Is there a hole in your brain where school used to be? Then fill it with mindless entertainment! (Or perhaps you’re a summer school student, in which case: here are some new ways to procrastinate!) For all those hot summer days when the pull of an air-conditioned theater is more tempting than the pull of the great outdoors, here is a handy guide to this summer’s upcoming movies.
“Jurassic World” (June 12): Hopes are high for this return to everyone’s favorite dinosaur-infested theme park. This sequel features Chris Pratt hunting down ferocious, genetically-engineered terrors. Fingers crossed that “Jurassic World” holds up to the intensity of its trailer.
“Inside Out” (June 19): Critical reception is nearly unanimous: this is Pixar’s best film in years. Told from the perspective of the emotions in an adolescent girl’s mind, this one is sure to leave eyes sweating and sides sufficiently split.
“Terminator: Genisys” (July 1): Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in one of his most iconic roles of all time, but the story is a tad more convoluted. This time around, Kyle Reese gets thrown into an alternate timeline, where Arnold’s Terminator is a good guy again, and he’s working with Sarah Conner to save the world.
“Ant-Man” (July 17): Necessary viewing for any Marvel junkies out there, as Ant-Man will definitely be in future “Avengers” films and is rumored to pop up in the next “Captain America” film. If nothing else, see this for the ludicrousness that will surely ensue with Paul Rudd playing a superhero who can shrink to the size of an ant.
“Fantastic Four” (Aug. 7): After the travesty that was those early 2000s films, this superhero series needed a decent reboot. Now — if the trailer is any indication — the Fantastic Four appear to be getting one. This film follows the origin story of the titular foursome and their misguided foray into interdimensional travel.
Worth Checking Out
“Spy” (June 5): “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” director Paul Feig reunites with Melissa McCarthy for this spoof of the spy genre. Early reviews are calling it hilarious, so unless you hate laughing (you weirdo), definitely check it out.
“Dope” (June 19): A Sundance fave, “Dope” follows the story of a geek from the wrong side of the tracks who gets caught up in a drug deal gone south. Funny, smart and heartfelt, “Dope” definitely deserves your attention.
“Southpaw” (July 24): Looks like premature Oscar bait, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. “Southpaw” follows a successful boxer whose life spirals out of control in the wake of a family tragedy. And look at how bulky Jake Gyllenhaal is!
“Paper Towns” (July 24): Drink the John Green Kool-Aid! It tastes like heartbreak and teenage wit. This adaptation follows nerdy Quentin as he searches for his lifelong crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman, who has recently disappeared.
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” (July 31): How can an entire nation go rogue? Bah, who cares — these movies are a blast. Watch Tom Cruise and the crew do their spy-thing all over again.
“Shaun the Sheep” (Aug. 7): From the creators of the “Wallace and Gromit” series comes this Claymation tale of the eponymous Shaun. Don’t let its lack of dialogue deter you — early reviews describe it as a hilarious, charming little movie.
“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” (Aug. 14): This film follows two enemy spies as they are forced to work together. The trailer paints a picture of stylish insanity, owing in part to Henry Cavill’s ridiculous Cold War-era American accent.
Honorable Mentions: “Magic Mike XXL” (July 1), “Minions” (July 10), “Self/less” (July 10), “Trainwreck” (July 17), “Diary of a Teenage Girl” (Aug. 7), “Ricki and the Flash” (Aug. 7)
Thrills and Chills
“Regression” (Aug. 28): Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke star in this mysterious thriller centered on the abuse of a teen girl that may or may not be linked to a cult.
Honorable Mentions: “Insidious: Chapter 3” (June 3), “The Gift” (Aug. 7), “Sinister 2” (Aug. 21)
“Irrational Man” (July 17): Woody Allen’s latest has been getting violently mixed reviews. Critics either love it or hate it, but most are leaning towards “hate.” Only devoted Allen fans should take the risk.
“Pixels” (July 24): An interesting concept probably can’t save “Pixels” from being overpowered by Adam Sandler’s familiar shtick. But feel free to lose faith in him all over again — it’s your $8.50, after all.
“Vacation” (July 29): Sometimes reboots work, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. The trailer is unfunny and unpromising. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
“Hitman: Agent 47” (Aug. 21): Asking “What’s the best movie based on a video game?” is like asking, “Out of all these rotten potatoes, which is the least rotten potato?” Admittedly, “Hitman” at least looks like a lot of dumb fun, so maybe it won’t be a total disaster.
Others: “Ted 2” (June 26), “Mr. Holmes” (July 17) “Underdogs” (Aug. 14), “Masterminds” (Aug. 19), “Before We Go” (Aug. 21)