2015 Summer Movie Preview

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ WARNER BROS.

When Iron Man and his band of merry do-gooders start smashing box office records at the multiplex this weekend, the clamor will ring in the official start of the summer movie season. Between now and Labor Day, Hollywood will unleash a wave of sequels, remakes, reboots, comic-book adventures, high-concept comedies and the usual assortment of wanna be blockbusters, all competing for your attention (and your wallet). Here are some of the movies heading our way over the next four months:

MAY 1:

Avengers: Age of Ultron, review here.


Far From the Madding Crowd: Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge and Michael Sheen star in the latest adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel about a young woman courted by three suitors.

Hot Pursuit: An uptight cop (Reese Witherspoon) and a drug lord’s widow (Sofia Vergara) elude killers and crooked cops during a dash across Texas.

Hunting Elephants: Three elderly men and a young boy try to rob a bank in Jerusalem. Think Going in Style, only different (sort of).

Maggie: Arnold Schwarzenegger goes low-budget with this small, intimate horror-drama playing a father whose daughter (Abigail Breslin) becomes infected during a zombie virus epidemic.

The D Train: A former nerd (Jack Black) tries to persuade the most popular guy in school (James Marsden) to accompany him to their class reunion.

MAY 15

Mad Max: Fury Road: Director George Miller returns to the post-apocalyptic car-chase genre of Mad Max and The Road Warrior, with Thomas Hardy taking over for Mel Gibson. Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult are among the people riding shotgun.

Pitch Perfect 2: The Barden Bellas (including Brittany Snow, Anna Kendrick, Katey Sagal and Rebel Wilson) return for more singing competitions.

MAY 22

Poltergeist: The 1982 haunted-house classic by Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper gets a CGI-laden remake. Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt are the terrified parents whose daughter disappears into the family TV set.

Tomorrowland: The latest feature film based on a Walt Disney theme park attraction looks much more ambitious than usual. Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles) directs George Clooney as a genius inventor who teams up with a brainiac teen to do something that, judging by the enigmatic trailers, may have to do with time travel.

MAY 29

Aloha: Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky, We Bought a Zoo) wrote and directed this comedy about a military contractor (Bradley Cooper) juggling two relationships (with Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone) at a U.S. Space Station located in Hawaii.

San Andreas: When a massive earthquake strikes California, mankind’s only hope for survival may be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.


Entourage: The popular HBO series about a group of actor friends in Hollywood gets a big-screen spin-off.


Insidious: Chapter 3: Screenwriter Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) makes his directorial debut with the third entry in the popular horror film series, this one a prequel focusing on a psychic (Lin Shaye) who is able to speak with the dead.

Love and Mercy: Paul Dano and John Cusack take turns portraying Brian Wilson at various stages in his life in this biopic of the troubled Beach Boys singer.

Spy: Early word is strong on this R-rated comedy from writer-director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) about the antics of a CIA clerk (Melissa McCarthy) who finally gets to leave the office and go on an undercover mission.


I’ll See You in My Dreams: A woman (Blythe Danner) devastated after the death of her beloved dog tries to ease back into everyday life. Sam Elliott, Malin Akerman and Mary Kay Place are among the people helping her.

Jurassic World: Apparently having learned nothing from the three previous films, the owners of a theme park boasting real dinosaurs lose control of the creatures. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are among the heroes trying to restore order.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: A high school senior (Thomas Mann) befriends a girl (Olivia Cooke) who has just been diagnosed with cancer.


Dope: A hit at Sundance, this comedy centers on a geeky high school kid (Shameik Moore) planning to go away to college as long as he can survive his tough L.A. hood.

Inside/Out: Pixar once again pushes the envelope of animated storytelling with this comedy about the inner mind of a sensitive girl, directed by Pete Docter (Up).

Eden: A teenager descends into the electronic dance music underworld in early 1990s Paris.


Big Game: A 13-year-old boy in Finland’s countryside comes upon the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson), who survived the crash of Air Force One and is being hunted by terrorists.

Max: A major contender for sleeper hit of the summer, this family-friendly adventure centers on a dog that served alongside U.S. Marines in Afghanistan who returns home and is taken in by his trainer’s family.

Ted 2: More crude misadventures with Mark Wahlberg and his talking, drug-loving teddy bear (voiced by Seth McFarlane, who also wrote and directed).


Magic Mike XXL: Channing Tatum returns to take off more of his clothes in this sequel to the misadventures of a likable male stripper.

Terminator Genisys: Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to his signature role in this alternate-timeline installment in the sci-fi saga about robots from the future traveling to the present to kill future revolutionary Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and her son (Jason Clarke).


10,000 KM: A Barcelona couple (Natalia Tena and David Verdaguer) tries to keep their relationship going after one of them moves to Los Angeles.

The Gallows: A group of high school students try to reenact a stage production of a play that killed one of their own a year earlier.

Minions: The pint-sized yellow workers from the Despicable Me films get their own movie, this time enlisted by a mad scientist (voiced by Sandra Bullock) who wants to take over the world.

Self/Less: Director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) brings his unique visual style to this sci-fi thriller about a millionaire (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer who hops into the body of a healthy younger man (Ryan Reynolds).


Ant-Man: Paul Rudd stars as the diminutive Marvel Comics hero in this irreverent adventure that could turn out to be this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Bronze: A former gymnastics star (Melissa Rauch) still basking in her glory days must decide whether to cede her spotlight to a gifted up-and-comer (Haley Lu Richardson).

Mr. Holmes: Near the end of his life, an aging Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) tries to solve the one case he never managed to crack.

Trainwreck: Comedian Amy Schumer cements her explosion into the mainstream with this raunchy comedy, directed by Judd Apatow, playing a woman allergic to commitment. Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton and the traitorous LeBron James co-star.


Paper Towns: A young man (Nat Wolff) enlists the help of his friends to find a girl whose gone missing in this latest adaptation of a novel by John Green (The Fault in Our Stars).

Pixels: Adam Sandler, Brian Cox, Kevin James and Peter Dinklage defend Earth from an invasion by aliens, who have taken the form of 1980s video games (Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, etc.)

Southpaw: A super-ripped Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a brutal boxing champion who must overcome a tremendous setback in his personal life. If only the trailer didn’t give away THE ENTIRE MOVIE FROM START TO FINISH.


The Gift: The life of a married couple (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) is upended after a visit from an old friend (Joel Edgerton).

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation: Tom Cruise continues to perform most of his dangerous stunts as the intrepid Ethan Hunt in the latest episode of the action series, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun).

The End of the Tour: In the 1990s, a Rolling Stone reporter (Jesse Eisenberg) is assigned to interview David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), the gifted novelist (Infinite Jest) who later succumbed to clinical depression and committed suicide.

Vacation: The Griswolds — or at least the grown children of the characters originally played by Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo — set out on another disastrous family outing.

AUG. 7

Fantastic Four: Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) steps into the big leagues with this second attempt to launch a film series based on the famous Marvel Comics quartet: Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller), The Invisible Woman (Kate Mara), the Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) and the Thing (Jamie Bell).

Masterminds: Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess returns with this action comedy about an armored car driver (Zach Galifianakis) who is lured into committing a crime by his co-worker (Kristen Wiig).

Rikki and the Flash: Meryl Streep stars as a famous guitarist/singer who returns home to make amends with her family. Written by Diablo Cody (Juno) and directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs).

AUG. 14

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: A CIA agent (Henry Cavill) and a KGB spy (Armie Hammer) team up for a dangerous mission in the Cold War era.

Straight Outta Compton: F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job) directs this drama charting the unlikely rise of the rap superstar group N.W.A. in the mid-1980s.

AUG. 21

Learning to Drive: A Manhattan author (Patricia Clarkson) and an Indian taxi driver (Ben Kingsley) unexpectedly fall for each other.

Sinister 2: The evil spirit from the creepy 2012 hit invades another house.

AUG. 28

We Are Your Friends: A young DJ (Zac Efron) learns the ropes from a veteran spinner (Wes Bentley), then falls for his mentor’s girlfriend (Emily Ratajkowski).

Related stories from Miami Herald