The summer season may not be the best time of year for film, but it’s usually the most exciting. 2014’s blockbusting period starts this coming Friday with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Unsurprisingly, that will be the first and last mention of the film on this list of our most anticipated summer movies. We polled the staff and tallied the votes to determine the ten summer movies we’re most excited about this year, and while some of the results are expected one or two surprises made (or missed) the list, too.
Some of the films that came close to making the list but not close enough include the long-awaited adaptation The Giver, the animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, Disney’s Maleficent and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted follow-up A Million Ways to Die in the West.
A title that not a single one us picked as one of most anticipated? Transformers: Age of Extinction. I mean seriously… someone even picked Sin City 2 over Michael Bay’s latest.
Keep reading to see the ten films that we’re most looking forward to this summer.
#10 – Lucy (August 8th)
I’m skeptical that someone could be excited for a new Luc Besson film, but since that someone is me I’m forced to take myself seriously and listen to what I have to say. It’s been two decades since Besson’s last worthwhile (let alone fantastic) directorial effort, and while The Professional was his high point he’s been on a long slow descent ever since. He’s made nine movies in that time, but judging by the trailer it looks like Lucy might finally be a turn back in the right direction.
The action and comedy look to be well-tuned and better-crafted than his last several films, and it just looks like fun. And if I’m being honest, I’m also on a bit of a Scarlett Johansson high after Under the Skin and the Captain America sequel. – Rob Hunter
#9 – The Rover (June 20th)
David Michod has followed his much-lauded family crime drama Animal Kingdom with a film that has somewhat enigmatically been described as “a futuristic Western set in the Australian outback.” With Guy Pearce as a wronged family man salivating for vengeance and Robert Pattinson continuing to distance himself from teeny bop status, The Rover looks to be that rare summer combination of great performances, unique directorial vision, and engrossing filmmaking.
It’s an irresistible combination that has us hooked in anticipation for a film that I can only speculatively describe as Mad Max meets The Proposition. Also keep in mind that The Rover is distributed by a young label – A24 – that has already released some of the more impressive films of 2014 including Enemy, Under the Skin, and Locke. The Rover looks by all means to continue this reputation of supporting confident, pull-no-punches filmmaking, and will hopefully prove one of the strongest alternatives to predictable multiplex fare. – Landon Palmer
#8 – Neighbors (May 9th)
Zac Efron has been labeled many things from Disney Kid to pretty boy, but long time fans know he’s at his best when he’s making people laugh and plain acting a fool. Neighbors rides that line between those still in college and those accepting that they no longer are to create a film that should appeal to those looking back, looking forward or just looking for their pants.
Seth Rogen makes the perfect foil for young buck Efron who looks like he spends the film chewing the scenery and refusing to wear a shirt. Rogen makes a great straight man, and the mix of his talent with a completely off the rails Efron should prove for some serious laughs and cringe worthy moments. Don’t you want to see how far they push things? – Allison Loring
#7 – Edge of Tomorrow (June 6th)
Edge of Tomorrow features some major Hollywood talent: Tom Cruise, director Doug Liman, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and, one of the best screenwriters around, Christopher McQuarrie. The combination of these names should produce a helluva movie. Best of all, McQuarrie and Liman both know how to display a sense of fun that’s seriously lacking in far too many modern blockbusters. They understand that dour doesn’t mean serious and that an overlong running time doesn’t mean “epic,” so expect an unabashedly fun, lean popcorn movie with Edge of Tomorrow. – Jack Giroux
#6 – X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23rd)
As a young adult who adored Bryan Singer’s X-Men as a child, it’s a challenge to believe that those first films are really that old, and to be honest, watching the actors and actresses from those films in the trailer for Days of Future Past feels downright nostalgic — with the exception of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, who I think we’ve all seen plenty of.
On the flipside, pretty much the inclusion of Michael Fassbender is enough to convince me to pine for any upcoming film, as his presence usually elevates any movie an entire additional letter grade. It also doesn’t hurt my Days of Future Past desire that X-Men: First Class was brilliant, instantaneously renewing my interests in characters I’d long been ignoring. – Emily Estep