This Friday, just like the first weekend of every May since 2007, a new movie based on a Marvel comic book will open in thousands of theaters across the country, will make all the money, and will serve as the official starter pistol for summer movie season. And for many a seasoned moviegoer, that’s a cue for despair; after all, summer has become synonymous with big, bloated, stupid blockbusters of the Transformers school. And make no mistake, there’s plenty of those on the runway this season (how ya doin’, Terminator Genisys, it’s pretty funny that you’re actually going with that spelling). But don’t go into cinematic hibernation just yet; there’s also a steady stream of first-rate indie-flick counterprogramming on the runway, and some of the big movies actually sound pretty good. So, as a public service to you, the discerning moviegoer, we’ve assembled a month-by-month look at what might actually be worth your time and money.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)
Odds are, this’ll be the biggest grossing movie of the summer, and that’s not exactly a Nostradamus-level prediction: after all, it’s the sequel to the highest-grossing comic book movie of all time (and third-highest grossing movie, period), with writer/director Joss Whedon and the entire cast back in the rotation (along with such new additions as James Spader, Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Is it any good? Well that hardly matters, now does it?