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While summer cinema is usually judged by popcorn—not philosophical—consumption, this year’s upcoming releases look to pose a number of questions that just might get our brains turning. From issues like equality, supernaturalism, and human progress, these next few months at tinseltown have the potential to instigate a slew of conversations about faith and culture.

Here are ten of the most anticipated movies hitting theaters this summer and a few themes to look out for:

10. Snowpiercer (June 27)
To say that the plot of director Joon-ho Bong’s (Mother, The Host) first English film is unique would be an understatement. After most of the planet is destroyed by a global-warming experiment, what’s left of civilization survives in a perpetual motion train divided by a ruthless class system.

Themes: oppression, equality

9. Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27)
The Transformers franchise is back for another go-around. Let’s hope Michael Bay decides to throw in a few explosions this time.

Themes: corruption, bravery, DINOBOTS

8. The Fault in Our Stars (June 6)
Based on the best-selling book by John Green, this film about cancer, grief, and teenage love is bound to give us the feels.

Themes: death, sickness

7. Deliver Us From Evil (July 2)
Christian filmmaker Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister) tells the story of a real-life NY police officer, Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), who finds himself battling supernatural forces on the beat. I’m watching this film during the day.

Themes: supernaturalism, demonic possession, faith

6. Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1)
Guardians of the Galaxy features the oddest slew of characters Marvel has brought to the screen thus far. Including a machine gun wielding raccoon. At this point, we have to ask ourselves, “Why not?”

Themes: unity, character, animal gun control

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11)
The original Planet of the Apes series is rich with allegorical themes, let’s hope this follow up to the 2011 sleeper hit does the same.

Themes: social hierarchies, evolution

4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2)
Marc Webb’s first Spider-Man installment wasn’t without its shortcomings, but it didn’t feature any Tobey Maguire dance scenes, so that makes it a winner in our books.

Themes: power, responsibility

3. Maleficent (May 30)
Angelina Jolie portrays the villain from Sleeping Beauty before she becomes the villain from Sleeping Beauty. What exactly turns her heart into stone? Watching Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black? We’ll see.

Themes: bitterness, betrayal, hope

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23)
Combining the cast of the original X-Men films with the prequel, X-Men: First Class, this looks to be the most ambiguous mutant extravaganza yet.

Themes: discrimination, prejudice

1. Godzilla (May 16)
Here’s the official synopsis for Godzilla: “This adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.” I’m in.

Themes: science, human progress

Honorable Mentions:

How to Train Your Dragon 2, Chef, The Giver, Jupiter Ascending, Edge of Tomorrow


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