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Summer movie preview: apes, raccoons, dragons, etc.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star as teens with cancer in “The Fault in Our Stars.” (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

June 6

“The Fault in Our Stars” is based on the best-selling young adult novel that made everyone who read it — kids and grown-ups alike — bawl. Buy stock in Kleenex before the film, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as two lovestruck teens who also happen to have cancer, hits theaters.

June 13

It’s a sequel-o-rama as two films try to match the success of their predecessors. “22 Jump Street” reunites two-time Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill and zero-time Academy Award nominee Channing Tatum as cops going undercover on a college campus. “21 Jump Street” was the surprise hit of 2012; will the boys catch the same magic and the different bad guys? For kids and those who potty-train them comes “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” It’s five years later, and Viking Hiccup (who rides Toothless, right) is facing the prospect of being chief of his clan.

June 20

Clint Eastwood is back in the director’s seat for the first time since 2011’s failfest “J. Edgar.” He helms the screen adaptation of the musical “Jersey Boys,” the falsetto-enriched story of The Four Seasons.

June 27

They’re back, and they’re probably going to blow stuff up. Michael Bay returns with “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” in which there is sure to be crashing and bashing of epic proportions.

July 2

“Tammy,”  a comedy about a woman and her grandmother on a road trip, stars Melissa McCarthy, right, and just about every other awesome woman on the planet — Susan Sarandon, left, Toni Collette and Allison Janney are all on board.

July 11

Andy Serkis returns as mayor of the uncanny valley as Caesar, the super-smart chimp, in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Tension between humans and our genetic cousins are at an all-time high, so really it’s just like any other family reunion.

July 18

2013’s “The Purge” concentrated on a family trapped in their house on the one night of the year when all crime is legal. “The Purge: Anarchy” follows a couple whose car breaks down on the fateful evening. AAA is never there when you need them! Especially when you need them with an ax. June 18 also brings “Planes: Fire and Rescue” in a fruitless attempt to wrest your children’s attention from “Frozen.”

Aug. 1

The latest entry in the superhero wars is “Guardians of the Galaxy,” inspired by the offbeat comic book and storming into theaters on Aug. 1. How offbeat, you ask? One of the Guardians is a sentient raccoon named Rocket. For something a little more normal, there’s “Get On Up,” based on the life of James Brown. Chadwick Boseman, whose big break was the Jackie Robinson biopic “42,” stars.

Aug. 8

Turtle Power attempts to reign supreme as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” slices and dices its way into the box office. So, please, if you take your kids to see this movie and they absolutely must have a pet turtle, make sure you keep them (the turtles) away from the nuclear waste.

Aug. 15

Based on the Lois Lowry novel that was doing dystopia long before “The Hunger Games,” “The Giver” is about a perfect society that isn’t so perfect and Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), the boy who figures that out. Stars include Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, and a nonsinging Taylor Swift.

Click to read the whole summer guide!

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film, arts and events for Express.



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Lori McCue and Kristen Page-Kirby · June 8, 2014