MAY 3rd

Iron Man 3

Can you believe it? Tony Stark is back! We’ve missed him so since last summer. This time, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director/Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black replaces Jon Favreau, creating what has been described as more of a standalone story than a film that sets up any larger part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ben Kingsley plays the evil “The Mandarin,” an orientalist relic of the sixties, bent on destroying Iron Man (and America?). Expect explosions, subtle racism, lots of Iron Man suits, and a return to the bottom for Tony, who will be left to rely only on his intellect and engineering skills (like all the cool parts of the first film) for survival.

Expect some crazy shit after the credits that will kick off the whole next phase of Marvel movies and have you irrationally excited for all future Marvel films, even as you’re underwhelmed by the one you’ve just seen.

MAY 10th

The Great Gatsby

“He’s a great book,” but can he be a great movie? Previous versions, like the 1974 one with Robert Redford, slogged along because, as great as the book is, not all that much really happens. So the focus on this version (which is, for whatever reason, in 3D), directed by Baz Luhrman (reuniting with his Romeo + Juliet star Leonardo Dicaprio), is probably not going to be class, the American dream, or even Jewish caricatures, but the par-tays! The centerpiece of the film will most likely be Gatsby’s big midsummer bash, and as the man with the owl rimmed glasses marvels over the books actually having words in them, expect the letters to LITERALLY whiz past you (you might even have to duck). Soundtrack Executive Produced by Jay-Z because he is now the Executive Producer of everything.

Also, Carey Mulligan looks like the perfect Daisy.

MAY 17th

Star Trek Into Darkness

The follow-up to 2010’s very good franchise reboot, Star Trek Into Darkness has unfortunately been relegated to the film that JJ Abrams will make before the new Star Wars film. Still, from the trailer, the film looks pretty sick. Between the Enterprise crashing into the San Francisco Bay and an even bigger space-jump, and the (almost certain) chance that Benedict Cumberbatch’s mysterious villain John Harrison will turn out to be all-time Captain Kirk nemesis Khan, this might be the most surefire bet for a good time at the movies this summer. Also, it is the first feature film to be shot on IMAX and shown in 3D.

MAY 24th

Hangover Part III

Shot on a shoe-string budget with unknown actors, part III of the largely overlooked Hangover trilogy promises to be a nuanced, careful study of race and class in America, set, once again, in the damned heat of our expansionist West.

Just kidding! There's going to be a lot jokes about farts and Asian people, and probably this film will make a butt-load of money by delivering the right amount of boobs (copious) and totally wacky, unexpected cameos (Bill Clinton on a jetski?!?!).

Fast Six

Since the first Fast and Furious in 2001, America has lived in a constant state of furiousness and fastness (which has only gotten faster). At any point over the last ten years, we are susceptible to the release of a new Fast and Furious, which are in a constant state of production (did you just see a trailer for the one that’s advertised on the billboard? NO. That’s the next one, stupid).

Fast Six Six Sixiest will feature the return of your favorite cars: Mazda, Ford, Chevrolet, and Lamborgini (wasn’t she supposed to be dead at the end of last film? Plot twist!).

MAY 31st

After Earth

I remember seeing Signs the summer before ninth grade with a bunch of friends and getting pretty freaked out. Afterwards we all went back to my buddy’s house to spend the night and, at like 2 in the morning, his dad walked into the room wearing only briefs and an alien mask. It was scary as hell and I still give M. Night Shyamalan credit for that. Big props, my man.

This summer, Shyamalan returns with After Earth, a sci-fi thriller starring Will and Jaden Smith. From what I can tell, the film is set around 1000 years after humans have abandoned Earth in the wake of something truly shitty, but somehow, the two Smiths (playing an estranged father and son) manage to crash land on the very same planet. To make matters worse, everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans. (Probably because we let M. Night Shyamalan keep making movies). Will the Smith charisma be enough to save a ship helmed by Shyamalan? Jaden Smith’s The Karate Kid opened to solid reviews and made mad cash, and Will Smith continues to demonstrate his huge box office pull. Who knows! Smart money says this is reviled by reviewers and results in a respectable haul.

Now You See Me

The FBI chases a group of bank robbing magicians who donate their stolen loot to their enthralled audience. Everyone involved dresses like an idiot because whoever is in charge of this thing thinks redistributionist magicians, fedoras, and soul patches are cool. Also, expect some truly tacky Recession-era Robin Hood dork moralism. Directed by Louis Leterrier of Clash of the Titans fame, this glittery stinker stars Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and James Franco’s brother.

JUNE 7th

The Internship

Every generation gets the art it deserves, or so the saying goes. We deserve this film, which follows the antics of the reunited Wedding Crashers team, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, because even though Silicon Valley and unpaid internships are both worthy of biting criticism and good comedy, our own inability to reign them in leaves us with this horribly confused commentary from the directorial genius behind Night at the Museum. Right-wing reactionary Vince Vaughn wrote the script. Ughhhh.

JUNE 14th

Man of Steel

Because he turned in Watchmen on time, Zach Snyder has been rewarded with another prized superhero franchise, Superman. But it’s not called Superman, because it’s not cool to just name films after superheroes anymore. Man of Steel promises to be a gritty reboot in the vein of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight, and if it does well, will set up the Justice League film everyone is clamoring for.

Gritty reboots, which are now all the rage, are basically the same superhero films Hollywood has always made, but the color palette is dimmed like when you lower the brightness of your laptop screen. Michael Shannon is the villain. Michael Shannon is great.

This is The End

Once again, it seems like the James Franco/Seth Rogen/Danny McBride crew has been given a bunch of money and left to their own devices. Set during the apocalypse, the actors (playing themselves) must survive in a world gone mad. Featuring more cameos than you can count, the only question is who will steal the show? Seth Rogen directs, although it didn’t look like the actors had to get all “method” to get into character.

JUNE 24th

Monsters University

In this prequel to Monsters Inc., Sully and Jake meet (and compete) in college as they try to major in “scaring.” It’s going to be fun and winning, classic Pixar pretty much, and probably have a whole lot of stuff for adult chaperones. We also get to listen to Billy Crystal without having to look at him, so that’s a plus.

World War Z

What this world needs is more zombie films. What this summer needs is more films set in the near future. Based on the bestselling book by Max Brooks, the film, which had numerous complications while filming, features a wall of zombies climbing over one another to get to those tasty, tasty humans. Brad Pitt tries to save the planet from the mindless hordes, who cannot locate his brain behind his well-coifed mane.

JUNE 28th

The Heat

A buddy-cop movie starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, it’s pretty much Bridesmaids meets 48 Hours. Or a female version of The Other Guys. Directed by exceptionally dressed individual Paul Feig (who also did Bridesmaids), Bullock and McCarthy must team together to take down a drug kingpin.

White House Down

Nice try, Hollywood! But this film came out two months ago under a different name. Almost thought you got another $12.75 from us, huh? Got to wake up pretty early in the morning to catch America off-guard.

JULY 5th

Lone Ranger

From acclaimed auteur Gore Verbinski, this film version of another Disney property no one remembers, offensively stars Johnny Depp as slow-talking and wise Native-American Tonto (which, btw, means stupid). Looking to rebound from the utter disaster of John Carter, Disney leans on the creative minds behind Pirates of The Carribean—but is America ready for so much horse-based humor?

JULY 12th

Pacific Rim

Giant robots fight massive aliens in Guillermo Del Toro’s wet dream for teenagers. The film’s marketing, which stresses the SIZE of the robots and the SIZE of the monsters, means you can enjoy this film with your GIANT soda, and MASSIVE gut. Set in a pretty sweet-looking future Asia, this could either be really cool or the dumbest film of the year (bar Shyamalan, always bar Shyamalan). For the sake of the 10 million projects Del Toro has in development, I fervently hope this succeeds, despite Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large-sized underwater aliens.

JULY 26th

The Wolverine

Walk The Line director James Mangold takes us to Japan, where Frank Miller memorably set an arc of Wolverine. The studio hopes you’ll forget the last Wolverine film (2010’s Origins), and instead get into sword-fighting, katanas, and the Wolverine going berserker in a dojo. Darren Aronofsky was previously attached to the project, which, like all comic book films these days, is looking for a darker tone. We’re there.

AUGUST 2nd

300: Rise of an Empire

With America needing more interstitial footage to pump up crowds at football games, the anticipated film takes place “before, during, and after” the events of 300. It will center on the battle Artemesium, a naval battle that happened at the same time as the battle portrayed in 300. It will also tell the backstory of Xerxes, the Persian king portrayed as an effeminate, bloodthirsty monster in the first film. Between this and Argo, Iran is taking quite the beating from Hollywood.

AUGUST 9th

Elysium

Neil Blompkampf’s follow-up to District 9 is set in a future where the rich live, agelessly, high above the remnants of earth. Matt Damon plays a character with a mechanized exoskeleton who looks to breach Elysium’s defenses and bring the secrets of youth and health to the people. Once again, Blomkampf is mixing pop and politics, although hopefully this doesn’t come out as half-baked as District 9’s strange retelling of apartheid, which for some reason featured flesh-eating Nigerians.

AUGUST 16th

Kick-Ass 2

The first Kick-Ass was a hyper-violent, nihilistic comic book film that became so confused by its anti-message that it devolved into, as all these films do, blood and explosions. Expect more of the same, except this time with Jim Carrey playing a spin on Captain America.

AUGUST 23rd

World’s End

The third in a spiritual trilogy that started with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, director Edgar Wright reteams Nick Frost and Simon Pegg to tell the story of a group of friends who get together after 20 years to recreate an epic pub crawl from their youth. As the night goes on, it becomes clear that finishing the pub crawl is not the most important thing, as the world begins to crumble around them. Is the world big enough for a second apocalyptic film involving a group of friends wandering through global destruction? Abso-lutely.