This endless Ohio winter has seemingly just lifted, which means … summer movie season is right around the corner!
In just two weeks, “Iron Man 3” will kick off that season of movies that are bigger, louder and, yes, even more furious. Here are the highlights of what we’ll be watching to beat the heat.
“The Great Gatsby” (May 10)
Leonardo DiCaprio takes on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) takes on the Roaring Twenties — in 3-D! There are a lot of things this movie might be. Subtle is not one of them.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” (May 17)
Before J.J. Abrams takes on the new “Star Wars,” he returns to the other geek franchise he revitalized in his wildly entertaining “Star Trek.” With a new baddie (Benedict Cumberbatch), this one looks to be even better.
“Fast & Furious 6” (May 24)
Who would have thought this fast-car series — and Paul Walker’s furrowed brow — would have kicked out six movies without ending up straight-to-video? Even more unexpected, the more ridiculous these movies get, the more fun they are.
“Before Midnight” (May 24)
Richard Linklater revisits the intersecting lives of his “Before Sunrise/Sunset” stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy two decades after they met on a train. Sundance crowds love it, and it looks to be the perfect summer indie date movie.
“The East” (May 31)
The writing-directing-acting team behind the creepy cult drama (literally, it was about a cult) “Sound of My Voice” return with a similarly tense drama about an anarchist group.
“Much Ado About Nothing” (June 7)
How do you get nerds excited about a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy? Add writer-director-geek royalty Joss Whedon.
“Man of Steel” (June 14)
The most intriguing superhero reboot movie of the summer! Director Zack Snyder is taking on Superman, and he takes his comic book movies seriously. (See: his ambitious, if flawed, “Watchmen” adaptation.)
“This Is The End” (June 14)
A bunch of really funny people (Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and many more) play themselves attending a party at James Franco’s house when the world ends. Hilarity no doubt ensues.
“World War Z” (June 21)
It’s Brad Pitt versus a zombie pandemic on a massive scale in this adaptation of the popular novel. Zombies are so hot right now.
“The Lone Ranger” (July 5)
Director Gore Verbinski’s take on the Western staple holds promise due to his knack for a great crowd-pleaser. And his “Pirates of the Caribbean” standout Johnny Depp should steal the show as Tonto.
“Pacific Rim” (July 12)
Giant human-piloted robots fight off an attack by giant aliens. Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) directs. And Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell on “The Wire”) plays a character named Stacker Pentecost. Sold.
“Elysium” (Aug. 9)
Matt Damon and Jodie Foster star in writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi follow-up to the best alien movie of the last 20 years, “District 9.”
“Kick-Ass 2” (Aug. 16)
The wildly fun (and wildly violent) story of an average-guy superhero gets a sequel. We want more Hit-Girl!
“The World's End” (Aug. 23)
Yes, there are two apocalyptic comedies on this list. This one marks the third in an official trilogy of buddy flicks by director Edgar Wright starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The other two? “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” ’Nuff said.