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Jul 9, 2013

Just last week, I divulged my five favorite films from the first half of 2013, but that doesn't necessarily mean all of those films will make the cut for my favorites when the end of the year rolls around. In fact, looking ahead to the releases hitting theaters over the next three months, there are plenty of new films, from blockbusters to indie darlings, coming our way. Beginning this week with the epic Pacific Rim and ending with a the Christmas release The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we've compiled a list of 10 films that you can still look ahead to later in 2013. List below!

Pacific Rim
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
In Theaters July 12th

We've already seen plenty of footage from the epic-sized, sci-fi blockbuster from director Guillermo del Toro, and in just one week the entire package arrives on the big screen. The giant kaiju monsters and human-operated robots are certainly the stars of the film, and plenty of names like Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman and Charlie Day will keep it grounded for the human element to the story. As we understand it, the spectacular, monstrous action is prominent and stunning, but there's plenty of real character driven drama as well. Give this a chance for the sake of original sci-fi.

The Wolverine
Directed by James Mangold
In Theaters July 26th

Honestly, we're still not sure what to expect from this spin-off sequel. The trailers have fluctuated from highlighting intriguing character driven drama to the silly action that made X-Men Origins: Wolverine a messy piece of work. Hugh Jackman and long-running comic book legacy is what's truly keeping fans interested, and we're hoping that the drastic location change to Japan with their culture infused in the superhero world is enough to make the character feel fresh again. Though we wish Darren Aronofsky ended up taking this project on, we're hoping James Mangold has done his best to make it work.

The Spectacular Now
Directed by James Ponsoldt
In Theaters August 2nd

The film was the #2 favorite for Me when we named our favorite films of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and this indie gem is finally coming later this summer. Featuring a breakthrough performance from Miles Teller and more evidence of why Shailene Woodley is one of the most gifted rising actresses of her generation, this coming-of-age flick is original, touching and just plain great. Brie Larson and Kyle Chandler also put in fantastic supporting turns, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead also pops up to reunite with her Smashed director James Ponsoldt, who further proves his talent as a gifted storyteller with a penchant for real drama and heart.

Directed by Neill Blomkamp
In Theaters August 9th

The next movie from Neill Blomkamp, the talented South African sci-fi filmmaker that brought us District 9, called Elysium starring Matt Damon and set in a different future time where the wealthy live on a space station orbiting Earth. We've been excited for this ever since it was first announced and have been following its development closely. Multiple trailers have been released showing us what looks like an extraordinary new sci-fi vision and a world full of realistic robot mechs and hydraulic-enhanced exoskeletons. The cast includes Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Alice Braga and Sharlto Copley as the badass henchman Kruger. This is one of our most anticipated left this year.

Kick-Ass 2
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
In Theaters August 16th

Even if Jim Carrey is still no longer supportive of the comic book adaptation due to the graphic violence, this follow-up bringing back Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz as Kick-Ass and Hit Girl still has us pumped. The cast is boosted by a whole new crew of superheroes (like Donald Faison and Clark Duke stepping into a hero role) fighting against Christopher Mintz-Plasse and his new villainous alter ego The Mother Fucker with his own team of bad guys. It's Carrey's defined and almost unrecognizable characterization in the trailer that really turned some heads, and this sequel has the chance to outdo its predecessor in almost every way if audiences give it a chance.

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
In Theaters October 4th

From Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron comes another exhilarating original sci-fi thriller. Sandra Bullock stars with George Clooney as astronauts on a space station that experiences a catastrophe, sending them drifting into space. The intensity of the first teaser trailer hints that we'll be getting a very suspenseful yet breathtaking story, including stunning long-takes and a rumored 20-minute uncut opening scene. It's set for a Comic-Con appearance and nationwide 3D/IMAX release in the fall after being delayed for a year, giving them more time to polish the remarkable visual effects.

Ender's Game
Directed by Gavin Hood
In Theaters November 1st

An adaptation of the beloved classic sci-fi novel written by Orson Scott Card, this ambitious futuristic story tells of a world where we train young children to battle an alien species. Asa Butterfield from Hugo stars as Ender, the brilliant young military mind recruited by Colonel Graff being played by legend Harrison Ford. Directed by Gavin Hood and produced by Kurtzman/Orci, our hope is that turns out as spectacular as the book promises. We've seen some fantastic footage in the new trailer and I expect we'll be blown away once they tease more. This is definitely one more sci-fi movie to keep an eye on coming up later this year.

Thor: The Dark World
Directed by Alan Taylor
In Theaters November 8th

It's a Marvel sequel, so that's pretty much all we need to know. Part of Phase Two of the comic book studio's cinematic universe, the film will not only continue the adventures of the god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth), but it will also give us another link in the chain that will lead to The Avengers 2. Considering the credits bumper in Iron Man 3 didn't serve as any sort of set up for the future films, we're interested to see if this one will begin any thread that hints at what's to come in Captain America: The Winter Solider or the return of The Avengers. Either way, the prospect of getting Loki (Tom Hiddleston) back in action, this time in order to save Asgard from a dark force, is very enticing.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Directed by Francis Lawrence
In Theaters November 22nd

After being surprisingly gritty and grounded, the adaptation of the young adult novel The Hunger Games impressed plenty of audiences, and it opened the floodgates for more female centric sci-fi and fantasy adaptations. Now the sequel is coming this fall, and following an Oscar win for Jennifer Lawrence earlier this year, some more people might take an interest in the franchise. Plus, Liam Hemsworth gets a little more to do this time around to show audiences he might be as good of a leading man as his comic book franchise leading brother Chris Hemsworth. But we think the most exciting thing about this sequel is Philip Seymour Hoffman returning to blockbuster territory.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Directed by Peter Jackson
In Theaters December 13th

At this point, we shouldn't have to tell you why we're excited about this flick. Personally, I wasn't absolutely overjoyed with the first installment of The Hobbit trilogy from director Peter Jackson, but with Benedict Cumberbatch having a significant role in the film, not to mention Luke Evans and Evangeline Lily showing up as new elves along with the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, the sequel still sounds appealing. After this encounter with the dragon named in the title, we're wondering just what's going to fill out the rest of this film trilogy. If you need more of a tease, check out the first full-length trailer.

So you see, there's still a lot of great movies to check out later this year. What are you excited to see?

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