May was a terrific month for movies: from X-Men: Day of Future Past to Godzilla, we were certainly treated to big, enjoyable, and successful tentpoles. And while June has a few possibilities, there's seemingly a vacuum of guaranteed winners - our list includes only four, and two of them are being released in the same week! In fact, June looks to be the thinnest month for film since we began to write these. And while something is sure to surprise us, the immediate outlook is pretty bleak. Our list includes mega-sized robots (again), a return of criminal justice tomfoolery, and perhaps the most anticipated animated film of the year. To be clear, our list includes only wide-release films:
Edge of Tomorrow (June 6th)
We love us some Tom Cruise. Emily Blunt as Black Widow? It almost happened. This futuristic version of Groundhog Day sees Cruise repeating the events of a failed suppression against an alien invasion of Earth. He and Blunt must train and die on the battlefield until they get it right. Estimates for the film continue to wane, which probably shouldn't be surprising considering the amount of dystopian films already in theaters and on home video. Cruise's Oblivion enjoyed our top honors for 2013, but we're not sure if this one will resonate with fans, unless Cruise and company turn up the charm and the big summer magic. For now, its slick ads and promises of a repeating time cycle look interesting enough to take a chance.
Watch the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow.
22 Jump Street (June 13th)
Speaking of surprises, 21 Jump Street took everyone by surprise in 2012. This year's comedies have been all over the place, so we hope 22 Jump Street can give Neighbors a run for its money. The team of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are back, this time going undercover at a local college. If the mayhem in 21 is repeated to any effect in 22, then we're sure to be laughing all the way to our cars, trucks, minivans, or bicycles.
Watch the trailer for 22 Jump Street.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13th)
Dragon was released in arguably one of the most important years for animated film. Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, and even WB's direct-to-video Batman/Superman: Apocalypse were all contenders for our hearts and wallets, but Dragon seems to have outlasted the others. It spawned the television series Dragons: Riders of Berk, and the sequel returns Gerard Butler and Jay Baruchel. This could be the most anticipated animated film of the year (we don't count The LEGO Movie, as a portion of it is shot live-action), and with the lack of competition in the animated field, Dragon 2 could draw huge audiences.
Watch the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 22nd)
Among the most divisive franchises in memory, Michael Bay's Transformers has always been an exercise in frustration. Featuring brilliant action sequences but forcing us to ingest human development bullshit has proven that just because you can doesn't mean you should. At least Bay hired a better acting troupe in Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Kelsey Grammer. Still, the notion that humans ought to be anything in these films but bait is beyond reasoning, and with the departure of fan favorites Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson, it feels like Bay might be giving up one hand to ingratiate the other. Still, it is cool to see a giant mechanized DinoBot kick some butt, and with Peter Cullen returning to voice Optimus Prime, we're (sort of) ready to part with our hard-earned cash to see this baby on IMAX.
Watch the trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction.
An Uneven Month Ahead
It's not like we're worried about June - there's plenty of good films still out for everyone - but the lack of consistent releases during the first true month of Summer is a bit worrisome. Previous Junes have seen the same thing, and we know you don't get to the theater as much as we, so it's OK to have time to catch up. But the lack of truly appealing titles here is something that could make theater owners nervous - most of these should do well enough in their opening week, but will they have the stamina to bring repeat audiences? We love the superfan, but are they enough to get us through June?
For now, be sure to add these to your Movies To-Do List:
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