12 years in the making, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is one of the most creative and ambitious cinematic projects to crop up in a good long while. While not dramatic for the mere sake of it, instead this unforgettable piece offers an authentic, naturalistic take on growing up, as we document the life of Mason – played by Ellar Coltrane – from the age of 5 up until his 18th birthday. Not only is this seamlessly edited piece a compelling coming-of-age drama, it’s also an uncontrived depiction of an entire era. So yes, in case you couldn’t tell, it’s pretty good.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Arguably DreamWorks Animation’s most accomplished feature, fans of How to Train Your Dragon will be excited by the news of a sequel, which allows us to re-enter the world of Hiccup and Toothless once more. It appears that while our protagonists are growing older, so is the expected audience, because this is a more action-heavy piece that will exhilarate as much as it will warm your heart – a sign of any truly great animation.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Perhaps sequels aren’t such a bad thing after all, as we have yet another to look forward to in the form of Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis returns as Caesar, as we fervently anticipate another trip into this world – a world that is as haunting as it is breathtaking. The good news is, this won’t be the last either, because yet another entry into the franchise has already been announced for 2016.
One of the most underrated, overlooked films in the past few years is the brilliant Mud, and while David Gordon Green’s latest picture Joe will have to do a hell of a lot to reach such heights, it follows a similar narrative and plays on the sensibilities of Southern America to great effect. Matthew McConaughey isn’t involved either – but a certain Nicolas Cage instead takes on the titular role, showing a side which we haven’t seen for a long time, as he just likes to remind us every now and again that he sure can act.
Guardians of the Galaxy
What sort of list of films to look out for this summer would be complete without an entry from the Marvel franchise? This time it’s James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, with a star-studded cast consisting of the likes of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Josh Brolin. While maintaining that explosive, visual treat that we so often see from such films, this also looks to have remained faithful to the jocular tone of Marvel productions, in a film that looks as though it could be equally as funny as it is dramatic. Sounds good to us.