Summer movie season has arrived. There are an insane number of films on the following list, 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, America.
THE BOSS OF IT ALL
Summer Movie Preview
Cast: Jens Albinus, Peter Gantzler
Director: Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier, director of the beautifully glum Dancer in the Dark and Dogville, lightens up considerably in this comedy about the owner of a computer company who hires an actor (Albinus) to impersonate him and thereby take the heat socks to the jaw included from pissed-off employees and shareholders. (IFC) Opens New York and Los Angeles May 23, with additional cities to follow.
I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN YOU: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF SIMON WIESENTHAL
Director: Richard Trank
Nicole Kidman narrates this documentary that explores the life of Simon Wiesenthal, from his childhood in the Ukraine to the Holocaust and post-war, when Wiesenthal spent the rest of his life hunting down those who killed 89 of his family members, and some six million others. (Luminous Velocity Releasing) Opens New York May 23, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma
Director: Shonali Bose
In this Indian drama from first-time writer-director Bose, a 21-year-old Indian-American woman (Sen Sharma) travels to Delhi to unravel a family secret, which is tied to the violent riots that followed the 1984 assassination of Indira Gandhi. (Emerging Pictures) Opens New York May 25, Los Angeles June 1, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Rie Rasmussen
Director: Luc Besson
The first film in eight years from French writer-director Besson (Subway, La Femme Nikita) is a black-and-white love letter to his native Paris, centering on a one-armed vagabond (Debbouze) and the beautiful woman (Rasmussen) he saves from suicide. (Sony Pictures Classics) Opens New York and Los Angeles May 25, and additional cities to follow.
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 Letts'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.
THE GOLDEN DOOR
Cast: Vincenzo Amato, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Director: Emanuele Crialese
This epic tale from writer-director Crialese (Respiro) moves from the Old World to the New as an early-20th-century Sicilian (Amato) sells his livestock and immigrates to America, passing through Ellis Island and into New York alongside a mysterious Englishwoman (Gainsbourg). (Miramax) Opens New York May 25, Los Angeles June 1, and additional cities to follow.
Director: Satoshi Kon
Animé buffs are jazzed about this latest film from Japan's Kon about a 29-year-old psychotherapist whose computerized alter ego, Paprika, can enter people's dreams and cure them of neurosis. If only. (Sony Pictures Classics) Opens New York and Los Angeles May 25, and additional cities to follow.
PARIS, JE T'AIME
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Juliette Binoche, Nick Nolte, Fanny Ardant, Ben Gazzara, Gena Rowlands
Twenty filmmakers from around the world, including Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuarón and Alexander Payne, direct their favorite actors in short vignettes celebrating the boundless romantic possibilities of the City of Light. (First Look) Now playing New York and Los Angeles, opens additional cities May 25, June 1, June 22.
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, whoand we're just guessing heremust be pissed over not having received a bulk discount. (Magnolia) Now playing New York, opens San Francisco and Los Angeles May 25; Orange County, Minneapolis, Dallas and Seattle June 1, with additional cities to follow.
Director: Dan Klores
In this irresistible documentary, director Klores tracks the insane lengths Bronx lawyer Burt Pugach went to 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.
Cast: Konstantin Khabensky, Maria Poroshina
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
The second film in Russian director Bekmambetov's proposed trilogy that began with last year's Night Watch promises more blood and dizzying camera work as the director explains how a 14th-century Mongol conqueror and his "Chalk of Destiny" led to a modern-day battle between good and evil. (Fox Searchlight) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Carly Schroeder, Elisabeth Shue, Dermot Mulroney
Director: Davis Guggenheim
In a sports drama inspired by events in her own family, coproducer Shue stars as the mother of a teenage girl (Schroeder) who decides, in the summer of 1978, to take her older brother's place on a boys soccer team after he's killed in a car accident. Directed by Davis "Inconvenient Truth" Guggenheim. (Picturehouse) Opens nationwide.
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.
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.
PIERREPOINT THE LAST HANGMAN
Cast: Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, Eddie Marsan
Director: Adrian Shergold
A drama based on the life of Albert Pierrepoint (Spall), an English grocery clerk whose secret life as an executioner for the state he's credited with putting 450 people to death, including Nazi war criminals is exposed, making him a social pariah. (IFC) Opens New York and Los Angeles June 1, with additional cities to follow.
SHOWBUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY
Director: Dori Berinstein
This documentary promises unfettered backstage access as four musicalsWicked, Taboo, Avenue Q and Tony Kushner's Caroline, Or Changeinch their way to opening night on Broadway. (Regent) Now playing New York, opens Los Angeles June 1; additional cities to follow.
Cast: Crusoe Kurddal, Jamie Gulpilil
Director: Rolf de Heer
Set in the Australian outback some one thousand years ago and drawn from Aboriginal stories passed down as oral history, this film dramatizes the tale of two brothers feuding over the love of one woman. (Palm) Opens New York June 1, with additional cities to follow.
12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
Cast: Mircea Andreescu, Teodor
Corban, Ion Sapdaru
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
In this Romanian comedy, a small-town TV host wants to debate whether anyone in town actually participated in the overthrow of Communist leader Ceausescu 16 years earlier. The problem is that the only available guests are a history teacher with a hangover and a lonely old man. Winner of the Camera d'Or (best debut film) at Cannes 2006. (Tartan) Opens in New York June 6, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Michel Piccoli, Bulle Ogier,
Director: Manoel de Oliveira
For this delightfully unexpected project, 99-year-old Portuguese director de Oliveira, a master himself, wonders what might have become, in their later years, of Severine and Henri, the two main characters from Luis Buñuel's 1967 masterpiece, Belle de Jour. Piccoli reprises the role of Henri while Ogier takes over as Severine, a part originally played, so indelibly, by Catherine Deneuve. (New Yorker Films) Opens New York June 8, with additional cities to follow.
BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!
Director: Guy Maddin
This new 90-minute silent film from Canadian filmmaker Maddin is a black-and-white comedy/melodrama/tragedy about a man who's flashing back to a childhood spent in the orphanage his crazy parents ran inside a lighthouse, on a remote island. There's a mad scientist, twin teen detectives and a mother who takes turpentine baths to "wash away the sin!" (Tartan) Now playing New York, opens Los Angeles June 8, Denver July 15, with additional cities to follow.
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.
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.
Voice Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder,
James Woods, Jeff Bridges
Directors: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck
Yet another penguin movie: A teenaged penguin travels from Antarctica to Hawaii for a surfboarding competition. Animated. (Sony) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Louis Koo
Director: Johnnie To
Young Hong Kong gangster Jimmy (Koo) is trying to go straight, but pending corruption charges force him to battle his way to the top of the crime family. (Tartan) Limited.
YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME
Director: Keven McAlester
A documentary on the life of Roger Kynard "Roky" Erickson, whose 1960s band the 13th Floor Elevators are considered the inventors of "psychedelic rock." After a drug bust, Erickson went into a Texas mental hospital and came out delusional and paranoid. The film tracks an attempt by his younger brother to save him. (Palm) Opens limited, with additional dates to follow.
LIGHTS IN THE DUSK
Cast: Janne Hyytiäinen, Maria
Järvenhelmi, Maria Heiskanen
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Koiskinen (Hyytiäinen) is a lonely Helsinki night watchman who finds himself suddenly being wooed by a beautiful blond (Järvenhelmi) whose intentions may not be completely aboveboard. (Strand) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 13, with additional cities to follow.
EAGLE VS SHARK
Cast: Loren Horsley, Jermaine
Clement, Brian Sergent, Rachel House
Director: Taika Waititi
At a "dress as your favorite animal" party, a New Zealand oddball named Lily (Horsley), dressed as a shark, falls for a lonely guy named Jarrod (Clement), dressed as an Eagle. Love and comic mayhem follow. (Miramax) Opens New York and Los Angeles June 15, and additional cities June 29.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba,
Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis,
Director: Tim Story
In this sequel to a film every comic geek saw but 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: Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss,
Dylan Baker, K'Sun Ray
Director: Andrew Currie
In 1950s suburbia, where an invasion of zombies has been thwarted and the flesh-eaters turned into household servants, young Timmy's family finally gets a zombie housekeeper/pet of their own, a benign, wise hulk that Timmy dubs "Fido." (Lionsgate) 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, with additional cities to follow.
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. Give it a chance, though: Fleming wrote and directed Dick. (Warner Bros.) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Katharina Thalbach, Dominique
Horwitz, Andrzej Chyra
Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Reportedly inspired by the life of renowned Polish activist Anna Walentynowicz, Strike dramatizes the founding of the Polish Solidarity movement through Agnieszka (Thalbach), a shipyard welder whose tireless fight for worker's rights sparks a revolutionary political movement. (Red Envelope/Laemmle Zeller) Opens New York and Los Angeles June 22, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Kyle Shewfelt, Miklos Zoltan
Director: Szabolcs Hajdu
Hungary's entry for last year's foreign film Oscar is inspired by events in the life of director Hajdu's brother, Miklos, who stars in this sports drama as a champion gymnast haunted by his childhood in a brutal Hungarian sports camp. Wounds begin to heal as he trains and befriends a young Canadian gymnast (real-life Olympic medalist Shewfelt). (Strand) Limited.
Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson,
Director: Mikael Håfström
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. We will not reference the Eagles. (Weinstein/MGM) 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 was kidnapped and killed by Islamic fundamentalists. Futterman (who wrote Capote) portrays, in flashback, the late Daniel Pearl. (Paramount Vantage) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney,
Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis
Director: Jonathan King
In this horror comedy from New Zealand, a young man with a pathological fear of sheep (yes, sheep) returns to his family's farm to find that it's been overrun by mutant, flesh-eating sheep (yes, sheep). (Weinstein) Opens in New York June 22, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Parker Posey, Melvil Poupaud,
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 (Poupaud, 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 mom. (Magnolia) Opens in New York and Los Angeles June 22, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gilles,
Pruitt Taylor Vince
Director: Roland Joffé
A fashion model (Cuthbert) and her chauffeur (Gilles) are kidnapped and tortured by one of her fans (Vince). Locked in a tiny room together, model and chauffer predictably fall in love and unite to defeat their captor. What's unexpected here is the presence behind the camera of Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission), who's either slumming for a buck or attempting to elevate the torture-horror genre to a higher plain. We'll see. (Lionsgate) Opens nationwide.
DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE
Cast: Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance,
Sarah Carter, Natasha Malthe,
Director: Corey Yuen
Scantily clad beauties fight evildoers in this live action version of a popular video game. (Weinstein) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman,
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 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.
Cast: John Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Dillane
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Malkovich stars as the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, who's lying on his deathbed as the film opens, thinking back to the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris where he meets Lea de Castro (Burrows), a French dancer who became both mistress and muse. (Outsider) Opens limited, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Marina Hands, Jean-Louis
Coulloc'h, Hippolyte Girardot
Director: Pascale Ferran
In this adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's second Lady Chatterley novel, John Thomas and Lady Jane, the Lady in question (Hands) has a tempestuous affair with the groundskeeper (Coulloc'h) at her paralyzed husband's country estate. (Kino) Opens limited July 6 and July 13.
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. And sorry about the timing, Mitt. (Black Diamond Pictures) Opens nationwide.
YOU KILL ME
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Luke
Wilson, Philip 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.
GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL
Director: Asger Leth
Set in the infamous Haitian slum of Cité Soleil, this documentary tracks the rivalry between two brothers who rule separate factions in the brutal gang that's said to have been the muscle of dictator Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Music by executive producer and native Haitian hero Wyclef Jean. (Think Film) Opens New York June 27, Los Angeles July 6 and additional cities July 13.
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
Cast: Ewen Bremmer, Peter Dinklage, Matthew MacFadyen
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 flashes back to a wedding 40 years earlier at which she fell madly, and tragically, in love. (Focus) Opens nationwide.
Director: Jasmine Dellal
Doc follows five renowned Gypsy bands as they travel four countries on a six-week concert tour. Additional footage finds the musicians in their native Macedonia, Romania, India and Spain, offering a rare glimpse of Roma life. (Shadow Distribution) Opens New York June 15, Los Angeles June 29, with additional cities to follow.
ONE TO ANOTHER
Cast: Lizzie Brocheré, Arthur Dupont
Director: Jean-Marc Barr and Pascal Arnold
In this sexually charged mystery, Lucie (Brocheré) and her bisexual brother and sometime lover Pierre (Dupont) are the center of a bohemian group of friends. When Pierre is found brutally murdered, Lucie vows to uncover the killer. (Strand) Opens New York and San Francisco June 29, Los Angeles August 3, with additional cities to follow.
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) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Bruno Ganz, Fabrizio Borsani, Teo Gheorghiu
Director: Fredi Murer
A 12-year old piano prodigy (real life virtuoso Gheorghiu) crumbles under family pressure in Switzerland's entry for last year's foreign film Oscar. The boy runs away to his grandfather (Wings of Desire angel Ganz), who helps the pianist rediscover both his childhood and his talent. (Sony Pictures Classics) Opens limited.
INTRODUCING THE DWIGHTS
Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Khan Chittenden, Emma Booth, Richard Wilson
Director: Cherie Nowlan
From Australia, a comedy about an overbearing mother and comedienne (Blethyn), her two devoted sons and the new girlfriend who's coming between them all. Beware acid-tongued, jealous mothers. (Warner Independent) Opens limited.
LICENSE TO WED
Cast: Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski
Director: Ken Kwapis
Sadie (Moore) dreams of marrying her fiancé (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.
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 (Zahn, Davies) reluctant to join his escape plan. (MGM) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 4, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, 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 older brother Joshua (Kogan), that is. Soon evil plagues the family. (Fox Searchlight) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 6, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Dan Chupong, Leo Putt, Panna Ritthikrai
Director: Chalerm Wongpim
A Martial Arts extravaganza from Thailand about a young boy trying to avenge the murder of his parents and also stop a group of cattle rustlers. Thai cattle rustlers. (Magnolia) Opens limited.
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). 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 written by Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was on the verge of directing Buscemi and Miller in the movie when brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist. (Sony Pictures Classics) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 13, with additional cities to follow.
MY BEST FRIEND
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, Julie Gayet
Director: Patrice Leconte
A gentle comedy about a lonely, uptight businessman (Auteuil) who accepts a bet that he can meet and make a best friend within two weeks. (IFC) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 13, additional cities July 27.
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman
Director: Bryan Bertino
In a remote vacation home, a young couple must defend themselves against three masked invaders. (Rogue) Opens nationwide.
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.
Director: Michael Arias
In this full-length anime film, director Michael Arias translates underground manga artist Taiyo Matsumoto's graphic novel, originally published serially in 1993, about the adventures of two street urchins, one with magical powers. (Yari Film Group) Opens New York and Los Angeles, with additional cities to follow.
Director: Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson
From National Geographic Films, a documentary that tracks an Arctic walrus named Seela and a polar bear dubbed Nanu from birth to adolescence to parenthood. (Paramount Vantage) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 20, and additional cities July 29.
Cast: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans
Director: Sean Ellis
Filmmaker 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) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 20, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Diane Lane, Anton Yelchin, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Perkins
Director: Griffin Dunne
Fifteen-year-old Finn (Yelchin), who dreams of becoming an anthropologist like his absent father, moves with his drug-addicted mother (Diane Lane) to an upscale New Jersey suburb and sets out to study the anthropologically peculiar ways of its wealthy inhabitants. (Lionsgate/After Dark Films) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 20, with additional cities to follow.
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) Opens limited, with additional cities Aug. 3.
Cast: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken
Director: Adam Shankman
Filmmaker John Waters's 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's 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 cowriter 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.
Cast: Mamatha Bhukya, Urmila Dammannagari
Director: Rajnesh Domalpalli
Using a cast of non-professional actors, first-time filmmaker Domalpalli films a script he wrote as a student at Columbia University. Set in rural South India, it's the story of a 14-year-old girl who takes a job in the home of her landlady and is raped by the landlady's politically powerful son. (New Yorker Films) Opens New York, with additional cities to follow.
Cast: Ash Christian, Jonathan Caouette, Robin De Jesus, Joe Flaten
Director: Ash Christian
Much to the shock of high-school senior Rodney Miller (writer-director Christian), a hot new British student (Flaten) accepts his invitation to the prom. (Regent) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 27, additional cities August 3.
CUT SLEEVE BOYS
Cast: Chowee Leow, Steven Lim, Gareth Rhys Davies
Director: Ray Yeung
After the death of a friend, two perpetually single British Chinese men (Lim and Leow) vow to make themselves over (literally) to find new and lasting love. (Regent) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 27, and additional cites August 17.
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.
Cast: Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Laura Morante
Director: Laurent Tirard
Duris, who was extraordinary in 2005's The Beat That My Heart Skipped, stars as the great French playwright Molière. It's 1644 and the 22-year-old starving artist encounters a succession of people who will later inspire and appear in his greatest play, Tartuffe. (Sony Pictures Classics) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 27, with additional cities to follow.
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 nine-year-old niece (little miss sunshine) at the same time a handsome, spirited sous-chef (Eckhart) joins her staff. Sparks fly. (Warner Bros.) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra
Director: James Isaac
Rival werewolf factions battle over a half-human, half-wolf 13-year-old boy who doesn't yet know that he's going to someday be furrier than the other boys at school. (After Dark Films) Opens nationwide.
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Director: David Silverman
Please be funny. (Fox) Opens nationwide.
THE WILLOW TREE
Cast: Parviz Parastui
Director: Majid Majidi
In his first film in seven years, acclaimed Iranian director Majidi (The Color of Paradise) looks at the world through the eyes of a middle-aged professor whose lifelong blindness is reversed through a corneal transplant. (New Yorker Films) Opens New York, with additional cities to follow.
THIS IS ENGLAND
Cast: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley
Director: Shane Meadows
In 1983 England, during the tumultuous Margaret Thatcher era, a 12-year-old boy (Turgoose) whose father was killed in the Falklands falls in with a skinhead gang, whose leader (Graham) returns from jail, preaching racism and hate. (IFC First Take) Opens New York and Los Angeles July 27, with additional cities to follow.
JULY (date to be determined)
NAMING NUMBER TWO
Cast: Ruby Dee, Tuva Novotny, Mia Blake
Director: Toa Fraser
This family drama from New Zealand won the World Cinema audience award at last year's Sundance Film Festival. The great Ruby Dee stars as the matriarch of a vast Fijian-Kiwi family who decides, impulsively, to unite her clan for a great feast. (Cyan Pictures)
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony
Director: Leon Ichaso
Latin singing sensation 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.
Cast: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith
Director: Julian Jarrold
This costume drama from the director of Kinky Boots imagines that at age 20, budding English novelist Jane Austen (Hathaway) had a romance with a penniless but handsome young lawyer (McAvoy), an affair that in the film's conceit became Austen's model for Pride & Prejudice. (Miramax) Opens New York and Los Angeles August 3, and additional cities August 10.
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis
Director: Jon Poll
Kicked out of private school, Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) soon finds himself dispensing easily acquired Ritalin, Xanax and Wellbutrin to his depressed public school classmates. Soon he's giving psychiatric advice from his bathroom, a development that makes him the enemy of school principal Robert Downey Jr. (MGM) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Saturday Night Live star Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a motorcycle stuntman who plans to jump 15 buses to raise money for a life-saving operation his abusive stepfather (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 CIA 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.
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 and the ability to speak (via Jason Lee's voice). So when evildoers descend on the city, it's Underdogcomplete with a cool capeto the rescue. (Walt Disney Pictures) Opens nationwide.
BRATZ: THE MOVIE
Cast: Paula Abdul, Nathalia Ramos, Skylar Shaye
Director: Sean McNamara
A live action film inspired by a popular line of dolls. Barbie must be so jealous. (Lionsgate/Crystal Sky Pictures) Opens nationwide.
DADDY DAY CAMP
Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Director: Fred Savage
Former child star Savage makes his feature directorial debut in this sequel to Daddy Day Care, in which Cuba Gooding, Jr. takes over Eddie Murphy's role as a dad who this time out opens a summer camp for kids. (Tri-Star) Opens nationwide.
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.
RUSH HOUR 3
Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker
Director: Brett Ratner
The funny cop and the whirling dervish cop head to Paris to break up a Chinese crime gang. Quick, go rent the first two and bone up on the backstory. (New Line Cinema) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, 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.
Cast: A.J. Bowen, Justin Welborn, Anessa Ramsey, Scott Poythress
Directors: David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry
Told in three parts by three different directors, this horror film discovers what happens when a mysterious electronic transmission ignites a city populace's murderous aggressions. (Magnolia) Opens nationwide.
TWO DAYS IN PARIS
Cast: Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg
Director: Julie Delpy
In a comedy that marks the directorial debut of actress Delpy, the filmmaker brings her American boyfriend (Goldberg) to meet her parents in Paris. Things to not go well. Delpy's real-life mom and dad, Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, portray her onscreen parents, and early word has it that they give terrific performances. (Samuel Goldwyn) Opens limited.
Cast: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel
Director: Kyle Newman
A comedy about four sci-fi geek best friends who travel cross country in order to break in to George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch and somehow screen the as-yet unreleased Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. One suspects that Mr. Lucas does not make a cameo. (MGM) Opens nationwide.
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.
THE KING OF KONG
Director: Seth Gordon
A documentary that follows a middle school science teacher as he battles a hot sauce mogul for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic Donkey Kong. (Picturehouse) Opens limited.
LOOKING FOR CHEYENNE
Cast: Mila Dekker, Aurélia Petit, Malik Zidi,
Director: Valerie Minetto
A hit on the festival circuit, this French romantic comedy tells of two women, Cheyenne (Dekker) and Sonia (Petit), who are madly in love with one anther but separate when they can't come to terms on where and how they should live. (Regent) Opens New York and Los Angeles Aug. 17, and additional cities September 7.
Cast: Christina Ricci, Catherine
O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy,
Director: Mark Palansky
A modern day fable about a young woman afflicted with a pig snout of a nose, the result of a family curse that can only be broken if she finds love, within herself as well as from without. (IFC) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Eduardo Arroyuelo, Martha
Higareda, Jaime Camil
Director: Fernando Kalife
A small-time concert promoter who dreams of bringing U2 to his Mexico town places a large bet with a mob boss and loses. The only way to save himself is to organize the concert in seven days. (Xenon Pictures) Opens Los Angeles August 17, with additional cities to follow.
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 high 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.
Cast: Jason Biggs, Isla Fisher, Joe Pantoliano
Director: Michael Ian Black
After losing the girl of his dreams, Anderson (Biggs) spontaneously proposes to a waitress (Fisher), who accepts. Will love blossom? (MGM) Opens nationwide.
WRISTCUTTERS: 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 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.
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, Francis 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 (Moreno), takes her to Mexico City, and before long, regrets it. (ThinkFilm) 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 Garant
At the behest of the FBI, agent Randy Daytona (Fogler), a former ping-pong champ, re-enters the fray on a secret mission to defeat his father's arch rival and possible killer (Walken). Watching Walken ping his pong may be worth the price of admission. (Rogue) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Kevin Bacon
Director: James Wan
A new adaptation of a 1975 novel by Brian Garfield, which was a sequel to Garfield's earlier novel, Death Wish, the book that spawned a hit film for tough guy Charles Bronson. In this updated version, a businessman (Bacon) turns vigilante after a street gang attacks his family. Bronson, Bacon, same diff. (Fox) Opens nationwide.
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane
Director: Rob Zombie
In what amounts to sacrilege to many serious horror fans (including this one), rocker turned filmmaker Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses) remakes John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic, sending young Michael Myers out into his suburban neighborhood, slashing wildly, but with more psychological justification, or so promises Mr. Zombie. (Weinstein) Opens nationwide.
MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY
Cast: Rowan Atkinson
Director: Steve Bendelack
Mr. Bean enters a church raffle and wins a vacation to France, where he wreaks his distinct brand of havoc, including separating a father and son and getting mistaken for a kidnapper. Expect a wacky finale at a fictionalized version of the Cannes Film Festival, which is as close as films about Mr. Bean are likely to get to the real event. (Universal) Opens nationwide.
THE BROTHERS SOLOMON
Cast: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Chi McBride
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Saturday Night Live's two Wills Arnett and Forte (who scripted) play not particularly bright brothers who want to fulfill their dying father's wish for a grandchild. One problem: They can't talk to women. (Screen Gems) Opens nationwide.
THE WEDDING DIRECTOR
Cast: Sergio Castellitto, Donatella Finocchiaro
Director: Marco Bellocchio
A film director (Castellitto) on the run from family drama escapes to a small village in Sicily where he accepts a nobleman's offer to shoot his daughter's wedding. This being Italy, the director promptly falls in love with the bride. (New Yorker Films) Opens New York, with additional cities to follow.
AUGUST (date to be determined)
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BLAME IT ON FIDEL
Cast: Nina Kervel-Bey, Julie Depardieu, Stefano Accorsi
Director: Julie Gavras
In 1970s Paris, a nine-year-old girl (Kervel-Bey) finds herself left to nannies and a houseful of noisy revolutionaries while her parents devote themselves to radical causes. (Koch Lorber)