Posted: Jun 09, 2014 7:00 AM
Going to the movies is a great way to enjoy family time, girl time and me time. Grab your calendar and pencil in these opening dates right now.
Photo credit: Anton Prado PHOTOGRAPHY/ iStock/360/ Getty Images

The 2014 summer movie season kicked off last month with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but there is far more than superhero adventures to entertain the masses. Take your pick of comedies and romances, sci-fi blockbusters and special indie flicks.

Fun family flicks

^ Maleficent

This prequel to Sleeping Beauty tells the story of how beautiful, peace-loving Maleficent became an evil villain with a heart of stone. A ruthless betrayal disrupts the life of the young woman, and the result — as everyone knows — is a terrible curse on the infant Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty).

  • Release date: May 30, 2014
  • Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Brenton Thwaites, Sharlto Copley, Juno Temple
  • Rated PG

^How to Train Your Dragon 2

Based on the book by Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the second in a series of exciting tales about vikings and dragons in the mythical land of Berk. Follow Hiccup and his dragon Toothless as they discover a hidden ice cave, witness the powers of the mysterious Dragon Rider and find themselves in an epic battle.

  • Release date: June 13, 2014
  • Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill
  • Rated PG

^What If

Also known as The F Word, What If features Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe as a med school dropout who falls in love with an adorable gal who, much to his dismay, has a boyfriend.

  • Release date: Aug. 1, 2014
  • Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver
  • Rated PG-13

^Guardians of the Galaxy

Take one silly misfit from every superhero story, and you've got the Guardians. Families will love the goofy humor.

  • Release date: Aug. 1, 2014
  • Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
  • Rated PG-13

Sci-fi adventures

^Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

It's been eight years since the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and a few lucky survivors of a fatal virus are waging war against the terrifying ape army. Good to know: A third installment is planned for summer 2016.

  • Release date: July 11, 2014
  • Starring: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Jason Clarke
  • Not yet rated

^Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformer experts will be thrilled to see Dinobots and Galvatron on the big screen in this fourth installment of the series. Let younger children play with Transformer toys, but save the movie for your older kids.

  • Release date: June 27, 2014
  • Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor
  • Rated PG-13

^Jupiter Ascending

What's not to love about a sci-fi action classic that features Mila Kunis as the owner of the planet? Oh, the hunky Channing Tatum also stars in this movie, brought to you by The Matrix directors Andy and Lana Wachowski.

  • Release date: July 18, 2014
  • Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne
  • Not yet rated


When sexy Scarlett Johansson is poisoned by villains, she turns into a super warrior who kicks major bad-guy butt.

  • Release date: Aug. 8, 2014
  • Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Analeigh Tipton
  • Not yet rated

Comedic capers

^Let's Be Cops

Kick back and enjoy some laughs as two friends, dressed up like cops for a costume party, give a whole new meaning to "protect and serve."

  • Release date: Aug. 13, 2014
  • Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Andy Garcia, Nina Dobrev
  • Rated R


Jon Favreau directs and stars in this comedy about a fired chef who starts up a food truck to reinvigorate his creative juices. The fab bunch of A-listers is sure to deliver serious laughs.

  • Release date: May 9, 2014
  • Starring: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt
  • Rated R

True stories

^Jersey Boys

Director Clint Eastwood brings us the movie version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical about the formation, success and breakup of The Four Seasons.

  • Release date: June 20, 2014
  • Starring: Christopher Walken, Freya Tingley, Jeremy Luke
  • Rated R

^Deliver Us from Evil

Goose bump alert: Ralph Sarchie is a New York cop who enlists the help of a not-so-traditional priest to battle the demons recorded in Sarchie's real-life memoirs. Freaky.

  • Release date: July 2, 2014
  • Starring: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale
  • Not yet rated

^Life Itself

Where better to watch a documentary about film critic Roger Ebert than on the big screen? Martin Scorsese is the executive producer of the film, which is sure to earn "two thumbs up."

  • Release date: July 4, 2014
  • Featuring: Martin Scorsese and the late Roger Ebert
  • Not rated

^Get On Up

Chadwick Boseman portrays James Brown's transformation from extremely impoverished youngster to the "Godfather of Soul." The soundtrack is bound to get us on up.

  • Release date: Aug. 1, 2014
  • Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis
  • Not yet rated

Appealing action adventures

^22 Jump Street

Johnny Depp died in 21 Jump Street, but not to worry: Luscious Channing Tatum and hilarious Jonah Hill are happy to pick up where he left off. The undercover cops join forces to fight crime on college campuses. Bonus: Richard Grieco reprises his role as Officer Dennis Booker.

  • Release date: June 13, 2014
  • Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Richard Grieco
  • Rated R


It took 12 years to make this coming-of-age drama so that actor Ellar Coltrane could play every age from 5 to 18. Sundance praised this unique film highly, and we can hardly wait to see it for ourselves.

  • Release date: July 11, 2014
  • Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater
  • Rated R

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