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.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Nic Cage and Alfred Molina in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Abbot Mense
Nic Cage and Alfred Molina in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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


July 2

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.

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.

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 17. Directed by Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo's Fire) and featuring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson as Crawford's rival.


July 7

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 9

Despicable Me

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

Predators

The alien creature that stalked Arnold Schwarzenegger 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 16

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 a team of "dream thieves" that includes Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ken Watanabe (though maybe he's the bad guy).

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 23

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).

Ramona and Beezus

In the film version of young adult novelist Beverly Cleary's iconic "Ramona" character, 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, AKA "Beezus."

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 costar.


July 30

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.

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.

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 codirectors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor) features Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly, and the rarely seen but always welcome Patti D'Arbanville.

Get Low

Legend has it that there once was a secretly wealthy Tennessee hermit who decided to throw his own funeral so 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.


August 6

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!

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