21 of the biggest films coming to a cinema near you this summer
Mega-disasters, dinosaurs, strippers, zombies, tiny superheroes – the summer lineup of films has plenty to shout about and a surprisingly limited number of sequels, remakes, or reboots for us to complain about. In fact, several sequels are welcome returns, after all, who isn’t excited about Magic Mike XXL? Exactly.
So we decided it was very important business to set about putting together a long list of all the notable releases using a highly sophisticated Jurassic Park rating system of excitement: Velociraptor = smart, fast, will eat you alive Frankendinosaur = proceed with caution, gimmick alert
Check out Part 1 of our preview if you haven't already …
Dir: Peyton Reed (not Edgar Wright) Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Judy Greer, Corey Stoll Would we be more excited about this on had the Shaun of the Dead director still been behind the wheels? Almost certainly. But Paul Rudd has long been one of Hollywood’s most likeable funnymen and we’d love him see him pull off this tiny superhero flick, however odd it looks. Verdict: Frankendinosaur – honey, I shrunk the superheroes. Out 17 Jul
Dir: Henry Hobson Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson Two Arnie films in two weeks: what is this, 1980-something? After making his return to the Terminator series, Schwarzenegger teams up with Abigail Breslin for arthouse zombie drama Maggie. The trailer looks terrific, watch out for the big guy Acting with real emotions and stuff without being lowered into molten steel. Verdict: Frankendinosaur – when zombies get serious, which maybe misses the point. Out 17 Jul
Dir: Joe Wright Cast: Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Garrett Hedlund, Levi Miller, Rooney Mara As the director of Atonement and Anna Karenina, Joe Wright probably wouldn’t have been the first person you’d pick for a fantastical telling of the Peter Pan-Captain Hook origin story, but this sure does look like the family film of the season. Boasting an amazing cast with so much potential, maybe Pan can finally lay to rest previous efforts, such as Spielberg’s Hook. Verdict: Velociraptor – it would be very unPan-like not to expect a great adventure. Out 17 Jul
Dir: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen Cast: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Diane Lane Ever wondered if there are tiny emotion creatures operating that space between your ears? Meet Joy, Sadness, Anger and Disgust, among various other personified emotions who help young Riley through daily life as her family moves from the Midwest to San Francisco. Verdict: Velociraptor – it’s Pixar! You know the drill, brilliance guaranteed. Out 24 Jul
Dir: Antoine Fuqua Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris There are diminishing returns to the idea there are many more stories to be told inside the canvas ring, and even with Kurt Stutter (Sons of Anarchy) writing and action specialist Antoine Fuqua in the director chair, the real draw here is Jake Gyllenhaal, the most daring actor on the Hollywood block today. Verdict: Frankendinosaur – a familiar story, but come for the performance. Out 24 Jul
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Dir: Christopher McQuarrie Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson This may very well be their last mission. Srsly, you guys. It’s okay to admit your inner Tom Cruise fandom, the guy is 52 years old and for his latest outing as Ethan Hunt he hung from outside of a giant military plane at 5,000ft. Might just be more of the same, but with Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Way of the Gun) steering the action, we have sky-high hopes. Verdict: Velociraptor – does exactly what it says on the tin. Out 30 Jul
Dir: Josh Trank Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael D Jordan, Jamie Bell If you haven’t hit peak superheroes yet, Fantastic Four gets a reboot this summer with Whiplash’s man of the moment Miles Teller as Mr Fantastic. The support is suitably young and charming, the stakes are on the old ‘save the planet’ scale, what could go wrong? Inter-dimensional travel, that’s what. Verdict: Frankendinosaur – comic book fans won’t need convincing, promises to be much better than 2005’s effort. Out 6 Aug
The Man from UNCLE
Dir: Guy Ritchie Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant Speedboats, vintage car chases, cocktail parties, devilishly handsome spies: Guy Ritchie applies his unique sense of action and humour to this classic spy thriller set in the 60s. East meets West, oozing snark and style in equal measure, as Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer team up to stop some Nazi remnants, or something. Verdict: Velociraptor – lock, stock and two smoking Walther PPKs. Out 14 Aug
Dir: Judd Apatow Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, LeBron James, Brie Larson There doesn’t seem to be a day that passes without a sketch from Inside Amy Schumer going viral, so her teaming up with Judd Apatow and Bill Hader is hardly fair on all the other kids in the playground. Schumer writes while Apatow directs, continuing to play in the screwball sandbox of grown-up misfits. Verdict: Velociraptor – best kidadult fun of the summer. Out 14 Aug
Straight Outta Compton
Dir: F Gary Gray Cast: Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Paul Giamatti Perhaps the summer’s most combustible film is the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton. Taking us back to the late 80s, F Gary Gray dramatises the origin and rise of ‘the world’s most dangerous group’ to the backdrop of widespread unrest and eventual riots in 1992 Los Angles. Expect a booming soundtrack. Verdict: Frankendinosaur – rap’s greatest hit. Out 28 Aug
Cast: Levi Miller, Rooney Mara, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund
UK release: 17 July 2015
Peter (Miller) is a 12 year old orphan living in London during the Blitz when he's snatched away to Neverland by pirates acting on behalf of Blackbeard (Jackman). Messy, pantomimish and full of incongruous ideas; the spirited and likeable Miller is the only thing about it worth watching.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg
UK release: 30 July 2015
Ethan (Cruise) and the gang are on the trail of the nefarious Syndicate when their unit is dissolved by the CIA. With jaw-dropping action, ingenious gadgets and a striking performance from Ferguson as the mysterious Ilsa, this is a a slick, accomplished and hugely entertaining slice of mayhem.
Cast: Kaitlyn Dias, Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith
UK release: 24 July 2015
Riley (Dias) is an 11 year old girl whose family is moving from Minnesota to San Francisco; her troubled mind is represented as a factory hub commanded by Joy (Poehler), Fear (Hader), Sadness (Smith), Disgust (Kaling) and Anger (Black). Delightful, poignant and hysterically funny coming-of-age story from Pixar.
Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant
UK release: 14 August 2015
This stylish rendition of the 60s spy series suffers from a vague and clunky script, but is somewhat redeemed by the skilful casting of Cavill and Hammer. Grant has enormous fun as the shadowy controller Waverly, and there's one incredible set piece you don't want to miss.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip "T.I." Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas
UK release: 17 July 2015
A winning addition to Marvel's cinematic universe, Ant Man follows Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) as he fails in re-sizing himself, but unexpectedly imbues himself with the ability to talk to and control insects. With winning performances from Rudd, Cannavale and Douglas, this charming and eccentric heist film has a great sense of…
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell
UK release: 6 August 2015
This adaptation of the classic comic book delivers yet another story about how a team of superheroes develop their freakish abilities, but it's humourless, drab and filled with self-important speeches about saving the world. Tim Story's 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films may have set the bar low, but Trank barely clears it.
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
UK release: 17 July 2015
When humanity is afflicted by an outbreak of 'necroambulist' virus, stoic farmer Wade (Schwarzenegger) opts to look after his afflicted teenage daughter Maggie (Breslin) rather than hand her over to the authorities. A moody, sensitive zombie movie about the death of a child, with fine performances from the leads.
Cast: Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr
UK release: 28 August 2015
Biopic of rap group NWA, focusing on the recording of their debut album, their subsequent fallings-out and eventual disintegration. Mitchell is excellent as Eazy-E and despite some second-half problem, it's punchy, provocative and packed with attitude, worthy of comparison with the similarly themed Boyz n the Hood and 8…