April 15, 2014 1:08 pm

Summer 2014 movie preview: 20 flicks with lots of buzz

Zac Efron stars in 'Neighbors,' a comedy opening May 9.


TORONTO — It’s been a long, brutal winter in most of Canada so it may be hard to think about sitting in an air-conditioned cinema to enjoy a summer blockbuster.

But, the season of big-budget sequels and remakes is only weeks away. Here’s a look at some of the top movie releases between now and when the leaves start falling.

May 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The sequel to 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, also directed by the appropriately-named Marc Webb, sees the return of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone and the addition of Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as The Rhino. Watch for Stratford, Ont. resident Colm Feore as Donald Menken. Watch the trailer:

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May 9


In this comedy from Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek), B.C. native Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a couple living next to a frat house filled with dudes like Zac Efron and Dave Franco.

Devil’s Knot

Toronto director Atom Egoyan takes a look at the real-life Arkansas murder trial that saw innocent teens go to prison for the killing of three children. Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth star along with Canadian actors Kevin Durand and Bruce Greenwood.

May 16


The titular monster has terrorized movie screens since 1954 — most recently in Roland Emmerich’s 1998 film starring Matthew Broderick. This new version, set in the present day and directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters), stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen. The movie was shot last year in and around Vancouver. Watch the trailer:

May 23

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The latest chapter in the X-Men franchise has characters going back in time to save humans and mutants. The star-packed cast includes Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence and Halle Berry as well as Canadians Ellen Page and Shawn Ashmore. Best of all, Days of Future Past was filmed entirely in Montreal. Watch the trailer:

May 30

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) co-wrote, directed and stars in this raunchy comedy about a farmer who falls in love with a mysterious woman — who happens to be married. Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson star in the movie, which also boasts the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman and Christopher Lloyd.


Angelina Jolie stars as the titular villain from Sleeping Beauty in this exploration of what happened to make her the way she is. Elle Fanning plays Princess Aurora and the movie also features Juno Temple and Brenton Thwaites.

June 6

Edge of Tomorrow

The title may suggest it’s a soap opera but Edge of Tomorrow is, in fact, an action flick that seems to be a sci-fi Groundhog Day. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in the movie, which was directed by Doug Liman (Bourne Identity). Watch the trailer:

June 13

22 Jump Street

The surprise box office success of 2012’s 21 Jump Street reteams Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover officers Jenko and Schmidt. This time, they’re infiltrating a local college. Richard Grieco reprises his role from the original TV series. Watch the trailer:

June 27

Transformers 4

Also known as Transformers: Age of Extinction, this is the first in the franchise without Shia LaBeouf. Instead, Mark Wahlberg plays an auto mechanic who makes a discovery that unleashes the fury of the Autobots and Decepticons as well as a government official. It’s a Michael Bay movie so expect plenty of CGI and explosions.

July 11

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The latest chapter in the rebooted franchise stars Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Judy Greer and follows the adventures and misadventures of humans and apes on the brink of war once again. Parts of the movie were shot in B.C. Watch the trailer:

July 18

Jupiter Ascending

Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski of The Matrix are back with a sci-fi adventure about a woman targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe. Mila Kunis is the titular Jupiter Jones and Channing Tatum is Caine, a former soldier tasked with tracking her down.

July 25


Many movies have been made about the Greek demigod Hercules, including January’s The Legend of Hercules. In this one, Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) plays the sword-for-hire who must bring down a tyrannical warlord.

Sex Tape

Looking for a break from the swords, sandals and sci-fi? Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz star in this comedy about a married couple who must search for their missing sex tape. Directed by Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher), it also stars Rob Lowe and Jack Black.

A Most Wanted Man

This thriller, based on the novel by John le Carré, is one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final movies (it also stars Canada’s Rachel McAdams as well as Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright). It follows an anti-terrorism team in Germany tracking down high-profile terrorism suspects in the Islamic community.

Aug. 1

Guardians of the Galaxy

From the Marvel universe, this movie focuses on an American space pilot (Chris Pratt) who is being hunted for stealing on orb coveted by the villainous Ronan (Lee Pace). The cast includes Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana and Benicio Del Toro.

Aug. 8

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Toronto’s Will Arnett is joined by Megan Fox, Johnny Knoxville and Whoopi Goldberg in this reboot for the popular Ninjitsu-trained turtles. Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello battle evil from their home in the sewers of New York.

Aug. 15

The Expendables 3

The cinematic nursing home for macho movie stars is back as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson are joined by Jet Li, Kellan Lutz, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes for more explosive adventures.

Aug. 22

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Nearly a decade after Sin City, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez team up to direct the sequel, which is based mostly on the second book in Miller’s Sin City series. The star-studded cast includes Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin and Rosario Dawson.

Aug. 29

One Chance

This summer movie is decidedly not riddled with CGI or explosions. The biopic, which screened at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, tells the story of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts. It stars James Corden as Potts as well as Julie Walters and Colm Meaney — but the real star is the soundtrack, which features plenty of music from the real Potts and contributions from Taylor Swift and Il Divo.

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