Sun Screen: A Guide to the Theater This Summer

The summer breeze, the sunny days, sand grains between your toes. All just a few weeks away. What could be better than that? Nothing beats the crystal clear skies or the crystal clear drinks. Summer is a paradise, sure. But… then there are the rainy days.

The cool breeze turns to a chilly gust, the sun is marred by an endless grey mass and the sand…well, it’s more mud than grain. It’s the rainy days that beg the question: what is there to do when Mr. Sun is no longer golden?

The warm, dark, comfy cinema beckons.

Enjoy the sun, both on-screen and off!

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**SPF: 50**

Let’s start with the big guns. These blockbusters will keep you hot and toasty on movie theater day, but come equipped with some sunscreen. These should be so scintillating that they will require a pretty high SPF count.

**X-Men: Days of Future Past **

Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen (PG-13)

Dreadful title aside, the newest installment in this superhero franchise promises some excellent action interlaced with mind-bending time travel. A stellar cast, including Jean Valjean, Gandalf, Katniss Everdeen and Tyrion Lannister, wormholes its way to the theaters this weekend. (5/23)


**Dawn of the Planet of the Apes **

Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, Keri Russell (PG-13)

Sure, James Franco won’t be back but this sequel should…wait, James Franco will not be back? And he is being replaced by Gary Oldman? And the apes have become super intelligent and are running their own society? I know where I will be in early July. (7/11)


**The Fault in Our Stars **

Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, William Dafoe (PG-13)

There is a lot of talk about how John Green’s text will translate to the big screen, but it seems like the stars will align on this one. With Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort both hot off their roles in “Divergent,” and Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (“500 Days of Summer,” “The Spectacular Now”) penning the script, “The Fault In Our Stars” has potential to woo. (6/6)


**Honorable Mentions: **

Jersey Boys, Snow Piercer, Begin Again, Guardians of the Galaxy

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**SPF: 30**

Onto the next tier, which you should approach with caution but optimism. These flicks should simmer, but could also fizz out.

**A Million Ways to Die in the West **

Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris (R)

Seth MacFarlane’s debut, “Ted,” hit it out of the park — and by it, I mean the innocence of Teddy Bears everywhere. Here is his sophomore feature, a comedy joke-a-minute Western in the vein of Mel Brooks’s “Blazing Saddles.” MacFarlane rarely misses the raunchy-comedy target, and he should (should) be just as comfortable in slacks and spurs. (5/30)


**How to Train Your Dragon 2 **

Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig (PG)

The sequel to the excellent Dreamworks production about a boy and, well, his training of a dragon. You have seen the first and will probably love the second, but something tells me there is a chance it might not meet high standards. (6/13)


**22 Jump Street**

Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Dave Franco (R)

The long-awaited — it’s been a long two years — sequel to the smash hit sees our two favorite undercover friends hit college. It should be hysterical, but sequel syndrome is all too common. (6/13)


**Honorable Mentions:**

Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent

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**SPF: 10**

These are the weak ones. The misfires. The equivalent to when a sunny day is either half-baked or just too damn hot, you are better off avoiding these. Apply with care. You have been warned.

**Transformers 4: Age of Extinction **

Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz (PG-13)

It is the fourth installment in the Transformers series… let us ponder that. Fourth. It has a robot T-Rex. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch couldn’t save this one. (6/27)


**Hercules **

Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt (PG-13)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Hercules in this big-budget, destined-to-fail epic. Think “Troy” minus Brad Pitt, and the really bad plot – that means no plot. (7/25)


**The Purge: Anarchy **

Frank Grillo, Michael K Williams, Zach Gilford (R)

Do you recognize any of those actors? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t. Who in Hollywood thought after the first Purge anyone wanted a sequel? Avoid it like you avoided the first time around. (7/18)


**Honorable Mentions:**

Jupiter Ascending, Edge of Tomorrow