Get Inside—It's Summertime!

Your guide to the season's hottest films (and the other ones, too)

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.

JUNE 8

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.

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.

Dimension Films

SURF'S UP
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.

JUNE 15

ANGEL-A
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.

DAY WATCH
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.

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 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.

FIDO
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."

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. Give it a chance, though: Fleming wrote and directed Dick.

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.

JUNE 22

CAPTIVITY
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 plane. We'll see.

DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE
Cast: Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance, Sarah Carter, Natasha Malthe, Devon Aoki
Director: Corey Yuen
Scantily clad beauties fight evildoers in this live action version of a popular video game.

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 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).

1408
Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
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.

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.

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. And sorry about the timing, Mitt.

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