Summarizing Summer Movies

Usually summer means big box office blockbusters. But those big budget movies took a backseat to the more nuanced films like "Boyhood" and "The Fault In Our Stars." We talk to the Daily Herald's Dann Gire and Jeanne Kaplan of Kaplan vs. Kaplan about their favorite films of the summer and what to watch out for this fall.

Read descriptions of the films and watch trailers.

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The Fault in Our Stars
Meeting at a cancer support group, Hazel and Gus are two equally witty teenagers whose unique love story is chronicled in this romantic comedy.  Their bond is made even stronger given that Gus has a prosthetic leg and Hazel’s oxygen tank acts as a third wheel. 




The movie Boyhood follows the trials and tribulations of growing up in a newly authentic and unique way. Shot with the same cast over the course of 12 years, audiences get to see main character Mason grow up before their eyes.  The movie features family road trips, birthdays, graduations and all the obstacles that come in between. 




Life Itself
Based on his bestselling memoir with the same name, Life Itself follows famed movie critic and writer Roger Ebert and his impact on movies and popular culture. In the final four months of his life, filmmakers captured Ebert’s fighting spirit, humor and the way he motivated directors including Spike Lee and Michael Moore. The movie also captured his very public battle with cancer and the way he inspired others who were enduring the same fight. 




Scarlet Johansson stars in this action-thriller about a captured woman whose brain capacity and mental ability has been heightened due to drugs. The movie follows Lucy as she becomes fearless and attempts to best her captors.




Guardians of the Galaxy
Peter Quill becomes the target of a bounty hunt after he steals an orb sought after by the powerful villain Ronan. Peter is forced to enter into a risky alliance with four outcasts. When he finds out the real power of the orb and the threat it places on the universe, Peter must rally for one last fight to save the galaxy.




Dwayne Johnson stars in director Brett Ratner’s movie about Hercules’ struggle to end a civil war in the land of Thrace.  Using his god-like strength, Hercules leads an army of warriors in their quest to return the rightful king to his throne.  Along with fighting a war, Hercules battles between his godly physical abilities and his human sensibilities. 




Transformers: Age of Extinction
The movie is set in a formerly great city, which was destroyed after a battle that saved the world. As society begins to move on, a dark group emerges with the goal of controlling the direction of history. Mark Wahlberg stars in this movie that follows Optimus Prime and the Autobots as they take on their most dangerous challenge so far, in a battle of good and evil. 




Dawn of Planet of the Apes
A nation of genetically evolved apes that survived a deadly virus released a decade ago are threatend by a group of humans. Though peace is reached, it is brief and eventually a war erupts that will ultimately decide which group will survive and be earth’s dominant species.    




Magic in the Moonlight
Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in this witty comedy set in the 1920s in the south of France.  Directed by Woody Allen, Firth plays a magician who is out to debunk a psychic medium and show her as a fraud.  The movie chronicles impossibly magical events and questions assumptions about the world.




Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Based on the third book in the Hunger Games Trilogy, the movie finds Katniss Everdeen in District 13 after destroying the games for good. With the support and advice of friends, a nation, and President Coin, Katniss’ next mission is to save her friend Peeta. 




The Interview
Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapoport are hoping to take themselves from tabloid reporters to legitimate journalists when they find themselves with the rare opportunity to interview North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  Their plans are derailed when CIA agents recruit them to assassinate the leader. 



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