Take This Waltz (June 29)

Directed by Sarah Polley

The Canadian actress-turned-filmmaker's sophomore effort behind the camera (following her Oscar-nominated Away from Her) again demonstrates her instincts for sharp, emotionally charged writing and richly developed female protagonists. Happily married to a cookbook-writing goofball (Seth Rogen, never better), Michelle Williams is unprepared for the heat she feels around rickshaw-driving neighbor Luke Kirby. Their unrequited eroticism sizzles like the Toronto summer, but Polley's affectionate drama isn't so much about infidelity as it is about life's thorny impossibilities. (Magnolia Pictures)

It's Batman versus Bane in the third leg of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
It's Batman versus Bane in the third leg of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
He sees dead people, and chats with them. Norman saves the day in the animated 3-D comedy ParaNorman.
He sees dead people, and chats with them. Norman saves the day in the animated 3-D comedy ParaNorman.

The Queen of Versailles (July 6)

Directed by Lauren Greenfield

The photographer-filmmaker behind such doc provocations as Thin and Kids + Money hits the morbidly curious mother lode in this depiction of the American dream gone sour. When the billionaire time-share king of Florida and his ex-model wife begin construction on a 90,000-square-foot palace — the largest home in the United States, including 30 bathrooms, a bowling alley and baseball diamond — they aren't prepared for the credit crunch to shrink their empire. Their post-recession behavior is the stuff of reality-television nightmares. (Magnolia Pictures)

Savages (July 6)

Directed by Oliver Stone

There is no historical profiling or arch sociopolitical conscience in the latest from the iconoclast behind JFK and World Trade Center, a brutal crime thriller reminding us that he's also the guy who wrote Scarface. Based on Don Winslow's bestseller, Savages stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as Laguna Beach pot dealers forced to square off against a corrupt DEA agent (John Travolta), a cartel leader (Salma Hayek!) and her enforcer (Benicio Del Toro). (Universal Pictures)

Ted (July 13)

Directed by Seth McFarlane

Boston slacker Mark Wahlberg might be able to salvage his relationship with long-suffering girlfriend Mila Kunis if he can get his best friend since childhood to move out. Oh, and his friend happens to be a CG-animated, foul-mouthed, bong-smoking, sexually harassing teddy bear (voiced by McFarlane). Patrick Warburton, Giovanni Ribisi and Joel McHale co-star. (Universal Pictures)

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Really, who won't be watching the final act of Nolan's Caped Crusader trilogy, arguably the high-water mark of superhero cinema? Christian Bale's gravelly voice returns as haunted billionaire Bruce Wayne and his winged alter ego, now facing two foes of fanboy legend: Anne Hathaway's slinky Catwoman and Tom Hardy's gas-masked juggernaut Bane, who infamously broke Batman's back in the comics. (Warner Bros.)

Klown (July 27)

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard

Hands down the funniest film of the year, this irreverent Danish comedy plays like a superior, way grosser version of The Hangover (and Todd Phillips is producing an American remake!). Discovering that everyone except him knew about his girlfriend's pregnancy, a nebbishy man-child — about to take a canoe trip to an exclusive brothel with his ultra-perverted pal — unwisely kidnaps her young nephew for the ride. From ill-advised threesomes to photographing little boy penises, they don't call them "gags" for nothing. (Drafthouse Films)

Killer Joe (July 27)

Directed by William Friedkin

In debt to a drug kingpin, Emile Hirsch hires a sociopathic Dallas cop (Matthew McConaughey) to take out his mother for the life insurance policy. The Exorcist director reteams with Pulitzer- and Tony-winning writer Tracy Letts (Bug) for what's been labeled both a sleazy noir-thriller and an eccentric, pitch-black comedy. (LD Entertainment)

The Watch (July 27)

Directed by Akiva Schaffer

Formerly called Neighborhood Watch before the Trayvon Martin shooting prompted an essential title change, this profane comedy concerns a quartet of Costco employees and drinking buddies (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Submarine director Richard Aoyade) who form a crime watch to escape their humdrum suburban existence. Oh yeah, and then they accidentally uncover an alien-invasion plot that only they can thwart to save all of humanity. (20th Century Fox)

The Bourne Legacy (August 3)

Directed by Tony Gilroy

Whoa, how do you make a Jason Bourne thriller without Matt Damon, or even the Bourne identity? Expanding on novelist Robert Ludlum's universe of top-level espionage, the underrated director of Duplicity and Michael Clayton (and screenwriter on every Bourne flick thus far) brings new hero Jeremy Renner into the fray — along with Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz and the previous films' Albert Finney and Joan Allen — as another bad-ass CIA operative. (Universal Pictures)

The Campaign (August 10)

Directed by Jay Roach

The mud-slinging political comedy we deserve in this circus of an election year, this broad farce stars Will Ferrell as a long-sitting congressman from North Carolina whose CEO rivals dig up their own untrained Manchurian candidate (a mustachioed Zach Galifianakis) from the local tourism center. Fun fact: Galifianakis' uncle was also an NC congressman, unseated by Jesse Helms in the '70s. (Warner Bros.)

ParaNorman (August 17)

Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell

The Oscar-nominated animation company behind Coraline presents this stop-motion 3-D comedy-thriller about a spiky-haired misfit (voiced by Let Me In's Kodi Smit-McPhee) with the ability to speak to the dead. Unable to win over friends or even his family, Norman's ghost whispering sure comes in handy when his small town is overrun by a plague of zombies. (Focus Features)

The Loneliest Planet (August 24)

Directed by Julia Loktev

Hiking through the otherworldly Caucasus Mountains in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia, Alex (Gael García Bernal) and his flame-haired fiancee Nica (Hani Furstenberg) seem like the perfect hipster couple, until a subtle, split-second choice irreversibly cracks the veneer. Loktev's marvelous, slow-burning follow-up to her minimalist thriller Day Night Day Night somehow manages to be both audacious and subtle: Awkward silences are deafening, and the wilderness, though wide open, brings on a devastating claustrophobia. (Sundance Selects)

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Prometheus was really one of my top summer movies..next up Spider-Man and Brave


summer straight-to-video lineup?


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