You know the old saying: If at first you don’t succeed, die horribly in an alien battle and come back to life right before the fighting starts. That’s the time-bending conundrum facing Tom Cruise’s Maj. Bill Cage, a military PR officer who harbors a cowardly streak in the midst of an alien invasion. After crossing the wrong general and being sent on a suicide mission, he gets locked in a time loop — repeatedly dying and then returning just before combat, a wiser and increasingly dangerous soldier. “The reason the aliens are winning is they can replay the day over and over again until they figure out how to win,” says director Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith). “Tom gets infected, basically, by one of the aliens, and gains their power.”
Emily Blunt costars as a hero of the resistance who gained fame in battle after experiencing the same Groundhog Day-type phenomenon. “She no longer has the power but knows exactly what he’s going through. So she’s the only person on the planet who believes him,” says Blunt, who had to don an armored exoskeleton for the role. “Mine weighed about 85 pounds,” she says. “We really were jumping and sprinting in those suits. The first time I put it on, I started to cry!” Luckily, she got a lot of do-overs.