Coming off one of the worst July box offices in recent memory, August has a lot to live up to if 2014 is going to bounce back. Thankfully, the month offers quite the eclectic selection, including several films that are right up our readers’ alleys.

Talking raccoons, fighting turtles, black and white femme fatales, and aging action stars – few could ask for a month more diverse than this. Whether or not any of these films, aside from one, will deliver at the box office, is a big question mark. So, while some may be settling in for the fall drought, we think there might be a few films worth making one more trek to the theater to see.

Here are the 5 films we’re looking forward to in August.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1st)

Our regular readers likely don’t need us to tell them why Guardians of the Galaxy is a must-see this month; the film is already on track to become the highest grossing August release, and one of Marvel’s most successful first outings. At one point, Guardians looked to be one of Marvel’s riskiest box office bets, but now that the film has arrived, all of those concerns seem silly.

Whether it’s the smart marketing, the strong casting, or simply the power of Marvel in a post-Avengers world, this is one film that audiences will not want to miss. In fact, viewers should get plenty comfortable with Star-Lord’s team, as the film has already earned a sequel.

Check out the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August 8th)

Speaking of risky box office bets, the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has had an uphill climb from the very beginning. Since that time, however, the film has found a way to ingratiate itself to fans with a decidedly action comedy concept and a willingness to be silly. It also doesn’t hurt that TMNT has the nostalgia factor going for it, meaning that even the most hardened cinephiles will have a hard time not smirking at Michelangelo.

Granted, the film still has a lot of question marks and we’re not 100% sure that this won’t be a huge flop, but the inner child within us can’t help but root for the Turtles. Michael Bay took Transformers and made it a billion dollar franchise, so we wouldn’t surprised if he and director Jonathan Liebesman pulled off a similar feat. Okay, maybe not a billion dollars, but still successful.

Check out the trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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The Expendables 3 (August 15th)

By now, viewers either fully buy into the world of The Expendables or they avoid it altogether. Featuring an ever-growing cast of ’80s action heroes, the franchise continues to get bigger, even as interest starts to wane. For The Expendables 3, Stallone and Co. are welcoming Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, and Antonio Banderas into the fold, hoping that a cast this large will cover as many bases as possible.

Forget plot, forget character, The Expendables 3 is all about watching some of the biggest stars of yesteryear blow stuff up. It’s nostalgia of a completely different variety, and for that reason we’re very curious to see how this one shakes out. We don’t have high hopes for the film, but there’s also no way we’re missing it.

Check out the trailer for The Expendables 3.

The Giver (August 15th)

Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver is one of the most beloved books in all of young adult fiction. It’s also a story that was deemed by many to be unfilmable. However, with the recent success of YA adaptations like The Hunger Games and Divergent, someone was bound to try their hand at The Giver and so here we are.

Set in a dystopian society where all diversity has been strategically eliminated, The Giver novel makes some pretty bold statements about our society. Whether the film can make those same statements while also creating a compelling story is unclear. Casting Oscar winner Jeff Bridges as the titular giver was a good start, but the recent trailers have called into question the adaptation’s faithfulness to the source material. As a result, we’re most curious to know if the film can pull off the seemingly impossible, even if we are prepared for The Giver to disappoint.

Check out the trailer for The Giver.

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22nd)

It’s been almost a decade since the first Sin City burst onto the scene with its stylish flair and carefree attitude, proving that comic book adaptations can come in all shapes and sizes. Since that time, however, plenty of stylized comic book adaptations have entered the fray, taking what was once novel and turning it into old hat.

Had Sin City: A Dame to Kill For released shortly after the first film, it would have been welcomed wholesale, but almost ten years later it’s unclear how interested moviegoers are in a sequel. A Dame to Kill For does have a lot going for it, including a strong cast, Robert Rodriguez at the helm, and solid source material, but we wonder if that will be enough?

Check out the trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

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Although some may have already begun their post-summer recovery process, August still has plenty to offer the average moviegoer, provided they are a bit more open-minded. These are just five of the movies that could be worth seeing this month, but there are also a few additional films worth mentioning. The R-rated comedy Let’s Be Cops could be a fun ride thanks to New Girl stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson. Horror films haven’t fared so well this summer, but As Above, So Below could hit that perfect indie note. And Twister fans might want to check out the tornado thriller Into the Storm, featuring The Hobbit‘s Richard Armitage.

But really, the month belongs to Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel who, yet again, look to have a big hit on their hands. Everyone else is simply vying for second place.

But what about you? Which August releases are you most looking forward to? Which films do you think will find success at the box office?

Once again, here are the five movies we’re looking forward to this month:

  • August 1st: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • August 8th: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • August 15th: The Expendables 3, The Giver
  • August 22nd: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina