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Grownups: This Movie Season Is for You!

How many of these 25 promising picks will you see this summer?

En español | Let's declare this the Summer of the Grownup Movie. There's certainly no doubt about it in our minds.

Just look at the uninspired batch of films Hollywood is hoping will be the blockbusters among the precious youth audience: A Godzilla remake plus more X-Men, Transformers and Planet of the Apes sequels. And Hercules, for crying out loud. On the other hand, we count no fewer than 25 movies aimed directly at the grownup movie audience.

Not all of them will be gems, of course. But we're counting on a pretty high batting average from this promising list.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in The Edge of Tomorrow.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in "Edge of Tomorrow." — Warner Bros. Pictures


Edge of Tomorrow

Released: June 6

Tom Cruise takes another stab at science fiction, this time as a futuristic warrior who, each time he gets killed in battle, enters a time loop that brings him back to the start of that fatal day so he won't make the same strategic mistakes twice. And you thought your job was a bummer.

Read our review of Edge of Tomorrow

Andre Benjamin stars in Jimi: All is By My Side.

Andre Benjamin (wearing red pants) stars in "Jimi: All Is by My Side." — Darko Entertainment

Jimi: All Is by My Side

Released: June 13

For years, the heirs of Jimi Hendrix foiled attempts to make a film biography by refusing to grant rights to his music. Writer-director John Ridley has solved that problem by focusing on the years before Jimi became famous, when he played mostly other people's songs. Rapper Andre Benjamin of Outkast stars as the ill-fated star.

John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza and Michael Lomenda star in Jersey Boys.

John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza and Michael Lomenda sing the hits of Frankie Valli in "Jersey Boys." — Warner Bros. Pictures

Jersey Boys

Release date: June 20

Clint Eastwood isn't exactly a stranger to musicals — he sang the lead role in 1969's Paint Your Wagon and even writes some of his own movie scores — but here's his first behind-the-camera song-and-dance show. Based on the Broadway play, it's the tuneful story of how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons got their start.

Jamie Bell and Chris Evans star in Snowpiercer.

Jamie Bell and Chris Evans star in "Snowpiercer." — Radius-TWC


Release date: June 27

Total wild card here: A great cast (including Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer) stars in this sci-fi flick about a postapocalyptic ice-age world where most of the survivors live on a round-the-world train powered by a perpetual motion engine. Sounds too weird to be good, but it's from the visionary Korean writer-director Joon-ho Bong, who's unleashed two positively chilling thrillers, The Host and Mother.

Next page: Susan Sarandon, Michael Douglas star in July movies. »

Susan Sarandon and Melissa McCarthy star in Tammy.

Susan Sarandon (left) plays Melissa McCarthy's grandmother in "Tammy." — Warner Bros. Pictures



Release date: July 2

Just put Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon next to each other and you have to laugh; cast them in a road picture and how can you lose? Ben Falcone (McCarthy's hubby) wrote, directed and costars in the story of a socially inept woman (Melissa, natch) who takes an impromptu car trip with her equally profane, hard-drinking grandmother (Sarandon, not-so-natch).

Keira Knightley stars in Begin Again.

Keira Knightley stars in "Begin Again." — The Weinstein Company

Begin Again

Release date: July 4

With his breakthrough movie Once (2006), writer-director John Carney made us all want to quit our jobs and become Dublin street musicians. Now he's back with another story of musical redemption, this one set in New York. Mark Ruffalo stars as a burned-out music biz exec who just might find new purpose in life, thanks to a struggling young newcomer, played by Keira Knightley.

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton star in And So It Goes.

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton star in "And So It Goes." — Clay Enos/Clarius Entertainment

And So It Goes

Release date: July 11

Try to imagine a more classy couple than Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. Hah! You can't! That's why we're looking forward to director Rob Reiner's new comedy, in which Douglas plays a businessman who finds himself saddled with a granddaughter he never knew. He enlists his neighbor (Keaton) to help brush up on his parenting skills. We're betting sparks will fly before you can say "Tracy and Hepburn."

Gene Siskel and Roger Eberts in Life Itself.

Film critics Gene Siskel (left) and Roger Ebert (right) star in documentary "Life Itself." — Kartemquin Films

Life Itself

Release date: July 11

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert chronicled his own last days battling cancer in his inspiring book, Life Itself, and here director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) strives to capture that story in a documentary. A tall order, but through clips and interviews with such filmmaker friends as Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, James does his best to honor the ultimate film lover.

Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson star in Land Ho!

Earl Lynn Nelson (left) and Paul Eenhoorn star in "Land Ho!" — Sony Pictures Classics

Land Ho!

Release date: July 11

A most unusual buddy picture follows two American ex-brothers-in-law (Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson) as they embark on a trip through Iceland. Against steaming lakes and thundering waterfalls, the two battle each other and their own personal demons, always with a sense of befuddled good humor.

Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette and Pierce Brosnan star in A Long Way Down.

(Signing in from left) Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette and Pierce Brosnan reconsider "A Long Way Down." — Lionsgate UK

A Long Way Down

Release date: July 11

Four suicidal strangers happen to meet on the same rooftop on New Year's Eve, and decide to see if they can make it until Valentine's Day before doing themselves in. This is a feel-good comedy? If anyone can pull it off, stars Toni Collette and Pierce Brosnan and writer Nick Hornby (About A Boy, High Fidelity) can.

Colin Firth and Emma Stone star in Magic in the Moonlight.

Colin Firth and Emma Stone star in "Magic in the Moonlight." — Sony Pictures Classics

Magic in the Moonlight

Release date: July 25

Lately, Woody Allen has developed into one of our favorite tour guides. He's taken us to Paris, Rome, London, Barcelona and now the South of France, where a Jazz-Age Englishman (Colin Firth) arrives to unmask a supposedly crooked psychic. The typical large Allen cast includes Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden and Jacki Weaver.


Next page: Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep highlight August movies. »

Chadwick Boseman stars as James Brown in Get On Up.

Chadwick Boseman stars as James Brown in "Get On Up." — Universal Pictures


Get On Up

Release date: Aug. 1

Admittedly, director Tate Taylor, whose prettified view of Southern racism in The Help drew some criticism, is an odd choice to direct this bio of the grittiest of soul men, James Brown. Chadwick Boseman, who evoked the heart and soul of Jackie Robinson in 42, stars in the title role, so there's reason to think this will work. Viola Davis is Brown's mom and Dan Aykroyd is his manager, Ben Bart.

Manish Dayal and Helen Mirren star in The Hundred Foot Journey.

Manish Dayal and Helen Mirren star in "The Hundred Foot Journey." — Dreamworks

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Release date: Aug. 8

Helen Mirren is the owner of a posh French restaurant who, when she hears an Indian eatery is opening a few steps away, loudly declares, "There goes the neighborhood!" It may sound dangerously twee, but fear not: Director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Chocolat) can be expected to add some spice to the sauce.

Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites star in The Giver.

Jeff Bridges (left) and Brenton Thwaites star in "The Giver." — The Weinstein Company

The Giver

Release date: Aug. 15

Based on the novel that has been a staple on middle school reading lists for 20 years, this dystopian adventure stars Jeff Bridges as the only person allowed to have memories of what life was like before society found a way to drug everyone into a state of mellowed-out torpor. Brenton Thwaites is the kid who balks when he's appointed to succeed Bridges as "The Giver"; Meryl Streep is the overlord who wants everyone to get along, even if it means chemically lobotomizing them.

The cast of The Expendables 3.

The cast of "The Expendables 3" includes some veterans as well as new faces. — Lionsgate

The Expendables 3

Release date: Aug. 15

If it's summer, it's time for the latest installment of the series that convinced Hollywood that stars age 50-plus could still kick butt with the best of them. Franchise regulars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li are around; the newcomers include Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes.

Mickey Rourke stars in Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Mickey Rourke stars in Frank Miller's "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." — The Weinstein Company

Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Release date: Aug. 22

Those who loved (if that's the word) 2005's Sin City Robert Rodriguez's ultraviolent cinematic comic book from hell — are rejoicing that the long-awaited sequel stars Mickey Rourke as the monstrous antihero Marv. Never mind Marv was barbecued in the state prison's electric chair (two massive and grotesque jolts, if you'll recall). We don't know how writer Frank Miller resurrects Marv, but Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Dennis Haysbert and Stacy Keach are along for the ride, as is Lady Gaga.

Alfred Molina and John Lithgow star in Love is Strange.

Alfred Molina (left) and John Lithgow (right) star in "Love Is Strange." — Everett Collection

Love Is Strange

Release date: Aug. 22

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are two of our most exquisitely talented actors, capable of infusing nearly dialogue-less scenes with infinite meaning. As a long-devoted gay couple who finally get to marry in New York — only to find circumstances forcing them to move apart — the stars get plenty of chances to create scenes of poignant intimacy.

Jennifer Aniston stars in Life of Crime.

Jennifer Aniston stars in "Life of Crime." — Roadside Attractions

Life of Crime

Release date: Aug. 29

Two old prison mates (Yasiin Bey, who's better known as Mos Def, and John Hawkes) kidnap the trophy wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a wealthy businessman (Tim Robbins). It should be an easy score; what could go wrong? Hint: Because Life of Crime is based on the book written by Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty, Jackie Brown), plenty.


Next page:
Don't miss these June releases already in theaters »

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sarah Gadon star in Amma Asante's Belle.

From left: Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sarah Gadon star in Amma Asante's "Belle." — Fox Searchlight



Released: May 9                           

Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson costar in the true story of an aristocratic 18th-century British couple raising their mixed-race grandniece (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). It's a historically significant tale, because Wilkinson's character, Lord Mansfield, happened to be a high court judge who later played a big role in abolishing slavery in the British Empire.

Read our review of Belle and watch the trailer.

Jon Favreau and John Leguziamo star in Chef.

Jon Favreau (left) and John Leguziamo star in 'Chef.' — Open Road Films


Released: May 9

Writer-director-star Jon Favreau (Iron Man) enlists an all-star cast to help tell the story of a talented chef (Favreau) who chucks the restaurant biz to open a food truck. Cast includes: Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt and Robert Downey Jr.

Read our review of Chef and watch the trailer.

Jon Hamm stars in Million Dollar Arm.

Jon Hamm stars in "Million Dollar Arm." — Walt Disney Pictures

Million Dollar Arm

Released: May 16

Desperate to find a pool of untapped talent for Major League Baseball, an agent (Mad Men star Jon Hamm) heads to India to enlist cricket players. With Alan Arkin and Bill Paxton.

Read our review of Million Dollar Arm and watch the trailer.

Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan star in Love Punch.

Emma Thompson (in pink) and Pierce Brosnan (dark jacket) in "Love Punch." — Pictorial Press Ltd./Alamy

The Love Punch

Released: May 23

The mere prospect of spending a couple of hours with Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan, with those lilting voices and captivating looks, will sell us a ticket for this rom-com. They star as divorced spouses who reteam to recover their stolen retirement money.

Read our review of The Love Punch

Don Johnson, Sam Shepard and Michael C. Hall star in Cold in July.

From left: Sam Shepard, Michael C. Hall and Don Johnson star in "Cold in July." — IFC Films

Cold in July

Released: May 23

We don't get to see nearly enough of Sam Shepard and Don Johnson anymore, and here they both are in the story of two old Army buddies who find themselves entangled after Shepard's character's son is accidentally shot to death. Based on a cult novel by Joe R. Lansdale, it's directed by Jim Mickle, whose all-in-the-family cannibal flick We Are What We Are was one of last year's most pleasant (if creepy) surprises.

Read our review of Cold in July and watch the trailer.

Robin Williams stars in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.

Robin Williams (center) stars in "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn." — Lionsgate

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Released: May 23

You'd be angry, too, if your doctor callously barked that you had just 90 minutes to live before a brain aneurysm was set to explode in your skull. Henry Altmann (Robin Williams), already a mean-spirited guy, dashes off to apologize to as many people as possible in the next hour and a half. Those friends and family members include an amazing cast, including Peter Dinklage, James Earl Jones and Melissa Leo. Mila Kunis is the doctor, who dashes after Henry to make her own amends.

Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche star in Words and Pictures.

Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen star in 'Words and Pictures.' — Roadside Attractions

Words and Pictures

Released: May 23

Clive Owen is an eccentric English teacher at an upscale prep school. Juliette Binoche is the new, reserved art instructor. They hit it off, of course, but then comes a testy debate about which is more powerful: descriptive words or evocative images? Eventually, their argument engulfs the entire school.

Read our review of Words and Pictures and watch the trailer.


Bill Newcott is a writer, editor and movie critic for AARP Media.

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