Summer Movie Preview: 30 Most-Anticipated Films

  • Publish Date: April 26, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 5 user comments

Friday, August 5

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Watch Trailer

This prequel to the popular science fiction series stars James Franco as a genetic engineer hoping to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. What he finds instead is that his new drug increases intelligence in apes, and that one ape, Caesar -- played by Andy Serkis, the motion-capture performer behind Gollum and King Kong -- is no longer willing to be kept in a cage. Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) directs a cast that includes Freida Pinto, Brian Cox, John Lithgow, and Tom Felton, while WETA Digital provides the visual effects.

Also out this week:

Like an R-rated Freaky Friday, The Change-Up finds married father Jason Bateman and irresponsible single friend Ryan Reynolds magically swapping bodies after a night of drinking ... Rachel Weisz is The Whistleblower LIMITED when she exposes a U.N. cover-up of a sex trafficking scandal in war-torn Bosnia ... Two young friends obsessed with flamethrowers and the coming apocalypse find their lives changing when one of them falls in love in the unconventional Bellflower LIMITED ... Indie high school comedy Dirty Girl LIMITED is set in 1980s Oklahoma ... The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll LIMITED finds a rock star returning to his hometown and reuniting with an estranged friend after his sophomore album flops.

Friday, August 12

30 Minutes or Less Watch Trailer

Director Ruben Fleischer follows the surprise hit Zombieland with another blend of action and comedy. Jessie Eisenberg stars as Nick, a pizza delivery boy forced to rob a bank by two half-wit criminals (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) who strap a bomb to his chest, while Aziz Ansari plays Eisenberg’s best friend, Chet, who gets roped into assisting him. Oddly enough, it's based on a true story.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Watch Trailer

Produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, this horror film is a remake of the 1973 made-for-TV movie of the same name about a young girl who discovers that she, her dad, and his girlfriend are not the only things residing in their house. Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes star, while comic book artist Troy Nixey makes his feature directorial debut.

Also out this week:

Emma Stone and Viola Davis star in an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's The Help, set in a changing Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960's ... Final Destination 5 (formerly scheduled for 8/26) is the latest 3D installment in the increasingly un-final horror series, and it follows the same you-can't-escape-death-for-long formula of its predecessors ... Based on the inspirational golf book, Seven Days in Utopia LIMITED centers on a golfer seeking to recapture his swing in a small town; Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, and Melissa Leo star ... Actress Vera Farmiga makes her directorial debut with Higher Ground LIMITED, based on the Carolyn Briggs memoir This Dark World.

Friday, August 19

Fright Night

An early example of a meta-horror film -- the lead character is a fan of horror movies and uses his genre knowledge to help him cope with a vampire that's moved in next door -- Tom Holland's clever and funny Fright Night was a modest hit upon its 1985 release, but has been upgraded to cult classic status in the ensuing years. In this seemingly unnecessary 3D remake, set, oddly, in Las Vegas, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) plays the horror-loving teen, while Colin Farrell is the vampire neighbor. Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) directs from a script by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Also out this week:

Jason Momoa takes over the role created in the 1930s and made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982 in a 3D reboot of Conan the Barbarian ... Director Robert Rodriguez teams with Jessica Alba and Joel McHale for Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, the first installment in the successful family film franchise in eight years ... An audience award winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Circumstance LIMITED tells the story of two young girls, their emerging sexuality, and the boundaries contemporary Iranian culture places on them.

Friday, August 26

Our Idiot Brother

Paul Rudd stars as the titular character in this comedy about a well-meaning organic farmer who, after being arrested and losing his girlfriend, seeks shelter with his three sisters whose lives he then proceeds to dismantle with his dedication to honesty and lack of common sense. Director Jesse Peretz (The Chateau) lined up plenty of comedic talent for this Sundance success, including Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer as the sisters, Steve Coogan as Mortimer’s husband, and Rashida Jones as Deschanel’s lover.

Also out this week:

Jason Sudeikis tries to convince his pals to upgrade their usual summer parties in the Hamptons in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy LIMITED, which also stars Will Forte, Lake Bell, and Tyler Labine ... The Timur Bekmambetov-produced, no-name sci-fi thriller Apollo 18 (formerly scheduled for January 2012) is basically Paranormal Activity set on the moon, using "found footage" discovered from NASA's scrapped lunar mission.

Wednesday, August 31

The Debt Watch Trailer

John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Proof) directs this remake of an Israeli film (Ha-Hov) about a trio of Mossad agents who claim to have caught and killed a Nazi war criminal only to be haunted by him thirty years later when he claims to still be alive. In the film’s 1965 timeline, the agents are played by Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Marton Csokas, while Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson play the aging former agents 30 years later.

Also out this week:

Shark Night 3D 9/2 is about what you'd expect to happen when a group of college kids rent a vacation house by a shark-infested lake ... Zoe Saldana becomes a young assassin and dedicates her life to tracking down her parents' killers in the Luc Besson-scripted Colombiana 9/2

For a listing of all upcoming film releases by date, visit our Movie Calendar.

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Comments (5)

  • Mik  

    I don't know--Kenneth Branagh, even on his misfires, has always had something interesting to say in his movies. Thor should be more than just something to rip apart.

  • Glen  

    Crazy, Stupid Love has an amzing looking cast. Somehow I don't think Transformers 3 will be the last.

  • Rurp  

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Bill, but Thor's had almost exclusively positive reviews so far. I imagine it's heading towards a metascore of 60-70.

  • Bill  

    A good 90% of these are going to be garbage, I will tune in to meta critic to see movies like Thor get ripped apart by critics with a feeling of satisfaction. Another transformers movie? Another Pirates?... I'm gonna be sick.

  • Mitch Tough  

    Bridesmaids & Hangover II seem like a great pair of complementary flicks. Should bring the laughs. I'm fired up for Sleeping Beauty, Super 8, and Priest. For some reason, I"m dreading Tree of Life, but of course I'll see it.

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