It has been said that 2012 was the summer of the sequel. With movies such as MIB III, Piranha 3D, Madagascar 3, GI Joe: Retaliation, Spiderman 3, Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Dark Knight Rises, The Bourne Legacy, and Expendables 2 taking to the screen in that year, no one can argue.
However, if 2012 was the summer of the sequel, then 2015 is the year the sequel finally took over! Beginning with the Avengers: Age of Ultron in May of 2015, it seems as though many of the fresh ideas that once made Hollywood films the envy of the world have been replaced with rethinkings, retellings, and indeed rehashing of old movies to come up with something to steal two hours of your time, and rid you of your hard earned money at the ticket counter and concession stand.
2016 isn’t much different, as sequels to sequels are once again the big draw at your local megaplex. It looks as though this trend will continue for some time to come, with new Star Wars films in the works for the next decade or more, as well as more and more superhero films, Fast and Furious franchises, and pretty much every other major movie you can think of that has the slightest chance at scraping more money out of your pocket!
Fortunately, some of these films are actually worth your time, and a few might even be worth shelling out a few more dollars to see on the big screen! Nearly every week in May-August includes something for everyone, sequels galore, superheroes, vampires, and comedies. Don’t just check out the movies this summer…check out the different kinds of theaters available in your area. After all, it’s all about location, location, location.
Now take a look at the preview of some of this summer’s biggest hits, and a few sleepers you might want to check out at your favorite Cineplex!
|Captain America: Civil War (PG-13)|
|2hr 27min · Action/Adventure|
|We find Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps – one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. Trailer|
|X-Men: Apocalypse (PG-13)|
|2hr 24min · Action|
|Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction. Trailer|
|Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG)|
|1hr 48min · Adventure|
|Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Sheen), Absolem (Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Depp), who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out. Trailer|
|Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (R)|
|1hr 32min · Comedy|
Now that Mac and Kelly Radner have a second baby on the way, they are ready to make the final move into adulthood: the suburbs. But just as they thought they’d reclaimed the neighborhood and were safe to sell, they learn that the new occupants next door are a sorority even more out of control than Teddy and his brothers ever dreamed of being. Forced to turn to the one ex-neighbor with the skills to bring down the new Greeks, the Radners – alongside best friends Jimmy and Paula – bring in charismatic Teddy as their secret weapon. But if they think that their neighbors are going down without a fight, they have severely underestimated the power of youthful ingenuity and straight-up crazy. Trailer
Looking to escape from his dying world, the orc shaman Gul’dan utilizes dark magic to open a portal to the human realm of Azeroth. Supported by the fierce fighter Blackhand, Gul’dan organizes the orc clans into a conquering army called the Horde. Uniting to protect Azeroth from these hulking invaders are King Llane, the mighty warrior Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and the powerful wizard Medivh. As the two races collide, leaders from each side start to question if war is the only answer.
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, Callum Keith Rennie, Burkely Duffield, Ryan Robbins, Dean Redman, Glenn Ennis Trailer
Paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren travel to London to help a single mother and her four children rid their home of malicious spirits.
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley, Benjamin Haigh, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon Delaney, Franka Potente, Simon McBurney Trailer
After fleeing from a stage show, the illusionists (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson) known as the Four Horsemen find themselves in more trouble in Macau, China. Devious tech wizard Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) forces the infamous magicians to steal a powerful chip that can control all of the world’s computers. Meanwhile, vengeful FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) hatches his own plot against Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), the man he blames for the death of his father.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan Trailer
|Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (R)|
|Rated for some graphic nudity, language throughout, sexual content and drug use
Andy Samberg • Jorma Taccone – 86 minutes
|The comedy goes behind the scenes as singer/rapper Conner4Real faces a crisis of popularity after his sophomore album flops, leaving his fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he’s no longer the dopest star of all. Trailer|
|Money Monster (R)|
|Rated for language throughout, some sexuality and brief violence
George Clooney • Julia Roberts – 98 minutes
|Lee Gates is a bombastic TV personality whose popular financial network show has made him the money wiz of Wall Street. But after he hawks a high tech stock that mysteriously crashes, an irate investor takes Gates, his crew, and his ace producer Patty Fenn hostage live on air. Trailer|
|Central Intelligence (PG-13) NEW|
|Rated for crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action violence and brief strong language
Dwayne Johnson • Kevin Hart – 108 minutes
|The story follows a one-time bullied geek, Bob, who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high school reunion. Trailer|
|Independence Day: Resurgence (PG-13)|
|Rated for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language
Liam Hemsworth • Jeff Goldblum
|We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Trailer|
Thirty years after the original film took the world by storm, Ghostbusters is back and fully rebooted for a new generation. Director Paul Feig combines all the paranormal fighting elements that made the original franchise so beloved with a cast of new characters, played by the funniest actors working today. Get ready to watch them save the world this summer! Trailer
The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way! Trailer
|The Angry Birds Movie (PG)|
|Rated for rude humor and action
Jason Sudeikis • Josh Gad – 97 minutes
|On an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds Red, Chuck, and Bomb have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to. Trailer|
|The Nice Guys (R)|
|Rated for violence, sexuality, nudity, language and brief drug use
Ryan Gosling • Russell Crowe – 110 minutes
|In 1970s Los Angeles a down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March and hired enforcer Jackson Healy must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. Trailer|
|Me Before You (PG-13)|
|Rated for thematic elements and some suggestive material
Emilia Clarke • Sam Claflin – 110 minutes
|A wealthy London man’s life is turned upside down when he is paralyzed in a car accident. When a young woman from a small town is hired to be his caregiver, the two form an unlikely bond. Trailer|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PG-13)|
|Rated for sci-fi action violence
Megan Fox • Will Arnett – 112 minutes
|Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael return to theaters this summer to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil, Vern Fenwick, and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones. Trailer|
This guide will be updated throughout the summer, but if you think we missed something, please let us know!