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Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Forgive us for leaving you to your own devices for the first half of the summer movie season (blame the World Cup), but we think the hefty list that follows will be enough to keep you busy until Labor Day. Happy rest-of-the summer, movie fans. (As always, all dates are subject to change.)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Grown Ups

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider star as childhood buddies reuniting for the first time in 30 years. We're thinking it's a comedy. Directed by Dennis Dugan (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) (June 25)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Knight and Day

Tom Cruise is a renegade secret agent and Cameron Diaz his unwitting blind date, and, all too suddenly, his reluctant sidekick in a mission to save a brilliant scientist (Paul Dano). Directed by James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma) (June 25)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Restrepo

Journalist Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) and photographer Tim Hetherington take along a movie camera to shadow the 173rd Airborne Brigade as they battle the Taliban amid the unforgiving terrain of the Korengal Valley. Winner of this year's Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. (June 25)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

South of the Border

Early reviews suggest that director Oliver Stone's documentary about America's rocky relationship with its South American neighbors, which features the director taking a road trip with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, is surprisingly even-handed, though we aren't expecting FOX News to snap up the broadcast rights. (June 25)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Wild Grass

French auteur Alain Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad), who turns 88 this summer, enlists two of his favorite actors, André Dussollier and Sabine Azéma, for this comic tale of romantic obsession, unending movie-love, and the transcendent glories of the colors red, yellow and blue. (June 25)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Love Ranch

Taylor Hackford (Ray) directs his wife, Helen Mirren, along with Joe Pesci, in the so-crazy-it-has-to-be true story of Sally and Joe Conforte, whose 1970s Reno brothel, known as "Mustang Ranch", led the way to legalized prostitution in Nevada. (June 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

A dreamboat vampire, a hunky werewolf, a confused teenage girl--stop us if you've heard of this one. Directed by David Slade (30 Days of Night) (June 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Girl Who Played With Fire

For the second film in the Stieg Larsson "Millennium Trilogy" (the first was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace return as a financial journalist and tattooed hacker, respectively, who are once again up to their necks in murder and intrigue. (July 2)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Last Airbender

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) adapts Nickelodeon's animated fantasy series about a 12-year-old (Noah Ringer) with the ability to control all four elements -- Water, Earth, Air, and Fire. No pressure there. (July 2)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Twelve

Gossip Girl heartthrob Chace Crawford is the best looking drug dealer on Manhattan's Upper East Side and Emma Roberts his clueless girlfriend in this adaptation of Nick McDonell's bestseller, published, famously, when the author was only seventeen. Directed by Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo's Fire) and featuring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson as Crawford's rival. (July 2)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Kids Are All Right

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play a Southern California lesbian couple with two teenagers they had with the sperm of an anonymous donor. When the kids track down their biological father (Mark Ruffalo), the mothers are more than a little freaked. Written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon). (July 7)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Countdown to Zero

In this documentary about the likelihood of a nuclear bomb going off in the near future, director Lucy Walker divides the cause for a possible detonation into three categories: accident, miscalculation, or insanity. (July 9)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Despicable Me

There are villains aplenty in this 3D animated comedy, chief among them the cranky, unfulfilled Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) whose plan to steal the moon is hitting a few snags. (July 9)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Great Directors

Some of the world's filmmaking iconoclasts--Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch and Agnès Varda among them--discuss their methods and madness in this documentary by Angela Ismailos. (July 9)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Predators

The alien creature that stalked Arnold Schwarzennegger back in 1987 and then spawned a host of bad sequels is back, thanks to executive producer Robert Rodriguez. Adrian Brody, Lawrence Fishburne, and Topher Grace are the unlucky mercenaries about to become alien bait. (July 9)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

[Rec] 2

This sequel to the decidedly creepy Spanish horror film Rec (the Hollywood version was called Quarantine) picks up moments after the original ended, as a special ops team enters a Barcelona apartment whose inhabitants are infected with a virus that turns them drooly and demonic. (July 9)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Concert

A disgraced Russian conductor (Aleksei Guskov) seeks to rewrite history in this drama from Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu. Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) co-stars. (July 16)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Inception

Arguably the most anticipated movie of the summer, if not the year, this thriller from writer-director Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) is shrouded in secrecy. We do know that Leonardo DiCaprio heads up a team of "dream thieves" that includes Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ken Watanabe (though maybe he's the bad guy). (July 16)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Kisses

A 10-year old boy fights with his father on Christmas Eve and runs away to Dublin, with a neighbor girl in tow. Filmmaker Lance Daly's follow-up to The Halo Effect has been much admired on the festival circuit. (July 16)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Nicholas Cage, teaming up again with National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub, plays a modern-day conjurer who enlists an NYU student (Jay Baruchel) to help him save the world from an evil wizard (Alfred Molina). The adventure film is reportedly inspired by the Mickey Mouse sorcerer sequence in Fantasia (that scares us just a little bit). (July 16)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Dinner for Schmucks

The schmuck is Barry (Steve Carell), a nerd deluxe who's thrilled to be invited by his boss (Paul Rudd) to a dinner for big shots. What Barry doesn't know is that he's being set-up for big-time ridicule in this comedy from director Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers). (July 23)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel

With the full cooperation of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, Canadian filmmaker Brigitte Berman looks back at Hef's tumultuous early days, when his newfangled ideas about nudity, sex, gay rights, and drug use, among other things, shocked magazine readers and seriously annoyed the Feds. (July 23)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Life During Wartime

It's been 12 years since writer-director Todd Solondz's hilarious yet emotionally wrenching suburban black comedy, Happiness. In this sequel, the filmmaker catches up with the original characters, but has recast all the roles, as if to acknowledge that neither he nor his characters can possibly be the same people a decade later. (July 23)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Ramona and Beezus

In the film version of young adult novelist Beverly Cleary's iconic "Ramona" character, first created in the 1950s, 11-year-old Joey King plays the spunky third grader with Disney Channel star Selena Gomez as her older sister Beatrice, a.k.a. "Beezus". (July 23)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Salt

Angelina Jolie channels her inner Jason Bourne--she leaps, she kicks, she kills--in director Phillip Noyce's action thriller about a CIA operative who's accused of being a Russian spy. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star. (July 23)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Valhalla Rising

Circa 1000 A.D., a Norse warrior (Mads Mikkelsen) leads a band of hyperactive Christians on a quest for the Holy Land. Prepare to wince: Director Nicolas Winding Refn's movies, including last year's Bronson, as well as the astonishing Pusher trilogy, are never less than brutal. (July 23)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Adjustment Bureau

It's love at first sight for Congressman David Norris (Matt Damon) and ballerina Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), but is it fate or sinister earthly forces conspiring to keep them apart? Screenwriter George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum) makes his directorial debut with this adaptation of a 1954 story by Phillip K. Dick. (July 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Beastly

Seventeen year old Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) thinks he's hot stuff until the night he disses a goth girl named Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen) who's actually a witch. Kendra's revenge sends Kyle on a search for love in writer-director Daniel Barnz's adaptation of Alex Finn's popular teen novel. (July 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Putting their ongoing war--chronicled in the 2004 hit, Cats and Dogs--on hold, canines and felines team up to stop a creepily hairless kitty with dreams of world domination. Bette Midler is the voice of the evil Kitty Galore in this live-action family film. (July 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Dry Land

After a reunion with his wife (America Ferrera) takes a violent turn, James (Ryan O'Nan), a West Texas soldier newly home from the Iraq War, takes a road trip to visit his war buddies (Wilmer Valderrama, Diego Klattenhoff) and hopefully find some inner peace. Written and directed by Ryan Piers Williams. (July 30)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Extra Man

It's a collision of eccentrics when a lonely, cross-dressing teacher (Paul Dano) becomes the roommate of an "escort" (Kevin Kline) for wealthy widows. Based on a novel by Jonathan Ames, this new film from co-directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor) features Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly and the rarely seen but always welcome Pattie D'Arbanville. (July 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Get Low

Legend has it that there once was a secretly wealthy Tennessee hermit who decided to throw his own funeral so that he could hear the stories people had to tell about him. In this beautifully acted 1930s period piece from director Aaron Schneider, Robert Duvall is the hermit, Sissy Spacek his old flame, and Bill Murray the town's newly energized funeral director. (July 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

I Killed My Mother

French-Canadian writer-director Xavier Dolan, 20, not only makes his feature debut with this drama about a 16-year-old gay teen's battles with his mother, he stars in the film as well. (July 30)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Brotherhood

Newly released from the Dutch army (Thure Lindhardt), a young man falls in with a neo-Nazi street gang, only to find himself having romantic feelings for one of the members (David Densik). When they become lovers, things get dicey in this debut feature from Nicolo Donato. (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Cairo Time

Patricia Clarkson is a Canadian journalist who's come to Egypt to meet up with her husband. When he's delayed, husband sends an Egyptian friend (Alexander Siddig) to keep his wife company. Probably not a great idea. Written and directed by Ruba Nadda. (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Chain Letter

Hey, man, don't delete that chain letter that just landed in your inbox. If you do, the sender is going to snatch you up, wrap you in chains (get it?) and torture you. To death! (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

There's reportedly a memorably clever bit of business involving a stray bullet casing in this British kidnapping thriller from first time filmmaker J. Blakeson. Eddie Marsan, the addled driving instructor in Happy-Go-Lucky, stars. (August 6)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Mao's Last Dancer

From director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), the true story of the Chinese-born ballet dancer, Li Cunxin, who was sent to dance with the Houston Ballet as part of a 1970s cultural exchange program. Li eventually married an American, sparking an international tussle between the two countries. Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan, and Chi Cao star. (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Middle Man

In this fact-based drama, set in the late 1990s, Luke Wilson stars as a fixer of troubled businesses who meets two guys (Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht) who've figured out a way to transmit pornography over the Internet. Wilson helps them get organized and super-rich, and then the real trouble begins. Co-starring James Caan and directed by George Gallo. (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Other Guys

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg channel their inner Serpico in this comedy about two mediocre New York detectives who get a shot at the case of a lifetime. Co-starring Eva Mendes and Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman). (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Step Up 3D

Filmmaker Jon M. Chu, who received some surprisingly good reviews for his work on Step Up 2, returns to direct the third installment in the popular series about the underground dance scene in New York. This edition has been filmed in 3D, so expect to be kicked in the face by a hot dancer. (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Wildest Dream

In June 1924, English mountain climber George Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, vanished near the summit of Mount Everest. Mallory's body was found 75 years later by the American climber Conrad Anker, who joins first-time filmmaker Anthony Geffe to recreate Mallory's original climb. Narrated by Liam Neeson. (August 6)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Down Terrace

Bill (Robert Hill) and his son Karl (co-writer Robin Hill, acting opposite his father) of Brighton, England, are gangsters, but not the real scary kind. Fresh out of prison, they want to relax but can't helping thinking there's a traitor in their midst in this black comedy from writer-director Ben Wheatley. (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Eat Pray Love

Writer-director Ryan Murphy took time away from his hit TV show Glee to direct Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in the film version of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir about her worldwide search for enlightenment after a rough divorce. James Franco, Billy Crudup, and Richard Jenkins co-star. (August 13)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Expendables

Action gods Sylvester Stone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren join forces to kick ass and blow things up in a film co-written and directed by Sly himself. (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Lebanon

Writer-director Samuel Maoz takes us inside a four-man Israeli Army tank as the soldiers move into a bombed-out Lebanese town in this war drama set in the early days of the 1980s war. (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Mesrine: Killer Instinct

In what's sure to be one of the great roles of his career, Vincent Cassel (Eastern Promises) plays the legendary French gangster Jacques Mesrine, who both charmed and terrorized the nation in the 1970s. This is the first of a two-part epic from director Jean-Francois Richet. (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The road to everlasting love isn't going to be easy for musician Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), who must vanquish his new girlfriend's seven exes, all of whom happen to have super powers. Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead). (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Tales from Earthsea

Taking over a project his father, Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), long dreamed of making, first-time filmmaker Gorō Miyazaki helms this anime adaptation of Ursula LeGuin's revered Earthsea fantasy novels. (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

White Wedding

On the road from Johannesburg to Capetown for his wedding, a groom and his best man encounter all manner of oddities, including a pro-apartheid bar, and a hitchhiking goat, in this South African comedy hit directed by Jann Turner. (August 13)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Lottery Ticket

It takes luck to win a mega-millions lottery ticket but it may take a miracle for Kevin (Bow Wow), a young Atlanta man, to keep his family, friends, and neighbors from getting their mitts on the ticket over a long 4th of July weekend. Ice Cube and Loretta Devine co-star in director Erik White's debut comedy. (August 20)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Nanny McPhee 2

When two spoiled city kids visit their country cousins on an English farm, it's a culture clash that only the ugly yet magical Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) can resolve. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Maggie Smith co-star for director Susanna White in the second film of a projected trilogy. (August 20)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Soul Kitchen

After the dramatic intensity of his acclaimed films Head On and The Edge of Heaven, Turkish-German director Faith Akin lightens up with this comedy about a young Hamburg man's attempts to save his failing restaurant, win back his girl, and keep his parolee brother out of jail. Co-writer Adam Bousdoukos stars. (August 20)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Switch

Drunk and jealous that his best friend Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) didn't choose him to be her sperm donor, Wally (Jason Bateman) replaces the donor's swimmers with his own. Kassie moves away, but seven years later she's back, and wow, that kid sure looks like Wally, doesn't he? Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Blades of Glory) co-direct. (August 20)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Takers

For the snazzily-dressed, super-efficient L.A. bank robbing gang led by Idris Elba (Obsessed), there's one last big heist to pull off. (Isn't there always?) Their plan is brilliant but the L.A. detectives played by Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez have one of their own. Paul Walker, Zoë Saldana, and Hayden Christensen co-star. (August 20)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Tillman Story

Josh Brolin narrates Amir Bar-Lev's documentary about Dannie and Patrick Tillman's crusade to prove that their son Pat, a pro football star who enlisted right after 9/11, died from friendly fire in Afghanistan. (August 20)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Going the Distance

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long play it for laughs in this comedy about the perils of sustaining a long-distance love. Christina Applegate and Ron Livingston co-star. Nanette Burstein (American Teen) directs. (August 27)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Last Exorcism

An evangelical priest (Patrick Fabian) who's spent his life performing fake exorcisms on deluded people may have finally stumbled upon the real deal. Daniel Stamm directs a horror movie produced by actor-director Eli Roth (Hostel). (August 27)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The Milk of Sorrow

Fausta (Magaly Solier), the daughter of a woman who was brutally raped during the political upheavals of 1980s Peru, believes that she was born without a soul due to the violence she witnessed from her mother's womb. Her search for peace informs this recent Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film from writer-director Claudia Llosa. (August 27)

 

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Piranha 3D

Spring break. College kids. Zillions of flesh-eating piranha fish. Got it? Elizabeth Shue and Jerry O'Connell try to save the day (but not their careers). Directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes). (August 27)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Centurion

After a fierce battle with local tribesmen in Northern Britain, circa 117 A.D., a beleaguered band of Roman soldiers are try to get home in this action drama from the talented writer-director Neil Marshall (The Descent). Michael Fassbender and Dominic West star. (August 27)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

The American

"I am death's booking-clerk, death's bellhop." So states the narrator of Martin Booth's 2004 novel, "A Very Private Gentlemen." In this film version, directed by Anton Corbijn (Control), George Clooney is that "bellhop," who may or may not be an assassin, but either way, might soon be hunted like one. (September 1)

Mid-Summer Movie Preview

Born To Be A Star

When a Midwest nerd (Nick Swardson) finds out that his parents were once porn stars, he hits the road to Hollywood to see if he too has the goods. Tom Brady directs this comedy, co-written by Adam Sandler. (September 3)


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