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The Summer Movie Preview for kids and teens looks fantastic! Angry Birds, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pete’s Dragon and The Secret Life of Pets are just a few of the new movies hitting the big screen as the weather warms up.

Let’s take a closer look at the summer movie preview and all the new family movies coming up. Note that release dates are subject to change.

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW 2016 – MAY MOVIES

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Rated PG -13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem | In Theaters 5/6 (2D, 3D, IMAX) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Disney/Marvel | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

This installment in the popular Marvel franchise finds Steve Rogers leading the  newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team.

The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps. One is led by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference. The other follows Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, this movie also stars Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner.

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some language | In Theaters 5/27 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 8+ | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Summer Movie Preview, Alice Through the Looking Glass
Summer Movie Preview: Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland to help the Hatter (Johnny Depp) in Disney’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, an all-new adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

Featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, this sequel to 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” finds Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returning to the whimsical world of Wonderland. She’s spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Wonderland and her friends the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), Absolem (Alan Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

But the Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Anne Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she crosses paths with friends and enemies at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images | In Theaters 5/27 | Ok for Kids 13+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Following 2014’s smash hit “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” director Bryan Singer returns with this installment in the “X-Men” franchise. Since the dawn of civilization, Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant, has amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he’s disillusioned with the world and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign.

As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction. This movie also stars Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult and Rose Byrne.

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW 2016 – JUNE MOVIES

ME BEFORE YOU

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material | In Theaters 6/3 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Based on the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, this movie stars Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games”), under the direction of Thea Sharrock, making her feature film directorial debut.  Louisa “Lou” Clark (Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet.

Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up – until Lou shows him that life is worth living.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence | In Theaters 6/3 | Ok for Kids 10+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels

Cowabunga! This sequel to the 2014 film is based on the pizza-loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. Directed by David Green (“Earth to Echo”) and produced by Michael Bay (“Transformers”), the story finds the Turtles in conflict with T.C.R.I. scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), the Foot Clan and The Shredder (Brian Tee), who’s hired Stockman to create mutants of his own.

Meanwhile, an invasion above New York City is led by the Dimension X inhabitant known as Krang. The Turtles are joined in the fight by Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) and their human friends April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) and the vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell).

WARCRAFT

Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence | In Theaters 6/10 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D)| Ok for Kids 13+ | Legendary Pictures | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

“Warcraft” is a 3D epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s gamer universe. Directed by Duncan Jones (“Moon,” “Source Code”) and written by Charles Leavitt and Duncan Jones, the film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper and Toby Kebbell. The world of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization, led by the humans, face a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying world of Draenor to find their place in another.

As a gateway known as the Dark Portal opens to connect the two worlds, the humans face destruction while the orcs face extinction. The leaders of both groups are sent on a collision course that will decide the fate of their families, their people and their home

FINDING DORY

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | In Theaters 6/17 (2D, 3D, IMAX) | Ok for Kids 6+ | Disney Pixar | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels

This sweet Disney Pixar movie centers on Dory, the loveable memory-challenged Blue Tang fish, as she searches for answers about her past. The story takes place six months after “Finding Nemo,” as Dory suddenly recalls her childhood memories, including something about “the jewel of Monterey, California.”

Thus, she sets off to find her family, accompanied by friends Nemo and Marlin. When Dory arrives at the Monterey Marine Life Institute, she meets Bailey, a white beluga whale; Destiny, a whale shark; and Hank, an octopus, who becomes her guide. Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane, this movie features the voice cast of Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Albert Brooks and Kaitlin Olson.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE

Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 6/24 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Summer Movie Preview, Independence Day Resurgence
Summer Movie Preview: Independence Day: Resurgence

After 1996’s “Independence Day” redefined the event movie genre, this next epic chapter continues the sci-fi thrills. Taking place 20 years after the events of the first film, the international community has recovered and the United Nations has created the Earth Space Defense (ESD), a united global defense program that serves as Earth’s early warning system. It’s also our main defense force, using technology salvaged from remains of the alien forces.

However, the aliens were able to send a distress signal to their other battalions before their final defeat, while others went into hiding elsewhere around the world. The aliens in deep space received the signal and sent a larger battle fleet, threatening the human race yet again. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. Directed by the king of the blockbusters Roland Emmerich, this movie stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Vivica A. Fox.

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW 2016 – JULY MOVIES

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, some sensuality and brief rude dialogue | In Theaters 7/1 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

It’s been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side.

Now, he’s been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he’s a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash. Directed by David Yates, this reboot also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Djimon Hounsou.

THE BFG

Rated PG for action/peril, some scary moments and brief rude humor | In Theaters 7/1 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Summer Movie Preview, The BFG
Summer Movie Preview: Ruby Barnhill is Sophie in Disney’s imaginative adventure, THE BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the best-selling book by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, this movie tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG, aka Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance), is nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24 feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans.

Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, meets The BFG, who takes her to Dream Country, where he teaches her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. But Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, so she and the BFG depart for London to see Queen Victoria (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

Rated PG for action and some rude humor | In Theaters 7/8 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels

Summer Movie Preview, The Secret Life of Pets
Summer Movie Preview: The Secret Life of Pets

For one bustling Manhattan apartment building, the real day starts after the humans leave for work and school. That’s when the pets of every stripe, fur and feather begin their own nine-to-five routine: hanging out with each other, trading humiliating stories about their owners, and trying out adorable looks to get better snacks. The building’s top dog, Max (voiced by Louis C.K.), a quick-witted terrier rescue who’s convinced he sits at the center of his owner’s universe, finds his pampered life rocked when she brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills.

When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy-yet-cunning bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who’s building an army of Ex-Pets abandoned by their owners and out to turn the tables on humanity … all before dinnertime. Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, this cute family flick also stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Albert Brooks and Bobby Moynihan.

STAR TREK BEYOND

Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 7/22 (2D, IMAX) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

“Star Trek Beyond” hits theaters as the franchise celebrates 50 years this year. Yes, 50 years! It doesn’t seem that long ago since William Shatner first donned the Starfleet uniform as commander of the Starship Enterprise. Now Chris Pine is carrying the role into the future, along with Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Karl Urban (Bones), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov).

Little is known about the plot at this writing, but we do know it revolves around the Enterprise being attacked by a powerful, unstoppable wave of unknown aliens, leaving the crew stranded on a new planet where they find themselves in conflict with a new ruthless enemy. Which is basically the plot of every Star Trek movie and TV episode, but somehow they manage to make it fresh and new every time. Directed by Justin Lin, this movie also stars Bruce Greenwood, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella.

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE

Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 7/22 | Ok for Kids 6+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

This installment of the popular franchise finds Scrat STILL on that epic pursuit of the elusive acorn. This time it catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a journey to exotic new lands, encountering a host of colorful new characters along the way.

Directed by Mike Thurmeier, this movie features the voices of returning cast members Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes, and Jennifer Lopez. Joining the herd are Stephanie Beatriz, Adam DeVine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman, Melissa Rauch, Michael Strahan and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW 2016 – AUGUST MOVIES

NINE LIVES

Rated PG for thematic elements, language and some rude humor | In Theaters 8/5 | Ok for Kids 7+ | EuropaCorp | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels

Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a daredevil billionaire at the top of his game. His company FireBrand is nearing completion on its greatest achievement yet – the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere. But Tom’s workaholic lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and their daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). For her 11th birthday, Rebecca wants what she’s always wanted – a cat.

So Tom buys a cat named Mr. Fuzzypants at a mystical pet store run by eccentric owner Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken). One thing leads to another and after a car accident, Tom finds himself trapped inside the body of Mr. Fuzzypants! Will he be able to return to his family as a newly energized husband and dad?

PETE’S DRAGON

Rated PG for action, peril and brief language | Ok for Kids 7+ | In Theaters 8/12 | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

This reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic blends live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon.

Directed by David Lowery, this film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace, a park ranger who discovers the existence of Elliott; Wes Bentley as Jack, a local mill owner; Karl Urban as Jack’s brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Robert Redford as Grace’s father.

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels

Set in a fantastical Japan, this epic action-adventure is from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA and director Travis Knight. Kind-hearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town, including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kamekichi (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro).

But his quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Rooney Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.

JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at [email protected]. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.

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