Flick It

Jasin Boland

Summer movie season has arrived. There is an insane number of films on the (incomplete) list that follows, and plenty of room for optimism. To that end, we've tried to cut back on the snarky comments about pointless sequels and loathsome actors—although it's nearly impossible to let those infernal pirates sail by without a slap or two. But, hey, they can take it, because they're really, really rich, and because everyone knows pirates can't read. Happy summer, Dallas. —Chuck Wilson


Cast: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.

Director: William Friedkin

Director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) returns with an adaptation of screenwriter Tracy Lett's intense off-Broadway drama about an Oklahoma cocktail waitress (Ashley Judd) who invites a Gulf War vet (Michael Shannon) into her motel room home. Over time, she gradually becomes caught up in his belief that the room they're occupying is infected with government issued bugs—the kind that crawl. (Lionsgate) Opens nationwide.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush

Director: Gore Verbinski

Verbinski sends Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and the lovely Elizabeth to the edge of the known world, over which we pray they will sail, never to be seen again. (Buena Vista) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tom McInerny, Toby Stephens

Director: Christopher Smith

On a corporate retreat in Budapest an international arms dealer and his six employees are attacked by crazed mercenaries, who—and we're just guessing here—must be pissed over not having received a bulk discount. (Magnolia) Opens nationwide.

Crazy Love

Director: Dan Klores

In this irresistible documentary, director Dan Klores tracks the insane lengths Bronx lawyer Burt Pugach went to woo the woman who rejected him, including the part where he hired thugs to throw acid in her face. A film guaranteed to make you feel better about your love life. (Magnolia) Opens New York and Los Angeles June 1, San Francisco June 8, with additional cities to follow.

Knocked Up

Cast: Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogen

Director: Judd Apatow

The Hollywood hype-meisters are predicting that this comedy about a slob (Rogen) and a gorgeous TV reporter (Heigl) who get drunk, have sex and inadvertently make a baby, is going to make Grey's Anatomy star Heigl the next Julia Roberts. No pressure there. Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) writes and directs. (Universal) Opens nationwide.

Mr. Brooks

Cast: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt

Director: Bruce A. Evans

Costner plays a rich Portland businessman who moonlights as a serial killer, a sideline at which he excels until a smart cop (Moore) and a blackmailing photographer (Cook) start messing with his master plan. (MGM) Opens nationwide.

Hostel Part II

Cast: Lauren German, Bijou Phillips, Heather Matarazzo, Roger Bart

Director: Eli Roth

In a decidedly unkempt Slovakian dungeon, three vacationing Americans are flayed, decapitated, and generally mistreated by insane rich men with knives. Summer movie fun for the whole family. (Lionsgate) Opens nationwide.

La Vie en Rose

Cast: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Jean-Paul Rouve, Clotilde Courau

Director: Olivier Dahan

Raised in a brothel, blind for a time as a child, and suspected of murder, French chanteuse Edith Piaf is long overdue for a biopic. The year's first bit of Oscar buzz is building for Cotillard's fierce performance. (Picturehouse) Opens New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco June 8, with additional cities to follow.

Ocean's Thirteen

Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin

Director: Steven Soderbergh

A band of very pretty people rob a casino. (Warner Bros) Opens nationwide.

Surf's Up

Voice Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder, James Woods, Jeff Bridges

Directors: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

A teenaged penguin travels from Antarctica to Hawaii for a surfboarding competition. Animated. (Sony) Opens nationwide.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon

Director: Tim Story

In this sequel to a film every comic geek saw and few loved, a silver-skinned cool dude superhero on a surfboard joins forces with the Fab Four to once again defeat the evil Dr. Doom. (Fox) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Sam Worthington, Victoria Hill, Gary Sweet, Matt Doran

Director: Geoffrey Wright

Australian filmmaker Wright (Romper Stomper) sets Macbeth (Worthington) and his murderous mum (Hill) in a modern-day Melbourne, where Duncan (Sweet) is a crime boss whose end is near. (Union Station Media/Truly Indie) Opens Seattle June 15, San Francisco June 29, New York July 6, additional cities to follow.  

Nancy Drew

Cast: Emma Roberts, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tate Donovan

Director: Andrew Fleming

The rare summer movie that may appeal to your grandmother, this big screen adaptation of the young-adult mystery series stars Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric, niece to Julia) as a modern-day version of the plucky 1930s teen sleuth. (Warner Bros) Opens nationwide.

A Mighty Heart

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Will Patton, Irrfan Khan

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, whose bestseller A Mighty Heart detailed her 2002 journey to Pakistan to search for her husband Daniel, a Wall Street Journal reporter who'd been kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists. Dan Futterman (who wrote Capote) portrays, in flashback, the late Daniel Pearl. (Paramount Vantage) Opens nationwide.

Broken English

Cast: Parker Posey, Melvil Poupard, Gena Rowlands, Drea de Matteo

Director: Zoe Cassavetes

In a rare dramatic role, Posey stars as a Manhattan hotel exec unlucky in love, until the night she meets and falls hard for a visiting Frenchman (Melvil Poupard, who was so good in 2005's Time to Leave). For her feature debut, writer-director Zoe Cassavetes, daughter of the late John Cassavetes, cast her mother, the great Gena Rowlands, to play Posey's disapproving mother. (Magnolia) Opens in New York and Los Angeles June 22, with additional cities to follow.

Evan Almighty

Cast: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham

Director: Tom Shadyac

Morgan Freeman returns in what's shaping up to be the first talking deity series since George Burns started yakking to John Denver (in 1977's Oh, God!, for you youngsters). In this not-quite-a-sequel variation on the Jim Carrey hit Bruce Almighty, God comes calling on an arrogant newsman, played by Carell, the new It-Man of Hollywood comedy (sorry, Jim). (Universal) Opens nationwide.

September Dawn

Cast: Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Terence Stamp

Director: Christopher Cain

A bearded Stamp plays Mormon leader Brigham Young in this dramatization of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, when 120 settlers in the Utah Territory were murdered by a Mormon militia. Don't expect a Salt Lake City red carpet premiere. (Black Diamond Pictures) Opens nationwide.

You Kill Me

Cast: Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Luke Wilson, Phillip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman

Director: John Dahl

A crime noir comedy from Red Rock West director Dahl about an alcoholic Polish mafia hit man (Kingsley) ordered to dry out in San Francisco, where he finds love and a part-time job as a mortician. (IFC) Opens nationwide.

Live Free or Die Hard

Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q.

Director: Len Wiseman

Twelve years and many flops after Die Hard With a Vengeance, Willis competes for box office gold as maverick cop John McClane, who takes on a cyber terrorist (Olyphant) with the help of a computer-geek sidekick who just happens to be played by Mac ad kid Justin Long. (Fox) Opens nationwide.

Death at a Funeral Home

Cast: Ewen Bremmer, Peter Dinklage, Matthew McFadden

Director: Frank Oz

A black comedy about a proper British funeral where the mourning family is slowly coming unhinged, thanks to accidental drug trips, unexpected trysts, and the unnerving appearance of the dead patriarch's secret gay lover. Great trailer. (MGM) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close

Director: Lajos Koltai

Novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) wrote the screenplay for this star-packed adaptation of Susan Minot's exquisite 1999 novel, in which a dying woman travels back in her mind to a wedding 40 years before at which she fell madly, and tragically, in love. (Focus) Opens nationwide.


Voice Cast: Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo

Director: Brad Bird

Pixar Animation and the director of The Incredibles team up to tell the inspiring tale of Remy the Parisian Rat, who dreams of being a master chef in a world that doesn't always respond enthusiastically to a rodent in the kitchen. Even a cute one. (Buena Vista) Opens nationwide.


Director: Michael Moore

After taking on the car industry (Roger & Me), the gun industry (Bowling for Columbine), and the war industry (Fahrenheit 9/11), Michael Moore shifts his obsessive gaze to the American health care system. Hey, insurance companies: No publicity is bad publicity, right? (Weinstein)

License to Wed

Cast: Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski

Director: Ken Kwapis

Sadie (Mandy Moore) dreams of marrying her fiancé (John Krasinski) at her family's church, but it's all booked up for the next two years. Except: There is one open day, and to score it, the couple must survive a marriage-prep course devised by a most unorthodox pastor, played by the ever unorthodox Robin Williams. (Warner Bros) Opens nationwide.  

Rescue Dawn

Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies

Director: Werner Herzog

This taut and surprisingly straightforward action film from iconoclastic director Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man) tells the true story of Dieter Dengler (Bale), shot down over Laos in 1964, captured, and thrown into a brutal North Vietnamese prison where he finds two Americans (Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies) reluctant to join his escape plan. (MGM) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 4, with additional cities to follow.


Cast: Shia LeBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson

Director: Michael Bay

Imagine if those nimble robot action figures gathering dust under your kid's bed decided to bulk up, rise up, and take over Earth. With the director of Pearl Harbor and Armageddon at the helm, expect a long, noisy war. (Dreamworks/Paramount) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga

Director: George Ratliff

Everyone's thrilled when parents Brad and Abby (Rockwell and Farmiga) bring home their beautiful new baby girl. Everyone except 9-year-old brother Joshua (Kogan), that is. Soon evil plagues the family, and maybe Joshua is more than just smart. (Fox Searchlight) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 6, with additional cities to follow.


Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack

Director: Mikael Hfström

Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about scary hotels, penned the short story that inspired this scary movie about a professional haunted house debunker (Cusack) who checks into a room many have entered and few have exited. (Weinstein/MGM) Opens nationwide.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Director: David Yates

An obscure British import, for which there's very little advance publicity. (Warner Bros) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller

Director: Steve Buscemi

Buscemi stars as a hardened political reporter who's sent to interview a soap star (Miller). He's not happy about it, but as their interview stretches into a long night, each discovers unexpected depths in the other. Buscemi directs from a screenplay that he co-adapted from one that was written by Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who was on the verge of directing Buscemi and Miller in the film when brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist. (Sony Pictures Classics) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 13, with additional cities to follow.

Talk to Me

Cast: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Don Cheadle stars as Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene, a legendary 1960s radio and talk show host who galvanized Washington, D.C. by leading public protests against poverty and racism. (Focus) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 13, and additional cities July 13 and July 27.


Cast: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans

Director: Sean Ellis

Filmmaker Sean Ellis expands his Oscar-nominated short about a young art student (Biggerstaff) who, suffering from insomnia, goes to work at an all-night market. There he discovers that he can stop time, a trick that allows him to find unexpected beauties (female and otherwise) within the store. (Magnolia) Opening cities TBD.

Goya's Ghosts

Cast: Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman

Director: Milos Forman

Milos Forman, Oscar-winning director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, dramatizes the rivalry between Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Skarsgard) and a powerful clergyman (Bardem) who's infatuated with Goya's teenage muse (Portman). (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Opening cities TBD.


Cast: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Director: Adam Shankman

Filmmaker John Waters' lifelong dream of invading the suburban multiplexes of America finally comes true with this big-budget version of the hit Broadway play, which in turn was based on Waters' non-musical 1988 comedy. In full drag, John Travolta plays a '50s mom, continuing a tradition set by the late, great, and much-missed drag queen Divine, to whom the part will always truly belong. (New Line Cinema) Opens nationwide.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel

Director: Dennis Dugan

About Schmidt and Sideways writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor go seriously mainstream, joining with co-writer Barry Fanaro (Kingpin) for this broad comedy about two perpetually single New York firefighters who pretend to be lovers in order to receive domestic partnership benefits. (Universal) Opens nationwide.

I Know Who Killed Me

Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Julia Ormond, Neal McDonough, Brian Geraghty

Director: Chris Sivertson  

After escaping from a sadistic serial killer, a young woman named Aubrey Fleming (Lohan) awakens from a coma to say that she is not who authorities believe she is, and that the real Aubrey Fleming is still out there, in danger. (Sony) Opens nationwide.

No Reservations

Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin

Director: Scott Hicks

An acclaimed Manhattan chef (Zeta-Jones) with no time for anything but cooking is suddenly given charge of her 9-year-old niece (Breslin) at the same time a handsome, spirited sous-chef (Eckhart) joins her staff. Sparks fly. (Warner Bros) Opens nationwide.

The Simpsons Movie

Director: David Silverman

Please be funny. (Fox) Opens nationwide. El Cantante

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony

Director: Leon Ichaso

Latin singing sensation Marc Anthony stars as the wildly popular 1960s and '70s salsa star Hector Lavoe, who couldn't overcome his addiction to cocaine and heroine. J. Lo plays Lavoe's wife. (Picturehouse) Opens nationwide.

Hot Rod

Cast: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane

Director: Akiva Schaffer

Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a motorcycle stuntman who plans to jump 15 buses to raise money for a life-saving operation his abusive stepfather (Ian McShane) desperately needs. Once said stepfather is healthy, Rod plans to kick his ass. (Paramount) Opens nationwide.

Resurrecting the Champ

Cast: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson

Director: Rod Lurie

After realizing that a homeless man (Jackson) is a former boxing champ, sports reporter Hartnett tries to revive the boxer's career and also boost his own. (Yari Film Group) Opens nationwide.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, David Strathairn

Director: Paul Greengrass

In the final film of the Bourne Trilogy, former C.I.A. assassin Jason Bourne (Damon) dodges bullets and flying cars (again) while investigating (again) the mysteries of the past he can't remember (again). Regression therapy might have been easier. (Universal) Opens nationwide.

The Ten

Cast: Paul Rudd, Jessica Alba, Winona Ryder, Adam Brody, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, Liev Schreiber, Oliver Platt, Justin Theroux

Director: David Wain

Ten comic vignettes, set in the modern day, inspired by the Ten Commandments. (Think Film) Opens New York and Los Angeles August 3, with additional cites to follow.


Cast: Jim Belushi, Peter Dinklage, Brad Garrett

Director: Frederik Du Chau

In this live-action family comedy, a lab accident gives a beagle superpowers plus the ability to speak (via Jason Lee's voice). So when evildoers descend on the city, it's Underdog—complete with a cool cape—to the rescue. (Walt Disney Pictures) Opens nationwide. Rocket Science

Cast: Reece Thompson, Anna Kendrick, Nicholas D'Agosto

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Blitz, director of the popular spelling bee documentary Spellbound, helms this comedy about a chronic stutterer (Thompson) who joins his high-school debate team at the insistence of the school's beautiful debate team queen (Kendrick). (Picturehouse) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Peter O'Toole

Director: Matthew Vaughn

A young Englishman follows a falling star and ends up in the fantasy land of Faerie, where the star is a beautiful girl (Danes) being hunted by an evil witch (Pfeiffer). Based on a graphic novel by the revered sci-fi/fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. (Paramount Pictures) Opens nationwide.

The Invasion

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

In the umpteenth riff on Jack Finney's classic 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers, a Washington, D.C. psychiatrist (Kidman) comes to believe that the reason people around her are acting stranger than usual is that aliens have taken them over. (Warner Bros) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader

Director: Greg Mottola

A coming-of-age comedy about two lifelong buddies (Cera and Hill), nerds and virgins both, who head off to separate grad schools, and on one fateful night try to score with beautiful women. Produced by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and directed by Mottola, whose debut film was the terrific indie comedy Daytrippers. (Columbia Pictures) Opens nationwide.

Wrist Cutters: A Love Story

Cast: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham

Director: Goran Dukic

In this decidedly original comedy, Zia (Fugit), who killed himself after his girlfriend dumped him, wakes up in a boring little desert town that's a kind of hell for suicides. Upon hearing that his girl has died too, Zia and his new best friend, a fellow suicide, set out to find her. Look for a cameo by Tom Waits. (Lionsgate) Opens New York and Los Angeles August 17, with additional cities to follow.  

The Comebacks

Cast: David Koechner, Bradley Cooper, Matthew Lawrence

Director: Tom Brady

In this spoof of inspiring sports movies, the unluckiest coach in sports (Koechner) gets one last chance when he takes over a talent-less football team with the worst record in history. (Fox Atomic) Opens nationwide.


Cast: Anthony Wong, Frances Ng, Simon Yam, Lam Suet

Director: Johnnie To

Four hired killers descend on the house of a fellow bad guy. Two want to kill him; two want to save him. There's a gunfight. No one dies. All five sit down to dinner. Resume. Sergio Leone meets the Coen Brothers in this modern Western from virtuoso director To. (Magnolia) Opens New York and Los Angeles August 24, and additional cities August 31.

Good Luck Chuck

Cast: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba

Director: Mark Helfrich

Poor Chuck (Cook) becomes a babe magnet for all the wrong reasons after word gets out that for some mysterious reason any woman who sleeps with him is destined to fall in love with the next man she meets. (Lionsgate) Opens nationwide.

The Hottest State

Cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Laura Linney, Mark Webber, Michelle Williams, Sonia Braga, Ethan Hawke

Director: Ethan Hawke

Hawke wrote and directed this adaptation of his 1996 novel, and Webber stars as a 20-year-old New York actor who meets a young singer (Catalina Sandino Moreno), takes her to Mexico City, and before long, regrets it. (Think Film) Opens New York and Los Angeles August 24, with additional cities to follow.

Balls of Fury

Cast: Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q.

Director: Robert Ben Grant

At the behest of the FBI agent Randy Daytona (Fogler), a former ping-pong champ re-enters the fray on a secret mission to find his father and defeat his father's arch rival and possible killer (Christopher Walken). Watching Walken ping his pong may be worth the price of admission. (Rogue) Opens nationwide.

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