This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's old news that Hollywood likes to repeat itself.
With millions on the line with every movie, it's no wonder that studios like to have the insurance of betting on a sure thing. That's why most of the movies Hollywood makes, especially for the busy summer season, are titles the audience already knows.
Among the most anticipated movies this summer are continuations of two mega-successful superhero franchises the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with "Captain America: Civil War") and Marvel's mutant saga (furthered in "X-Men: Apocalypse"). For fans of DC Comics, Batman (Ben Affleck) makes a cameo appearance in "Suicide Squad," a supervillain mash-up featuring Jared Leto as a new version of The Joker.
There are, as always, movies with the number 2 in the title: "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising," "The Conjuring 2," "Now You See Me 2." And there are sequels with slightly more imaginative titles, like "Alice Through the Looking Glass," "Finding Dory," "Independence Day: Resurgence," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows," "The Purge: Election Year," "Mechanic: Resurrection," "Ice Age: Collision Course," "Star Trek Beyond" and "Jason Bourne."
There are remakes of classic, or near-classic, movies such as "Ghostbusters," "Pete's Dragon" and "Ben-Hur." Books are being turned into movies, including the romance "Me Before You," the children's fable "The BFG," Philip Roth's novel "Indignation," a Jane Austen novella (in "Love & Friendship") and Edgar Rice Burroughs' best-known title (in "The Legend of Tarzan"). So are video games, in "The Angry Birds Movie" and "Warcraft."
Still, there are some original ideas out there, including the financial thriller "Money Monster," the detective yarn "The Nice Guys," and comedies such as "Central Intelligence," "Bad Moms" and "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates."
All in all, nearly 100 movies are likely to cross moviegoers' eyeballs during the summer movie season which traditionally starts during the first weekend in May and ends on Labor Day.
What follows is information about each of them, some of it gleaned from CinemaCon, the annual convention of movie-theater owners held each April in Las Vegas. (Some release dates are tentative and subject to change.) Consider it an appetizer to tantalize your moviegoing senses before the onslaught begins. Happy viewing.
"Captain America: Civil War" • "Captain America: Civil War" can be seen either as the third movie centering on Marvel's star-spangled hero (Chris Evans) or as "Avengers 2.5," since most of Cap's colleagues also are on board. But they're not all getting along, as collateral damage in past missions is catching up to our heroes, and the U.N.'s member nations are pushing to take command over the superheroes' activities. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), aka Iron Man, agrees to the limitations, but Cap, burned by the evil Hydra's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., believes the best people to dictate the use of superpowers are the people who have them. Battle lines are drawn, and heroes both familiar and new are pulled into the fight. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (who directed "Captain America: The Winter Soldier") promise not only impressive superhero-on-superhero action but emotional moments and a timely political allegory.
"April and the Extraordinary World" • A young chemist seeks a life-enhancing serum, and the whereabouts of her parents, in this animated steampunk adventure set in 1941 in an alternate-history France where Napoleon's empire endures.
"The Invitation" • A man (Logan Marshall-Green) brings his new girlfriend (Emayatzy Corinealdi) to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband (Michael Huisman) in this horror thriller directed by Karyn Kusama ("Jennifer's Body").
"Louder Than Bombs" • Three years after the death of a war photographer (Isabelle Huppert), her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and sons (Jesse Eisenberg, Devin Drudd) share a tense reunion in this drama.
"Sing Street" • "Once" director John Carney draws from his own experiences for this coming-of-age story set in the 1980s about a Dublin teen (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) starting a rock band to escape his family life and to impress a girl (Lucy Boynton).
"Dough" • In this comedy, an old Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) takes on a Muslim apprentice (Jerome Holder) who accidentally adds a secret ingredient cannabis to the challah recipe.
"The Man Who Knew Infinity" • Dev Patel ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") stars in this biographical drama as Srinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Indian mathematician who overcame adversity and prejudice to study at Cambridge during World War I developing pioneering math theories, guided by a mentor (Jeremy Irons).
"Money Monster" • Jodie Foster directs this thriller, starring George Clooney as a business-channel host who is taken hostage live on the air by a guy (Jack O'Connell) who lost his family savings on one of the host's tips. Julia Roberts co-stars as Clooney's producer.
"Too Late" • In writer-director Dennis Hauck's hard-boiled detective tale, told in unbroken 20-minute takes, a private eye (John Hawkes) is out to avenge a murder.
"The Nice Guys" • Hollywood knows Shane Black for scripting big-budget action thrillers, such as "Lethal Weapon" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight," and for writing and directing Marvel's "Iron Man 3." Movie buffs, though, love Black for his 2005 detective yarn "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which fired off one-liners and pistols with equal precision. His latest, "The Nice Guys," seems to tap into that same vein. Set in L.A. in 1977, it tells of a private eye (Ryan Gosling) and an enforcer (Russell Crowe) working on two cases locating a missing woman (Margaret Qualley) and the discovery of a dead porn star that are connected via a conspiracy in the heights of California's power brokers. Crowe told a CinemaCon audience this month that Black has "reached back to a point in time where America corrupted itself and somehow he made it funny. And in an election year, that's something to think about."
"The Angry Birds Movie" • The popular mobile-phone video game inspires this movie, which aims to explain why Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) and his feathered friends are so mad at their new pig neighbors.
"Dragon Inn" / "A Touch of Zen" • A double-feature of martial-arts classics, from 1967 and 1971 respectively, that highlight the high-flying wuxia style of kung fu. (Think "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.")
"Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" • Married couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are trying to sell their house, but find it hard when a party-hearty sorority led by Chloë Grace Moretz opens next door. Zac Efron and Dave Franco also return from the original.
"Pele: Birth of a Legend" • A biographical drama, shot in Brazil, tracing the early career of the soccer great (played as a teen by newcomer Kevin de Paula). Vincent D'Onofrio and Rodrigo Santoro co-star.
"Alice Through the Looking Glass" • Disney follows up its 2010 "Alice in Wonderland," with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) having to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) from a half-clockwork creature called Time (Sacha Baron Cohen). Helena Bonham Carter returns as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway is back as the White Queen.
"A Bigger Splash" • A vacationing rock star (Tilda Swinton) and her hunky boyfriend (Matthias Schoenaerts) get an unexpected visit from her rambunctious ex (Ralph Fiennes) and his coquettish daughter (Dakota Johnson) in this mystery drama.
"The Lobster" • In Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' allegorical romance, a lonely man (Colin Farrell) is given 30 days to find a mate or be turned into an animal. Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and John C. Reilly also star.
"Love & Friendship" • Writer-director Whit Stillman reunites his "The Last Days of Disco" stars, Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny, in this adaptation of a Jane Austen novella with Beckinsale in front as a scheming noblewoman.
"The Meddler" • Susan Sarandon stars as a New Jersey widow who moves to L.A. to be closer to her daughter (Rose Byrne) who moved across the country for a reason in this comedy-drama from writer-director Lorene Scafaria ("Seeking a Friend for the End of the World").
"X-Men: Apocalypse" • Marvel's mutants face their toughest foe, the godlike mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), in this continuation of the franchise with Jennifer Lawrence (as Mystique), James McAvoy (as Prof. Xavier) and Michael Fassbender (as Magneto). The movie also brings Bryan Singer, who directed the first two "X-Men" movies, back to the director's chair.
May, to be determined
"Being Charlie" • Rob Reiner directs this coming-of-age tale of a teen (Nick Robinson) escaping a youth rehab clinic, only to have his parents send him to an adult rehab center.
"The Darkness" • A family takes a vacation to the Grand Canyon, but brings something supernatural home, in this horror thriller.
"Weiner" • Directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival for this inside look at former congressman Anthony Weiner's campaign for New York mayor a race altered by a recurrence of Weiner's sexting scandals.
"The Bye Bye Man" • Three college friends accidentally unleash the title character (played by "Hellboy's" Doug Jones), a supernatural being who's behind some of mankind's most unspeakable deeds.
"Me Before You" • Director Thea Sharrock and screenwriter Jojo Moyes adapt Moyes' best-selling romantic novel about a small-town girl ("Game of Thrones'" Emilia Clarke) caring for, and falling for, a recently paralyzed man (Sam Claflin).
"Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" • The Lonely Island, the guys behind many "Saturday Night Live" music shorts, make their first full-length movie: a mock-documentary about an egomaniacal pop singer (Andy Samberg). Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone co-directed and wrote the script with Samberg.
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" • Those pizza-lovin' reptiles return to face a new threat to New York. Megan Fox and Will Arnett are also back, joined by Stephen Amell ("Arrow") as new good guy Casey Jones.
"Now You See Me 2" • "To do a magic trick, which is very impressive in person, is comparatively boring on camera," Jesse Eisenberg acknowledged in a red-carpet interview at CinemaCon. The trick, in "Now You See Me 2," is that "this movie so cleverly uses magic as a backdrop to a thrilling movie experience." Eisenberg, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson return as members of The Four Horsemen, illusionists who have been lying low since the heist they pulled off in the first movie. Now they, along with a new recruit, Lula (Lizzy Caplan), are pressed back into doing another robbery by a devious tech billionaire (played by Daniel Radcliffe). Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine also return, but there's another important new addition: director Jon M. Chu ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "Jem & the Holograms"). Chu said he learned a lot from the real magicians, including David Copperfield, who consulted on the film. "Magicians are the ultimate storytellers," Chu said. "They're guiding where we want to watch, and they know when the reveal comes."
"Warcraft" • Making a movie based on a fiendishly popular video game, like "World of Warcraft," is a perilous task, and director Duncan Jones knows it. "There are a lot of people invested in this world, and I'm one of them," Jones said at CinemaCon. Jones ("Source Code," "Moon") put in 3 ½ years of work to make "Warcraft," a live-action/animated hybrid set in Azeroth, where humans face an impending invasion of orc warriors fleeing their dying home and where heroes from both sides find themselves joining forces to save both species. Will the movie succeed? With more than 100 million players' accounts opened since the game launched in 2004, it seems possible.
"The Conjuring 2" • Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) investigate Britain's version to "The Amityville Horror," in director James Wan's follow-up to his 2013 thriller.
"De Palma" • Filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow get their movie geek on with this documentary about director Brian De Palma, the man behind "Carrie," "Dressed to Kill," "The Untouchables" and many other films.
"Maggie's Plan" • Rebecca Miller ("Personal Velocity") wrote and directed this comedy, starring Greta Gerwig as a woman who plans to have a baby on her own until she falls for a married man (Ethan Hawke) with a volatile wife (Julianne Moore).
"Finding Dory" • Studios usually make sequels for the money, but director Andrew Stanton had a quite different reason for pursuing "Finding Dory," the follow-up to Pixar's 2003 undersea adventure "Finding Nemo." "I started to worry about Dory," Stanton said at CinemaCon. "That just really bothered me. I couldn't sleep." So he wrote a screenplay in which the forgetful blue tang Dory (voiced again by Ellen DeGeneres) has a flash of memory about her parents (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), so soon she and her clownfish friend Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) swim to a California marine research park to find them. New characters abound, including an escape-minded octopus (voiced by Ed O'Neill) and a pair of sharp sea lions (voiced by Idris Elba and Dominic West). But it's fondness for those familiar fish friends, especially Dory, that will make viewers want to dive into their world again.
"Central Intelligence" • Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart team up in this action comedy, with Johnson as a live-wire spy and Hart as a mild-mannered accountant who knew the spy as a dorky high-schooler.
"Dark Horse" • A group of working-class friends raise a racehorse, taking on the elite in "the sport of kings," in this heartwarming documentary.
"Genius" • The tempestuous working relationship between author Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) and his book editor, Max Perkins (Colin Firth), plays out in this historical drama, the movie directing debut of stage director Michael Grandage. Guy Pearce (as F. Scott Fitzgerald) and Dominic West (as Ernest Hemingway) co-star.
"Free State of Jones" • Gary Ross, who directed the first "Hunger Games" movie, tackles a real-life rebellion in the historical drama "Free State of Jones." It's the true story of Mississippi farmer Newt Knight, an unwilling Southern militiaman who led an armed revolt against the Confederate army during the Civil War. "I didn't know there was this kind of dissent within the Confederacy," Ross said at CinemaCon, noting that he did two years of research before starting on his script. Matthew McConaughey, who stars as Knight, found all the material he needed in Ross' script to craft his performance. "There was a great simplicity to the man," McConaughey said at CinemaCon. "He had to right a wrong."
"Independence Day: Resurgence" • If the planet is going to be destroyed, it's time to call up Roland Emmerich. The director of the 1996 action drama "Independence Day" is back for the sequel, "Independence Day: Resurgence," set 20 years later as a new generation of fighters (including Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher) must do battle with more marauding space aliens. Some of the original crew is back: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner. (Will Smith is notably absent from this list.) Shooting the movie, Emmerich said at CinemaCon, "felt like a class reunion with some new kids thrown in." One of the "new kids" is Sela Ward, playing America's first female president. Said Ward, "I felt like I was such a bad-ass president, I might throw my hat into the ring."
"The Shallows" • Blake Lively stars in this thriller as a surfer who survives a shark attack but finds herself on an inlet, with 100 yards of water and a whole lot of sharks between her and safety.
June, to be determined
"Author: The JT Leroy Story" • Truth is stranger than fiction in this documentary, which tells how a 30-something woman wrote under the guise of an abused teen boy and set off the greatest hoax in modern literary history.
"Dheepan" • A former Tamil freedom fighter (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) forms a makeshift family of refugees and flees to Paris for a new life in director-writer Jacques Audiard's Palme D'Or-winning crime drama.
"Tickled" • What starts as a funny story about "competitive endurance tickling" turns into an odyssey of homophobia, harassment and legal challenges for New Zealand journalist David Farrier and co-director Dylan Reeve in this riveting documentary.
"Wiener-Dog" • Director-writer Todd Solondz tells several stories connected by one small dog in this drama including one whose main character (Greta Gerwig) is the grown-up version of the middle-school protagonist of his 1996 Sundance winner "Welcome to the Dollhouse."
"The BFG" • The last time actor Mark Rylance and director Steven Spielberg worked together, in "Bridge of Spies," it led to a supporting-actor Oscar for Rylance. They are setting their sights bigger giant-sized, even in "The BFG." Rylance plays the title character of Roald Dahl's children's story, a big friendly giant who whisks a lonely girl (Ruby Barnhill) away from her orphanage for a grand adventure. Spielberg uses performance-capture to transfer Rylance's acting to the computer-generated character, and darned if the giant doesn't look like the English actor. The movie also reunited Spielberg with screenwriter Melissa Mathison ("E.T."), who died last November.
"The Legend of Tarzan" • Alexander Skarsgård ("True Blood") plays the "king of the apes," Margot Robbie ("The Wolf of Wall Street") plays Jane, and Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson co-star in this umpteenth retelling of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic story.
"Our Kind of Traitor" • A chance encounter with a Russian oligarch (Stellan Skarsgård) puts an English couple (Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris) between the Russian mafia and British intelligence in this adaptation of a John LeCarré novel.
"The Purge: Election Year" • The third installment of the dystopian franchise, with the last movie's hero Barnes (Frank Grillo) trying to protect a presidential candidate (Elizabeth Mitchell) who wants to end the annual night of lawlessness but finding that the powers-that-be want the Purge to continue, at all costs.
"Swiss Army Man" • This absurdist comedy-drama by the directing team known as Daniels was the love-it-or-hate-it movie at this year's Sundance Film Festival, as it depicted a stranded man (Paul Dano) making use of a farting corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) as survival tool and best friend.
"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" • Dreamy Zac Efron and nerdy Andy DeVine as brothers? "When I look at Zac, it's like looking in a mirror, only he's more muscular and with better hair," DeVine (from the "Pitch Perfect" movies) joked at CinemaCon. But if you can buy Efron and DeVine as brothers, you might be drunk enough to be the target audience for the mega-raunchy "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates." DeVine is Mike and Efron is Dave, brothers with a history of ruining family get-togethers with their hard-partying antics. When their sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) is planning a wedding in Hawaii, the family gives the brothers an ultimatum: Find wedding dates who will keep the guys in check. Instead, they find gold-diggers Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) trying to scam a free trip to Hawaii. Directed by Jake Szymanski, a veteran of Funny Or Die website, this one promises to be offensive or funny or both.
"Captain Fantastic" • After living off the grid for years, a father (Viggo Mortensen) must reintroduce his kids to "civilization" in writer-director Matt Ross' poignant drama.
"The Secret Life of Pets" • Illumination Entertainment, the animation house that gave us "Minions," asks the question: "What do pets do when their humans aren't around?" The voice cast includes comic stars Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell and Jenny Slate.
"Ghostbusters" • Like millions of fans, "Ghostbusters" is a big deal to Melissa McCarthy. "The originals loom really large for me," the comedy star said at CinemaCon. "I love when unlikely people become the heroes." Some fans of Ivan Reitman's 1984 action comedy, in which paranormal investigators save New York from ectoplasmic ghosts, were upset when director Paul Feig cast women in the lead roles of this reboot. Most people, though, recognized that those women McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are incredibly funny. This is Feig's second movie with Wiig and his fourth with McCarthy, but current "Saturday Night Live" players McKinnon and Jones might be the MVPs (if the trailers are any indicator). For Jones, it all became real when they got their costumes. "I already felt bad-ass just being asked to be a Ghostbuster," she said. "Putting on the suit just solidified it."
"Equals" • In writer-director Drake Doremus' science-fiction drama, Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play two people who fall in love in a future dystopia where emotions have been eradicated.
"The Infiltrator" • In this fact-based crime drama, Bryan Cranston plays a U.S. Customs official who uncovers a money-laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
"Ice Age: Collision Course" • This animated franchise apparently will never go extinct, as it enters its fifth installment with a cosmic event that threatens Planet Earth and our cadre of furry critters (voiced by Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and a host of other returning cast members).
"The Innocents" • French director Anne Fontaine's dark drama (called "Agnus Dei" when it premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival) is set in Poland, 1945, and centers on a French Red Cross doctor (Lou de Laâge) visiting a German camp and discovering several nuns in advanced stages of pregnancy.
"Lights Out" • Are you afraid of the dark? You might be after this horror movie, where a woman (Teresa Palmer) sees a creature when the lights are turned off.
"Star Trek Beyond" • Justin Lin (who directed chapters 4 through 6 of the "Fast & Furious" franchise) takes the helm in this third installment of the rebooted franchise but it's actor and screenwriter Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty) who may be the MVP of this hush-hush story.
"Bad Moms" • Some of Mila Kunis' most memorable movies, like "Ted" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," are raunchy ones. "There's clearly some part of me that responds to R-rated comedies," Kunis said at CinemaCon. "I just love fart jokes, I'm sorry." In "Bad Moms," she, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell play the title characters, overstressed moms who rebel against the having-it-all parenting mentality and find themselves battling the local PTA queens (played by Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith and "Bridesmaids" co-writer Annie Mumolo). All six performers are moms themselves, and they said they could relate to the mental strain being mined for comedy by "Hangover" writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (who co-directed). "Since I became a mom, my life sort of became R-rated," Mumolo said.
"Indignation" • Longtime producer James Schamus makes his feature directing debut, adapting Philip Roth's novel set in the 1950s, in which a Jewish student (Logan Lerman) struggles with sexual repression and cultural dissatisfaction at an Ohio college, circa 1951.
"Jason Bourne" • Matt Damon returns as Robert Ludlum??s superspy, with his memory intact and his desire to uncover secrets leading him into further danger. Oscar winners Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones join the fray for director Paul Greengrass.
July, to be determined
"Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" • Sweetie, darling! The fashion-forward Eddie (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) are back, left penniless on the French Riviera and plotting to make their lives in paradise permanent. Original cast members and a bevy of A-list cameos from Joan Collins to Kim Kardashian West are along for the ride.
"Gleason" • Former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason and his wife, Michel Varisco, are profiled in this touching documentary which chronicles the football star's battle with the muscle-debilitating disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease).
"Hunt for the Wilderpeople" • A rebellious kid (Julian Dennison) and his cantankerous foster uncle (Sam Neill) take off for the New Zealand bush, prompting a nationwide manhunt, in this comedy by director Taika Waititi.
"Life, Animated" • This documentary profiles Owen Suskind, a young man with autism, whose knowledge of Disney cartoons became a bridge for his parents to communicate with him. Roger Ross Williams won the Directing Award at Sundance for his work here.
"The Music of Strangers" • Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville ("20 Feet From Stardom") follows cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble as they bring together master musicians from around the world to teach, perform and collaborate.
"The Phenom" • A struggling young pitcher (Johnny Simmons) consults an unorthodox sports psychologist (Paul Giamatti), who helps the kid deal with memories of his abusive father (Ethan Hawke), in this drama.
"The Founder" • Michael Keaton stars as Ray Kroc, who turned two brothers' hamburger stand into the behemoth known as McDonald's, in this biopic directed by John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side").
"Nine Lives" • In director Barry Sonnenfeld's comedy, Kevin Spacey plays a workaholic billionaire who finds himself trapped in the body of his family's new pet cat, Mr. Fuzzypants. (No, really, that's the movie. You think I could make up something like that?)
"Suicide Squad" • Some of DC Comics' nastier villains including Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Will Smith) are teamed up to fight crime rather than cause it in writer-director David Ayer's action-packed adaptation. Expect The Joker (Jared Leto) and Batman (Ben Affleck) to pop up along the way.
"Florence Foster Jenkins" • Meryl Streep stars as history's worst opera singer in this fact-based comedy directed by Stephen Frears.
"Pete's Dragon" • David Lowery ("Ain't Them Bodies Saints") directs this live-action update of Disney's 1977 animation/live-action hybrid about a wild boy (Oakes Fegley) living in a forest in the Pacific Northwest, protected by a magical dragon. The cast includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban and Robert Redford.
"Sausage Party" • In this R-rated animated story, groceries discover the gruesome things that happen to them when they get home from the store. The voice cast includes Seth Rogen (who co-wrote it), Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek and Jonah Hill.
"Spectral" • A supernatural SWAT team takes action in this science-fiction thriller, with a cast led by Emily Mortimer and Bruce Greenwood.
"Ben-Hur" • William Wyler's 1959 biblical epic, starring Charlton Heston as a Jewish nobleman who becomes a galley slave and a champion charioteer, won 11 Academy Awards a record, since tied by "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." But it wasn't the first adaptation of Lew Wallace's novel (there was a silent version in 1925), and it isn't the last. Director Timur Bekmambetov ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") is applying all the modern tricks to the classic story, including adding special effects to the trademark chariot race that (based on the advance footage) could rival Wyler's for white-knuckle action. "For the first time in 3-D, we will tell this story to a new generation," actor Jack Huston, who plays Heston's old role, said at CinemaCon.
"Kubo and the Two Strings" • The stop-motion animation house Laika Entertainment, which made "Coraline" and "ParaNorman," tells this story set in ancient Japan, about a young musician who must survive gods and monsters to find his father's magical samurai armor. The voice cast includes Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, George Takei and Ralph Fiennes.
"The Space Between Us" • A human teen ("Hugo's" Asa Butterfield), born in space and raised on Mars, falls in love with an Earth girl ("Tomorrowland's" Britt Robertson) with whom he has been communicating so he works to get back to Earth. Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino also star.
"War Dogs" • Todd Phillips ("The Hangover" series) directs this dark comedy, a true story of defense contractors (Miles Teller and Jonah Hill) in over their heads trying to supply arms to American allies in Afghanistan.
"Don't Breathe" • In this thriller, young thieves think robbing a rich blind guy (Stephen Lang) will be an easy score until they get into his house and discover he's well-armed and knows the layout better than they do.
"Hands of Stone" • The relationship between famed boxer Roberto Duran (Édgar Ramírez) and his legendary trainer, Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro), plays out in this biographical drama.
"Mechanic: Resurrection" • Jason Statham returns in this thriller as former assassin Arthur Bishop, who is forced back into the killing game when his love (Jessica Alba) is kidnapped.
August, to be determined
"Café Society" • Woody Allen's latest comedy is a romance in the 1930s, with a guy (Jesse Eisenberg) trying to break into the film industry when he falls for a girl (Kristen Stewart).
"Equity" • A hard-charging corporate banker (Anna Gunn) tries to land the biggest deal of her life, fighting off external rivals, internal corruption and a determined federal prosecutor (Alysia Reiner, who co-produced with Sarah Megan Thomas, who also co-stars).
"Patient Zero" • After a global pandemic, one man (Matt Smith, formerly of "Doctor Who") who can speak the language of the "infected" might be able to trace the disease's origins and find a cure. Natalie Dormer ("Game of Thrones") also stars in this horror-thriller.
To be determined
"Complete Unknown" • A man (Michael Shannon) runs into an old flame (Rachel Weisz), a woman who often changes identities, in this drama by writer-director Joshua Marston ("Maria Full of Grace").
"Desierto" • A Mexican (Gael Garcia Bernal) crossing the U.S. border is caught in a desperate cat-and-mouse game with a deadly vigilante (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in this thriller by director Jonás Cuarón.
"Don't Think Twice" • Comic Mike Birbiglia writes, directs and co-stars in this comedy about members of an improv troupe coming to grips with the fact that one of their number is getting a big break. Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs are in the cast.
"The Eyes of My Mother" • Rookie filmmaker Nicolas Pesce's disturbing black-and-white drama, about a country girl steeped in violence, was a talked-about entry in Sundance's NEXT program this year.
"The Hollars" • John Krasinski ("The Office") directed and stars in this dysfunctional family comedy-drama as an artist who returns to his Midwest home town with his eight-months-pregnant girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) when his mother (Margo Martindale) is about to undergo brain surgery.
"Holy Hell" • Will Allen chronicles his life inside a Southern California cult, using footage he shot for the cult's charismatic and vain leader, in this documentary.
"Little Men" • Teen best friends (Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri) find their relationship tested by their parents' dispute over a dress shop's lease in Ira Sachs' drama.
"Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World" • Werner Herzog looks at the Internet, and how it both connects and separates us all, in this documentary.
"The Lovers and the Despot" • This documentary tells the stranger-than-fiction story of a South Korean director and his leading lady who is also his ex-wife and what happened when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il kidnapped her to lure the director over the border to make propaganda films.
"Ma Ma" • Penélope Cruz stars in this drama by fellow Spaniard Julio Medem, as an out-of-work teacher diagnosed with breast cancer.
"The Neon Demon" • In this horror thriller by director Nicolas Winding Refn ("Drive"), Elle Fanning plays an aspiring model whose beauty becomes a lure to beauty-obsessed women wanting what she has.
"Southside With You" • Writer-director Richard Tanne fictionalizes the famous first date between two young Chicago lawyers: Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) and Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers).
"Sunset Song" • A Scottish lass (Agyness Deyn) contends with her brutal father (Peter Mullan), love and the outbreak of World War I in writer-director Terence Davies' adaptation of the Lewis Grassic Gibbon novel.