The summer movie season often produces some of the biggest blockbusters every year. Known for thrilling action movies and hilarious comedies, the months from May thru August are often some of the most exciting times to head to the local cinema.
Here is a look at 13 of the hottest movies that are hitting the theaters this summer.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The first film in the latest reboot of the Spider-Man franchise was almost obligated to retell the superhero’s origin story, but now that the exposition is out of the way, filmmakers have much more leeway with the direction they take the sequel.
Stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone reprise their respective roles as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy as this film tells the tale of Spider-Man going up against the latest supervillains, Electo (Jamie Foxx) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti). It doesn’t take long before Parker realizes that his enemies all seem to have a connection with OsCorp.
Release Date: May 2
A promising summer comedy, Chef stars Jon Favreau (who also directs) in a story about a man named Carl Casper, who moves from Miami to Los Angeles in order to open a restaurant.
After his endeavor fails, he returns home and sets his sights on fixing up a food truck instead. Once his new business, “El Jefe Cubanos,” takes off, Casper has dreams of driving the truck back to L.A. and reclaiming his place there.
Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara plays Casper’s estranged ex-wife, and the film also features big names including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Dustin Hoffman.
Release Date: May 9
Telling the origin story of one of film history’s most recognizable monsters, the latest incarnation of Godzilla is set in the present day and pits mankind against the giant radioactive monster that threatens to bring an end to civilization as we know it.
Starring Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe and Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the new film marks the first time that the Japanese giant has been seen on screen in an American film since 1998. The creature itself features an innovative design and promises to be the most lifelike depiction of Godzilla to date.
Release Date: May 16
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
What happens when you cross the cast of the original X-Men trilogy (including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) with the stars of the 2011 film X-Men: First Class? The latest film in the superhero franchise tells a time-traveling story involving the older characters and their younger selves.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must travel back in time and work with Professor X (Stewart and James McAvoy) and Magneto (McKellen and Michael Fassbender) in order to change the past and save their future.
The film features a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry and Ellen Page.
Release Date: May 23
The latest retelling of a classic tale from Walt Disney Pictures, Maleficent is directed by Robert Stromberg (the production designer behind both Alice in Wonderland and Oz: The Great and Powerful).
Other than the fact that it stars Angelina Jolie in the title role and Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora (also known as “Sleeping Beauty”), Disney has kept most of the details about the movie under wraps.
Teaser trailers have proven that this will be a much darker rendition of the story that everyone is familiar with, and Jolie is expected to do a fantastic job of making Disney’s scariest villain even more terrifying.
Release Date: May 30
6. The Fault in Our Stars
Hazel Lancaster (played by Oscar nominee Shailene Woodley) has always been terminal, ever since her diagnosis. When she meets and subsequently falls in love with Augustus Waters (relative newcomer Ansel Elgort), the connection between the two of them turns both of their worlds upside down.
Due to the popularity of the book alone, the film is set to be a smash at the box office this summer.
Release Date: June 6
7. How to Train Your Dragon 2
It’s been four years since the world was first introduced to Hiccup and his “pet” dragon Toothless, and life on the Viking island of Berk has undergone quite a major change since the humans and dragons started getting along.
When Hiccup flies off to explore new lands and meets his mother, the legendary “Dragon Rider,” he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a battle against an entirely new sort of enemy.
The film reunites the voice cast from the first movie (including Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson and America Ferrara) as well as introducing Cate Blanchett in the role of Valka.
Release Date: June 13
8. 22 Jump Street
Following the success of 2012’s action-comedy 21 Jump Street, stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reunite for a sequel.
This time, Officers Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) have to go undercover at a local college in order to investigate a drug ring within one of the school’s fraternities. Both cops are a little surprised, however, when they find niches they fit into at the school, and they start questioning their partnership and friendship.
The movie, which also stars Ice Cube, Dave Franco and Nick Offerman, promises plenty of laughs and car chases.
Release Date: June 13
9. Jersey Boys
Based on the 2005 Broadway musical of the same name, Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the career of the musical group The Four Seasons.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, the movie stars John Lloyd Young (who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Valli on stage), Eric Bergen, Vincent Piazza and Michael Lomenda as the iconic quartet. Christopher Walken plays mob boss Gyp DeCarlo, who helped the group rise to fame.
The movie, like the Broadway show, will be a musical in the sense that it features songs that were actually performed by The Four Seasons.
Release Date: June 20
10. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Set eight years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the genetically-evolved apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) discover a band of humans who have survived the virus that wiped out the rest of their population.
Though they try to establish peace between the species, the tenuous relationship soon dissolves into an all-out battle over who will control the planet.
Filmmakers have stated that they want this film and others that follow it to provide a believable transition into the 1968 original movie.
Release Date: July 11
After 2014’s first movie about the son of Zeus (The Legend of Hercules) tanked at the box office and was critically reviled, filmmakers are hoping that audiences will prefer this summer’s film starring Dwayne Johnson in the title role.
Directed by Brett Ratner (of Rush Hour saga fame), Hercules is based on a graphic novel entitled Hercules: The Thracian Wars.
The fallen demigod, who has turned his back on Zeus and finds comfort only in battle, must reevaluate his life when the brutal king of Thrace tries to enlist the help of Hercules to train his armies.
Release Date: July 25
12. Sex Tape
Originally entitled Basic Math, the summer comedy Sex Tape explores what happens when a couple approaching middle age (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) decide to make a three-hour home video of themselves enjoying every position in The Joy of Sex.
Unfortunately, they suddenly realize that they are no longer in sole possession of the tape and are suddenly in a race against the clock to get it back and save their reputations before the video is posted on the Internet for the world to see.
The movie reunites Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan with his two leading actors in what promises to be a hilarious and raunchy thrill ride.
Release Date: July 25
13. Guardians of the Galaxy
Produced by Marvel Studios (a division of Walt Disney Studios), Guardians of the Galaxy brings another alliance of unlikely superheroes from Marvel Comics to the big screen.
Featuring a very strong ensemble cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Glenn Close, the film tells the story of an American pilot named Peter Quill (Pratt) who finds himself up against the villainous Ronan (Pushing Daisies’ Lee Pace).
After Quill steals a powerful orb from Ronan, he must join forces with a group of misfits to help save the galaxy from almost sure destruction.
Release Date: August 1