Summer movie screen heats up with everything from super heroes to mad scientists

In a jam-packed blockbuster season, evil lurks and danger abounds. And I’m not just talking about the cutthroat world of singing competitions (“Pitch Perfect 2”)! Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, the Fantastic Four and Ant-Man are coming to the big screen to save the day.

The tent-pole thrill rides include big names, mega-budgets and cutting-edge technology. Ready-to-breakout Tom Hardy is the new Mad Max; superstar George Clooney is a disillusioned scientist in “Tomorrowland,” shown above; Chris Pratt hopes to save us from rampaging dinosaurs; Dwayne Johnson will attempt to keep us from harm in “San Andreas” and Melissa McCarthy thwarts bad guys in “Spy.”

Sequels, remakes and family-friendly fare will vie for our attention at the multi-plex while the kings of comedy hope to make us laugh. Zach Galifianakis gets fooled again in “Masterminds,” the Griswolds are ready for another “Vacation,” there are more “Minions,” Amy Schumer makes her debut in “Trainwreck” and Kristen Wiig has three movies opening.

For something different, there is Meryl Streep as a hard rock guitarist, Pixar brings to life the little voices inside our heads, a documentary on “Saturday Night Live,” and a reboot of a classic literature romance “Far from the Madding Crowd.”

Oh, and Channing Tatum will show off his sculpted physique in “Magic Mike XXL.”

Get ready for a season bursting with action, adventure, heartthrobs, mad scientists, funny people and explosions.

Release dates are subject to change.


“Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Who: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle and James Spader; directed by Joss Whedon.

What: A peacekeeping program goes awry and our wisecracking fighting machines must battle Ultron, who is intent on global destruction.

When: Opened Friday.


Who: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, and John Slattery.

What: Con man Scott Lang discovers a suit that shrinks him down in size. He’s entrusted with pulling off a heist that will save the world.

When: July 17

“The Fantastic Four”

Who: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Tim Blake Nelson.

What: The longest running team of superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe comes to the big screen. Four scientists exhibit physical alterations, and use their super powers for good, not evil.

When: Aug. 7


“Mad Max: Fury Road”

Who: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz; directed by George Miller.

What: In the post-apocalyptic world, people fight to the death just for necessities. Across a perilous desert landscape, the strong, silent Max teams up with Furiosa, a woman of action, to try and survive.

When: May 15


Who: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer, and Kathryn Hahn; directed by Brad Bird.

What: A former boy-genius inventor teams up with an inquisitive young teen so they can unearth a secret somewhere in time in this mystery-adventure. “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof wrote the screenplay.

When: May 22

“San Andreas”

Who: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddaria, Carl Gugino, Paul Giamatti, Archie Panjabi, and Kylie Minogue.

What: After a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state to save his estranged daughter.

When: May 29

“Jurassic World”

Who: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, and BD Wong. Steven Spielberg is executive producer.

What: Ten years after folks arrived on the Isla Nublar, a dinosaur theme park now attracts visitors. Due to declining numbers, the corporate office mandates a new attraction. That’s when things go horribly awry.

When: June 12


“Magic Mike XXL”

Who: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Amber Heard, Elizabeth Banks, Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Adam Rodriguez.

What: The continuing saga of a male stripper.

When: July 1

“Ted 2”

Who: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Jessica Barth, Morgan Freeman and Patrick Warburton; written and directed by Seth MacFarlane.

What: Thunder Buddies for life, John Bennett’s fake furry talking friend wants to have a baby with his wife Tami-Lynn. The courts must get involved in granting a decision.

When: June 26

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”

Who: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg; written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

What: Ethan and team face their most impossible mission yet, taking on the Syndicate, who want to annihilate the IMF.

When: July 31

“Terminator: Genisys”

Who: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, and Emilia Clarke..

What: In a new timeline, Kyle Reese hooks up with John Connors’ mom and an aging terminator to try and stop Judgment Day.

When: July 1



Who: (voices) Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, and Chris Rinaud.

What: Set in 1968, 42 years before Gru, the Minions travel to Villain-Con, and meet Scarlett Overkill. In the second film since “Despicable Me,” the Minions continue to serve despicable masters.

When: July 10


Who: Kevin James, Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Sean Bean, Michelle Monaghan and Brian Cox; directed by Chris Columbus.

What: Intergalactic aliens get their signals crossed, and send arcade video game icons to destroy earthlings. Rut-ro.

When: July 10

“Inside Out”

Who: (voices) Diane Lane, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Mindy Kauling, Bill Hader, Richard Kind, Phyllis Newman, Lewis Black, Laraine Newman, and Paula Poundstone.

What: The emotions inside Riley’s head (control center) conflict while she’s trying to adapt to a new home and school in San Francisco, in the latest creative offering from Pixar. Directed by Pete Docter (“Up”) and Ronaldo Del Carmen.

When: June 19



Who: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams.

What: They’re here – again. Master of macabre Sam Raimi produced this remake of the 1982 ghost story set in the suburbs. When angry spirits invade a home, a couple calls in a paranormal expert to help rescue their daughter.

When: May 22

“The Connection”

Who: Oscar winner Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”); directed by Cedric Jimenez.

What: In this foreign-language film, a French police officer battles the Marseilles Mafia drug ring in the 1970s – also known as The French Connection.

When: TBD

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Who: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant, Alicia Vikander and Jared Harris; directed by Guy Ritchie.

What: Based on the popular 1960s television show during the Cold War era, a CIA agent and KGB operative team up for a joint mission attempting to stop a nefarious criminal organization from nuclear proliferation.

When: Aug. 14


Who: Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon, Billy Bob Thornton, Debi Mazar, Gary Busey, and Haley Joel Osment, with a number of actors appearing as themselves – Liam Neeson, Jessica Alba and Mark Wahlberg, among them.

What: The HBO comedy series skewering the inner workings of show business comes back as a movie. Star Vincent Chase surrounds himself with his homeboys. Ari Gold, his agent, is now a studio head.

When: TBD



Who: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, and Danny McBride; written and directed by Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”).

What: A military contractor returns to Hawaii, and falls for an Air Force pilot. An old girlfriend and her new life also factor in the second-chance-at-love story.

When: TBD

“Sleeping with Other People”

Who: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne, Katherine Waterston, Adam Brody and Amanda Peet.

What: Can platonic friends with a lot of baggage find happiness together?

When: Aug. 21


Who: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine, and Chris Messina; directed by David Gordon Green.

What: A tormented solitary man is at crossroads – so does he stay mired in the past or embrace the present, which might include a love story.

When: TBD


“Good Kill”

Who: Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Kravitz, January Jones and Jake Abel.

What: A drone pilot begins to question the human cost of advanced war technology.

When: May 22


Who: Ben Kingsley, Ryan Reynolds.

What: A wealthy man dying of cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure, transferring his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. But all is not what it seems, and things get crazy.

When: July 10


Who: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker; directed by Anton Fuqua (“Training Day”).

What: A boxer’s personal life unravels after a tragedy, and he fights to retain custody of his young daughter, against daunting odds.

When: July 24


Who: Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman.

What: The CIA implants the skills of a dead agent into an unpredictable convict on death row.

When: Aug. 21

“Hitman: Agent 47”

Who: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, and Hannah Ware.

What: A genetically engineered assassin and his conflicts.

When: Aug. 28


“Pitch Perfect 2”

Who: Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Pentatonix; directed by Elizabeth Banks.

What: The Barden Bellas are back, but the all-female college singing group needs to regain their reputation and enters a world singing competition. Will the movie’s soundtrack deliver another hit like “Cups”?

When: May 15

“Love and Mercy”

Who: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti.

What: The life of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, from innovative pop sounds and hailed as a genius to nervous breakdown and controversial psychiatric treatment.

When: TBD

“Ricki and The Flash”

Who: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, and Rick Springfield; directed by Jonathan Demme.

What: Diablo Cody wrote this comedy-drama about a hard-rock guitarist (Streep) who has family issues because of her commitment to rock ‘n roll. She comes home to straighten things out.

When: Aug. 7

“Straight Outta Compton”

Who: Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins and O’Shea Jackson Jr.; directed by F. Gary Gray.

What: Ice Cube and Dr. Dre teamed up to produce a biopic about the gangsta rap group’s N.W.A. history.

When: Aug. 14


“Far from the Madding Crowd”

Who: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, and Tom Sturridge.

What: Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel is again adapted into a costume drama, with a young beauty pursued by three men – a shepherd, soldier and neighbor.

When: May 8

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”

Who: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, and Connie Britton.

What: Set in high school, Jesse Andrews adapted his book about a teenage filmmaker who becomes friends with a classmate who has cancer.

When: June 26

“Paper Towns”

Who: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne

What: Adapted from the bestselling novel by John Green (“The Fault in Our Stars”), a friendship develops between two unlikely teens. She disappears, leaving cryptic clues for him. An epic road trip ensues.

When: July 24

“The End of the Tour”

Who: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, and Ron Livingston.

What: A magazine reporter recalls his conversations with the late great author David Foster Wallace (“Infinite Jest”) during a promotional book tour.

When: TBD


“Hot Pursuit”

Who: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara.

What: A cop protecting a drug boss widow races across Texas chased by bad guys.

When: May 8

“Welcome to Me”

Who: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Tim Robbins and Linda Cardellini.

What: Based on a real story, a woman wins the Mega-Millions Lottery, goes off her psychiatric meds and buys a talk show.

When: TBD


Who: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Jude Law and Allison Janney; directed by Paul Feig.

What: A meek CIA analyst volunteers for a dangerous assignment, and winds up saving the world.

When: June 5


Who: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, John Cena and Randall Park; directed by Judd Apatow.

What: A career woman afraid of commitment just might have found a good guy.

When: July 17



Who: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Charlie Day, Nick Kroll; directed by John Francis Daly.

What: The Griswolds are back! Rusty is married with children, and decides to trek to Walley World with his family. Along the way he stops at his sister Audrey’s house and his parents.

When: July 31


Who: Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, and Jason Sudeikis.

What: A night guard takes $17 million in the biggest bank heist in history. It gets complicated.

When: Aug. 7

“The Overnight”

Who: Jason Schwartzman, Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling.

What: A couple moves to L.A. and meets another family at a playground. A play-date turns very interesting.

When: TBD