Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to July

“Star Trek Beyond”

Who: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella
What: The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who threatens the entire Federation.
When: July 22nd
Why: This is the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek,” so here’s hoping that the franchise gets the film treatment it richly deserves. Make no mistake: “Star Trek Into Darkness” was one of the worst sequels in modern memory (they cure death!) and completely misunderstood the tone and type of film “Star Trek” should be. But since then, J.J. Abrams (who produces) redeemed himself with “Star Wars” and the franchise got a new director in Justin Lin (the “Fast and Furious” films). It’s unclear whether Lin is cerebral enough to bring any of the headiness of “Star Trek,” but he is talented at finding the heart of characters and making audiences care.

“Finding Dory”

Who: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke and Maria Bello
What: A woman is haunted by a creature that only appears when the lights go out.
When: July 22nd
Why: Expanding a short film is always a dangerous enterprise; can the premise really go from a few minutes to an hour and a half? But “Lights Out” looks like a simple enough idea that it will afford plenty of mood and jump scares for its running time. The trailer is an effective sell that does a good job of showing kids in danger (always a good source of terror and drama), and the cast seems up to the challenge. Plus, there’s usually one “out of nowhere” horror film that pops during the summer (though my money is on next month’s “Don’t Breathe”), so that may be this scrappy, under-the-radar film.

“Jason Bourne”

Who: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel
What: Jason Bourne, now remembering who he truly is, tries to uncover hidden truths about his past.
When: July 29th
Why: After the misstep of “The Bourne Legacy,” both Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass return to the “Bourne” franchise with what seems like fists of fury and both barrels cocked. Is there still more to tell in this story of a former amnesiac government assassin? That may not matter if audiences are given the type of excellent set pieces Greengrass usually delivers. Also, the cast is absolutely stacked with Oscar-winner Vikander, Jones and the always entertaining Cassel entering the series (presumably as Bourne’s antagonists). The trailer promises a lean, mean, fighting machine of a movie; here’s hoping it lives up to that simple but entertaining promise.

“Bad Moms”

Who: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn and Christina Applegate
What: When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom.
When: July 29th
Why: For far too long, there have been tales of men behaving badly with women stuck in the role of the disapproving wife/mother who simply scolds or shakes their head in disgust. Now, the tables have been turned, and women are getting the ability to throw around in the muck just as much as the menfolk in this raunchy comedy. The premise is simple enough, suggesting an “Old School” meets “Troop Beverly Hills-type vibe. Plus, Kunis, Bell and Hahn have proven equally great at comic performances over the years, so it has the makings of a seriously fun time at the theater.

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