Summer Movies Heading to Theaters

By Jane Louise Boursaw

Kids of all ages will find something to love at the movies this summer.  Here’s a sneak peek at what's new in theaters for kids and teens this summer. Note that release dates are subject to change.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/1 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Everything old is new again! This fresh installment of the "Terminator" franchise finds John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sending Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future. You remember that, right? But what we didn't realize is that an unexpected turn of events created a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he's faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future. Directed by Alan Taylor, this movie also stars J.K. Simmons and Matt Smith.


PG-13 for sequences of violence, some sexuality and language | In Theaters 7/10 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

In this provocative psychological sci-fi thriller, a wealthy man (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Directed by Tarsem Singh and written by Alex Pastor and David Pastor, this movie also stars Victor Garber, Derek Luke and Michelle Dockery.


PG for action and rude humor | In Theaters 7/10 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Those adorable minions are back! At the dawn of time, they began as single-celled organisms and evolved through the ages, serving the most despicable of masters, from T. Rex to Napoleon. But the yellow creatures fall into a deep depression when they find themselves without someone to serve. So one Minion named Kevin -- alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob -- embark on a thrilling journey to find their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. From frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London (love the groovy 1960s soundtrack), they face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind from annihilation. Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (the voice of Kevin, Bob and Stuart) direct this cute family movie, which also features the voices of Michael Keaton, Jon Hamm, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan and Laraine Newman.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/17 (3D/2D/IMAX| Ok for Kids 12+ | Disney, Marvel | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time. Armed with the ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. Directed by TK, this movie also stars Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, and John Slattery.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/17 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Miramax | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Directed by Bill Condon and based on Mitch Cullin's novel "A Slight Trick of the Mind," this movie begins in 1947 when an aging Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) returns from Japan, where, in search of a plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees with only the company of his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son, Roger (Milo Parker). Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely on the boy as he revisits an unsolved case which forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it’s too late. Also stars Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Roger Allam and Colin Starkey as John Watson.


Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 7/24 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Columbia, Sony | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

Directed by Chris Columbus, this action-comedy is based on a short film of the same name by Patrick Jean. The story centers on intergalactic aliens who misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them. Thus, they attack Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) calls on his childhood best friend, '80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Michelle Monaghan plays the team’s unique weapons specialist. Good fun for both kids and grownups.


Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 7/24 | Ok for Kids 11+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Those classic childhood characters created by J.M. Barrie get a fresh take in this movie directed by Joe Wright. "Pan" follows the story of an orphan boy (Levi Miller) who is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland. There, he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. Also stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Amanda Seyfried as Mary, Cara Delevingne as Mermaid, and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/24 | Ok for Kids 13+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Directed by Jake Schreier ("Robot and Frank") and based on a book by "The Fault In Our Stars" author John Green, "Paper Towns" is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin (Nat Wolff) and his enigmatic neighbor Margo (Cara Delevingne), who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears, leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship and true love. Also stars Austin Abrams, Halston Sage and Justice Smith.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/31 | Ok for Kids 12+ | New Line, Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels

Following in his father's footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America's "favorite family fun park," Walley World! Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, this movie also stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Michael Pena, Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day and Regina Hall. Trailer not available at press time.


Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/31 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

In "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation," Paramount Pictures' fifth installment in the franchise, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team return for yet more death-defying stunts and amazing gadgetry. Their mission (should they choose to accept it)? Eradicate the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, this action-thriller also stars Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Simon McBurney and Rebecca Ferguson. It's been 19 years since Cruise first played Ethan Hunt, and he's still doing his own stunts!

Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at and check out the shop for fresh editorial content. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.