X-men: Days of Future Past
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender Directed by: Bryan Singer, Release Date: May 23
The latest "X-Men" adventure incorporates the casts of the original trilogy and 2011's "First Class" with a time-bending plot that involves Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) going back in time to prevent a series of events that will lead to a catastrophic future. We'll soon see if this falls into the same 'too many mutants' trap. With "X-Men" (2000) and "X2" (2003) director Bryan Singer back calling the shots, we're allowing ourselves to think "Days of Future Past" might end up being the best X-movie yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
Directed by: James Gunn, Release Date: Aug 1
And you thought "Thor" was a hard sell? The God of Thunder (or something) is about as mainstream as you can get compared to the bizarro lineup of Marvel's intergalactic team of superheroes, which includes a gun-crazy raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper, at that) and a giant walking, talking tree (played by Vin Diesel) and is led by the guy who plays Andy on "Parks and Recreation." But how can we not believe in Marvel, the house that brought us Iron Man and the Avengers?
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor
Directed by: Michael Bay, Release Date: Jun 27
Bring on the Dinobots. Oh, and at least a hint of planet-eating Unicron would be cool, too. That is all.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, Cate Blanchett
Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Release Date: Jun 13
The adventures of Hiccup (Baruchel) and Toothless continue as the boy and his dragon come across a secret ice cave that serves as home to hundreds of wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, a discovery that stirs up an epic conflict.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Starring: Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell
Directed by: Matt Reeves, Release Date: Jul 11
Eight years after the events of the surprisingly quite excellent "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011), human survivors of the virus that's wiped out a good chunk of humanity (so to speak) wage war against Caesar (Serkis) and his ever-growing ape army. Who will emerge as the planet's dominant species? (Hint: It's not the humans.) This round of evolution/revolution comes courtesy of "Let Me In" and "Cloverfield" director Matt Reeves.
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
Directed by: Gareth Edwards, Release Date: May 16
"Pacific Rim" was cute 'n' all, but you just can't beat the King. Gareth Edwards ("Monsters") is here to stomp all those bad Roland Emmerich memories into the ground as a resurrected Gojira wrecks havoc in San Francisco. The trailer is exhilarating, featuring Kick-Ass himself para-jumping onto the big beast with his military colleagues and the film's A-list supporting cast running in terror.
Edge of Tomorrow
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Directed by: Doug Liman, Release Date: Jun 6
Tom Cruise follows up 2013's underrated "Oblivion" with another futuristic sci-fi action film with a heck of an existential conundrum. Here he plays a soldier in a war against an alien race who finds himself stuck in a "Groundhog Day" kind of loop that sends him back to the start of the day he's killed in a sneak attack.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill for
Starring: Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Release Date: Aug 22
Whether anyone cares about a "Sin City" sequel almost 10 years after the release of the original film remains to be seen, but we're there opening weekend if only to see Eva Green play Ava Lord, the 'dame to kill for' that makes fools of every man in town. The "Casino Royale" beauty playing Frank Miller's be-all, end-all femme fatale is a sight not to be missed.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane
Directed by: Brett Ratner, Release Date: Jul 25
Why yes, we would love to see a movie starring The Rock as the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene, the legendary Greek hero burdened with the Twelve Labors, which include such seemingly insurmountable tasks as slaying the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra, cleaning the Augean stables in a single day and obtaining the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
The Expendables 3
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford
Directed by: Patrick Hughes, Release Date: Aug 15
Stallone and his gang of over-the-hill mercenaries are back, and this time they're facing their most formidable foe yet: Mel Gibson, playing one of the original co-founders of The Expendables gone bad. Bruce Willis wanted too much money for a third go-round as the gang's handler, so Sly brought in — of all people — Harrison Ford as his replacement, with other new cast members including Stallone's "Assassins" co-star Antonio Banderas and his "Demolition Man" pal Wesley Snipes.