Warm weather preview: FJI surveys the next five months of movies

As America thaws out from a tough winter, spring and summer 2014 promise to heat things up at the box office. There will be no shortage of superheroes (Captain America, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy), sequels (Transformers 4, Rio 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street), mayhem (Godzilla, Maleficent and those angry apes), sci-fi surrealism (Transcendence, Edge of Tomorrow), and musical nostalgia (Jersey Boys, Get on Up). Crank up the AC!

April Highlights

Alan Partridge is the Brits’ Ron Burgundy: A self-obsessed media personality whose antics make for hilarious and hilariously uncomfortable viewing. In his big Stateside debut, Alan (Steve Coogan) has just lost his radio station to a media conglomerate. This standard corporate buyout sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in a hostage situation. Odds are the journey from point A to point B will be highly improbable and bloody entertaining. (Magnolia; Apr. 4)

Chris Evans is back in action, and those patriotically patterned tights, for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In this second installment of the popular Marvel franchise, the Captain is reunited with a familiar face from his past, James “Bucky” Barnes who, having been brainwashed by the Russians, now goes by the name “The Winter Soldier.” (Disney; Apr. 4)

Jude Law is the titular loose-cannon ex-convict in Dom Hemingway, the latest from The Matador (and several episodes of HBO’s “Girls”) director Richard Shepard. After serving 12 years in prison, Dom sets off with his sidekick Dickie (Richard E. Grant) to collect the reward he’s owed for refusing to rat out his boss. Along the way, he tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter (“Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke), but a near-death experience soon refocuses his energies on seeking revenge. (Fox Searchlight; Apr. 4)

Both Frankie and Alice of the upcoming multiple-personality drama Frankie and Alice are played by Halle Berry, whose role is inspired by true events. Berry is Frankie, a go-go dancer living in 1970s L.A. who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Struggling to control two very different alter egos—a seven-year-old kid named Genius, and a Southern racist white woman named Alice—Frankie enlists the help of a psychotherapist (Stellan Skarsgård) to help quiet the voices in her head. (Code Black Entertainment; Apr. 4)

Endangered lemurs are the focus of the new 3D IMAX documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, which features scenes of lemurs singing, lemurs sunbathing, and lemurs swinging from limb to limb. If the sight of lemurs yawning doesn’t win you over, just wait until Morgan Freeman’s sonorous narration kicks in. (Warner Bros.; Apr. 4)

The second half of Lars von Trier’s cinematic magnum orgy opus, Nymphomaniac Volume II, finds heroine Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) still recounting her sexual misadventures. (Magnolia; Apr. 4)

The traditional femme fatale narrative gets a sci-fi twist in Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien seductress who lures lonely men off the highway and into her lair, from which they’re never seen nor heard from again. (A24; Apr. 4)

Errol Morris earned a Best Documentary Feature Oscar for his profile of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 2003’s The Fog of War. Now, the acclaimed filmmaker has turned his lens on another former SoD, the controversial Donald Rumsfeld, for The Unknown Known. McNamara was an open and reflective subject; The Unknown Known showcases a more opaque personality. (RADiUS-TWC; Apr. 4)

General manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) has the chance to reinvigorate Cleveland’s losing NFL team, and the city’s flagging hopes, when he trades for the No. 1 pick on Draft Day. But how much is Sonny willing to risk in pursuit of a football field of dreams? Jennifer Garner co-stars in this production helmed by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. (Lionsgate; Apr. 11)

With a title borrowed from the collection of Alice Munro short stories (Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship) on which it is based, Hateship, Loveship follows shy housekeeper Johanna (Kristen Wiig), whose unassuming personality leaves a big impression on her new employers (Nick Nolte, Guy Pearce and Hailee Steinfeld). (IFC; Apr. 11)

A quick-tempered former convict, Joe Ransom (Nicolas Cage) isn’t one for forging deep friendships or mentoring today’s troubled youth, until he meets a teen down on his luck, Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan). Joe’s newfound protectiveness yields unforeseen consequences, however, when Gary turns to him for help with a dangerous problem. Joe is the latest from director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express). (Roadside Attractions; Apr. 11)

Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive is the intellectual entry in the swelling vampire canon. Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) are a couple of centuries-old bloodsuckers, she living in Morocco, and he in Detroit as a reclusive musician with a cult following. When Eve gets wind of Adam’s worsening depression, she heads out for a visit and succeeds in buoying his spirits—until her wild younger sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska), rocks the boat. (Sony Pictures Classics; Apr. 11)

Based on author Eric Lomax’s autobiography of the same name, The Railway Man stars Colin Firth as a British officer who was tortured by the Japanese during World War II. Years after his release from a Japanese labor camp, Lomax discovers one of his abusers is still alive. With his love interest, Patti (Nicole Kidman), in tow, he sets out to confront the man, and his own demons, once and for all. (Weinstein Co.; Apr. 11)

In Rio 2, rare macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have successfully saved their species from extinction and are happily raising three children. The couple and their brood embark on a trip to the Amazon, encountering a host of vocally expressive characters—including Andy Garcia, Rita Moreno, Bruno Mars and Kristin Chenoweth—along the way. (Fox; Apr. 11)

You gotta have friends, a platitude the young boy at the center of St. Vincent de Van Nuys takes to heart when he seeks solace from his parents’ divorce by buddying up with the hedonistic war veteran next door. Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts star. (Weinstein Co.; Apr. 11)

What if, after your body died, your consciousness could live on…inside a computer? Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara grapple with the repercussions of posthumous artificial intelligence in cinematographer Wally Pfister’s (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) directorial debut, Transcendence. (Warner Bros.; Apr. 17)

Woody Allen has made a new movie…which he neither directed nor wrote? Allen takes a breather from his hectic film-a-year auteur lifestyle by assuming a supporting role in Fading Gigolo, the new movie from writer-director and, yes, star, John Turturro. Allen plays Turturro’s pimp in this romantic caper that features entanglements with fellow A-listers Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis and Liev Schreiber. (Millennium Entertainment; Apr. 18)

A botched act of vengeance puts amateur assassin Dwight Evans (Macon Blair) and the lives of his estranged family in danger in Blue Ruin. (RADiUS-TWC; Apr. 25)

Chinese Puzzle is the third and final film in director Cédric Klapisch’s French romantic comedy series that began with L’Auberge Espagnole in 2002. When Xavier’s (Romain Duris) wife and children leave for New York City, he follows them and soon encounters a host of troubles related to immigration, his new book, and his ex-girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tatou). (Cohen Media Group; Apr. 25)

Johnny Depp’s well-known admiration for Gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson extends to frequent Thompson collaborator Ralph Steadman in the documentary For No Good Reason. Depp is one of several featured in the film that explores Steadman’s body of work, which includes illustrations for Thompson’s writings as well as those for Alice in Wonderland and Animal Farm, not to mention Steadman’s own published oeuvre: books on Freud, Da Vinci, and the heaviest heavy of them all, God. (Sony Pictures Classics; Apr. 25)

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a man who seemingly wants for nothing, blessed with a loving family, a successful career and a sharp intelligence. But one aspect of his life is decidedly out of whack, and Ivan is determined to fix it while driving home from work one night. The brainchild of Eastern Promises writer-director Steven Knight, Locke unfolds in real time over the course of the most unnerving commute ever. (A24; Apr. 25)

A truly unfortunate soul (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from “Game of Thrones”) gets his comeuppance when the women in his life—his wife and two mistresses—band together to take him down in The Other Woman. Hell hath no fury like Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton scorned. Directed by The Notebook’s Nick Cassavetes. (20th Century Fox; Apr. 25)

Underrated comedian Elizabeth Banks is the titular perambulator in Walk of Shame. Banks plays an ambitious anchor up for a position as a network newscaster. Trouble is, her one-night stand with a stranger (James Marsden) has left her stranded in downtown L.A. with no car, no money, no ID, no phone…and only eight hours left until the Big Interview. Will she make it on time, and with her dignity intact? (Focus World; Apr. 25)

Isabelle’s (Marine Vacth) tumultuous 17th year, a period of sexual awakening and transgression, is chronicled by acclaimed French director François Ozon (Swimming Pool) in Young and Beautiful. The film is divided by season into four chapters, each of which is associated with a different pop song. (Sundance Selects; Apr. 25)

Also in April
In Ilo Ilo, Teresa (Angeli Bayani), a Filipino immigrant, is having trouble connecting with her new Singaporean charge Jiale (Koh Jia Ler). They no sooner bond, however, than their friendship is threatened by the repercussions of Asia’s 1997 financial crisis. (Film Movement; Apr. 4)

What’s a damsel to do when her husband is in distress? Kick some butt, and lots of it, until she saves him. In the Blood stars Gina Carano and Twilight’s Cam Gigandet. (Anchor Bay Films; Apr. 4)

The symbiotic relationship between man and water is explored in the documentary Watermark. (Entertainment One; Apr. 4)

The documentary Dancing in Jaffa follows ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine as he attempts to prove dance can transcend all differences by teaching 11-year-old Jewish and Palestinian Israelis together. (IFC; Apr. 11)

Kaylie (Karen Gillan) is determined to prove her brother (Brenton Thwaites) didn’t kill their parents, but if he didn’t murder Mom and Dad, who did? Kaylie’s bet is on creepy mirror Oculus. (Relativity Media; Apr. 11)

Perfect Sisters is based on the real-life 2003 “Bathtub Girls” case. Two desperate siblings (Abigail Breslin and The Chronicles of Narnia’s Georgie Henley) decide they would rather murder their mother (Mira Sorvino) than move in with her abusive boyfriend. (Gravitas Ventures; Apr. 11)

The nonfiction book Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of his Trip to Heaven and Back is the basis for the film Heaven Is for Real, starring Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly as the parents of a kid who has a near-death experience and lives to tell about the afterlife. (TriStar; Apr. 16)

The “aww” factor is off the charts for Disney nature’s Bears, a docu-look at Alaska’s grizzly population. (Disney; Apr. 18)

The documentary The Final Member follows the curator of the Icelandic Phallological Museum as he vets two candidates eager to help him complete his collection of mammalian male genitalia…by offering to donate their own members. (Drafthouse Films; Apr. 18)

Marlon Wayans fights supernatural forces and lets the jokes fly in A Haunted House 2. (Open Road Films; Apr. 18)

In small time, Al Klein (Christopher Meloni) is thrilled when his son (Devon Bostick) decides to forgo college in favor of becoming a used-car salesman like his old man—until the boy starts acting a little too much like a used-car salesman. (Anchor Bay; Apr. 18)

A group of foodies gathers at an exclusive restaurant the night before it closes in Tasting Menu. The hungry patrons include a woman dining with her husband’s ashes, and ex-lovers who made their reservation when they were still together. (Magnolia; Apr. 18)

Two aging French actors (Lambert Wilson and Fabrice Luchini) prepare to stage Molière’s Misanthrope, arguing, rehearsing and biking their way through the summer on the picturesque ile de Ré in Bicycling with Molière. (Strand Releasing; Apr. 23)
The late Paul Walker stars in actioner Brick Mansions, playing an undercover cop who enlists the help of an impoverished ex-con to take down a kingpin (RZA). (Relativity Media; Apr. 25)

An Argentinian family welcomes a foreign physician into their home, ignorant of the man’s identity: a Nazi responsible for many of World War II’s most heinous crimes. The German Doctor is based on director Lucia Puenzo’s fifth novel. (Samuel Goldwyn Films; Apr. 25)

The Illusionist director Jos Stelling helms period romance The Girl and Death, an early-20th-century love story involving a Russian medical student, a Parisian courtesan and a jealous count. (Shadow Distribution; April 25)

A professor teaches his students to create a poltergeist in The Quiet Ones. (Lionsgate; Apr. 25)

Starring Sir Ben Kingsley and two BBC vets, Jonas Armstrong (“Robin Hood”) and Hannah Tointon (“The Hour”), Walking with the Enemy is inspired by the true story of a Hungarian Jew who impersonated a Nazi officer during World War II. (Liberty Studios; Apr. 25)

Cuban Fury’s lonely and overweight Bruce Garrett (Nick Frost) has all but given up on his dream of becoming a salsa dancer, until he discovers his gorgeous new boss (Rashida Jones) harbors a similar passion. (Entertainment One; April TBA)

First-time filmmaker Michael Maren mines his personal family drama for A Short History of Decay. Nathan Fisher (Bryan Greenberg) is Maren’s stand-in, a failed writer who struggles to manage his aging parents. (Paladin; April TBA)

May Highlights
Being a teenager is rough when your name is Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield). There’s your city to protect, the love of your life (Emma Stone) to woo, and your high-school graduation to anticipate. Throw in a new villain named Electro (Jamie Foxx), and Spidey will need all six of his senses to make it through The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (Columbia; May 2)

Inspired by the life of the real Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy admiral who was raised by her great-uncle Chief Justice Mansfield in late-18th-century England, Belle chronicles Dido’s political and romantic awakening. Her growing affection for an idealistic vicar’s son complicates Dido’s relationship with Lord Mansfield just as he prepares to rule on the historic Zong slave-ship case. (Fox Searchlight; May 2)

Oscar winner Marion Cotillard stars as The Immigrant, a Polish woman who comes to 1920s New York in search of a better life and becomes involved with a mysterious man played by the always surprising Joaquin Phoenix. Jeremy Renner also stars in the new film from director James Gray (Two Lovers). (RADiUS-TWC; May 2)

A rich and, with the great Sofia Vergara co-starring, we might even say spicy comedy, Chef tells the redemptive tale of Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), who starts a food-truck business after losing his job as a restaurant chef. His new lease on life includes trying to reconnect with his estranged family in this flick that Favreau also directs. (Open Road Films; May 9)

The Double’s Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) is a timid man who has given up trying to be anything more than an object of general indifference. But when a new co-worker shows up, a mysterious figure who happens to be Simon’s doppelganger as well as his temperamental opposite (also played by Eisenberg), Simon must do something, or risk having his life overtaken by the stranger. (Magnolia; May 9)

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are forced to contend with every yuppie parents’ nightmare when their new next-door Neighbors turn out to be members of a college frat—led by Zac Efron, no less. Nicholas Stoller of Forgetting Sarah Marshall directs this war of ideologies and pranks. (Universal; May 9)

An updated spin on the classic monster movie, Godzilla stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Anna Karenina), Elizabeth Olsen, and a man who is no stranger to horrific scenarios, Bryan Cranston, as the humans trying to control that great lizard run amok. (Warner Bros.; May 16)

Sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) attempts to recruit a group of Asian cricket players for Major League Baseball in Million Dollar Arm. Lake Bell and Alan Arkin round out the film’s roster of talent. (Disney; May 16)

The Hepburn and Tracy of modern rom-coms (some might say), Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are once again primed to fall in love after facing a few obstacles, including suffering through a terrible blind date only to find themselves stuck at the same resort with their families in tow, in Blended. (Warner Bros.; May 23)

The sequel to 2011’s smash hit X Men: First Class sees our favorite band of mutants traveling into the past on a mission to alter an important historical event. X Men: Days of Future Past boasts director Bryan Singer at the helm, and real-life lovebirds Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult reprising their roles as Mystique and Beast, respectively.
Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Ellen Page and Peter Dinklage round out the cast. (Fox; May 23)

Beloved fairytale “Sleeping Beauty” is retold through the eyes of the one who made it interesting in Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous villain and Elle Fanning as the threatened princess. (Disney; May 30)

A Million Ways to Die in the West is Seth MacFarlane’s sendup of the classic western. Director-writer-star MacFarlane has brought in Hollywood’s big guns, actors Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson, to help him tell his story of a cowardly farmer called upon to show some chutzpah in the name of his lady love. (Universal; May 30)

Not to be confused with the 1975 Gene Hackman noir classic, Night Moves follows a group of environmental extremists as they plot to blow up a hydroelectric dam. A former solider (Peter Sarsgaard), a society dropout (Elle Fanning) and an intense organic farmer (Jesse Eisenberg) struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of real consequences. (Cinedigm; May 30)

Richard Linklater’s anticipated Boyhood was filmed in spurts between 2002 and 2013. The movie follows a family and its two children, Mason and Samantha, as they age and change over the 12-year period. Ethan Hawke from Linklater’s beloved Before series (Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight) co-stars with Patricia Arquette. (IFC; May TBA)

Also in May
High-concept hilarity ensues when a womanizer’s penis separates from his body and becomes its own person in Bad Johnson. (Gravitas Ventures; May 2)

Decoding Annie Parker centers on the relationship between a cancer patient (Samantha Morton) and the geneticist (Helen Hunt) who discovered a gene mutation which led to greater understanding and treatment of certain types of breast cancer. Aaron Paul, Bradley Whitford, Rashida Jones, Alice Eve and Corey Stoll round out the cast of Steven Bernstein’s feature directing debut. (Entertainment One; May 2)

Diane Kurys’ For a Woman focuses on a writer’s attempts to piece together the story of her parents’ past, including their first meeting in a concentration camp and their relationship with a mysterious uncle. (Film Movement; May 2)

A Polish orphan raised in a convent is preparing to take her vows when the mother superior insists she visit her sole remaining relative. Her aunt’s revelations of family secrets dating back to World War II cause the young girl to question all she’s known in Ida. (Music Box Films; May 2)

The title of documentary More Than the Rainbow aptly describes NYC taxi driver-turned-photographer Matt Weber’s approach to snapping pictures: He looks to capture more than just conventional beauty. (First Run Features; May 2)

Mr. Jones
(Mark Steger) is a reclusive artist who doesn’t like curious neighbors nosing into his business. When a couple of curious neighbors (Jon Foster and Sarah Jones) nose into his business, he teaches them a lesson they won’t soon forget. (Anchor Bay; May 2)

Go behind-the-scenes with zeitgeist bad guy Kevin Spacey and director Sam Mendes as they stage over 200 performances of Richard III across three continents in NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage. (Treetop Prods.; May 2)

Anna’s once-helpful cellphone App turns horrific when it begins answering personal questions and sending inappropriate pictures of its own accord—and won’t be deleted. (Film Movement-RAM; May 9)

Katie Couric-produced documentary Fed Up analyzes the role of the American food industry in our national health crisis. (RADiUS-TWC; May 9)

God’s Pocket marks John Slattery’s directorial debut and features Slattery’s “Mad Men” co-star Christina Hendricks and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The latter plays Mickey, a man whose stepson is killed in a construction “accident.” Though Mickey tries to hide the tragedy from the boy’s mom (Hendricks), his secret soon spirals out of control. (IFC; May 9)

A talented cast of recognizable voices, including Lea Michelle, Bernadette Peters and Martin Short, lends their pipes to the animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. (Clarius Entertainment; May 9)

A series of short stories set in a suburban high school and penned by James Franco (who also stars) serves as the basis for Gia Coppola’s directorial debut, Palo Alto. Emma Roberts, Nat Wolff and Jack Kilmer are the young leads. (Tribeca Film; May 9)

Eight nursing-home residents set out for the Holy Land in David Gaynes’ third documentary feature, Next Year Jerusalem. (First Run Features; May 16)

Michael C. Hall may have played a serial killer on TV, but he’s in over his head in Cold in July, as a man who shoots a burglar and then fears for his life when the robber’s ex-con father comes looking for revenge. Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are) directed. (IFC Films; May 23)

Filth takes its name from the dealings of a bipolar, drug-addled cop (James McAvoy) who attempts to scheme his way to a promotion and back into his wife’s good graces. (Magnolia; May 30)

A trio of 13-year-old girls forms a punk band without instruments in We Are The Best!, a Swedish film set in 1982 Stockholm. (Magnolia; May 30)

The decades-long professional and personal relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé is chronicled in this new biopic from the Weinsteins. (Weinstein Co.; May TBA)

June Highlights
Tom Cruise’s latest role is that of an intergalactic officer sent out on a mission for which he is ill-prepared, and which claims his life within minutes. So what fills out the rest of Edge of Tomorrow’s runtime? Turns out Cruise isn’t so much dead as stuck in a time loop that forces him to relive that fatal fight over and over again. At least his skills improve with each go-round. Emily Blunt co-stars. (Warner Bros.; June 6)

Teens Hazel and Gus meet in a cancer support group and strike up a romance made all the more intense for the precarious state of Hazel’s health. The Fault in Our Stars was adapted from John Green’s best-selling novel and stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (Carrie). (Fox; June 6)

The hottest team in Hollywood, The Lego Movie creators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller direct a pair that’s pretty popular in its own right, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, in 22 Jump Street. The sequel to hit comedy 21 Jump Street once again co-stars indie darling Brie Larson (Short Term 12). (Columbia; June 13)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 reunites our heroes from How to Train Your Dragon, the Viking Hiccup and his dragon Toothless, and sets them off on another daring adventure: to save human and dragon-kind from the evil machinations of a baddy with an appropriately méchant name, Drago. (20th Century Fox; June 13)

You don’t need to tell us to go ahead, we’ll gladly make your day with the news of Clint Eastwood’s latest project: The filmmaker directs Jersey Boys, an adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway show about iconic band The Four Seasons. (Warner Bros.; June 20)

Hardest-working-man-in-Hollywood Kevin Hart reprises his role as Cedric for the sequel to Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too, which also welcomes back Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson. The ensemble’s male and female characters face another batch of gender complications, this time as they attend bachelor and bachelorette parties. (Screen Gems; June 20)

First they hate each other, then they love each other, then, roughly two-thirds of the way through the movie, they break up…but don’t worry, we won’t spoil what ultimately becomes of Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler’s rival candy-shop owners in They Came Together. Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain helms this spoof of the romantic comedy. (Lionsgate; June 27)

The Transformers saga continues in Transformers: Age of Extinction. A powerful group of scientists attempts to learn from past Decepticon mistakes by engineering new and better technology. Unfortunately, their experiments quickly exceed the limits of human control. Michael Bay directs Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer. (Paramount; June 27)

The director of the Academy Award-winning Crash, Paul Haggis takes on another series of interwoven stories in Third Person. Three tales of romantic entanglements unspool in Rome, Paris and New York, as Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody and James Franco attempt to deal with the invisible and inevitable “third person” in their relationships. (Sony Pictures Classics; June 20)

Also in June
Winner of the 2014 Sundance Documentary Directing Award, The Case Against 8 is an inside look at the historic Supreme Court case that overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage. (HBO Documentary Films; June 6)

Citizen Koch
analyzes the impact of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allowed unlimited, anonymous cash contributions to election campaigns. A crowdfunding effort helped raise completion funds after public television pulled out the project, allegedly over fears of offending conservative billionaire donor David Koch. (Variance Films; June 6)

Sundance Film Festival hit Obvious Child features a breakout turn by comedian Jenny Slate as a twenty-something who gets dumped, loses her job and discovers she’s pregnant, all in time for Valentine’s Day. (A24; June 6)

Mike Meyers settles into the director’s chair for the very first time with his documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, which tells the story of the eponymous, outlandish Hollywood insider. (RADiUS-TWC; June 6)

In Trust Me, a struggling agent for child actors (Clark Gregg) may have finally found himself a star in 13-year-old Lydia (Saxon Sharbino). But between the girl’s overprotective father, a manipulative producer (Felicity Huffman) and his own nemesis (Sam Rockwell), his road to riches isn’t exactly paved in gold—or paved at all. (Starz Digital Media; June 6)

Lullaby centers on a man, estranged from his family, who makes an effort to reconnect when he learns his father has decided to take himself off life support. Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Amy Adams, Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey”), Anne Archer, Terrence Howard and Jennifer Hudson head a strong ensemble cast. (ARC Entertainment; June 13)

Guy Pearce faces off against Robert Pattinson in a dystopian society in The Rover, the new film from Animal Kingdom director David Michôd. (A24; June 13)

In The Signal, three college students on a Southwest road trip have a nightmarish encounter with a computer hacker. Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke and Laurence Fishburne head the cast. (Focus; June 13)

The Snowpiercer is a train fueled by a perpetual-motion machine and a refuge for the final survivors of a post-apocalyptic world. The very intriguing passenger list includes Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer and John Hurt. Bong Joon-Ho directed. (RADiUS-TWC; June 27)

Aaron Swartz was a tech savant, political activist and troubled man who tragically took his own life last year. The documentary The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz chronicles Aaron’s prolific teen years through to his 2011 arrest (he illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from the database JSTOR) and the prosecution’s case against him. (Participant Media & FilmBuff; June TBA)

July Highlights
Melissa McCarthy is Tammy, a woman who decides to get a grip on her unraveling life—she’s overweight, she’s lost her job, and she’s just discovered her husband’s infidelities—by embarking on a road trip with her alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon), a woman with a taste for salty language. (Warner Bros.; July 2)

In Begin Again (formerly Can a Song Save Your Life?) lovelorn Gretta (Keira Knightley) and disgraced record executive Dan (Mark Ruffalo) are two lost souls just trying to connect and make it in the music biz one hot and well-scored summer in New York City. (Weinstein Co.; July 4)

When narcissistic realtor Oren (Michael Douglas) is suddenly called upon to care for the granddaughter he never knew he had, it’s up to his neighbor, Leah (Diane Keaton), to help him learn a thing or two about relationships and life—namely, the importance of the one to the other. Rob Reiner directs And So It Goes. (Clarius Entertainment; July 11)

Humans and apes may have reached a fragile peace, but fans of the many Planet of the Apes films know how that goes. The fight for species dominance wages on with Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell taking center-stage in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. (20th Century Fox; July 11)

The Wachowskis are back in full futuristic form with Jupiter Ascending. Mila Kunis has landed the lead role of Jupiter Jones, an impoverished young woman who must claim her royal destiny and defeat the evil Queen of the Universe…before the villainess destroys her first. Lucky for Mila, she’s got Channing Tatum on her side. (Warner Bros.; July 18)

Hoping to ascend to the comedic heights of 2013’s kids’ film Planes, Disney is releasing the sequel Planes: Fire and Rescue. Dane Cook returns to voice hero Dusty Crophopper, while Julie Bowen from “Modern Family” lends her vocal talents to newcomer Dipper. (Disney; July 18)

The sequel to last year’s surprise horror hit The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy once again takes place on the one day a year when crime becomes lawful. (Universal; July 18)

Zach Braff (Garden State, “Scrubs”) co-wrote, directed and stars in Wish I Was Here as a thirty-something taking stock of his life and career. Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad round out the cast. (Focus; July 18)

The Hercules of Brett Ratner’s film is a world-weary soul whose arduous 12 labors are already behind him, as is the death of his family. He now fights for whoever pays him, but Hercules’ apathy is soon tested when the mad King of Thrace hires him to train his army. (Paramount; July 25)

Woody Allen’s latest, Magic in the Moonlight, centers on a 1920s Englishman dealing with swindlers in the south of France. Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Eileen Atkins, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater and Jacki Weaver head the ensemble. (Sony Pictures Classics; July 25)

It’s hard to keep the spark alive after ten years and two kids together, so why not make a sex tape? Well, it could go missing and threaten your hard-earned reputations, which is precisely what happens to Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in Sex Tape, helmed by Diaz’s Bad Teacher director, Jake Kasdan. (Columbia; July 25)

Also in July
When three friends receive a series of cryptic texts, they decide to trace the messages to their source. They aren’t prepared for what they find in the coming-of-ager Earth to Echo. (Relativity Media; July 2)

Police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) and a priest join forces to Deliver Us from Evil in this film adapted from the real-life Sarchie’s book. (Screen Gems; July 2)

Standup comic Gabriel Iglesias takes his act to the big screen in The Fluffy Movie. (Open Road Films; July 11)

A retired surgeon and his ex-brother-in-law try to reclaim their youth on a trip to Iceland in the Sundance hit Land Ho! (Sony Pictures Classics; July 11)

Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is at his whimsical best with Mood Indigo, the tale of lovers Colin (Romain Duris) and Chloé (Audrey Tatou), whose romantic idyll is broken when Chloé comes down with a mysterious illness: the growth of a flower in her chest. (Drafthouse Films; July 18)

Step Up All In is the latest in the Step Up dance series that began eight years ago when Channing Tatum and now-wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum starred. Alyson Stoner and Ryan Gutzman have stepped up, if you will, for this latest edition, which takes place in Las Vegas. (Lionsgate; July 25)

August Highlights
Get On Up, a new biopic from The Help’s Tate Taylor, stars Chadwick Boseman (who played Jackie Robinson in last year’s 42) as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. The film charts Brown’s rise from impoverished child to revered music legend and co-stars Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jill Scott, and Dan Aykroyd, who knows a thing or two about the blues. (Universal; Aug. 1)

Guardians of the Galaxy features a team of bantering intergalactic warriors who must protect the universe from evil villain Ronan (Lee Pace). The Lego Movie’s Chris Pratt stars as a pilot who calls himself Star-Lord, while Bradley Cooper takes a break from filming David O. Russell dramedys to voice fan favorite Rocket Raccoon. (Disney; Aug. 1)

The adaptation of the novel The Hundred-Foot Journey stars Helen Mirren as the owner of an acclaimed French restaurant and reluctant mentor of an Indian boy whose family owns a rival eatery. Director Lasse Hallström has some experience making food look delectable on film: He directed 2000’s Chocolat. (Disney; Aug. 8)

Scarlett Johansson is writer-director Luc Besson’s newest female action star in Lucy. Johansson plays a woman who surprises her captors (to say the least) when she transforms into a ruthless fighter. Morgan Freeman is among those who must deal with the consequences. (Universal; Aug. 8)

Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello will finally re-emerge from their sewer home, and the annals of forgotten ’90s kids films, to once again combat the forces of Manhattan evil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Megan Fox plays kindly human friend April O’Neil. (Paramount; Aug. 8)

Impersonating police officers is all fun and games until a pesky Russian mobster shows up. Jake Johnson (“New Girl”) stars alongside Damon Wayans in Let’s Be Cops. (20th Century Fox; Aug. 13)

Mel Gibson returns to play bad guy Conrad Stonebanks in The Expendables 3, which sees Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) assembling a group of tech-savvy youngsters to help him combat his old friend-turned-nemesis. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger also muscle in on the action. (Lionsgate; Aug. 15)

Everything in 12-year-old Jonas’ world is lovely and comfortable, if a bit bland. When Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) begins preparations for his new role as the community’s Receiver of Memories, however, he soon learns what real pain is—and real feeling. Jeff Bridges stars as Jonas’ tutor in The Giver, an adaptation of the beloved Lois Lowry young-adult novel. Meryl Streep brings extra clout to the production, and Alexander Skarsgård and Katie Holmes, as Jonas’ parents, added star power. (Weinstein Co.; Aug. 15)

A tragic car accident serves as the catalyst for Chloë Grace Moretz’s emotional journey in the adaptation of Gayle Forman’s young-adult novel, If I Stay. (Warner Bros.; Aug. 22)

An A-list cast has teamed up behind directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez for their follow-up to 2005 cult favorite, Sin City. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For features more noir intrigue, as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jeremy Piven…and Lady Gaga. (Weinstein Co.; Aug. 22)

Jane Got a Gun, and a complicated situation on her hands when she turns to her former fiancé (Joel Edgerton) for help defending her family from a ruthless outlaw (Ewan McGregor) who has it out for her husband (Noah Emmerich of “The Americans”). Natalie Portman is the eponymous dame who ably handles her distress. (Relativity Media; Aug. 29)

Crooked real-estate developer Tim Robbins decides not to pay the ransom when his wife (Jennifer Aniston) is kidnapped in Life of Crime, the movie adaptation of the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch. John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, Isla Fisher and Will Forte complete the cast. (Roadside Attractions & Lionsgate; Aug. 29)

In One Chance, Tony winner James Corden plays Paul Potts, an opera-loving South Wales cellphone salesman who became the first winner of “Britain’s Got Talent” and a major recording star. (Weinstein Co.; Aug. 29)

After too many failed relationships, med school dropout Daniel Radcliffe decides to put his romantic life on hold. Then he finds perfect chemistry with a young animator (Zoe Kazan), but she already has a longtime boyfriend. Formerly known as The F Word, What If also features Rafe Spall, Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis. (CBS Films; August TBA)

Also in August
Brendan Gleeson reunites with The Guard writer-director John Michael McDonagh for Calvary, the tale of a priest dealing with sinister forces invading his parish. Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly (Flight) and Aidan Gillen (“The Wire”) co-star. (Fox Searchlight; Aug. 1)

Scott Haze turns in a ferocious performance as an isolated cave dweller in Child of God, James Franco’s adaptation of the novel by Cormac McCarthy. (Well Go USA; Aug. 1)

Storm-chasers head Into the Storm in this action thriller that follows a group of adrenaline junkies over the course of one tornado-ravaged day. (Warner Bros.; Aug. 8)

The catacombs of Paris provide the setting for As Above, So Below. A group of explorers embarks on a terrifying journey through the dark underworld of the City of Lights. (Universal; Aug. 15)

The true story of how Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caveziel) coached the De La Salle High School Spartans to a 151-game winning streak—the longest streak enjoyed by any team, in any sport—is recounted in When the Game Stands Tall. (TriStar, Aug. 22)

Your father’s haunted Southern mansion is probably not the best place to recuperate after a tragic accident, something Jessabelle is forced to learn the horror way. (Lionsgate; Aug. 29)

Five bros decide to rent an apartment in the city as a getaway for their extramarital affairs. But when a woman’s dead body turns up in The Loft, the friends turn on one another. Karl Urban, James Marsden and Wentworth Miller head the cast. (Universal, Aug. 29)

André Benjamin of Outkast plays the pre-stardom rock legend Jimi Hendrix in Jimi: All Is by My Side, written and directed by 12 Years a Slave Oscar winner John Ridley. (Xlrator Media; Summer TBA)

All release dates are subject to change.