Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right Summer movies | The 25 best films of summer 2013

Summer movies | The 25 best films of summer 2013

Before MidnightWhen we left Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Sunset (2004), they were contemplating their future in Paris. This third part of Richard Linklater�s series picks up nine years later�and tackles notions of adult responsibilities, regret and fading passions with characteristic grace. (late May)
Fill the VoidAmong Tel Aviv�s ultra-Orthodox Haredi, the men make the decisions and the women look on respectfully. But in Rama Burshtein�s quiet powder keg of a drama, a teenager defies the marital wishes of her community and draws unusual power from her resistance to tradition. (late May)
After Earth These days, it�s tough being an M. Night Shyamalan fan (we�re still scrubbing The Last Airbender from our minds). But this father-son science-fiction adventure, starring Will and Jaden Smith as starship-crash survivors trapped on postapocalyptic Earth, looks like an action-packed return to form. (late May)
Now You See Me A group of magicians make money disappear from banks and reappear in their audience�s pockets. We�re hopeful that this star-studded conjurers thriller�featuring everyone from Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo to Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine�will be truly enchanting, as opposed to the same old hocus-pocus. (late May)
Dirty WarsInvestigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill takes viewers on a tour of the world of black-ops military raids, �kill lists� and secret assassinations in this damning political documentary. Dirty warfare, indeed. (early June)
Much Ado About Nothing That playful wit Joss Whedon, fresh off his audience-delighting blockbuster The Avengers, helms a modern-day, black-and-white take on the Bard�s classic romantic roundelay. There are few artists better equipped to tackle both spandex superheroes and William Shakespeare. (early June)
This Is the EndThe apocalypse is here and, unfortunately, it coincides with a celeb-studded party at James Franco�s house. (Michael Cera macking on Rihanna, that cad!) Seth Rogen cowrites, codirects and costars in what looks to be a bad-mannered, gut-busting good time, Armageddon or no. (mid June)
The Bling RingSofia Coppola brings her twin strengths of celebrity sympathy and punkish abandon to a fitting tale, based on the real-life exploits of a gang of teen thieves raiding wealthy Hollywood homes for a taste of the luxe life. Harry Potter�s Emma Watson continues to take worthwhile postfranchise risks. (mid June)
Man of SteelYou�ve seen the down-and-dirtier Batman; now meet the new, sensitive Superman. Director Zack Snyder reimagines Krypton�s favorite son (played by Henry Cavill) as faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and moodier than a 15-year-old girl. We are so there. (mid June)
World War ZMax Brooks�s somber postwar zombie novel is the inspiration for this immense-looking action movie, starring Brad Pitt and thousands of tumbling, clawing flesh-eaters ravaged by a global pandemic. Rumors of on-set ego friction had us worried, but the trailers suggest a solid summer diversion, more Danny Boyle than George Romero. (mid June)
I�m So Excited After the landing gear breaks on a flight bound for Mexico City, the passengers and crew slowly lose all sense of social and sexual decorum. If Pedro Almod�var�s ribald comedy is anywhere near as joyously liberated as its Pointer Sisters-scored trailer, we�re sure to leave the theater with an ear-to-ear grin. (late June)
White House DownThe latest disaster film from Roland Emmerich pits D.C. policeman Channing Tatum and POTUS Jamie Foxx against some pissed-off paramilitaries. (Didn�t the bad guys learn anything from Olympus Has Fallen?) Prepare for plenty of blustery speechifying � la Independence Day, as well as some iconic landmarks�bye-bye, Capitol Building!�getting blown up real good. (late June)
PassionReturning to the genre he does best, Brian De Palma concocts a deliciously catty erotic thriller, about an advertising-agency prot�g� (Noomi Rapace) out for revenge against her manipulative boss (Rachel McAdams). Throat-slitting straight razors and sapphic sex scenes are, of course, included. (July TBD)
The Lone RangerJohnny Depp�s latest opportunity for high-paid strangeness has him changing races as cryptic Native American sidekick Tonto. We also like the guy playing the outlaw hero: Armie Hammer, most famous for his Winklevii in The Social Network. (early July)
Crystal FairyA tourist (Michael Cera) searches for a mythic hallucinogenic cactus in Chile, joined by an obnoxious hanger-on/hippie chick named Crystal Fairy (a pitch-perfect Gaby Hoffmann). Sebasti�n Silva�s stoner comedy takes on first-world entitlement and transcendental drug-trip clich�s with its tongue firmly in its cheek. (early July)
Only God ForgivesLately, Ryan Gosling has stared out of a lot of iffy crime movies (Gangster Squad, The Place Beyond the Pines), but this one, a reunion with stylish Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, should be worth the wait. It takes place in a neon-lit, blade-happy Bangkok. (mid July)
Pacific Rim When an alien invasion threatens Earth�s existence, humanity takes up arms in the form of giant robots to (as one character rousingly intones) �cancel the apocalypse!� We�re always excited for a new Guillermo del Toro project, and this one seems to play to all of his fantastical strengths. (mid July)
Computer ChessMumblecore, schmumblecore: The so-called godfather of the indie movement, Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha), brings the goofiness with this gloriously wonky, lo-fi tale of �80s computer geeks engaged in a man-versus-machine competition. Nerdtastic doesn�t even begin to describe it. (mid July)
Blue JasmineWhat would a year be without another Woody Allen feature? Few story details have been released about his latest, beyond the fact that Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins star as a pair of neurotic New Yorkers�a promising setup for what we hope is another of the writer-director�s searching and sidesplitting dramedies. (late July)
The WolverineHugh Jackman�s clawed wiseass of a superhero is too enjoyable a creation to be stalled by less-than-successful sequels. In the new one (helmed by Walk the Line�s James Mangold), our hero travels to modern-day Japan, no doubt with sideburns in tow. (late July)
The Spectacular NowThe sleeper hit of this year�s Sundance, James Ponsoldt�s coming-of-age movie focuses on a charming fuckup (Miles Teller) and the young woman (The Descendants� Shailene Woodley) who gets caught in his destructive orbit. Credit the chemistry between the two young leads for making this a genuine gem. (early Aug)
ElysiumWelcome back, Neill Blomkamp, director of 2009�s thoughtful sci-fi smash District 9. His new one sounds upsettingly similar to a lot of recent dystopian fare: wealthy humans in space stations, the losers left behind on a ruined Earth. But Blomkamp will undoubtedly tease out a social dimension. (early Aug)
Ain�t Them Bodies SaintsDavid Lowery�s poetic tale of an escaped con (Casey Affleck) trying to make it back to his wife (Rooney Mara) has already earned plentiful comparisons to the early work of Terrence Malick. But a cover version this ain�t; the young filmmaker has a sure hand with actors and a singular knack for making rural magic-hour shots feel fresh. (mid Aug)
The World�s EndThe ever-inventive Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) reteams with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for this comic-apocalyptic tale of five pub-crawling friends who have to save the world. We�re especially excited to see how the Brit-tastic supporting cast (Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine) handles the end of days. (late Aug)
You�re NextHorror went through its gory Saw phase; now it looks like the pendulum may be swinging back to Scream-era cheekiness (e.g., The Cabin in the Woods). Here�s more evidence: a terrific besieged-mansion thriller that puts as much care into catty domestic squabbles as it does the kills. (late Aug)
By David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich |

More to explore