Some Summer Flicks Worth Catching

Summer is in full sweat. But fear not, you can beat the heat by spending some time—and dollars—at the theater catching some of the interesting cinematic selections hitting theaters this summer.

So far this summer, there have been some solid blockbuster hits (Edge of Tomorrow), some flops (A Million Ways To Die In The West), an amazing indie gem (Locke) and some that walk the line (Godzilla).

For the rest of the summer, I’m not focusing on the popcorn-peddling, big-budget behemoths loaded with CGI such as the lame-looking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, the who-knows-what-number they’re on Transformers, or the Marvel factories latest rollout Guardians of the Galaxy, but instead I’m focusing on some films that actually might have some substance beneath their flashy exteriors.

Here are my top six picks for the cinematic summer of 2014, listed in order of release date.

The Rover

Directed by David Michôd

Written by David Michôd and Joel Edgerton

Starring Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy

In theaters June 20

I’m a sucker for dystopian crime dramas like David Michôd’s The Rover, which is set in the near future after a global economic collapse. Premiering in Cannes, this flick has gathered quite a bit of positive press so far, and may be just what co-star Robert Pattinson needs to break out of the Twilight chains.

Jersey Boys

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice

Starring John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, and Michael Lomenda

In theaters June 20

Clint Eastwood has proven to be not only a talent in front of the camera, but a powerhouse behind it as well with such films as Mystic River, Gran Torino, and Million Dollar Baby. I’m interested to see what he does here with Jersey Boys, the musical drama biopic about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.


Written and directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, and Ethan Hawke

In theaters July 11

One of the most interesting feats of filmmaking in recent memory, Boyhood was shot intermittently over the course of 12 years. This latest film from Richard Linklater has gotten some serious attention since debuting at Sundance earlier this year.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by Matt Reeves

Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Mark Bomback

Starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Andy Serkis

In theaters July 11

Despite a distaste for the aforementioned CGI blockbusters, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks bananas! Having been in the works since 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which was very good itself, it’s clear that they’re not monkeying around with this sequel.

A Most Wanted Man

Directed by Anton Corbijn

Written by Andrew Bovell (screenplay), John le Carré (novel)

Starring Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman

In theaters July 25

In one of his final roles, the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as a hard-drinking counter terror expert. It should be interesting to see Hoffmanwho was always a potent presence on screendepicting a character who, like himself, also had a strong vice and some presumed deep emotional turmoil.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez

Written by Frank Miller

Starring Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson

In theaters August 22

This heavily stylized neo-noir is both a sequel and a prequel, which weaves in and out of the story of 2005’s Sin City. Once again directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, A Dame To Kill For brings back many of the same citizens of sin, and introduces many new characters played by familiar actors such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Josh Brolin.

Mark Pulaski

Mark Pulaski, 29, is pursuing a bachelor of applied science degree in Film, Television & Digital Production in the School of Entertainment & Design Technology at the North Campus. He is currently serving as a staff writer of The Reporter. He was previously the editor-in-chief in addition to overseeing the A&E section and the Multimedia department.