Movie Preview: Our Picks for the Summer’s Best Films


“The Giver”

You’ll have to wait until the end of the summer to see your favorite — or least favorite — childhood sci-fi novel make it to the screen, but on August 15, a film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s The Giver will be released in theaters. Featuring a cast we know well such as Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), (her highness) Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), newcomer Brenton Thwaites and Katie Holmes (“Batman Begins”), this is sure to do some kind of justice to the sacred 1993 novel. Like the book, the film will set up the story in the context of a world without conflict or illness. Jonas (Thwaites), the 16-year-old selected by the society to act as Receiver of Memories will work to understand where he comes from and why perfection might not be so perfect while meeting some vivid characters along the way. Everyone has been saying for years that this book would make a great movie, and the time has finally come.

— By Ellie Kahn

“The Fault In Our Stars”

Speaking of sobbing and unbridled feelings, “The Fault In Our Stars” will undoubtedly be this summer’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” We’ll all laugh, cry and grow up a bit. This coming-of-age tale adapts a wildly popular young adult novel of the same name by John Green. In the second movie by young director Josh Boone, you can expect Green’s sacred material to come to life with a youthful vibrancy and candidness bursting at every seam. The story follows 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, played by the lovely Shailene Woodley (“Divergent”), who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

At a cancer patients’ support group, she catches the eye of teenage Augustus Walters, a cancer survivor played by Ansel Elgort (also of “Divergent”). Their experiences with cancer and a mutual love of literature (of words and of life) kindle a touchingly realistic friendship that blooms into love.

This film will both devastate and heal us.

 – By Malika Gumpangkum

“22 Jump Street”

Sound familiar? Probably. “22 Jump Street” is the upcoming sequel to the 2012 action comedy flick “21 Jump Street,” produced by and starring dynamic duo Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Channing Tatum (“She’s the Man”) — and a plethora of psychedelic drugs.

“22,” which is directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”), is scheduled to be released June 13, just in time for the East Coast heat.

This time, Officer Schmidt (Hill) and his buddy Officer Jenko (Tatum) will dedicate their law-enforcing talents, for lack of a better word, to crack an alleged crime ring within a college fraternity, but soon realize that college might be the place for them. Bam. Looks like our demographic is being targeted.

See this with your friends and then grab a few beers, but maybe keep your expectations low.

— By Ellie Kahn

“X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Stop what you’re doing. YouTube the trailer for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” As you watch, I promise I won’t judge you for sobbing from the exquisite pain of all the feelings ripping your heart apart as if by a pair of adamantium claws. I mean … I did. Directed by Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects”), “X-Men: Days of Future Past” will follow up on the highly-acclaimed “X-Men: First Class.”

The plot is derived from the 1981 Uncanny X-Men comic book storyline of the same name written by Marvel legend Chris Claremont.

If the sheer epic-ness of the multiverse and the time-traveling mutants of the psychedelic age fighting for the survival of a gifted species doesn’t grab you, maybe a near perfect assembly of star-studded and talented actors will. Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page and Tyrion Lannister — er, Peter Dinklage — all make up this sublimely perfect cast.

 – By Malika Gumpangkum


There are already months of excitement pent up for “Godzilla,” the franchise’s newest project, which will be released in theaters in 2D and 3D May 16. The film, under direction of British filmmaker Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) will retell the classic story of Godzilla, the loosely-dinosaur resembling monster that’s far beyond human control, but this time with a power cast. Actors like Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Juliette Binoche (“Chocolat”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Oldboy”) and David Strathairn (“Lincoln”) have signed on to bring the film back to its former glory, and to tell a new tale to a new generation: the last “Godzilla” derivative was released a decade ago.

Edwards’ adaptation promises to honor the premise of the infamous monster saving humanity from vicious non-human threat, and with as big a budget as it was awarded, this remake should be one of the most thrilling of the summer.

— By Ellie Kahn