Summer has yet to officially start, but the summer movie season is well underway! Here is our genre-leaping list of your best bets coming to theaters in the next few months.

the way way back

10. The Way, Way Back (July 5)

The indie everyone’s talking about is brought to you by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Oscar winning writers of 2011’s The Descendents. Fans of the George Clooney movie can expect The Way, Way Back to entail the same unusual family drama but hopefully with less depression and more laugh-out loud hilarity. Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, and May Rudolph are sure to make this one a treat, with some up-and-coming child stars.

man of steel

9. Man of Steel (June 14)

What is a summer movie list without a superhero flick anyhow? This one looks particularly exciting and fresh, if not totally original. The latest trailer suggests that Man of Steel is as much an alien-invasion picture as a Superman re-boot, and the imagery looks beautiful (as well as full of explosions). However, with a name change emblematic of 2008’s The Dark Knight, let’s hope Man of Steel is as smart as the just-concluded Batman trilogy and not just a copycat.

Blue Jasmine

8. Blue Jasmine (July 26)

What we don’t know about Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is as captivating as what we do (which isn’t much, truth be told). The cryptically worded official plot release tells of “the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” Studio-released photos of Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin looking disgruntled only add to the intrigue.

Much Ado About Nothing

7. Much Ado About Nothing (June 7)

Joss Whedon, director of such varied fare as 2012’s The Avengers or Glee and The Office episodes, filmed this Shakespeare comedy with a cocktail party vibe at his own home. The trailer shows off this modern, black-and-white retelling as a witty and intense drama hidden behind a casual atmosphere.

After Earth

6. After Earth (May 31)

The sweeping camerawork and visual effects of M. Night Shyamalan’s intense space epic look stunning. Will Smith and son Jaden Smith are together onscreen for the first time since 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness, but now their perilous adventure to survive on a hostile Earth (quite a few) years into the future is even more daunting than facing homelessness, if less realistic or touching.

Despicable Me 2

5. Despicable Me 2 (July 3)

Why this pick? Did you see the first one!? It was adorable, clever, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Here’s hoping the sequel is just as witty and wonderful, and not just a big-studio-play for some sequel money (although it definitely is that, too).

Frances Ha

4. Frances Ha (in select cities now; Kansas City May 31)

This black-and-white, New York set comedy follows one quirky woman in her forays in friendship and dating. It looks hilarious but refreshing because it’s just about normal people and silliness. Early reviews have been bright.

The Lone Ranger

3. The Lone Ranger (July 3)

Tom Wilkinson as a powerful, railroad-baron villain? Johnny Depp was actually adopted into the Comanche nation because they so heartily approved of his silly portrayal of a Native American? Helena Bonham Carter has a gun for a leg? Yes, yes, and yes. The Lone Ranger looks undeniably fun and unapologetically weird. I’m in.

Now You See Me

2. Now You See Me (May 31)

Once you get past the annoyingly close similarities to Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige and take note of the stellar cast and awesome-looking visual gimmicks of Now You See Me, it seems like it will be easy to enjoy this crime thriller disguised as a magic show.

The Bling Ring

1. The Bling Ring (June 14)

My desire to see Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring above all else this summer is fueled in large part by my adoration of its star, Emma Watson. The entire globe has watched her grow from cute child witch into beautiful adult witch into…trashy Hollywood thief? The Bling Ring details the true story of reality-show quality teenagers who stole from celebrities’ homes in L.A. but were eventually caught; and it looks fantastic.

 

Meet The House Guest: Alex Murfey 

Alex, who has been referred to as a “Walking IMDB” recently graduated from high school and is living in Kansas City, Missouri. An avid film enthusiast, Alex enjoys seeing films, writing films, making films and also acting on stage. Alex will be attending Columbia College in Chicago in the Fall to pursue his film education and career.