The Fault in Our Stars, rated PG-13
Based on the popular novel by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars concerns the relationship between Hazel, a teenage girl diagnosed with cancer, and Gus, a teenage boy she meets at a cancer support group. With Shailene Woodley (who was so wonderful in The Spectacular Now and The Descendants, and starred earlier this year in Divergent) and an excellent supporting cast that includes Willem Dafoe and Laura Dern, the film has the potential to be one of the summer’s most popular movies not about robots or aliens.
Edge of Tomorrow, rated PG-13
Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow may be the closest thing we get this summer to a big-budget event movie that isn’t a sequel or a franchise reboot (though the film is based on a popular Japanese book). Tom Cruise stars as an officer in the future who experiences a Groundhog Day-like repeat of one day in a war against extra-terrestrials. Cruise’s action films are still outstanding (see Brad Bird’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), and with Liman (director of The Bourne Identity and Fair Game) behind the camera, Edge of Tomorrow should be a winner.
How To Train Your Dragon 2, rated PG
Four years after the great success of How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks Animation brings us a sequel that promises even more dragons, plus the added voice talent of Cate Blanchett and Djimon Hounsou. In the rare summer without a Pixar film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 will likely be the season’s most popular animated film. The original was the rare animated movie that actually benefited from 3D, so I’m excited to see what the sequel has in store visually (and with cinematographer Roger Deakins onboard as a visual consultant, you can bet on something great).
Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.