There’s a flood of films headed our way, and here’s your life raft: The Chronicle has broken down this summer’s most notable releases into categories and filtered out all the noise to give you the buzz. Opening dates subject to change.
The story: Marvel put one of its cornerstone but less-popular characters in the hands of genre parodist Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”) and Joe Cornish, who gave way to director Peyton Reed (“Bring It On”), co-writer Adam McKay (“Anchorman”) and star/co-writer Paul Rudd. July 17.
The buzz: Marvel consigliere Joss Whedon called the screenplay by Wright and Cornish “the best Marvel has ever had,” for whatever that’s worth.
The story: It can’t be worse than the previous incarnation ... can it? It’s directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle,” as-yet-untitled “Star Wars Anthology” film) and stars Miles Teller. Aug. 7.
The buzz: Caveat emptor: This is not a Marvel Studios movie.
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
The story: Three decades later, on the road again. Now playing.
The buzz: Tom Hardy is behind the wheel, and Charlize Theron couldn’t look more awesome as the fiery Furiosa.
The story: Why did they unearth this franchise? Well, Chris Pratt is in it! June 12.
The buzz: Director Colin Trevorrow made the fine indie “Safety Not Guaranteed.”
“Mission Impossible 5”
The story: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF face the anti-IMF. July 31.
The buzz: Director Christopher McQuarrie made “The Way of the Gun.” But he also made “Jack Reacher.”
The story: Khaleesi meets Arnie in this reboot/rethink of the franchise. July 1.
The buzz: They seem to have taken the right time-travel reboot cues from “Star Trek.”
The story: George Clooney stars in this sci-fi adventure directed by Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”). Now playing.
The buzz: Perhaps this will be the Disney attraction movie to break the curse of the “Pirates” sequels.
“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
The story: They’re big, they’re studly, they’re Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in another shot at a TV-sprung franchise. Aug. 14.
The buzz: Guy Ritchie directs; expect slo-mo bullets, freeze frames and blindingly fast edits.
The story: Key Pixar figure Pete Docter (“Up”) directs a story of a girl’s emotions trying to guide her through a difficult new situation. June 19.
The buzz: Early word is strong.
The story: “Despicable Me” prequel depicts the little yellow pill-shaped dudes looking for an evil master and vying to serve Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). July 10.
The buzz: Bullock-as-supervillain seems worth a ticket; Jon Hamm as husband Herb Overkill is added value.
“Pitch Perfect 2”
The story: The first one was a bolt from the blue. Can the reprise be as awesome? Playing now.
The buzz: Sequel retains the writer and cast but replaces the director with Elizabeth Banks.
“Love & Mercy”
The story: Paul Dano and John Cusack play Brian Wilson (the Beach Boy, not the Beard) with special attention paid to the revolutionary “Pet Sounds” sessions and his nervous breakdown. June 5.
The buzz: Wilson has particularly praised Dano’s turn.
“Straight Outta Compton”
The story: Seminal rap group N.W.A. gets its due with film representations of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube (played by his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr.). Aug. 14.
Buzz: Director F. Gary Gray made the first “Friday,” the fine “The Italian Job” and the stinky “Law Abiding Citizen.”
The story: You might find the HBO series’ almost pathological objectification of women objectionable, especially if you are a woman or have ever met a woman. Or you might say, “Boys will be boys.” June 3.
The buzz: Whatever.
The story: Director Paul Feig reteams with Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne in a female-driven espionage comedy. June 5.
The buzz: Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” the “Ghostbusters” reboot) is getting pretty good at this.
The story: Mark Wahlberg and his talking teddy bear are back. June 26.
The buzz: The first one grossed about $550 million.
“Magic Mike XL”
The story: So how about some objectification of men instead (See: “Entourage” above)? Channing Tatum and Co. are back for some twice-cooked beef. July 1.
The buzz: Notably missing: director Steven Soderbergh. Longtime First AD Gregory Jacobs takes over.
The story: Headlined and written by Amy Schumer, with Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Ezra Miller and Tilda Swinton. July 17.
The buzz: It would be a surprise if a Judd Apatow entry was not funny.
The story: An earthquake can’t stop Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino from reaching their daughter. Friday.
The buzz: The fault in our state.
The story: They’re here with a reboot. Now playing.
The buzz: Perhaps you’ll be moved by the writer (“Rabbit Hole” playwright David Lindsay-Abaire) and the cast (Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jane Adams).
“Insidious: Chapter 3”
The story: The mean ghosts are back. June 5.
The buzz: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson and director James Wan are not.
The story: Alejandro Amenabar (“The Sea Inside”) directs Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson: A father is accused of a crime he doesn’t remember, uncovering darker secrets. Aug. 28.
The buzz: Great to have Amenabar back, and any Watson sighting is a good thing.
The story: Publicity materials describe this Jennifer Connelly-Cillian Murphy drama as “a mysterious and poignant tale of loss, forgiveness and healing.” June 19.
The buzz: Smart money is on magical realism and falcons. And the magnifique Melanie Laurent.
The story: Boxing drama with Jake Gyllenhaal replacing, of all people, Eminem. July 31.
The buzz: Expect a gritty underdog story. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”).
“Me Before You”
The story: A chance to see Khaleesi herself, Emilia Clarke, in a non-franchise role. Aug. 21.
The buzz: The slug (“girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently paralyzed man she’s taking care of”) sounds pretty, well, likely.
The story: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An older intellectual suffering from ennui enters into an amour fou with a much-younger student. Ah, Woody. July 24.
The buzz: How bad could it be with Emma Stone and Parker Posey, and Joaquin Phoenix as the Woody surrogate?
The story: Acrophobes are not likely to fall for this documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, billed as the father of BASE jumping. May 29.
The buzz: Didn’t know “BASE” (“building, antenna, span, Earth”) was an acronym? See, you’ve already learned something.
“Best of Enemies”
The story: Explores the pairing of opposing ideological heavyweights William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal in televised debates during the 1968 political season. Aug. 7.
The buzz: Sort of the Patient Zero of today’s point-counterpoint political coverage.
The story: Cameron Crowe romcom about a defense contractor (Bradley Cooper) and an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) in Hawaii. Now playing.
The buzz: Joining Cooper and Stone: Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Jay Baruchel.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”
The story: High school film buffs make a movie for a friend with leukemia. June 12.
The buzz: Quirky, heartfelt double Sundance champ is an instant best picture contender. Seriously.