A Summer Smorgasbord: Action Flicks and Animated Fare Headed to a Cineplex Near You 

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Captain America: Civil War exploded into theaters last weekend, kicking off what is destined to be another historically profitable summer for Hollywood studios. The next three months will be awash in blockbuster action romps, premium animated fare and a slew of raunchy comedies. Here's a brief taste of some of the biggest titles arriving at a cineplex near you.

5.13 | Money Monster

Director: Jodie Foster. Starring Caitriona Balfe, George Clooney, Giancarlo Esposito, Jack O'Connell, Julia Roberts, Dominic West

Jodie Foster directs this thriller about TV personality Lee Gates (Clooney) and a viewer (Jack O'Connell) who takes Gates hostage after losing his family's money due to some bad financial advice that Lee offered on his TV show.

5.20 | Nice Guys

Director: Shane Black. Starring Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David, Kim Basinger

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling portray, respectively, a private eye and a hit man who have to work together in this period piece set in 1970s Los Angeles.

5.27 | X-Men: Apocalypse

Director: Bryan Singer. Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner

It's the next big superhero bash to hit screens this summer, and it looks like a dandy. The X-Men, per usual, must unite against a common enemy or else face common destruction. This time, they're up against the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac doing his finest Ivan Ooze impersonation. Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men films and, most recently, X-Men: Days of Future Past, is at the helm of the franchise yet again.  

6.3 | Me Before You

Director: Thea Sharrock. Starring Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin

Ding-ding-ding! Date movie alert! The Game of Thrones star meets the Hunger Games star in this ultimate chick flick extravaganza based on the best-selling novel of the same name by JoJo Moyes. A lovable British bumpkin (Clarke) falls for the wealthy, recently paralyzed man she's hired to care for. Tears, British accents and a crooning Ed Sheeran-heavy soundtrack co-star.  

6.17 | Finding Dory

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane. Starring Ellen Degeneres, Albert Brooks, Idris Elba

Never bet against Pixar, folks. This sequel to the 2003 Pixar classic Finding Nemo focuses on the forgetful blue fish Dory, voiced by the impeccable Degeneres. Lord knows why or how Dory gets lost, but chances are, all of the gloriously animated sea creatures will stumble upon some exquisite meaning of life in this one.

6.24 | Independence Day: Resurgence

Director: Roland Emmerich. Starring Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum

Twenty years after the original Independence Day, disaster-film czar Roland Emmerich returns for a destructo-sequel. Earth has maximized its alien defenses in the interim, but a new — assuredly massive — threat looms. Many of the original cast members reprise their roles in a movie that should, if nothing else, temporarily quench your thirst for '90s movie nostalgia.

7.1 | The Legend of Tarzan

Director: David Yates. Starring Alexander Skaarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz

Speaking of Harry Potter, this Tarzan film is director David Yates' intervening project between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Potter Universe was done a great service by the British technician and soul wringer, and Edgar Rice Burroughs' timeless tale of the man raised by apes looks to be an equal beneficiary. With jaw-dropping visuals and an all-star cast — Waltz! — this one could be a surprise hit of the summer.

Swiss Army Man

Directors: Dan Kwan, Daniel Schienert. Starring Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Worth mentioning here — not for its box-office potential but for its weirdness — this limited-release indie stars Dano as a man stranded in the wilderness who befriends a corpse played by Harry Potter himself. Expect one of the more surreal films of the summer season.   

7.15 | Ghostbusters

Director: Paul Feig. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones

This all-female reboot of the 1984 paranormal comedy classic stars some of the funniest women working in Hollywood (and New York City) today. With Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) at the helm, count on Ghostbusters to bring a fresh take to a beloved franchise. As always, count on Melissa McCarthy to outperform all your expectations. Chris Hemsworth, in bitchin' librarian glasses, co-stars.  

7.22 | Star Trek: Beyond

Director: Justin Lin. Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg

Fast and Furious director Justin Lin helms the sequel to 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness. This time around, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his sidekick Spock (Zachary Quinto) take on a group of evil aliens.

7.29 | Jason Bourne

Director: Paul Greengrass. Starring Matt Damon, Julia Styles, Alicia Vikander

The plot of every Jason Bourne movie sounds the same — Bourne again, am I right? — and this one's no different: the amnesiac espionage guru, finally remembering who he is, uncovers truths about his past. Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander joins the fun in what should be a return to form for this guilty-pleasure franchise. Paul Greengrass, who directed Bourne's Supremacy and Ultimatum, returns to the chair.   

Bad Moms

Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore. Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate

When three overworked moms get pushed to the brink, they decide to dip their toes into the refreshing waters of irresponsible parenthood. Drunken revelry ensues. Kathryn Hahn, an underappreciated comic talent, joins straight ladies Kunis and Bell for this Hangover-esque bacchanal. Among other things, look for the boob-commentary scene that's a direct knockoff of this spring's The Boss.

8.5 | Suicide Squad

Director: David Ayer. Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto

Though D.C. has yet to even approach Marvel in the scope of its cinematic universe, this ensemble film, which assembles the D.C. villains to take down the world's most cutthroat bad guys, should be a refreshing deviation from the standard superhero film. Harley Quinn, the Joker, Deadshot, Enchantress, Boomerang — who are these people? We'll find out in August.  

8.19 | Ben-Hur

Director: Timur Bekmambetov. Starring Jack Huston, Nazanin Boniadi, Morgan Freeman

In 1959, Ben-Hur became the winning-est film in the history of the Oscars, nabbing 11 awards including Best Picture and most of the technical categories. It was also the top-grossing film that year. It's unlikely that this remake, with a cast of relative unknowns and a director best known for the Russian fantasy films Night Watch (2004), and Day Watch (2006), will repeat the original's success. But it ought to be a orgiastic visual feast with what we can confidently predict will be the best chariot race sequence of the year.

War Dogs

Director: Todd Phillips. Starring Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas

Two dudes game the system and nab a coveted arms deal with the Pentagon during the Afghan War. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller star in this true comedy that doesn't look quite as good as 21 Jump Street, but should easily surpass, in quality, Miles Teller's recent forays in the Divergent franchise.


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