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Happy Christmas (June 26)
Girl-crush Anna Kendrick stars as a lost twenty-something who moves in with her older brother and his family...before getting involved with the local pot dealer. Lena Dunham plays her best friend, and the whole thing promises to be as funny and real as you’d expect from the director of last year’s stellar Drinking Buddies.
They Came Together (June 27)
This goofy spoof of romantic comedies comes courtesy of David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) and stars Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as will-they-or-won’t-they love-struck archetypes. As gals who are well versed in the Meg Ryan canon, we expect to be knee-slappingly delighted.
Begin Again (July 4)
Summer seems like the perfect time for a peppy drama about the power of music. From the director of Once comes this story of a singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) and a down-on-his-luck record executive (Mark Ruffalo) who come together in New York City to make an album. Bonus: You get to hear Keira sing and play guitar!
Boyhood (July 18)
This might be our most anticipated movie of the entire summer! Richard Linklater (of the Before Sunrise franchise) spent 12 years making this epic film about a young boy growing up from the ages of 6 to 18. The cast (which includes Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) got together once a year to shoot--and as a result, you get to watch the characters/actors literally grow up on screen.
Wish I Was Here (July 18)
Calling all Garden State fans: If you like Zach Braff, you won’t want to miss his Kickstarter-funded flick about an out-of-work actor struggling to keep his family afloat. The preview certainly looks redemptive, creative and, yes, a tad maudlin. But we’d expect no less from our dear, earnest Mr. Braff.
Mood Indigo (July 18)
Michel Gondry (the writer/director behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep) teams up with actress Audrey Tautou for this dreamy, surreal movie about a woman with a flower growing inside her lungs. We expect to be inexplicably entranced...and also totally disturbed.
A Most Wanted Man (July 25)
You might not 100 percent understand this convoluted mystery based on the novel by John le Carré. (German spies! CIA double agents!) But with a cast that includes Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman, we’re betting the performances will be enough to keep you riveted. (And remember, there’s no shame in Googling the plot on your way home from the movie theater.)
Magic in the Moonlight (July 25)
Well, it’s 21st-century Woody Allen--so that means this movie could be brilliant (à la Vicky Cristina Barcelona) or it could be God-awful (To Rome with Love, anyone?). Set in the South of France, Allen’s newest follows an Englishman (Colin Firth) who goes to debunk a sought-after spiritualist (Emma Stone).
The Two Faces of January (August 8)
You might know classic crime writer Patricia Highsmith for her best-selling The Talented Mr. Ripley, but her 1964 thriller The Two Faces of January (about American tourists on holiday in Athens) is just as good and twisty. This film adaptation, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac looks like a fun end-of-summer noir romp.
Frank (August 22)
Michael Fassbender’s face sure is nice to look at. But we’re afraid that’s not an option when watching this dark, quirky comedy about a slightly off rock star who wears a giant papier-mâché head at all times. We know it sounds weird, but critics are already raving. Just check out the trailer already.
Summer: It’s the time for outdoor concerts, beach excursions and, um, sitting in a dark, air-conditioned movie theater with an economy-sized box of Sour Patch Kids. (Duh.)
“But what to see?” you ask.
Well, while we’ve got nothing against all the mega blockbusters per se, we’re more excited for some of the smaller, quirkier flicks set to debut this season. Think under-the-radar movies from up-and-coming directors and promising offerings from well-known indie darlings.
Here, our ten most anticipated films of summer 2014.
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