberg stars.

WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER Joe Berlinger’s documentary looks at Boston’s most notorious crime boss. Globe writers Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen are among those interviewed.

SNOWPIERCER Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer are among the few survivors when an attempt to stop global warming triggers a new ice age. South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho makes his English-language directing debut.

WALKING THE CAMINO: SIX WAYS TO SANTIAGO A documentary about pilgrims making the trek to Spain’s holiest shrine, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella.


TAMMY Melissa McCarthy’s title character has lost her job and her husband. So what better thing to do than hit the road with her wild and crazy grandmother. Yes, grandma is Susan Sarandon. No, this isn’t a “Thelma and Louise” remake.

THIRD PERSON Three couples, three cities, six stars (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, Maria Bello, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde): Writer-director Paul Haggis connects the dots.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL A New York cop (Eric Bana) teams up with a priest who practices exorcisms (Edgar Ramirez) to solve a series of baffling crimes.

EARTH TO ECHO There’s a new construction project in the neighborhood. A group of youngsters starts getting some weird text messages. Maybe there’s no connection — or maybe there is.


LIFE ITSELF Steve James, of “Hoop Dreams” fame, directed this documentary about the late Roger Ebert, based on the famed film critic’s memoir.


DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Caesar (Andy Serkis) is back! His simian forces wage war against the human race. Among the humans are Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell.

BOYHOOD Writer-director Richard Linkater’s latest drama has a near-epic length (two hours and 40 minutes) and low-key story: a boy’s life from 5 to 18. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette play the parents.

AND SO IT GOES A grumpy old man (Michael Douglas) turns for help to a nice neighbor (Diane Keaton) when his son presents him with a granddaughter he didn’t know he had. Rob Reiner directed.

BEGIN AGAIN Keira Knightley is an aspiring songwriter in New York. Her professional and personal partner (Adam Levine) leaves her. But wait, she’s discovered by an industry honcho (Mark Ruffalo) trying to make a comeback. Will they make beautiful music together?

A LONG WAY DOWN Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and become friends through thin and thick. Rosamund Pike, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots star. Based on the Nick Hornby novel.

THE FLUFFY MOVIE Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias goes the concert movie route.


JUPITER ASCENDING Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) works as a janitor. She’s also the future queen of the universe, getting help along the way from Channing Tatum and Sean Bean. The Wachowskis co-wrote and directed this futuristic fantasy, seeking the return of “Matrix”-like magic.

I ORIGINS The title of this sci-fi drama may not seem so strange when you learn it’s about a pair of molecular biologists whose findings could change mankind’s understanding of human identity. Michael Pitt and Brit Marling star.

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE Dusty, the propeller-driven star of Disney’s 2013 animated feature “Planes,” gives up air racing for aerial fire fighting. Dane Cook returns as the voice of Dusty.

THE PURGE: ANARCHY A sequel to last year’s “The Purge,” where one night a year lawlessness is allowed. So guess what night a young couple (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez) run out of gas on their way home?


HERCULES Dwayne Johnson plays the title character. Really, that’s all you need to know. Brett Ratner (the “Rush Hour” movies) directed.

A MOST WANTED MAN Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in an adaptation of John le Carré’s novel about an illegal Chechen immigrant in Hamburg who gets caught up in terrorism.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS A young woman (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her brother (Joe Swanberg), his wife, and their toddler. Complications ensue, as does a friend of the young woman (Lena Dunham). Swanberg wrote and directed.

SEX TAPE In this Jake Kasdan-directed comedy, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel play a married couple anxious to find the — how to put this delicately? — audio-visual record of an episode of conjugal intimacy.

STEP UP ALL IN Las Vegas provides the setting for this latest installment in the dance saga. Will the cast of “Think Like a Man Too” make a cameo appearance?

WISH I WAS HERE An aspiring actor (Zach Braff) tries to home-school his two kids. Kate Hudson plays his wife. Braff directed and co-wrote.

AUG. 1

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY It’s a Marvel summer: Captain America, Spider-Man, and the X-Men all having sequelized, it’s the first time for these outer-space heroes, headed by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt).

GET ON UP Tate Taylor (“The Help”) directed this James Brown biopic. Good God! Having tackled Jackie Robinson, in “42,” Chadwick Boseman — a very brave man — now essays the Godfather of Soul.

CALVARY While hearing confession, an Irish priest (Brendan Gleeson) is told he’s going to be killed the following Sunday. This makes the next week somewhat complicated for him in this black comedy-drama.

PIONEER It’s the early ’80s, and oil has been discovered off the coast of Norway. A deep-sea diver finds that the risks underwater are just the start of the dangers he faces. Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang star.

AUG. 8

LUCY “La Femme Scarjo”? Luc Besson is the director, and Scarlett Johansson the star, in this film about a female captive (the title character) who turns into the ultimate fighting machine. She gets an assist from Morgan Freeman.

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT Woody Allen sets his latest romantic comedy on the French Riviera in the ’20s. The cast features Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Hamish Linklater, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jacki Weaver.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY An Indian family immigrates to France, where they open a restaurant across the street from an establishment listed in the Michelin Guide. Helen Mirren stars as the French restaurant’s proprietor.

INTO THE STORM The first found-footage meteorology movie? High school students document a tornado and the damage in its wake. Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Jeremy Sumpter head the cast.

LAND HO! Think of it as “Reykjavík Confidential.” Two ex-brothers-in-law take a trip to Iceland. If it holds over a week, “Land Ho!” can make for an interesting double bill with “The Trip to Italy” (see below).

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Yes, they’re back — in live-action CGI, no less — and Megan Fox faints. Honest, she does. You can see it in the trailer.

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY In this thriller, a con man (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife (Kirsten Dunst) get caught up in a murder, along with a third party (Oscar Isaac). Based on the Patricia Highsmith novel.

AUG. 13

LET’S BE COPS It’s one thing for a couple of pals (Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.) to dress up as police officers for a party. It’s definitely another when they get caught up with real-life criminals.

AUG. 15

THE GIVER Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges (as the title character) star in this adaptation of Lois Lowry’s fantasy YA novel about the conflict between an ideal perfect world and reality. Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes also star.

THE EXPENDABLES 3 Everyone’s favorite AARP mercenary gang’s back — Sly, Jason, Jet, Dolph, Ah-nuld — older and definitely not wiser. Look for cameos from Mel Gibson (!) and Harrison Ford (!!).

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW The found-footage horror genre arrives in Paris. That’s where a pair of archeologists are burrowing through the catacombs beneath the city, seeking a lost treasure — and finding something very different.

THE TRIP TO ITALY Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite from “The Trip” (2010) for another playing-themselves road comedy. The food is guaranteed to be better than it was in the north of England, even if the company stays the same.

WHAT IF Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star as friends who wonder if maybe they should be more than just friends — except that she shares housekeeping with a longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall).

AUG. 22

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Director Robert Rodriguez returns to the noir fantasyland of Frank Miller’s graphic novels, with Miller co-directing. On hand are Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, and Josh Brolin.

FRANK A young musician (Domhnall Gleeson) joins a band led by the title character (Michael Fassbender), a most mysterious personage. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy also star.

IF I STAY Talented classical musician Chloë Grace Moretz lies in a coma, after a car crash. Hanging between life and death, she has to decide what path she wants her future to take. Based on Gayle Forman’s YA novel.

WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL Jim Caviezel plays real-life high school football coach Bob Ladouceur, who led his team to a 151-game winning streak. Michael Chiklis and Laura Dern costar.

AUG. 27

NOVEMBER MAN Tensions are running high between East and West — sounds familiar, doesn’t it? — so former CIA operative Pierce Brosnan finds himself up against his onetime Russian protégée (Olga Kurylenko).

UNDERDOGS An Argentine animated feature about a young man who sets out to save his town with the help of his Foosball players after they magically come to life. Rupert Grint, of “Harry Potter” fame, voices the young man.

AUG. 29

JESSABELLE Jessie (Sarah Snook) comes home to Louisiana to recover from a car accident in which her fiance was killed. But it’s no accident that an evil spirit is out to get her.

LIFE OF CRIME Two ex-cons (Mos Def, John Hawkes) get ready for a big score. Also on hand in this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel are Jennifer Aniston, Isla Fisher, and Tim Robbins.

THE LOFT A quintet of friends have access to a loft for adulterous goings-on. Then the body of a murder victim turns up there. James Marsden and Rhona Mitra star.

ONE CHANCE The real-life story of Paul Potts (James Corden), an amateur opera singer who despite being bullied in middle school went on to be a winner on “Britain’s Got Talent.”