35 Movies You Need To See This Summer

The Signal (June 13)

The Signal
We don’t know much about The Signal, and that’s part of what makes it such an interesting entry on this list. All we’ve really gotten by way of plot is this vague synopsis: “A group of college students are lured to the middle of the desert by a hacker.” We’ve seen some very odd stills from the film, and it’s classified as a sci-fi thriller, so the sky’s really the limit for where writer-director William Eubank and his co-writers David Frigerio and Carlyle Eubank could take their story.

Brenton Thwaites, who made a strong first impression in festival horror hit Oculus, stars alongside Olivia Cooke (The Quiet Ones, TV’s Bates Motel), Laurence Fishburne, Lin Shaye, Robert Longstreet and Beau Knapp.

I don’t know about you, but I’m curious enough about the sinister tagline – R U AGITATED? – to keep an eye on The Signal.

– IF

Jersey Boys (June 20)

Jersey Boys

Probably the finest of all the jukebox musicals to occupy Broadway over the last ten years, Jersey Boys already had fans clamouring for a terrific big-screen adaptation. However, two things should ensure this musical lives up to its fan expectations.

First, several members of the original Broadway cast are on tap to reprise their roles, including Tony-winner John Lloyd Young in the role of Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli. Second, this is director Clint Eastwood’s first time behind the camera since 2011’s J. Edgar. Although the gravelly-voiced icon of Western cinema may seem a strange fit for a movie musical, know this: the hit musical is just as much about its Jersey setting as the Four Seasons members it chronicles.

Few filmmakers can create an authentically realized historical America – Flags of Our Fathers, Unforgiven, Bird – as well as Eastwood. Plus, the director showed off his vocal chops (or lack thereof) in the 1969 musical Paint Your Wagon. As long as Eastwood doesn’t storm onstage for a duet or try talking to a chair, Jersey Boys should be a toe-tapping night at the movies.

– JA

Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27)

Transformers-Age-of-Extinction-Teaser-Trailer-3208391

At first, the giant robots tore up Los Angeles. Next, they blew up the pyramids. In their third outing, their eternal war with the Decepticons flattened Chicago. So, what can the Transformers franchise do for an encore? Well, for the fourth film in the franchise, director Micael Bay threw out almost all of the original cast members out to start from scratch. That means new human heroes, new robot bad guys, and the same old Bayhem. After taking a break between Transformers movies by making the more down-to-Earth Pain & Gain, the director is surely ready to unleash some of his characteristic frenzied action, not to mention all the gunfire and explosions you can stand.

In Age of Extinction, the Transformers are robota non grata with the government and are forced to go on the run from Men in Black-type agents. Mark Wahlberg plays Cade Yeager (and yes, that is his real name), an inventor and single father who gets sucked into the world of robots when he inadvertently discovers Optimus Prime in hiding. Cade, his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and her race car driving boy friend Shane (Jack Reynor) are all drawn into a new conspiracy against the Transformers. And of course, the Autobots are called upon to join the fight once more when a new group of Decepticons descend upon human civilization.

For added effect, Bay has thrown in the Dinobots, the beloved Autobots who transform into five different dinosaur robots. Glimpses of the characters have been fleeting, but the one image of Prime riding the Tyrannosaur-like Grimlock has already divided culture critics. With the idea of human-created Transformers going rogue, and the introduction of Galvatron as an all-powerful Decepticon boss, Bay looks to have set up a new trilogy of films fairly well. But what will the fans think? We all look forward to these movies, but almost instantly regret it as soon as the credits roll. Will the fourth time be the charm? I guess we’ll see.

– AD