Summer movie guide: films that will have us ditching the sun for the theater


Dodge the sunshine and pick up some 3-D glasses and popcorn -- there’s plenty of blockbusters worth checking out this summer. From the continuation of the Transformers saga to the film adaptation of the novel The Giver, here’s a rundown of the films you won’t want to miss over the next couple months.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Release date: June 27

Transformers franchise re-vamps what followers of the series are familiar with in its newest release. This chapter of the story stars Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor) as Cade Yeager, a car mechanic who stumbles upon an Autobot while working on a car in his shop. Before he can react, he and his daughter (Nicola Peltz, The Last Airbender) are caught in a war involving the U.S. government, the Autobots and the Decepticons, who have come to Earth with a secret weapon.

The movie follows typical Michael Bay (Pain & Gain) fashion with many explosions, dramatic fight scenes and extravagant locations to set the scene. Though it’s the fourth in the series, its new actors, Dinobots and a plotline that’s far from the others in the series will bring in new fans while maintaining the already established Transformers fan base.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release date: July 11

A sequel to the well-received Rise of the Planet of the Apes, released in 2011, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is set in the future, where most of the human population has been destroyed and many of the apes have an increased intelligence due to the spread of a virus.

The remaining beings live in two groups, and movie follows their interactions with one another.

Directed by Matt Reeves, who is famous for his movie Cloverfield, Dawn of Planet of the Apes is supposed to be different from its predecessor with well-developed characters in the humans and the apes as well as a larger focus on ideas rather than a plot. With experienced actors like Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises) and Keri Russell (August Rush) taking the helm, this film is highly anticipated given the strong cast and popular franchise.


Release date: July 25

This action movie starring Morgan Freeman (Transcendence), follows Lucy (Scarlett Johansson, The Avengers), a woman captured and forced to be a drug mule for the mob. When the bag of drugs inside her accidently opens, she is able to access more than the normal 10 percent of her brain’s capacity and obtains superhero-like abilities. She is unable to feel pain, adapts quickly and can use telekinesis – the ability to move objects with her mind.

The film was written, directed and co-produced by Luc Besson (Nikita), a French “renaissance woman” who typically has more than one job on the set. Lucy is filled with suspense as time is slowly running out before the drugs cause Lucy’s brain to function at 100 percent capacity – no one knows what will happen when it does.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Release date: Aug. 1

The fourth Marvel movie this year follows Starlord (Chris Pratt, Delivery Man) and his gang of misfits, including Groot (Vin Diesel, Riddick), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper, American Hustle), Gamora (Zoe Saldana, Infinitely Polar Bear) and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista, Riddick), as they learn the ropes of fighting evil, getting along and being different than the average being. The movie is sure to be filled with adventures around space, lots of humor, a crime-fighting raccoon and performances by A-list stars like Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel.

If Guardians of the Galaxy is anything like other recent Marvel films then it’s set to be exciting, emotional and much worth a trip to the theater.

Let’s Be Cops

Release date: Aug. 13

This bromance comedy asks the question: What would happen if people thought you had authority? Ryan and Justin are two 30-year-olds looking to find out of what more life has to offer when they decide to dress up as police officers for a costume party. Before they know it, they’ve gained a reputation as actual cops.

What is a joke at first quickly becomes a problem when the duo is caught up in the action of real cops and the hijinks continue. Starring Damon Wayans Jr. (Someone Marry Barry), Jake Johnson (Neighbors) and Nina Dobrev (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), the movie has an interesting mix of actors that only add to the adventure and humor the plot creates.

The Giver

Release date: Aug. 15

Another book-turned-movie, The Giver is based on the Newbery medal-winning novel written by Lois Lowry. The story is set in a utopian society where no one experiences pain, war or any sort of choice. That is, with the exception of the few who are granted permission to see the outside world for what it is. The sci-fi thriller follows Jonas (Brenton Thwaites, Maleficent), who is a “receiver,” or one of the few allowed to know of true happiness and devastation. As Jonas gains knowledge, he begins to question his place in the society he lives in and everything he had previously known.

The Giver differs from other futuristic films in the sense of everyone being content with the world with the exception of the young protagonist. What comes of his newfound knowledge is adventure, emotion and a story of standing up for beliefs that anyone can appreciate.