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Hot Summer Movies Preview: The Only Ones You Absolutely Have To See

The summer blockbusters are easy spot, so we’ve compiled the seven top non-action films we’re most looking forward to this summer.

I see movies in the theater exactly two times a year: Christmas with my family, and during the dead of summer (and, yes, I realize that is unusual for an Entertainment Editor, but I’m a busy gal). So it’s about time I pored through this year’s offerings to make my “must-see” list. Per tradition, the marquee is packed with action, from X-Men and Transformers sequels to Godzilla. But I dug a little deeper to find the other gems that will keep me at the box office during these long summer days (and nights), including sweet coming-of-age tales, comedies, tear-jerkers and even a musical.

Boyhood

The man who brought Dazed and Confused into the world adds another coming-of-age flick to his repertoire–one that was 12 years in the making. Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking drama follows Ellar Coltrane from primary school to college (literally, using film from every year) in Boyhood. (July 11)

God’s Pocket

I’m a sucker for moving Small Town USA comedies, and John Slattery’s God’s Pocket looks to be a good one. Did I mention it costars the late Philip Seymour Hoffman? (in theaters now)

The Hundred-Foot Journey

In The Hundred-Foot Journey, the great Helen Mirren plays a famous chef, the ornery French kind who would turn up her nose at any food that wasn’t Michelin starred. So you can imagine how warm a welcome mat she rolls out for her new neighbors, who open up a charming family-run Indian restaurant right across the street. I can’t wait to see how (and if) they win her over. (August 8)

Jersey Boys

Clint Eastwood directing the movie version of one of my favorite musicals? Yes, please! The emotional journey of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (I laughed, I cried) is topped only by that rousing music that will have everyone dancing in the aisles. I. Can’t. Wait. (June 20).

Life Itself

Roger Ebert, the most beloved film critic of our time, posthumously stars in a documentary about his life. Many famous faces make appearances, including his television partner, Gene Siskel and director Martin Scorsese. (July 4)

Love Is Strange

Two of my favorites, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, star in Love Is Strange, a longtime gay couple whose financial situation is devastated shortly after they say, “I do.”  (August 22)

Think Like A Man Too

So many people called Think Like a Man a “surprise hit,” but those critics clearly hadn’t read the book it was named after. Of course, making a self-help book into a successful (and hilarious) film is a whole other matter. In its sequel, Think Like a Man Too, the cast heads to my hometown of Las Vegas. Score! (June 20)

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